There's a kid in the Chicago’s Cook County juvenile jail who isn't supposed to be there. A judge ordered his release on January 29. His problem is not unique, reports WBEZ radio. Even after a judge has ordered their release, lots of kids wait weeks, even months to be picked up. Their deadbeat guardian is the State of Illinois, and these kids are stuck in juvenile jail because the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) can't find a place to put them.
A WBEZ analysis found that in the three-year period between October 2011 and October 2014, there were 344 instances when kids waited a week or more in the jail for the agency to come pick them up. Last year the longest wait was 190 days—more than half the year. “I think it sends a very disturbing message to a child to say there's no reason for you to be held in detention, but we're not working hard enough, or we're not making you enough of a priority to find a place for you to go,” said Bruce Boyer, the director of the Civitas Childlaw Clinic at Loyola University Chicago.