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Illinois official: Group homes to be more heavily regulated

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois Department of Human Services official has told state legislators that group homes for adults with disabilities will face stricter licensing standards and enforcement, and that they’ll be graded on safety and quality for the first time.

Department secretary James Dimas told Senate and House lawmakers the department has launched over a dozen reform measures to increase enforcement of 3,000 group homes across Illinois and boost public transparency involving the care of 12,000 adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, the Chicago Tribune Reports.

Dimas spoke at hearing scheduled in response to the newspaper’s investigation, which exposed how Illinois has steered thousands of its poorest and most vulnerable residents with disabilities into a network of state-funded group homes, then routinely concealed evidence of abuse and neglect from the public.