Equip for Equality Response to Governor Ryan's Press Release (February 4, 2002) on Lincoln Developmental Center
Statement by Zena Naiditch, President and CEO
Equip for Equality is pleased that the Governor looked at the evidence and concluded, as did we, that the status quo at Lincoln Developmental Center had to end. We are, however, disapppointed with the Governor's decision to downsize Lincoln rather than close that facility. We believe that the decision to invest substantial funds to build a cluster of new units on the Lincoln campus was the wrong decision given Lincoln's longstanding history of serious problems. Even with substantial resources to improve the facility, Lincoln has failed to create a safe environment with appropriate programming. The pattern of abuse and neglect incidents, where the same staff failures are repeated resulting in more serious injuries to residents within short periods of time, demonstrates the existence of a culture that has not shown itself amenable to change.
We strongly recommend that the Department of Public Health and the Department of Human Services continue to monitor Lincoln on an ongoing basis so that resident safety and well-being will not be further compromised during this transition period.
We are very pleased that the Governor has recognized the need to explore alternative care settings in the community. However, we believe that it is imperative that the funds allocated for Lincoln be used to serve the Lincoln residents wherever they may be and that any savings realized from this plan be retained for the benefit of individuals with developmental disabilities.
For further information contact Zena Naiditch at 312-341-0022, 800-537-2632, or TTY 800-610-2779.