July 26, 2018

AFSCME issues new report on violence in Illinois Youth Centers and how to prevent it

A new report published by AFSCME Council 31, Rising Violence in Illinois Youth Centers: Causes & Cures highlights the serious problem of increased violence in the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice and outlines recommendations to reverse the trend.

The report offers statistical detail and real stories from recent incidents the significant uptick in youth assaults on staff in those centers, as well as the consequences this volatile environment has for both employees and incarcerated youth.

Some of those consequences include:

Intended to emphasize the urgency of the problem and spur action within the agency—or, if necessary, by the legislature—the report concludes with a comprehensive list of recommendations based on front-line experience to reduce violence, increase safety and improve outcomes for youth.

Among those recommendations are listening to employees, establishing and consistently applying standards for behavior and consequences for infractions, improved training, increased staff, focus on problematic behaviors, court involvement and more.

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