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I write in reply to the editorial, "Time to close Southbury Training School," (Aug. 8). I feel the facility should remain open until the current occupants pass on, which is still the current plan.
Yanking 60- to 70-year-old severely mentally ill people out of familiar surroundings, after they have become institutionalized in one facility for almost their entire lives, since early childhood, is tantamount to cruelty. Placing them in new and unfamiliar surroundings at private for-profit facilities with less intense supervision to save money is an invitation for disaster. Hospital employees who have worked directly with the elderly and mentally handicapped can especially appreciate how devastating such a change would be.
Yes, we know Southbury is expensive by modern standards where the new norm has become, "do more with less." So I support the position Sen. John McKinney took in his unsuccessful primary campaign and applaud his compassion for the Southbury residents. They are completely helpless. Let's let them live out the rest of their lives as peacefully and comfortably as possible.