PNS Daily Newscast - March 20, 2018 

President Trump again calls for the death penalty for drug dealers, but groups in New Hampshire say they oppose the get-tough approach. Also on today’s rundown: A protest against expanding tar-sands oil refining in California; and in Seattle, a group demands a moratorium on youth jail construction.

Daily Newscasts

Public News Service - IL: Criminal Justice

Illinois automatically sends 18-year-old defendants to adult court. (

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Legislation aimed at keeping juveniles on the right track is being discussed by Illinois lawmakers. Rep. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, introduced HB 4581 this month. It would gradually bump the age that young offenders charged with misdemeanors are sent to adult court from 18 t

It's been a year since Illinois eliminated a rule about shackling young inmates in court. (

Re-sending to correct wording in fifth paragraph. SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — It's been just over a year since the Illinois Supreme Court moved to end indiscriminate shackling of children in court, and judges across the state say it's working well. Rule 943 went into effect in November 2016. It man

The number of young people locked up in Illinois has dropped by more than 60 percent in the past few years. (Rainerzufall1234/Wikimedia Commons)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – There has been a dramatic drop in the number of young people being committed to prison in Illinois and across the nation. Between 2006 and 2015, the rate of youths being sent to out-of-home placement by juvenile courts fell 50 percent, according to data recently released

Legislation to reform Illinois' juvenile justice system has been seen as a way to cut costs by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. (

CHICAGO - Those who fight for the rights of Illinois' young people are being honored at an event next week. The Juvenile Justice Initiative will hold a celebration Oct. 5 to highlight progress in the state and those who have helped accomplish it. Attorney Mark Hassakis, a member of the initiative,

The People's Lobby is calling on federal lawmakers to implement a fair bail system. (Tom Gaulke)

CHICAGO – Now that a judge in Cook County has ruled that a court can't set bail amounts that people can't afford, advocates want that order implemented across the state, and they're calling for federal lawmakers to do the same. In an attempt to reduce jail population, Cook County Chief Judge

Twenty-eight states have passed

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- A publication that takes a look every year at legislation debated across the nation is highlighting Illinois as an example of good laws put on the books. The state took steps to reduce recidivism by enacting laws that help former inmates reintegrate into society, including fin

Department of Child and Family Service officials promise changes during a joint Senate hearing this week. (

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Changes are promised at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services after the death this spring of a toddler from Joliet. And some state lawmakers say if more safety precautions aren't put into place, legislation forcing the issue will be forthcoming. DCFS official

Illinois has been in the nation's longest state-budget deadlock since the Great Depression, and not much headway was made over the holiday weekend. (Meagan Davis/Wikimedia Commons)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Finally, a budget bill has passed both houses of the Illinois Legislature, but the battle is far from over. The $36 billion spending plan raises the income tax rate to 4.95 percent, a 32 percent increase. Gov. Bruce Rauner took less than two hours on Tuesday to veto it, only to

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