Last month a bi-partisan panel of state legislators recommended that nearly half of Texas' state-supported living centers (SSLC) be closed.
The institutions are meant as locked-down homes for the mentally disabled who need 24 hour care or, in some cases, have broken the law. But the facilities themselves have been accused of breaking the law; from neglect and improper care to assault.
"The Source" first brought the facilities' troubles to light in April as they approached the end of their five-year agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, which had censured them for being out of compliance with federal standards.
The deal with DOJ was supposed to bring them back into compliance, but five years and millions of dollars later, they are still missing the mark at every one of the state's 13 state homes, according to their federally mandated inspectors.
Host David Martin Davies produced a three-part series on the SSLCs for Texas Public Radio running this week.
As the state considers whether or not to close six facilities, the public is divided, even among parents of the mentally disabled, on the future of these institutions. Some are calling for the closure of all the facilities instead wanting more group homes, while others advocate for more options for their kids including locked-down facilities.
- Susan Payne, president of Parent Association for the Retarded of Texas
- Joe Tate, policy specialist for Community NOW!
*This is the first segment in the June 5 edition of The Source, which airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM. Audio from this show will be posted by 5:30 p.m.