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Inside and Out: Young people and juvenile justice in Illinois

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WBEZ is launching a new series today called Inside and Out. It’s about kids and juvenile justice. More specifically, it’s about the Illinois juvenile prison system and the kids who cycle through it. In 2006, the state separated its juvenile prisons from the adult ones in an effort to better meet the needs of young offenders. We wonder what’s changed, and what part that plays in ongoing efforts to improve juvenile justice in Illinois.

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So we’ve assigned a small team of reporters to the project. Some of them will be at the institutions, reporting on conditions inside. Others will be following kids outside. We want to find out how young people get caught up in the system, what happens to them while they’re inside and what they face when they get out. We’ll meet some of those young men and women this week in stories we’ll be introducing on air and on the web. And we’ll be following their stories and others over the next six months. We think they will help us understand the complex human issues entangled in juvenile justice, and why it matters so much to all of us.

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The series will also include investigative reports, interviews, analysis, photo essays, commentary and conversation on line and in the community. It’s a multi-platform approach to journalism that involves the air, the web and you. We want to add to the community dialogue on the issues of juvenile justice and possible solutions. Check out the Share Your Thoughts page on the project web site and let us know what you think. Our conversation begins today.

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