Pueblo County, Colorado
Colorado Insane Asylum

1930 - Forward

Colorado Springs Gazette 2-13-1931
Insane Asylum Is Said 'Deplorable' – Legislature to Give Fund by May Cut Down Part of Sums Demanded – Denver, Feb. 13 (AP) – Testimony before the senate subcommittee on finance of the “deplorable” condition at the state hospital for the insane at Pueblo was confirmed today by members of the committee upon their return from a tour of inspection of the institution and the state penitentiary. Findings of the committee indicate early consideration of the appropriation demands of both the hospital and the prison, although it was not likely, it was learned, that the hospital will receive more than half of the $1,500,000 asked for construction purposes. Sen. Nate C. Warren, republican of Fort Collins, chairman of the committee, and Ollie Bannister of Grand Junction, ranking democratic member, agreed the needs of the hospital particularly are urgent. “The building for housing the criminally insane is a disgrace to the state,” committee members said. “The building is beyond saving and the construction of a new one appears necessary.” Committee members reported huge cracks in the walls, unsafe stairways and unspeakable sanitary conditions. The state hospital, together with the penitentiary, have asked for appropriations totaling nearly $3,000,000. The hospital is expected to receive favorable consideration of its request for $500,000 for maintenance and repairs and the $87,000 deficit appropriation, although both appear due for some cutting. The proposal of Bishop Irving P. Johnson, member of the state board of corrections, for dormitories on a prison farm is being considered by Senator Warren and other committee members, although they have not definitely decided their policy on this proposal. Conditions at the state prison were characterized as encouraging, although the legislators said there was some room for improvement in buildings and repairs.

Colorado Springs Gazette 3-10-1931
State Hospital Asks $1,500,000 – Request for Funds to Better Conditions Presented to Assembly Committees – Denver, March 9 (AP) – A request for $1,500,000 for the state hospital for the insane at Pueblo was laid today before the senate sub-committee on finance and the house appropriations committee. Dr. F. H. Zimmerman, head of the hospital, and Ernest Winchausen, an aid, presented the needs of the hospital, declaring that immediate relief was vital to the operation of the institution. Conditions at the Pueblo institution have been described as “deplorable” by legislators who have inspected the hospital. Among the chief items on the proposed program at Pueblo are requests for $759,000 for new buildings, $120,000 for equipment for various buildings, $100,000 for a sprinkling system, $77,000 for a dining and amusement hall and equipment, $50,000 for a nurses' home and a like amount for a staff house, and $58,000 for an addition to the administration buildings. The institution has a deficit of approximately $87,000 which is included in the requests, all of which are covered in (the) bill introduced by Senators Ray H. Talbot and Charles F. Horn, democrats, of Pueblo. In the house the hospital program is being furthered by Thomas H. Dameron, W. J. England, G. W. Grenard, democrats, and Albert Leach, republican. Present indications are the hospital will receive at least a part of its requests and the institution is almost certain to have at least one new building. It is not probable the entire $1,500,000 will be voted for the institution. It is known that Sen. Nate C. Warren, republican, of Fort Collins and chairman of the senate finance committee, and Sen. Ollier Bannister, democratic member of the committee, favor some immediate relief for the institution.

Pueblo Indicator 8-3-1935
Seeing a need for better trained attendants, F. H. Zimmerman, superintendent of the State Hospital for the Insane at Pueblo, is starting a training school at the institution.  New classes will start every three months.  The hospital now has 300 regular attendants and more than 3,000 patients.  

Pueblo Indicator 9-9-1939
Big Doings At the State Hospital - A Two Million Dollar Building Program to be Set in Motion at Once - There is the large number of 700 employes and 4,200 patients at the Colorado State Hospital, and Dr. F. H. Zimmerman is the superintendent of the institution.  There is some talk of placing the employes under civil service.  Bids were opened September 8, for a $100,000 structure at the hospital, to house the institution's bakery, butcher shop, large refrigerated storage rooms for fruits, vegetables and meats, and to include storage for dry goods, foodstuffs, shoes, hardware and all other supplies.  There will also be a large sewing room for patients.  Charles G. Dowling, steward, will also open bids on the same date for automatic ash handling equipment for the power plant.  The jobs are part of the $2,000,000 PWA-state building program at the hospital.  With completion of a large new greenhouse at the hospital by the WPA, it is now possible to have potted plants and cut flowers to brighten the lives of all of the patients.  Thousands of plants are also started in the greenhouse for transplanting throughout the hospital grounds.  During the winter the greenhouse will also produce radishes, lettuce, swiss chard, parsley, int, and other things for the diet kitchens.  T. E. Wilburn, florist, is assisted by patients, many of whom have been restored to mental health while learning the floral vocation.  

Pueblo Indicator 12-2-1939
State Hospital Had a Very Big Turkey Dinner - The biggest turkey dinner ever given in the West was pulled off at the State hospital Thanksgiving day, the real one, November 30.  There was 4,000 pounds of roast turkey and a similar amount of corn bread dressing.  With that was 2,000 pounds of fluffy mashed potatoes, 125 gallons of giblet gravy, 150 gallons waldorf salad, 500 pounds of cranberry jelly, 9,000 hot rolls, 100 pounds of butter, 300 gallons of coffee and 740 mince and pumpkin pies.  The 400 turkeys have been produced on the hospital's farm, as have the dairy products, tomatoes, celery and many other things on the menu.  Three days were required to prepare the meal.  There were 100 regular employes and about 300 patient helpers busy in several large kitchens, dining rooms and cafeterias.  

Pueblo Indicator 5-17-1941
Colorado State Hospital - A Great Institution - It takes a lot of clothing, dry goods and dishes to take care of 4,000 patients in the Colorado State hospital.  Two score firms have just been awarded contracts to furnish a year's supply of such commodities starting July 1.  The contracts call for $40,000 worth of dry goods and clothing and $5,000 crockery and glassware.  In the line of 32,796 plates, bowls, cups, saucers and other crockery, in addition to 14,280 glasses and pitchers.  This equipment also includes quantities for the employes' cafeteria.  There will be 20,232 items in men's apparel, such as coats, pants, shirts, shorts, overalls, hats and canvas gloves.  Women's dresses and bedding linens, which the women make, will require 2,338 bolts of goods, enough to cover a strip 60 miles long - more than half way from Pueblo to Denver.  So much sewing requires lots of thread, in fact 700 dozen spools of it and 330 large cones of thread.  The spool thread will make a continuous line 630 miles long - approximately the distance between Pueblo and Kansas City.  Each cone contains 9,600 miles, or almost two and one-half times across the continent from San Francisco to New York.    

Pueblo Indicator 2-9-1946
About the State Hospital - Colorado's three largest cities, Denver, Pueblo and Colorado Springs, send more than half the patients to the Colorado State hospital.  Of the 4,811 enrolled at the hospital, including those away on parole, 2,476 are from Denver, Pueblo and El Paso counties, it is reported by Dr. F. H. Zimmerman, superintendent.  Those three counties, together with Boulder, Las Animas, Mesa, Otero and Weld counties, account for 3,183, or two-thirds of all commitments.  There is only one patient from Hinsdale county, two from Mineral county and three from Grand county.  Enrollment by counties follows: Pueblo has 476 enrolled; Denver has 1777 enrolled; El Paso has 223 enrolled.  

Pueblo Indicator 6-28-1947
State Will Receive Bids for Woodcroft - Bids for Woodcroft Sanitarium in Pueblo will be taken by the state July 30, Lacy L. Wilkinson, state purchasing agent, announced yesterday.  Sale of the sanitarium, which originally was purchased as an annex to the State Hospital, was recommended last week by a special legislative committee.  Members of the committee said the sanitarium was in too poor a condition to warrant an appropriation to modernize it. - Rocky Mountain News.

Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph 4-8-1962
New Decentralization Plan Aids State Hospital Patients - Geographical grouping at Colorado State Hospital in Pueblo, inaugurated March 1, is having a beneficial effect on patients from El Paso County, according to authorities at the hospital. Under the new program, patients have subjects in common geographically, according to authorities, with a resulting beneficial therapy. There are no set visiting hours; persons from various sections of the state can visit patients at any convenient time. Patients so inclined may attend weekly dances and movies, various table games are at their disposal; each ward has a television set and patients vote on programs they want to view. Church services are held each Sunday. "The dormitories are kept open during the day and are never locked at night," Dr. Haydee Kort, staff psychiatrist, said last week. "Several of the patients are trusted to carry keys to let others out of buildings, and this gives them 'a better feeling' when they may ask another patient to let them out rather than asking a staff member." The new setup groups patients from six geographical areas of Colorado, with patients from El Paso County and 11 other countries living in the hospital's Central Area. The 11 other counties in this area are Lake, Chaffee, Park, Fremont, Custer, Teller, Douglas, Elbert, Lincoln, Kit Carson and Cheyenne. The combined population of the 12 counties in 1960 was 204,436, and the hospital listed 594 patients from this area. As of April 1, the number of patients had decreased to 384, or 200 males and 184 females. Each area has its own professional team, according to the number of patients, as well as teams for the specialized units which include geriatrics, alcoholic, children, medical and surgical treatment, maximum security and the screening center. The Screening Center takes care of all patients admitted to the hospital and within a few hours, accomplishes lab tests, x-rays, brief mental examinations and complete physicals. They are then transferred to their respective county areas. The Central Team is composed of Dr. Sabahat Gurray, staff physician; Dr. Kort, staff psychiatrist; Bernard Weiss and Lorraine Walling, social workers; William H. Ross, psychologist; Kathleen Sweeney, registered occupational therapist; Iva Allenbach, occupational therapist aide; Victor Velarde, recreator; Mrs. Frances Cline, chief nurse; Mrs. Sally Gritten, Mrs. Olga Biundo, Mrs. Muriel Spang, Mrs. M. Harene Powell, C.L. Clark and Donald Smith, nurse supervisors; a nursing personnel of 70, three secretaries, a dietitian, barber and a social worker aide receiving training. Central has two buildings, with staff offices located in one which also houses patients and is the location of the general reception room where families and friends may visit patients. A cafeteria is separate and is unusual in that patients have a choice of food and may sit where they choose in unsegregated groups. Recreation rooms are located in the basement. The bedrooms sleep from one to 15 and many of the patients have been busy making floral printed cotton bedspreads with ruffled flounces and matching curtains to give the rooms a more homey appearance. The patients are encouraged to keep the rooms neat and tidy. Representatives from the four wards meet at 8:00 a.m. each day to discuss the previous 24 hours; staff meetings are held once a week to review patients who may be up for release or be given town passes, and various other meetings are held as needed to keep everyone thereby up-to-date on the activities of the unit. Springs Group Praised By Doctor - "The Central Area is fortunate in the interest shown by the Mental Health Group in Colorado Springs," Dr. Kort said. "Monthly meetings with a representative from the group and staff are held to discuss common problems. "They are now in the process of trying to develop a program so that volunteers will come to the hospital on a scheduled basis." Before March 1, patients were classified and distributed in the hospital according to behavior, diagnosis, prognostic odds, age, ability to perform certain hospital chores, etc. It was felt that this was the most efficient system, from both management and therapeutic standpoints. Upon entering a hospital, the patient was transferred from service to service as his diagnosis and prognosis changed and sometimes in less than six months, odds were that the patient went through no less than two different services and more than four different physicians, because of transfers from ward to ward and a number of administrative reasons. Each move required new adjustments which were often confusing and disconcerting while the staff was hard put to do a moderately decent job, hospital authorities found. In a report by the World Health Organization in 1958, it was stated that "too many state hospitals give the impression of being an uneasy compromise between a general hospital and a prison, whereas, in fact, the role they have to provide is different from either: it is that of a therapeutic community. As in the community at large, one of the most characteristic aspects of the psychiatric hospital is the type of relationship between people that are to be found within it." The new decentralization plan at Colorado State Hospital was inaugurated to provide continuity of relationship between staff and patients before, during and after hospitalization. Families are spared unnecessarily painful tasks of wondering in which hospital area the patient is located each time they visit. It provides continuity of relationship between the professional team and the community so that the hospital boundary is erased and obstacles to healthy reciprocal communication are eliminated. Patients are reassured, should they ever need to return, that treatment or psychiatric help will be given them by the same professional staff which treated them prior to discharge. Dr. Kort said "A patient is made to feel that as much care and attention is available to him as to everybody else and that no discriminatory practices are in effect within the hospital," she said. "The patient is provided the opportunity of living in an environment which is sufficiently challenging and as similar in structure as possible to the community from which he comes." These conditions are met by having patients distributed throughout the hospital on an ecological basis, according to the geographical areas and socio-cultural units where they lived prior to hospitalization and where they intend to return upon recovery. Plan Used in Other Hospitals - The plan has been successfully carried out in other hospitals across the nation, with one of the best-known examples the Mental Health Institute in Clarinda, Iowa. Dr. Kort spent a year at Clarinda before going to the Colorado State Hospital and commented that in such a brief time she could personally see the advantages in this type of setting. She emphasized that release planning is done carefully so that returning is decreased. Colorado State Hospital treats patients around a six-area program –Northeast, Denver, Central, Pueblo, Southeast and Western. The Northeast Area takes patients from Larimer, Boulder, Gilpin, Clear Creek, Weld, Morgan, Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Washington, and Yuma Counties. Patients from Denver, Adams, Jefferson and Arapahoe Counties are housed in the Denver Area. The Pueblo Area has patients from Pueblo County only. Southeast Area patients are from Crowley, Kiowa, Prowers, Bent, Otero, Baca, Las Animas, Huerfano, Costilla, Alamosa, Conejos, Rio Grande, Mineral and Saguache Counties. In the Western Area are patients from Moffat, Routt, Jackson, Grand, Rio Blanco, Garfield, Eagle, Grand, Summit, Mesa, Pitkin, Gunnison, Delta, Montrose, San Miguel, Ouray, Hinsdale, Dolores, San Juan, Montezuma, La Plata and Archuleta Counties. "The basic concept of a community – conditioned atmosphere is the most important single factor in the efficacy of treatment under this Decentralization Plan," Dr. Kort said. "Maintaining continuity above all is the key to better mental health and is the concept now being applied at the Colorado State Hospital."  Photo caption: Division Chart - Dr. Haydee Kort, staff psychiatrist, right, shows the hospital's chart denoting the divisions of the counties in the new decentralization plan.  With her, left to right, are Mrs. Izora Nicks, ward superintendent; Mrs. Olga Biundo, morning supervisor, and Mrs. Frances Cline, chief nurse.  

Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph 1-3-1963
Steve Approves Projects for State Hospital - Denver - Gov. Steve McNichols has approved architects' contracts for $4.5 million in construction projects at the Colorado State Hospital. The plans call for a children's center, warehouse, recreation and a $3.3 million remodeling program. Aides of the governor said the architects were chosen without the advice of State Planning Director W.M. Williams with whom McNichols has been at odds. Robert Irwin, who designed a medical, surgical, administration building under construction at the hospital, is the architect for the $3.3 remodeling project. His first task will be to prepare a master plan from which specific projects will be developed. Claude Nash is the architect for a school and day-care center for an estimated 150 children. The building, to cost $582,000, will provide housing facilities for psychotic children, who are now scattered among the adult population. Architect Joseph Pahl was chosen to design a recreation-gymnasium building, costing an estimated $385,000 and a warehouse, costing $124,000. The architect's fees generally will follow a state schedule of 6 percent of construction costs for new buildings and 10 percent for remodeling.  

Colorado Springs Free Press 1-16-1963
New Grant Would Help Pueblo Child Center - Horn Says $600,000 Could Double Value -A legislative grant of $600,000 might double the efficiency of a new Child Care Center at the Colorado State Hospital, according to Dr. Gilbert O. Horn, chief of the present center at the Pueblo institution. The funds, if considered by a legislature dedicated to a 15 percent income tax cut, would be in addition to the $582,000 allocated for the construction of a new child center in Pueblo, now in the planning stages. Extra construction capital would probably allow the new center to be removed from the regular State Hospital complex, provide better and more extensive facilities, and result in a greatly improved juvenile program at the State institution, Dr. Horn said. Speaking at the regular monthly meeting of the El Paso County Mental Health Association, the Child Center head told members that the new building – under existing plans and without extra funds – should be completed in the next 18 months. It would have facilities to handle about 100 children on a day care only basis with about 40 in residence. However, Horn said that the facilities may have to be expanded as soon as the building is competed, probably by adding additional wings. The children's program at the State Hospital has mushroomed in the past five years, he said, jumping from a handful of admissions in 1957 to 73 in 1962. Fifty-eight admissions are already at the hospital for the first four months of the 1962-63 fiscal year and the total is expected to hit a record high of 175 junior admissions by the end of the year. The hospital currently has adequate care and training facilities for about 80-90 children, out of the 170 at the hospital. The center, operated on a day-care basis only, is housed in the old state farm out of Pueblo, and the youngsters commute from their respective units in the State Hospital each day, Horn said. Under the decentralization plan established in Pueblo last March, patients are housed according to the geographical location from which they enter the institution. The Central Psychiatric Institute is the El Paso County unit. Dr. Horn told the Mental Health Association members here that the children's program at the State Hospital has been "progressing favorably," but indicated that it would be preferable to have the new building separated from the regular hospital complex. Dr. Horn and a portion of his staff are planning to visit similar Child Care Centers in other states in the near future to determine the best layout for the Pueblo youth center.  

Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph 9-15-1963
Mental Patients Enjoy Outing at Garden of Gods - "Lady." The tall woman startled me. "I've lost my friend that was with me on the bus from 63. Help me find her," she pleaded. The nurse intercepted my halting answer to the woman. "Perhaps I can help you," the nurse said. She led the woman toward the group of people standing near the entertainers. The woman and her friend were reunited. There's nothing extraordinary about this little scene; it happens often where patients from the Colorado State Hospital are involved. Yet it was part of an eye-opening visit to a special recreation program for patients from El Paso County Saturday afternoon at the Garden of the Gods chuckwagon site. In all there were 126 patients and staff workers who spent the day in Colorado Springs. Three buses were provided by Ent Air Force Base for the ride from Pueblo. They stopped first at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo for a two-hour tour, then drove to the chuckwagon site for a buffet lunch donated and served by women from the Unitarian Church. As the patients walked through the serving line, they listened to folk songs by four young men – the Samovar Folk Singers from Wasson High School. One of the black-haired women patients did a little shuffle as the tempo stepped up. "She's progressed so very much," the director said. "When I first met her she just sat with a fixed smile on her face and wouldn't say anything. She just came over to say hello to me a minute ago." After the luncheon was served, the family friends and visitors arrived for the afternoon visit with the patients. They stayed until 3 p.m., talking and listening to the folk music, and enjoying the magnificent setting in the Garden of the Gods. "Most of these older people hardly ever have a chance to get out and do things like this," recreation director Vic Velarde from Pueblo said. "We have so many programs for the children, that it's good to see something done for the older persons." "You know," Mrs. Lorna Hinds, executive director of the El Paso County Association for Mental Health said, "we've had people ask if our monthly news letters do very much good. Last month we put out a call for used putters for the patients. And last week a man in Manitou called and donated several to us from his business. We have everything but the metal forms for the cups." "Oh, we can make those – there's no problem there," recreation director Velarde said. The association, a United Fund Agency is getting equipment together to build a putting green for the patients. Volunteers can benefit the mental health program greatly. Just recently the director of the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra, Walter Eisenberg, got tickets for a music therapy group from the state hospital to attend the concert in the Garden of the Gods. The music therapy class for the regressed patients included those from 30 to 79 years, who have been at the hospital from five to 39 years. In 1961 the Baker Realty Company rented the present association headquarters at 509 1/2 N. Tejon St. at a reduced rate. All the furnishings were either loaned or donated, including the nameplate on the door. The volunteers will be honored Thursday in a Volunteer Recognition Day program at the state hospital. Colorado Springs, with one of the most active groups in the state, will be well-represented.  

Colorado Springs Free Press 4-12-1964
Staffers Strive Against Big Odds - (There are several emotionally disturbed and mentally retarded children from El Paso County hospitalized at the state institution in Pueblo. Because our children shape tomorrow's flame of hope The Free Press believed it necessary to visit the Children's Center to find and report conditions and needs. The series that will run consecutively for the next three days is the chronicle of those findings. The editors would like to thank Children's Center authorities for their time and outstanding cooperation.) If you have a normal child, listen. At least 275 youngsters under 19 in El Paso County are deficient, defective or disturbed. The ones that are discovered can be sent, usually by the courts, to one of the state institutions for the mentally retarded, emotionally disturbed, or criminally inclined. If a child is lucky and the court is conscientious he'll be channeled to the correct place. If not, he loses footing on the trail to his "normality," the state loses money and more vital, a potential contributing citizen. The non-defective children that must be hospitalized, the "curable cases," are dropped in the lap of an understaffed, ill-equipped team of workers in Ward 40 at the State Hospital in Pueblo. They are sent to Pueblo for one reason. There is no other place for them. The children's Center on the south campus of the mammoth and ancient complex is the sole facility the state of Colorado provides for the hospitalization of emotionally disturbed children. There are 139 kids sprinkled throughout the wards of the hospital. They do not sleep together at night because there is no children's ward. Youngsters are interspersed with adults, often mentally defective or "incurable," and are faced with the excruciating stress of an all-adult world – a sick adult world at that. To their own situations they are asked to add the unstable, unconsoling, vacant attitude of an adult that may very well be the child's roommate in a cubicle no bigger than a medium-sized bathroom. This dilemma has come out of the hospital's attempt to "decentralize." Previously, about two years ago, patients throughout the hospital were grouped by the type of their illness, regardless of severity. Neurotics lived with neurotics, depressives lived with depressives, psychotics with psychotics. Then, in order to let the patient feel as if he were still a part of the community that he was taken from, the institution began grouping inmates by geographic attachment. So that under the new plan, neurotic, psychotic, and depressive inmates could live with each other if they all came, for instance, from the Limon area. And that included the kids. And that's where the idea, regardless of its good intent, flopped. Children's Center authorities say repeatedly that they system is bad for youngsters and that they hope for a change – quick. Not only is the child easy prey for the myriad acts that could be spurred by a twisted mind, not only is he robbed of a "home life" with several children of his own age, but he is deprived of the careful supervision and guidance that he needs to help him hack his way back to recovery. During the day, within the ruddy brick walls of the children's center he is watched and directed, consoled and listened to, reprimanded "creatively." When he goes "home," home to his iron bed in an overcrowded hall or bleak furniture-less room, there can no longer be that careful supervision. Even if the floor authorities were trained in child care, there are not enough of them to do an effective job. So there is a possibility that the child "found" during the daylight hours, turns like Jekyll to Hyde and becomes "lost" when the sun hides itself behind the stone buildings and high fences. "Tell that f------ bitch to leave her hands off me." A small boy, 7 or 8, had been brought into the room by a staff member. His face was drawn shut, his eyes pointed downward, his already developed arms straining with bursting strength. Out in the hall a member of the nursing staff watched. She had just released the youngster from a womanly headlock. The staff member said, "All right cool it Tommy." "Leave your damn hands off me." "I'm not leaving you alone until you calm down." He walked the youngster, still straining like a young, nervous bull, over to the blackboard and began whispering to him. "What's the matter now? Calm down will you, just take it easy." "Leave me alone, dammit." "You just stay there until you are ready to behave." A children's center school official said, "They flare up sometimes. They just blow up like that." In a few moments, with the class, a grammar school variation, under way, the youngster stepped away from the blackboard, his chest no longer heaving, his eyes, wet a moment before now starting to crust with dryness. He walked to the back of the room to be with himself. The teacher, a young man proud of his room and his students, went on with the lesson, but was ready to act if the rebel in the corner needed him. Seven hours from that time, had the same incident occurred, the child, back on his ward, could at most be warned and perhaps calmed. A continuing vigil over his skyrocketing emotions could not be kept. The need for supervision is chronic. On the weekends the kids rumble out of the Ward 40 doors and are "on their own" until Monday. But this is causing difficulties. Because the personnel on the wards is so slight, no weekend programs are available. Youngsters are unsupervised – lost. Delinquency takes a sharp bolt upward from Friday to Sunday. The children get into trouble on the hospital grounds and on the streets of Pueblo. So the overloaded program at the Children's Center is going to pile some more weight on its sloping back. Officials have decided that there was to be a weekend program . . . that the youngsters can't be forgotten about for two full days without expecting fireworks. Within the next month or so a program for Friday and Saturday will wander out of the wards and into the Children's Center seven days a week. But solutions at Pueblo don't come without implications. Someone is going to have to man the weekend workout. The only source of supervision is the existing Children's Center staff. These people, mostly young, at the moment work 40 hours a week at the center, plus whatever work has to be taken home. Even youth needs rest. There are two solutions. One - the regular day can be shortened by four hours, so that staff members get their time off during the week by a shorter workday, or Two – the staff could be supplemented. But the staff can't be supplemented. The budget, now straining to the point of anemia, won't stand it. Things are so bad money-wise that if an employee quits, a replacement for him can't be hired. Money is money and kids are kids. Because of poor referral practices the center is overcrowded and likely to become more so. The new Children's Center that is now under construction is already outdated. It accommodates 60. Money is money and kids are kids. Authorities at Ward 40, are struggling now, and their ability to keep struggling comes from the cups full of devotion they swallow willfully. But the strugglers are unsure and apprehensive about the future. The are worried about the 33 defective children who have had no program designed for them. Money is money and kids are kids.  

Colorado Springs Free Press 4-13-1964
Children's Center Goal - Staff Strives to 'Send them Back' - Second of series on the Children's Center at the State Hospital, Pueblo, Colo. - At 8:30 each weekday morning the kids flow through the two doors of Ward 40. The day begins loud. They play basketball – in the halls. Records start spinning, cigarettes come out. The talking bellows and ricochets off clean cream colored walls and under heavy wooden doors. Child-sounds slip into the office of Dr. Kisley, creep up the stairs to Mrs. Allender's room and grope their way to Mr. Smith as he tours the third floor that has become the schoolhouse. The youngsters are chaotic as an overturned jigsaw puzzle. But underneath the shouting and running that molds a shallow-echoed oblivion they are trying, or learning to try, to fit themselves back together. Mrs. Frances Allender, chief nurse at the Children's Center said, "We hope to send them all back home – it may not be reality – but we hope to send them all back." Under Mrs. Allender is a crew of 49 nursing workers. Forty-nine . . . sounds like plenty? These employees, broken up into two shifts, have their hands full. After being trained in child guidance for nine months they: medicate and treat; eat with the child and teach him table manners; participate in recreational and occupational therapy. And then they teach. Mrs. Allender said because of the lack of instructors some of her nursing staff members had been drafted for duty in the third floor school house. "Nursing isn't only giving pills and making beds – whatever is the need of the child, we try to meet it some way or another." And because these children are young and super-restless there is a gigantic tracking job to be done. "To know where 106 children are isn't an easy job – it takes a big staff." But for the moment Mrs. Allender is adequately supplied with personnel . . . But . . . "At present we are well staffed but if we go on to a seven-day program naturally it's going to take something away." One shift starts at eight and works until four. The other comes in at 12 and stays until eight. That gives an overlap of four hours between 12 and 4. This is gravy time. "Between 12 and four is our gravy. It's when we can give extra therapy, see the child personally and have team meetings." There might be no time for gravy at all when the new four-building Children's Center is completed. "When the new center is completed, three shifts will be needed and we will be understaffed." Whether an increased staff is a possibility, "depends on the next budget," Mrs. Allender said. She said at the moment she could use another registered nurse for teaching purposes. But staff members need only because the kids need more. Mrs. Allender said the need was sponge-like: "These kids have been deprived of the bare necessities – not physical – love and understanding. They're like sponges. They're never full." She said their wants can become overpowering. One small child has been visiting her every day for two years. She is a cotter pin in his young life. She must face the child with honesty. "I tell him, 'I like you,' she said. 'But I am not your mother – I could never 'be your mother.'" Parents. The child yearns for them often. But there is no appropriation or fund that can help them. Only education can. "The parents often can't solve their own problems – how can they help the child?" Help. Spell it H-e-l-p. Help. On the polished third floor tall Harry Smith walks around smoking a pipe, looking into his eight or so classrooms. He strolls by his scant library, peeks into his under supplied occupational therapy lab. He commends his teachers. "Here's Sam – he's a wizard at calming kids down." "There's Sadie – she's been wonderful about bringing supplies in from home." "Ah, I'm really fortunate to have this lady. She speaks several languages. Great with the kids." He complains gently. "We have six teachers – ideally we should have 12 or 14." He smiles shyly. "This is the extent of our library." He points at perhaps 300 worn volumes. He is grateful. "Yeah, this is a great place for kids," pointing to a few plots of grass in back of Ward 40. "And see over there. The kids go out every day and play in that sandpile." The sandpile is in a huge dust lot a few hundred feet away from crowded railroad tracks kept apart from the hospital grounds by a chain link fence. He listens. "I've been to other institutions," one of his teachers is saying. "They can't understand how kids have to live with adults. It's the only place in the country like that." Smith nods and smiles, latches on to his teacher's shoulder. He loves. "That printing is much better Doug, much better, a real improvement." "Did you write Janet? Well let's see what it says." He hopes. "We want to get these kids back into society." So does Dr. Anthony Kisley psychiatrist. He works on the first floor in an office with pieces of paper taped to the ceiling to prevent whatever is between the floors from falling through. Kisley wants to stop the kids from falling through too. 

Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph 11-8-1982
Insanity Pleas Create Difficult Problems for Courts - Dr. Carl Bauer, 53, native of Pennsylvania, married, father of two adult children, is a clinical psychologist and an occupational program consultant. Bauer studied at Syracuse University and got his doctorate from Heidelberg University in West Germany. From 1966 to 1974 he worked as a ward administrator in the forensic programs division of St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C., where John Hinckley, President Reagan's assailant, is now held. Bauer has evaluated and treated offenders who have been committed "not guilty by reason of insanity." He also has testified often as an expert witness in criminal cases involving insanity pleas. He has worked for the federal government 17 years, the last three at Fort Carson. He was interviewed by Gazette Telegraph staff writer Glenn Urban.
Q. Doctor, there are fine technicalities involved in pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity in criminal cases, such as the intent provision, and these tend to get people confused.
A. That term "capacity to form requisite specific intent" means did this individual, just prior to the alleged offense, have the mental capacity to form the specific required intent for that crime. He could have been crazy as hell, but if he intended to rape, that is mental illness, but not insanity. Insanity has to do with his mental condition, just preceding, not after the crime. People become crazy sometimes after the crime, particularly normal people, they disintegrate. It is called transient stress disorder. Under the stress of the incarceration they break down. But that has nothing to do with the mental illness that just preceded the crime that interfered with his ability to know that was a crime.
Q. This must be very difficult to prove in court, especially since you were not with the person who committed the act at the time it was done.
A. It sure is. We demonstrate that the actions that he undertook are typical of a person who was aware of the wrongfulness of the act. I refused to testify to defend a man who raped a secretary in a real estate office. I determined that he had waited until everyone left. He was the only one in there. He went in and locked the door behind him. Those were acts that suggested he was aware of his acts just preceding the act, and therefore he was not insane. He was crazy, there was no question about that. He went in there to rape her and he took precautions not to get discovered.
Q. You are using the word crazy – is that in a colloquial sense?
A. We use the word crazy in forensic circles very frequently. We talk about a crazy crime. A crazy crime is one which is non-predatory, and there is no logical sequence, the people were unrelated to him.
Q. If you were to provide a dictionary explanation for that term, "crazy" what would you say?
A. I have no idea. I say it was a crazy crime and the judge says would you explain that. I tell him the conditions of the crime are not in accordance with what police call mode of operation. It is irregular.
Q. I've heard witnesses testify in court that the accused person heard voices, and in once case I recall, the expert witness also agreed the accused heard voices. Is that kind of a person insane?
A. Maybe he did and maybe he didn't hear voices. We don't know if he is insane. What did the voices tell him? If the voices told him his mother was calling him and that had no relation to the crime, then he can hear as many voices as he wants. And that is where we have to differentiate mental illness from insanity.
Q. That gets tricky.
A. The success of the insanity defense depends very largely on the knowledgability of the attorneys and the judge.
Q. Is this a sometimes thing?
A. The effectiveness of an insanity defense depends on the knowledgability and skill of the adversaries in the process, as in any other case in the legal process. If a judge is inept, or tired, or distracted, or the prosecutor wants this thing over with, there will be a miscarriage of justice. But there will be as many abrogations of justice in merits trials as there are in insanity trials.
Q. If someone didn't intend to commit a crime is he crazy?
A. The fact is if an individual did not intend to commit a crime, if he believes that what he was doing absolutely necessary, such as self defense, no one would agree that that individual should be punished. There are such cases.
Q. Will insanity pleas continue to be part of the courts?
A. They cannot do away with insanity pleas. What they are going to do is determine to have bifurcated trials. They will establish whether the person did or did not commit the offense. And then have a culpability trial to determine to what degree – not black or white, insane or sane – but to what degree was he responsible. That degree of responsibility will be the basis for the sentence.
Q. That will require judgments from a psychological point of view.
A. It will require attorneys to be much better educated on the differences between black or white and shades of grey. We deal in shades of grey and they deal in black and white.
Q. What is the difference between a mental hospital for criminally insane and a penitentiary? Should the hospital be part of the pen at Canon City, or should there be bars on all windows on the hospital? Where is the difference?
A. A correctional institution should be a correctional institution. Your question reminds me what Willy Sutton said when they asked him why he robbed banks. He told them because that is where the money is. It was predatory. That means that he would gain by that crime. If a crime is predatory or not is a good way to differentiate between sanity and insanity legally.
Q. This is academic, but did Joan of Arc actually hear voices telling her what to do?
A. I have no idea. I couldn't answer that question. There are two things that criminals do to attempt to prove they are crazy. One is to say they heard voices, and the other is to bring feces into the court room and throw it around. Hearing voices is closer to mental illness than to insanity.
Q. Idaho has just begun a system that calls for something different from the bifurcated system you mentioned, and which some Colorado legislators have studied. If an accused who is to be tried for a crime pleads not guilty by reason of insanity and is sent to a mental hospital for treatment, he will be tried later when he is determined to be sane.
A. That is where we have to go with the whole insanity matter. The reason that has not happened is the interpretation of the word guilty. When the court finds that the individual committed the offense, most jurisdictions say he is guilty, and that implies that he intended to do the crime. Then it is too late to do anything about the insanity question.
Q. Is competency a valid question concerning insanity?
A. No, no. Competency and sanity are two separate things. They are not related to one another at all. Insanity is a legal term. That is a very important issue. Mental illness and insanity are two different things.
Q. You have observed and been involved in many cases involving insanity pleas. When people plead insanity in a criminal case, what do you think?
A. I believe in the justice system. There are three bases for defense. One is the merits of the case, whether the individual committed the alleged offense. The second is called technical, which involves some legal infraction that has occurred that exculpates the individual within the parameters the court requires for prosecution, that is the prosecution becomes invalid for a technical reason. The third is "mens rea" and that is the capacity to form requisite specific intent. Intent must be proven for the alleged offense to be a crime.
Q. Without intent, without capability of intent, there is no crime?
A. That law precedes any kind of insanity consideration. Which means those that say there should not be an insanity rule are talking about very basic Napoleonic Code doctrines. Insanity equals the inability, for whatever reason, to intend to do the crime – he did not know it was a crime. It is equal to the so-called wrongfulness of the act.

State hospital space giving way to more prison uses
Pueblo Chieftain Sunday March 15, 1998 

The sign at the entrance still says "Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo," but prison inmates outnumber psychiatric patients on the hospital's state-owned campus.

And the gap is guaranteed to grow during the next decade.

Superintendent Bob Hawkins said the hospital's patient census has been drastically reduced by two factors: the state's move to outpatient managed care of psychiatric patients under 21 and older than 65, and a statewide move to treat patients in their home communities rather than in centralized locations like the state hospital and Fort Logan hospital in Denver.

Once home to about 6,000 patients committed to the hospital from around Colorado, CMHIP now cares for a maximum of 568. The average daily census is 540.

"Our largest population now is the forensics unit," Hawkins said.

In contrast, there are at least 580 adults and juveniles living on the hospital campus as wards of the Department of Corrections.

That number could grow to at least 1,500 by year's end, after an addition to the San Carlos Correctional Facility doubles its capacity to 500 and a new Youth Offender System reformatory under construction opens its doors to a projected 500 young criminals.

Long-range DOC plans also call for a men's minimum-security prison and another for aging inmates and others who need continuing medical care.

In addition, prison officials hope to move DOC headquarters from Colorado Springs to an office park for state agencies planned for vacant land north of 29th Street on hospital grounds.

If all facets of the DOC's master plan are approved and funded by the Legislature, the next decade could see 2,400 prison beds on the hospital's campus and 1,723 DOC staffers, compared to today's 285.

The state also is considering destroying many of the outdated state hospital buildings and replacing them with an addition to the administration building and general hospital.

The project may include two additional wards that would house a residential treatment center for children and a step-down program between acute care and community care for mentally ill patients.

The state hospital opened as the Colorado State Insane Asylum in 1879.

P.R. Thombs, who was the first superintendent, serving for 20 years until his resignation in 1899.

Thombs was replaced by A.P. Busey, who served through 1913, when H.A. LaMoure came on the scene as superintendent.

It was during LaMoure's tenure in 1917 that the insane asylum was renamed the Colorado State Hospital.

F.H. Zimmerman replaced LaMoure in 1928, and it would not be until his final year as superintendent, 1961, that Fort Logan Mental Health Center opened. At that time, the Colorado State Hospital had nearly 6,000 patients.

Decentralization reduced the population to its current levels. Many of the patients have been released to care by community mental health centers in the three decades since.

W.H. Bower served only two years as superintendent, 1961-1963, during the state's first push for decentralization. He was followed by C.E. Meredith, 1963-1976, Haydee Kort, 1977-1990, Harold Carmel, 1991-1995, and Bob Hawkins, 1996-present.

C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R                
Tuesday, January 28, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 19                  

COLORADO: Court Approves Hospital Monitoring Pact in Inmate Care Suit

United States District Judge Lewis T. Babcock approved the agreement forged by Colorado state officials and patients of the Colorado Mental Health Institute, for the settlement of a 1999 class action, seeking to make wide-ranging improvements in the conditions at the hospital, and in the care and treatment of patients, the Pueblo Chieftain Online reports.

The suit alleged that the patients were being warehoused and given inadequate treatment.  Therefore, some patients were being kept unfairly at the hospital longer than they would have served in prison for their crimes, their lawyers contended.

Under the agreement, two outside experts will monitor the Institute until the agreement expires in December 31,2006.  The agreement also covers all patients who have been involuntarily committed to the state hospital's forensic unit because they have been found innocent of crimes due to insanity.  The agreement eliminated a five-week trial, which was due to start this month.

"The institute must be run in a way that does afford to the patients the rights they are entitled to under the law," Judge Babcock said at the end of a 30-hour hearing when he approved the agreement between patients and state officials, the Pueblo Chieftain states.

Don Abram, a former Pueblo District Court judge and a retired US District Court magistrate judge, urged Judge Babcock to approve the agreement.  Judge Babcock appointed Mr. Abram to protect the interests of patients, the Pueblo Chieftain reports.

"I am thoroughly convinced that these (state) agencies and the attorneys for these agencies are deeply concerned, are dedicated to carrying out the agreement," Mr. Abram said. "I'm convinced they will follow through."

Under the agreement:  

    (1) the daily average census is to be limited to 278 patients;

     (2) if a new forensic facility is not funded by June 30, 2005, the average daily census in the maximum-security building will be reduced to 72 patients from 80, and in the medium-security building to 80 patients from 80;

     (3) an intensive community placement program is required. Fifteen patients will reside in community placement housing within a year;  

    (4) the governor's budget for 2003-2004 includes funding for an additional 14.6 full-time equivalent employees;  

    (5) beginning April 30, there will be at least 1.3 direct-care staff, not including psychiatrists, per patient. The ratio is to be 1.35 staff per patient by July 1, 2004;  

    (6) CMHIP will continue to recruit psychiatrists until there is a ratio of one psychiatrist for each 17.4 patients;  

    (7) individual psychotherapy will be increased;   

   (8) each patient will be provided with a plan for care and progression toward possible release.

The lawsuit may be reopened or a new one filed if patients and their attorneys believe the CMHIP does not comply with the agreement. The judge said Mr. Abram will continue to be paid by the state to protect the patients' interests for at least 18 months.

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