DSH - Atascadero

Related Links

Department of State Hospitals (DSH) - Atascadero: Home

Atascadero State Hospital

We are a secure forensic hospital located on the Central Coast of California. Our hospital is a fully state licensed facility and a Joint Commission-accredited facility. We provide inpatient forensic services for adult males who are court committed from throughout the State of California.

Department of State Hospitals (DSH) - Atascadero opened in 1954 and is a completely self-contained psychiatric hospital constructed within a security perimeter. Atascadero has a licensed capacity of 1275 beds, of which 204 are acute/psychiatric and 1071 are intermediate care.

"Atascadero State Hospital"DSH - Atascadero has undergone a number of changes due to shifting public, professional, and legislative policy and law regarding the relationship between crime and mental disorders. As a public sector facility, DSH - Atascadero's mission is linked to public policy. The hospital's mission includes providing evaluation and treatment in a safe and responsible manner, seeking innovation and excellence in hospital operations, across a continuum of care and settings.

Patient Population:

All patients at DSH - Atascadero are male, have a mental disability, and pose a threat to others or themselves. The majority are remanded for treatment by the superior courts of the counties of California or by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation pursuant to various sections of the California Penal Code and the Welfare and Institutions Code. Individuals are admitted from state prisons, county jails, or are transferred from other state hospitals. The hospital does not accept voluntary admissions.

The majority of the patient population consists of:

  • Mentally Ill Inmates
  • Mentally Disordered Offenders
  • Patients who have been found Incompetent to Stand Trial
  • Patients who have been found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

The staff of DSH - Atascadero take great pride in serving the people of California by fulfilling a venerable social mission--providing care and treatment for the dangerous mentally ill members of our communities.

Thank you for your interest in DSH - Atascadero. We welcome your inquiries regarding patient treatment, career opportunities and forensic clinical practice.