Atascadero State Hospital

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Place Atascadero California, (US)
Care System Psychiatric
Hospital Type Forensic psychiatry
Affiliated University Long Beach State University
Emergency Dept. None
Beds 1239
Founded 1954
Website Homepage
See also Hospitals in California


Atascadero State Hospital is located on the central coast of California, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It is an all-male, maximum-security facility, that has patients from all over the state.

Atascadero opened in 1954, as a state run, self-contained public sector forensic psychiatric facility. It is enclosed within a security perimeter, and licensed by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Patients are referred to the hospital by the Superior Court, Board of Prison Terms, or the Department of Corrections.

In 1998, Atascadero won the Ernest A.Codman Award in the Hospital Category.[1]

Commitment categories

  • Incompetent to Stand Trial
  • Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity
  • Department of Corrections patients transferred for evaluation
  • Mentally Disordered Offenders
  • Sexually Violent Predators[2]

Current status

Employees, staff and officers

Atascadero employs a staff of over 1,800, with on-site training programs for a variety of schools, including nurse practitioner programs, clinical psychology internship programs, and psychiatric technician training.

Executive Director of Atascadero is Melvin E. Hunter.


  1. "Atascadero State Hospital". The Joint Commision. Retrieved August 1, 2007.
  2. "Atascadero State Hospital: Legal Commitments". Retrieved August 1 2007. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External links

The Joint Commision