Report: Mental health care at Ill. center lacking

By By JOHN O'CONNOR

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A public watchdog group says state officials should move mentally ill offenders from an Illinois youth detention center because treatment is insufficient.

A report by the John Howard Association says only 8 of 17 mental health positions are filled at the Illinois Youth Center at Kewanee. The 11-year-old facility is designated as the detention site for delinquent teens with severe mental health issues.

The report — released Thursday and given to The Associated Press in advance — says Kewanee offers only half the treatment of other detention facilities.

The report says until there are enough staff members, residents should be moved from Kewanee and courts should stop committing kids there.

An Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice spokeswoman did not immediately comment.

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Online: http://www.thejha.org/

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