Illinois has made great strides in reducing the number of youth in prison. In 2015, BPI partnered with the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) to create a detailed operating plan to help the Department transform Illinois’ juvenile justice system into one focused on youth education, development, and rehabilitation. Over the last year, the number of teens confined in Illinois youth prisons has dropped from around 750 on an average day to close to 400. As a result, IDJJ was able to permanently close one of its six youth prisons in 2016. We’re now focusing on efforts that enable the transfer of more youth from harmful prison settings to community-based settings more conducive to rehabilitation, resulting in dramatically improved lives for many disadvantaged youth.
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