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California's conservatorship program proposes changes after Spears and new investigation


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The California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) announced new actions this week to improve the system for individuals who are intellectually disabled and conserved by the state, though disability rights advocates say these reforms don’t go far enough. 

The department currently serves as the court-appointed conservator for 413 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the state. About 57,000 people have reported a conservator to DDS regional centers across the state, though DDS does not serve as the conservator in these cases. 

The announcement from the department came days before ABC 10 released the first of a multi-part docuseries revealing failures of the department’s conservatorship system. The first part of the series was released Thursday night, telling the story of a family whose son was taken by DDS and placed under a limited conservatorship. 

Conservatorships were brought into the national spotlight most recently when pop star Britney Spears shared her story about living under a conservatorship, which exposed the control her father, Jamie Spears, had over many aspects of her life. 

Disability rights advocates say Spears’ experience with conservatorship and her story shed a spotlight on what many experience in the conservatorship system. 

“While Britney's fame may be unique, her experience in the current conservatorship system is not,” Will Leiner, a managing attorney in Disability Rights California’s legal advocacy group, told The Center Square. “Many in the disability community, including Disability Rights California, have spoken out for a long time about the harms of conservatorship – the apathy and ease in which rights are taken away in almost every case.”

Leiner added that Spears demonstrated “how easily people can become trapped in a system that strips away their fundamental civil rights to choose how their life unfolds and how difficult it is to escape from that system.” 

Mark said that’s part of the reason that Disability Voices believes DDS’ reforms “don’t go far enough” and further changes through AB 1663 are needed. 

Ultimately, Mark said Disability Voices believe DDS should not be in the position where it can be the conservator of anyone. 

“We're never going to get to the right place until we eliminate the possibility that regional centers can conserve people and that we find alternatives for people, whether it's family members, or community folks or legal services, lawyers or people who are independent and act as the advocates for people with disabilities,” Mark said. 

 

🔴SOURCE:TheCenterSquare

 

 

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the only change it needs is abolishment. laws were already broken to trap britney and enslave her for 13 years. what change do they think is going to help criminals breaking the law to get what they want?

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1 hour ago, easy said:

the only change it needs is abolishment. laws were already broken to trap britney and enslave her for 13 years. what change do they think is going to help criminals breaking the law to get what they want?

I agree with you.💖
although this is a business , and many powerful people benefit from the suffering of many.

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16 minutes ago, Headed Peckerhead said:

I agree with you.💖
although this is a business , and many powerful people benefit from the suffering of many.

yup! that's why freebritney needs to keep being louder about abolishment, not change. they think if they say they're gonna make changes, and maybe even do so, it will quiet us down and make us forget. so far, they're not wrong. the "leaders" of freebritney are all on board for change 🙄

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