NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice says it has entered into a court-ordered consent decree with Rhode Island that requires a dramatic overhaul of the employment services the state offers to thousands of residents with mental disabilities.

The settlement was announced Tuesday. It resolves allegations that the state has for years violated the American with Disabilities Act by placing residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities in segregated centers, called "sheltered workshops," instead of giving them the opportunity to find better-paying jobs in the community.

The Justice Department says it is the first statewide settlement of its kind and covers about 3,250 people.

A news conference is scheduled Tuesday morning with officials from the Justice Department and Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee) to discuss the agreement.