Fornsic Pateint Healthcare

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Date Submitted: 09/22/2012 12:36 PM

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A forensic patient is classified as either an individual serving time in one of California’s 33 adult prisons or 5 juvenile facilities, or the civil commitments assigned to one of the five state hospitals ran by California’s Department of Mental Health. My experience has been specifically with forensic patients at Coalinga State Hospital. I was employed as a Senior Psychiatric Technician for DMH for the last 6 years. I dealt primary with civilly committed sexually violent predators. I experienced high levels of burnout in this position. My burnout was not due to working with the violent population that I worked with. My burnout actually was attributed to poor leadership and motivation from administration.

In my experience, there was a very frequent turnover rate of administrators. There was no consistency or structure provided. This was a very potentially dangerous place and the people in charge did not know very much about the particular commitment that they were dealing with.

The California Department of Mental Health as wells as California Department of Corrections is responsible for treating and providing constitutional levels of care to dangerous patients who live with serious mental illness and medical issues. They are responsible for the care and treatment these individuals at the five state mental hospitals.

Atascadero State Hospital was established and running well before Coalinga State Hospital opened in 2005. The purpose for opening Coalinga State Hospital was to remove all of the classified sexually violent predator commitments and house them in their own facility so they could not interact with any other civilly committed mental patients. Atascadero had housed this commitment for more than 20 years and had policies and procedures in place for dealing with these individuals. Issues started to arise when Coalinga administrators did not want to implement any of the policies from Atascadero. In fact they didn’t want to implement any...