Texas Settles With U.S. Over Humane Treatment of the Mentally Impaired

     AUSTIN (CN) – Texas settled charges that its facilities for the mentally impaired failed to meet national and professional standards for care. In its settlement with the federal government, the state agreed to adopt policies aimed at rooting out abuse and neglect, and to provide better medical care, nutrition and rehabilitation services.

     The state also agreed to stop using “prone” or face-down restraints and to limit its use of restraints to situations requiring crisis intervention.
     The agreement settles a lawsuit the United States filed against Texas, various state officials and the superintendents of 13 state schools and centers for the mentally retarded.
     The United States had accused the defendants of violating the Constitution, the Social Security Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act by departing from professional standards for health care, nutrition and physical management.
     The settlement states requires each facility to provide medical and psychiatric care and nutritional and rehabilitation services that are consistent with generally accepted standards. Each facility must be in compliance with all terms of the agreement within one year.
     The facilities involved in the settlement are the state schools in Abilene, Austin, Brenham, Corpus Christi, Denton, El Paso, Lubbock, Lufkin, Mexia, Richmond, Rio Grande, San Angelo and San Antonio.

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