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Justice Department Files for Immediate Relief Regarding Conditions in Georgia's Hospitals
Date:1/29/2010

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division today announced that it has filed a motion for immediate relief to protect individuals confined in seven state-run psychiatric hospitals in Georgia from the imminent and serious threat of harm to their lives, health and safety. The motion, filed late yesterday, seeks appointment of a monitor who will set binding targets and timetables for reducing the number of residents at the hospitals and expanding appropriate community based services.

A year ago, the state of Georgia and the Justice Department entered into an agreement to ensure that individuals in the hospitals were served in the most appropriate integrated settings and that unlawful conditions in the hospitals were remedied. The agreement was filed in United States v. Georgia, and the parties asked U.S. District Judge Charles A. Pannell Jr. to approve the agreement. However, the court has not yet approved the agreement.

The Justice Department has been monitoring conditions in the hospitals and has found that the facilities continue to be dangerous and that hundreds of individuals who could and should be served in the community remain institutionalized and continue to be exposed to dangerous conditions. Georgia continues to fail to serve patients in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs, and preventable deaths, suicides and assaults continue to occur with alarming frequency in the hospitals.

"States responsible for the care of individuals living in state run facilities have a duty to protect them from harm. Individuals in Georgia's hospitals are being subjected to a widespread pa
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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