History & Accomplishments
Creation of OIG
During the early 1980s, a growing awareness of abuse and neglect led the then Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (DMHDD) to create an Office of Internal Review. This office received and reviewed allegations of abuse and neglect at the DMHDD facilities, reviewed the investigations conducted by those facilities, and then provided recommendations to reduce the possibility of recurrence. Gradual increases in the number of incidents confirmed the need for this office.
By 1985, eight employees staffed the office, and a DMHDD policy on mistreatment of recipients of services established requirements for reporting and investigating allegations and incidents.
In time, questions arose about the scope and effectiveness of the Office of Internal Review. Advocacy groups lobbied for an independent investigative office to afford better investigation to individuals. Further, they wanted to ensure that the work of the office would be open to public review.
The General Assembly passed and the Governor signed a new law in August 1987 that created the position of the Inspector General in the DMHDD to investigate reports of suspected abuse or neglect of recipients. This law required the DMHDD Director to appoint the Inspector General, but a later act required that the Inspector General be appointed by the Governor with advice and consent of the Illinois Senate.
In July 1997, DHMDD and a few other departments merged into the new Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), and the Inspector General position was transferred to DHS.
The General Assembly passed and the Governor signed a new law in December 1999 that added a significant new responsibility to OIG effective July 1, 2000: the Adults with Disabilities Domestic Abuse Intervention Act. This law authorized OIG to conduct investigative assessments of alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation of adults with mental illness or developmental or physical disabilities in their own homes.