Consent Decree
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Augusta Mental Health Institute (AMHI) Consent Decree


In 1990 a class action lawsuit was brought on behalf of residents of the Augusta Mental Health Institute after poor conditions and overcrowding led to the deaths of 10 residents of the hospital.  This lawsuit resulted in what is now called the AMHI Consent Decree.  The consent decree is a legally binding agreement between the plaintiffs (specific residents of the Augusta Mental Health Institute) and the defendants (at that time, the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health, the Superintendent of AMHI, and the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Human Services).  It requires the State to establish and maintain a comprehensive mental health system responsive to individual needs.  The terms of the decree are monitored by a court appointed special master.  All people who have been admitted to AMHI since January 1, 1988 are considered “class members” and entitled to the rights of the decree.  People admitted to AMHI (now Riverview Psychiatric Hospital) while the Consent Decree is being implemented, become a “class member” when they are admitted.


Click here to view the latest Consent Decree Report from the Court Master Daniel Wathen.

Click here for more information from the DHHS Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services on the Settlement Agreement, the Plan for meeting the Settlement Agreement requirements, and Quarterly Progress Reports.



Questions about the Decree can be directed to:

  • NAMI Maine 1-800-464-5767, ext. 1,

  • NAMI Maine has prepared an Overview of the AMHI Consent Decree available here


Questions about advocacy services related to the consent decree can be directed to:

  • Disability Rights Maine (1-800-452-1948) an organization that provides protection and advocacy services for eligible people of all ages who have any type of disability.

For questions regarding your rights under the consent decree contact Maine DHHS:

  • Mental Health Region I

                 Paul Coleman (207) 822-2018 (for Class Member questions)

                 Linda Santeramo (207) 822-2172 (for program, contract and grant fund questions)

  • Mental Health Region II

                 Mary Hendricks 287-7217 (for Class Member questions)

                John Bonner (207) 795-4539 (for program, contract and grant fund questions)

  • Mental Health Region III

                 Maynard Jalbert (207) 356-2153

                 Candace Eaton (207) 356-4836 (for program, contract and grant fund questions)