The Murray Developmental Center in Centralia will stay open through the end of the year and into next year. The state is planning to close Murray, but litigation filed by residents’ guardians is pending, with a temporary restraining order in place preventing closure until the cases is resolved. This pushed an Oct. 30 closure date into November, and now until January, with the case scheduled for hearings Jan. 6, 2014.
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But Tom Green, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Human Services, says Murray will close eventually. “We still remain committed to closing the Murray Developmental Center as part of the closure process to transition people with developmental disabilities out of outmoded institutions, and into a fuller life in the community,” he said. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that many of the Murray residents are so disabled that institutional care is the only appropriate home for them.
Nineteen residents have voluntarily transitioned out of Murray into community settings; 227 residents are still in the facility. When Murray does close, the state still will operate five developmental centers: Choate in Anna, Ludeman in Park Forest, Fox in Dwight, Mabley in Dixon and Kiley in Waukegan.