Officials Surprised At Extent Of Alleged Abuse At Whiting

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS Connecticut and AP) — State officials are expressing surprise at the extent of alleged abuse that took place at Connecticut’s only maximum-security psychiatric hospital.

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Commissioner Miriam Dephin-Rittmon told state lawmakers Monday that top officials “never had information that would suggest a pattern this significant.”

Thirty-seven employees at Whiting Forensic Division of the Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown have been implicated in the alleged abuse of a patient. Seven have been fired and 10 have been arrested.

Dephin-Rittmon says fear and intimidation helped to cover up the alleged abuse, which she says “has sickened me and haunted me” ever since she saw the video evidence.

She says her agency is “working very hard to understand how this could happen,” noting it’s “not reflective of our whole system.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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