June 22, 2023, was the 24th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead v. L.C., in which the Court ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits the unnecessary segregation of people with disabilities.

In honor of the landmark ruling, the Justice Department has released some highlights of its recent Olmstead work in two key areas: securing community-based crisis services to prevent needless hospitalization and criminal justice involvement and securing community-based services that enable children with disabilities to live with their families and go to school with non-disabled peers.

You can read the department’s whole blog post here, but in the meantime, or instead, here are some highlights:

  • In Georgia, the state created 131 mobile crisis teams with statewide coverage, serving both people with serious mental illness and people with developmental disabilities. Recent data shows the teams are dispatched about two thousand times per month, often diverting people from contact with a hospital or the police.
  • In response to Olmstead litigation brought by the department, Mississippi has established mobile crisis teams throughout the state. The state reports that in fiscal year 2022, Mobile Crisis Response Teams received 30,571 total contacts/calls and successfully diverted over 80% of people from hospitalization.
  • To address the unnecessary institutionalization of children with behavioral health disabilities in West Virginia, the department entered into a settlement to expand community-based services and reduce reliance on residential placement. Since then, the state has enrolled hundreds of children in a new Medicaid Waiver program, which includes a wide range of community-based supports including intensive care coordination, in-home therapy, in-home family support, mobile crisis response, independent living/skills building, peer parent support and respite.

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