Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Capital Area Group Homes Back In The News
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 30, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC--Four residents of Washington, DC group homes have died in the past year in what a court monitor is calling a pattern of neglect, the Washington Post is reporting this week.

The Post is following up on a report by court monitor Elizabeth Jones who claims that organizations, which contract with the district to provide residential supports to people with physical and intellectual disabilities, are failing to adequately protect and care for those residents. Jones also said the deaths "reflect the lack of meaningful safeguards in the system".

Jones' report did not include the names of the three men and one woman who died between November 2004 and September 2005. The Post gave few details except to note that Jones' report described numerous problems, including the failure to monitor diet and nutrition; poor communication between group homes and hospitals; delays in treatment because one person who died did not have a legal guardian; and the failure of the government and the group home operator to check staff qualifications.

Officials said Tuesday that they have shut down one of the homes where two of the four died.

On Wednesday, DC Council member Adrian M. Fenty, who chairs the Committee on Human Services, requested copies of the investigations and scheduled an emergency oversight hearing over the group homes' operations.

"The records should be made available," Fenty said in an interview. "We're a government. If you don't shine light on the government, then you won't get good performance."

Six years ago, Washington Post correspondent Katherine Boo wrote a controversial series of reports on a number of deaths in DC group homes. Entitled "Invisible Lives" and "Invisible Deaths", the series earned Boo a Pulitzer Prize.

"4 Deaths in D.C. Group Homes Raise Concerns About Neglect" (Washington Post)
"D.C. Shuts Group Home Faulted in 2 Deaths" (Washington Post)
"Files Sought on Group Home Deaths" (Washington Post)
"Invisible Lives & Deaths" (Washington Post)


©2018 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.