Rep. Kathy Rapp Responds

I had sent an email to Rep. Kathy Rapp in regards to the statement that seemed to imply that the majority of folks in State Hospitals were sex offenders.  Below is her response to my email which I received on September 17, 2008 and have her permission to share it with others who shared my concerns.  I have copy/pasted it into this post exactly as she wrote it, but I name in the greeting of the email for privacy reasons.

I apolagize if the comments upset you.  My intention was not in any to offend anyone with a mental illness.  My goal is to keep the forensic units open and especially ours in Warren.  I never meant to imply that everyone is a sex offender.  I hope that if you know my background in advocating for the rights of people with disabilities, that your interpetation is not what I believe.

 

Kathy

 

Also, here is a link to the original post I did on this issue … https://pamhi.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/call-to-action/

Rep. Kathy Rapp authors legislation “imposing moratorium on all future state hospital closures”

I received Rep. Kathy Rapp’s fall 2008 newsletter in themal toda and discovered tha while sh was boasting about stopping the privitization of forensics at Warren State Hospital.  The article continued and indicated she had authored hb1455 calling for a study to determine the approximate number of inmates who are mentally ill.  She also is ctinuing her quest to put amoratorium on the closure of state hospitals until this study can be cmpleted.

Here’s a link to the full electronic version of her Fall 2008 newslette so you can ead the full text yourself. 

https://share.acrobat.com/adc/document.do?docid=0aa61039-6d5c-4761-9cf0-17a243a9253c

The link is a nightmare, but I made it so it was easy to find and faster to download or preview online if you prefer.  I posted it uing a free service at http://www.acrobat.com  you can create and share pf files for free.

“Pennsylvania drops bid to privatize forensic mental-health services Cost-saving deal reached with unions”

This article is from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette found in the March 21, 2008 Issue, it talks about a deal that has been reached to cut costs, but also prevent Forensics facilities in Pennsylvania from being privatized.  The articale can be read below or viewed at the following address…. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08081/866822-85.stm

Pennsylvania drops bid to privatize forensic mental-health services  Cost-saving deal reached with unions
Friday, March 21, 2008

After reaching a cost-saving agreement with union leaders, the state plans to end its efforts to privatize and consolidate forensic services in state hospitals serving people with mental illnesses.

In a statement prepared for release today, state Department of Public Welfare Secretary Estelle Richman said the agreement maintains quality care and continued employment for forensic center staff while providing savings to Pennsylvania taxpayers.

Forensic units provide evaluation and treatment for people in the criminal justice system.

The agreement calls for no layoffs, though officials plan to save about $1.5 million the first year by cutting positions through attrition and making salary changes for new hires, said department spokeswoman Stacey Witalec. Savings should increase in later years, she said.

Representatives of union groups praised the agreement while acknowledging that it involves concessions.

“Our members felt this was a major win,” said Mike Morrill, state unit coordinator for Service Employees International Union Healthcare Pennsylvania, which represents nurses in forensic units.

“This agreement saves tax dollars without compromising public safety,” said David La Torre, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association, which had been highly critical of the privatization effort.

Other unions that worked to reach the agreement with the state included Pennsylvania Social Services Union Local 668 and the Office and Professional Employees International Union Healthcare Pennsylvania.

The state disclosed the privatization effort last August as part of an announcement that Mayview State Hospital would close by the end of this year.

The agreement to be announced today still means the termination of forensic and other mental health services at Mayview.

Currently, the state provides forensic services at Mayview, Norristown and Warren state hospitals. The state had explored creating privately run forensic facilities at two sites, the Norristown and Torrance hospitals.

Under the new agreement, state-operated forensic services at the Warren and Norristown hospitals will continue. Once Mayview closes, forensic services there will be transferred to Torrance State Hospital.

Joe Fahy can be reached at jfahy@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1722.
First published on March 21, 2008 at 12:00 am