THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WITH THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
In August of 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice began an investigation of Central Virginia Training Center, related to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act. In 2010, the DOJ expanded its investigation to focus on the Commonwealth’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision which requires that persons be served in the most integrated settings consistent with their needs and desires. In early 2011, the DOJ submitted its findings to the Commonwealth, concluding that Virginia does not serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the most integrated settings that meet their needs.
Rather than pursue protracted and costly litigation, the Commonwealth entered into negotiations with the DOJ. In January of 2012, a settlement agreement was reached. The agreement mandates that the Commonwealth transition its services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities from segregated to integrated environments.
The major components of the settlement include:
- increasing the number of Medicaid waiver slots to allow more people to access community-based services,
- providing for group homes of no more than 4 residents,
- transitioning from sheltered workshops to community-based supported employment,
- transitioning from center-based day support programs to integrated community-based programs.
An independent reviewer monitors the Commonwealth’s progress with the settlement agreement at regular intervals. More information about the DOJ Settlement Agreement and the independent reviewer’s reports can be found here.