A historic agreement brought about by the ACLU of Illinois will require state officials to offer residents in "institutions for mental diseases" or IMDs the opportunity to move into community-based settings and was filed Monday in federal court, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The agreement comes in Williams vs. Quinn, a case filed in 2005 that said Illinois violated the civil rights of 4,500 mentally ill people living in IMDs due to unnecessary segregation, among other factors, which violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Download theFact Sheet on Williams v. Quinn.
According to The Associated Press, under the new agreement, the state would help 256 residents move into community housing by the end of one year. By the end of two years, another 384 residents would get help moving.
Benjamin Wolf, associate legal director for the ACLU of Illinois, said this is a momentous day for our clients.
"It also is a good day for the people of Illinois. This agreement moves us from antiquated, failed policies that forced people into these large institutions and embraces the current best practice across the nation of permitting persons with mental illness to live in the most independent setting possible."
The papers filed Monday asked Judge William Hart who is overseeing the case to schedule a "fairness hearing" to consider the specifics of the plan. Once the agreement is approved, the State and the advocates involved on behalf of the class of IMDs residents will move quickly to begin the planning process.