Restoring Justice: Part 2

This is a follow up post to our last post relating to the Illinois House of Representatives Restorative Justice Committee hearing regarding the U.S. Dept of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics report Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2012

View July 30th Restorative Justice Committee hearing here.

Silent Protest Brings Attention to Sexual Victimization of Incarcerated Youth

On July 30th, Project NIA supporters protested the sexual victimization of incarcerated youth outside the Chicago hearing location.  Click here for photo of protesters lining up outside the Bilandic Building.  Here’s an excerpt about the protest:  If only one child is sexually victimized in our prisons, then that is too many. I also know that sexual violence is endemic to prison. This means that no level of “reform” will eradicate it. If we want to end the rape of incarcerated children, we must close youth jails and prisons. That’s it.

For more about the protest and photos of the event, click here.  There is also more coverage posted on The Maharam Steam Fellows site.

Restorative Justice Committee hearing Press Coverage

WLS-TV (Chicago), July 30th.  Illinois among 4 worst states for sex abuse of juveniles in state custody   Excerpt: There was an emergency hearing of the Restorative Justice Committee in Chicago to discuss the issue. A number of protestors gathered outside.  A survey of juveniles asked if they had been abused by staff or other detainees. It found the rate in illinois is 15 percent. The other four states with comparable numbers are Ohio, South Carolina and Georgia.

WGN-TV, July 30th. State panel holds hearing on sex abuse in juvenile detention centers  Excerpt:“Disgusting” and “disturbing” are two words that were used quite a bit today, as the Illinois House Restorative Justice Committee held an emergency hearing to talk about the findings of a report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics on sexual abuse in the Illinois juvenile justice system. 

WBEZ 91.5 Chicago, July 30th. Illinois lawmakers looking at high incidence of sexual abuse in youth prisons   Excerpt: At a hearing Tuesday held by state legislators in Chicago. Lisa Jacobs with the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission told lawmakers there must be a better grievance process in the Department of Juvenile Justice so kids can lodge complaints without fear of retaliation. She says an inspector general should be appointed to investigate complaints and an ombudsman should be within the facilities taking kids’ complaints before they turn into major problems.

Jacobs says there needs to be more transparency all around.

WEEK-TV (Peoria), July 30th. Report shows Illinois prison guards are targeting juvenile offenders for sex  Excerpt: There’s a big problem with sexual exploitation of juvenile offenders in Illinois State facilities.

A Federal Department of Justice Report says guards and other authority figures are targeting teens for sex.

At a meeting of Illinois House members on Tuesday, the Chair of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission told legislators that it wasn’t just male guards taking advantage of female prisoners, but often the other way around.

WJOL-AM (Joliet), July 30th. More Reports of Youth Prison Sexual Assaults; Joliet Mentioned  Excerpt: State officials are looking into claims that 15-percent of Illinois’ 900-youth prisoners were sexually abused last year.  A recent report released by the U.S. Department of Justice reveals the alarming number, putting the former Joliet Youth Correctional Center as one of the worst lock-ups in the nation.  More than 20-percent of the Joliet inmates that responded to the survey claimed they were assaulted last year, 14-percent of those encounters were forced.  Officials say they take the claims very seriously and are taking steps to remedy the problem.

Illinois Radio Network, August 1st.  Click Juvenile Sexual Abuse in Detention to read the web-version of the story and to listen to the testimony of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission Vice-Chair, Lisa Jacobs.


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