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Chicago Public Radio Makes the Connection Between Mental Illness and Juvenile Justice

CHICAGO -- "Out of the Shadows" is a fitting title for Chicago Public Radio station WBEZ-FM's series of news stories and discussion programs exploring "the fractures in mental health care for children in Illinois - and how it affects our youth."

This is the third recent WBEZ series to center on young people in trouble and how the education, criminal justice and social service systems respond to their actions and needs.  In 2009, the high dropout rate in Chicago public high schools was at the center of "FiftyFifty: the Odds of Graduating," and the station's most recent series, "Inside and Out," investigated and analyzed incarceration of juveniles in Illinois and the lives of juvenile inmates before entering and after leaving juvenile prisons. 

As the Models for Change initiative has pointed out, mental illness often is one of the reasons young people enter the juvenile justice system, and the station's new series on mental health needs of children is a natural follow-up to it's award winning "Inside and Out" series.

To listen or read about all of the segments in the "Out of the Shadows" series, go here:

Some of the broadcasts centering on juveniles in trouble with the law, include "Factors that lead mentally ill kids into juvenile detention" ( and "How our police force deals with mentally ill children" (

Reform areas: Mental health

States: Illinois

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Models for Change is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.