Patton State Hospital to undergo inspection

11:32 PM PDT on Thursday, September 22, 2005


The U.S. Department of Justice will review Patton State Hospital's treatment of patients as part of a broader examination of the state's mental hospitals, the hospital's top official said Thursday.

Justice Department officials will visit the San Bernardino mental hospital Dec. 12, Patton Executive Director Carlos Luna said.

Justice Department investigators are examining how well the state's four mental hospitals comply with federal rules governing civil rights of institutionalized patients.

In June, the department found widespread deficiencies at Northern California's Napa State Hospital, including failure to protect patients from harm, overuse of restraints and inadequate medical and psychiatric care.

Patton already has begun changing how it provides treatment to patients, Luna said.

Earlier this month, two Patton patients were arrested in connection with the death of their 50-year-old roommate, Robert Lucas.

--Douglas E. Beeman