Ill. Revamps Juvenile Justice System, Emphasizes Reform

Illiniois has begun to see the light and takes a step in the right direction in dealing with juvenile offenders:

Barbed wire is on the way out as the state's new Juvenile Justice Department stresses education and reform to give young offenders a chance to turn around....For more than three decades, the Illinois Department of Corrections had been responsible both for the state's adult convicts and for juveniles serving time here. But this summer, in a swing of the pendulum away from an emphasis on punishment and back toward a focus on reform, Illinois created a new Department of Juvenile Justice.

...."With kids we have to lock up because of their behavior, our goal is to motivate them, not suppress them," said Malcolm Young, executive director of the John Howard Association of Illinois, a prison advocacy group that helped drive creation of the new agency. "We want to stimulate them with textures, colors, softer sounds, brightness and even food they like, not stultify them in a cold, closed, hard, flat uncaring setting."

Let's hope other states will watch and learn.

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    How refreshing. Illinios welcome to the twentieth century. (playing catchup)