Protesting mental health facility closings at State of the State

By WEEK Producer

February 1, 2012 Updated Feb 1, 2012 at 11:13 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill -- At the state Capitol, the parents of residents of the Jacksonville Developmental Center came to protest the Governor's planned closing of that facility.

The JDC is one of several state facilities the Governor says should be closed to tighten the state's budget.

Closing Jacksonville and a Chicago mental health facility and moving residents to community-based facilities, would save the state nearly $20 million a year, according to the Governor's office.

But the parents of the some of the 185 residents at JDC say it will be a disruption of the lives of the people who have found a home at Jacksonville.

Janet Anderson, who's daughter is at JDC said, "The Jacksonville staff is wonderful, they work with them, they known how to handle the behaviors, the outbursts, the depression, and she's home."

Kathy Stucky, who has a brother at JDC said, "If anyone would just come and see it, it's a wonderful place."

Benjamin Pannier's son is at JDC and he asked, "I'm not saying we shouldn't change a little bit, tighten our belts, but why evict somebody who can't speak for themselves?"

The Governor's office wants to close the Jacsonville Developmental Center by the first of October.

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