By Derrick Broze | AntiMedia
Illinois seems to be a hotbed for a lack of accountability and transparency on the part of government agencies. Most recently we have learned that police in Chicago were using a domestic “black site” in the Homan Square area to illegally detain, question, and torture Americans suspected of crimes. However, before that story broke, Illinois was already in the midst of another controversy. One that has received very little attention outside of local and state media.
State treatment and residential centers for youth in Illinois are rampant with abuse – physical, mental, and sexual. The Chicago Tribune has done a great job exposing the story though their “Harsh Treatment” investigation. The investigation found that hundreds of youth are assaulted and raped by fellow youth at Illinois residential centers. When these rapes and assaults are reported the authorities rarely ever act. In many cases veteran residents introduce new residents into the world of prostitution. Thousands of residents of state homes and centers have ran away and according to the Chicago Tribune, dozens have never been found.Another issue the Tribune found was that children of special needs are not being placed in treatment centers that target the appropriate care. This means most children are placed in the same facilities regardless of specific needs.
The Tribune’s investigation lead to special legislative session in Chicago, where 22 lawmakers were informed on the failures of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and associated residential centers for troubled youth and state wards. At that session, state child welfare chief Bobbie Gregg called the reports “both appalling and unacceptable,” before announcing she would resign from the agency on January 19. Gregg was the seventh director in just three years. She has since been replaced by George Sheldon, former head of Florida’s Department of Children and Families.
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