October 24, 2012
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Advocate: Hearing system should be fixed by now
Juvenile rights advocates say the Illinois Prisoner Review Board hasn't acted to fix the state's system for revoking parole for juveniles even though its flaws are well known.
An attorney at the Roderick MacArthur Justice Center says a report last year by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission offered a scathing assessment of review-board hearings that decide whether to lock up a parolee.
It said "rarely" were juveniles before the board extended their full due-process rights.
Alexa Van Brunt says it's "shocking" the state hasn't made changes since then.
The center is affiliated with the Northwestern University Law School. Its attorneys filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday calling the board hearings a "kangaroo court" and asking a federal judge to mandate changes.
An Illinois Prisoner Review Board attorney declined comment Wednesday.