A Resource for Attorneys on Forensic Mental Health and Competency Enhancement
A dearth of inpatient treatment options for people with mental illness has turned our jails and prisons into the largest mental health providers in the country. For more than 40 years, the country has been actively “deinstitutionalizing” mental health facilities in order to save taxpayer dollars. This trend began in 1963 when Congress passed the Community Mental Health Act in response to allegations of abuse at state psychiatrist hospitals. The Act was designed provide federal funding for community mental health centers; however, the Vietnam War and economic crisis hindered adequate implementation of the program.