Letters to the Editor

Grateful the truth is finally getting out

On Dec. 30, The Chicago Tribune published the third part of a series regarding abuse/neglect and the cover-up of this abuse/neglect in Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILA) in Illinois. This part of this series is about the closure of Jacksonville Developmental Center and the attempted closure of Murray Center. It begins by describing the auction of developmentally disabled individuals at the Jacksonville Center with providers “bidding” on which individuals they wanted. This is of course appalling, but very telling of the mindset of the Department of Human Services under the previous administration. The story then highlights the attempted closure of Murray Center, and how the Murray Parents’ Association, the Murray staff, community members, and surrounding communities rallied together to “save Murray Center.”

The story also confirms everything the MPA and several legislators said was happening during the closure attempt: the lies and cover-up by the department of Human Services. The story also details the move of a Murray resident and the tragic results. Many people in southern Illinois worked hard to keep Murray open for special loved ones, and I want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to see the article. It can be found by searching “suffering in silence” at chicagotribune.com. The Tribune reporters spent over two years finding and documenting all the information in the story. It is all facts, and although so much more happened during the closure attempt we are grateful that finally the truth is getting out.

Rita Winkeler, Murray Parents’ Association president