Court to Hear Status of 2014 Consent Decree in Rhode Island

A landmark federal consent decree ordering the state of Rhode Island to move people with developmental disabilities from sheltered workshops toward community-based employment will mark its second anniversary in April. 

What has been accomplished? What remains to be done? 

Tuesday  Jan. 26, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell is scheduled to hear a status report on the order – the first decree of its kind in the nation. Oregon entered into a similar agreement in September, 2015.

An investigation of the Civil Rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice found that segregating Rhode Island residents with disabilities violated the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Olmstead decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. 

In 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that keeping two developmentally disabled Georgia women in a mental hospital for years after they finished their treatment violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

In Providence on Tuesday, McConnell is expected to preside in an open session at 11 a.m. 
The U.S. District Court has jurisdiction over the case through June 30, 2024, with an independent monitor, Charles Moseley, given broad authority to investigate and verify details of implementation.