Stories by Molly Parker — Capitol News Illinois

A 2022 state audit identified the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center in Benton, Illinois, as a “facility in crisis.” (Julia Rendleman for ProPublica)

Inside Illinois’ Youth Lockups, Children Go Without Basic Services and Face ‘Excessive’ Punishments

State audits point to troubling conditions in juvenile detention centers, but no agency has strong enough oversight to bring about change.

(Illustration by ProPublica. Source images: Whitney Curtis for ProPublica and Equip for Equality Report.)

Choate Director Replaced as New Report Says Abuse at the Facility Hasn’t Stopped

A new report by an advocacy agency details how abuse and neglect at Choate have continued despite calls for and promises of reform.

The department’s about-face on Choate’s top leader follows months of reporting on poor conditions at the facility by Capitol News Illinois, Lee Enterprises Midwest and ProPublica.

(Capitol News Illinois)

37 Workers at State-Run Developmental Center Targeted in PPP Fraud Probe

At Ludeman Developmental Center in Park Forest, 37 employees have been fired, resigned or face pending disciplinary action after a state watchdog found that they defrauded a federal pandemic-era small business loan program.

(Alexander Grey / Unsplash)

State Watchdog Investigating Employees Accused of Bilking Federal Pandemic Aid Program

Congress intended for the loans issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration, most of which were later forgiven, to keep small businesses afloat and their employees on the payroll as COVID-19 resulted in lockdowns and interrupted commerce.