We represent a young person housed at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center in a challenge to conditions at the facility. Each year, Franklin County JDC detains hundreds of youth as young as 11 years old from multiple counties across Southern Illinois.  The youth, along with several others currently or recently detained at the facility, describe being locked into cells the size of parking spaces for 20 to 24 hours a day, with bright, overhead fluorescent lights that never turn off.

In addition to these conditions, the youth held at the facility are not provided any meaningful mental health care or allowed to attend school. The education program, for example, consists of youth being given a series of worksheets to complete on their own with no feedback. 

Last year, the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice audited the facility, reporting on many of the conditions identified in the lawsuit and suggesting that the facility is “in crisis.” We are seeking class certification to represent all of the young people detained at the facility. 


Kevin Fee, Camille Bennett, Alexis Picard

Date filed

June 30, 2023