Monday, June 20, 2011

Ruling Requires Pennsylvania to Move People From Institutions to Community

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Hundreds of institutionalized mentally disabled people must be released to community programs starting this year to meet a settlement that has been struck to end a federal court battle.
The accord is expected to cost the state as yet untold millions of dollars.
It stems from a federal judge’s ruling that the Department of Public Welfare was violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not having a system to allow those people to get out of state-run intermediate care facilities.
"At this point, we don't know what the exact cost might be," DPW spokesman Mike Race said Thursday.
Estimates in the settlement state that at least 300 institutionalized clients statewide already have expressed interest in returning to the community.

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