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WJBD - Local News - Movement of Residents From Murray Center Remains on Hold, Despite Court Ruling

Movement of Residents From Murray Center Remains on Hold, Despite Court Ruling

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

Don't expect to see the Illinois Department of Human Services to rush in and close Murray Development Center in Centralia now that a federal court judge has ruled against an injunction that would have forced the state to keep the facility open during the on-going legal battle over the center's future.  

Department of Human Services Spokesperson Januari Smith says any movement of residents is on hold.  She notes there is still an active court case before the federal judge in Chicago and another involving the guardians of the state housed at Murray being handled by a Clinton County Judge.   She reports the department is also still reviewing Judge Marvin Aspen's entire ruling.  

Smith notes their planning will be 'careful an deliberate' and that creating new homes will not happen overnight.  She adds right now there is not a place to move all the residents.   Smith says financially the state is not facing an immediate deadline as Murray Center is funded for all of the current fiscal year that began June 30th.  

Judge Aspen noted in his 55 page ruling issued last Monday that the parents of residents did not prove irreparable harm if Murray is shut down as part of Governor's Quinn push to close large state institutions in favor of smaller facilities.   However, the judge's ruling does require the state to offer a choice of placement options to the parents and guardians.  

The President of the Murray Parents Association, Rita Winkler, sees that as a bright spot that will prevent a closure similar to Jacksonville where residents were basically bussed out.  The Parents Association had a teleconference with their attorneys Thursday night to see what their next step should be.  No decisions have yet been made on if there will be an appeal to the decision on the injunction.  

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