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Mental Hospitals

February 3, 2006 | Lee Romney, Times Staff Writer
The state Department of Mental Health has agreed to grant substantial raises to nurses and some doctors at California's mental hospitals, where employees say severe staffing shortages have left them overworked and vulnerable to patient assaults. The decision, finalized late Wednesday, follows a December court order mandating an 18% raise for nurses and a 10% raise for doctors in the state's prisons.
February 7, 2013
Re "Prison's revolving door," Editorial, Feb. 5 Crime and arrests in Los Angeles County continue to decline. On the countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee's website, the first annual report on public safety realignment shows recidivism rates lower than expected for people transferred from state prison to county supervision. Yet the same report says the population of L.A. County jails has risen by 22%. Why? In a 2007 study, USC psychiatry professor H. Richard Lamb found that 95% of the severely mentally ill men in the county's Twin Towers jail had been there before.
January 20, 2002
Re "Allaway Was Agitated by Movie, Nurse Testifies," Dec. 11: Did I really read that a nurse claimed that Edward Charles Allaway became "angry and unglued" when he watched "Night of the Living Dead" in 1999? Who is picking the movies for mass murderers who plead insanity? I think I'm a relatively sane guy, but "Night of the Living Dead" freaked me out. What must have Allaway thought? Shouldn't any movie involving murder and/or eating people be banned from mental hospitals? Do we need a government committee to study this?
January 7, 2014
Re "Have you seen my brother standing in the shadows?," Opinion, Jan. 5 Sarah Dusseault's story about her brother' struggle with mental illness and homelessness was heartbreakingly familiar. My sister with schizophrenia has been repeatedly homeless, jailed and hospitalized. We were fortunate, though, to have guardianship and conservatorship awarded in New Mexico. There is no guarantee of stability, but we have some leverage to help her. Simply from a state expense view, keeping our mentally ill out of jails and hospitals saves money.
February 13, 1988
The Times' backhanded support for AB 2678 (Allen bill) which provides an additional 30 days of treatment for the severely mentally ill, makes one question your thinking ("Only Half the Answer," Editorial, Jan. 25) . Yes, I agree that there is a need for additional community-based mental health programs, and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has consistently supported this, just as we have supported the additional treatment for those in need. In fact, our current budget shows that 83% of our mental health funds are providing community-based services.
December 25, 1990
In condemning liberals for removing the mentally ill from hospitals, Isaac ignores the role of conservatives in this tragedy. The court rulings that started de-institutionalizing the mentally ill decreed that these persons were not criminals and therefore could not be imprisoned in hospitals. Either the mentally ill had to be treated for their illnesses, or they had to be freed from confinement. It was the conservatives who decided that proper in-hospital treatment would be too expensive; they would not approve taxes for helping those whom they perhaps believed were really suffering from moral deficiencies rather than from illnesses that were not the patients' fault.
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.
State health authorities launched a comprehensive investigation this month of a private psychiatric hospital in east Hollywood after three male patients in their 30s died within five weeks. The state found "major systems problems" at 61-bed Edgemont Hospital while looking into the deaths, then got federal authorization for a full-scale probe into whether the hospital meets standards for government-funded insurance programs, said Brenda Klutz.
July 9, 1998 | SHAWN HUBLER
California politics are big on outrage. Outrage gets the votes out, loosens the pocketbooks. In a place this unwieldy, you could argue that hot buttons and bogeymen serve a purpose. Still, governance by outrage has a price, and it stinks when you get burned with the bill. The latest case in point is festering, even as you read this, at a jail or mental hospital near you. It was spawned a few years back by an especially effective form of outrage, that of crime victims.
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