Families speak out about possible Jacksonville facility closure

By WEEK Producer

February 27, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 5:02 AM CDT

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. -- A proposal to close and consolidate several state facilities, including the Jacksonville Developmental Center, has caused a stir between the Governor, lawmakers, and employee unions.
Governor Quinn said the closures would save Illinois millions of dollars despite massive job losses.

It is certain that employees of the slated facilities and their immediate communities would be affected, but what about the patients and their families?
The Jacksonville Developmental Center houses developmentally challenged patients of all ages.
The institution is one of the few facilities left in the state to handle the disabled population.
Some families of the patients said bringing their loved ones back to a community-based setting may not an option.

 "I don't see where else he could go," said Charlotte Frieden, a worried parent. "He's been to four group owns. He's back here. So I don't know what they're expecting for the ones like him that do well here and can't do well in the community."


The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability has set a public hearing for March 7 at Illinois College in Jacksonville.

Written testimonies can be emailed to the facility closure at facilityclosure@ilga.gov.

"We're not trained to handle him 24/7. We don't have the training to do it properly. We don't know how to monitor the medication. We're not trained for that," said Donald Pannier of Washburn. Pannier's son Benjamin has been living at the Jacksonville facility for 11 years.

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