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Reports of Abuse and Neglect at Illinois State-Run Facilities

Following last year's damning report exposing complaints of abuse and neglect at Choate Mental Health and Development Center, Illinois faced a storm of criticism. The state pledged to reform the facility by downsizing and relocating around half of its residents to other developmental centers operated by the government. However, recent revelations from ProPublica's new report indicate that the problems of abuse and neglect are not isolated to Choate alone.

The report uncovered a shocking reality. Over the past decade, the Illinois State Police have initiated a staggering 200 investigations into employee misconduct at the state's seven developmental centers, responsible for caring for approximately 1,600 individuals. The cases are deeply troubling, with 161 involving allegations of physical abuse and criminal battery, 25 related to sexual assault and custodial sexual misconduct, and 10 concerning criminal neglect. Tragically, four investigations were connected to the deaths of residents.

In response to these alarming findings, every Republican lawmaker in the Illinois Senate and House demanded public hearings on the issues at Choate last February. Now, the same legislators are once again requesting open hearings, this time to address the continued problems plaguing all state-run facilities for the developmentally disabled.

State Senator Sally Turner expressed disappointment in the administration's handling of the situation, citing inadequate funding for services and failure to address abuse and neglect. The well-being of the developmentally disabled community remains at risk, prompting urgent action to protect this vulnerable population.


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