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Justice Department Reaches Settlement With Georgia Regarding State's Seven Psychiatric Hospitals
Date:1/15/2009

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Justice Department today announced that it has reached a settlement with the State of Georgia regarding the conditions at Georgia's seven psychiatric hospitals. The Department opened its investigation of Georgia's psychiatric hospitals in 2007 and issued findings regarding Georgia Regional Hospital at Atlanta on May 30, 2008. The Department subsequently entered into negotiations regarding remedies the State was required to implement to correct unconstitutional conditions at all the hospitals. The other state facilities involved in today's settlement include: Georgia Regional Hospital at Savannah, Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, Southwestern State Hospital, East Central State Hospital, West Central State Hospital, and Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital at Rome.

"When a state undertakes to care for persons with mental illness and developmental disabilities, it accepts responsibility to protect them from harm," said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "The Department commends Governor Sonny Perdue, State Attorney General Thurbert Baker, and the Georgia Department of Human Resources for their willingness to work aggressively to address the conditions at these seven psychiatric hospitals. The leadership of the State in amicably resolving this matter has been paramount to today's exceptional result on behalf of the people of the State of Georgia. We are pleased that we have cooperatively achieved a settlement agreement that will benefit the lives of persons with mental health problems and developmental disabilities in Georgia's psychiatric hospitals."

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the State will work to ensure that patients at the seven hospitals are safe and receive the care and services necessary to meet their individualized needs. Specifically, the State has agreed to undertake a variety of measures, inc
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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