Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill Essay

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Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill Holly Regan HSM/210 June 28, 2013 Elfie Neber Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill The era of deinstitutionalization began a whirlwind of new problems within local communities of virtually every state in the union. When the mentally ill are released into a community based-living environment they tend to progress in emotional and social well-being areas, but when their care is compromised by lack of adequate funding by the government or even worse, closing of community facilities, they tend to spiral out of control and end up in our local jails and even prison for crimes that could have been avoided. The popular account of why people with serious mental illnesses (SMI) are over-represented in jails and prisons is usually structured as follows: deinstitutionalization, combined with inadequate funding of community-based treatment for individuals in need of mental health services, has led to the criminalization of mental illness and attendant increases in incarceration rates (Earley 2006). This represents a return to the conditions that psychiatric institutions were originally designed to alleviate (Earley 2006). The investment into re-institutionalization should be more than an after-thought because these individuals, with the exception of those who deserve to be in jail for their crimes, can make it in community based living environments with the proper supervision. With adequate government funding the community housing programs for the mentally ill can provide a better life for these individuals rather than locking them up in state hospitals for their entire lives. References Earley, P. (2006). Crazy: A Father’s Search through America’s Mental Health Madness. New York: Berkley books. Prins, Seth J. (June 8, 2011). Does Transinstitutionalization Explain the Overrepresentation of People with
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