Report: Many mentally ill people needlessly in nursing homes
BATON ROUGE - A federal investigation has found that Louisiana unnecessarily isolates and segregates thousands of mentally ill people in costly nursing facilities instead of providing them with community-based services.
In a 30-page letter to Gov. John Bel Edwards last week, the Justice Department says its civil rights division concluded the state violates the Americans with Disabilities Act by relying on nursing facilities to house approximately 4,000 people with serious mental illness.
The department, which opened its investigation in 2014, says many mentally ill residents confined in nursing facilities can and want to live in their own communities.
Kelly Zimmerman, spokeswoman for the state Department of Health, said in an email that the agency will review the department's recommendations and "work with stakeholders and legislators to determine the best path forward."
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
VIDEO: Dad, daughter catch teen as she falls from Six Flags ride
Watson residents say new drainage ditches will do more harm than good
EBR Metro Council to vote on parish-wide smoking ban Wednesday
Video of French Quarter mugging
Man wanted for allegedly stealing televisions from O'Neal Lane Walmart