Unsafe Haven

Hidden Cameras Reveal Potential Abuse

Falsified records. Dangerous conditions. Doctors who barely spoke to their patients. This is what 60 Minutes II and Ed Bradley found during a year-long investigation of Charter Behavioral Health Systems, the largest chain of private psychiatric hospitals in the country.

First broadcast in March 1999, this special hour-long 60 Minutes II was re-aired June 16, 1999. Below, you can find out what has happened since the first broadcast.

New Developments:


CBS Responds To Charter: CBS replies to charges from Charter that it acted improperly in investigating Charter hospitals.

The Latest: Since the first broadcast of "Unsafe Haven," Charter has announced that it will close two hospitals, and the agency that oversees private mental facilities has done 18 surprise inspections. Three Charter hospitals failed. Find out what else has happened.

Unsafe Haven FAQ: Was Terrance Johnson paid by CBS? Who regulates these hospitals? Get the answers to all your questions, in quick question-and-answer form.

Viewer Email: In response to its investigation of Charter Hospitals, 60 Minutes II received hundreds of emails. Many of these letters came from people who had had first-hand experience with Charter, as either patients or employees. Find out what these people had to say.

The Inside Story: To confirm first-hand what it learned from interviews and records, 60 Minutes II asked Terrance Johnson, a highly trained social worker, to apply for a job at a Charter hospital. He was hired at Charter Pines Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. Using a tiny camera hidden in the bridge of a pair of glasses, Johnson videotaped a variety of highly questionable activities: falsified records, improper restraints, and untrained staff members conducting sessions. Find out what Terrance Johnson discovered at Charter Pines.

Unsafe Restraints: In psychiatric care, restraint is a serious procedure that can involve strapping wrists and ankles into cuffs, which bind the patient to a bed. It can be dangerous for both patients and staff, and requires training and experience to be done properly. Yet when Terrance Johnson started work at Charter Pines Psychiatric Hospital in Charlotte, N.C., he received no training in how to restrain patients.


Produced by David Kohn;
  • David Kohn

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