Chicago cops have' black site' torture sites | INFJ Forum

Chicago cops have' black site' torture sites

Discussion in 'News and Politics' started by muir, Mar 17, 2015.

Share This Page

More threads by muir
  1. muir

    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Threads:
    39
    Messages:
    11,092
    Likes Received:
    1,244
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    http://theantimedia.org/total-mainstream-media-blackout-chicago-secret-black-site-homan-square/

    Nick Bernabe

    February 28, 2015

    (ANTIMEDIA) Chicago, IL – As the nation continues to react to the newly discovered ‘black site’ operated by Chicago Police, the mainstream media continues to bury it’s head in the sand.


    National media outlets like Fox, MSNBC, and CNN are unsurprisingly refusing to touch this story, driving even further suspicion that the corporate media has become nothing more than a mouthpiece for big government and corporate America.
    As we reported earlier this week, local corporate media was literally running stories about Homan Square that were direct copies from CPD’s public relations statements.
    According to interviews conducted by The Atlantic, local mainstream reporters often agree with these disappear and torture tactics, so they refuse to do their jobs at uncovering what is going on there;
    “I think that many crime reporters in Chicago have political views that are right in line with the police,” Tracy Siska said. “They tend to agree about the tactics needed by the police. They tend to have by one extent or the other the same racist views of the police – a lot of urban police (not all of them by any stretch, but a lot of them) embody racism.”
    Meanwhile, a campaign we launched to shed light on Homan Square, #Gitmo2Chicago, trended nationwide last night on Twitter and today on Facebook – showing that the public at large is generally disgusted by these CIA-style tactics.
    So while the corporate media posts 3 million stories about the color of a dress, the country is questioning the police state in a big way.
    As I write this, a large protest is taking place in Chicago at Homan Square to shut it down, with more protests being planned across the country in the coming weeks.
    But keep in mind, the Revolution will not be televised on Cable TV, but it will be on the internet. Watch live video from the protests here.
    [HR][/HR] This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TheAntiMedia.org. Tune-in to The Anti-Media radio show Monday-Friday @ 11pm EST, 8pm PST.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. OP
    muir

    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Threads:
    39
    Messages:
    11,092
    Likes Received:
    1,244
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    https://vidrebel.wordpress.com/2015...torture-sites-we-have-one-month-to-stop-them/

    [h=2]Chicago Cops Have 3 Torture Sites. We Have One Month To Stop Them.[/h] Posted on March 8, 2015 by horse237
    In one month Chicago elects a mayor. Neither the mayor nor his opponent in the April 7th runoff election have yet bothered to take a position on the existence of the Chicago Police Department’s 3 torture facilities. These are ‘Black Sites’ where the cops are allowed to take people they kidnapped, to hold them without charges and to torture them until they confess to felonies that involve serious jail time.
    The Corporate Media has ignored this story. The local news outlets in Chicago have sent reporters to the Police Department who asked the cops if they were kidnapping people off the street and torturing them. The Police said No. So that was the end of their investigations.
    The ‘Torture Site’ at Homan Square on Chicago’s West Side used to be a Sears Warehouse. They have been using it to abuse prisoners since the 1990s. It now belongs to the Organized Crime Bureau. The first floor has had visitors. But the witnesses describe what happens to them on the upper floors. There is blood on the floors. Police kidnap victims are shackled for 17 hours or more. They are beaten. Some have reported crushed genitals and water boarding.
    An art teacher said he was kidnapped by masked men from a Deli. He said, ‘They looked like ISIS. I didn’t know they were police until I saw the sergeant walk in.’ The teacher and 4 other men from the Deli were held 9 hours without charge.
    One white man who was arrested during the anti-NATO demonstrations in 2011 was held their for 17 hours. He subsequently served 2 1/2 years in prison.
    This Might Be Our Last and Best Chance To Use The Internet Before Obama Takes It Away.
    I can guarantee you that if white people let Rahm Emanuel torture blacks and Hispanics in Chicago that there will be a time when whites are tortured in ‘Secret Sites’ as well. We could even see a day when black, white and Hispanic Americans go into those camps and do not come out alive.
    The people in charge are serious about ending freedom. Back during the Bush administration, there was a program called Main Core that developed a list of 8 million mostly white Americans who were to be arrested and disappeared in case the Dollar Died or the men on Wall Street who own the government got worried.
    That is 8 million Americans to be ‘Disappeared.’ President Obama signed legislation in the NDAA that allows him to indefinitely hold American citizens without trial. The Congress and the Senate approved that legislation.
    The FCC recently issued 332 pages of regulations of the Internet that no one outside the administration has yet seen. It is said to include censorship.
    If we make this story of the Police kidnapping and torturing people go viral, we might be able to justify a censorship free Internet to the most hardcore of Obama supporters. If we lose the battles over censoring the Internet and to make kidnapping and torture of American citizens illegal, then we might as well surrender all of our pensions, savings and paychecks and climb on the buses to take us to those Detention Centers.
    We live in a Kleptocracy. Catherine Austin Fitts said the Bankers stole $40 trillion from us. Lord Jacob Rothschild said we are entering a dangerous time for investors. Alan Greenspan said the same. Billionaires worry because they might lose money. Under our current government the Bankers’ losses are paid for out of our taxes. Do you think this government could win an honest vote in a free society if those losses were more than a few tens of trillions of dollars? That much additional money could only be transferred from us to Wall Street if we had no Free Speech and the Police State were allowed to kidnap and torture us which explains what they are doing to us.
    In the last Depression at least 3 million Americans starved to death. How repressive will the torture and abuse of prisoners be if millions of Americans starve when this Depression goes really big as Lord Rothschild has predicted?
    If we do not join together to make them stop torturing Americans at Homan Square in Chicago, we could be living in a Third World country as soon as the end of 2015 or as early as 2016 or 2017.
    We need to get this word out to as many people as possible while we can.
    You might think the Congressional Black and Hispanic caucuses would be obvious targets. They have 41 Congressmen in the Black Caucus and 26 Democrat Congressmen in the Hispanic caucus. You would think that 67 Congressmen would have done something already. At least they could have written a letter to the Department of Justice demanding an investigation into crimes being committed on American soil. Not a word so far.
    The Attorney General Eric Holder and his replacement Loretta Lynch are black. Neither they nor President Obama has said anything.
    The NAACP and La Raza are powerful organizations but they have said and done nothing. The reason is that they are both fighting for their share of the Kleptocratic State.
    What we need to do is to go over their heads to the voters. It is the job of black politicians to deliver black voters to Wall Street’s agenda even if that involves stealing their pensions. It is the job of Hispanic politicians to deliver Spanish speaking voters to the Bankers who would love to shake them down for a few trillion dollars. Going directly to their voters will stampede them into action if they think they are losing control of the electorate.
    Everyone needs to bring up this issue on the Internet, on social media, on talk radio, on community access TV, at public meetings, at schools and in person.
    We have a month to change the world. Next year it might be illegal to try to even criticize government policies. They certainly want to make it impossible for us to talk about what they are doing to us.
    Do you really want to live in a country where you can be arrested for voicing your opinion that torturing your fellow citizens is wrong?
    The prestigious Columbia Journalism review wrote an article on the lack of response by the Mainstream Media. You might want to reference it:
    The Guardian’s Homan Square (Torture Story) story was huge on the internet—but not in Chicago media
    http://www.cjr.org/united_states_project/guardian_homan_square_chicago_media.php
    I mentioned a program to disappear 8 million Americans that dates back to the Bush administration. It was discussed on the program Democracy Now. That video was scrubbed from the Internet. But you can read what I wrote here:
    Screw Up: 8 Million Americans Are On The List To Be Disappeared
    https://vidrebel.wordpress.com/2014...-americans-are-on-the-list-to-be-disappeared/
    Most Americans have never had any first hand experience with mass starvation following an economic collapse. A Depression is a period in time when Unpayable Debts are cancelled en masse. Today we have many times more Unpayable Debts to cancel than is 1929-1939. That means we are headed to a much harsher Depression this time around if there is no Debt Cancellation and monetary reform. You might consider this:
    So If 30,000 People within 50 Miles Of Your House Starve To Death
    https://vidrebel.wordpress.com/2013...ithin-50-miles-of-your-house-starve-to-death/
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. OP
    muir

    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Threads:
    39
    Messages:
    11,092
    Likes Received:
    1,244
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/24/chicago-police-detain-americans-black-site

    The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site'







    While US military and intelligence interrogation impacted people overseas, Homan Square – said to house military-style vehicles and even a cage – focuses on American citizens, most often poor, black and brown. ‘When you go in,’ Brian Jacob Church told the Guardian, ‘nobody knows what happened to you.’ Video: Phil Batta for the Guardian; editing: Mae Ryan Spencer Ackerman in Chicago

    @attackerman

    Tuesday 24 February 2015 21.43 GMT Last modified on Wednesday 4 March 2015 17.29 GMT


    Shares

    123k





    The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

    The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.
    Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

    • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
    • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
    • Shackling for prolonged periods.
    • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
    • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.
    At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.
    Brian Jacob Church, a protester known as one of the “Nato Three”, was held and questioned at Homan Square in 2012 following a police raid. Officers restrained Church for the better part of a day, denying him access to an attorney, before sending him to a nearby police station to be booked and charged.
    [​IMG]
    Chicago’s Homan Square 'black site': surveillance, military-style vehicles and a metal cage




    Read more



    “Homan Square is definitely an unusual place,” Church told the Guardian on Friday. “It brings to mind the interrogation facilities they use in the Middle East. The CIA calls them black sites. It’s a domestic black site. When you go in, no one knows what’s happened to you.”
    The secretive warehouse is the latest example of Chicago police practices that echo the much-criticized detention abuses of the US war on terrorism. While those abuses impacted people overseas, Homan Square – said to house military-style vehicles, interrogation cells and even a cage – trains its focus on Americans, most often poor, black and brown.
    Advertisement

    Unlike a precinct, no one taken to Homan Square is said to be booked. Witnesses, suspects or other Chicagoans who end up inside do not appear to have a public, searchable record entered into a database indicating where they are, as happens when someone is booked at a precinct. Lawyers and relatives insist there is no way of finding their whereabouts. Those lawyers who have attempted to gain access to Homan Square are most often turned away, even as their clients remain in custody inside.
    “It’s sort of an open secret among attorneys that regularly make police station visits, this place – if you can’t find a client in the system, odds are they’re there,” said Chicago lawyer Julia Bartmes.

    Chicago civil-rights attorney Flint Taylor said Homan Square represented a routinization of a notorious practice in local police work that violates the fifth and sixth amendments of the constitution.
    “This Homan Square revelation seems to me to be an institutionalization of the practice that dates back more than 40 years,” Taylor said, “of violating a suspect or witness’ rights to a lawyer and not to be physically or otherwise coerced into giving a statement.”
    Much remains hidden about Homan Square. The Chicago police department did not respond to the Guardian’s questions about the facility. But after the Guardian published this story, the department provided a statement insisting, without specifics, that there is nothing untoward taking place at what it called the “sensitive” location, home to undercover units.
    “CPD [Chicago police department] abides by all laws, rules and guidelines pertaining to any interviews of suspects or witnesses, at Homan Square or any other CPD facility. If lawyers have a client detained at Homan Square, just like any other facility, they are allowed to speak to and visit them. It also houses CPD’s Evidence Recovered Property Section, where the public is able to claim inventoried property,” the statement said, something numerous attorneys and one Homan Square arrestee have denied.
    “There are always records of anyone who is arrested by CPD, and this is not any different at Homan Square,” it continued.
    [​IMG]
    Tell us: have you been held by police when nobody knew where you were?




    Read more



    The Chicago police statement did not address how long into an arrest or detention those records are generated or their availability to the public. A department spokesperson did not respond to a detailed request for clarification.
    When a Guardian reporter arrived at the warehouse on Friday, a man at the gatehouse outside refused any entrance and would not answer questions. “This is a secure facility. You’re not even supposed to be standing here,” said the man, who refused to give his name.
    A former Chicago police superintendent and a more recently retired detective, both of whom have been inside Homan Square in the last few years in a post-police capacity, said the police department did not operate out of the warehouse until the late 1990s.
    But in detailing episodes involving their clients over the past several years, lawyers described mad scrambles that led to the closed doors of Homan Square, a place most had never heard of previously. The facility was even unknown to Rob Warden, the founder of Northwestern University Law School’s Center on Wrongful Convictions, until the Guardian informed him of the allegations of clients who vanish into inherently coercive police custody.
    “They just disappear,” said Anthony Hill, a criminal defense attorney, “until they show up at a district for charging or are just released back out on the street.”
    ‘Never going to see the light of day’: the search for the Nato Three, the head wound, the worried mom and the dead man

    [​IMG] Facebook Twitter Pinterest
    ‘They were held incommunicado for much longer than I think should be permitted in this country – anywhere – but particularly given the strong constitutional rights afforded to people who are being charged with crimes,” said Sarah Gelsomino, the lawyer for Brian Jacob Church. Photograph: Phil Batta/Guardian Jacob Church learned about Homan Square the hard way. On May 16 2012, he and 11 others were taken there after police infiltrated their protest against the Nato summit. Church says officers cuffed him to a bench for an estimated 17 hours, intermittently interrogating him without reading his Miranda rights to remain silent. It would take another three hours – and an unusual lawyer visit through a wire cage – before he was finally charged with terrorism-related offenses at the nearby 11th district station, where he was made to sign papers, fingerprinted and photographed.
    In preparation for the Nato protest, Church, who is from Florida, had written a phone number for the National Lawyers Guild on his arm as a precautionary measure. Once taken to Homan Square, Church asked explicitly to call his lawyers, and said he was denied.
    “Essentially, I wasn’t allowed to make any contact with anybody,” Church told the Guardian, in contradiction of a police guidance on permitting phone calls and legal counsel to arrestees.
    Church’s left wrist was cuffed to a bar behind a bench in windowless cinderblock cell, with his ankles cuffed together. He remained in those restraints for about 17 hours.
    “I had essentially figured, ‘All right, well, they disappeared us and so we’re probably never going to see the light of day again,’” Church said.
    [​IMG] Brian Jacob Church, Jared Chase and Brent Vincent Betterly, known as the ‘Nato Three’. Photograph: AP/Cook County sheriff's office Though the raid attracted major media attention, a team of attorneys could not find Church through 12 hours of “active searching”, Sarah Gelsomino, Church’s lawyer, recalled. No booking record existed. Only after she and others made a “major stink” with contacts in the offices of the corporation counsel and Mayor Rahm Emanuel did they even learn about Homan Square.
    They sent another attorney to the facility, where he ultimately gained entry, and talked to Church through a floor-to-ceiling chain-link metal cage. Finally, hours later, police took Church and his two co-defendants to a nearby police station for booking.
    After serving two and a half years in prison, Church is currently on parole after he and his co-defendants were found not guilty in 2014 of terrorism-related offenses but guilty of lesser charges of possessing an incendiary device and the misdemeanor of “mob action”.
    It’s almost like they throw a black bag over your head and make you disappear for a day or two
    Brian Jacob Church ​
    The access that Nato Three attorneys received to Homan Square was an exception to the rule, even if Jacob Church’s experience there was not.
    Three attorneys interviewed by the Guardian report being personally turned away from Homan Square between 2009 and 2013 without being allowed access to their clients. Two more lawyers who hadn’t been physically denied described it as a place where police withheld information about their clients’ whereabouts. Church was the only person who had been detained at the facility who agreed to talk with the Guardian: their lawyers say others fear police retaliation.
    One man in January 2013 had his name changed in the Chicago central bookings database and then taken to Homan Square without a record of his transfer being kept, according to Eliza Solowiej of Chicago’s First Defense Legal Aid. (The man, the Guardian understands, wishes to be anonymous; his current attorney declined to confirm Solowiej’s account.) She found out where he was after he was taken to the hospital with a head injury.
    “He said that the officers caused his head injuries in an interrogation room at Homan Square. I had been looking for him for six to eight hours, and every department member I talked to said they had never heard of him,” Solowiej said. “He sent me a phone pic of his head injuries because I had seen him in a police station right before he was transferred to Homan Square without any.”
    Bartmes, another Chicago attorney, said that in September 2013 she got a call from a mother worried that her 15-year-old son had been picked up by police before dawn. A sympathetic sergeant followed up with the mother to say her son was being questioned at Homan Square in connection to a shooting and would be released soon. When hours passed, Bartmes traveled to Homan Square, only to be refused entry for nearly an hour.
    An officer told her, “Well, you can’t just stand here taking notes, this is a secure facility, there are undercover officers, and you’re making people very nervous,” Bartmes recalled. Told to leave, she said she would return in an hour if the boy was not released. He was home, and not charged, after “12, maybe 13” hours in custody.
    On February 2, 2013, John Hubbard was taken to Homan Square. Hubbard never walked out. The Chicago Tribune reported that the 44-year old was found “unresponsive inside an interview room”, and pronounced dead. After publication, the Cook County medical examiner told the Guardian that the cause of death was determined to be heroin intoxication.
    Homan Square is hardly concerned exclusively with terrorism. Several special units operate outside of it, including the anti-gang and anti-drug forces. If police “want money, guns, drugs”, or information on the flow of any of them onto Chicago’s streets, “they bring them there and use it as a place of interrogation off the books,” Hill said.
    ‘That scares the hell out of me’: a throwback to Chicago police abuse with a post-9/11 feel

    [​IMG] Facebook Twitter Pinterest
    ‘The real danger in allowing practices like Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they always creep into other aspects,’ criminologist Tracy Siska told the Guardian. Photograph: Chandler West/Guardian A former Chicago detective and current private investigator, Bill Dorsch, said he had not heard of the police abuses described by Church and lawyers for other suspects who had been taken to Homan Square. He has been permitted access to the facility to visit one of its main features, an evidence locker for the police department. (“I just showed my retirement star and passed through,” Dorsch said.)
    Transferring detainees through police custody to deny them access to legal counsel, would be “a career-ender,” Dorsch said. “To move just for the purpose of hiding them, I can’t see that happening,” he told the Guardian.
    Richard Brzeczek, Chicago’s police superintendent from 1980 to 1983, who also said he had no first-hand knowledge of abuses at Homan Square, said it was “never justified” to deny access to attorneys.
    “Homan Square should be on the same list as every other facility where you can call central booking and say: ‘Can you tell me if this person is in custody and where,’” Brzeczek said.
    “If you’re going to be doing this, then you have to include Homan Square on the list of facilities that prisoners are taken into and a record made. It can’t be an exempt facility.”
    Indeed, Chicago police guidelines appear to ban the sorts of practices Church and the lawyers said occur at Homan Square.
    A directive titled “Processing Persons Under Department Control” instructs that “investigation or interrogation of an arrestee will not delay the booking process,” and arrestees must be allowed “a reasonable number of telephone calls” to attorneys swiftly “after their arrival at the first place of custody.” Another directive, “Arrestee and In-Custody Communications,” says police supervisors must “allow visitation by attorneys.”
    Attorney Scott Finger said that the Chicago police tightened the latter directive in 2012 after quiet complaints from lawyers about their lack of access to Homan Square. Without those changes, Church’s attorneys might not have gained entry at all. But that tightening – about a week before Church’s arrest – did not prevent Church’s prolonged detention without a lawyer, nor the later cases where lawyers were unable to enter.
    The combination of holding clients for long periods, while concealing their whereabouts and denying access to a lawyer, struck legal experts as a throwback to the worst excesses of Chicago police abuse, with a post-9/11 feel to it.
    On a smaller scale, Homan Square is “analogous to the CIA’s black sites,” said Andrea Lyon, a former Chicago public defender and current dean of Valparaiso University Law School. When she practiced law in Chicago in the 1980s and 1990s, she said, “police used the term ‘shadow site’” to refer to the quasi-disappearances now in place at Homan Square.
    I’ve never known any kind of organized, secret place where they go and hold somebody before booking for hours and hours
    James Trainum, former detective, Washington DC ​
    “Back when I first started working on torture cases and started representing criminal defendants in the early 1970s, my clients often told me they’d been taken from one police station to another before ending up at Area 2 where they were tortured,” said Taylor, the civil-rights lawyer most associated with pursuing the notoriously abusive Area 2 police commander Jon Burge. “And in that way the police prevent their family and lawyers from seeing them until they could coerce, through torture or other means, confessions from them.”
    Police often have off-site facilities to have private conversations with their informants. But a retired Washington DC homicide detective, James Trainum, could not think of another circumstance nationwide where police held people incommunicado for extended periods.
    “I’ve never known any kind of organized, secret place where they go and just hold somebody before booking for hours and hours and hours. That scares the hell out of me that that even exists or might exist,” said Trainum, who now studies national policing issues, to include interrogations, for the Innocence Project and the Constitution Project.
    Regardless of departmental regulations, police frequently deny or elide access to lawyers even at regular police precincts, said Solowiej of First Defense Legal Aid. But she said the outright denial was exacerbated at Chicago’s secretive interrogation and holding facility: “It’s very, very rare for anyone to experience their constitutional rights in Chicago police custody, and even more so at Homan Square,” Solowiej said.
    Church said that one of his more striking memories of Homan Square was the “big, big vehicles” police had inside the complex that “look like very large MRAPs that they use in the Middle East.”
    Cook County, home of Chicago, has received some 1,700 pieces of military equipment from a much-criticized Pentagon program transferring military gear to local police. It includes a Humvee, according to a local ABC News report.
    Tracy Siska, a criminologist and civil-rights activist with the Chicago Justice Project, said that Homan Square, as well as the unrelated case of ex-Guantánamo interrogator and retired Chicago detective Richard Zuley, showed the lines blurring between domestic law enforcement and overseas military operations.
    “The real danger in allowing practices like Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they always creep into other aspects,” Siska said.
    “They creep into domestic law enforcement, either with weaponry like with the militarization of police, or interrogation practices. That’s how we ended up with a black site in Chicago.”

     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. OP
    muir

    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Threads:
    39
    Messages:
    11,092
    Likes Received:
    1,244
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    http://www.activistpost.com/2015/03/chicagos-untold-story-of-widespread.html


    [h=3]Chicago’s Untold Story of Widespread Child Abuse in State Facilities[/h]
    [​IMG]Derrick Broze
    Activist Post

    Illinois seems to be a hotbed for a lack of accountability and transparency on the part of government agencies. Most recently we have learned that police in Chicago were using a domestic “black site” in the Homan Square area to illegally detain, question, and torture Americans suspected of crimes.

    However, before that story broke, Illinois was already in the midst of another controversy. One that has received very little attention outside of local and state media.

    State treatment and residential centers for youth in Illinois are rampant with abuse – physical, mental, and sexual. The Chicago Tribune has done a great job exposing the story though their “Harsh Treatment” investigation. The investigation found that hundreds of youth are assaulted and raped by fellow youth at Illinois residential centers. When these rapes and assaults are reported the authorities rarely ever act. In many cases veteran residents introduce new residents into the world of prostitution. Thousands of residents of state homes and centers have ran away and according to the Chicago Tribune, dozens have never been found.

    Another issue the Tribune found was that children of special needs are not being placed in treatment centers that target the appropriate care. This means most children are placed in the same facilities regardless of specific needs.

    The Tribune’s investigation lead to special legislative session in Chicago, where 22 lawmakers were informed on the failures of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and associated residential centers for troubled youth and state wards. At that session, state child welfare chief Bobbie Gregg called the reports “both appalling and unacceptable,” before announcing she would resign from the agency on January 19. Gregg was the seventh director in just three years. She has since been replaced by George Sheldon, former head of Florida’s Department of Children and Families.

    At the same hearing Former DCFS Director Bryan Samuels, presented research from the Chapin Hall research center at the University of Chicago that showed 8 to 11 percent of all youth in residential facilities reported being sexually abused or physically assaulted since 2009. An entire third of the youth attempted to run away or went missing.

    According to a report from the Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ , 29 children were killed from abuse or neglect between July, 2013, and June, 2014 after their parents were investigated by the DCFS. These deaths are part of the reason critics say the DCFS is not only suffering from a lack of accountability but a lack of action. In many of the cases the DCFS says they did not have enough information to remove the child from the caregivers who may be endangering them.

    Knowing what we know about the treatment centers, it is difficult to believe that giving the State permission to take the child would have been an improvement. The children suffering from a lack of proper care from parents are also endangered by state-sanctioned kidnappings and assignment to dangerous facilities.

    Lawmakers, child advocacy groups and activists are all scrambling to find a solution to this horrendous problem. Some have suggested fortifying the state facilities with more locks and guards. Others are wary of locking children up like prisoners in some halfwit attempt to save them from themselves. At the hearing in January there were suggestions for updating DCFS’ data systems to more easily spot problems. There were also calls for paying direct-care workers more than minimum wage.

    In February, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois filed a complaint against the Illinois DCFS. The ACLU argued that state wards are constitutionally guaranteed a right to adequate state services. They blamed the problems on budget cuts and a revolving door of directors. In response to the complaint, the DCFS agreed to allow experts to come help monitor the resident facilities and placement services. On Tuesday a federal judge approved the agreement which will temporarily bring in monitors from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Both the ACLU and the DCFS will submit a list of experts for a long term solution.

    A bill introduced by State Senator Dan Kotowski would create new training for DCFS investigators and employees. If the bill becomes law it would be the first major training change since the organization was established in 1964. So far it has passed the Senate Human Services Committee.

    We have to ask ourselves if handing over children from dangerous parents to an unaccountable government is truly the best policy. Perhaps by building stronger communities we can find solutions to help parents who need assistance and, if necessary, remove children from dangerous situations. We may find it possible to create a world where children are loved and respected, and those who need help can find it from the community rather than the State.

    Children as a whole are one of the largest at-risk demographics. They are often seen as second-class citizens by many adults, and when it comes to crimes against children, too often their cries go unheard. Please share this story and help expose the crimes against the children of Illinois.

    Derrick Broze writes for TheAntiMedia.org, where this article first appeared. Tune-in to the Anti-Media Radio Show Monday-Friday @ 11pm EST; 8pm PST.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
Loading...

Share This Page