RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Department of Justice says Virginia needlessly institutionalizes people with developmental disabilities, and that it costs about four times as much as providing mental health treatment in the community.
Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Friday that he had received the results of the department's investigation into the Central Virginia Training Center.
The department determined that Virginia is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide adequate treatment in the community. The investigation says patients at the center are excessively restrained and often held longer than they should be.
McDonnell acknowledged the need for more treatment in the community. He has proposed $30 million to more to more community-based treatment. Legislators currently are considering those proposals.
Here is the full release:
RICHMOND- Yesterday evening, the Administration received the findings from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation of the Central Virginia Training Center (CVTC), regarding the Commonwealth’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Supreme Court decision in the Olmstead case in 1999.
The investigation, which began in 2008, comprehensively examined Virginia's structure for supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The DOJ findings were similar to those released in the 2010 report of the Virginia Office of the Inspector General. DOJ’s findings allege that Virginia is violating ADA requirements ranging from deficiencies in efforts to discharge individuals from training centers to failing in having the appropriate level of community resources and supports. DOJ did commend Governor McDonnell’s commitments made in the 2011 budget amendments. They also cited the Commonwealth’s “amicable and cooperative” posture in addressing outstanding concerns. Staff is currently assessing the findings.
While serving in the Virginia General Assembly, Governor Bob McDonnell was the chief patron of legislation to restructure and move Virginia’s behavioral health system to a community-based model of care. Governor McDonnell has made several important management changes over the last year to address known problems in serving persons with disabilities at Virginia’s training facilities, including Central Virginia Training Center. He has proposed a down payment of $30 million in his amendments to the current budget to begin addressing the extensive concerns in the behavioral health system.
He spoke extensively about the issue in his recent State of the Commonwealth Address, remarking:
“We must also make a better effort to provide every citizen the opportunity to live a full life, regardless of their physical or mental disabilities. Our policy, which I sponsored as a member of this body a decade ago, to move more people from institutions to community based care is a good one, but we are still not moving fast enough toward our goal.
I have proposed a $30 million package of reforms that will strengthen our system of care for persons with disabilities. Virginia must move from serving so many persons in institutions, to one that is at the forefront of providing needed services in less restrictive and less expensive community based settings.”