February 22, 2018
General Counsel CoreyAnne Gulkewiz
Illinois Department of Human Services
100 West Randolph, Suite 6-400
Chicago, IL 60601
Re: Retribution against patients at Elgin Mental Health Center
As attorney for several patients at Elgin Mental Health Center, I stay busy enough. With this letter, I only intend to make a record and alert you to a situation that I hope might resolve without litigation; i.e., I am not making any specific demand at this time.
Two forensic patients on N Unit at Elgin have complained to me about each other for several months. (Patient name redacted) and (patient name redacted) each allege that the other is adept at covertly manipulating staff and other patients on the unit to his own unfair advantage. Mental health professionals, of course, should be good at deciphering and discouraging such “splitting” maneuvers by patients.
Indeed, the N Unit clinical staff concluded (at least preliminarily) that one of these two patients is the “bad guy” and the other is well enough to be ready for release. They apparently requested that the “bad guy” be moved to a different unit to avoid trouble. However, the administration at EMHC overruled them, insisting that the “bad guy” remain on N Unit. I cannot think of any rational reason for this, but I do suspect a motive. James Patrick Corcoran, from my own experience with him, is irrationally offended by patients’ occasional choices to avoid psychotropic medications. He is even more offended when those patients get well without meds.
In this case, the N Unit patient believed by the treating psychiatrist and other unit staff to be well has not taken meds for many years. The other patient, believed to be the “bad guy” by those who see him on a daily basis, is taking meds. Corcoran is purposefully trying to punish or provoke one patient by keeping the other one on the same unit in close proximity to antagonize him. Needless to say, the tactic is discreditable, contrary to any concept of therapeutic milieu, and probably quite destructive of clinical staff morale.
Yours very truly,
S. Randolph Kretchmar