Clients’ Rights Advocate (CRA)

Introduction

In 1999 the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) entered into an Interagency Agreement with the SCDD to provide clients’ rights advocacy services at DDS state-operated facilities.

What are the responsibilities of the CRA?

The CRA is responsible for ensuring that the rights of each resident of a DDS state-operated facility are guaranteed, protected, and asserted.

What are “clients’ rights”?

Like all residents of the United States and California, people with developmental disabilities have the same legal rights and responsibilities guaranteed all other individuals (Lanterman Act § 4502). These rights, including the right to advocacy services, are clearly stated in Title 17 § 50510 and have been incorporated into the DDS state-operated facility’s policies.

What are the rights of people living in residential care (under Title 17 § 50510)?

  1. To keep and be allowed to spend one’s own money for personal and incidental needs.
  2. To keep and wear one’s own clothing.
  3. To keep and use one’s own personal possessions including toiletry articles.
  4. To have access to individual storage space for one’s private use.
  5. To see visitors each day.
  6. To have reasonable access to telephones, both to make and receive confidential calls, and to have calls made for one upon request.
  7. To make and receive unopened correspondence and to have ready access to letter-writing materials, including sufficient postage in the form of United States Postal Stamps.
  8. To refuse electroconvulsive therapy (“ECT”).
  9. To refuse behavior modification techniques which cause pain or trauma.
  10. To refuse brain surgery.
  11. Other rights as specified by administrative regulation of any federal, state, or local agency.

Clients’ rights #1-7 may be denied under certain circumstances. Ask the CRA for help if you think a right has been denied.

What kinds of issues could involve the CRA?

  • The CRA is mandated to investigate all suspected rights violations under Title 17 and the Lanterman Act.
  • The CRA can provide assistance or representation to ensure the resident’s right to due process.
  • The CRA monitors and reviews the facilities’ denial of rights.
  • The CRA provides training and information to center staff, residents and family members on rights.

Who can contact the Clients’ Rights Advocate?

Anyone who has a question, complaint or problem can call the CRA. This could be a resident; their family; advocates; staff; conservators; regional center representatives; or concerned community members.


State-Operated Facility Clients’ Rights Advocates

State-operated Facility CRA Telephone Email
Canyon Springs and Desert STAR
69-696 Ramon Road
Cathedral City, CA 92234
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Robbin Puccio (760) 770-6251 rpuccio@cs.dds.ca.gov
South STAR
2501 Harbor Blvd. Bldg19
Coasta Mesa, CA 92626
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Ross Long (707) 227-0250 ross.long@scdd.ca.gov
Porterville DC and Central STAR
P.O. Box 2000
26501 Avenue 140
Porterville, CA 93258
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Judi Muirhead (A) (707) 227-0250 judi.muirhead@pdc.dds.ca.gov
Headquarters SCDD
3831 North Freeway Blvd., Suite 125
Sacramento, CA 95834
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Holly Bins
CRA/VAS Manager
(408) 834-2458 holly.bins@scdd.ca.gov