Settlement reached in lawsuit over mentally ill

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A class-action lawsuit agreement is set to require Illinois to help thousands of residents move out of large mental institutions and provide them support services.

A class-action lawsuit agreement is set to require Illinois to help thousands of residents move out of large mental institutions and provide them support services. The agreement is expected to be filed in court Monday. If approved by a judge, the state would have five years to help residents transition to apartments and small homes. Advocates for the mentally ill are hailing it as a landmark that will save the state money. The lawsuit was filed in 2005 by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups. It claimed Illinois violates the civil rights of 4,500 mentally ill people living in 25 facilities. One plaintiff, 51-one-year-old Gilbert Parham, lives in a Chicago nursing home. He says he wants to find a place of his own and get a job. AP

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