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Resource ID: #27061
Subject:Juvenile Justice System
In Illinois, hundreds of juvenile state wards are assaulted and raped by their peers each year at taxpayer-funded residential treatment centers as authorities fail to act on reports of harm and continue sending waves of youths to the most violent facilities, the Tribune's "Harsh Treatment" investigation found. Prostitution becomes a fact of life at facilities where experienced residents introduce others to pimps, escort websites and street corners. And thousands of kids flee to the streets, where some sold drugs and sex to survive and others broke into homes and mugged passers-by. Dozens have never been found. The reporters gathered thousands of pages of highly protected juvenile case files, successfully petitioned the Cook County juvenile court for access to delinquency files and through relentless FOIA appeals pried free police and state monitoring reports on violent incidents inside the facilities.