Southern Tier Independence Center Reacts to Broome Developmetal Center Closure

Published 03/21 2014 04:40PM

Updated 03/21 2014 05:13PM

The Southern Tier Independence Center supports the closing of the Broome Developmental Center, which is scheduled to be shuttered within the next two years.

STIC says keeping the BDC open, including the LIT, is too expensive and that people with developmental disabilities have the legal right to be part of society. STIC says people do need to be evaluated on a case by case basis, but it says a lot of false information has been circulated about the unit.

The agency says that only 10 percent of LIT residents have actually been convicted of crimes. Some of the people have such severe disabilities that they weren't capable of even committing acts they're accused of.

"A lot of people end up living there for much longer than they need to be sometimes and also it's a civil right, in terms of freedom, people deserve to live in the community," said peer counselor Robert Deemie.

STIC says there are accounts where some of the residents in the LIT responded physically to people who were supervising them after they were taunted or threatened. It also says there are some cases where people with developmental disabilities have been charged with misdemeanors, which normally would allow people to be granted probation.

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