DCFS launches internal investigation after teens forced into shackles during drive

WGN Investigates

CHICAGO — The Department of Children and Family Services has launched an internal investigation into why two teenagers were forced into shackles under its care.

From a 30 mile car ride from Chicago to a placement facility in Palatine, a 15-year-old and 17-year-old were reportedly forced to wear shackles, WGN Investigates has learned. They were driven to the shelter separately.

The Cook County public guardian said there was no clinical or safety justification for restraining the teens’ hands and feet.

A spokesperson for DCFS also called it “totally unacceptable” and against policy.

DCFS is investigating the incident and the private company contracted to handle the transportation.

Read the department’s full statement below:

DCFS is committed to ensuring every child in our care is treated with the utmost dignity and respect. The use of restraints in this case was totally unacceptable and against department policy. DCFS is investigating the incident and putting additional policies and procedures in place immediately to ensure youth are never restrained during transport unless it is clinically necessary.

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