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Jacksonville facility emptied out

Thursday, Nov 29, 2012

* From a press release…

Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the remaining residents at the Jacksonville Developmental Center (JDC) have transitioned to community care. The moves are part of the governor’s rebalancing initiative to increase community care options for people with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges while reducing the number of outdated institutions in Illinois.

“Today is a historic step forward in our effort to improve the quality of life for citizens with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges in Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “I thank all of the family members and committed advocates who worked together to make this transition safe and responsible. I am committed to strengthening community care in Illinois and helping to ensure that all people have an opportunity to reach their full potential.”

I’ll post AFSCME’s response as soon as it arrives, but the union has bitterly fought this facility closure, saying that private community care homes are ill-equipped to deal with many of JDC’s residents.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


21 Comments
  1. - Tony Paulauski - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 9:53 am:

    The Arc strongly supports the closing of state institutions and we appreciate the leadership Governor Quinn has shown with his Rebalancing Initiative. The people who have moved from JDC will experience a much fuller life in the community. Well done Governor Quinn.


  2. - Waffle Fries - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 9:59 am:

    How many were transferred to other state institutions?


  3. - BobO - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 9:59 am:

    Even with the Jacksonville closure, Illinois remains a state with an excessively high number of individuals residing in large institutional settings. Governor Quinn and his administration should be recognized for leading this change; however, additional closures will be needed before Illinois can be considered to be in the “modern era” of intellectual and developmental disability support.


  4. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 10:08 am:

    Interested to hear the point of view from The Arc.

    The issue should never have been about the jobs at JDC, but the lives of the people who lived at JDC.


  5. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 10:15 am:

    Let’s be honest, it sucks for anyone to lose their job or have to move it as a result of some of Quinn’s facility closures, but if community care is really better for the individual citizens we are providing funds/care for, then so be it. If the issue is giving our most vulnerable citizens a better life, then so be it for some cuts for people perfectly capable of taking care of themselves.


  6. - Don Moss - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 10:17 am:

    Only 5 individuals were sent to other institutions at their or their families’ request. This is a great breakthrough for the residents. Three institutions down–7 more to go!


  7. - CommonSense - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 10:36 am:

    They will be worse off. Specialized care is needed. The residents will end up in abusive care. So sad.


  8. - cassandra - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 10:45 am:

    Good news, but I wonder if Quinn has exhausted his “political capital” on this issue, and thus it will be a while, quite a while, before any of the remaining seven institutions are closed. It takes a lot of energy to close down government institutions these days.

    Perhaps advocacy groups should mount a public relations campaign to educate the public on the value of community care. It seems as though the press largely covers the risks (concerns of residents’ families, loss of state jobs, loss of jobs to local communities) and not the benefits to those moving out of these archaic institutions.


  9. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 11:17 am:

    Now it is time for a rate increase to community based agencies. The staff are paid so poorly, and this needs to change. I’m sure Don Moss or Tony Paulauski can correct me if I am wrong, but rates have not increased since 2006!


  10. - History Buff - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 11:39 am:

    The Jacksonville State Hospital for the Insane – 1851 – 2012
    In 1846, social reformer and advocate for the disabled, Dorthea Dix, travelled to Illinois to study its treatment of individuals with mental illness. Illinois originally did not have any system for caring for its mentally ill citizens who were either living with their family or kept in local almshouses. Dix spent the winter of 1846 in Springfield, and her report was ready for the January 1847 legislative session. She asked the state legislature to create a facility in Illinois designed for the care of the mentally ill.
    In her “Memorial to the Senate and House of the Representatives of Illinois” she urged for the providence of “appropriate care and support for the curable and incurable indigent insane.” The Illinois General Assembly promptly adopted legislation establishing Illinois’ first State mental hospital which opened in 1851. The new law stated:
    “…there shall be established, within four miles of the town of Jacksonville, county of Morgan, an institution to be known as the Illinois State Hospital for the Insane…”
    The first patient at Jacksonville was admitted on November 3, 1851. All patients were to be maintained at state expense. However, patients or their counties were expected to pay for clothing, travel, and incidental expenses.

    It turns out this was just the beginning. In Illinois, dozens of “State hospitals for the Insane” would be established in the decades that followed. State institutionalization became a widespread trend throughout the country and throughout Illinois. Unfortunately, many of these institutions were rife with abuse and poor treatment. Manteno State Hospital, which closed in 1985, was once the largest mental health facility in Illinois and also one of the worst. Other State hospitals that served the mentally ill and disabled have done an excellent job under trying conditions.

    So, on this day when Illinois’ oldest State Hospital quietly closes its doors after 161 years, we need to ask ourselves how can we as a State best serve our most fragile citizens? For those who thrive in an institutional setting, can we still provide professional service for them in an institutional setting? And for those who will benefit from a community setting, can we assure they will receive the quality of care they require and deserve? That is the task ahead.


  11. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 11:51 am:

    As one who is intimately aware of this development, through a loved one who cannot live in community care, what Quinn has done is simply stupid, naive, ignorant and heartless.

    Shame on those who do not care for those or their families, who need institutionalized care and it’s stability, safety, food and love.

    Quinn has ruined lives. That is nothing to “celebrate”.


  12. - Oh Please - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 11:52 am:

    @Don Moss - “Only 5 individuals were sent to other institutions at their or their families’ request.”

    This statement is misleading.

    While there may have been only five explicit requests (which, frankly, needs verification) many, many of the people at Jacksonville were, in fact, transferred to other State Centers as community settings could not be found to meet their needs.

    In addition, some of the initial placements have already returned to state centers due, again, to behavioral challenges.

    It is telling that the governor’s office (and others such as Mr. Moss) is celebrating while refraining from releasing any actual numbers on the rate of successful placement. If those numbers were truly something to be proud of they would be shouting them from the heavens rather than tossing out statistical smoke an mirrors such as what Mr. Moss provides here.


  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 12:14 pm:

    Chaulk one up for the Gov.


  14. - Newsclown - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 2:05 pm:

    I would like to know if the former staffers were able to find jobs helping out in the home care area. I assume that kind of service pays less than the state did.


  15. - for real - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 3:22 pm:

    Shame for shame for what the governor is trying to pass off as a wonderful plan that has worked for the disabled. Let me say that as a guardian at ground zero (JDC ) that the people of Illinois has been deceived to by lies and propaganda. The people that are suppose to be watchdogs for our loved ones…..are the very same people that have thrown our loved ones out of their homes….and knowingly aware of the fact that many will not make it in the community. The true facts will come out and I hope all names are connected to the aftermath of this shameful plan and all get the credit they are truely due.


  16. - Jerome Horwitz - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 3:37 pm:

    We will see how long the money will follow the person from institutional care to community care. Initially, the money will be there, but as long as the state has continued financial strife, the money for care will be cut and the providers will be blamed for the lack of care.


  17. - transplant - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 6:05 pm:

    The actual number of JDC residents transferred into other SODC care is right around 30. And yes, there are a number who were transferred into private care that not only were later transferred back into SODC care, but some were returned to JDC and most recently one was transferred to Murray, which is also on the closure list. This of course only came after the individual tore apart the private care home he was in and was taken to the hospital where he was drugged into submission.


  18. - for real - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 7:17 pm:

    Tonight WICS reported over 50 residents of JDC went to other SODC’s. And as far as person centered transition. I found my daughter’s new residence myself. No help from CRA or DHS.


  19. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 7:22 pm:

    Have to stay anonymous.
    The lies spewing forth about “how well thought out” and “smoothly” this closure went are plentiful. It is a shame what has happened and how poorly this was truly executed. The number of people who ended up at other SODCs will stay hidden. The failure to have community resources prepared will never really come to light.
    If employees who know talk, there are repercussions and they/we are the ones truly looking out for the best interests if the persons served.
    I hope Quinn can sleep at night with the train wreck of what he did. It makes me sick.


  20. - Oh Please - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 8:37 pm:

    @transplant - I’m quite certain your numbers are low. For real is closer to the truth.

    And this: “This of course only came after the individual tore apart the private care home he was in and was taken to the hospital where he was drugged into submission.”

    This is the point. People need to be paired up with the type of placements that are appropriate for them. Clearly that person was not. All courtesy of this administration’s “well thought out” plan which was “smoothly” implemented.


  21. - transplant - Thursday, Nov 29, 12 @ 9:13 pm:

    30 or 50, it’s a far cry from the success being claimed. It should also be noted that the large portion of JDC residents were wards of the state, so they had no guardian to oppose a move into private care. There is also no mention of the letter guardians received just days before a deadline it gave to guardians that they had to have a location picked for their loved one or the state would make the decision for them.


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