Judge orders state to fix mental health facility deemed unsafe f - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Judge orders state to fix mental health facility deemed unsafe for patients

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SEATTLE, Wash. -

A federal judge ordered the state of Washington to stop sending mentally ill defendants to a new treatment facility in Yakima after learning that the renovated jail poses a safety risk.
    
Lawyers for the defendants had sought a restraining order to stop the Department of Social and Health Services from sending mentally ill defendants to the new facility to receive treatment to have their competency restored.
    
They argued that a former jail was not an appropriate setting for treating the mentally ill, and said the facility hadn't been properly renovated to ensure that patients would not harm themselves or others.
    
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman agreed and granted a modified restraining order against the state. She said the defendants were at risk of irreparable harm by staying there.
    
The state agency said they've begun to make changes to satisfy the judge's concerns so the facility can once again be used to address the competency services problems in the state.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
 

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