In 1993, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) notified the State of Wisconsin, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. §1997, that it was commencing an investigation into conditions at the Southern Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled ("SWC"), in Union Grove, and the Central Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled ("CWC"), in Madison, Wisconsin.
Following investigative tours of both facilities by the DOJ and its experts, the DOJ sent its initial findings letter on to the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) on July 16, 1993.
The DOJ re-toured the facilities in April of 1994 and submitted it supplemental finds letter in September 1994. In that letter, the DOJ detailed the deficiencies it found in both institutions, which included:
1. Dangerously deficient medical care
2. Inadequate administration and monitoring of psychotropic medications and psychiatric services
3. Inadequate supervision resulting in harm and injuries to residents
4. Psychology services which deviated from Accepted Professional Standards
5. Institutional environments that failed to meet the needs of the residents.
Negotiations followed between the DOJ and the DHSS, which resulted in an agreed resolution of the deficiencies uncovered by the DOJ at both institutions.
On April 4, 1997, the DOJ filed a lawsuit pursuant to CRIPA in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, along with a proposed Settlement Agreement entered into by the parties. On April 10, 1997, the District Court (Judge Barbara B. Crabb) approved the Settlement Agreement. The Agreement called for monitoring of defendants' compliance by a panel of joint experts in the fields of psychology/habilitation, developmental medicine (with expertise in neurology) and psychiatry. By its terms, the Agreement was set to terminate after the third annual inspection tour of the joint experts, if the experts determined that the defendants were in compliance.
In 1998, the U.S. apparently found non-compliance, and filed a motion on February 18 to enforce the settlement agreement. The state opposed that motion, but the Court granted it on April 13, 1998. In November, the parties entered a joint stipulation scheduling their experts' annual evaluatino of compliance. There's nothing else in the docket until a joint motion to dismiss the matter in February 2006, which was granted by the Court. Dan Dalton - 03/19/2007