Judge rules that Illinois can close Murray Developmental Center

As part of Illinois’ efforts rebalance the state long-term care system, the Murray Developmental Center, a State Operated Developmental Center, has been slated for closure. Closure would give hundreds of people with developmental disabilities the opportunity to live in integrated communities instead of institutions.
One roadblock in the way of the institution’s closure has been a lawsuit that was filed. A group of plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction to block the state's plan to close the center.

On Monday, July 21, a federal judge in Chicago ruled that the state can close Murray. The announcement is great news for advocates that support institution closure and community integration for people with disabilities.

Access Living is part of the “Going Home” Coalition. A network of groups organizing to support the state rebalancing efforts.

Here is a statement from Going Home in response to the judge’s ruling:

The Going Home Campaign applauds the court’s ruling supporting the closure of the Murray Developmental Center and celebrates a victory for the disability community that allows people with even the most severe disabilities the opportunity to live life outside an institution and in a neighborhood of their choice.

Judge Marvin E. Aspen’s of the United States’ District Court Northern District of Illinois ruling concluded that "the initiative seeks to make community-based treatment a reality for more Illinois citizens who need and desire it, using the ACCT (Active Community Care Transition) process to help determine whether the community can accommodate a particular individual."

Judge Aspen supports our beliefs that the transition process is a comprehensive, person-centered plan ensuring people with disabilities safely transition out of institutions and are able to choose the best path for them. His opinion further stated that the “community can provide the same if not better services than state operated institutions.”

Even with the closure of Murray, there are six state-operated facilities—continuing to make Illinois one of the most institutionalized states in the nation. We look forward to continuing our advocacy efforts to help people with disabilities make successful transitions into their new homes where they will receive customized supports and services allowing them to achieve their maximum potential and become fully integrated into society.

The Going Home Leadership Team