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2012 Sexual Abuse Investigation at MDC Made Public: The First Judicial District Court ordered the release of a Montana Department of Justice investigative report detailing the sexual abuse investigation conducted between June and October 2010 at the Montana Developmental Center in Boulder. Disability Rights Montana filed a complaint seeking publication of the report. Judge James P. Reynolds approved the release of a redacted version of the report.

Click here to read the press release.

Click here to view and download the Order allowing dissemination of the Report.

Click here to view and download the redacted Report.

Please be aware this report contains information that is sexual, and sometimes graphic, in nature.
2015 MDC Report:

DRM has monitored MDC for more than twenty years, and cites a climate and culture at MDC that perpetuates and tolerates abuse.  The cases cited in the report document slapping, grabbing, squeezing, pulling residents by the ankles, throwing them hard to the ground, kneeling on them, grabbing them by their clothing, and other efforts to control residents.  Abuse and neglect has been substantiated against 27 employees this past year.  

Residents cannot be reassured they are safe when 20 of the 27 staff who engaged in the abusive and neglectful behavior return to work.  MDC Administration is not taking action to keep residents safe.   

MDC is not able to hire and maintain adequately trained staff.  The facility is consistently understaffed which leads to limited treatment and unfavorable conditions.  Today there are at least 22 job vacancies to include direct care and professional staff.  

The average population in 2014 at Montana Developmental Center was 50 residents.  The cost to operate MDC is in excess of $15M per year. 

Adele: A Detainee at the Missoula County Detention Facility: As the designated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities in Montana, Disability Rights Montana is releasing information on a report of abuse and neglect against a person with disability in a Missoula jail. [Published November 12, 2008]
Ben: From Living in a Basement to Weekly Fishing and Camping Trips:

Disability Rights Montana conducted an investigation of a man, Ben, who was locked in a basement. DRM’s investigation revealed that every system in place to ensure people with developmental disabilities are integrated safely in communities, failed. Ben was isolated, hungry, and marginalized by a community provider that was paid $190,000 to provide him housing, meals, and other individualized services. The three entities /people responsible for the ongoing neglect were provided a draft of this report and an opportunity to comment. The comments of Developmental Disabilities Program, Social Security Administration, and Ben’s therapist, Donna Zook, are attached to the report. [January 2015]

DRM's intention is to shine the light on the system’s failures, and advocate and take action to prevent this from happening to people living in community services.

Cora: A Patient at a Montana Hospital: As the designated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities in Montana, Disability Rights Montana investigates when it learns that the withdrawal of life sustaining treatment for a person with a disability is being considered. Montana law is clear as to who and under what circumstances other people get to make those treatment or withdrawal of treatment decisions. This report will detail the events of Cora's end of life decisions and her resulting death. [April 2009]
Kathy R.: A Resident at Kids Behavioral Health, An Investigative Report: Kathy R., a resident at Kids Behavioral Health (KBH) was assaulted and injured by two other female residents. During the investigation it was discovered that there was an environment where many residents and staff did not feel safe, as well as other serious issues regarding the management of the facility, including the adequacy of the current staff levels, the training of the staff, the aggressive behaviors of the significant portion of the residents, and the effects of these factors on the facility compliance with federal and state law regarding safety, seclusion, and restraint. [Published September 2005]
Paul: A Resident at Montana Develomental Center (MDC), Failures of Oversight at MDC: In October 2004, Paul, a teenage boy with autism, was sent to the Montana Developmental Center (MDC) to stabilize. He was there only ten days. When he returned home, his mother observed he had bruises and bites over many parts of his body. He was withdrawn and both his mother and staff at his high school were concerned as he appeared physically and emotionally traumatized after he returned from MDC. This report outlines the incidents where these injuries occurred and the recommendations the we believe would improve the investigative process and prevent future harm to people with disabilities who reside at MDC. [Published April 2006]
T.L.S.: A Case Study of the Wrongful Institutionalization of a Man with a Develomental Disability: T.L.S. was a 45 year old man with mild mental retardation and mental illness who spent over a decade at the Montana Develomental Center in Boulder, Montana. In December 2003, the treatment professionals determined he no longer needed to be in the institution, but nonetheless he was involuntarily ordered to stay for another year. This final court order resulted from a series of failures at nearly every step of the legal process designed to protect his civil rights and prevent unnecessary commitment. Tragically, T.L.S. died in the institution three months later. [Published August 2007]
Withdrawal of Life Sustaining Treatment; Eleven Case Summaries: As the designated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities in Montana, Disability Rights Montana investigates when we learn that the withdrawal of life sustaining treatment for a person with a disability is being considered. Since April 2006, we have investigated eleven such cases. Those eleven investigations are summarized in this report. [April 2009]