s skippy the bush kangaroo: california's mental hospitals

skippy the bush kangaroo



Friday, December 17, 2010

california's mental hospitals

should not be an extention of the justice system.
napa state hospital, a 135-year-old facility for the mentally ill, sprawls over hundreds of acres in wine country, its grounds dotted with palm, oak and redwood trees.

but in this pastoral setting, an epidemic of violence has scared staff members and patients, leading state legislators to call for emergency financing to help make the hospital safe.

in october, a psychiatric technician was strangled inside the hospital’s “secured treatment area,” where the criminally insane live. last saturday, a rehabilitation therapist sustained four skull fractures when he was assaulted, allegedly by a patient who, days earlier, was accused of attacking a custodian.

in interviews, staff members describe an environment in which predatory patients prey upon the more vulnerable. the secured treatment area, which is surrounded by a fence topped by razor wire, is rife with gang activity, methamphetamine use, pimping and extortion, staff members say. yet, hospital police officers are prohibited from carrying firearms or tasers.

..the department of mental health reports that 92 percent of patients in state mental hospitals were referred by the criminal justice system; 15 years ago it was just 20 percent.- bay citizen

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:59 AM |

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