Regarding “More, better info on ASH could lead to more support” (Dec. 2) by Earl Smith: Mr. Smith infers that the increase in violence at Atascadero State Hospital is due to a change in the population of patients and not the “Enhancement Plan.” How then does Mr. Smith explain away the huge increases in violence, happening not only at ASH but also at Patton, Napa, and Metropolitan State Hospitals, which coincidentally started when the “Enhancement Plan” was implemented?
These hospitals did not experience a change in their patient populations. The plan was enacted without providing extra security for patients and staff, and assault rates have gone through the roof. I do agree with Mr. Smith that the staff members working at these institutions are selflessly doing their very best in “providing care for a population of men and women the community has turned their back on.”
However, employees working the “front lines” at these hospitals also understand that the “Enhancement Plan” is a failure, at a cost of more than $200,000 per “individual served.”