Jones’ case is the latest sign of dysfunction in a state system that serves hundreds of psychiatric patients. The Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter was placed on conditional license in 2011 after reports surfaced of repeated patient abuses. Two doctors there were recently rebuked by a judge for misleading him about the care of a patient.
Barry, who assumed direct oversight of the St. Peter hospital last year, has acknowledged difficulty in hiring qualified forensic psychiatrists for state facilities. But she also said the system is improving and said her agency is in negotiations with the University of Minnesota’s medical school to train and recruit new professionals for the system.
Filling in at the St. Peter hospital, Jones told the Legislative Auditor’s examiner, he “came out feeling thoroughly exhausted and yet did not have any sense he had done anything helpful for the patients he had seen.”