CHICAGO (CBS) — CBS 2 broke the story of a boy in foster care who was put in shackles – even though he had no criminal reason to be locked up.
In the days since CBS 2’s Chris Tye broke the story, Illinois state legislators are looking at putting a new law on the books to prevent it from happening again.
“Some people in a van – a regular van – they shackled me, locked my feet down and locked my hands down,” said Jawan Cross.
Cross was a foster child. On Oct. 1, on orders from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, he was shackled as he was transported from a youth home on the South Side to the suburbs.
Cross said he was locked in the shackles with his wrists crossed in front of him, and then a chain going down to his feet – forcing him to walk in lock-step.
We first told you about Cross last week. On Wednesday night, we are learning that in the days since our report, the Illinois House of Representatives is going to consider new legislation.
House Bill 3969 reads in part: “No child under the care or custody of the Department of Children and Family Services shall be subjected to mechanical restraints.”
And in the days since CBS 2 first exposed the shackling, the Illinois American Civil Liberties Union office has pushed for massive change.
“From this moment forward, it will not happen again,” said Heidi Dalenberg of the Illinois ACLU.
Cross told us he was dubious of any rule changes and what effect they might have, but wants to shed any contact with the DCFS from this day forward.
“I really don’t care about DCFS. They messed me over. They beat me up, then put me in shackles,” Cross said “To me, that’s crazy. That’s how I feel.”
There is not yet a date for debate or a vote on the bill.