Hunter052014Plans to create a youth substance abuse working group and juvenile justice advisory council sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) gained Senate approval this month. The plans aim to reduce substance abuse among teens and end minority disparities in the juvenile justice system.

“Ignoring signs of youth substance abuse leads to preventable health problems once they are adults,” said Hunter, member of the Senate Public Health Committee. Hunter saw the ill effects of unaddressed youth substance abuse firsthand during her years as a drug and abuse counselor. “Intervening once children are adults is too late. That’s why the working group will help families and communities educate our youth about addiction.”

The Senate also approved Hunter’s proposal addressing the disproportionate number of minorities within the juvenile justice system.

Senate Resolution 1049 creates a regional advisory council inviting faith and community-based organizations to help law enforcement, mental health professionals and educators to address the startling disparities within the system.

“Young minorities are disproportionately represented in our juvenile justice system,” said Hunter, chair of the Illinois Human Services Committee. “We need to prevent the vicious cycle of youth violence and delinquency in this state. Too many of our children are being detained.”

Both resolutions SR 1070 and SR 1049 are a part of Hunter’s plan to address overlooked problems facing Illinois’ youth.

Category: Social Justice

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