Department of Children, Family Services bans handcuffs, shackles when transporting minors following investigation

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The use of handcuffs or shackles for transporting youth is now banned by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

The policy change comes after two teenage boys, ages 15 and 17, were handcuffed and shackled at their ankles while being driven from a youth shelter in Chicago to another living arrangement in Palatine, DCFS said.

The teens were restrained for nearly 30 miles while being transported by a company hired by DCFS.

Officials said they conducted an investigation.

RELATED: DCFS accused of keeping children inside makeshift shelters in city offices

In a released statement, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) said DCFS failed to protect children.

"When we dishonor one person's rights, we dishonor everyone's rights," Senator Morrison said. "DCFS's failure to provide oversite and accountability on their contractors has caused another violation. This situation underscores my commitment to reform this troubled agency."

DCFS officials said soft restraints will be allowed for youth passengers but only if ordered by a court or a psychiatrist.
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