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News Around Illinois – Aug. 3, 2020

The latest news around the state, for Aug. 3, 2020.

Illinois Plans A New Vision For Juvenile Justice System

Critics have said the system has been too punitive and too ineffective. More than half of youth who are released end up getting in trouble again. Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton said change is needed. She added the state is shifting from a focus on punishment to one of equity and opportunity. For example, those in custody of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice are placed in one of five youth prisons hundreds of miles from family. Since they often come from poorer backgrounds, it can be more difficult for family members to travel for visits, especially if child care is necessary. The new plan will focus on placing youth in smaller dormitory-like facilities closer to where they are from. These centers will be brighter, with better lighting, which Stratton said will be suitable for rehabilitation. The larger youth detention facilities will be transitioned to the Department of Corrections to house adults and reduce overcrowding. The plan also calls for investing in wraparound support for youth being held in the system and victim support in communities beset by violent crime. – Sean Crawford, WUIS

Illinois Wesleyan To House Some Students In Hotels To Prevent COVID Outbreak

Illinois Wesleyan University plans to house up to 140 students in hotels this fall to reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus. The university is offering a mix of in-person and online instruction this fall. Students who return to campus can room with someone, or have their own room for better social distancing. That limits the number of available beds to about 1,000. Karla Carney-Hall, IWU vice president of student affairs and dean of students, chairs the university’s fall contingency planning review committee. She said the university will randomly select up to 140 students to live in a hotel while factoring in the amount of time each student needs to be on campus. The university isn’t ready to announce the hotels yet. Negotiations are ongoing with two of them. – Eric Stock, WGLT

Couri Thomas Announces Second Run for Peoria Mayor

Couri Thomas is once again making a run for Peoria mayor. The Peoria Area Food Bank warehouse manager ran head-to-head against incumbent Mayor Jim Ardis in 2017, taking 45 percent of the vote. On Saturday, Thomas announced he’s running again in 2021, saying he will secure public safety throughout Peoria by enhancing education and information, with an eye toward encouraging public services and community activism. He calls for Peoria to become a “beacon of social justice and political change” by laying down political partisanship and working together to improve the quality of life for every citizen. – Tim Shelley, WCBU

UIC Wraps Up Oral History Project On Former Chicago Mayor

CHICAGO (AP) — University of Illinois at Chicago officials have wrapped up a two-year oral history project chronicling the leadership of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. The project includes 45 videotaped interviews with political advisors, chiefs of staff, family and former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. The interviews took place from 2017 and 2019 after the university was chosen to house Daley’s papers and artifacts from his 22 years in office. In a news release, university officials said a website with the information will be ready in the fall as the library isn’t open to researchers during the coronavirus pandemic. – Associated Press

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