Marion – State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) attended a House Appropriations – Public Safety Committee hearing, on Tuesday, December 5, that focused on the recent spike in violence at Illinois Youth Centers and adult correctional facilities across the state.
While Rep. Severin is not a sitting member of the committee, he requested to take part in the hearing because the Illinois Youth Center sits just outside the boundaries of Severin’s 117th District.
“I have heard from Department of Corrections employees, and have read in multiple news reports, that the Illinois Youth Center in Harrisburg has seen an increase in violence between juveniles and staff,” Severin said. “Harrisburg IYC is not technically in my district but I do have constituents with ties to the IYC and adult facilities throughout Southern Illinois, so I felt it was important for me to attend the hearing. The number of incidents resulting in serious injuries is increasing, so this hearing was an important step to determine what needs to be done to reduce the violence that the men and women serving as public safety officials in these facilities face. These assaults have not just been a problem for Harrisburg but for correctional facilities throughout the state.”
The rise in staff assaults is a major issue, and Rep. Severin felt like progress was made at the committee meeting.
“I am encouraged that communication between the state, the facilities, staff, and other groups is improving,” Severin said. “However, there is much work left to be done. I hope to be a part of further discussions in the weeks and months to come until we find a comprehensive solution that addresses these serious issues to reduce assaults on staff.”