By MARTHA WAGGONER
RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- The US Justice Department says North Carolina must find homes for the mentally ill in communities and stop housing them in adult care homes where residents describe their lives as regimented and boring.
In a letter sent Thursday to state officials, the DOJ says its representatives toured adult care homes in March and April, talking with residents who said they wanted to become members of their communities. The letter says the state agrees supportive housing is preferred but still relies on institutional housing.
The DOJ investigation arose from a complaint filed last year by the advocacy group Disability Rights North Carolina. A spokesman says DOJ's letter is proof that the state can do a better job of taking care of the mentally ill.
State officials are reviewing the letter.
Gary D. Robertson in Raleigh contributed to this story.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)