Focus and Mission
A Call for Reform
The Disability and Guardianship Project was created when investigations of a few individual conservatorship cases in Los Angeles led to audits of dozens of additional cases. The audits showed systematic violations of the rights of adults with intellectual and developmental by the Los Angeles Superior Court and by the attorneys the court appoints to represent respondents.
Our focus then expanded to review conservatorship policies and practices throughout California. This research confirmed statewide civil rights violations that are grounded in bad public policy as well as the failure of judges to follow applicable state and federal laws. Judicial negligence and malfeasance is not being checked or monitored by the executive or legislative branches of government. These ongoing violations of rights not only affect people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, but impact the lives of thousands of seniors and adults with cognitive disabilities caused by illnesses or accidents.
We started receiving communications from people in other states, revealing that civil rights violations are occurring elsewhere. We discovered that guardianship abuses are a major national problem. More than 1.5 million Americans are living under an order of guardianship or conservatorship, with thousands more being added to these state systems each year.
In response to these calls for help, we have
been conducting research, writing reports, publishing commentaries, and filing
complaints with federal, state, and local agencies. The links below
provide more information about the need for reform. Specific solutions
have been proposed.
About Spectrum Institute
A Documentary Film
by Greg Byers