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Justice Department Reaches Settlement to Improve Conditions at a Nebraska Developmental Center
Date:6/30/2008

WASHINGTON, June 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Justice Department announced today a settlement with the State of Nebraska concerning the care given to residents of the Beatrice State Developmental Center (BSDC). BSDC is a state-owned and operated residential facility that serves almost 300 persons with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities. The agreement, submitted to and subject to the approval of the U.S. District Court, stems from concerns about conditions and practices at BSDC based on the Department's investigation of the facility, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA).

The State of Nebraska fully cooperated with the Department's investigation. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the State will work to ensure that BSDC residents 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, such as: providing a safe and humane environment with zero tolerance for abuse or neglect of residents; providing adequate medical care, nursing services, and nutritional and physical support, including therapy and communication support; providing adequate psychological and behavioral services and psychiatric care; and ensuring that residents are free from undue bodily restraint. The State will also ensure that each resident is served in the most integrated setting pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Under the terms of the agreement, Nebraska will fund and work with an independent expert who will oversee the State's compliance with the agreement. The agreement contemplates that the State will reach compliance within four years.

"By agreeing to implement a comprehensive and effective remedial plan, Nebraska officials have demonstrated a genuine commitment to address the needs of the State's citizens with developmental disabilities in a positive and constructive manner," said Grac
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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