Report shows Illinois prison guards are targeting juvenile offenders for sex

By WEEK Producer

Report shows Illinois prison guards are targeting juvenile offenders for sex

July 30, 2013 Updated Jul 30, 2013 at 9:12 PM CDT

CHICAGO, Ill. -- There's a big problem with sexual exploitation of juvenile offenders in Illinois State facilities.

A Federal Department of Justice Report says guards and other authority figures are targeting teens for sex.

At a meeting of Illinois House members on Tuesday, the Chair of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission told legislators that it wasn't just male guards taking advantage of female prisoners, but often the other way around.

The federal study was the first of its kind.

"But Illinois was among the four states with the highest rates reported for sexual abuse in facilities. Overall our facilities exceeded fifteen percent. The other three states are Ohio, South Carolina and Georgia," Chair of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, Lisa Jacobs.

According to Jacobs, the worst juvenile facility in the state is the Illinois Youth Center in Joliet, where 20% of the boys incarcerated reported sexual abuse or exploitation.