Mental Health Care Doesn't Improve With Release To The Community
Around 1985, my troubled young cousin was staying with my retired parents; his own parents had moved to Naples, Fla, and he needed a place to go. One day, he looked my mom in the eye and said, "God is telling me I need to kill you."
That night, my folks locked their bedroom door, and then told him he had to leave. Within a year, he had gone to Florida and fatally stabbed his own mom 50 times.
The problem is that people who are disturbed do disturbed things- using whatever weapons are available- when what they need is in-patient psychiatric care. We can't do that, of course, because starting in the 1970's it was deemed inhumane to lock up patients with sanity issues. So the state hospitals were largely shut down (thanks, Geraldo Rivera) and large numbers of people were turned out on the street, the true start and primary cause of "homelessness," Mitch Snyder notwithstanding. It was the perfect "bootleggers and Baptists" scenario: Lefties wanted to eliminate in-patient commitment; conservatives wanted to eliminate the state hospitals' budget lines.
Mainstreaming is bad for all parties. People with true schizophrenic disorders are turned loose as long as they haven't done anything (yet), along with their psych meds- and these are meds that patients avoid taking because of unpleasant side effects. It is a recipe for trouble.
Add to that "scoop journalism" and we get the world we earned.