Illinois lawsuits allege widespread sexual abuse in youth prisons

Shocking new lawsuits alleging widespread sexual abuse in youth prisons in the state of Illinois have been filed.

The two complaints were brought by hundreds of former residents in the system, one by male detainees and the other by female detainees. Both suits accuse the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice of failing to protect vulnerable young people from abuse at the hands of state employees.

"The horrors of the horror that you could ever imagine. You know, these are children when they go into the system being abused by guards, sometimes 1 to 3 at a time, are abusing these kids. Just the most graphic, sexual abuse you could ever imagine in your life," said attorney Todd Mathews of Bailey & Glasser.

The incidents reportedly date back to 1994, but have happened as recently as 2020.

"We know it's still occurring because we have some clients who were abused as recently as 2019, 2020. So it's still going on. And I don't know that we can ever stop it 100%. Monsters exist in this world and they always will," Matthews added.

He says the lawsuit seeks criminal charges against the alleged abusers and aims to provide treatment and restitution for the survivors. Additionally, it aims to better protect young people currently in the system.

We've reached out to both state departments for comment in response to the new round of lawsuits but have not yet heard back.