Fri., November 20, 2009 2:28pm (EST)

Central State Diverting Patients
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 5 years ago

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga.  —  
Entrance to Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, Georgia
Entrance to Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, Georgia
One of the state's seven psychiatric hospitals is no longer accepting new patients. Following a week long visit by the United States Department of Justice state officials made the decision to quit taking new patients at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville until they can make some changes.

Right now 450 Georgians with mental illness and developmental disabilities live there. Tom Wilson is with the Georgia Department of Health and Developmental Disabilities. He says federal investigators found three main problems.

"One would be patient on patient aggression. Second would be some of the environmental factors with the physical buildings themselves, and then third would be the effectiveness of the treatment models."

Wilson calls the diversion of patient's temporary but open ended, or until the facility can be made safe. But, he says with decades of challenges fixing things won't happen overnight. He says there are no plans to close Central State Hospital.