Today: Behind a razor wire topped 15 foot fence, 250 men (90%) and women patient/prisoners are housed… or as staff calls them - “a motley collection of rapists, killers, cannibals and pedophiles”.
They have either been declared not responsible for their crimes by the courts, awaiting psychiatric competency exams for ongoing trials, or are too violent to be kept at unsecured hospitals for observations.
This place has a pretty bad reputation for high incidents of assaults against staff and the treatment assistants (in general) have the highest workmen’s’ comp claims in the state.
The Security Hospital Treatment Assistants, or SHTAs, are the most vulnerable. They spend their days in constant contact with the patients - watching them, counseling them and jumping in when things go violently wrong. (…) [Office of Mental Health] is in denial. They are attempting to generate stats to show it is less dangerous [when it isn’t].” via
In an effort to treat mentally ill prisoners more like patients, seclusion and restraining policies have largely been discarded, only being used as a last resort. Between 1984-94, 100 people died in restraints… this facility having the highest number of restraint orders implemented in the state.