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Senator pushes for investigation into homes for disabled

Some of our readers may have heard about some frightening reports about maltreatment and abuse at groups homes across the country. Reports in several states, including New York, exposed how people with developmental disabilities have been mistreated and abused in both public and private facilities. In too many cases, death was the result. Now, one U.S. senator is standing up for these individuals and asking the federal government to do the same.

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut is calling upon the federal Department of Health and Human Services to conduct an investigation into group homes for people with developmental disabilities throughout the country. He said a news report in his state prompted him to take action. According to that report, 76 people died in Connecticut alone between 2004 and 2010 due, at least in part, to poor medical treatment, abuse or neglect.

Senator Murphy pleaded with the federal agency to protect the residents of these homes by organizing a nationwide investigation. His efforts have been applauded by disability advocacy groups, one of which says that the government should investigate all types of residences, not just group homes. They say abuse can occur in public facilities, family homes and other environments.

The fact that the abuse of individuals who live with developmental disabilities is an ongoing issue is truly tragic. These people should not have to live in fear for their safety in their own homes. Hopefully the Department of Health and Human Services will back the senator's plan to keep group homes safe for their residents.

Source: Disability Scoop, "Senator Seeks Federal Probe of Group Homes," Michelle Diament, March 6, 2013

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