Families out of reach, incarcerated youth often silent about sexual assaults

“Families out of reach, incarcerated youth often silent about sexual assaults” by Yana Kunichoff

To read this article on the Chicago Now website, click here.

It’s been six months since Celia Peoples last saw her 14-year-old son. He is only five hours away from her home in the small downstate town of Harrisburg, Ill., but Peoples, who is unemployed and barely making ends meet, can’t afford to take a car or a bus to visit him. Peoples’ son is incarcerated in the Illinois Youth Center Kewanee. “I just don’t have the money to go see him,” she said. Peoples isn’t the only parent facing a similar predicament. Juvenile prisons hold minors aged 10 to 17–only one juvenile prison is in Cook County.

Mariame Kaba, executive director of Project NIA, a Chicago-based research and advocacy group, says that being able to visit their children is an ongoing issue for Chicago parents of incarcerated youth. For the past three years, Project NIA has been running a volunteer program that coordinates regular rides, nearly every month, for the parents of incarcerated youth to Illinois Youth Center Warrenville, (around) an hour’s drive outside Chicago.