Below is a post from Alpha’s Executive Director Kim Olson.
I am profoundly saddened to share this news with you. The Developmental Centers run by the State of California have had ongoing incidents of abuse, torture and violations of human rights of residents by state employees. California Watch and their investigative reporters have been monitoring and reporting on this abuse. The most recent reports prompted my writing to the Governor, Attorney General, our state representatives and the Director of the Department of Developmental Services. I recently sent a letter to the Santa Barbara News Press, it hasn’t been published yet, but I wanted to share it with you.
Letter to Santa Barbara News Press August 6, 2012
Torture, abuse and violations of human rights in the State of California . . . the perpetrators, state employees at California’s state-run Developmental Centers.
Medical personnel confirmed at least 11 victims, all men with developmental disabilities, had burn marks that indicated they had been tortured by a taser over a period of time. When the perpetrator was identified he was fired, not prosecuted.
It’s time for an honest assessment of whether the State of California should relinquish its role in providing care for over 1700 individuals with developmental disabilities in state institutions. The track record of the Department of Developmental Services suggests that these institutions should be immediately closed. All the residents should be transferred to private care in the community where there is greater oversight, more opportunities to be part of a healthy community and where the residents and family members can be confident that abuse will be prosecuted. Continuing to segregate and isolate individuals with developmental disabilities in institutions exacerbates the potential for abuse.
I urge the Governor to take an active role in protecting the residents in California’s Developmental Centers. I urge him to ensure that the perpetrators of torture, abuse and human rights violations are prosecuted. I urge him to hold the Department of Developmental Services accountable for their failure to fulfill their responsibility to the people they serve, to be safe from torture and abuse.
Alpha Resource Center
of Santa Barbara
Here is a link to the investigative report from California Watch :
I will update you when I receive a response from the state administration. — Kim.