Resource: Deinstitutionalization Nationwide

By: The Public Interest Law Center

July 23, 2007

The Public Interest Law Center

In 1990, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) began an investigation of the Arlington Developmental Center, a state-run institution for people with developmental disabilities in Tennessee. DOJ found the conditions in Arlington were dangerous: residents suffered abuse, neglect, inadequate medical care, and a general lack of services. The following year, the Law Center partnered with People First of Tennessee to bring People First v. Arlington, a class action alleging that Arlington’s inhumane conditions violated the rights of its residents. In 1992, DOJ filed a similar lawsuit.