Targeted by California Watch stories, a state institution loses license

California Watch
The California Department of Public Health revoked the operating license for the Sonoma Developmental Center in Eldridge, Calif., Ryan Gabrielson reports:

The action comes after a series of stories this year from California Watch documenting failures by the Office of Protective Services, an internal police force established specifically to protect and serve patients at these board-and-care centers. The police force has failed to perform basic tasks associated with crime investigations. In particular, the Sonoma center had evidence of a dozen sexual assaults but police investigators failed to order a single hospital-supervised examination for the alleged victims. Those reported assaults represent a third of the 36 documented cases of sexual abuse and molestation in the past four years at the state’s five developmental centers.


The Center for Investigative Reporting’s California Watch used a graphic-novel style video, among other methods, to illustrate Gabrielson’s story about “Jennifer,” a former resident of the Sonoma developmental center who was abused and raped in the facility.

“The state Department of Developmental Services is appealing the revocation,” Gabrielson writes. The center will operate during the appeal.

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