Juvenile Justice activists ask President Preckwinkle to reinvest detention center dollars into alternatives

CHICAGO, IL – Youth from the Cook County Juvenile Justice Task Force, alongside parents, ministers and allied groups, will meet with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County Commissioners at a town hall meeting to present their vision for alternatives to the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC). Their vision includes the reinvestment of funds into community-based social services, including mentorship programs, as well as mental health care and safe shelter.

The Town Hall meeting will be held today, Monday, November 19th at 6 p.m. at 1333 N. Laramie.

At the Town Hall meeting with President Preckwinkle and Commissioners, youth activists will present vision for alternatives to juvenile detention center.

  “The County is investing over 40 million a year to detain young people. That’s a bad investment and a bad budget decision,” said Darrius Lightfoot of Fearless Leading by the Youth. “Instead, they should be spending taxpayer dollars to keep youth out of prison and engaged in their communities.”

In the past year, the County reduced the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center population by 50. In the coming year, President Toni Preckwinkle has said that the population will shrink even more. The Cook County Juvenile Justice Task Force is demanding that the reduction of the population include reinvestment of funds into community-based alternatives.

“Youth need mentorship and job training, not to be locked up,” said Darrius Lightfoot. “Community alternatives to detention could be the key to reducing youth violence and youth crime–but it requires investing in our youth”

The Cook County Juvenile Justice Force includes: Blocks Together, BUILD Inc, Center of Change, Community Justice Institute for Youth, Fearless Leading by the Youth, Precious Blood Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation and the Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice at the Adler School of Psychology.

For more information about the Cook County Juvenile Justice Task Force, contact Alex Goldenberg or visit www.facebook.com/audyhomecampaign.