In the News - 2011 Archives

API Violates Patients’ Rights in Handling Patients’ Grievances

July 13, 2011

ALASKA - DLC received complaints of abuse and neglect from two patients at API, both alleging inappropriate conduct by staff.  While DLC was unable to substantiate the patients’ complaints, in the course of its investigation DLC discovered that API had violated these patients’ rights in the handling of the grievances filed by these patients with the facility.   Click here for the full report.

Allegation of Sexual Assault of Prisoner with Disability Spurs Renewed Independent Investigation

June 30, 2011

ALASKA – In October of 2010, the Disability Law Center of Alaska (DLC) launched an investigation into the Department of Corrections Anchorage Correctional Complex facility to determine whether abuse and/or neglect of an inmate with a development disability has occurred and whether the other inmates alleged to have been assaulted have disabilities. The investigation was set in motion immediately on the heels of the Anchorage Daily News story on October 27, 2010 which reported the federal indictment of a prisoner for the alleged sexual assault of three inmates. After the investigation was initiated DLC was requested by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to hold off investigating until the criminal prosecution was complete. Today DLC learned that the criminal prosecution is complete and the offender accused of sexual assault was found guilty of assaulting three inmates.  Click here for more information.


Wells Fargo entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, which requires Wells Fargo to pay certain individuals who experienced disability discrimination when trying to call or visit one of Wells Fargo or Wachovia's banks before May 31, 2011. Click here for more information.

April 15, 2011

ALASKA - The Disability Law Center (DLC) recently initiated an investigation into allegations that individuals detained for involuntary psychiatric evaluation were being held for up to six days before being transported to an appropriate evaluation facility.  These excessive holds without a hearing may violate the individuals’ rights to due process.  Click here to view the full report.

Investigative Report from DLC

March 21, 2011

ALASKA - The Disability Law Center received a report that an individual with no mental illness was being held at Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API).  As a result of the report, the Disability Law Center initiated an investigation as well as legal proceedings to obtain his release and so he could return home.  At the conclusion of the investigation it was determined that API has improperly kept the patient without legal authority.  Click here to view the full report.

Report Finds Exploitation at Work

January 20, 2011

In a report released today, the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) found a total failure of the disability service system to provide quality work for people with disabilities.  The report focuses on the problems with segregated work, sheltered environments and low wages and highlights a massive breakdown between good federal and state policies and their implementation and oversight. “For decades we have worked to ensure federal laws guarantee the right of people with disabilities to live and work in their chosen communities,” said NDRN executive director Curt Decker.  “Yet, our investigation found that many people with disabilities are still being segregated and financially exploited.”  Click here for the full report.

DLC Investigates the Fall and Subsequent Death of Resident from the Sitka Pioneer Home.

January 6, 2011

Anchorage – In August 2009 the Disability Law Center of Alaska (DLC) received a report that an 80-year old resident of the Sitka Pioneer Home had fallen, broken her hip, and died 5 days later in the hospital. The report included an allegation that the nurse first on the scene after the fall failed to conduct an adequate assessment before moving the resident, potentially resulting in additional pain and harm to the resident. During the course of its investigation, DLC found problems with the facility’s system for assessing residents after a fall; the use of certain medications; providing adequate observation and supervision; and the Home’s failure to ensure residents or their representatives consistently received the information necessary to make informed decisions relative to treatment options. DLC’s final report is available by clicking here.