IYC-Kewanee (Kewanee) is a mixed medium and maximum-security facility for boys. Located about two and a half hours west of Chicago, Kewanee serves several distinct purposes for the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ), including providing 24-hour infirmary care and housing youth suffering from acute mental illness, youth labeled juvenile sex offenders (JSOs), and youth designated maximum-security.

Read JHA’s 2014 report here. (PDF)

Vital Statistics
Population: 210 (Note as of 2/28/15 Population: 190)
Average age: 17.8
Average length of stay: 239 days
Average annual cost: $84,005.00
Population by Race: 57% White, 32% African American, 11% Hispanic
(Source: IDJJ 4/2014)

Key Observations:

  • Kewanee remains a problematic facility, largely due to chronic understaffing, for high-risk, high-need youth who most need treatment and programming.
  • Understaffing is particularly unwise and harmful for youth with acute mental health needs, wherein youth need individualized mental health treatment plans and treatment.
  • Location remains a frequent barrier to contacts with families and counsel.
  • Kewanee requires physical plant improvement.
  • Although Kewanee houses challenging populations, the facility would benefit from fully implementing positive incentive programs in use at other facilities.
  • Alternative Placement disciplinary methods appear ineffective as currently structured.
  • JHA continues to have serious concerns about safety at this facility.

Read JHA’s 2014 report here. (PDF)
Read JHA’s 2013 report here. (PDF)
Read JHA's 2012 report here. (PDF)
Read JHA's 2011 report here. (PDF)

The John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s initiative, Models for Change, has funded the John Howard Association of Illinois (JHA) to monitor IDJJ’s facilities.