Judge Greg Mathis has long been known as an advocate for youth in the criminal justice system. He was once in jail before turning his life around, becoming a judge and host of a national TV show. He's passionate about finding ways to keep youth out of jail, and we appreciate his support for the Reporter's current juvenile justice investigation.
In response to our report, Mathis said in a statement:
"Illinois, like many of the states in this country, needs to come out
of the dark ages and re-evaluate how it treats juvenile offenders.
Particularly in cases that do not involve violence, there is no need
for a juvenile to be adjudicated in an adult court, let alone be sent
to an adult prison.
I believe in justice being served but I also believe in the punishment
fitting the crime; I also believe that any offender released back into
society should be equipped with the tools they need to lead a
productive, crime free life. Youth serving times in adult prisons do
not get those tools; they are, instead, exposed to often violent adult
criminals who are sometimes twice their age.
The Chicago Reporter's article illustrates clearly that Illinois and
other states need to think of the long-term effects of adjudicating
youth in adult courts. What they have now is not a juvenile justice
system but a system that puts juveniles in harm's way and prepares them
to become repeat offenders."
We thank and appreciate Judge Mathis for his support. Keep checking back at chicagoreporter.com for more updates on the investigation.