A Litany of Problems at OC Health Care Agency

The embattled Health Care Agency that is still on probation with the federal government for past violations of Medicare billing fraud is once again faced with controversy. The inept leader of Children and Youth Services (CYS a division of HCA), Patricia Rogers, has cut services to the most disturbed children and adolescents in Orange County Juvenile Hall; this has angered many staffers in the probation department. The CYS leader has intentionally cut the weekend coverage as well as after-hours weekday coverage in an alleged attempt to save the county few pennies while she indirectly saves her own enhanced pension plan (8% enhanced pension) that KFI radio and Nick Berardino of the Orange County Employees Association have recently blown the whistle on. According to my sources, Juvenile Hall would at least have 10 to 12 severe crisis calls per weekend day, in addition to the minors who are in desperate need for treatment. Most of the suicides and riots in Juvenile Hall take place on the weekends.

The Realities of Life in Juvenile Hall

Recently, Voice of OC ran a news story on a “melee” at Orange County Juvenile Hall that injured at least one staff, putting her in the hospital. I would dispute the use of the word “melee” and substitute the word “riot.” Regardless of the fact that the fight only lasted a few minutes, the very real potential for a full-scale riot was there. The unit where the fight occurred is physically connected to another unit and there are six units immediately connected to this unit that could have gone out of control. There were minors out of their cells in each of these units that could have taken this to the extreme but, fortunately due to staff intervention, did not before the institution was placed on lockdown.