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Psychiatric Hospital For Violent Sex Predators On Lockdown After Patient Protests

SACRAMENTO (AP) -- A California state psychiatric hospital housing mostly sexually violent predators has been locked down and visits canceled after a weekend protest over devices that officials say are often used to smuggle child pornography.

Department of State Hospitals spokesman Ralph Montano said Tuesday that Coalinga State Hospital patients were protesting new restrictions on electronic devices. No injuries were reported.

Department officials have cited lawsuit testimony asserting that there is a "porn epidemic" at Coalinga to justify the crackdown.

Attorneys say they are upset that authorities have removed telephones so they can't communicate with their clients.

One attorney says officials are retaliating against patients.

Nearly three-quarters of the patients in the Fresno County facility are court-designated sexually violent predators. Most of the remaining patients also are being treated after completing prison sentences.

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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