Mental Hospital Changes

Changes will be made at the state mental hospital in Pueblo after criminally committed patients won a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed in 1999, claimed the patients' constitutional rights were violated. It said they were denied special diets and visits with relatives, were physically mistreated, given substandard psychiatric treatment and warehoused.

The changes will include higher staffing and lower patient numbers at the hospital to eliminate crowding and to ensure there are enough employees to provide adequate treatment and supervision.

Retired U.S. Magistrate Donald Abram will act as court appointed guardian for the patients for 18 months.