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Murray Developmental Center Gets Reprieve

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:39:34 CDT

Families who want to keep their relatives in the state-run Murray Developmental Center are claiming a temporary victory. A court ruling this week will slow the state's push to close the facility. Governor Pat Quinn's been trying to close the center in Centralia for more than two years. That case won't be settled at least until May, but for now, an appellate ruling says Illinois cannot move residents out of the center without permission from a court-appointed guardian. Governor Quinn has pushed to shutter large state-run institutions, like Murray, and transition residents into community-based care. But checks into these smaller, often privately owned, group homes have revealed what Rita Winkeler calls a lack of care:

"The people they have moved out of Murray Center, most of them are wards of the state, they have been neglected, they have not been given medicine. It has been really been a tragedy."

Winkeler, president of the Murray Parents Association, says taking care of the developmentally disabled can't be a one-size-fits-all approach. She says group homes are fine for some, but others, including her adult son, need the intensive care of an institution.

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