Report on Western State Hospital Escapes

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jason Roe (202) 374-2424

Report on Western State Hospital Escapes
25,000 master keys were missing”

(Seattle, Wash.) A new report on the lax security at the state’s largest mental hospital reveals that the Inslee Administration’s incompetent management lead to the escape of 185 patients.

As reported by the Associated Press, "Investigators tasked with assessing security at Western State Hospital determined there were no routine inspections; 25,000 master keys were missing; thousands of tools used to open patient windows had been misplaced; and management was unwilling to recognize that failing to focus on security puts patients and the public at risk…”

The lax security at the facility should not have been a surprise to the Inslee Administration as a similar investigation in 2010 revealed the very same problems.  Clearly those warnings were ignored as the recent review “found that there is a lack of awareness of the foundational role security plays in the operation of a psychiatric hospital that houses dangerous patients.”

Though the facility houses dangerous criminals like Anthony Garver, who was charged with murdering a woman after tying her to a bed and stabbing her to death, hospital leadership defended themselves, “We’re not a prison, we are a hospital."

Matthew Donnellan