California Office of Patients' Rights (COPR)

The California Office of Patients' Rights (COPR) is a DRC unit contracted by the Department of State Hospitals.

DRC Program

California Office of Patients' Rights (COPR)

The California Office of Patients' Rights (COPR) is a DRC unit contracted by the Department of State Hospitals. To ensure that people with mental illness receive quality treatment from facilities and providers of mental health treatment are in compliance with the regulations of their treatment.

We advocate and train in the five-state hospitals across California, giving technical assistance and training to county Patients’ Rights Advocates. The Patients’ Rights Advocates (PRA) in the state hospitals are employees of DRC.

The duties of the Patients' Rights Advocate are to:

  • Investigate and resolve complaints received from individuals about violations or abuse of their rights and/or to cause the investigation of such complaints.
  • Act as an advocate for individuals who are unable or afraid to file a complaint.
  • Monitor facilities for compliance with patients’ rights, laws, regulations, and policies.
  • Train staff in areas regarding patients’ rights, laws, regulations, and policies.
  • Assist staff in ensuring that all individuals are notified of their rights, including the right to contact the Advocate and the California Office of Patients’ Rights.
  • Act as a consultant to mental health professionals in the area of Patients’ rights.
  • Act as a liaison between the facility’s advocacy program and the California Office of Patients’ Rights.
  • Coordinate the hospital patient complaint process, including intake and tracking, identification of patients’ rights issues for advocate investigation or response, and referral of complaints to appropriate program/department staff for response and/or resolution.

All patients, regardless of their means, mental or physical health challenges, should expect to be treated respectfully and without discrimination by their providers, practitioners and payers. People receiving mental health treatment are protected by both state and federal laws, to include all rights and responsibilities unless limited by court order.

Facility Work

Coordinating the hospital patient complaint process including:

Intake and tracking of all complaints, identification of patients’ rights issues for advocate investigation or response, and referral of all other complaints to appropriate program/department staff for response and/or resolution.

The complaint process is a confidential track, separate from other state hospital documentation or investigative services unless permission has been given by the patient to the advocacy office to disclose information.

Patients have the right to file a formal complaint at any time if they believed that one or more of their rights have been abused or neglected, unreasonably denied or punitively withheld.

County Work

Providing technical assistance and training to Patients' Rights Advocates in each county and addressing complaint appeals from county clients.

COPR cannot help with:

  • Court decisions or legal status
  • Getting someone out of the facility
  • Firing staff or moving staff
  • Changing the course of clinical treatment
  • Changing laws or regulations
  • Contacting family or others on your behalf
  • Receiving packages, mail, or storing property in our office
  • Releasing your medical records or altering them for you

Helpful Resources

Grievance Form

If you have a grievance with a state hospital or COPR please use our form.