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Author Topic: John Howard Association's Report on IYC- St. Charles  (Read 1464 times)
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« on: August 07, 2012, 04:33:55 PM »

On April 3, 2012, the John Howard Association visited IYC-St. Charles, a medium-security facility for boys. St. Charles also serves as the northern Reception and Classification unit for boys.


Vital Statistics:

Population: 148

Average Age:  17.26

Average Annual cost per youth: $101,247.00

Population by Race: 29 White (19.6%), 89 Black (60.1%), 30 Hispanic (20.3%),

Committing Offenses:  1 Murder, 9 Class X felonies, 29 Class 1 felonies, 38 Class 2 felonies, 35 Class 3 felonies, 21 Class 4 felonies, 15 Misdemeanors.

 

Key Observations:

Following JHA's criticism and recommendations from its 2011 monitoring reports, St. Charles now has completed the installation of safety beds in all cells where youth reside.

While St. Charles reports that it is focused on individualized, verbal interventions as a means to deescalate youth prior to use of confinement or time-out rooms, administration lacked ready access to data that tracked facility's operations, including important information on its use of confinement.
 
To absorb youth from facilities scheduled for closure and complete needed repair and renovations, St. Charles received $5 million from the state of Illinois in the spring of 2012.
  
Staffing needs remain an area of concern at St. Charles, particularly in the infirmary and school.
 
JHA notes and commends implementation of innovative educational programs.

Read the full report here:
http://www.thejha.org/stcharles
 



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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2012, 11:22:12 PM »

Article updated: 8/7/2012 6:06 PM
 
Prison watchdog: St. Charles youth center now has safety beds


By Mike Riopell

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Youth Center St. Charles has installed safety beds intended to prevent suicides, a prison watchdog group reported Tuesday.

Last year, the John Howard Association criticized the facility for not having the beds available for youth on suicide watch two years after a 16-year-old committed suicide at the youth prison.

It’s difficult to tie things to safety beds, and they have rounded corners intended to prevent injury.

“At the time of our visit, all of the youth at St. Charles were housed in cottages that were outfitted with the new safety beds and furniture,” the association’s report says. “The cottages which had not received the new beds were not being used.”

A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice wasn’t immediately available for comment.

The report praised interactions witnessed between staff and youth, calling them “casual and positive.”

But the report also raised lingering concerns about the physical state of the facility.

“St. Charles is an unusual criminal justice facility. It sits on 126 picturesque acres of fenced-in land, and when the razor wire that surrounds the facility is not visible, the grounds have the feel of a small college campus rather than a youth prison,” the report says. “However, as noted in past reports, the facility is in desperate need of repair.”

The state has given the facility $5 million for repairs and upgrades as the St. Charles center likely would get youth from the center in Joliet, which has been targeted for closure soon by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Unions have protested the closures, saying more crowding could lead to more violence in both prisons and youth centers.

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120807/news/708079686/
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2012, 08:52:17 PM »

IYC St. Charles is not equipped or built to handle a violent and aggressive youth.  It should remain a THERAPUTIC and program based facility for minimum to medium youth.  In order to do so, the state will need to invest a minimum of 20,000,000 - 80,000,000 to turn it into the state of the art facility Director Arthur Bishop wants.   In stark contrast IYC Joliet is built and staffed to continue to house the older (17 - 21 year old) violent and more experienced youth.  There is a huge contrast in cost per youth at these two facilities.  An inmate at IYC St Charles is roughly 41,000.00.  An inmates at IYC Joliet is 11,700.00 (see FY2013 Budget).  The Governor's plan to close IYC Joliet is clearly not based on the statements he had made that the closures are based on older (IYC St Charles is one of the oldest facilities, in need of more repairs than any other facility and one of the highest cost per youth facilties) outdated and costly facilities.  In addition, there have been over 40 youth from the Cook County area transferred to IYC Harrisburg (8 hours south) which has resulted in ZERO visits for these youth.  Anyone who has studied Juvenile Justice KNOWS family unification is KEY to a successful transition back home and back to the community.   IDJJ needs to understand it is not appearance that counts or what they put on paper or in mission statements, it is the hard work of building relationships that work between staff and youth in a juvenile prison and yet maintaining a safe and secure environment for all.

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