Prosecutor to continue filing charges for crimes at Harrisburg y - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Prosecutor to continue filing charges for crimes at Harrisburg youth center

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HARRISBURG, Ill. -- In late December, Gov. Bruce Rauner commuted the sentences of six men, charged with battery against guards at the Illinois Youth Center (IYC) in Harrisburg.

The move came after criticism from prison reform advocates who claim prosecutors are treating these men too harshly.

"I'm continuing to file charges for crimes committed by inmates at IYC," Saline County State's Attorney Molly Kasiar said.

Kasiar just started her first term as the state's attorney after she won the election in November over incumbent Jayson Clark.

"Every case that comes before me for review for prosecution, we deal with those on a case-by-case basis," Kasiar said. "But in cases in which we believe a crime has been committed, we will file charges and prosecute those crimes, regardless of whether they happen inside the walls of the IYC or outside."

Prison reform groups say criminal charges in these cases go against the purpose of the juvenile justice system: to rehabilitate young men and women.

"Rehabilitating inmates at IYC is not within my purview," Kasiar said. "That is within the purview of the Department of Juvenile Justice."

Kasiar said prosecuting crimes against guards, just like any other crime, is her main priority.

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