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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Illinois To Close Youth Detention Center Despite Objections


The Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice is moving forward with closing a youth detention center in Kewanee over objections from a bipartisan legislative oversight panel.

Agency Director Candice Jones said in a Tuesday statement that the panel's advisory vote last week is "disheartening," but it's hard to justify keeping the maximum-security facility open.

She says outcomes have been poor and the state can transition to smaller centers proven to rehabilitate youth.

Last week members of the state's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability voted against the closure.

Some suggested using the 15-year-old facility in other ways to ensure it won't be left abandoned or deteriorate.

Jones says the state agency was prepared for the opposition and officials will work with employees at the northwestern Illinois center to find other placements.

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