Coalinga State Hospital
|Coalinga State Hospital|
|Place||Coalinga, California Fresno, California, (US)|
|Affiliated University||State of California|
|See also||Hospitals in California|
Coalinga State Hospital is a state mental hospital in Coalinga, California.
The facility was dedicated on August 24, 2005 and is California’s newest state mental health hospital and the first constructed in the state in more than 50 years. Officials touted the facility as a leading example for mental health service delivery for challenging populations as well as an economic engine for the Central Valley. Coalinga State Hospital began treating patients – mostly sexually violent predators (SVPs) being transferred from Atascadero State Hospital – in early September 2005. The hospital is also home to mental health patients from prisons around the state. Female SVPs are comparatively rare to male SVPs and due to their much smaller numbers will continue to be housed at Patton State Hospital.
About the Facility
The new state hospital began construction in the fall of 2001. The hospital is comprised of 1.2 million gross square feet (gsf) of floor space. This includes 900,000 gsf for clinical services and programs, 158,000 gsf for support services, 75,000 gsf for administration, and 67,000 gsf for plant operations.
The hospital is located at the edge of the Coastal Mountain Range in the heart of California just outside the City of Coalinga. Coalinga is located ten miles west of Interstate 5. It is four hours north of Los Angeles, two hours south of San Francisco, and about one hour southwest of Fresno, California's sixth largest city. The beach communities of Monterey, Morro Bay, and Pismo Beach are within easy driving distance as are the National Parks of Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park , Pinnacles National Monument and Yosemite National Park.
The hospital uses a five-phase treatment program for SVPs that was developed when SVPs were still mostly all treated at Atascadero State Hospital. The rigorous program focuses on helping SVPs manage their impulses, take responsibility for their actions, and see their crimes and victims from a realistic perspective.
Most Patients Refuse Treatment
Patients are committed to Coalinga State Hospital by the superior court of the county they committed their crime in when they are within six months of the end of their prison terms. Currently, California law only allows SVPs to be committed to the hospital for two years, at which time they are entitled to a trial to determine whether they can be released back into the community. Because treatment is optional, three quarters of the patients refuse the treatment program, which is intensive, invasive in terms of privacy, and requires admitting guilt. Those who are released after successfully completing treatment are subject to extensive supervision (including by use of GPS tracking).