On April 27, 2022, the district court found the State of New Mexico finally achieved compliance with a 2019 settlement agreement and dismissed the case of Jackson v. Los Lunas Community Program. The class action litigation was originally filed in 1987 on behalf of hundreds of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities who lived in the state’s two public institutions – the Fort Stanton and Los Lunas State Schools and Hospitals. After an almost a year-long trial, the court found numerous violations of the Constitution and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and issued a sweeping remedial order. Within ten years, the State had closed both institutions and transitioned all persons to integrated community settings. The State also entered several settlement agreements that proscribed the design and implementation of a national model for community services. After years of efforts by CPR, Disability Rights New Mexico, and several local private attorneys to secure compliance with these agreements, the court finally found that the federal law violations had been cured, that the provisions of the agreements had been satisfied, and that all class members were now living in integrated, safe and appropriate settings.
As a result of CPR’s and its partners’ advocacy in this longstanding case, New Mexico closed all of its institutions; allowed everyone to live in integrated settings in the community; dramatically expanded provider capacity and competency; created rules and rights to respect people’s choices and dignity; and developed safeguards that are dramatic improvements over those that existed twenty years ago even after the facilities were shuttered.