Colorado agrees to $1 million settlement over strip searches

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Pueblo Regional Center (Photo: Colorado Department of Human Services)

Pueblo Regional Center (Photo: Colorado Department of Human Services)

PUEBLO, Colo. — Colorado officials have agreed to pay $1 million to the families of 20 developmentally disabled patients who were strip searched without permission from their families or guardians in 2015.

Under the terms of the settlement, the Colorado Department of Human Services has also agreed to train staff on reporting rules, hold regular meetings with families of patients at the Pueblo Regional Center and increase worker pay.

The deal was announced Thursday by attorneys for the families who filed a lawsuit. The settlement would also allow the department to house more patients at the center.

The Pueblo Chieftain reports that 60 patients were strip searched because officials wanted to check for signs of possible abuse. A follow-up investigation by the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office resulted in one charge against a staff member.

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