WASHINGTON, DC – Is Missouri unnecessarily institutionalizing adults with serious mental illness in skilled nursing facilities? That’s what a federal investigation is trying to find out.
The US Department of Justice announced the investigation today. They opened it under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
According to the federal agency, they will investigate,
- If the state could serve these adult people with serious mental illness in the community with services such as
- supported accommodation,
- affirmed community treatment,
- crisis services and peer support services.
- Also, whether the state’s use of guardianship for people with severe mental illness contributes to unnecessary placements in nursing care facilities.
Guardianship is a process in which a court appoints someone to make certain decisions for a person, often including decisions about where to live.
Prior to the announcement, the department notified state officials of the investigation.
“Disabled people have too often been unlawfully isolated in institutions and deprived of their autonomy,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division will continue to advocate for the rights of people with mental disorders to access the community services they need and to participate fully in community life.”
The US Department of Justice is still investigating the case. If you have relevant information, they encourage you to contact the department by email at Community.Missouri@usdoj.gov or through the Civil Rights Division’s Civil Rights Portal, available at https ://civilrights.justice.gov/.
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