Private Contractors to Take Over State Program for Criminally Insane

JUNE 4, 2004 - Posted at 7:59 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Workers from other state mental health facilities will operate a state program for the criminally insane when its private vendor's contract expires at the end of the year.

The announcement will slow the planned transfer of patients from the program at the State Hospital to a private center.  That transfer had been on a fast-track officials set just weeks ago when they decided the contract for the Arkansas Partnership Program would not be renewed.

Staff from the State Hospital and the Arkansas Health Center in Benton will take over operation of the Arkansas Partnership Program.  Officials acknowledged to legislators that remaining staff at those facilities would have to carry a heavier load and work longer hours to compensate.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)