Preventing Abuse and Neglect of People with Intellectual Disabilities

Welcome to

"Midewin" (mi-DAY-win) is a Native American term for "medicine lodge" or "place of healing". It is only fitting that our Institute honor that spirit of healing.

It is not news that people with developmental disabilities face, with near certainty, the prospect of abuse, neglect, and exploitation at some point in their lives. That prospect has changed little, if at all, for generations.

More people live in homes within, rather than separated from, their communities. More people report increasing satisfaction with their living arrangements, job opportunities, and economic prospects. Unfortunately, a whole new set of contingencies has been brought into play, contingencies which do not relieve, and in fact complicate, efforts to reduce abuse and neglect.

The National Weather Service issues severe weather watches and warnings. Watches indicate that conditions are favorable for the outbreak of nasty weather; warnings that the tornado is already on the ground.

Those who are concerned with abuse and neglect of vulnerable people will recognize a parallel in the ways in which we confront this problem.

Traditionally, we have responded to the warnings, the fact that abuse of some kind has occurred and rationalize that through good detective work, through effective interrogation methods, and through careful crime scene preservation we will catch one criminal and prevent him/her from doing it again.

The Midewin Institute is formed to focus on the "watches", the signs that conditions are favorable for problems to develop and to develop tools with which we can react before someone gets hurt.

© 2004   Midewin Institute
2505 E. Washington St.
Joliet, IL 60433
(815) 722-0166 phone
(815) 722-2726 fax