Realigning DMH: change name, reduce staff and ‘improve treatment’

Dec 8th, 2011 | By | Category: Realignment, Spotlight
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The state's answer to unsafe conditions at DMH: Change the agency's name and layoff staff. Sound familiar?

California releases plan for overhaul of mental health programs

The proposal would create the Department of State Hospitals, replacing the Department of Mental Health. The new agency would improve treatment, save money and reduce patient violence, officials say.

By Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times

SAN FRANCISCO- California mental health officials on Wednesday detailed plans for a new Department of State Hospitals, a streamlined agency that they said would improve treatment and reduce patient violence at the troubled psychiatric facilities — as well as save money.

The department, which will oversee the state’s five mental hospitals and psychiatric programs at two of its prisons, is expected to replace the Department of Mental Health next year. The spinoff is the result of broader legislative changes intended to pass the department’s other responsibilities — for community mental health care —- down to county governments…

Cliff Allenby, acting director of the current Department of Mental Health, said that long-overdue improvements at the hospitals would come along with the structural change.

A 271-page report by an independent panel commissioned by Allenby last summer — and posted online Wednesday — found organizational and financial problems at the department, as well as issues with patient treatment and aggression. The agency is facing a $120-million budget deficit.

Acting Deputy Director Kathy Gaither called the report “probably more candid than any … that’s come out on any state agency.”

The proposed overhaul, which is subject to negotiations with employee unions, includes the elimination of 600 jobs, diluted staff-to-patient ratios, a rethinking of treatment programs and stronger fiscal oversight. It comes as the hospital system is struggling to emerge from federal oversight imposed five and a half years ago to settle a lawsuit over poor treatment…

Napa psychiatric technician Donna Gross was strangled on the grounds last year by a patient who, although known to be dangerous, was given a pass that allowed him to wander freely to attend mall groups. Napa employees pushed after Gross’ death to have the most dangerous patients placed in a high-security treatment unit with enhanced staffing…(Full text at Los Angeles Times )

 

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7 Comments to “Realigning DMH: change name, reduce staff and ‘improve treatment’”

  1. C/O says:

    So once again not the individuals fault. Its how we run things. Never mind what crime or crimes were commited to get them here. If your violent and crazy or just violent or just crazy. SOMEHOW this is the states fault and we are going to fix it.
    buahahahahahahahahaah man I hope I stay employeed long enough to see this shit back fire and the name get changed again and again.
    It works for night clubs?? lol

  2. BigDaddy says:

    I thought you could just change the name of a department, and then things will work better?

    You know, like when CDC became CDCR and all the inmates learned new skills and jobs and didn’t have to commit crimes anymore.

  3. wapitihunter says:

    What is next? Here it is;

    1. Fire camp inmates get paroled.
    2. Minimum facility inmates go to fire camps.
    3. Twos and threes end up on level one yards.
    4. Fours end up on three yards.
    5. SHU’s non-validated and validated-associates end up on four yards.
    6. Validated members stay in SHU.
    7. Death row gets all sentences commuted.
    8. All of death row is transferred to SHU.

  4. wapitihunter says:

    improved treatment
    ….hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaa….hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhhahahahahahahaha…ha..ha…….hahahahahahah… Stop it, you’re killing me……hahahahahahah

  5. Bob Walsh says:

    Round two of realignment. First they shift (dump) responsibility for criminals onto the locals. Next it is dangerous crazy people. I wonder what the third step will be? Illegal aliens maybe. No, wait, that’s a federal responsibility. I remember now, the president promised they had it covered.