Pritzker again threatens to close Choate Developmental Center

* Recent background is here if you need it. From last September

Pritzker said the state isn’t currently planning to close Choate, but he didn’t rule it out if safety issues aren’t addressed.

“The question is, can we prevent that in the future? And if not, then obviously that’s not a facility that should remain open,” the governor said in response to a reporter’s questions at an unrelated event in downstate Decatur.

Meanwhile, he said, the “state has an obligation to the people that it serves at that facility right now” and is concentrating on upgrades to the facility and ensuring that appropriate services and personnel are in place. In a statement to reporters last week, Marisa Kollias, a spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Human Services, which runs Choate, said that the problems there are the result of “longstanding, entrenched issues” and that the department has taken “aggressive measures” to address them.

* Gov. Pritzker was asked today if he has a plan to address the many problems at Choate Developmental Center, or if he would close it down

Well, I’ve told you before that if the problems can’t be fully addressed, then we’ll have to close it down because the state obviously in that area is incapable of managing the facility properly if we can’t take care of the problems.

Look, there’s no doubt there are continuing issues at Choate and if those continue, as I say, we can’t keep it open.

One of the big challenges with some of these facilities, I want to point out, is they’re located in areas where it’s very hard to find personnel. Think about what’s going on in Illinois and across the nation right now, which is we have many, many more job openings than we have people who are available to do those jobs. Then, think about whether you need people who are trained for a job and in a developmental disabilities facility, you sure do need training.

So these are the challenges that we’re currently going through and thinking about going forward how do you address that, especially in a rural location, where it’s already hard to find people for every other job. So, we’ll continue to work on this because it is vital that we have the proper care for our developmentally disabled.

He was asked if he had a plan. He didn’t outline one.

CF,Region: Statewide,Politics,CF 2

via Capitol – Your Illinois News Radar

February 16, 2023 at 11:16AM

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