(AP) -- Illinois
is promising to improve safety at its youth prisons and offer inmates better
educational and mental health services.
The Department of Juvenile Justice agreed to
the improvements after the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois
threatened to sue.
The two sides plan to ask a federal judge
Wednesday to approve their plan, which calls for investigators to study youth
prisons for six months and then recommend changes.
The Department of Juvenile Justice houses
about 1,000 children and teenagers.
Watchdog groups say many don't
get a decent education or proper treatment for mental illnesses. They also
report frequent fights, children being put in solitary confinement for weeks
and inmates staying behind bars after they're supposed to be released because
the state has nowhere to send them.