State auditors find systemic trauma at care facility

Report: SWITC "rife with systemic problems"
Posted at 11:27 PM, Jan 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-18 11:17:25-05

NAMPA, Idaho — Idaho's state auditors say a state-run residential treatment center for people with severe disabilities and mental illness or other issues is rife with systemic problems leading to trauma for staffers and residents alike.

The alarming report from the Office of Performance Evaluations found that there is a "culture of constant crisis" at the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center in Nampa, resulting in "stress, anxiety and despair on the part of staff" and gaps in the care provided to clients.

The report was presented to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Thursday. Chairman Rep. Mat Erpelding, a Boise Democrat, said the findings were worse than he could have ever imagined and said the facility had failed every Idahoan.

The facility became the subject of close scrutiny from lawmakers and the public in 2017 after civil and criminal investigations uncovered abuse and neglect, six staffers were disciplined, a client committed suicide and the facility failed inspections.