St. Peter hospital fined for abuse of mentally ill

Published 7:37 am Sunday, December 25, 2011

ST. PETER — A state investigation has resulted in fines against a hospital for violating rules in caring for mentally ill patients.

A yearlong investigation by the Human Services Department, which oversees the Minnesota Security Hospital, found staff repeatedly violated rules about patient care and in one case forced a patient to sleep on a concrete slab for 25 nights.

The hospital houses 220 of the state’s most dangerous mentally ill patients who have been civilly committed by a judge. Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson says none of the employees accused of abuse have been fired. Jesson said that there needs to be more training and less restraint.

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The hospital’s license has been placed on a conditional status for two years and a $2,200 fine was levied, the most allowed by law.