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Racial Disparities Persist in Juvenile Detention Admissions

While the total number of Illinois juveniles placed in detention facilities has declined over the years, racial inequalities persist in terms of those placed in such facilities. The state must continue to move forward with critical reforms, needed to ensure that all juveniles – regardless of race – are given an equal opportunity to lead successful lives.

Enlarge to full screen for interactive chart on rates/1,000 for Black and White Youth:

Enlarge to full screen for interactive chart on rates/1,000 for Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Youth:

Read the full report, Addressing Persistent Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Detention in Illinois, from Voices for Illinois Children:

Download (PDF, 694KB)


Invest in Youth – Not Prisons

Putting youth in prisons is the most expensive and least effective way to respond to juvenile delinquency. Yet Illinois spends heavily on unnecessary prison facilities while neglecting community-based alternatives to incarceration, according to a new report from Voices’ Fiscal Policy Center. By shifting investment from youth prisons to research-backed, community-based alternatives, Illinois can help youth succeed, improve public safety, and save taxpayers money.

Without Revenue, No Balanced Budget in Sight

Without a budget more than seven months into the current budget year, Illinois continues to add to the backlog of unpaid bills while children, families, communities, and our state’s economy suffer devastating short- and long-term damage. As Illinois approaches the next budget year without a current budget, our elected officials must come together to raise the necessary revenue to meet the needs of Illinois children, families, and communities.

Illinois Kids Count 2015: ‘Confronting Poverty, Creating Opportunity’

The Illinois Kids Count 2015 report, “Confronting Poverty, Creating Opportunity,” reveals that more than 600,000 Illinois children live in poverty and that child poverty rates are likely to remain high even as the economy improves. The report also identifies policies that have been effective in alleviating and reducing child poverty. Unfortunately, existing efforts at the state level would be seriously weakened by the Governor’s proposed budget, which includes deep cuts in health care, child care assistance, child protection services, and other areas.

Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach

Breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty requires a coordinated set of efforts that address the needs of the whole family, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s new KIDS COUNT® report, Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach. A “two-generation” approach seeks to create opportunities for low-income families by simultaneously equipping parents and kids with the tools they need to thrive while removing the obstacles in their way.

It All Adds Up: Early Math Initiatives in Illinois

Math is all around us, and research suggests that children understand math concepts even before they can speak. Not only are they “born learning,” but they are also born learning math. A new report from Voices and the CME Group Foundation highlights early math initiatives in Illinois and makes recommendations to expand these initiatives so that every young child has the chance to explore early mathematics.

Raising the Minimum Wage Would Help 1 in 5 Illinois Children, Boost State Economy

Raising the state minimum wage to at least $10.10 an hour would benefit an estimated 1.1 million Illinois workers and nearly one in five Illinois children (about 583,000). And new research indicates that these clear benefits to low-wage workers come with little discernible effect on employment.

FY 2015 Budget Takes Illinois Backwards

Illinois faces a $2 billion revenue collapse in the new fiscal year that beings July 1, but you’d never know it based on the budget  passed by the General Assembly. By using unsound budget practices to paper over the $2 billion revenue loss due to the midyear expiration of current income tax rates, the fiscal year 2015 budget halts Illinois’ recent progress and takes us backwards if lawmakers allow revenue to plummet after the November election.

Support the Strong Start for America’s Children Act

We need your help to give kids a strong start in life! Support the bipartisan Strong Start for America’s Children Act to expand our country’s investments in children to help them grow up healthy and well-educated so that they can thrive in a rapidly changing world. Join the 7 in 10 Americans who want the federal government to help states expand early childhood education.

What A Party! Voices’ 25th Anniversary Celebration

Overlooking Lake Michigan and the beautiful Chicago skyline, Voices capped off its 25th year of improving the lives of Illinois children with a June 6th gala at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. More than 300 people joined Voices in a celebration that raised $230,000 and will help Voices start off strong for its next 25 years!