I just finished reading my afternoon update from The Tribune. The article I read, “Suspects in California Valley torture case plead no contest to assault charges,” floored me. There must be a lot of extenuating circumstances I don’t understand here or there has been a gross miscarriage of justice. I’m finding it difficult to comprehend how two violent people can hire someone under false pretenses, kidnap him, torture him for three days while keeping him locked up, and then be sentenced to time already served in jail and three years of felony probation. Now these two will be out on the street, ready to grab someone else. You, maybe?
If this weren’t enough, I also read today that the fifth worker at Atascadero State Hospital this month was attacked by a patient. I understand this is a risky place to work, but you’d still think that since people know that, more procedures would be in place to protect these employees. Where would we be if they finally decided the money they earn there just isn’t worth it?
I don’t know enough about this situation to offer a solution. But I hope someone finds one that’s workable so that these employees do not have to consider that their lives may be on the line just by going to work. I know military personnel, police officers and fire fighters also face this, and I offer all of them my thanks. They are the recognized heros. But maybe we should also offer kudos to the psychiatric workers and others who face danger at ASH every time they go to work.