Local Reaction to Lubbock Center's Subpar Ratings

A report released this week says the Lubbock State Supported Living Center has failed a federal deadline for compliancy. But some patient family members say they've never had concerns regarding quality of care.

Phil Crenshaw's son Paul has been at the Lubbock State Supported Living Center for more than three decades.

And, Crenshaw says that in those 30-plus years, he's always been content with his son's care.

"Well, I wouldn't picture it as being perfect, of course," Crenshaw says. "But I can't remember a time where we were very much displeased."

Yet, according to a report released this week, the center (previously known as the Lubbock State School) has failed to meet more than 100 health and safety code compliances.

Back in 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice sued the center, saying conditions were so bad, they violated the patients' constitutional rights.

A DOJ report released this week says that the center currently meets 52 requirements. That's up from it's previous 37. But still more than 100 requirements short of full compliancy.

In response, the advocacy group Disability Rights Texas put out the following statement Tuesday:

"It causes us grave concern that all SSLCs in Texas are still significantly behind where they should be," and that "If a prospective doctor incorrectly answered more than half of the questions on their licensing exam, no one would think twice about not allowing them to practice."

Complaints included frequent staff turnovers and the use of physical restraints. But Crenshaw believes some of the compliancy concerns, such as staff turnover and some use of restraints, are unavoidable in such an institution.

"They're dealing with people like my son, who has an IQ of about 24," he says. "He doesn't understand any rule about staying within the cottage, rather than running aroudn the campus. The staff is dealing with a tremendous challenge on a day to day basis."

And he believes the established standards are not only impossibly high, but in some cases contradictory.

"One of the past superintendents of the school said there was not one day that he shouldn't have been in jail for non-compliance on some of them, as he was trying to meet the rest," Crenshaw recounts. "There are too many committees that have added their requirements and theres no way they could all be met."

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