About Fulton State Hospital

Fulton State Hospital (FSH) is a 376-bed unit comprised of four levels of security, 1) Biggs Forensic Center (BFC), a maximum security unit, 2) the Sex Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment Services (SORTS), a high security unit housing civilly committed Sexually Violent Predators, 3) Guhleman Forensic Center (GFC), an intermediate security unit, and 4) Hearnes Forensic Center (HFC), a minimum security developmentally disabled treatment unit. FSH provides services to individuals with a broad array of disabilities, emphasizing services for those with serious mental illnesses using empirically supported treatment modalities. FSH also serves as a statewide treatment facility for persons found incompetent to proceed to trial (16% of our total population), permanently incompetent to proceed (22%), and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect (15%) as well as those civilly committed as Sexually Violent Predators (21%). Therefore, individuals served are admitted on both a voluntary (by guardian; 23%) and involuntary basis, at times being committed by the Courts for evaluation and/or treatment (77%).

Fulton State Hospital’s long-term treatment and rehabilitation programs emphasize the application of state-of-the art technologies in the form of structured ward-wide programs. Psychologists have been important leaders in the development of these treatment initiatives and currently fill active and critical roles in the implementation and oversight of these programs. Offered treatment programs include the Social Learning Program, New Outlook Program for Behavior and Mood Self-Management, Program for Recovery and Self-Motivation, Sex Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment Services,  and the Competency Restoration and Acute Forensic Team.

The average length of stay for individuals at Fulton State Hospital varies by unit. As of July 2014, the average length of stay was 3.51 years (42.07 months) for BFC, 2.95 for GFC (35.35 months), and about 2.13 years for HFC (25.53 months). Because the SORTS program is new to the Fulton State Hospital campus with its first ward opening on November 1, 2010 and subsequent two wards opening each of the following years (2011 and 2012), its average length of stay as of July 2014 is skewed at 2.6 years (31.25 months).

Fulton State Hospital treats an individual population that is both clinically and demographically diverse. Clinically, individuals served at Fulton State Hospital have a wide range of diagnoses, covering virtually all the major categories of the DSM-V. The most common primary diagnoses include schizophrenia (24%), mood disorders (8%), and personality disorders (8%), namely Antisocial and Borderline Personality Disorders. Also treated are individuals committed as Sexually Violent Predators who have corresponding diagnoses of paraphilias. Also, many of the individuals we serve have primary or secondary diagnoses of substance abuse (48%) and intellectual and developmental disabilities (41%). Also, a smaller number suffer from dementia diagnoses (e.g., those due to Alzheimer's disease, vascular conditions, HIV, or traumatic brain injuries), Huntington's disease, other organic disorders, and dissociative conditions.

Our current individual population is 62% Caucasian, 37% African-American, and 1% American Indian, Hispanic, and other backgrounds. Most individuals are male (90%), and most individuals are in the 30-39 (24%) and 40-49 (21%) age ranges, followed by the 22-29 (20%) and 50-59 (20%) age ranges. Moreover, due to our location and catchment area, we serve many individuals from small communities in rural parts of the state. However, we also serve many individuals from urban centers due to serving as the Department of Mental Health’s only maximum, high and intermediate security psychiatric units. In addition, Fulton State Hospital serves deaf and hard of hearing clients through the Interpreting Services Department (10%of our total population). Services provided include on-site interpreting,remote interpreting, translation of documents, communication assessments, and resources and training.

FSH is located in Callaway County, which was previously recognized in USA Today as one of the top five rural counties for quality of life. It is roughly equidistant from the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas. Approximately 25 miles away is Jefferson City, the state’s Capitol, and Columbia, Missouri, which is the home of the flagship campus of the University of Missouri system. Many FSH staff elect to live in the city of Columbia.In this central Missouri area, housing is remarkably affordable and cultural, entertainment and recreational opportunities abound. Columbia (population 100,000) has been described by Money Magazine (1999) as a “small town with a big university, a place that’s Midwestern in its sensibilities but carries a southern flavor too. The city is safe, smart and bustling, with lots to do both indoors (theater, galleries and music) and out (hiking, biking and plenty of parks)”. It is located halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City and provides a unique blend of urban and rural living. It was also named “Best Town To Live In” within the state by Rural Missouri Magazine. In addition, the Columbia Public School System is strong, with 90% of its graduates going on to post high school education.