the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it has concluded an
investigation into whether the State of South Carolina subjects adults
with serious mental illness (SMI) to unnecessary institutionalization
and serious risk of institutionalization in adult care homes, in
violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Justice Department determined that there is reasonable cause to
believe South Carolina violates the ADA by failing to provide sufficient
community-based services to prevent unnecessary institutionalization of
adults with mental illness. Instead, the State subsidizes their stay in
adult care homes where people have little contact with people without
The Department’s investigation found South Carolina lacks needed
community-based mental health services such as Assertive Community
Treatment, supported employment, permanent supportive housing, intensive
case management, and peer support. These services are provided in
certain parts of the state, but are not sufficiently available to afford
opportunities to avoid or move out of adult care homes and live in the
community. As a result, thousands of adults with mental illness are
segregated in adult care homes for years.
The Justice Department also found that South Carolina can make
reasonable modifications to remedy this discrimination, including
expanding its existing community-based mental health services system.
The Department is committed to working with the State to implement the
necessary reforms and ensure that adults with SMI have the opportunity
to live and work in the community.
To find out more about these findings, visit the Special Litigation Section’s website at justice.gov/crt/special-litigation-section or for more information regarding the ADA, visit ada.gov