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Decades of Legal Limbo Can Await Patients Leaving California Psychiatric Hospitals

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Back view of patient woman sitting on bed in hospital ward, looking away at window and hope everything will be better.

California’s conditional release program, known as CONREP, is supposed to enable patients leaving state psychiatric hospitals to transition to an independent life and avoid violent relapses. But a new investigation by The Marshall Project and the Los Angeles Times found that CONREP can put former patients in a decades-long legal limbo during which the state dictates where they live, whether they can work and whom they can see — even requiring permission for activities like creative writing or joining a book group. Those in CONREP are disproportionately people of color. We’ll talk to Marshall Project staff writer Christie Thompson about what she uncovered.


Christie Thompson, staff writer, The Marshall Project


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