About Fulton State Hospital

Fulton State Hospital Administration Building image

Fulton State Hospital is the oldest State Psychiatric Hospital west of the Mississippi and has undergone a dramatic change that will dramatically impact the services the hospital provides over the coming decades. Our new, $211 Million state-of-the-art facility, will revolutionize the services we provide to the clients we serve.

Currently Fulton State Hospital (FSH) is a 399-bed hospital complex spread across three buildings, with three levels of security, 1) Nixon Forensic Center (NFC), a high security unit, 2) the Sex Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment Services (SORTS), a high security unit housing civilly committed Sexually Violent Predators, and 3) Hearnes Forensic Center (HFC), a minimum security developmentally disabled treatment unit.

Artist Rendering Aerial View of the new Fulton State Hospital

Our new facility, The Nixon Forensic Center opened August 1, 2019, replacing the Biggs Forensic Center and Guhleman Forensic Centers. The new facility is a 300-bed High Security unit. The SORTS unit will expand into the rest of Guhleman Forensic Center, allowing for the eventual expansion of their 100-bed program. The hospital will continue to maintain the 22-bed minimum security Hearnes Forensic Center in a separate building on campus.

Client Demographics

FSH provides services to individuals with a broad array of disabilities, emphasizing services for those with serious mental illnesses using empirically supported treatment modalities. Our clients are drawn from throughout the state of Missouri and reflect a racially, ethnically, and economically diverse population. Our current individual population is approximately 60% Caucasian, 37% African-American, and 2% are Native American, Hispanic, and other backgrounds. Over 90% of our clients are males and over 65% of our clients range in age from 22 to 60. Because of Fulton State Hospital’s level of security, we work with clients from both the urban and rural areas of Missouri. In addition, Fulton State Hospital serves deaf and hard of hearing clients through the Interpreting Services Department (9% of our total population). Services provided include on-site interpreting, remote interpreting, translation of documents, communication assessments, and resources and training.

Client Legal Status

The majority of our clients were referred by the criminal courts, initially as incompetent to proceed to trial or as not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. A small percentage of those who come here as incompetent to proceed to trial are eventually found permanently incompetent to stand trial and remain here in a long-term treatment program receiving treatment to be safely transitioned into the community. Currently about 1/5 of our clients were committed by the courts as incompetent to proceed to trial. Most of those clients will be restored to competency and discharged within about 5-10 months. About 1/4 of our clients have been found permanently incompetent to proceed to trial. Another 1/6 of our clients are committed here as not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect and about 1/4 were civilly committed as Sexually Violent Predators. The remaining 1/6 have been admitted at the request of their guardians.

Client Treatment Programming

Our long-term treatment and rehabilitation services emphasize evidenced-based treatment 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. Treatment programs include the Social Learning Program (SLP), New Outlook Program for Behavior and Mood Self-Management (NOP), Recovery and Self-Motivation (RSM), and the Sex Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment Services (SORTS). These programs treat clients with diverse clinical presentations. Clinically, individuals served at Fulton State Hospital have a wide range of diagnoses, covering virtually all the major categories of the DSM-5. The most common primary diagnoses include schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, mood disorders, intellectual disabilities, personality disorders, and paraphilic disorders. We also treat a smaller number who suffer from neurocognitive disorders.