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CA: As small riots rage at Coalinga State Hospital, details begin to emerge


Patients at Coalinga State Hospital remained on lockdown Tuesday as a few details began to emerge about violent protests that have erupted since new rules restricting the use of personal electronic devices were put into place.

Since it started this lockdown, the California Department of State Hospitals has released little information on what caused the lockdown, how that cause is being addressed or how long it will be in place and did not respond to The Bee’s questions by deadline Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that Department of State Hospital officials cited lawsuit testimony claiming that a “porn epidemic” exists at the hospital.

“At least 200 Coalinga patients have been involved with the possession or transmission of child pornography and there are typically two or three new child pornography cases reported each month which require investigation,” the Associated Press wrote. “Patients also copy and sell or exchange legal movies and music for profit.”

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  1. Irish

    The Dept of State Hospitals is not telling the truth, and sooner or later the truth will come out. After the US Supreme Court ruled late last year that states could not legally restrict sex offenders from accessing the Internet / social media, the DSH went into panic mode. Why? Because they have been attempting to keep all 1,300 civilian residents at Coalinga State Hospial (DSH-Coalinga) in near incommunicado conditions for years. They are particularly incensed that the 300 or so voters among the patients there recently tipped the scales and helped defeat a local sales tax increase that caused Coalinga city hall to lay off nearly 2 dozen employees, many of them officers and firemen. Coalinga is a small town and many of the workers at the hosp live there or are related or know those who were laid off. It’s gotten very ugly at the hosp between patients and staff since that vote loss last November. So in December DSH rushed thru “emergency rule changes” without notifying anybody during Christmas break with the intent to surprise the patients with confiscation of all electronic property that has even the remotest potential for internet/social media connectivity…in violation of the Sup Ct’s ruling. Now get this. What reason did DHS give for this emergency confiscation? Child porn has been discovered and 2 dozen arrested and 4 prosecuted since 2016. Well, yep, that’s pretty bad I agree. But look at the statistics, that’s less than 1 percent of the population. So, what kicked off the turmoil? Patients are angry that the entire population are getting blanket blame for the actions of a few over several years. They are also angry that the Dept is trying to cover up the fact that a number of staff have bbeen arrested for smuggling child porn into these patients, and not one has yet to be prosecuted. They never tell the media that. Since the lockdown the civil pts have been held incommunicado and prevented from contacting all family, friends or attorneys for nearly a whole week. They are angry about this violation of their civil rights. They have also been kept locked indoors without sun, fresh air or exercise, things even prisoners in SHU or AdSep or Guantanamo are not legally denied…and they are NOT prisoners, most not even on parole, and many registered voters. So, no wonder they are protesting. The staff are not permitting the civil residents to safeguard their own digital personal communications, electronic devices with documents, journals, legal materials and treatment materials, which they are told must all be forfieted. This is a blatant violation of their constitutional rights to privacy and protected communications. But does anyone come to their defense? No. Why. The DSH used two words like a hammer that has successfully closed every mouth opened by the public who would dare to speak in their behalf: child pornography. But the patients are not going to surrender their personal digital property peacefully whether the public or the courts will protect them. Up till now off all state mental hospitals, Coalinga has been the safest for staff and peers as having the least percentage of asssaulta against staff or patients since it was built in 2005…and that’s even while the Dept continues to paint them as “the worst of the worst” violent sexual offenders. Their clarion call is… NO JUSTICE – NO PEACE!

    • David Kennerly, "Childhood Innocence" As An Almost Supernatural Concept.

      Thanks, Irish! We learn tonight that two Detainees have been arrested and charged with “resisting police” at CSH. No staff have been injured as a result of the unrest while two Detainees suffered minor injuries. Still no word on when access to phones will be restored to Detainees who remain incommunicado with the outside world. “2 arrested in unrest at California psychiatric hospital.” I love how they didn’t spell-out “2.”

      • AJ

        They may have been unsure of which spelling 2 use….

        • David Kennerly, "Childhood Innocence" As An Almost Supernatural Concept.

          Why, “too,” of course. It used to be that journalists were pretty reliably great spellers. Those days are gone, along with whatever ethics they may have once had.

    • pgm111

      There needs to be a lawsuit filed at the state or federal level

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