Illinois Needs Smaller Juvenile Prison Systems

To read this article on the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange website, click here.

Illinois received more evidence last week that incarcerating young people doesn’t rehabilitate them. Independent experts told a federal court that Illinois’ juvenile prison system operates an education program far below minimally accepted standards, does not meet the basic mental health needs of incarcerated youth and uses solitary confinement too often and for too long, with potentially damaging effects on youth who return to our communities.

Gov. Pat Quinn has another view.

“We’ve made very important strides in juvenile justice in Illinois,” he told reporters.

Can they be talking about the same prison system? Yes, and both seemingly diametrically opposed viewpoints are correct.