Carlton Palms —a Florida home for people with severe disabilities beset by rapes, rats and abuse — officially shut its doors Saturday, state officials announced.
The last of its 190 residents moved to a new community-based home over the weekend after years of abuse, violence and death perennially plagued the institution.
“Carlton Palms has officially closed,” said Barbara Palmer, who heads the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. “We have successfully transitioned nearly 200 people from an institutional placement into community homes. With this very important move for these individuals, we believe everyone will be much happier, healthier and have an opportunity to thrive in their communities.”
Carlton Palms, run by Bellwether Behavioral Health, was the only Central Florida institution licensed to care for intellectually disabled Floridians with severe behavioral challenges. Over the the last several months, residents have transitioned into smaller, community homes selected by their parents or guardians. Some moved back to their homes in Florida, others, out of state.