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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 8, 2006 | Lee Romney, Times Staff Writer
By the time most colleagues heard the emergency alert, Wahida Abdeen-Poncelot was unconscious, her blood pooling beneath her. Her head was gashed, a kneecap shattered. The diminutive psychiatric technician had just worked a double shift at Atascadero State Hospital, a mental institution for patients funneled through the criminal justice system. As she headed for the door of her unit that November night, a patient slammed her against a wall.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 2013 | By Paige St. John
Doctors at a second state psychiatric hospital have complained that staffing shortages are so severe that the care of patients and safety of workers are at risk. In an April 19 letter to state hospital officials, psychiatric staffers at Atascadero State Hospital raise "grave concern" over what they called an "increasingly severe shortage of psychiatrists at the hospital. " The letter was provided recently to The Times. As a result, the doctors state, psychiatrists are now required to work shifts covering up to four units with a total of 150 severely ill psychiatric patients, four times higher than the standard workload.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 1994
A UC Irvine professor has been appointed to the Atascadero State Hospital Advisory Board, Gov. Pete Wilson announced Tuesday. Raymond W. Novaco, a professor of psychology and social behavior, was one of two people appointed to the board. The other was Lois R. Turner, 69, of Half Moon Bay. As part of his academic research, Novaco developed programs for the treatment of clinical anger and aggression that are now used worldwide.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 30, 2012 | By Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times
Charles Anthony Edwards III has spent his adult life cycling through prisons and state psychiatric hospitals. Calm and witty when well, the San Francisco native also was known to lash out: beating his mother and threatening to kill family members and strangers. When paroled in November 2010, he was diverted to Atascadero State Hospital. California prison officials had determined that the nature of Edwards' schizophrenia made him too dangerous for release. His return to society needed to be regimented and supervised.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 20, 1994 | From Associated Press
A former janitor who shot and killed seven people in a 1976 rampage in the library at Cal State Fullerton was denied release from a state psychiatric hospital by a judge Tuesday. Superior Court Judge James Jackman denied a petition by Edward Charles Allaway to have his treatment program declared unconstitutional. But the judge ordered officials at Atascadero State Hospital to develop a new treatment program for Allaway, who was found innocent of the murders by reason of insanity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 2013 | By Paige St. John
Doctors at a second state psychiatric hospital have complained that staffing shortages are so severe that the care of patients and safety of workers are at risk. In an April 19 letter to state hospital officials, psychiatric staffers at Atascadero State Hospital raise "grave concern" over what they called an "increasingly severe shortage of psychiatrists at the hospital. " The letter was provided recently to The Times. As a result, the doctors state, psychiatrists are now required to work shifts covering up to four units with a total of 150 severely ill psychiatric patients, four times higher than the standard workload.
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June 13, 1992 | From a Times Staff Writer
Edward Charles Allaway, a janitor who killed seven people in a 1976 shooting rampage at Cal State Fullerton, is too dangerous to be released from a state mental hospital, an Orange County Superior Court judge ruled Friday. "I believe that the defendant is a danger to himself and others at this time," said Judge Donald A. McCartin in denying Allaway's petition to be placed in an outpatient therapy program, the first step toward freedom. Despite his ruling, McCartin offered Allaway hope.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 13, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
A convicted child molester locked up in a state mental facility under the state's law on sexually violent predators wants Santa Cruz County to pay for his castration. Gregory Donald Grant, committed to Atascadero State Hospital since 1998, told a judge Thursday that he wants the county to pay to have his testicles removed so his chances for parole would improve. County spokeswoman Dinah Phillips said the county is researching the matter. Deputy Dist. Atty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 1, 1995 | LILY DIZON
A Cal State Fullerton janitor who went on a shooting rampage in 1976, killing seven in Orange County's worst mass slaying, must remain institutionalized, a judge ruled Friday. Edward Charles Allaway, who was found not guilty of the killings by reason of insanity, lost his petition for release when Superior Court Judge Eileen C. Moore ruled that he did not prove he no longer poses a threat to the community.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 20, 1986
An Oxnard man was sentenced to 21 years in state prison for the sexual assault of four mentally and emotionally disabled women at Camarillo State Hospital where he worked as a janitor. George Baker, 26, was found guilty by a jury last month on seven sexual assault charges and three charges of burglary with the intent to commit rape. Baker, who claimed he was a victim of mistaken identity, was sentenced Tuesday by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Joe Hadden.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 15, 2011 | By John Hoeffel, Los Angeles Times
Two California mental hospitals have been released from federal oversight, ending a five-year court-ordered reform effort that implemented major changes in patient treatment. Atascadero State Hospital and Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino will no longer be subject to a consent judgment on patient care that state and federal officials reached in 2006, according to an order issued Monday by a federal judge in Los Angeles. But Chief U.S District Court Judge Audrey B. Collins extended the consent judgment until Dec. 2 for two other hospitals — Napa State Hospital and Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 1, 2011 | By Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times
For years, the number of patients in the state's mental hospitals who have committed crimes has been rising. Today, they represent more than 90% of the population. That dramatic trend has brought an increasing level of violence to the hospitals, including vicious attacks on patients and hospital employees.?? As assaults rose, staff members privately urged state officials to improve security at the hospitals to no avail, documents show. But the slaying of a Napa State Hospital psychiatric technician two months ago has emboldened angry employees to go public with their demands.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2008 | Lee Romney, Times Staff Writer
When Lawrence Paul Rael was involuntarily committed to Atascadero State Hospital 10 years ago, his parents considered the placement appropriate. Born prematurely and with a severe hearing loss, Rael had been in and out of mental health facilities from the time he was a child, with a tentative diagnosis of autism. At 18, he molested two boys and was sent to prison and then to Atascadero.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Police say a nephew of the Fresno police chief has been arrested on suspicion of selling cocaine and OxyContin in nearby Clovis. Clovis police say 27-year-old Damon Dyer was arrested March 26 at a traffic stop in Fresno after a month-and-a-half-long investigation. Dyer is the nephew of Chief Jerry Dyer and the son of Fresno Police Officer Diane Dyer. Damon Dyer pleaded not guilty Tuesday to eight felony drug charges, including narcotics sales, possession of prescription medication and steroids possession.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 4, 2008 | David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
A 68-year-old pedophile who preyed on young boys should remain in a state mental facility because he is "not curable," a prosecutor said in opening statements to an Orange County jury Thursday. Sid Landau "has no boundaries" when it comes to children and deserves to stay in state custody where he has been housed for the last seven years and continue treatment, said prosecutor Amy Pope. Landau has admitted to abusing 10 boys.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 2007 | Lee Romney and Scott Gold, Times Staff Writers
In a compromise greeted with joy by some staff at the state's beleaguered mental hospitals, a federal judge has ordered significant pay raises for all clinicians who treat patients transferred there for care from state prisons. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton late Thursday ordered the pay of the mental health workers raised to within 5% of the salaries earned by their counterparts in the prisons.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 16, 1998
Shawn Hubler's July 9 column on sexually violent predators was right on target. As a retired state employee who held an executive position at Atascadero State Hospital, I see the process of sending SVPs to state hospitals such as Atascadero as an easy way to make points with the public and further punish criminals. However, the cost to the mental health system in California is outrageous. Before the SVPs entered the mental health system, state hospitals had become treatment/ research centers for the most difficult-to-treat mentally ill. Delegations from other states and countries visited Atascadero to see the quality of treatment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 1992 | RENE LYNCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Cal State Fullerton janitor who went berserk in 1976, shooting nine people and killing seven in Orange County's worst mass slaying, has been returned to the state's maximum-security mental hospital, officials said Wednesday. Edward Charles Allaway, 54, was sent back to Atascadero State Hospital after an evaluation found he was not an "appropriate candidate" for treatment at Napa State Hospital, a lower-security facility for individuals making the transfer back into society, officials said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 22, 2007 | Lee Romney and Scott Gold, Times Staff Writers
A U.S. district judge Monday ordered the state Department of Mental Health to raise salaries for psychiatrists in an effort to reverse an exodus of clinicians from the beleaguered state hospitals to higher-paying prison jobs. The brief hearing in the Sacramento courtroom of Lawrence K. Karlton came as part of a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of the state's mentally ill prisoners, the sickest of whom receive crucial care in the state hospitals.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2007 | Scott Gold and Lee Romney, Times Staff Writers
State-employed psychiatric technicians, psychologists and other healthcare workers are readying a series of demonstrations designed to draw attention to California's mental hospitals, which are beset with a staffing crisis that employees contend is eroding safety and patient care. Members of the California Assn.
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