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Judge eyes plan to fix juvenile detention centers

Published: Monday, March 17, 2014 12:47 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO — A plan to address inadequate conditions at the state's juvenile detention centers is being reviewed by a federal judge.

The plan was submitted jointly by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice and the ACLU of Illinois. It addresses the slew of problems outlined by a panel of experts in an investigation of the state's six juvenile detention centers.

It would mandate a five-hour school day for incarcerated youths. It also stipulates student-teacher ratios of no higher than 10 to one in classes.

The plan would ban the use of solitary confinement for disciplinary reasons and would require the hiring of a psychologist to oversee services for all six facilities. Mental health and security staffing levels would be increased.

The plan's rollout would be enforced by court-appointed experts if it's approved.

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