Feds to investigate whether S.C. ‘unnecessarily’ institutionalizes people with mental illnesses

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 5:58 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2022 at 8:11 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division announced on Wednesday that it has opened an investigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act into whether the state of South Carolina subjects adults with mental illness to unnecessary institutionalization and risk of institutionalization in adult care homes.

According to Justice Department officials, the investigation will examine whether South Carolina needlessly segregates individuals with mental illness in adult care homes, known in the State as community residential care facilities, by failing to provide integrated community-based mental health services.

Before the announcement of the investigation, the department said it informed the governor’s office and the attorney general’s office of the investigation.

“People with disabilities have too often been unlawfully isolated in institutions, including state psychiatric hospitals and adult care homes,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division will continue to defend the rights of individuals with mental illness to access the community-based services they need and to participate fully in community living.”

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