Deinstitutionalization Nationwide


Deinstitutionalization Nationwide — New Mexico

Jackson v. Fort Stanton Hospital & Training School (1992)
  • 1997 – Both institutions were closed and residents were transferred into community-based living
  • 1990 – The Court found that the institutions had violated the rights of the residents
  • 1989 – The trial begins
  • 1987 – The Law Center filed a lawsuit seeking to close two large institutions in New Mexico

In partnership with the advocacy organization Supporters of Developmentally Disabled New Mexicans, we filed a lawsuit in 1987 seeking to close two large, state-run institutions in New Mexico housing 500 people with developmental disabilities. The institutions, Fort Stanton Hospital and Training School and Los Lunas Hospital and Training School, unnecessarily segregated their residents from the community in frequently dangerous conditions.

The lawsuit sought to replace the large institutions with a system of integrated, community-based living arrangements. A group of parents and guardians of a limited number of residents intervened in the lawsuits against us, opposed to mandatory transfers out of the institutions; instead, they sought improvements to the institutions.

Trial began in 1989, and the next year the Court issued a comprehensive Order finding that the state and the institutions had violated the rights of the residents. The order mandated that the parties to submit a plan to correct the numerous institutional deficiencies, and a plan to transfer each resident recommended for community placement out of the institutions.

By 1997, both of the institutions had closed, and the residents had been transferred into community-based living arrangements. We then filed a Joint Stipulation on Disengagement with the state and intervening parent group in order to monitor compliance with the court’s order.