Governor Quinn Announces Successful Community Transition for Jacksonville Developmental Center Residents

Historic Milestone for Improving the Lives of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities and Mental health Challenges in Illinois

Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the remaining residents at the Jacksonville Developmental Center (JDC) have transitioned to community care. The moves are part of the governor's rebalancing initiative to increase community care options for people with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges while reducing the number of outdated institutions in Illinois.

"Today is a historic step forward in our effort to improve the quality of life for citizens with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges in Illinois," Governor Quinn said. "I thank all of the family members and committed advocates who worked together to make this transition safe and responsible. I am committed to strengthening community care in Illinois and helping to ensure that all people have an opportunity to reach their full potential."

"Numerous studies show that individuals living in the community have a better quality of life than those living in institutions," said Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler. "The closure of JDC is major progress for Illinois and how our state cares for people with developmental disabilities. I would like to commend the governor for his extraordinary leadership and thank our many advocates for their continued support on this important issue."

Each JDC resident went through a thorough, person-centered planning process, including assessment, consultation with families and guardians, and planning sessions with providers to determine needs and ensure safe transitions. Community settings allow individuals to receive the care they need, including 24-hour care. Community care is also significantly less costly than institution-based care. The average cost for JDC was $200,000 per year per resident while the average cost for a JDC resident living in the community is $84,000 per year.

JDC currently costs the state approximately $27.9 million per year to run. After accounting for state costs under community care, Illinois will realize approximately $11.7 million per year in savings, after $16.2 million in community investment. All AFSCME employees were offered other positions within state government. Of the 310 AFSCME employees at JDC, 130 filled positions at IDHS and other state agencies, eight decided to retire and 172 employees chose the layoff option.

In 2011, Governor Quinn announced his commitment to rebalance Illinois' use of institutionalization for the care of people with developmental disabilities and provide more community care options. Illinois has lagged behind the rest of the nation in the utilization of person-centered, community-based care. Community-based care has been proven to empower people with developmental disabilities to lead more active, dynamic lives. The governor's Rebalancing Initiative dovetails with the administration's recent settlement of a series of court cases related to the Americans with Disabilities Act, requiring the expansion of community care settings.