THE WILLOWBROOK CONSENT DECREE: A STUDY OF A SOCIAL REFORM MOVEMENT (NEW YORK)
LAMBERT, PAULA ADRIAN
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The Willowbrook Consent Decree: A Study of a Social Reform Movement analyzes the rise and eventual fragmentation of a movement for reform of retardation care in New York State that centered on the Willowbrook Consent Decree of 1975 (Parisi v. Carey). The dissertation in particular focuses on the role of the Willowbrook Review Panel as a key element of reforms mandated by a Federal court for State-run institutions for the retarded in New York State.;Chapter I provides background material and assumptions including discussion of Armand Mauss's five-stage model of the life-cycle of social movements and a brief history of retardation care in the United States. The chapter's main focus is on relatively recent events leading up to the litigation resulting in the Willowbrook Consent Decree, e.g. the media expose of conditions at the Willowbrook State School and the growth of retardation care reform movements both nationally and in New York proper.;Chapter II delineates the legal content and implications of the Willowbrook Consent Decree, citing legal precedents such as Wyatt v. Stickney. The chapter contains a precis of the Consent Decree document and analyzes processes of reform emanating from the Decree.;Chapter III discusses the several factors within the class-action plaintiff group and their roles in shaping reform; in particular the Review Panel is seen as an institution that incorporates mainly the views of plaintiffs.;Chapter IV explores the relationship of the State of New York to the plaintiffs and Review Panel, indicating difficulties the State encountered fulfilling exacting standards and requirements of the Decree. The chapter examines attitudes of both State administrators and legislators toward the Consent Decree as a whole and toward the Review Panel as an instrument of reform.;Chapter V, on the basis of Mauss's theory, recapitulates the history of interactions between State and Review Panel. All five chapters, particularly III, IV and V, make use of data from personal interviews with major actors in events relating to the Willowbrook Consent Decree including attorneys, parent/plaintiffs, Review Panel members and staff, New York State retardation care administrators, and New York State legislators.
- Theses and Dissertations