Closing Kewanee Youth Prison – 3/30 Hearing and Updates

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, a state legislative panel, will begin a public hearing about Gov. Rauner’s proposal to close the juvenile prison at Kewanee. The hearing will be held at Kewanee High School, 1211 E. Third St., Kewanee. For more information about the hearing and to register to testify, visit the Commission’s website at www.cgfa.ilga.gov

The Juvenile Justice Initiative has long advocated for the closure of the juvenile prison in Kewanee, based on the declining juvenile prison population as well as the remote geographic location, ineffectiveness of large institutional prisons for children, and the lack of adequate programming.  See our written testimony in support of the closure of Kewanee IYC here: JJI testimony Kewanee.

Previous statements:

  • JJI’s statement in support of closing the juvenile prison in Kewanee, IL, as proposed by the Department of Juvenile Justice on February 12, 2016
  • JJI’s supplemental letter (also signed by the John Howard Association and the ACLU) to Governor Rauner again asking him to close Kewanee IYC, dated December 1, 2015
  • JJI’s letter (also signed by the John Howard Association and the ACLU) to Governor Rauner asking him to close Kewanee IYC (juvenile prison), dated October 14,  2015

Updates:

  • On March 30, 2016 the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability held a public hearing about Gov. Rauner’s proposal to close the juvenile prison at Kewanee.  The room was packed with local people concerned about the loss of jobs the closing would bring and advocates from around the state in support of its closure.
  • On May 3, 2016 the vote as to whether or not to close the Kewanee IYC was held at 9:30 a.m. in Room C-1 in the Stratton building in Springfield.  The vote will be held by the Commissioners of the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.  The commissioners are all Illinois senators and representatives.  Click here to see the commission members.
  • On May 10, 2016 the Department of Juvenile Justice announced it will close Kewanee IYC.  Read the statement from DJJ Director, Candice Jones, here.

JJI thanks all the legislators, commissioners, Illinois advocacy partners,and all the individuals who helped realize this effort – and a big “Thank you!” to Governor Rauner for his leadership in juvenile justice reform.

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