An article over at The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange discusses the recent expert reports released in the case R.J. v. Bishop, which seeks to improve conditions for juvenile offenders incarcerated in facilities operated by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.  The reports, which look at the areas of education, mental health, and safety and welfare respectively, were a result of a consent decree which called for a remedial plan to help move forward with implementing improvements within the facilities. The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange spoke with the ACLU of Illinois attorney Adam Schwartz:

ACLU lead attorney Adam Schwartz says the plaintiff’s side of the case was saddened but not surprised by the conclusions of the reports. “We think it’s all on target,” he said. “Our complaint alleged systemic problems in mental health care and other areas, and the experts found systemic problems in those areas.”

Schwartz expressed confidence that the ACLU and IDJJ “are on the road to reform. These reports are the beginning of the process and not the end of the process. We are going to spend the next four months preparing the remedial plan to submit to Judge Kennelly, and after that we’re going to spend years implementing and monitoring. We are optimistic that this process is going to work, and we look forward to working with the department to create systemic solutions to the systemic problems.”

Read the entire article.