Watchdog Group: Juvenile Justice System Needs Overhaul
Watchdog Group: Juvenile Justice System Needs Overhaul

A report from the John Howard Association, a prison watchdog group, claims that the Illinois Youth Center in Kewanee doesn’t have enough staff to treat its mentally ill inmates. That has resulted in youths being kept in their cells instead of receiving treatment.

John Maki, executive director says the organization’s report on the juvenile correctional facility in Kewanee found that the facility has too many vacant positions.

“The biggest problem with Kewanee is that while it houses the most difficult kids in the state’s juvenile justice system, it is not equipped to do so. There is not enough education, there is not enough mental health, and there is not enough security staff” Maki says.

The facility is the only one in the state that treats juveniles wilth mental health problems.  A class-action lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice last year, and the two sides have been discussing a plan to resolve those issues.