Lawmakers Call for Hearings into New Reports of Abuse and Neglect at Developmentally Disabled Facilities

Republican lawmakers held a press conference on Wednesday where they issued new demands for joint hearings of the Illinois House and Senate Human Services and Mental and Behavioral Health Committees after news reports surfaced this week detailing horrific instances of abuse, neglect, sexual assault, and torture of individuals living in Illinois-run facilities serving developmentally disabled citizens.

In February 2023, every member of the House and Senate Republican Caucuses signed on to a letter demanding joint committee hearings to investigate reports of abuse and neglect at Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center. This week, ProPublica released shocking details of the abuse of residents living in state care at multiple facilities.

The original letter demanded hearings into Choate, which Republicans have repeatedly and consistently called for. According to lawmakers, those public, bicameral hearings of the committees charged with overseeing state-run facilities would help get answered on the record from the Pritzker Administration as to what is being done about the horrific abuses.

In addition to hearings, in this week’s press conference lawmakers emphasized their willingness to work together with the administration and legislative leaders to help the state’s most vulnerable residents and fix what they call systemic issues at developmentally disabled facilities across Illinois.