Statement on Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center
Since its 2005 report, Equip for Equality has continued to engage in monitoring and advocacy activities at Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center in southern Illinois, including with the Department of Justice after it issued its 2009 report, as well as directly with the Department of Human Services and its Division of Developmental Disabilities.
Equip for Equality redoubled its monitoring efforts at Choate in early 2021, after news reports regarding multiple criminal charges against staff at the facility. Those same charges were referenced in last weeks’ two-part news report. Our activities included observing the facility and programming, interviewing staff and guardians as well as individuals who live at Choate, and conducting record reviews. We shared the concerning results from those monitoring activities with the administration at Choate as well as the Department of Human Services and its Division of Developmental Disabilities. Following those activities, in mid-June the State committed to various improvements to address concerns in the areas of abuse and neglect, as well as the overall conditions at the facility.
We will continue to monitor to determine whether the changes announced in mid-June adequately address the safety and quality concerns we raised, and a publicly available written report will follow.
Here is the second article about this concerning facility, in which we were quoted: https://www.propublica.org/article/illinois-choate-mental-health-abuse-history
If you are interested, our 2005 report is at: 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
The Department of Justice’s 2009 report can be found at: https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/crt/legacy/2010/12/15/Choate_findlet_11-09-09.pdf
Last updated: September 07, 2022