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A federal judge ruled that adult homes are unacceptable when it comes to finding the least restrictive housing for people with a mental illness. Within four years all current residents must be afforded a placement in a community residence. This decision on the part of Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of Federal District Court in Brooklyn rejected the state's efforts to slow the process mandated by Judge Garaufis by offering to transfer 1,000 people within six years. At issue are 4,500 people who have been living in punitive, isolated environments, far removed from the intent of least restrictive.

The court ordered that peer services be included as part of the package of assistance and alternatives offered to people who have been consigned to adult homes. These include peer services, " individuals in recovery from mental illness who are trained and paid to help others with mental illness make a transition from living in an institutional setting to a community setting."

The case has been closely watched by disability advocates and the United States Justice Department.

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Phyllis Vine

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