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Started in 1970. The cigarette tax income which was earmarked for mental health dropped, so 99 staff were fired. Bryce State Hospital had 5,000 patients, grossly inadequate living conditions. Lower Court granted an injunction and the State appealed; the 5th Circuit Court affirmed.
Judge Johnson became the first Federal Judge to opine that "civilly committed patients have a constitutional right to individual treatment." (Same Judge forced Wallace to allow ML King, Jr, to march from Selma to Montgomery) Wyatt Committee was formed to watch-dog the State. The American Psychiatric Association, US Dept of Justice, and many others worked to force improved conditions. As a result, Al rebuilt ALL patient care areas, hired many new Drs. The Wyatt Oversight ended in 2003, and as always, the State has cut resources, staff, and everything else. As of 4/2009 they are trying to sell Bryce Hospital.