Arnold v. Sarn (1989)

Provided support and consultation to the Arizona Department of Health Services as it complied with a class action lawsuit regarding the provision of community-based services to persons with serious mental illness.

Funding: Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS).

Partners: Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS).

Program Description: After many years of deliberation in the class action suit of Arnold v. Sarn, the Supreme Court of Arizona ruled in 1989 that seriously mentally ill adults had the right to appropriate treatment in their communities, and that the defendants in the case, the State of Arizona and Maricopa County, had failed to provide these services. In the Final Stipulation, the state was ordered to reorganize its health care services according to the "Principles for Persons with a Serious Mental Illness," which focus on dignity, hope, freedom, and timely access to appropriate care. Since 1989, ADHS has undergone regular audits; it reports to a court monitor that tracks its compliance with the initial stipulation and later agreements reached with the plaintiffs.

CABHP's Role: CABHP developed a revision of the Independent Review Process that built upon its strengths while improving the validity and robustness of the data. We worked with the Office of the Court Monitor to improve the information gathering process's clarity, consistency, and efficiency, and to increase the usefulness of the information. In the process of developing the revision, we established protocol, training, and data gathering methods for field reviewers and test them in pilot studies. We also developed a software program for the efficient gathering and analysis of data.

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