Click on the report card to view it:

Howe report card

Governor Quinn announces Howe closure!

On August 28, 2009 Governor Quinn announced that he will close Howe Developmental Center. Click here to read the press release.

Read Anne Shannon's report.

Read the Department of Justice Report.

Congratulations to all the advocates who have fought so hard for the freedom of Howe residents!

self-advocates deliver petitions

Advocates from around Illinois preparing to deliver 1,700 petitions to Governor Quinn,
asking him to close Howe Developmental Center.

Disability organizations from around Illinois gathered at the Capitol in Springfield on February 10, 2009 to urge Govenor Pat Quinn to continue the process of closing Howe Developmental Center. Equip for Equality announced that five more people have died at Howe since closure was announced in September 2008. More than seventy advocates took part in the press conference and in delivering petitions to Gov. Quinn. The event was one more step towards getting the shameful, wasteful institution closed. Check out coverage of the event by clicking: Chicago Tribune.


On April 28, 2009 the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability voted to close Howe Developmental Center by a vote of 9-3! On August 28, 2009, Governor Quinn decided to close this facility.

History of Howe

State officials announced Friday, September 5, 2008 that they plan to close Howe Developmental Center within the next year! Congratulations to all who worked on this important campaign! Click here to read the Community for All Coalition's press release.

Read the Southtown Star's editorial.

Read the Chicago Tribune's editorial.


Howe Developmental Center is a state-operated institution in Tinley Park, Illinois, where 320 people with developmental disabilities live. Howe has repeatedly been cited for poor care. 24 people have died at Howe since September 2005. The federal government has pulled its certification and funding from this institution. In addition, the Department of Justice is investigating Howe for violations of constitutional rights for its residents.

We want those living at Howe to be able to return to their home communities with the support they need. We believe that people deserve to have choices in where they live and the services they recieve. We are organizing to bring public attention to the issue and push the state to transition people to the community. Once people are transitioned, we believe Howe should be closed.

Rally 21

pictures from Howe rally
Right: A ghost (Tia Nelis) comes to "21" (Amy Walker) in her sleep, telling her how people at Howe have died. Left: Delegates Rena and Jim are interviewed about their experiences.

On July 29, about 100 people rallied in front of the Thompson Center, calling on the Governor to close Howe. Coalition members performed a drama (written by Amy Walker) about the horrible conditions at Howe. Delegates from the Coalition took our demands to representatives from the Governor's office, who promised they would respond quickly. Zena Naiditch, from Equip for Equality, spoke about how they have recently found that three more people have passed away in the last several months. Together, we urged the Governor to "Free our People...Close Howe NOW!!"

picture of 21 tombstones
Participants laid flowers at the "tombstones" of the 21 people who have died at Howe in the past few years.

Read coverage of Rally 21 in the Southtown Star.

press conference

press conference speakers

On Friday, May 30, the Community for All Coalition released a "report card" about Howe Developmental Center. The State received failing grades for Quality of Service, Ensuring Civil Rights, Maximizing Federal Dollars, and Effective Use of Illinois Taxpayer Dollars. Speakers (pictured above from left to right) included Larry Biondi from Progress Center for Independent Living, Zena Naiditch from Equip for Equality, Amy Walker from Illinois Voices, Derrick Dufresne from The Institute on Public Policy, and Lester Pritchard from the Campaign for Real Choice in Illinois. The Southtown Star and the Chicago Tribune reported on the press conference. To read the articles, click on the title.


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