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Employees Demand Increased Safety at Napa State Hospital Following Murder

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Last month a nurse at Napa State Hospital was strangled by a patient who had been transferred to the mental health facility from prison, as are many of the patients at Napa State. His criminal record included attempted homicide.

Kathleen Thomas is a registered nurse who has been working at the hospital for two years. She says violence in her workplace is common, and even when police are called, they arrive too late.

"There's really no prevention in place to protect these people. Everyone here, I can guarantee you, has been assaulted, or someone standing next to them has. I have, punched right in the face."

Thomas, other hospital employees, and members of the Service Employees International Union local 1000 protested outside the Department of Mental Health.

 "We want safety, we want safety."   

Several SEIU members met with officials and asked for increased security at the hospital.  
The Department of Mental Health has issued a statement saying it is concerned about employee's safety, and has already implemented increased security measures. Those include limiting patients' access to hospital grounds, increasing the police presence, and a shuttle service for employees.
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