Muscatatuck's Time Has Come, And Gone
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 24, 2003
BUTLERVILLE, INDIANA--It was built in 1919 and provides accommodations for 167 people at a cost of $850 per day per person.
No, it's not the Ritz or the Waldorf-Astoria.
It's the former Indiana Farm Colony for Feeble Minded Youth, known today as Muscatatuck State Developmental Center.
Moving the 167 people into the community would shift money so that another 200 people with developmental disabilities could move off the state' waiting list for community-based services.
In April of 2001, Governor Frank O'Bannon announced that the aged facility would close by the end of 2003. But parents of those housed in Muscatatuck have effectively stalled the closure through the courts. The facility would now close in 2005 at the earliest.
State officials and community advocates say that Muscatatuck is "an idea whose time has come -- and gone", according to an article in the Indianapolis Star.
Indiana's situation reflects the international trend toward deinstitutionalization, which began 25 years ago. For example, more than one third of those in Muscatatuck are 50 years of age or older, and none is under 20 years of age. More than 100 people have left -- and there have been no new admissions -- since 2001. And even though several of the 52 buildings on the campus are shut down, the facility still costs tax payers $54 million each year.
The Indianapolis Star ran two stories on the debate over Muscatatuck.
"Trouble With Indiana's Institutions" (Inclusion Daily Express)