Senator Somers and Public Health Committee to Hold Public Hearing on Whiting Forensic Institute Scandal, Monday, November 13

November 2, 2017

HARTFORD, Conn. – Today State Senator and Co-Chair of the Public Health Committee, Heather Somers (R-Groton), announced that she will host a public hearing on the Whiting Forensic Institute Scandal on Monday, November 13th. The first hour of the public hearing has been reserved for the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to testify and answer questions from legislators. After the first hour, members of the public are encouraged to attend and testify.

“I think it is extremely important for the public to hear from both DPH and DMHAS regarding the current operations at the Connecticut Valley Hospital, especially as it relates to the disturbing reports coming from the Whiting Forensic Unit,” said Sen. Somers. “It is even more important to provide a platform for current employees, former employees, patient advocates and anyone else who has information about the operations of this section of the hospital to testify about their experiences – whether they were good or bad. All of this information will help us to understand where the systematic breakdown occurred and what policies need to be put in place to make sure something like this never happens again.”

WHO: Senator Somers and Fellow Public Health Committee Members

WHAT: Public Hearing Re: Whiting Forensic Institute scandal

WHEN: Monday, November 13 starting at 9:30 A.M.

WHERE: Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, Room 2C

“As I have said before, these reports are unacceptable and intolerable, they show a shameful dereliction of employee management by the state, we must examine the hospital’s internal policies – we need to make sure this state facility is being properly managed,” said Sen. Somers. “It is unacceptable to treat any human like this, but to find out that patients with intellectual disabilities and mental health conditions are being abused – it is just unacceptable and a clear violation of the most basic of human rights.”

“This public hearing will be the first step in understanding how this culture of cruelty was allowed to persist without intervention and aid the Public Health Committee to help draft legislation to make sure that management breakdowns like this don’t happen, and that duties of oversight and supervision are not circumvented,” said Sen. Somers.