New Federal Investigation Targets Treatment of Institutionalized People With Disabilities

“The federal government has launched a civil rights investigation into the West Virginia Department of Human Resources’ treatment of persons with disabilities who are in the state agency’s care.”

This reporting from West Virginia Public Broadcasting discusses examples of what CripJustice would regard as “medical incarceration” occurring due to a lack of “appropriate placements” for those with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD), and ending up in psychiatric hospitals that they cannot leave, without their consent. The article states the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources Office for Civil Rights (DHHR) Cabinet Secretary Bill Crouch said “the state struggles to have ‘adequate placements’ for people with disabilities in community settings.”

Crouch is quoted: “I’ve talked for several years now about trying to make sure we have adequate placements for individuals in our psychiatric hospitals. I’ve said numerous times […] that no one should live in a psychiatric hospital that shouldn’t have to. We’re looking at making sure we can move folks to an appropriate level of care.”

Click here to read the full article with more specific details about the federal investigation, who’s involved, and what the alleged conditions and treatment people with IDD are being subject to in West Virginia.