Agency Urges Illinois To Close Another Institution
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 13, 2005
ANNA, ILLINOIS--About 180 people with developmental disabilities are currently housed at the Clyde L. Choate Developmental Center.
Some community advocates, especially those at Equip for Equality, say that's about 180 too many.
Equip for Equality is Illinois' federally-mandated protection and advocacy system.
After surprise visits and reviews of Choate records last year, the agency issued a report in February strongly condemning the facility for failing to protect those housed in the institution from abuse, neglect, and sexual assault and allowing excessive use of restraints in violation of state and federal law.
It also called for the state to close the facility and move the residents to homes in the community, rather than spend millions more to keep it open.
The state has budgeted $36.3 million during the next fiscal year to house those in the institution. That's a little more than $200,000 per resident.
"If we keep trying to fix the institutions instead of closing them, the community programs will not get any better because of a lack of resources. And then we'll continue to institutionalize people because there is nothing out there in the community," Zena Naiditch, president of Equip for Equality, told the State Journal-Register.
Equip for Equality was instrumental in getting Governor George Ryan to order Lincoln Developmental Center closed in 2002 amid allegations of abuse and neglect of its residents.
"Group wants Choate center closed; Equip for Equality behind closure of LDC" (State Journal-Register)
"Clyde Choate Developmental Center: How an archaic system results in tragic consequences for people with disabilities" (Equip for Equality)
http://www.equipforequality.org/publications/aiu_choate.pdf [PDF format requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader]
"Lincoln Developmental Center" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)