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The COVID-19 vaccination requirement for visitors to IDJJ facilities has been suspended as of 1/12/23. Visitors may be required to complete a rapid COVID-19 test when they arrive at the facility. 

Hiring Process

Screening Process

All applicants must be at the screening location no later than 8:30 a.m. Anyone who arrives later than 8:30 a.m. will not be permitted to attend. Every applicant must have with them the requisite screening documents. Failure to bring these documents will also result in not being permitted to attend the screening. There are three (3) parts to the screening process. The are each explained below. Weighted values are assigned to each of the following dimensions based on its relationship to successful job performance.

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1. Observation Examination (0-20 points)

To assess each applicant's capacity to comprehensively, fairly, and objectively evaluate a scene and provide a rational response based on the information provided. Applicants will be shown two pictures. Each applicant will be given 15 minutes to narrate the action in the pictures. Each response is worth 10 points, for a total of 20 points. An applicant must have a minimum combined score of 13 points to move on to the next section.

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2. Physical Strength and Agility Test

Since being in good physical shape is a prime consideration for being a Juvenile Justice Intern, applicants are required to successfully complete a physical agility test to be eligible for hire. The test includes four exercises designed to measure an applicant's ability to perform the job duties required of a Juvenile Justice Specialist Intern. Applicants must complete all four of the exercises to continue in the screening process. The physical Agility Test is a pass/fail test.

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3. Structured Oral Interview and Writing Sample (0-100 points)

Applicants are interviewed by a team of two screeners using a standardized Rutan interview questionnaire. Upon conclusion of the interview, the screeners independently rate the applicant. An applicant can receive a total of 100 points.

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Military Service (0-10 points)

Points are awarded to any armed forces veteran, receiving discharges of Honorable or General Under Honorable Conditions. A copy of the DD214 (Member 4 edition) must be supplied. Documentation of military service is based on a review of all Certificates of Military Release of Discharge. To be eligible for military points and in order to be considered for employment, an applicant must produce long versions of all Military Discharges. The long version shall indicate years of service, character of service and type of discharge. Points may be awarded as follows:

Veteran Status Eligible Points

Veteran Status Eligible Points

Veteran who received a Purple Heart


Veteran with Service Connected Disability


Spouse of a Veteran who Suffered a Service connected Disability or Death


Parent of a Veteran who Suffered a Service Connected Disability or Death


Veteran during Hostility


Illinois National Guard or Reserves Member Activated (6 months or more outside of training)


Veteran during Peacetime


Illinois National Guard or Reserves Member Never Activated


* Three (3) points awarded if serviced during peacetime; Five (5) points if served during hostilities.

** Award letter from the Federal V.A. Office required.

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Hostility Periods Recognized (eff. 11/15/1996)

Time Period Hostility

April 6, 1917 - November 11, 1918


December 7, 1941 - December 31, 1946


June 27, 1950 - January 31, 1955


February 28, 1961 - May 7, 1975


June 6, 1983 - December 1, 1987


October 23, 1983 - November 21, 1983


December 20, 1989 - January 31, 1990


August 2, 1990 - November 30, 1995

Gulf War

September 11, 2001 - Indeterminate

War on Terrorism

Ranking Applicants For Hire

Applicants may earn 0 - 130 total screening points. Total screening scores are based on the screening points accrued during the observation examination, oral interview/written examination, and for documentation of military service. Applicants are then ranked in order of their screening process, i.e., from highest to lowest. Successful completion of the screening process places an applicant on an eligibility list for hire for up to a period of one year from the last day of the month in which they screen. If an applicant chooses to retake the test within that time, the most current screening score overrides the previously reported score.

Each applicant will have the opportunity to identify one or all of the facilities that they would be willing to take a position at if offered in order of preference.

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Background Investigations

A background investigation is conducted on all applicants selected for hire. This process involves inquiries via the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS), which includes a computerized criminal history check, NCIC hot files, CANTs System, and Secretary of State drivers- information checks. Drug tests and employment reference checks are also conducted. A physical and visual screening exam is administered as well. Information gathered during the background investigation phase may be utilized when selecting an applicant for hire.

Conflicts of interest subject an applicant-s file to administrative review prior to consideration for hire. The following situations may result in administrative review and a determination of ineligibility for hire.

  • former DOC or DJJ employee
  • prior convictions for other than minor traffic offenses
  • relatives incarcerated within the Department of Corrections or the Department of Juvenile Justice
  • relatives employed by the Department of Corrections or the Department of Juvenile Justice
  • suitability issues (i.e., youth/inmate visitor lists; job discharges)
  • other

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Physical Examination

Prior to employment, a complete medical history will be obtained and a complete physical examination and visual screening exam will be conducted.

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Selecting Applicants For Hire

Facilities select applicants for hire from their county eligibility list(s) based on the highest overall screening score. When applicants receive the same overall screening score, ties will be broken through a lottery. Established affirmative action goals may be taken into consideration.

Facilities will make three reasonable attempts to contact eligible applicants for employment. At least one of the three attempts will be made after 6:00 p.m., or on a weekend.

Applicants selected for hire will be required to attend a multiple week pre-service training program in Springfield, Illinois, prior to assuming job duties at an institution. New hires will be required to travel to Springfield, via State-provided transportation for pre-service training. Housing will be provided in the Training Academy dormitories.

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Salary And Benefits 

Starting salary is $54,648/year plus excellent benefits and great opportunities for advancement. During the twelve-month appointment all Juvenile Justice Specialist Interns are required to attend multiple weeks at the Corrections Training Academy. Upon successful completion of a twelve-month intern period, Juvenile Justice Interns can be appointed as Juvenile Justice Specialists. 

The State of Illinois provides employees with Health, Vision, and Dental insurance with a small co-payment from employees. Life insurance is provided at 100% your annual salary. Security employees are eligible to retire with full retirement benefits at age 50 with 25 years of service and at age 55 with 20 years of service.

Benefit time for new employees includes three (3) personal business days, ten (10) vacation days, and twelve (12) sick days per year.

Work Attire is issued to you while in training.

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Transfer Policy

Juvenile Justice Specialist may not transfer to another facility immediately upon hire. Therefore, DO NOT accept employment at a facility at which you do not wish to work. Only Juvenile Justice Specialists who have a minimum of eighteen months seniority and desire a transfer to another facility can submit a request. Selection for transfer is based on seniority from all requests submitted statewide.

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Upward Mobility Program

The Upward Mobility Program is an agreement between the employee union, AFSCME, and the State of Illinois to provide career mobility for state employees who want to advance to more challenging, higher paying positions. Employees receive individual counseling to inform them of the career opportunities available and to guide them in developing their career plans. Participants take proficiency exams and/or complete required education and training programs designed to provide them with the skills and knowledge needed for advancement.

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Tuition Reimbursement

Any full time merit employee is eligible for reimbursement consideration. Employees in the Department of Juvenile Justice are reimbursed at 50% of tuition/lab fees with a maximum reimbursable amount for any semester. Reimbursement will occur upon satisfactory completion of the course and submission of a grade of C or above. Employees receiving tuition reimbursement shall incur a work commitment to the State.

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