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The controversy over busing of patients and so-called "patient-dumping" from the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas took another turn this week when The Sacramento Bee published a lengthy report showing at least eight other psychiatric patients had been sent out-of-state to places where they had little or no connection. This flatly contradicts the official report that the practice was limited and mostly beneficial to patients.
Philip Reese, Reporter, Sacramento Bee
BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- The Sacremento Bee has uncovered eight more startling stories of Rawson-Neal psychiatric patients sent out of state without a plan.
Nicholas Caroleo is a former lightweight professional boxer who suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He also has a long criminal record.
In spite of the fact that he had no family or friends in Ft. Lauderdale, Rawson-Neal set him up with a bus ticket to Florida – “he had spent some time there on the street,” says Sacremento Bee reporter Phillip Reese.
Prior to his departure, he sent a former girlfriend a text message that said “You will repent.” He also contacted his parents in Maryland and told them they’d be dead by summer. They applied for and received a protective order against their son, but they still don’t know where he is, and every day fear that he’ll show up on their doorstep.
Reese says that the only mistake that Rawson-Neal acknowledges in their discharge plans is the failure to follow up with patients. They’ve also changed their procedures to allow for an escort to accompany patients bussed out of state.
Reese seems to think that providing escorts to the patients is a step in the right direction.
“If each of these patients (that we’ve reported on) had had an escort with them, I don’t think we would have had a very long story,” he says.