Report: IL prison youth education in violation, inadequate

Sep 23, 2013

Credit WBEZ/Chicago Public Radio
The education Illinois kids get in youth prisons is grossly inadequate, and in violation of state and federal laws and regulations.  That’s according to a new report that can’t simply be put on a shelf.  IPR’s Robert Wildeboer has more:  

 The report was filed as part of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.

 It is by a court appointed expert who visited 37 classrooms and talked to 51 students as well as teachers and administrators in Illinois’ prisons for kids.

 The expert found that students at the Kewanee youth prison spend only 6 to 12 hours in class per week due to staff shortages.

 At another facility in suburban St. Charles the expert found that kids were in class for only 6 to 8 days a month.

  The report also noted that when kids are in class, they’re most often working through educational modules on computers on their own and they don’t get the support and help they need from teachers. A spokeswoman for the department of juvenile justice says they’re reviewing the findings.