Department of State Hospitals - Patton


The Department of State Hospitals-Patton is a forensic psychiatric hospital located in Patton, CA, in San Bernardino County.  DSH-Patton was established in 1890 and opened in 1893. DSH-Patton provides treatment to forensically and civilly committed patients within a secure treatment area. The hospital does not accept voluntary admissions.


The hospital currently operates 1,527 beds. The four primary commitment categories of patients treated at DSH-Patton are described below:

Incompetent to Stand Trial (PC 1370)

Felony and misdemeanor defendants found incompetent by a court are placed in a state hospital where the focus of treatment is to help them regain trial competency and return them to court so they may be adjudicated on their pending charges. Those patients who are unable to be restored to competency within a three (3) year time period are returned to the court to determine future status and may be recommitted civilly pursuant to WIC 5008, as a Murphy Conservatee.

Mentally Disordered Offenders (Penal Code Section 2962/2972)

Parolees who committed one of a specified list of crimes and who were treated for a severe mental disorder connected to their original crime can be committed to a state hospital as a condition of parole for a period not to exceed the length of their parole term.  If the person still requires treatment at the end of their parole term, they may be civilly committed under PC2972 if it is determined that they are a substantial danger to others. These commitments last for one year and may be renewed annually by the court. The focus of treatment for this population involves helping the patient increase their ability to safely and effectively manage the symptoms associated with their mental illness. 

Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (PC 1026)

Persons judged by the court to be guilty of a crime, but not guilty because they were insane at the time of the crime are committed to a state hospital for treatment for a period equal to the maximum sentence for their most serious offense, subordinate offenses and enhancements. The ultimate goal is for the patient to reintegrate into the community with an increased awareness of their role within society and to take responsibility for personal and public safety. The focus of treatment for this population involves helping the patient development insight into their mental illness and how the symptoms of mental illness led to the commission of a crime. Further, the patient must also demonstrate the ability to safely and effectively manage the symptoms associated with their mental illness.

Conservatees (LPS & Murphy)

LPS Conservatees under Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) 5008(h)(1)(A) may be placed at DSH-Patton after it has been determined that they exceed the admission criteria for either DSH-Metropolitan or DSH-Napa, and the Conservator has ordered placement at DSH-Patton. For the LPS population, the focus of treatment involves helping patients develop basic life skills to enhance their overall quality of life such that they can function optimally in a lower level of care (e.g. IMD or Board and Care).  For Murphy Conservatees, under Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) 5008(h)(1)(B) and  WIC 5358, the focus of treatment for this population remains restoration of competency.

The primary patient population breakdown for DSH-Patton is listed below:

Patient Category Percentage

Incompetent to Stand Trial (PC 1370)


Mentally Disordered Offenders (PC 2962/2964a & 2972)


Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (PC 1026)


Conservatees (LPS and Murphy)



Approximately 2,700 employees work at DSH-Patton providing around-the-clock care, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation therapists, psychiatric technicians, registered nurses, registered dieticians and other clinical and administrative staff. There are approximately 349 different job classifications at the facility, including hospital police, kitchen staff, custodial staff, warehouse workers, groundskeepers, information technology staff, plant operations staff, spiritual leaders, and other clinical and administrative staff.


The Trial Competency Program is for patients admitted to the hospital under Penal Code (PC) 1370 as Incompetent to Stand Trial. These patients receive a specialized program of treatment which is designed to specifically help the patient gain the knowledge and skills necessary to return to court. The goal is for the patient to understand court proceedings and effectively participate in their defense.

The focus of treatment for our Mentally Disordered Offender (MDO) and Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGI) population emphasizes the potential for each patient to learn new skills and adaptive coping mechanisms to enhance the quality of the patient’s life at the hospital and prepare them for eventual transfer to Community Outpatient Treatment (C.O.T.). Other goals are to motivate patients for treatment, develop greater self-autonomy and independence, and the mastery of Activities of Daily Living (ADL) skills and self-discipline.

All treatment programs at DSH-Patton utilize the recovery philosophy offering a broad spectrum of treatment, while fully endorsing the hospital’s mission to provide comprehensive clinical services within the context of a biopsychosocial rehabilitation model within an environment of safety and security for all patients, staff and the community in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.


Approximately half of Patton’s staff members live in the local cities of Highland, San Bernardino, Redlands and Colton. Other staff members reside largely within a 70 mile radius.  DSH-Patton partners with San Bernardino Valley College and Hacienda La Puente Adult Education. Through its psychiatric technician education program, the colleges have provided the hospital with hundreds of graduates over the course of many years. Similarly, a number of registered nurses, psychiatrists, physicians, psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation therapist and a wide range of other healthcare-related disciplines from area colleges have completed clinical rotations at our hospital.