DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert calls it unprecedented. A judge holding the Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, DCFS, in contempt court and issuing sanctions.
Golbert represents 7,000 children in abuse and neglect cases. Contempt orders were issued against Smith in three cases where children were held in locked psychiatric hospitals for nothing more than DCFS claiming it did not have enough beds. Two of the orders have now been lifted after DCFS moved the children. The third remains in place.
Golbert tells WAND News 356 kids were forced into locked psych wards. The average stay is 55 days. Golbert says the psychiatric stays are wasting $6.2 million in taxpayer dollars every year.
Golbert will be back in court next week with additional cases. WAND News will track the proceedings to see if additional contempt of court orders are issued.