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Gov. Pritzker announces community-based juvenile justice program

CHICAGO (WREX) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton announce plan to transform the state's juvenile justice system over the next four years.

“An essential tenet of good governance is recognizing the need to change the laws that have failed the people they serve – some by design. It means doing everything in our power to reverse the tide,” Gov. Pritzker said.

The three-phase program transforms large, prison-like juvenile centers into small, residential programs focused on community investment.

Phase I includes: increased community investment and support, intervention services, and reentry programs for youth.

Phase II and III start next year when transfers from the larger juvenile facilities to the Illinois Department of Corrections. The larger facilities will be repurposed to provide additional space and prevent overcrowding.

The state plans for additional investments for victim services in communities disproportionately impacted by violence and disinvestment.

“We have a timely opportunity to do right by the kids, families, and communities of Illinois," Lt.Gov. Stratton said. "As a Justice, Equity, and Opportunity initiative, this plan will eliminate harmful policies and practices of the past, improve the conditions of Illinois juvenile facilities, increase prevention programming, and bring actual justice and restoration to some of the most vulnerable youth in our state.” 

More information about the plan is available online.

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Jena Kleindl

Jena joined the WREX team in May 2020 as the Assignment Editor and News Producer. She was born and raised in Freeport. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in 2020.

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