Letters to the Editor

Arc of Illinois calls for closing of state centers

The brutal death of Todd Clementz in the care of the Murray Developmental Center is tragic. It is indicative of a culture that uses “punishment” showering. The Arc mourns his passing.

Last spring, the Going Home Coalition, including The Arc, called for the closing of six of the seven fully operational state institutions in Illinois. Research has proven that people with disabilities live safer and healthier lives in small community homes. In addition, small community homes are extremely cost effective when compared to the cost of obsolete state institutions. The state now spends $429 million on state institutions. There are now 14 states without state institutions and Illinois remains one of the most institutionalized states in America with 1,700 individuals confined in those state institutions.

The Arc of Illinois once again calls upon Gov. Rauner to begin closing Murray once again, and five other fully operational state institutions in Illinois.

It is time.

Tony Paulauski, executive director, The Arc of Illinois