Earlier today, Governor JB Pritzker signed Senate Bill 2323 concerning the restraint and shackling of youth in DCFS care while being transported. The following statement can be attributed to Nora Collins-Mandeville, Director of Systems Reform Policy at the ACLU of Illinois:

With his signature today, Governor Pritzker significantly improved safety, dignity and respect for youth in the care of DCFS.  Illinois now prohibits the use of physical and chemical restraints when DCFS, or private agencies, arrange transport for young people in DCFS’ custody.

Past incidents of DCFS youth being shackled during transports led to an agreement in federal court where DCFS promised not to shackle children, or use drugs to restrain them, unless restraints were ordered by a judge or DCFS first obtained high level medical and practice approvals. The new law goes further – no restraints are permitted for pre-arranged transports of DCFS youth. And in emergencies, DCFS youth will be treated like everyone else, and cared for according to the best judgment of responding medical professionals.    

We are thankful for the leadership of Senator Sara Feigenholtz and Representative Stephanie Kifowit for championing this legislation successfully through both chambers.