Community Care and Public Safety

July 04, 1985

Ventura Superior Court Judge Steven Z. Perren might just as well have released Ron Vandeman completely upon serving his 180 days in jail for the stabbing of his father (June 1).

How unfair to place a dangerous schizophrenic in a community-care facility the remainder of his five-year probationary period.

Community-care facilities are not required to have medical personnel on their premises. The only requirement for supervisors is that they be 18 years old. Patients are not required to be supervised when they leave the facilities.

I only hope Ron Vandeman is not placed in our neighborhood, where we have two community-care facilities within 600 feet of one another. We have already experienced an incident where a patient was out of control in the neighborhood because he refused medication.

Due to privacy laws, we have no assurances the 12 patients living in our neighborhood are not in the same category as Ron Vandeman.

Private community-care facilities are becoming big business. The demand is increasing. As long as people have the money to place the patients in these facilities, we can expect to see more infiltration of mentally disordered into unsuspecting neighborhoods.

If Ron Vandeman's mental health has been proven a threat to his own parents, how responsible was Judge Perren in placing him in a community-care facility?


Newbury Park

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