October 24, 2015 |
Criminal defendants found incompetent to stand trial in Pennsylvania courts are supposed to be sent to a state hospital for "competency restoration treatment. " Federal courts have ruled that a wait of more than seven days for hospitalization is unconstitutional, according to the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Instead, patients are waiting in county jails for months, and sometimes a year or more, according to a federal lawsuit filed against state officials Thursday by the ACLU.
October 23, 2015 |
THE ACLU OF Pennsylvania is suing the secretary of the state Department of Human Services and two other officials for what it calls a "consistent and continuing failure" to provide adequate mental-health care for people ruled incompetent to stand trial in criminal cases. In the suit, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court, the ACLU rails against the state for having "the longest delays in the country" for competency restoration treatment, which would allow the cases to proceed. It claims the lack of resources violates the patients' rights to due process, as well as the American Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act. "Our clients in this case are the forgotten among the forgotten," said Witold Walczak, the ACLU of Pennsylvania's legal director.
July 10, 2015 |
Hitoshi Thomas Tamaki, 97, of Plymouth Meeting, retired director of the pathology department at the former Montgomery Hospital in Norristown, died Friday, July 3, at home. In 1948, the newly minted Dr. Tamaki was appointed director of pathology at Montgomery Hospital, now Einstein Medical Center Montgomery. He served as president of the hospital's medical staff from 1965 to 1966, and in other leading roles until retiring in 1993. Born in Eatonville, Wash., Dr. Tamaki grew up in Tacoma, where he attended public schools.
December 7, 2014 |
There were many times during Khasiem Carr's tumultuous journey through Pennsylvania's mental health and prison systems when it seemed things couldn't get worse. Then, they generally did. For instance, after two months in solitary confinement at the Bucks County prison, Carr was refusing food and water, and was rushed to the hospital to be treated for dehydration and malnutrition. After more than a year in solitary, he entered a guilty plea in hope of getting out of the hole and into mental-health care in a state prison.
November 30, 2014 |
The name of our town is West Norriton, 40 degrees north latitude, 75 degrees west longitude. Population: about 16,000, give or take a few hundred. It's just across the border from Norristown, the Montgomery County seat. Down there, at the bottom of that sloping cornfield, is the hospital for those with urgent psychiatric troubles. Goes by the name of Montgomery County Emergency Service, MCES for short. Our story begins last spring with a team-building staff retreat. Leading it is Gabriel Nathan, an enthusiastic young man with a theatrical background.
September 25, 2014 |
WHEN KATHLEEN Young came to Philadelphia from a small town in North Carolina to attend nursing school, it had to have been something of a culture shock. But rather than being cowed or changed by the clash of environments, Kathleen adjusted, got married, had five children and reveled in the artistic opportunities available in an urban setting. She brought her Southern charm and graciousness with her, and they never deserted her. Kathleen Troncelliti, as she became after marrying world-renowned surgeon Manrico A. Troncelliti, a tireless volunteer in numerous charitable and civic endeavors, devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, died Sept.
July 19, 2014 |
Police in Pottstown, Lower Salford, and elsewhere are searching for a patient who escaped Thursday morning from the grounds of Norristown State Hospital. Jessie Martinez, 24, was reported missing just before noon and slipped away before police had secured a perimeter, said West Norriton Township Deputy Chief Mike Kelly. Martinez is about 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes, Kelly said. He may be wearing green pants or a green shirt. He had been involuntarily committed to the mental hospital by his mother and "does have some tendencies toward violence," Kelly said.
April 3, 2014 |
For 27 years, Nancy Yoder has lived yards from the spot where a deranged neighbor murdered her brother. She has seen the man's relatives almost daily, at first uncomfortable with the closeness, then angered by their lack of apology, then accepting - even though the killer was never held accountable. On Tuesday, she came within feet of that man, Stefan Szczesniuk, in Chester County Court and heard the word she had been waiting on for decades: Guilty. After hearing it, Yoder said, "I felt more pity than anything.
August 9, 2012 |
Since March 13, when a Philadelphia judge ordered Leo Bullman transferred from a locked criminal psychiatric unit at Norristown State Hospital to a less-restrictive civil-commitment ward, state officials have insisted they have had no beds available. On Wednesday - facing a contempt-of-court hearing with Municipal Court Judge Karen Y. Simmons promising a $1,000-a-day fine for every day Bullman, 68, remained at Norristown's Building 51 - a civil-side bed materialized. "Leo has been moved," said Luna Pattela, a lawyer with the mental health unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, which has represented Bullman in a pending assault charge from a neighborhood dispute.