Federal Judge Finds New York State Discriminated Against Mentally Ill

The New York Times reports: "New York State discriminated against thousands of mentally ill people in New York City by leaving them in privately run adult homes, which effectively replaced state-run psychiatric hospitals more than a generation ago but turned out to be little more than institutions themselves, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday."

"The judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, ruled that the state was violating the Americans With Disability Act by housing more than 4,300 mentally ill people in New York City in more than two dozen adult homes." Residents in these facilities had little hope of mingling in the wider community, he said. "The nonprofit group that sued the state had asked Judge Garaufis to tell state officials they could no longer steer mentally ill people into adult homes. He stopped short of that but directed the state to submit a 'remedial plan' by mid-October." The ruling applies to mentally ill people who are not considered dangerous to themselves or others and suggested "that the state would have to begin finding individual apartments or small homes for virtually all adult-home residents who wanted one" (Barron, 9/8).

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