Corzine to hold news conference at Ancora today
Gov. Corzine will visit the troubled Ancora Psychiatric Hospital today - his second trip this year - and hold a press conference this afternoon with officials from the state Department of Human Services.
Gov. Corzine will visit the troubled Ancora Psychiatric Hospital today - his second trip this year - and hold a news conference this afternoon with officials from the state Department of Human Services.
Lawmakers and other officials have been exploring ways to reform the state-run hospital, which has had a number of high-profile incidents, including at least six patient deaths since July 2006.
The state's public advocate and Ancora's management both have supported more state funding for residential housing. They say Ancora and other state facilities are overcrowded with patients who could live on their own if they had a place to go.
Last year, Ancora's management was shaken up after two escapes from the Winslow Township hospital.
In early September, double murderer William Enman disappeared from Ancora and was discovered on hospital grounds after a three-day search. In 1974, Enman killed his roommate and his roommate's 4-year-old son with a baseball bat.
In December, DeWitt Crandell Jr., who stabbed his parents to death in 1996, wandered off the grounds during unsupervised, court-approved recreation time.
After two hours, he was found naked, scratched and bleeding near Hammonton. The next morning, Crandell hanged himself at Ancora with a bedsheet despite a 24-hour watch order.
Within days, Ancora's chief executive officer and a security guard were removed from their jobs.
In February, the state Assembly Human Services Committee held hearings to examine conditions and security at the 700-bed hospital. The committee also reviewed reports of overcrowding and deaths, including two patients who were killed by fellow patients.
Corzine first toured the hospital in March.