Location: Lewis Ranch, California, USA (ZIP -93012)
Operation Time: 1932 - 1997
Type: Not Kirkbride Plan
Camarillo State Mental Hospital was located in Lewis Ranch, California, and was built in 1932 after the California government purchased 1,760 acres of land. The hospital was a pioneer in treating mental illnesses - and it was known to help ailments thought to be untreatable. This included the development of drugs and therapies for schizophrenia and the first hospital to deal with autism. However, the patients at Camarillo where not classified as criminally insane (those who where went to the nearby Atascadero State Hospital).
In January, 1996, Governor Pete Wilson announced his plans to close Camarillo in July, 1997. There were several protests made by community members, the friends and family of the patients, and employees of the hospital. Many of these advocates attempted to get the criminally insane in Camarillo as an attempt to save the hospital, but there were several people against the idea (claiming that the criminals would just escape).
In the end, Governor Wilson got his way and the hospital closed in June, a month earlier than anticipated. The patients were relocated to other hospitals. Later on, the building became a university, California State University, Channel Islands, CSUCI. Opening in 2002, it was four years later than the originally planned date of 1998. It is believed to be haunted by the patients who died inside the hospital.
Five Questions to the Readers
- Do you think it was right of Governor Pete Wilson to close the hospital?
- Who do you agree with when it comes to moving criminally insane patients to Camarillo?
- Do you think Camarillo State Mental Hospital is haunted?
- Do you ever want to visit Camarillo?
- If you were a patient, would you have been mad at the fact that the hospital closed a month earlier than initially planned?
- Land purchased in 1932.
- Developed drugs and therapies to the thought to be untreatable illness, schizophrenia.
- First hospital to deal with autism.
- Pete Wilson, governor of California, plans to close the hospital, as announced in January, 1996.
- Closed in June, 1997.
- Opened as CSUCI in 2002.
- Pete Wilson - California governor who wanted to shut the hospital down.