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

luding improving medical and mental health care and ensuring that patients are free from undue bodily restraint. The State will also improve discharge planning and ensure that each patient is served in the most integrated setting appropriate.

Today's settlement with the State of Georgia is the result of a cooperative effort by State entities and the Justice Department to reach a settlement that will make meaningful changes to improve the care and treatment of patients at Georgia's seven psychiatric hospitals. This Administration is firmly committed to the vigorous protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.

The Civil Rights Division is authorized to conduct investigations of public psychiatric hospitals under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA). This statute allows the federal government to identify and root out systemic abuses such as those discovered in Georgia. The Civil Rights Division has successfully resolved similar investigations in other in-patient mental health facilities in the District of Columbia, Vermont, and California, among other states. The Civil Rights Division has open investigations of mental health facilities in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Oregon.

CRIPA authorizes the Attorney General to investigate conditions in certain institutions owned or operated by, or on behalf of, state or local governments. These institutions include nursing homes, residential facilities serving people with mental or other developmental disabilities, mental health facilities, jails, prisons, and juvenile justice facilities.

Copies of the settlement documents were filed today in federal court and will be available on the Justice Department Web site upon approval by a federal judge. More information about the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, and the laws it enforces, is available at '/>"/>

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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