State may move criminally insane to Western State - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

State may move criminally insane to Western State

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The state may move all criminally insane mental patients to Western State Hospital in the wake of an escape from Eastern State earlier this year.

A report released Thursday by the Department of Social and Health Services says Eastern State may be unable to safely deal with the most dangerous patients in its "forensic unit."

Consolidating people found not guilty by reason of insanity at Western State also may save money. The report, obtained by The Associated Press, was prepared by a panel of experts at the request of DSHS Secretary Susan Dreyfus.

The department is seeking ways to prevent future incidents like the escape of Phillip Paul in September during an outing at the Spokane County Interstate Fair. Paul was committed in 1987 for the slaying of a Sunnyside woman. He was recaptured without incident near Goldendale three days after escaping.

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