Lawmakers Look to Stem Spike in Attacks at Mental Hospitals

In response to the growing problem of violence in California state mental hospitals, lawmakers are pressing for changes that will better protect hospital staff. Currently, criminals account for 90 percent of the state mental hospital population in California.

The violence was highlighted by the murder of a psychiatric technician at Napa State Hospital in November. In the second quarter of 2010, 200 attacks on Napa’s hospital staff were reported – double the amount reported in the same period in 2009, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Four hospitals in California have been under federal monitoring since 2006, due to a ruling that was intended to help improve patient care and lessen the prison-like environment in state hospitals. However, during this period, attacks on patients and staff increased.

Read the full story.

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