From hospitals to jails: the fate of California's deinstitutionalized mentally ill

Am J Orthopsychiatry. 1980 Jan;50(1):65-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-0025.1980.tb03263.x.


This paper describes a shift of mentally ill persons from custodial care in state institutions during the 1960s to prosecution in criminal courts during the 1970s. The shift is attributed to the unforeseen clinical needs of this new outpatient population, the inability of community mental health centers to meet these needs, and the changes in mental health laws, specifically their emphasis on the concept of dangerousness.

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Commitment of Mentally Ill / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Commitment of Mentally Ill / trends
  • Community Mental Health Services / trends
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Deinstitutionalization / trends*
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric / trends*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Patient Advocacy / trends
  • Prisons*
  • Social Adjustment