September 23, 2013

Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois filed a lawsuit (R.J. v. Bishop) against the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ), challenging conditions in the facilities across Illinois where juveniles are detained. Concurrent with filing the lawsuit, we filed an agreement with the IDJJ.  That agreement called for the retention of three nationally-recognized, court-appointed experts to conduct an exhaustive analysis of IDJJ’s facilities, and make recommendations on how to move forward with improvements.

The three final expert reports now have been filed with the federal court in Chicago where the lawsuit was filed.  These reports confirm the plaintiffs’ initial allegations of systemic deficiencies, especially in education, mental health, solitary confinement, and continued IDJJ confinement for lack of a community placement.

These reports now become a baseline for the ACLU of Illinois to work with the IDJJ in order to solve these problems and improve conditions for children detained by the State of Illinois. We will continue to post updates on this case.