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Unread March 5th, 2006, 12:36 AM
sk8rgrl23 sk8rgrl23 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 53
Default Re: Moving Forensic Patients from Institution to Community

From reading your post and subsequent threads, it sounds like there's no easy answers. I think the initial idea behind deinstitutionalization is good, and I have to say that in our county, it works pretty well when the available services are in place. We have a relatively new program called ACT, Assertive Community Treatment, and high maintenance clients receive basically wrap-around services. Some of these clients have criminal records, some with violence of the disorganized type, though none as serious of histories as what you describe. Unfortunately research and plenty of anecdotal evidence suggests that sexual predators are extremely likely to reoffend no matter what treatment is provided. Witness the recent Dateline project where they lured men into a camera-filled kitchen by making htem think they were in a chatroom conversation with a 14-year old girl. One man had gotten out of jail for a sex offense only hours earlier.

Unfortunately it looks like public mental health is going the way of the public education system, more and more unfunded mandates with ever decreasing resources. Add to that the shrinking availability of living-wage jobs and you have the makings for a community losing stability, and this is what our kids are growing up with, and no wonder we're bound to produce a new generation of people unable to live functionally.

All this while an administration spends considerable time and money on emergency court hearings over a comatose woman, trying to damage-control the Katrina ineptitude and debating the merits of intelligent design. We need a better set of priorities is all I can say.
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