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Mental Hospitals

March 16, 2005 | Myrna Oliver, Times Staff Writer
Opal Marie Petty, the Texas farm girl who spent 51 years wrongly locked away in mental institutions and ultimately won a six-figure verdict for her suffering, has died. She was 86. Petty died of unspecified natural causes Thursday at a hospital in San Angelo, Texas.
May 5, 2006 | Lee Romney, Times Staff Writer
The state mental hospitals in San Bernardino and Atascadero are plagued by widespread problems, including inadequate diagnoses and treatment, improper and excessive medication, and a boilerplate approach to care that leads to unnecessarily prolonged hospitalization, according to scathing investigative findings released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Justice.
April 24, 2007 | Lee Romney and Scott Gold, Times Staff Writers
Saying he was unimpressed with a state plan to address a crippling staff shortage in California's mental hospitals, a U.S. district judge Monday gave the Department of Mental Health another month to submit a more comprehensive solution. In February, Judge Lawrence K. Karlton ordered state mental health officials to produce a plan that would stem the flow of mental health clinicians to better-paying jobs with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
June 6, 2005 | Nancy Wride and Steve Hymon, Times Staff Writers
A state mental hospital in Norwalk targeted in a federal investigation for lapses in patient care has encountered new troubles in recent weeks as five teens fled, an adult patient tried to sexually assault a nurse, and a woman died early Friday after hanging herself at the hospital May 27.
January 14, 2010 | By Lee Romney
A 50-year-old patient at Patton State Hospital has died after hanging himself in his bedroom, officials say, the eighth suicide at the San Bernardino psychiatric facility since the federal government began investigating potential violations of patients' civil rights at state-run mental hospitals in 2002. The Jan. 4 death of Marc Biron, who was described by one fellow patient as "friendly and kind to people," is the third since a consent judgment mandating a wide array of changes was imposed on the hospital in May 2006.
He plowed his high-powered Saab through a crowd of pedestrians near UC Santa Barbara last year, then jumped from his car shouting: "I am the angel of death!" Last month, a jury convicted David Attias of four counts of second-degree murder--a verdict that would have sent the 20-year-old college student to prison for at least half a century. But eight days later, the same Santa Barbara jury found Attias legally insane.
September 25, 2012 | By Victoria Kim and Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times
A U.S. District Court judge Monday released the state's mental hospitals from federal oversight on all but one issue - a significant step in ending a costly six-year reform effort. The extensive court-supervised changes were imposed on four hospitals in 2006 as part of a settlement to a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice. The department alleged that the state was violating patients' civil rights by heavily drugging and improperly restraining them and failing to provide appropriate treatment.
November 22, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
The state's highest court ruled in Albany that convicted sex offenders were wrongly confined in psychiatric facilities after their prison sentences ended. In its 7-0 ruling, the Court of Appeals sent the cases of 12 men who had been held without hearings as psychiatric patients back to a lower court to determine whether each posed a public danger. They were among more than 100 inmates ordered committed to mental hospitals by Gov. George E.
August 27, 2002 | From Times Wire Services
The world's leading psychiatric group agreed Monday to send a mission to China to investigate claims that political dissidents are being treated as mental patients, but it rejected calls for tougher action. Human rights activists had called on the World Psychiatry Assn. to reconsider China's membership if evidence of political abuse of psychology was found.
June 8, 1987 | ANN JAPENGA, Times Staff Writer
Most families have had to tolerate at least one bona fide eccentric--the great aunt with the habit of speaking only in Shakespearean quotes, or the brother-in-law who remains sequestered in his garage assembling perpetual motion machines. Some families cope by having little to do with these odd relations. But those who have ostracized an eccentric in the past might want to reconsider.
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