Illinois agency puts kids in detention due to lack of regular space: suit

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Children from abused and neglected households are taken in by the state's child welfare department with a promise of being kept safe. But a lawsuit filed

Thursday challenges how safe the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is really keeping some of the state's most vulnerable kids, CBS Chicago's Chris Tye

reports. The suit highlights the story of how the system left one girl locked up.  The same happened to dozens of other kids who were placed behind bars despite never

having done anything wrong, the suit asserts. Why were they there? The reason, the suit says, was that the state was out of placement beds. And now, Tye says,

victims are out of patience. "They don't care about me," said Janiah Cane, 18. "They don't want to help me out of this horrible place." The first "horrible place"

Caine ended up was Cook County Juvenile Court. Caine was a minor when she entered Family Court – a relative had turned violent. A victim of child abuse, she was asked to

speak the truth about her abuser in exchange for protection by DCFS. "When I was told ... 'I'm going to keep you safe,' I would expect you to keep me safe," Caine said, "and

in that place, I didn't feel safe." Caine then ended up in another "horrible place" – behind bars at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. Before it was

over, she would spend 166 nights there.  "Sometimes I even feel like they wanted me in there, because I was in there so long," Caine said in disgust. She had done

nothing wrong. The reason she was in the lockup was because DCFS was out of beds, the lawsuit claims.