Our agency works to protect and advance the civil rights of people with disabilities, helps people with disabilities when their rights have been violated, and seeks to ensure that people with disabilities have access to information about their rights.

Every individual is guaranteed certain rights under the United States Constitution, the Texas Constitution and other laws. Some of these rights include:

  • The right to reasonably safe conditions of confinement, including access to adequate medical care and rehabilitation services
  • The right to refuse medication and unwanted medical treatment
  • The right to live in the most integrated setting

Some examples of our work in the area of protection and civil rights include:

  • Investigating allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation of people with disabilities
  • Ensuring that restraint and seclusion are only used in compliance with laws, regulations and best practices
  • Ensuring that the rights of individuals with disabilities who come into contact with law enforcement are protected

DOJ Texas SSLC Monitoring Reports Archive

Featured Resources

Your Legal Rights Under Emergency Commitment

This handout provides the information you need to know about your rights if you are taken to an inpatient mental health facility on an emergency commitment. Continue reading “Your Legal Rights Under Emergency Commitment”

Discharge Rights of Patients in Inpatient Mental Health Facilities

This handout explains what discharge is and the discharge planning rights for patients in inpatient mental health facilities. Continue reading “Discharge Rights of Patients in Inpatient Mental Health Facilities”


Voluntary Patient Rights

This handout explains your rights when seeking voluntary inpatient mental health treatment. Continue reading “Voluntary Patient Rights”

Rights of People Receiving Involuntary Inpatient Mental Health Services

When you’re receiving involuntary inpatient mental health services, some rights can’t be restricted, while some can be by a judge or doctor. Continue reading “Rights of People Receiving Involuntary Inpatient Mental Health Services”

Restraint and Seclusion Guidelines: Rights of People Receiving Behavioral Interventions

If you are placed in a mental health facility, learn about your rights related to restraint and seclusion. Continue reading “Restraint and Seclusion Guidelines: Rights of People Receiving Behavioral Interventions”

Legally Adequate Consent

Learn about the requirements of legally adequate consent under state law, when legally adequate consent is necessary, and who is authorized to give the needed consent for a person with a disability. Continue reading “Legally Adequate Consent”

Suing a Government Entity for an Injury

This handout explains what you must do if you have been hurt by a governmental entity and are thinking about filing a lawsuit. Continue reading “Suing a Government Entity for an Injury”

How to Make a Complaint About Inpatient Mental Health Services

This handout tells you about the complaint process in state hospitals and state centers operated by the Texas Department of State Health Services (“TDSHS”). Continue reading “How to Make a Complaint About Inpatient Mental Health Services”

How to Make an Advance Directive

A Declaration for Mental Health Treatment (also called a “Psychiatric Advance Directive”) allows you to control your mental health treatment if you become unable to make treatment decisions at a later date. Continue reading “How to Make an Advance Directive”

Disability Discrimination in Correctional Facilities

This handout provides information about possible agencies, complaint procedures and deadlines that often apply when a person with a disability has a complaint against a prison, jail or juvenile justice facility. Continue reading “Disability Discrimination in Correctional Facilities”


Warehoused: Inappropriate Institutionalization of Texas Foster Youth

Learn about how foster youth were admitted for five- to seven-day emergency stays in psychiatric hospitals but then remained for months after professionals determined they were ready for discharge. Continue reading “Warehoused: Inappropriate Institutionalization of Texas Foster Youth”

Changing Your Guardianship Without a Lawyer

While it is usually best to have a lawyer to help you, there are situations where changing your guardianship without a lawyer is possible. Learn about asking for a successor guardian or guardianship restoration, modification, and removal in Texas. Continue reading “Changing Your Guardianship Without a Lawyer”