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Wyatt v. Stickney (1972), a legal case from the U.S. District Court in Alabama, set the minimum standards required for the care and rehabilitation of committed persons with mental health disorders and intellectual disabilities. This landmark case was brought as a class action lawsuit on behalf of patients involuntarily hospitalized at a psychiatric facility, Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. At the time of the suit, the living and treatment conditions in the state hospitals were described as horrible.

By way of background, at the time, Alabama was ranked 50th in the nation on per capita expenditures for mental health services. The state had a cigarette tax to help fund mental health services, but the tax was cut. With decreasing funds for mental health, Bryce Hospital terminated ...

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