State wards in jail are waiting less time for release, but there's still room for improvement

State wards in jail are waiting less time for release, but there's still room for improvement
State wards in jail are waiting less time for release, but there's still room for improvement

State wards in jail are waiting less time for release, but there's still room for improvement

Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services has been dealing with an issue not many of us had heard about until earlier this year when WBEZ’s Patrick Smith revealed that many wards of the state in Cook County’s juvenile jail were being forced to stay behind bars even after their release dates. The problem was that DCFS didn’t have any place to put them, like a foster home. And so they waited days, weeks, even months. The longest stay: 190 days, nearly half the year. The average wait time for wards of the state is now 30 days, down from 70 days. It’s an improvement, but there’s still work to be done, according to Bruce Boyer, head of the Child Law Clinic at the Loyola School of Law.