By Dave Dahl
SPRINGFIELD – A state residential facility in far southern Illinois – rocked by reports of nightmarish conditions for people who live there – now has the Pritzker administration’s full attention.
Following up on the announcement that half of the Choate Mental Health Center’s population is being shipped out, Gov. JB Pritzker blamed his predecessor.
“It truly had been hollowed out,” Pritzker said at an unrelated news conference in Springfield Wednesday. “When I came into office, it wasn’t like we woke up halfway through. We immediately understood that these things are underfunded, they’re understaffed, it’s very difficult to attract people to some of these facilities with the right kind of credentials that are necessary (to work in these facilities). It’s even harder now, as you can imagine.”
The decision follows an investigation by Lee Newspapers, Capitol News Illinois, and ProPublica into patient abuse and neglect at the home in Anna, Ill.
Dave Dahl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org