Virginia, Illinois Closing Residential Institutions

Community Living

Virginia will close four of its five large institutions for people with developmental disabilities and expand community-based services under a 10-year, $2.1 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice that was announced on Jan. 26, 2012. The fifth institution will be downsized to 75 beds. Virginia will also add 4,170 new Medicaid waiver slots to help people living in the facilities to move into their own homes, family homes or group homes, as well as assisting some people on waiting lists.

Additionally, Virginia will expand its crisis services, including a hotline, mobile crisis teams and short term crisis stabilization programs. The state will also offer other supports for community living, including supported employment. For more details, see the Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs news release “Justice Department Obtains Comprehensive ADA Agreement Regarding the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Developmental Disabilities System”.

Also in January, the governor of Illinois announced plans to close a residential facility for people with developmental disabilities in Jacksonville and the state-operated mental health center in Tinley Park. Over two and a half years, Illinois plans to move a total of 600 individuals into community settings, allowing it to close up to four institutions under a plan to rebalance the state’s approach to care. Illinois is also establishing microboards and cooperatives to develop person-centered services options. Read the details (press release no longer available).