WBEZ | youth prison http://www.wbez.org/tags/youth-prison Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Delayed by months, suicide-proof beds still not in suicide-watch cells at youth prison http://www.wbez.org/story/delayed-months-suicide-proof-beds-still-not-suicide-watch-cells-youth-prison-94992 <p><p>An Illinois youth prison still does not have suicide-proof beds in rooms where kids on suicide watch are held. The installation has been plagued by delays.</p><div><p>Illinois' Department of Juvenile Justice had <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/youth-prisons-suicide-watch-cells-still-lack-suicide-proof-beds-91805">"anticipate[d]"</a> suicide-proof furniture would be installed at all its facilities by the end of 2011.&nbsp;That date's now been pushed to late February 2012, because, the department said last week, it took longer than expected to customize the furniture.</p><p>Particularly striking: At the St. Charles facility, the cells where kids go when they're put on suicide watch still do not have the specially designed "safety beds."</p><p>"While they do not have the new furniture installed, those rooms do not have the...bunk-bed style beds that were the great risk for suicide," said Kendall Marlow, a department spokesman. "That - combined with the fact that that room is monitored once every 5 minutes - mitigates the risk."</p><p>Prison watchdog <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/no-suicide-proof-beds-kids-suicide-cells-88902">the John Howard Association</a> five months ago called it "absolutely unacceptable" that those rooms still lacked suicide proof furniture.</p><p>The issue took on <a href="http://insideandout.chicagopublicradio.org/content/illinois-youth-prisons-see-more-suicide-attempts">extra weight</a> following a suicide at the St. Charles prison in 2009.</p></div></p> Mon, 19 Dec 2011 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/delayed-months-suicide-proof-beds-still-not-suicide-watch-cells-youth-prison-94992 Quinn would consider keeping prison open http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-would-consider-keeping-prison-open-92861 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-05/quinn advantage illinois presser.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn said Wendesday he's willing to consider reallocating money to avoid a prison closing. Seven state facilities including a central Illinois prison might close because of a lack of state funds.</p><p>But Quinn said the money to keep the prison open must come from re-allocation, and that he won't borrow cash. The General Assembly would have to agree to re-allocate the money.</p><p>"The bottom line is we can't just sit here and hope for the best. The fiscal year is a quarter over now and we have to make the economies necessary to get through the fiscal year," Quinn said.</p><p>Quinn's threats have sparked fears of over-crowding in other prisons. A Quinn spokeswoman said that even if the prison in Lincoln, Illinois were closed, the state Department of Corrections would still have a sizeable budget deficit.</p><p>The other threatened facilities include a youth prison and facilities for those with mental illness and disability.</p><p>"We're not going to have as many institutions in the future," Quinn said, referring to the closure of facilities for people mental health conditions. "We're going to have much more emphasis on community care, which is more economical and in many cases many people feel is more humane."</p><p>All told, closing the seven proposed facilities would cut 2,000 state jobs.</p><p>Earlier this week, an arbitrator ruled closing the facilities would violate an agreement with AFSCME, the state's largest public employees union. Quinn said his hands are tied because the legislature didn't allocate enough money in the state's strapped budget to keep the facilities running.</p><p>Quinn's offices released a statement saying they plan to take the matter to court.</p></p> Wed, 05 Oct 2011 18:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-would-consider-keeping-prison-open-92861 New report details challenges facing Illinois youth prison http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-13/new-report-details-challenges-facing-illinois-youth-prison-89081 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-13/Prison Small.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>About an hour west of Chicago is the youth prison in <a href="http://www.idoc.state.il.us/subsections/facilities/information.asp?instchoice=stc" target="_blank">St. Charles</a>.&nbsp; The 125-acre campus is just one of a handful of facilities in Illinois where young men and boys are sent to be reformed. It is a facility that has had its struggles in the past - nearly two years ago an inmate committed suicide</p><p>In <a href="http://insideandout.chicagopublicradio.org/content/line-day-st-charles-youth-prison" target="_blank">March 2010</a> WBEZ explored conditions at the facility, as part of the <em><a href="http://insideandout.chicagopublicradio.org/" target="_blank">Inside and Out</a> </em>series. The<a href="http://www.thejha.org" target="_blank"> John Howard Association</a> has also been keeping an eye on St. Charles. Representatives of the prison watchdog group were at the facility back in May and recently issued a<a href="http://www.thejha.org/sites/default/files/IYC%20-%20St_%20Charles.pdf" target="_blank"> report</a> on its findings. Chris Bernard, director of John Howard Association's Juvenile Justice Project and author of the report, joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>to discuss the continuing challenges facing the facility.</p><p>WBEZ will hear from Department of Juvenile Justice director Arthur Bishop on Thursday's <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=3" target="_blank">Morning Edition</a>.</em></p><p><span style="font-style: italic;">Music Button: Tristeza, "Golden Hill" from the release Spine&amp;Sensory (Better Looking Records)</span></p></p> Wed, 13 Jul 2011 14:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-13/new-report-details-challenges-facing-illinois-youth-prison-89081