February 23rd, 2012

Photo: Donna Lazzini embraces her son, Timothy Lazzini, a resident of the Sonoma Developmental Center who died in 2005, in a family photo collage celebrating his life.

California has assembled a unique police force to protect about 1,800 of its most vulnerable patients – men and women with cerebral palsy, severe autism and other mental disabilities who live in state institutions and require round-the-clock monitoring and protection from abuse.

But our new investigation has found that detectives and patrol officers at the state’s five board-and-care institutions routinely fail to conduct basic police work even when patients die under mysterious circumstances.

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@CaliforniaWatch

California Watch, the largest investigative journalism team operating in the state, was launched in 2009 by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting. Areas of coverage include education, health and welfare, public safety, the environment and the influence of money on the political and regulatory process.

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