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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A state-run treatment center for people with developmental disabilities and behavioral challenges is being investigated following a resident’s death and allegations of abuse and understaffing.

State lawmakers ordered the Office of Performance Evaluations, the watchdog arm of the Idaho Legislature, to start an investigation earlier this year into the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center in Nampa, the Idaho Statesman reported Wednesday.

The Nampa facility houses clients who have severe disabilities, with the goal of transitioning them back into the community.

Previous reports from the newspaper found that many residents stay at the center for long periods or cycle in and out.

The evaluation will examine how the treatment center is run, how it is held accountable for providing good care, and its staff workload, qualifications and training.

The center faced an internal investigation last year by the state Department of Health and Welfare into mistreatment of residents. Former employees and patients’ families have threatened lawsuits.

The state settled a lawsuit last year by the mother of a resident who died.

The treatment center did not have the necessary number of workers on staff during about two-thirds of all shifts for about seven months in 2017, with extreme understaffing in late and overnight shifts, the Idaho Statesman previously reported.

The center’s administrator told a state inspector “she was aware of low staffing issues but was not able to implement more staff” because of budget constraints.

The Office of Performance Evaluation is expected to conclude its report next year, said Rakesh Mohan, the office’s director.


Information from: Idaho Statesman,