Lawsuit Will Be Filed Over State Hospital

Cheyenne, Wy – An advocacy group for people with
disabilities says it plans to sue over "dangerous conditions" at
the Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston.
Protection and Advocacy System cited an attempted suicide last
week, a suicide in March and last year's death of a patient who
jumped or fell from a State Hospital vehicle on Interstate 80.
Protection and Advocacy claims that patients have access to
"knives and other weapons" and patients and staff are being
assaulted.
The group is based in Cheyenne. It sued the state in 1994 on
behalf of a State Hospital patient, known as Chris S., alleging
inadequacy of appropriate facilities and services for people with
mental illness.
An agreement reached in 2002 required adequate staffing at the
State Hospital, development of community-based mental health
services and increased access to services.
Protection and Advocacy officials say they have been reminding
the state of their duties to make the State Hospital safe for
patients and staff. But they say the state has NOT followed through
on the group's offers to mediate disputes involving conditions at
the hospital.