FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oklahoma Disability Law Center Launches Investigation into Allegations of Horrendous Abuse at the Robert M. Greer Center.
Oklahoma City (November 17, 2023) – The Oklahoma Disability Law Center (“ODLC”), is the designated Protection and Advocacy (“P&A”) system of Oklahoma. ODLC became aware of the allegation of abuse at the Robert M. Greer Center on November 15, 2023, through a press release from the Enid Police Department. Operating pursuant to a federal mandate and legislation that gives us unique, extensive access to investigate suspected incidents of abuse or neglect at residential and non-residential facilities, both public and private, the P&A is initiating an investigation into the horrendous reports of abuse taking place at Greer.
The Robert M. Greer Center is a short-term treatment facility for individuals who are dually diagnosed with intellectual disabilities and co-occurring mental illness and/or severe behavioral challenges. The license for this facility is held by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. ODLC is in the process of contacting all agencies that are currently initiating investigations into these incidents and is also contacting former and current clients who have resided in this facility. This ongoing investigation will include onsite visits to the facility, record reviews, and interviews with clients and other individuals with information connected to these allegations.
Joy Turner, Director of Investigation and Monitoring for ODLC, expressed the gravity of the situation, stating, "This is a very serious situation; the allegations that we have heard so far are absolutely horrible. We are taking all necessary steps to ensure this situation is thoroughly investigated." Turner encourages anyone with information about abuse at Greer to contact ODLC at 800-880-7755. "Anyone with information about abuse or neglect of a person with a disability, whether at the Greer Center or elsewhere, should report it to our office. All information provided to ODLC is always kept confidential.
In addition to investigative authority, P&A statutes specifically authorize P&A agencies to monitor compliance with respect to the rights and safety of individuals with disabilities. Turner emphasized, "Even if you just suspect abuse or feel that something isn’t right at a facility serving people with disabilities, call us. We can and will have our investigators go out and monitor the facility, taking a closer look at what is happening. It is always better to be proactive and possibly avoid situations like we are seeing at Greer."
ODLC anticipates that this investigation will take several months to conclude. ODLC aims to collaborate with the Department of Human Services to identify and implement changes necessary to prevent future abuse of the vulnerable individuals served at this facility.
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