Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 3/9

Viewpoint errors

The viewpoint “State hospital police need equal legal protection” (March 4) contained several factual errors that bear mentioning. The first concerns the population that Atascadero State Hospital serves. Atascadero State Hospital no longer treats sexually violent predators. This population was transferred to Coalinga State Hospital throughout 2006 and 2007.

In addition, not all the individuals in our care have been declared criminally insane by a court of law. Many individuals are sent to the hospital who are not competent to stand trial and have therefore not yet been tried — an important distinction. Although we do admit mentally ill inmates from correctional settings, we also admit individuals who have already served their prison time but are too dangerous to release to parole, declared not guilty by reason of insanity or have not yet been brought to trial on the charges against them.

Although it is a challenge to treat some of California’s most dangerous persons, many of whom exhibit highly aggressive behavior, the hospital is committed to safety and has implemented many measures to reduce the levels of aggression in the workplace.

On a final note, the viewpoint also incorrectly states that “gassing” is a more common form of attack than physical assault.

Craig Dacus

Public Information Officer, Atascadero State Hospital


Regarding Mark Whipple’s letter about our right to expect anything from our government (“Not a right,” March 5):

He said there was nothing about rights in the Bill of Rights, but he did recognize both we and the government have “God”-given rights.

So why is our government taking God out of all things written in the Bill of Rights? If we and the government would put God back in, this would again be a government by and for the people. If our government and all governments would govern by the Ten Commandments, the world would be a better place and perhaps it would stem the horrific greed our leaders have. Our country deserves better.

Tony Caruso

Grover Beach

Real guts

Joe Holland wants an attorney general with guts (“Ludicrous option,” Feb. 25). In respect to terrorism, we already have one.

Holland may not realize civilian courts have far more success convicting terrorists then military courts. And a super-maximum-security prison is no holiday.

Lately, acting in the best interests of our nation incites tidal waves of ignorance spewed from a misinformed, polarized segment of our population on a daily basis.

Real guts is tying one’s career to doing what’s right while facing organizations that create and then debate contrived facts as a tool to derail said career.

Bradley Zane