|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • Home for lawbreakers with mental issues closes

    The transitional housing program in Medford ran out of patients, and therefore, money
  • A transitional housing center in Medford that treated patients who had committed crimes and asserted an insanity defense has been closed because of a lack of business.
    • email print
      Comment
  • A transitional housing center in Medford that treated patients who had committed crimes and asserted an insanity defense has been closed because of a lack of business.
    "We haven't had a patient referred there for three years now," Jackson County Commissioner Don Skundrick said.
    The building at 26 Crater Lake Ave. formerly handled up to five patients who were being treated for mental issues as they attempted to blend back into society.
    Skundrick said the last patient at the center was released recently after undergoing treatment.
    The county still has other opportunities for patients who have committed crimes but are attempting to deal with their mental problems, he said.
    The Hazel Center houses eight patients at a time, and another program supervises six patients who are semi-independent, Skundrick said.
    The Crater Lake building will be converted into offices for mental health care providers, said Harvey Bragg, senior deputy county administrator.
    Bragg said the county received a grant from the state years ago to remodel the building to allow for transitional housing. He said the county will return about $50,000 in grant money to the state because the building will no longer be used for that purpose.
    No jobs have been lost as a result of the changes, Bragg said.
    "We haven't had any patients there, so it's not like we're kicking anybody out," he said.
    The transitional housing program didn't receive enough money from the state and required extra dollars from the county to operate, Bragg said.
    The housing program was overseen by the state Psychiatric Security Review Board.
    Juliet Follansbee, director of PSRB, said she could understand why the county would consider closing the program, but she said the need for transitional housing changes from year to year.
    "I think it's critical to have all levels of mental health support," she said.
    PSRB has jurisdiction over those found guilty of a crime who have asserted an insanity defense. The 10 board members have the authority to commit people to the Oregon State Hospital, release them to community-based transitional programs or release them if they have successfully undergone treatment.
    Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @reporterdm.
Reader Reaction

      calendar