Patients at State Psychiatric Hospital Discovered Viewing Child Porn, Prompting Crackdown on Electronic Devices

In this file photo, patients can be seen using one of the outdoor courtyards during a lunch break at Coalinga State Hospital. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

In this file photo, patients can be seen using one of the outdoor courtyards during a lunch break at Coalinga State Hospital. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

A crackdown on electronics at a state psychiatric hospital that houses people with histories of sexual violence has triggered “disruptive behavior” at the facility, with patients breaking windows, clogging toilets and throwing food, officials said.

The new regulations, implemented Friday, were a response to patients at Coalinga State Hospital viewing and storing child pornography on their devices, Ken August, a spokesman for California Department of State Hospitals, said via email.

As part of the crackdown, officials restricted Internet access and devices that can copy or store digital media. Commercially produced CDs, DVDs and digital media players without internet access are permitted.

The protests over the new rules turned violent when patients shoved police officers who were attempting to search someone. Two patients sustained minor injuries.

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