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Troubled youth

Thursday, September 29, 2005
Chicago Tribune
by Rick Velasquez, Executive director
Letter to the Editor

Chicago -- Youth Outreach Services commends the Tribune for its recent editorials and call for action regarding the conditions that some of our county's most troubled kids are exposed to at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.

For more than a hundred years, Cook County has been known as the birthplace of the nation's first juvenile court. And for the last decade, the Cook County Juvenile Court's partnerships with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and community organizations have positioned the court as a nationally recognized leader in juvenile court reform.

With the support of the Cook County Board, our Juvenile Court has created cost-effective, community-based alternatives to detention. These programs successfully reduce the number of youth being placed in secure detention without compromising public safety. Similar reforms are now being put into practice by juvenile courts across the country.

As a community-based organization with more than 45 years invested in reducing juvenile crime in Cook County, Youth Outreach Services urges Cook County Board President John Stroger and the county commissioners to work toward establishing the same standard of excellence and innovation in the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center that they have already helped institute in the Cook County Juvenile Court. The well-being of our communities and children is at stake.

Rick Velasquez, Executive director
Youth Outreach Services Inc



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