From the hospital to the prison: a step forward in deinstitutionalization?

Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1979 Sep;30(9):618-20. doi: 10.1176/ps.30.9.618.


In Massachusetts there is a growing trend to transfer both direct and indirect mental health service delivery from civil mental hospitals to prison facilities. Three factors associated with deinstitutionalization and a community-based delivery system appear to have contributed to the trend. Those factors are the over-all compromising of programming caused by unitization of state hospitals and the requirement that a full range of psychiatric services be available in every community, the decrease in morale and training of state hospital employees not involved in community treatment, and the lack of outreach to patients in the community who are dangerous or difficult to deal with.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Deinstitutionalization*
  • Hospitals, Public / organization & administration*
  • Hospitals, State / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Morale
  • Prisons*
  • Security Measures
  • Transfer Agreement / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Transfer Agreement / trends*