"Rainier School failed to employ sufficient safeguards and supervision to ensure the safety, welfare and rights of its residents are adequately protected," wrote the report's author, Sue A. Gant, a psychologist hired by the Department of Justice.
School administrators and the state Department of Social and Health Services - as they did after the earlier investigation - said the report is largely inaccurate and perhaps colored by a belief that institutions like the Rainier School
have outlived their usefulness.
has a national reputation for wanting to close institutions and has been involved in other states in Department of Justice
court proceedings to close institutions.So she
appears to prefer that people with developmental disabilities don't live in institutions."
In preparing her
76-page report, Gant
made two visits to the school in 2001, observing programs and spending time with employees and patients.She
also reviewed a number of documents, she
Among the findings:
•There was a sharp increase in abuse by residents against other residents during the first three months of 2001 compared to 2000.
•Residents are given medications to control mental illnesses without reliable information they need the medications.
also said residents are at too high a risk of injuring themselves.Gant
referred to a man who repeatedly broke windows at his
job when he
couldn't find an unlocked door to get inside.
sustained significant injuries to his
fingers that required sutures to repair the damage each time," Gant
A resident with no teeth frequently assaulted "his
peers in 2001 by hitting, kicking and 'biting' with his
wrote."Numerous individuals were assaulted multiple times by (the resident)."
DSHS' Brown said too often the report relies on "anecdotal" data and ignores overall trends that show major improvements in treatment.
In 1999, for example, restraints such as straitjackets and leather wrist straps were used more than 1,000 times each month.