Both Peoria County State's Attorney candidates say youth outreach is how the county can begin to reduce its rates of juveniles charged with crimes.
Peoria County was second only to Cook County for total juveniles charged in 2018.
Incumbent Jodi Hoos says she wants to start an internship program to help kids enter the legal profession and is working with the U.S. Attorney's Office on a new school outreach called "Blast."
"We need to get kids before we're in that position of having to lock them up. We need to expose them to some positive things in their life as opposed to the negative things they usually have,' she said.
Candidate Christopher McCall says he would start a mock jury program for students.
"They'll understand what it's like to participate in a jury. What it's like to become a prosecutor, a defense attorney, and sit on the jury system. What does that do? It also helps people have faith in the system, and they learn how to participate in the system," he said. Both candidates are Democrats. No Republicans filed to run, meaning the winner of the March primary is the presumptive next Peoria County State's Attorney.