Officials Propose Facility For Dangerous Psych Patients

BOISE (AP) — The state’s most dangerous psychiatric patients may be housed in a more secure facility in southwest Idaho sometime next year.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare officials unveiled a plan to lawmakers Wednesday to house 20 patients in a remodeled building on the Idaho State School and Hospital campus in Nampa.

The $3.2 million project would also create two new apartment-like units for 16 developmentally disabled patients. Supporters say those units will create a better environment for some of the 95 mentally disabled patients now living at the Nampa campus.

Officials also say the psychiatric facility would fill an immediate need for the state, which places its most severely ill patients at the two state hospitals in Orofino and Blackfoot.

Behavioral Health Administrator Kathleen Allyn says those hospitals lack the security and staff trained to handle the most dangerous patients.