Published on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 10:18
Chicago Public Radio's WBEZ has begun an ambitious series looking at the subject of juvenile justice, as part of a new investigation called "Inside and Out." It is one of the most important pieces of journalism that Chicago Public Radio has done in a very long time.
Over three years ago, the state of Illinois separated juvenile prisons from adult ones, with the hopes of rehabilitating & redeeming troubled youth, not just retaining & warehousing them. WBEZ's "Inside and Out" will be reporting from within the IL juvenile prison system to see the progress being made and what else needs to be done to achieve that goal. A team of reporters has been assigned to the project. Some of them will be at the institutions, reporting on conditions inside. Others will be following the youth on the outside. From now until well into summer, they will follow the stories a few young people to find out how they were put into the system and what happens to them when they get out. Reporters will be using numerous interactive tools to bring this report to the public. They have a special multi-page website set up at this link HERE
and an ongoing blog set up on Vocalo.org at this link HERE
, both of which will allow conversation & participation. The series will include personal stories, investigative reports, interviews, analysis, photo essays, community events, commentary and more.
The six-month series just began about two weeks ago. Senior Editor Cate Cahan hopes the project will foster some deep conversations about the system. "The heart of this project is assessing whether or not these youth facilities are successful in accomplishing their goals," she said. "It's a good time to shine a light on this institution and foster a discussion about what is being done for these kids."