The Legal Center - Colorado's Protection & Advocacy System
The Legal Center is a nonprofit organization protecting the human, civil and legal rights of people with disabilities and older people. As Colorado’s Protection and Advocacy System, The Legal Center has authority under federal law to gain access to facilities and records in order to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect. The organization also helps people obtain state and federally funded services, such as special education, mental health services, developmental disabilities services, and vocational rehabilitation. The Legal Center specializes in civil rights and discrimination issues.
The Legal Center promotes systemic change to sustain or improve the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities and senior citizens. The Legal Center provides direct legal representation, education, advocacy, and legislative analysis to promote the independence, self-determination, empowerment and community participation of its clients. Similar organizations exist in every state and territory as part of a national protection and advocacy network.
The Legal Center has played a pivotal role in advancing disability law in Colorado and nationally. We are proud of our success in breaking new legal ground. However, we usually resolve our clients’ objectives without litigation. Some of our most satisfying legal advances have come through empowering people to advocate for themselves.
On July 18 2011, The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People filed a complaint with the United States Department of Justice against the Douglas County School District (DCSD) for violating Section 504 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act in denying equal access to students with disabilities to the school district’s Choice Scholarship Program and public charter school the Choice Scholarship School.
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DENVER-- Presumptively innocent men and women with serious mental illnesses languish in Colorado jails for months awaiting court-ordered mental health evaluations and mental health treatment to so that they can participate in their criminal proceedings, according to a federal lawsuit filed today by the non-profit Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People. The lawsuit alleges that the excessive delays violate the United States Constitution. In some cases, pretrial detainees waited in jail for court-ordered mental health evaluations and treatment longer than they would have otherwise been confined for their alleged offense. The Colorado Department of Human Services and the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP) are named as defendants in the suit.
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