California’s Department of State Hospitals (formerly called Department of Mental Health)Is once again on the cutting edge of pushing the abuses of the gross misapplication of an obscure Welfare and Institution code that is an obvious violation and affront to normal considerations of constitutional protections and due process rights.
I just recently got wind of Atascadero State Hospital’s participation in this facade of treatment when I read a 2012 case involving someone sent to ASH [Atascadero State Hospital] as an insanity acquittee under Penal Code Section 1026. [People v. Kendrid 140 Cal.Rptr.3d 888 (Cal.app 1 Dist.2012)]. Apparently Kendrid was sent to prison using administrative practices under Welfare and Institution code section 7301.
Section 7301 states: “Whenever, in the opinion of the Director of Mental Health and with approval of the Director of Corrections, any person who has been committed to a state hospital pursuant to provisions of the penal code [who] needs care and treatment under conditions of custodial security which can be better provided within the Department of Corrections, such person may be transferred for such purposes… Persons so transferred shall be subject to the general rules of the director of the Department of Corrections and the facility where they are confined… as if the person transferred had been committed to the Director of Corrections.”
Now it’s perfectly reasonable to see how this would apply to prisoners who may be transferred to the hospital for treatment who may be too dangerous to stay for treatment at the hospital. Prisoners in state hospitals are covered under Welfare and Institutions Code section 7227 and in Penal Code Sections 2684 and 2685.
What is NOT REASONABLE is how the psychiatric profession can BYPASS the entire due process protections to throw someone in prison for what could easily amount to a life sentence. The Kendrid case is a good example because Kendrid was an insanity acquittee who could have potentially been held in the hospital indefinitely under Penal Code 1026; but at least at a hospital Kendrid would have a chance to have his sanity restored. Instead, his year of good behavior in prison meant nothing to the court because they attributed it to being confined in the prison setting.
When I tried to research Section 7301 I could find no other cases that involved an insanity acquittee. I was told of one case involving a 1026 insanity acquittee from Patton State Hospital who was hit with a Section 7301 transfer to prison. He had some help filling out a lawsuit in the Federal Eastern District Court (McElvana v. Mayberg, No.cv00-00105-VAP) but I haven’t seen it in the law books. All of the cases cited in the references to section 7301 deal with people found to be incompetent to stand trial, and almost all of them are from the 1960’s. [such as in re Cathey 12 Cal.Rptr.762] Most of them also focus on who would be responsible for the costs of providing care and treatment, or confinement. The one case that sheds some light on the on the limited scope for section 7301, as intended by the Legislature, was Department of Mental Hygiene v. Hanely 28 Cal.Rprt718 Cal1963)[“Mental Hygiene” was changed to “Mental Health”, which has recently been changed to “State Hospitals”].In the Hanley case the state Supreme Court stated, “we deem it fundamental that only one who has been charged with or convicted of a crime may be made to suffer deprivation of his liberty,or be the subject to other penal sanctions, for that crime.” They also relied on an old case from the United State Supreme Court [Coppage v. Kansas 35 S.Ct.240 (1915)].
This limitation would also make sense because other people committed under some provisions of the penal code are directly stated as being immune to the rules and regulations the the Director of Corrections may come up with for prisoners or parolees. Penal Code Section 5058 directly excludes mentally disordered offenders (MDOs), from the usual prison and parole rules. The MDO scheme is in the Penal Code, starting at Section 2960, and parts of it say that MDO patients have the same rights as civilly committed patients whose stay at the hospital may not be related to the criminal justice system.
The additional violation to ALL persons committed to the hospital who may be sent to Prison under Section 7301 is related to the 13th Amendment prohibition against slavery and indentured servitude except as a punishment for a crime for which the person has been duly convicted. Usual prison rules may include forced labor with little or no payment, as part of the normal program or as part of prison disciplinary procedures.
Allowing Slavery and indentured servitude based ONLY on a psychiatrist’s opinion, is a flashback to psychiatric social engineering during the days of slavery in the 1800s and it SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED as an extension of the Nazxi gulags of World War II.
December 24, 2012 by D.Trebas