(CBS Connecticut) — A General Assembly hearing is expected at the end of the month, on the abuse of a patient at the Whiting Forensic Division in Middletown.

Republican Public Health Committee Co-chair Heather Somers says it appears there was a complete breakdown at Whiting.

“This is a facility that for far too long has remained in the shadows, calling itself a hospital, but sadly in many cases becoming a prison,” Somers said.

Republicans on the committee say it is too soon to say if the treatment hospital for the criminally insane should be privatized.

The lawmakers say they also see a possible connection between excessive overtime by staff, and abuse suffered by the patient. They say the hours take a toll on workers, leaving them prone to snapping or doing something inappropriate.

The patient was repeatedly hit, kicked and had a diaper put on his head during ongoing abuse.

State Police have arrested nine staff members. Dozens of staff members have been suspended.

Whiting provides treatment to people with mental problems who are accused of criminal behavior.

Some of the residents have been found unfit to stand trial.


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