Courtroom Changes for Juvenile Suspects

The Illinois Supreme Court recently adopted new rules that ban the use of physical restraints on child suspects in juvenile court. New Supreme Court Rule 943 declares that restraints should not be used “unless the court finds, after a hearing, that such restraints are necessary to prevent physical harm to the minor or another, the minor has a history of disruptive behavior that presents a risk of harm, or there is a well-founded belief that the minor presents a substantial flight risk.” 

Illinois joins other states, which have made similar changes to rules governing juvenile suspects. 

“The amendments adopted by the Court will eliminate instances of indiscriminate shackling of minors in juvenile delinquency proceedings that were occurring without an individual judicial determination,” Chief Justice Rita Garman said in a statement released by the Court. 

The proposed changes were brought to the Court by a number of youth advocacy organizations including the Illinois Justice Project, the Children and Family Justice Center of the Bluhm Legal Clinic, the Juvenile Justice Initiative and others.

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