Although improvements have been made, the Austin State Supported Living Center is still not meeting the standards set forth by the United States Department of Justice to provide a safe and healthy living environment for the mentally disabled residents who live there.
In the summer of 2009, an independent investigation found that the state-run adult care center was not properly caring for patients and outlined almost 200 different changes that needed to be implemented as soon as possible. Two years later, only a handful of problems have been addressed.
While the state-funded center for the mentally ill has done a better job of documenting cases of abuse and negligence, increased staff pay, decreased staff turnover, and provided additional training to staff, they have a long way to go before federal officials will be happy with the living center. Almost half of the residents require immediate dental attention, while no steps are taken to report when patients harm themselves or others. In addition, staffers are still not properly recording the use of restraints, one of the issues noted in the list of needed improvements.
Many mental health advocates agree that the state-run center is not making appropriate progress, and that an alternative solution may be needed, such as moving some of the patients to smaller group homes.