The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board voted 6-1 yesterday to let the state Department of Human Services close the Jacksonville Developmental Center. The panel's vote was not needed for Gov. Pat Quinn to transfer patients from the developmental center to smaller community care settings. But it provides a measure of authority to the plan, and the state now plans to close the 100 year-old center by November 22.
Jacksonville city officials have fought the closing, saying that some developmentally disabled residents need institutional care and the closing harms the local economy. As PI has reported, disability advocacy groups support the shut down, arguing that developmentally disabled individuals do better in community settings.