In Illinois, 17-year-olds are not adults; they cannot buy cigarettes, vote or join the military. But, they can be prosecuted in adult court and serve time in adult prisons for nonviolent offenses, according to an analysis by The Chicago Reporter. Most of the 17-year-olds being charged in Cook County are black.
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Hundreds of 17-year-olds are being prosecuted in adult court and serving their sentences with adult felons.
Chicago— In Illinois, 17-year-olds are not adults; they cannot buy cigarettes, vote or join the military. But, they can be prosecuted in adult court and serve time in adult prisons for nonviolent offenses, according to an analysis by The Chicago Reporter. Most of the 17-year-olds being charged in Cook County are black.
According to the Reporter:
“Why are we giving young people felony records that will haunt them for the rest of their lives?” said Liz Kooy, who has been tracking juveniles in adult court systems across the state at the Illinois-based advocacy group the Juvenile Justice Initiative. “These teens are given a lot of bad choices. They’re told, ‘You can plead and get two years or face six.’”
For more on the Reporter’s September/October issue visit the www.chicagoreporter.com.
Also in this issue:
Excessive Force Payouts: Last year’s payout for excessive force lawsuits was the highest it has been in 10 years. Last year’s total payout is more than the sum of the payouts between 2000 and 2005.
Foreclosure help available, not used: Cook County approved $3.5 million for a program that forces mortgage lenders to mediate foreclosure with homeowners, but less than 10 percent of Cook county homeowners are participating in the program.
State owes $358 million to CPS: Illinois owes schools and education vendors more than $1.1 billion in education costs; $301 million was intended for special education programs in Chicago’s Public Schools.
Retirement less lucrative for Latino seniors: Legislators are considering raising the full retirement age to 70 from 67, this will hurt the Latino community the hardest as they make an average of $18,000 annually in retirement.
Transforming culture: Asad Jafri is working to transform the pubic views on Muslim culture through work created by artists of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network.
The September/October issue is available on-line at : www.chicagoreporter.com
The Chicago Reporter is published by the Community Renewal Society. The Reporter is an award-winning bimonthly print and online newsmagazine that serves as a watchdog of government and other institutions. Community Renewal Society empowers people to build just communities by working to eradicate racism and poverty. It does so by publishing newsmagazines, organizing in progressive communities, providing training, and encouraging individuals and communities in sustained and strategic efforts to create systemic change.