* This story is truly disgusting on all levels…
A multimillion-dollar operation under state contract was supposed to be taking care of people with special needs. Instead, its employees are accused of fatally beating two residents and several incidents of abuse. […]
Forty-two-year-old Paul McCann suffered a brutal beating in January. The man called a gentle giant, who functioned at the level of a 6-year-old, was punched, kicked, and struck with a frying pan inside his group home for reportedly taking a cookie.
McCann’s death was ruled a homicide and two men were arrested. The family has filed a lawsuit…
The lawsuit claims that the group home employees would pile heavy books on McCann’s outstretched arms, then beat him when he dropped them.
Also, the lawsuit will allege that McCann had been abused before the Jan. 19 beating. Kathleen Slovick, McCann’s sister, noticed McCann had broken his nose in April 2010. In response to McCann’s broken nose, the Illinois Department of Human Services sent Lois McCann, Paul McCann’s mother, a four-word letter response that stated, “The findings were unfounded.”
* McCann was not the only victim of this monstrous facility…
State records obtained by CBS 2, which date back to 2003, reveal 33 cases of Graywood staff abusing residents. Those cases included sexual abuse, physical battery and alleged coercion of residents to attack each other.
Even worse, in 2008, a resident named Dustin Higgins was murdered by staff. That death prompted an internal memo from the Illinois Department of Human Services Inspector General. The memo warned that Graywood residents were at risk amid an increase of serious allegations of abuse and neglect.
A resident is murdered by facility staff three years ago and it prompted an internal DHS memo, but apparently not much else because human beings were still being sent there, even though it had a “substantiated abuse rate” which was double the state average. Great job, DHS. Raises for everybody!
More on that other death…
In 2008, Dustin Higgins, another resident of Graywood died after two employees allegedly beat him.
Three years later, the mother of Paul McCann recalls seeing her son’s body just days before his death.
“From his ankles all the way up his leg, big gash marks, blue, blue gash marks like he’d been kicked with a boot or shoe,” said Lois McCann.
They found caregivers dumping water on people when they wouldn’t do their chores or get out of bed.
Other cases involved employees biting, punching, and threatening the developmentally disabled clients they were taking care of.
Many only have the capacity of a child.
And, yet, this facility has received $30 million in taxpayer money since 2001? The mind reels. Thankfully, DHS is finally moving residents out of there next week. Too late for McCann and the rest, however. I do not understand how the people at DHS who knew about this place could possibly sleep at night.
One of the government’s prime jobs is to help care for people who cannot care for themselves. The abominable treatment of residents alleged at that facility and the unconscionably slow pace of state action makes me ill.
My great aunt is severely mentally disabled and lives in a facility in Iroquois County. I can’t imagine what would happen if my family found out something like that had happened to her. It wouldn’t be pretty, I guarantee it.
I can feel my blood boiling right now, so I better stop writing.