Effects of publicity on a forensic hospital.

S. M. Reichlin and J. D. Bloom,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law 21(4): 475-83, 1993.
Oregon's forensic psychiatry hospital experienced a convulsing chain of events that began with the escape of an insanity acquittee who had been hospitalized following two murders. Although the patient was arrested without reoffending, there were major repercussions in the hospital. This event and related state hospital topics became the subject of intense publicity in the local newspaper. Articles ran almost daily for over a month, the majority of which were on page one. We give here an account of the episode and examine the meaning of the media coverage in the light of administration of public mental health systems, particularly where forensic psychiatry is involved.