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Politics

New state law addresses violence at Atascadero State Hospital

Governor Brown signed two bills into law Monday that were introduced by local Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian. They're designed to help reduce violence in state hospitals and to tackle their rising costs of running those hospitals.

Both bills have been a long time in the making, with many negotiations according to Achadjian.

Assembly Bill 1340 establishes enhanced treatment programs in the state hospitals, giving staff a safe environment to administer treatment and a place for patients to safely recover. This comes after a violent history of patient attacks in these institutions, including an outburst that injured three patients and four staff members at Atascadero State Hospital this past may. 

"It got to the point, where if you were a care giver you don't want to go to work and you were looking for somewhere else to work, where your safety was of concern," Achadjian said Monday.

The other bill, AB 2625, addresses the growing number of patients considered incompetent to stand trial. Each of these patient costs roughly $200,000 per year for the counties with state hospitals.