Disabled Residents Allegedly Abused At Shapiro Developmental Center In Kankakee

Investigation Underway After Whistleblower Details Instances of Alleged Abuse At The Shapiro Developmental Center In Kankakee

Disabled Residents Allegedly Abused At Shapiro Developmental Center In Kankakee

KANKAKEE, ILLINOIS (March 30, 2024) – Illinois state officials are investigating instances of abuse at the Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee.

The investigation comes after allegations from a whistleblower. The Shapiro Developmental Center is a state-run center for adults with disabilities.

The whistleblower detailed numerous instances of abuse. In one situation, workers at the Shapiro Developmental Center put a pillowcase over a woman’s head and strangled her so aggressively that she soiled her underpants.

Video footage from within the center showed other instances of abuse. This includes one scenario where a resident was being restrained by the hood of their sweatshirt.

Many other allegations have been made against the center. These include allegations of mental abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect.

A full investigation into the Shapiro Developmental Center remains ongoing at this time.

Liability For Kankakee County Institutional Abuse

Abuse and neglect at mental health and developmental centers in Illinois are sadly far too common. According to WTTW, “State police investigations of claims against staff at Illinois’ developmental centers are on the rise: Nearly 70% of them over the past decade were initiated since 2019, the year Pritzker took office.” There are a number of steps that developmental centers should take in order to prevent abuse.

  • Staff Training: Developmental centers should provide comprehensive training to all of their staff. This training should also include teaching staff to recognize signs of abuse.
  • Clear Policies: Developmental centers should develop and implement clear policies related to abuse prevention and reporting.
  • Background Checks: Developmental centers should conduct thorough background checks on all staff and employees.
  • Supervision: Developmental centers should make sure that all of their employees are properly supervised. Abuse is much more likely to take place when there is a lack of supervision at these facilities.

Depending on the facts of any case, a developmental center could face liability if someone in their care is abused. These centers have a legal obligation to protect those in their care from reasonably foreseeable sources of harm. This includes abuse at the hands of employees. If any person is abused while going to a developmental center, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any instance of abuse.

  • Eyewitnesses should be interviewed.
  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • Surveillance footage should be sought.
  • A police report of the incident should be created.

Any instance of abuse at developmental facilities is rarely an isolated instance. Rather, abuse is much more likely to be a systemic problem that is fueled by numerous failings. In particular, abuse is much more likely to take place at institutions that are understaffed. Part of the problem is that these places can be very difficult to work at. They often have high turnover rates, which can lead them to be chronically understaffed. Any person who is abused at a developmental center may have legal recourse through a civil claim.

Investigating Kankakee County Institutional Abuse

We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our best wishes to all of the people who have been mistreated at the Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee. There needs to be a thorough investigation into all of these allegations of abuse. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to protect the adults that go to this center.

Have you or someone that you care about been abused at the Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee? You may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys is here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that abuse victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.