Sex Abuse Lawsuits Against Illinois Youth Center Harrisburg

This page will look at civil lawsuits involving the sexual abuse of juvenile inmates at the Illinois Youth Center Harrisburg (IYC Harrisburg). IYC Harrisburg was the scene of widespread inmate abuse and mistreatment, including sexual abuse of juvenile inmates by the staff members who were supposed to be protecting them. The Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice had a legal obligation to protect juvenile detainees at IYC Harrisburg (and other IYC facilities) but negligently enabled the abuse of inmates at Harrisburg to occur. Civil lawsuits are now being brought by former inmates who were the victims of abuse. 

If you have a potential sex abuse lawsuit against IYC Harrisburg our Illinois sex abuse lawyers today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation. Our attorneys will fight to get you the overdue compensation that you deserve. 


Illinois Juvenile Detention Center Lawsuits 

Illinois Sex Abuse Lawsuits 

About Illinois Youth Center Harrisburg

Illinois Youth Center Harrisburg (IYC Harrisburg) is a medium-security level juvenile detention facility operated by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. IYC Harrisburg is located in southern Illinois, very close to the Kentucky boarder and it serves the population in that area.

The IYC Harrisburg facility has been in operation since 1983, making it one of the older IYC facilities currently in operation. IYC Harrisburg has the capacity to hold over 300 male inmates, although it rarely operates anywhere near that capacity. Harrisburg offers a wide array of services to youth incarcerated at the facility. These services include remedial and secondary education, a GED program, library services, vocational training, and guidance and work training programs. Additionally, the facility provides substance abuse treatment, diagnostic and evaluative services, special education programs, and various mental health programs.

IYC Harrisburg Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

A group of former juvenile inmates from IYC Harrisburg and other juvenile detention centers in Illinois have recently filed a civil lawsuit, alleging they were sexually abused during their incarceration. The lawsuit claims that various staff members at these facilities committed sexual abuse and assault against the plaintiffs while they were detained.

This lawsuit highlights a persistent issue of abuse at IYC Harrisburg and other juvenile correctional facilities in Illinois. The Department of Justice ranked Illinois among the worst states in the U.S. for incidents of abuse in juvenile correctional facilities. The DOJ report led to state legislative hearings and investigations, uncovering a high rate of reported abuse, primarily by staff members.

Victims of Abuse at IYC Harrisburg Can Get Compensation

The law in Illinois allows victims who were sexually abused during the time that they were inmates at IYC Harrisburg to file civil lawsuits against Illinois DJJ and seek financial compensation for the harm caused by the abuse. The Illinois statute of limitations for child sexual abuse lawsuits gives victims additional time to bring claims. For abuse of a child that occurred anytime after 2014, the victim has until their 38th birthday to file a lawsuit. For child sexual abuse that occurred prior to 2014, the victim has until their 28th birthday to file a lawsuit.  

How is Sexual Abuse Defined?

The legal definition of sexual abuse or sexual assault in Illinois is defined as any intentional “sexual touching” without consent. There are 2 components to this definition: (1) sexual touching, and (2) lack of consent.

Sexual touching is basically and type of contact or touching of another person’s sexual organs with intent and for the purpose of sexual gratification. The other key element that makes something qualify as sexual abuse is the lack of consent. If the sexual touching is done without consent it is automatically abuse or assault. Minors (anyone under the age of 18) lack the legal capacity to give consent, which means any sexual touching by an adult with a minor is necessarily considered sexual abuse.

In cases involving sexual contact with juvenile inmates at IYC Harrisburg or other juvenile detention centers, lack of consent is basically automatic because the inmates are all under the age of 18. So any sexual contact with minor inmates qualifies as abuse.

Holding Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice Liable in Sex Abuse Cases

The Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) had full and legal responsibility for all activities at IYC Harrisburg and other secure juvenile detention centers in Illinois. This included screening and hiring staff members, training them, and ensuring proper supervision of both staff and inmates. These measures are essential to protect vulnerable youth inmates from abuse.

Legally, the DJJ had a duty to protect juvenile inmates in its facilities from sexual abuse. Consequently, the DJJ can be held liable in a civil lawsuit if its negligence facilitated specific acts of abuse. To succeed in such a lawsuit, the plaintiffs need only demonstrate a link between DJJ’s negligent conduct and the sexual abuse that occurred.

Recent investigations and civil lawsuits have amassed substantial evidence showing various ways in which the DJJ was negligent in protecting juvenile inmates from sexual abuse. Notably, it has been revealed that the DJJ habitually ignored complaints from inmates and their families about staff abuse. The prevailing policy at DJJ was to downplay or dismiss accusations against staff members and protect them, fostering a culture where sexual predators among the staff at IYC Harrisburg could freely victimize inmates.

Contact Us About IYC Harrisburg Sex Abuse Lawsuits 

If you are thinking about bringing a sexual abuse lawsuit against a juvenile detention facility like the Illinois Youth Center Harrisburg, contact our sex abuse lawyers today for free consultation. Contact us online or call us at 800-553-8082

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