Texas SSLCs

David Martin Davies / TPR News

Texas Matters: This week we explore the current state of Texas state-supported living centers (SSLC), which house people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. How are these centers doing five years after the U.S. Department of Justice discovered inadequate conditions and care? The story of Sean Yates, who escaped from the Corpus Christi SSLC and was later found dead. What is the future of SSLCs in Texas?

David Martin Davies / TPR News

Recently the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission released a report that was highly critical of the Texas state-supported living centers. The system of institutions has a proven track record of providing substandard care and the report says they cost too much money to maintain.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

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.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

Texas state-supported living centers are under a tremendous amount of pressure and scrutiny as state leaders consider where they will fit in the state’s future. And as questions are raised about the substandard quality of medical care that the residents receive at the centers, a recent tragedy in Corpus Christi exposes the issue of neglect.

To hear Ashley Yates talk about her brother Sean – he certainly sounded like one of a kind.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

Five years ago the state of Texas settled a lawsuit with the Department of Justice over the way the state housed and treated some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

The DOJ unearthed conditions at Texas state-supported living centers where mentally disabled residents were found to be neglected, beaten, sexually assaulted and even killed by staff members.

Some are calling for the centers to be finally shut down, but others say that despite their flaws, the centers are needed.