State mental health facilities at Jacksonville and Tinley Park are again close to being shut down. The governor’s office is going ahead with a plan called “Active Community Care Transition.” The idea is to shift the services at the Jacksonville Developmental Center and Tinley Park Mental Health Center to community-based help, in some cases in the patients’ own homes.
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The hope, according to a survey conducted by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, is that the jobs from the two facilities could be absorbed into the communities as well. A spokeswoman for the governor’s office, Brie Callahan, estimates 600 people will be moved into community settings. The two facilities being closed have had difficulty meeting federal standards. Callahan says in the case of Jacksonville, it’s badly out of date; it costs $1.2 million a year for the coal to heat it. The timeline expected is for a July closure for Tinley Park and October for Jacksonville. Both were on a list of seven facilities targeted for closure last year, but the legislature was able to move enough money around to keep them going for this fiscal year.