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Sonoma Developmental Center under fire for patient abuse


The California Department of Health has issued a scathing report about a board-and-care home for people with disabilities in Sonoma County.

The Sonoma Developmental Center houses about 500 patients in the city of Eldridge. California Watch obtained a copy of the nearly 500 page document which details numerous citations of neglect and abuse by staff, including sexual abuse and violence, as well as lack of action on these cases by on-site law enforcement.

According to the report, the center will lose its federal certification and funding if it doesn’t upgrade its patient care immediately. Ryan Gabrielson of California Watch reported on the situation today.

GABRIELSON: "Our reporting has found, and now the Department of Public Health has documented, really incomplete investigations where the leads aren't followed, they'll find evidence that suggests possible sexual abuse, like bruises on breasts and genitals, and they don't investigate that as possible sex abuse. There are cases that police at a developmental development center should be catching, and isn't."

Listen to the full interview with Ryan Gabrielson California Watch.

Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.