The bill is based on recommendations made by a task force formed in the wake of the physical and mental abuse of a patient in 2017.
The settlements deal with hepatitis C among those in the state’s prisons and jails and the abuse of a patient at Whiting Forensic Hospital.
A bill would make it easier for people found not guilty by reason of insanity to earn release from Whiting Forensic Hospital.
The report underscores how a stubborn staffing shortage at the state’s sole maximum security psychiatric hospital can erode patient safety.
With vaccines for patients on the horizon, plaintiffs agreed to the case’s dismissal.
Task force co-chair says it will be a “long process” to replace the 50-year-old building.
The Whiting Task Force blocked out eight hours for a public hearing. They only needed one.
Understaffing, a dearth of programming for substance abuse and a shortage of community beds are recurring concerns raised by patients.
Courts’ use of competency exams increased while the criminal docket shrunk between 2015 and 2019.
Another investigation of Whiting Forensic, a state-run psychiatric facility, calls for significant reforms.
“I think the biggest problem that we had was that if we were to give any sort of advice, we’d like to be informed,” Board chairman William Wynne said. “And we were never informed.”
The workers said chronic staffing shortages and forced overtime have created a dangerous situation for both employees and patients.
Hospitals officials told Whiting task force members the number of harmful incidents last month at the maximum security psychiatric facility decreased by almost 60 percent compared to May 2018.
Spurred by urgent demands that horrific abuse at Whiting Forensic never happen again, the state House of Representatives unanimously gave final approval to a series of reforms designed to increase oversight of the facility. The House vote was 148 to 0.
More than a year after the repeated, cruel abuse of a Whiting Forensic patient was captured on videotape, the state Senate approved a bill that would create an independent task force to oversee the maximum security psychiatric facility and would make staff there and other state behavioral health facilities subject to fines or even criminal charges if they fail to report abuse.