Tuesday, January 17, 2012

DOJ Report: Thousands Unjustly Institutionalized and Isolated in Mississippi

ELLISVILLE, Miss. — A federal investigation of the state’s mental health system may lead to changes in operations at Ellisville State School and other state-operated regional facilities providing comprehensive services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In mid-December, the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sent its investigation findings to former Gov. Haley Barbour which pointed out problems in the state’s mental health system and what steps need to be made to correct them. According to DOJ findings, the mental health system violates the Americans with Disabilities Act by unnecessarily institutionalizing thousands of Mississippians with disabilities or mental illness.
“The Justice Department basically wants us to offer more community based services,” said ESS Director Renee Brett. “They want individuals at Ellisville State School and other mental health facilities across the state to be able to associate more with non-disabled people.”

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