New Youth Center in Central Illinois
Written by WZND Newsroom on February 4, 2021
Photo courtesy to IDJJ Facebook page
LINCOLN, Ill.- The Governor’s administration has announced a new center for incarcerated youth is coming to central Illinois.
The Youth Center will now be located in the old, abandoned Lincoln Development Center. About 40% of Illinois’ juveniles are from Central Illinois and until now they’ve been located in northern and southern parts of the state, away from their families.
Heidi Mueller, director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice said she is grateful the administration has prioritized reforms that will bring restoration and investments to the youths, communities and the state of Illinois.
The future Illinois Youth Center in Lincoln will house up to 30 youths in dormitories.
“What we will probably start with is a mix of probably younger or more vulnerable kids who really would benefit the most from being really close to family where we could do family therapy,” said Mueller. “That will kind of guide us at least initially.”
Mueller said money for the renovations come from the Capitol Development Board.
“I appreciate the leadership of the Pritzker administration for being forward-thinking in transforming the lives of youth within the IDJJ system through an innovative model,” said state Rep. Tim Butler, a Springfield Republican whose district includes Lincoln.