Carolyn Tuft and Joe Mahr of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reviewed thousands of paper and electronic records from the Department of Mental Health and found that "mentally retarded and mentally ill people in Missouri have been sexually assaulted, beaten, injured and left to die by abusive and neglectful caregivers in a system that for years has failed at every level to safeguard them." The investigation uncovered widespread mistreatment in 19 large state institutions and hundreds of smaller group homes supervised by the state across Missouri. There were 2,287 confirmed cases of abuse and neglect of residents since 2000. Of those, 665 resulted in injuries with 21 deaths.
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