Appeal from the Appellate Court for the First District; heard
in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County,
the Hon. R. Eugene Pincham, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE CLARK DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
This appeal requires us to determine whether a trial judge properly held directors of State mental institutions in criminal contempt of court following the escape of mental patients under their control. We are asked to determine the degree of control the judiciary can exercise over the administration of State mental hospitals and their employees. On July 17, 1981, a trial judge in the circuit court of Cook County entered a rule to show cause why Dr. Claude Roush and the Manteno Mental Health Center should not be held in indirect criminal contempt of court. This action followed two escapes by Gary McConnell, a patient committed to Manteno after he was found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) of various charges, including aggravated kidnaping. On September 1, 1981, Dr. Roush was held in contempt of court and ordered to provide 12 hours of counseling at Cook County jail or to pay a fine of $1,500.
Similarly, on June 14, 1982, the same trial judge issued a rule to show cause why Dr. Paul Schyve, acting director of the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute (the Institute) should not be held in contempt of court. This action followed the escape of Gary McConnell from the Institute on June 13, 1982. Dr. Schyve and Dr. Ivan Pavkovic, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (the Department), appeared for several hearings in front of the trial judge. Dr. Schyve and Dr. Pavkovic appealed the trial judge's order of June 24, 1982, directing the Department to identify dangerous NGRI patients and place them in a secure area. The appellate court reversed the trial judge's order holding Dr. Roush in contempt of court (People v. Roush (1983), 112 Ill. App.3d 689), and the appellate court also reversed the trial judge's order concerning Dr. Schyve and Dr. Pavkovic (People v. Schyve (1983), 112 Ill. App.3d 777). We consolidated the two cases and granted the petitions for leave to appeal submitted by the State's Attorney of Cook County. 87 Ill.2d R. 315(a).
On appeal, Dr. Schyve was represented by private counsel. Dr. Pavkovic, Dr. Roush and the Department were represented by the Attorney General of Illinois. Certain NGRI patients attempted to intervene in the case at bar, and they were represented by private counsel. The State's Attorney of Cook County presented the arguments of the trial judge. The first case in this consolidated appeal, People v. Roush, No. 57891, is based on the following facts:
On November 12, 1978, Gary McConnell abducted Clara Zuckley in Lansing and forced her to accompany him in his car to Iowa. McConnell was armed with a sawed-off shotgun and held Zuckley captive for 12 to 14 hours and threatened to kill her. Zuckley was able to escape when McConnell stopped at a gas station, and McConnell was arrested a few days later. On January 9, 1979, McConnell was indicted for aggravated kidnaping, aggravated battery, burglary, home invasion, and the unlawful use of weapons. In November 1979, McConnell was declared unfit to stand trial and placed in the Chester Mental Health Center. He remained there from November 1979 to April 1981.
The trial judge determined that McConnell was fit to stand trial in April of 1981, and McConnell was found not guilty by reason of insanity of all counts of the indictment. McConnell was remanded to the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities and placed in the Manteno Mental Health Center, a mental hospital operated by the State of Illinois, on May 2, 1981. On May 15, 1981, McConnell was given a grounds pass while his parents were visiting Manteno. He stole his parents' car keys from his mother's purse, and drove the car out of the Manteno compound. Vaugh Schoon of the Lansing police department learned of the escape and set up surveillance at the home of Clara Zuckley. McConnell was seen driving past Zuckley's home. A high-speed chase ensued, and McConnell was finally arrested in Munster, Indiana, and returned to Manteno.
Dr. Claude Roush, director of Manteno, testified that the mental hospital is divided into several units, with varying levels of security. Manteno houses NGRI patients as well as mentally infirm individuals who have not been charged with criminal offenses. McConnell was placed in the Singer 2 ward, but was transferred to his "home ward," Cullen 1, on June 12, 1981. This transfer was made because McConnell had been cooperative and demonstrated emotional stability during his confinement in Singer 2 ward. In the early morning of July 11, 1981, McConnell stuffed pillows under his sheets so it would appear he was in bed and escaped through the window of his dorm room. The Lansing police were alerted and surveillance was established at Zuckley's home.
On July 20, 1981, Zuckley left her home at 5:23 a.m. to go to work. McConnell was waiting outside Zuckley's home and seized her as she approached her car. Lansing police officers demanded that McConnell release the woman and a struggle ensued. McConnell was handcuffed and placed under arrest. Conflicting testimony was offered concerning the relationship between McConnell and Zuckley. The State has attempted to characterize McConnell as a violent man who was determined to kill Zuckley, yet Manteno offered uncontradicted testimony of Dr. Paul Finkel, clinical psychologist at Manteno, that Zuckley regularly visited McConnell at Manteno and she was observed sitting on McConnell's lap during one of her visits.
On July 17, 1981, the trial judge entered a rule to show cause why Dr. Roush and the Manteno Mental Health Center should not be held in indirect criminal contempt of court. Dr. Roush and Manteno were charged with failing to prevent the escape of McConnell in violation of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-4). An extensive hearing was held and the following facts were elicited:
Cullen 1 ward had housed 63 NGRI patients in the two-year period preceding Dr. Roush's contempt proceedings. During this period, there were 32 unauthorized absences from Cullen 1 ward. Most of these NGRI patients were found wandering on the Manteno grounds shortly after their absence was detected, but two NGRI patients escaped from Manteno and never returned. Dr. Roush conceded that the absences constituted a "large and alarming figure," but he claimed budgetary restraints prevented him from fortifying the Manteno facility. Security screens were installed in Cullen 1 ward after the contempt hearing commenced.
As stated, on September 1, 1981, the trial judge found Dr. Roush and Manteno in contempt of court and ordered Dr. Roush to provide 12 hours of counseling services in Cook County jail, or to pay a fine of $1,500. On September 8, 1981, the trial judge entered the following order:
"1. No NGRI (not guilty by reason of insanity) patient [will] be given unsupervised grounds passes by the Manteno Mental Health Center without first giving the Court from which the patient was referred and the State's Attorney's Office one week's notice of its intention. During this time the ...