CHICAGO – July 16, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today named Arthur Bishop as acting director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Bishop, who currently serves as deputy director of field operations for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), will lead the agency merger with DCFS.
“Arthur Bishop has the experience, knowledge and integrity to deliver the treatment and services our youth need,” said Governor Quinn. “This merger will ensure that at-risk youth have access to the services and support they need to become positive, productive members of society and move DJJ to a child welfare-based system.”
Bishop brings over 35 years of experience in administering child welfare, community mental health and substance abuse programs. Bishop started as a caseworker at DCFS in 1995, later becoming a field service administrator and the department’s assistant chief of staff before being named deputy director. (Background Information)
As deputy director of field operations, Bishop supervises more than 500 employees and is responsible for more than 5,000 children and youth in state care. He has led several initiatives requiring interagency collaboration between public, private and community-based partners, including family advocacy centers, paternal involvement centers and the Fatherhood Initiative. Bishop has also represented DCFS on the Governor’s Task Force on the Condition of African American Males.
“I am honored that Governor Quinn has asked me to serve and am eager to begin the work of creating better, safer futures for youth, families and communities,” said Bishop.
Governor Quinn’s announcement today is another step in a process to reform the state’s juvenile justice system to one focused more on treatment. Research has shown that the overwhelming majority of youth in detention struggle with the effects of childhood maltreatment and would benefit from trauma-informed services.
In January, Governor Quinn made appointments to the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, an advisory group on juvenile justice and delinquency prevention issues.
Governor Quinn has also proposed the merger of the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Children and Family Services, in order to bring a strength-based, treatment model to youth committed to state detention centers. Since then, interagency workgroups have been designated to study the benefits and impact of the merger.
On Monday, Governor Quinn signed House Bill 5913 into law, which will allow shared services between the two departments.
Bishop’s appointment is effective August 1, 2010.