D.C. Faces Lawsuit for Unnecessarily Institutionalizing Hundreds of Kids

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From The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law: “The Bazelon Center, along with co-counsel Disability Rights DC at University Legal Services (the protection and advocacy agency for the District of Columbia), the National Center for Youth Law, and law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel, filed a class action complaint in federal district court on behalf of hundreds of District of Columbia children who are unnecessarily institutionalized or at serious risk of institutionalization. The complaint challenges widespread failures of the District of Columbia’s children’s mental health system to provide federally required intensive community-based services for children in their own homes, schools, and elsewhere in the community. As a result, the District’s children suffer drastically curtailed life opportunities, cycling in and out of psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric residential treatment facilities that are often hundreds or thousands of miles away from their families, other residential treatment centers, juvenile detention facilities, and group homes.”

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