Mabley Center in Dixon increases supervision, training following alleged sexual assault: records

Some residents at home for the disabled get new roommates, abatement plan shows

DIXON – Supervision was intensified and staff members would be getting more training after an alleged sexual assault at the Jack Mabley Developmental Center, according to a plan officials submitted last month to the state Department of Public Health.

The heavily redacted abatement plan, dated June 23, was obtained in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. “Supervisory staff will increase monitoring of individuals who require increased supervision,” according to the plan.

The lDPH, which oversees nursing homes and residential facilities for disabled people, issued an “immediate jeopardy” tag to Mabley on June 8, in the wake of the apparent assault of one resident by another on May 14.

Immediate jeopardy means immediate corrective action must be taken because the situation has caused, or is likely to cause, serious injury, harm, impairment, or death to a person who is being cared for at the facility.

No information on whether the tag remains in place was provided as of Thursday.

The incident was discovered when a staff member entered a resident’s room and found a resident had been the alleged victim of “an apparent sexual assault,” Department of Human Service spokeswoman Marisa Kollias said in a June 12 email.

The DHS operates Mabley, which is home to 116 disabled adult residents, provided the redacted plan.

In addition to increased training and supervision, the compatibility of residents at the facility was reviewed, resulting in new roommate assignments for some, the plan said.

Residents also were interviewed and asked ”whether they felt safe in their home.” Those unable to respond were observed, changes were made if needed, and “any areas of potential conflicts were addressed,” the plan said.

Staff training on sexual contact between individuals and on rape and sexual assault also was conducted, according to the plan.

IDPH staff will visit Mabley to ensure the plan is being followed; if it is, there will be no penalty, Kollias said in the email.

Failure to follow the abatement plan could result in decertification and loss of federal Medicaid matching funds.

The DHS, the IDPH, state police and the DHS Office of the Inspector General, which investigates DHS incidents, were notified immediately after the attack, and the two residents involved were moved to separate homes at the center. Their families were informed and their individual service plans were adjusted, Kollias said in the email.

The state police declined to investigate, and the inspector general “referred the incident back to the facility as the incident, as alleged [i.e., not involving alleged abuse or neglect of a resident by a staff member], does not fall under OIG jurisdiction,” she wrote.

The Mabley Center, founded in 1987, serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities on the 13-acre campus at 1120 Washington Ave., according to the IDHS reported website. Many also have visual and hearing impairments.

Why the redactions?

Specific information on abatement plans related to the individuals involved in the assault were withheld. Here’s why, according to Thomas D. Mulcrone, the DHS associate general counsel, who responded to the FOIA request:

All records and communications made or created in the course of providing mental health or developmental disabilities services are considered confidential under the Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act, 740 ILCS 110/3(a).

As a result, the department redacted all identifying information for individuals receiving developmental disability services pursuant to section 7(1)(a) of FOIA, which provides an exemption for information that is prohibited from release under state or federal law, 5 ILCS 140/7(1)(a).

The department also redacted all information related to mental health and developmental disability diagnoses, target behaviors, clinical recommendations, and treatment plans for specific individuals in accordance with section 3(a) of the Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act, 740 ILCS 110/3(a); 5 ILCS 140/7(1)(a).

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Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.