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Soc Sci Med. 1985;20(5):545-52.

Deinstitutionalization and public policy.


Deinstitutionalization, originally hailed as a major advance in public policy towards mental illness, has recently become increasingly controversial. This paper reviews the implementation of this policy in the United States, providing a critical examination of some of the central issues and problems that are the focus of current debates. It concludes with a pessimistic assessment of the likelihood of substantial improvements occurring in the lot of the chronic mental patient in the contemporary United States.

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