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From Institutions To Independence, Success or Failure?

Frontline: Right To Fail
Frontline: Right To Fail

Friday 10pm FRONTLINE - Investigative series - RIGHT TO FAIL - After decades in institutions, a schizophrenic man faces violence and death after he is ordered by the court to live on his own.

FRONTLINE and ProPublica Examine New York Residents’ Transition From Institution to Independence.

In 2014, a federal judge ruled that New York State had violated the civil rights of people with severe mental illness by allowing them to languish in adult homes – group housing that had been plagued by allegations of abuse and neglect.

The landmark ruling gave a class of about 4,000 adult home residents the chance to move into their own subsidized and supported apartments, have the freedom to cook in their own kitchens, administer their own medication and budget their own expenses with help from private case management agencies.

The ruling was front-page news, but until now, there’s been little known about how the plan to move people from institutions to independence has actually worked out.

FRONTLINE and ProPublica go inside New York’s supported housing program in a special investigation called "Right To Fail" – exploring human struggles and the complex debate behind giving people with severe mental illness the right to live independently and succeed on one’s own terms with the right support, but also the right to fail.