According to Roanoke news, an investigation by the United States Department of Justice has found that the state of Virginia is in violation of the federal disabilities act. Feds are calling for the state to remove disabled individuals out of the institutions and for these individuals to be moved into a less restrictive setting.
Bill Hazel, Secretary of Health and Human Services finally received the results on Thursday, February 10th, 2010 for the investigation. The investigation, which began in 2008, found that the civil rights of Central Virginia Training Center residents were indeed violated. Though the investigation was conducted at the Lynchburg location, the violation was expanded and included all training centers in the state.
Unfortunately, Hazel noted that he felt there were no surprises in the findings. He also added that state officials need to both increase the number of community-based services for disabled individuals and also make improvements at the state training centers for all residents in order to keep them safe.
A $30 million dollar “down payment” was included by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell for this year to start making improvements to the state’s system. This funding would go toward helping people living in the communities, improving crisis stabilization and it would also put money toward the training centers for the necessary improvements.
The landmark 1999 Olmstead decision by the Supreme Court is enforced by the Justice Department. The Olmstead decision stated that unnecessary institutionalization of disabled individuals is indeed a form of discrimination.