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Juvenile justice lockup incident feeds political fire

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 16:38:08 CDT
By: IPR's Brian Mackey

A 15 year old walked away from the custody of a state juvenile detention center Wednesday. The teen was apprehended about three hours later, but as IPR's Brian Mackey reports, the lapse comes at a time of change for the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Details are sparse because of confidentiality. But a spokesman confirms a teenager walked away from the Illinois Youth Center in Pere Marquette. It's described as a "medium security facility" with an "open campus," and it's for getting kids ready to re-enter society. The incident happened as Governor Pat Quinn is trying to close two other state juvenile detention centers. Representative Mike Bost is a Republican from Murphysboro. The newer, larger juvenile detention facility in his hometown is one of the two Quinn is closing. It's a move Bost opposes.

It is a little bothering to my constituents and to those of us who have watched Murphysboro boot camp do the good job that it has, and then we have someone that leaves a facility in Pere Marquette. We just need to know why and we need to know the details of it.

Last year, a state commission recommended keeping the Murphysboro facility open. But the administration plans to close it anyway.

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