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EFE Statement – Multiple Serious Incidents at Choate Developmental Center

CONTACT: Zena Naiditch, 312-895-7314, zena@equipforequality.org
Stacey Aschemann, 478-437-5356, stacey@equipforequality.org

  STATEMENT FROM EQUIP FOR EQUALITY
Multiple Serious Incidents at Choate Developmental Center

CHICAGO – EFE applauds ProPublica for its recent reporting on the multiple, serious incidents of abuse and neglectful practices at Choate Developmental Center over the past few years. These very troubling reports make clear that we are not talking about a few bad actors, but a culture and pattern of staff behavior that fails to recognize the humanity of the individuals that are there to receive care. On top of this, the reports revealed evidence of staff cover-ups designed to ensure the abuses remained secret, leaving people – many with very limited communication abilities – without justice, protection or help to address the trauma they experienced at the staffs’ hands. Unfortunately, these problems are not new and are a continuation of concerns Equip for Equality reported to the State in 2005 and the U.S. Department of Justice shared in its 2009 findings letter.

EFE is currently engaged in enhanced monitoring at the Choate Developmental Center to assess the quality of services and whether the investments DHS Secretary Hou announced in June 2022 are resulting in meaningful improvements to individuals’ lives and safety.

We expect to issue a comprehensive public report about conditions at the Center and its impact on the lives of the residents with developmental disabilities in Spring 2023.

References:

ProPublica Series: https://www.propublica.org/series/culture-of-cruelty

EFE 2005 Report: https://www.equipforequality.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Clyde-Choate-Developmental-Center-How-an-Archaic-System-Results-in-Tragic-Consequences-for-People-with-Disabilities.pdf

DOJ 2009 Findings Letter: https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/crt/legacy/2010/12/15/Choate_findlet_11-09-09.pdf

 

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This publication is made possible by funding support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration on Disabilities of the Administration for Community Living. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of Equip for Equality and do not necessarily represent the official view of any of these agencies.

Last updated: February 17, 2023

This website is made possible by funding support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, both the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of Equip for Equality and do not necessarily represent the official view of any of these agencies.

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