TRENTON – Senator Richard J. Codey today issued the following statement calling on Governor Christie to immediately start the process of reopening Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital to alleviate the overcrowding at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. His call comes after a published report on NJ.com described overcrowded and unsafe conditions at the Greystone facility.
Senator Codey has been a life-long advocate for individuals with mental illness and has consistently advocated for Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. Construction of the new facility began under Governor Codey’s administration.
“I am personally sickened by the conditions patients are living in at Greystone. The reports of violent patients ‘running things’ and more than two dozen people assaulted over a three month period at a facility that is apparently on pace this year to far exceed the recorded number of assaults in each of the last two years is alarming.
“The hospital is supposed to provide a safe and supportive environment for patients, and instead has our most vulnerable residents living like prisoners and professional staff too afraid to properly do their jobs. This is a deplorable situation and the fact that it exists at a state-run facility should be cause for concern at the highest levels of government.
“There are a number of issues that must be fixed immediately, but there is no doubt that the fundamental problem is the overcrowding and can be traced to the closure of Hagedorn and other facilities. I have real concerns about the state’s proposed solution to apparently expedite patient discharges. That is not going to solve the problem.
“The issue is that we need more beds for those who require care. Governor Christie must immediately begin the process of reopening Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital to alleviate the overcrowding. If he fails to do so, I will push for it as soon as a new administration takes office.”