State Auditor: Investigators Acted Too Slowly On Abuse
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 18, 2006
SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS--An Illinois state audit has revealed that nearly one-half of the reports of abuse and neglect at state-run institutions and community-based agencies were not investigated in a timely manner during the most recent fiscal year -- following several years of dramatic cuts in the number of investigators.
The report, released on December 13 by the state's Auditor General William G. Holland, showed that there were 1,814 allegations of abuse and neglect of people with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses during the 2006 fiscal year, compared with 1,183 during the 2004 fiscal year. Forty-eight percent of those cases were not investigated within the required 60-day period, the report concluded.
The audit found that, while the Department of Human Services' Office of the Inspector General was required to complete 'critical' interviews within five working days, it took on average 12 days to complete interviews with alleged victims and 25 days to complete interviews with alleged perpetrators.
A large majority of workers who had been reported to the Nurse Aide Registry over substantiated findings of abuse or neglect were later successful in having those findings overturned, the report concluded.
The report also noted that the state had cut the number of abuse investigators nearly in half over the last six years -- from 39 in 2000 to 21 in 2006.
"Program Audit of the Department of Human Services, Office of the Inspector General" (State of Illinois, Office of the Auditor General)