Georgia Enters Precedent-Setting Settlement Agreement with Department of Justice

United States v. Georgia, N.D. Ga No. 1:10-cv-249-CAP 19-10.pdf

In order to settle the United States Department of Justice lawsuit brought against it under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the State of Georgia agreed on October 19, 2010 to substantially change its service delivery system for both persons with intellectual disabilities and mental illness by emphasizing community-based care over institutional settings. The Settlement Agreement is remarkable in its commitment to institute sweeping changes to the entire developmental disability and mental health service delivery system. Key portions of the agreement include:

For persons with developmental disabilities,

  • stop all admissions to its facilities for persons with intellectual disabilities by July 1, 2011
  • transition its residents with intellectual disabilities to community settings by July 1, 2015
  • apply for 1150 home and community based waivers by July 1, 2015; 750 for those transitioning from state hospitals; 400 to help prevent institutionalization for those currently in the community
  • provide family supports to 2350 families by July 1, 2015
  • establish 6 mobile crisis teams by July 1, 2012
  • establish 12 crisis respite homes by July 1, 2014 to provide respite services to persons with developmental disabilities and their families

For persons with mental illness,

  • serve 9,000 people with serious mental illness in community settings by July 1, 2015. The target population consists of people currently served in state hospitals with frequent readmissions or seen in emergency rooms, including those who are chronically homeless or in and out of jail
  • establish 22 PACT teams by July 1, 2013
  • establish 8 community support teams by July 1, 2014 to provide services to people in their own home and ensure community resources for those who remain in their own home
  • establish 14 intensive case management teams by July 1, 2015
  • hire 10 full-time case managers that will coordinate treatment and support services and assist individuals with accessing community resources
  • develop 45 case management service providers by July 1, 2015 to coordinate treatment and support services and help maintain services and supports already in place
  • establish 6 crisis service centers by July 1, 2015 to provide walk-in psychiatric and counseling services that are clinically staffed 24 hours per day/7 days per week to serve individuals in crises
  • add 3 crisis stabilization programs by July 1, 2014
  • add 35 community based psychiatric hospital beds in non-state community hospitals
  • establish a toll free telephone access system for people to obtain information about community resources
  • establish mobile crisis teams in every county by July 1, 2015
  • establish 18 crisis apartments by July 1, 2015 as an alternative to crisis stabilization programs and psychiatric hospitalization
  • provide supportive housing to 9000 people with serious and persistent mental illness by July 1, 2015
  • provide housing supports to 2000 people ineligible for benefits by July 1, 2015
  • provide bridge funding to 540 people by July 1, 2014 to support their transition to supported housing
  • provide 550 people with supported employment by July 1, 2015
  • provide peer support services to PACT and CST services by July 1, 2014 for an additional 835 people
  • hire one case manager and one transition specialist per state hospital by July 1, 2010.

Georgia will also develop an annual network analysis to assess availability of community supports by July 1, 2012 and develop a quality management system by July 1, 2012 to perform annual quality service reviews of community services under the agreement. Georgia will also fund an independent reviewer to assess the state’s compliance with the Agreement.

Found in DMHL Volume 30 Issue 1