Media Advisory, for Immediate Release
Taxpayer Costs Skyrocket Along with Reports of Abuse
People with Developmental Disabilities Urge Gov. Brown to Cut Wasteful Developmental Center Spending in May Budget Revise
Stop Taxpayer Supported Abuse
Sacramento, CA – A coalition of people with developmental disabilities and their advocates are urging Governor Brown to take a stand against wasteful spending and physical abuse in his May Budget Revise by redirecting funding from dilapidated institutions toward community based programs, which offer people with developmental disabilities the high quality care and respect they deserve.
Gov. Brown is proposing an unprecedented budget increase for the State’s decaying Developmental Centers, at the same time the Centers are coming under fire for unprecedented reports of chronic abuse. The Governor’s 2013-14 budget proposal would increase the amount spent on each Developmental Center resident by $57,000 a year, jumping from $356,000 to over $413,000 per person.
Meanwhile, cases of abuse within the Developmental Centers continue to mount. Reports of chronic abuse have prompted extraordinary actions by multiple government agencies, including a citation by the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Decertification by the State Department of Public Health, and a rare recommendation by the State’s independent Legislative Analyst’s Office that the Legislature appoint an Office of Inspector General to oversee the dysfunctional Centers.
“As a California taxpayer I’m outraged, and as a person with a developmental disability I’m repulsed,” said advocate Kiara Hedglins. “It’s unconscionable for the Governor to increase spending on a system that abuses people with developmental disabilities. It’s time for these archaic centers to close and for people with developmental disabilities to receive the quality care they deserve in home-like settings.”
Advocates for people with developmental disabilities are asking Gov. Brown to reconsider his January Budget proposal and begin transitioning people out of the State’s decaying institutions and into community based living arrangements. Studies show the move could save taxpayer money while improving care and the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities.
California Developmental Center Facts
· Developmental Centers are state-run institutions that house Californians with Developmental Disabilities.
· Typical residents include people with autism, cerebral palsy and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.
· The state operates four Developmental Centers and one Community Based Facility. The total population for fiscal year 2012-13 is expected to average 1,544.
· The facilities employ 5,156 people.
· The Developmental Center population declines each year but taxpayer costs per resident skyrocket.
· Taxpayers will spend $413,360 for each Developmental Center resident in fiscal year 2013-14.
RECORD OF ABUSE
· Substantiated abuse cases jumped 43.1% from 2008-2010, even though the overall population dropped 11.9%.
· 327 Reported Abuse Cases from 2006-2012.
· 762 Reported Injuries of “Unknown Origin” from 2006-2012.
· Abuse reports resulted in just 2 arrests from 2006-2012.
· There were 36 cases of reported sexual assault from 2009-2012 but the Developmental Center police force failed to order any standard rape exams.
· The State Department of Public Health decertified several care units at the Sonoma Developmental Center citing dozens of deficiencies that posed immediate threats to the health and safety of center residents.
· The Lanterman Developmental Center was cited by the Civil Rights Division of the United States Justice Department for violating the constitutional rights of people with developmental disabilities.
· In 2012 the California Legislature banned Developmental Centers from accepting new residents, except under very limited circumstances.
From DDS 2013-14 Budget: http://www.dds.ca.gov/Budget/Docs/2013_2014DCNovemberEstimate.pdf
· Former Sonoma Developmental Center resident
· Former Developmental Center Residents