JUNE 8, 2004 - Posted at 7:25 a.m. CDT
BATESVILLE, AR - A state officials says a hospital in Corning has backed out of a plan to treat criminally insane inmates from the State Hospital. The change endangers a state plan to move patients from the state facility to private care.
Pat Dahlgren, director of the state Department of Human Services' Behavioral Health Services Division, told legislators yesterday that the Corning hospital has backed out of the program.
Dahlgren said the decision to withdraw from the plan came because of "negative publicity." That news coverage came after the state announced several weeks ago that it would not renew its contract with the private vendor that runs the Arkansas Partnership Program at the State Hospital. The state wants to shut down the program when the contract expires June 30.