Rights Protection and Advocacy Services for persons in state facilities have long been a top priority for the Alabama Department of Mental Health. In October 1997, the department greatly enhanced this effort, when the Internal Rights Protection and Advocacy Program officially expanded its role and began providing services to persons being served in community programs that were under contract with the department or programs which were certified by the department.

With a staff of 26 certified advocates working out of five service area offices across the state and in the central administrative offices, the internal advocacy program provides a non-adversarial system of rights protection and advocacy that focuses on rights awareness and prevention of rights violations. These advocates provide Individual Advocacy Services such as information and referral, rights complaint investigations and resolutions, as well as System Advocacy Services such as state facility compliance monitoring, community program certification services, and rights education and training programs.

Dianne Durbin

Dianne Durbin, Director
334-242-3454 or 1-800-367-0955