ERIC Number: ED236869
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-May
Reference Count: 0
Factors Affecting Complex Litigation.
Bradley, Valerie J.
The paper addresses ways in which litigation serves a role in the reform of services for mentally disabled children and adults. Effects on deinstitutionalization are emphasized. Benefits of using litigation to secure the rights of mentally retarded persons include public awareness, quality assurance standards for institutions, and the development of new programing strategies. Drawbacks to litigation are also reviewed, including disproportionate allocation of resources into institutional programs; bureaucratic resistance to reforms required by court rulings; polarization of interests, especially among parents and personnel; and legislative backlash. The paper concludes with an analysis of some factors affecting the future of litigation in the field of mental disabilities, notably a diminished willingness to consent and increasing financial pressures and the effect of austerity. Five suggestions for reformers are offered, including pursuing rights based on highly definite legal rules rather than on more open-ended provisions and increasing recruitment of paraprofessionals in public law practice. (CL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Association on Mental Deficiency (Dallas, TX, May 29-June 2, 1983).