skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, April 19, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Summit paints grim picture of IL juvenile detention centers

play audio
Play

Thursday, December 14, 2023   

At a Wednesday summit, advocates for juvenile justice reform took up the most recent slate of complaints about Illinois' juvenile detention centers.

Investigative reporting just last month found unsanitary facilities and incidents of young people being mistreated, with a focus on the Franklin County center. The nonprofit Juvenile Justice Initiative has other ideas for housing minors until their trial dates.

Elizabeth Clark, founder and board treasurer of the initiative, said if the goal is rehabilitation, detention centers are not doing the job.

"It is simply like adult jail," Clark observed. "In Illinois, we've been very intentional about making sure that kids who are found guilty of an offense are not sent away to prison, unless there's no other alternative."

Clark's group favors community-based treatment programs but she pointed out detention before trial can apply to kids as young as 10. Minors can be committed to the Illinois Department of Justice if they are guilty of a felony and are at least age 13. According to the state, most youths in juvenile detention are age 17-20.

Staffing shortages and lack of medical and mental health services are among the complaints from a ProPublica investigation with Capitol News Illinois, published last month. It found no independent agency either licenses or certifies juvenile detention centers in Illinois, and suggested an overhaul of the system to strengthen oversight.

One case -- of a teen whose arm was broken by a guard trying to handcuff him, and who went without medical care for hours -- is not an isolated incident, according to Clark.

"We are now finally seeing a light shone on the conditions in these juvenile detention centers; really, really troubling conditions," Clark asserted. "As a result, there's a lawsuit against one of them by the ACLU; Franklin Jefferson."

The website injusticewatch.org reported only four of the state's 16 detention centers were in "full compliance with state standards" last year.

And despite taxpayers footing the bill through a state subsidy for staffing, Clark noted the counties pay for the centers' operational expenses.

Disclosure: The Juvenile Justice Initiative contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Civic Engagement, Criminal Justice, and Juvenile Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The Bureau of Land Management's newly issued Public Lands Rule is designed to safeguard cultural resources such as New Mexico's Chaco Culture National Park. (Photo courtesy SallyPaez)

Environment

play sound

Balancing the needs of the many with those who have traditionally reaped benefits from public lands is behind a new rule issued Thursday by the Bureau…


Health and Wellness

play sound

Alzheimer's disease is the eighth-leading cause of death in Pennsylvania. A documentary on the topic debuts Saturday in Pittsburgh. "Remember Me: …

Social Issues

play sound

April is Financial Literacy Month, when the focus is on learning smart money habits but also how to protect yourself from fraud. One problem on the …


Outdoor recreation added $11.7 million to the Arizona economy in 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Arizona conservation groups and sportsmen alike say they're pleased the Bureau of Land Management will now recognize conservation as an integral part …

play sound

Across the U.S., most political boundaries tied to the 2020 Census have been in place for a while, but a national project on map fairness for …

The 2023 Annie E. Casey Foundation Data Book ranked Arkansas 37th in the nation for education, and said 56% of young children were not in preschool programs to help get them ready for school. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The need for child care and early learning is critical, especially in rural Arkansas. One nonprofit is working to fill those gaps by giving providers …

Environment

play sound

An annual march for farmworkers' rights is being held Sunday in northwest Washington. This year, marchers are focusing on the conditions for local …

Social Issues

play sound

A new Gallup and Lumina Foundation poll unveils a concerning reality: Hoosiers may lack clarity about the true cost of higher education. The survey …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021