Friday, December 26, 2008

Betrayal of Our Young Psychiatric Patients


We believe that the use of pepper spray on young psychiatric patients is wrong and should be condemned by the civilized world.

DCF runs Riverview in Middletown, the state's only mental hospital for children up to the age of 17. In each instance, staff at Riverview called in police from Connecticut Valley Hospital, a state facility next door run by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The police carry pepper spray instead of guns.Connecticut's child advocate, Jeanne Milstein, reports that in one case, police may have sprayed a young patient after he was on the floor and under control. Another incident involving an 11-year-old boy began when he got behind a TV console and started pushing it over. In the third case, a girl was sprayed after barricading herself inside her room.

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