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In Illinois, four factors have converged to deprive children and young people in the adult criminal justice system of their liberty, their chance for rehabilitation, and their possibility of release.
Evidence of meaningful change can be seen most clearly in recent US Supreme Court rulings on youth in the adult system, of which there have been an unprecedented 5 reform-minded judgements in the past decade. All say one thing clearly: kids are different.
But positive court decisions are just the beginning. Organizations across the nation must now untangle decades of extreme policies and undo the damage of year after year of budget shortfalls. In Illinois, Restore Justice works to make the courts’ will manifest in local policy and programming, with particular focus on four key areas: