The 21st Show

Abuse and arrests linked to Southern IL Mental Health Center

 Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center is pictured in Anna.

Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center is pictured in Anna. Beth Hundsdorfer/Capitol News Illinois

The Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center, located on the outskirts of the small town of Anna, Illinois, is a 270-bed facility that serves Illinoisans with a range of intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illnesses, and sometimes a combination of disorders.

ProPublica, Capitol News Illinois and Lee Enterprises Midwest co-published an investigation into the history of abuses at the Choate Center. It found that over a 10-year period ending in 2021, the Illinois Department of Human Services inspector general’s office has investigated 1,500 reports of alleged patient abuse or neglect by Choate employees. During that same period, at least 26 employees have been arrested on felony charges for incidents that occurred at the Choate Center.


Beth Hundsdorfer

Investigative Reporter, Capitol News Illinois

Molly Parker

Reporter, The Southern Illinoisan | Midwest Public Service Reporter, Lee Enterprises Midwest

Stacey Aschemann

Vice President, Equip for Equality


Editors note: In the credits, you might recognize that Aden Choate, one of our producers on The 21st, shares her last name with the Choate Center. She is the distant cousin of Clyde L. Choate, a native of Anna, who received the Medal of Honor during World War II and then served 30 years in the Illinois House of Representatives. The state-run center, formerly called the Anna Mental Health and Developmental Center, adopted his name in an attempt to honor his contributions to Illinois in 1988. The  name is the only association with our producer.