So I asked in a previous post, what are police good for? Today we ask why mass shootings have become such a problem? The root of the problem lies with a movement that started out west in California during 1955. I am referring to deinstitutionalization.

Deinstitutionalization began in 1955 with the widespread introduction of chlorpromazine, commonly known as Thorazine, the first effective antipsychotic medication, and received a major impetus 10 years later with the enactment of federal Medicaid and Medicare. Deinstitutionalization has two parts: the moving of the severely mentally ill out of the state institutions, and the closing of part or all of those institutions.

In 1975, the Supreme court ruled that people cannot be involuntarily committed to a mental institution unless it could be proven that they were a danger to themselves or others. That high bar caused many mental patients to be released from the country’s public mental hospitals. With no patients, those facilities ceased to exist.

The entire idea was to use medications to manage mental illness and make the mentally ill well enough to live amongst the rest of society. The problem with this theory is that many people with mental illness don’t take their medications, either because they can’t afford them, or they simply don’t take them. The medications, especially first generation antipsychotics like Thorazine, carry a huge number of serious side effects, so many of those who are supposed to take them wind up self medicating with street drugs, alcohol, or both. In fact, 80 percent of the most severely mentally ill are never able to manage their illness and slowly slide into an endless cycle of prison, psychiatric facilities, halfway houses, homelessness, then back to prison.

Psychotic people often can’t maintain a job, are addicted to drugs or alcohol, and find it impossible to maintain interpersonal relationships. So they fall out of society. They wind up homeless, they cycle in and out of prison, and there are no real answers that protect society or the mentally ill.

Then you add the war on drugs with their minimum prison sentences to the mix, and mentally unstable people get tossed out of jail to make room for drug offenders. Most of those who were deinstitutionalized from the nation’s public psychiatric hospitals were severely mentally ill. Between 50 and 60 percent of them were diagnosed with schizophrenia. Because of this, deinstitutionalization has helped create the mental illness crisis we are seeing now by discharging people from public psychiatric hospitals without ensuring that they received the medication and rehabilitation services necessary for them to live successfully in the community.

Deinstitutionalization further exacerbated the situation because, once the public psychiatric beds had been closed, they were not available for people who later became mentally ill, and this situation continues up to the present. Consequently, approximately 2.2 million severely mentally ill people do not receive any psychiatric treatment.

The connection between deinstitutionalization and incarceration is all too obvious. In 1978, the prison population was about 25,000. In 1980, that had grown to 501,886. In 1995, there were 1,587,791 people in US prisons, and 30 percent of the prison population were designated as needing mental health services.

In the last several years, California engaged in mental health deinstitutionalization 2.0. This time it was Gov. Brown who pushed for sweeping new laws. Measures approved by the Legislature and voters have drastically changed the legal landscape and reduced prison and jail populations. By the end of his tenure, prison population in California had fallen by almost a third.

As the jails and prisons emptied, homelessness jumped. Now, approximately a quarter of all people experiencing homelessness in this country reside in California. And while there are fewer inmates, the prevalence and severity of the mental illness among prisoners has increased. Astonishingly, in just four years, the number of people in California who were deemed incompetent to stand trial has increased by 60 percent, straining courts and state hospitals.

It’s a serious issue. Approximately 14.8 million people in the United States have severe mental illness. We emptied out the mental hospitals, and many of the former patients wound up in prison or in homeless camps. Now they are clearing out the prisons, so we can expect to see more and more attacks by people who are mentally ill. Since there are not enough mental health services, many people who would have been identified and institutionalized before they could hurt anyone now slip through the cracks, unnoticed.

America doesn’t have a gun problem. It has a mental health problem, and it is getting worse. America is sliding into madness, a phenomenon that Heinlein referred to as “the crazy years.”

Much of this post is the research I did for a paper that I wrote for a public health class I am taking for my BSN. It was interesting enough to me that I put some of the things that are inappropriate for school into a post, and the result is what you see here. This isn’t even a rough draft of the paper, just disjointed facts that are part of my process.


Skyler the Weird · June 2, 2022 at 6:49 am

The number of Homeless living on the Streets exploded in the late Seventies/early Eighties. The people camped out on steam grates in big city weren’t just alcoholic or drug addicts, a majority were mentally ill.

fitzhamilton · June 2, 2022 at 7:31 am

Yeah. Well, I’m Catholic, and the way I look at all of this is a bit foreign to the secular minded. I’m used to people scoffing at the idea of demons, and have heard too many people sneer at stories like Christ’s exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac, smugly asserting “those benighted first century people didn’t understand the concept of mental illness! We know better. What that chap needed was an antipsychotic, not an exorcism! And what is it with those drowned pigs? Silly story.”

I say on the contrary, the benightedness is ours. We’re the silly ones. Most of what we categorize as mental illness is actually manifestation of spiritual disorder.

I’ve been around a bit, and seen some things. I think demons are very real. I think the more people embrace demonic things, and scorn goodness in its objective ontological reality, thinking that only what they desire is good, the more insane they become. As they persist in their hedonistic self serving amorality, at some point they become possessed by that insanity, and are then capable of unspeakable things. When people give themselves over to the demonic, they go mad and become demons themselves.

See the proliferation of narcissism, sociopathy and psychopathy, dissociative and psychotic behavior in our culture. Naziism, Communism, I say these were both mass psychoses, forms of societal possession.

The solution to this rising tide of evil and insanity isn’t medical. It’s spiritual. The answer is in faith, hope, love, prayer, kindness, gratitude, generosity, and fasting from self indulgence. The answer is in worshipping God and respecting one another. It’s in scorning the deceit and allurements of the demons and allying yourself firmly with the holy angels in their goodness. That, of course, will be the very last thing most of us will want to do, which is why we are all in very, very deep shit.

    b · June 2, 2022 at 1:12 pm

    I agree with you. Have known a few people that the only answer to why they were who/what they were would be some sort of possession of the mind.

    Which in itself is a form of mental illness. A psychic tumor or a soul-cancer so to speak.

    It would explain how religious exorcisms are often as or more effective than medical treatment, and the same way with Confession.

    But we can’t talk about this openly because religion or something.

    Williams Botan · June 4, 2022 at 12:49 am

    “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist” is very possibly truer than people can comprehend based on societies turn from any religion. My personal feeling is that many “religious” people are just faking their beliefs for public benefit. Jim Jones, etc. Food for thought.

tfourier · June 2, 2022 at 9:31 am

The story in CA is a bit more complicated. The mental hospitals were cleared out starting with Gov Pat Brown in the ’60’s but the Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act of 1967 mostly worked to get mentally ill the treatment they needed until it was stuck down by the ACLU case in 1987. Riese v. St. Mary’s Hospital. The ACLU and other “patent rights” groups have blocked ever single attempt at getting something to replace LPS passed at the state or city level ever since.

It was the ACLU who put most of the mentally ill on the streets in California. The 1987 case gave the mentally ill no matter how seriously ill an absolute legal right to refuse treatment. To refuse to take the anti-psychotics medication that will keep them functional. So all that is left is the utterly worthless 5150. Which patches people up for a very short time and then the cycle starts all over again. You see these poor wretches wandering about after they have been released from SF General and there is absolutely nothing than can be done to help them long term. Nothing.

In Washington state and Oregon there is a legal framework to try to keep the seriously mentally ill on medication and off the streets. And it mostly works. Until recently. But every single attempt to bring an equivalent legal framework in CA has been block by lawsuits from ACLU etc. For the last 35 years.

The ACLU and related organizations are directly responsible for the deaths of many thousands of menially ill on the streets of California. There is plenty of resources available, just no legal basis to enforce treatment of the most severe cases. There was a high profile case recently in SF of a seriously psychotic woman who had been roaming the Castro / Mission are for several years. She needed meds to function. She refused to take them. Big story in the SF Chronicle trying to blame “lack of resources” but when I pointed out to the journalist that we both knew the reason why the woman did not take her meds. The real problem. Silence.

After what I have seen the ACLU do to the mentally ill in CA over the decades I consider them as not just stupid do-gooders but pure evil. People like the ACLU need to be put in prison and suffer for what they have done to all those poor benighted most vulnerable people. Its manslaughter pure and simple.

As for the number of street people who are mentally ill in cites like SF. Less than 10%. Most of the street crazies are street junkies and winos. You soon get to learn the difference. I will always stop for a mentally ill person in distress. But the junkies and winos. It took a lot of hard work at getting addicted and many very bad decisions to end up on the streets. So mostly screw ’em. The one exception is ‘vets. Although the winos tend to local (junkies almost never from SF) so if a wino is having a bad day I will make time for them.

As for the rest. I have seen relatively few genuine homeless people in SF over the decades. People with roots in SF who lost their apartment or place to stay. Almost always very short term on the streets. Now the Homeless Industry is a billion dollar a year business in SF alone, employs several thousand, and has an almost zero success rate. For many decades. The only successful way of getting people off the streets – a ticket home. To where they have family support etc and maybe a chance at getting their life together.

EN2 SS · June 2, 2022 at 10:41 am

“ put some of the things that are inappropriate for school into a post, and the result is what you see here.”
And isn’t that a shame, cannot put truth in a school paper?

As a side note, wasn’t the aclu started by the communist useful idiots? Think rules for radicals.

Jim in the Valley · June 2, 2022 at 3:47 pm

Please post your paper as I believe we would all be interested in your analysis. Seriously, put it in a PDF and post. Thanks.

Brutus · June 2, 2022 at 6:31 pm

This was a double edged sword. It may have put more loons on the street, but it also threw a major monkey wrench into the left’s plans to weaponize mental health. See John Stormer’s Mental Health chapter in “None Dare Call It Treason” –

    Linda S Fox · June 8, 2022 at 11:40 am

    Thank you for the reference. I’d planned to read it years ago, but didn’t have access to a version that was large enough print to read.
    I downloaded the pdf, and will be consuming it ASAP.

The Freeholder · June 2, 2022 at 7:39 pm

I’ve known 2 mentally ill individuals. The experience may be informative.

Person A is the female daughter of some long-term friends. She started showing some issues while she was in college about 12 years or so ago. Now, she lives in a trailer next door to Mom and Dad, so they can keep an eye on her. They also are her sole support, since she can’t hold a job. She has gotten professional treatment, and when she takes her meds she’s not so bad. But she doesn’t like the meds, claiming they make her feel “funny”, so she mostly doesn’t take them. She self medicates with alcohol and perhaps other things.

Person B is my nephew. He starting showing signs of problems when he was very young. His parents got him the professional help he needed and by 18, while not being “normal”, he could function in society. Then he started looking up his meds on the Internet and freaking out about possible side effects. He didn’t look at the number of people who experienced a problem, just the problem itself. This led to a cycle of doctor visit, new meds, side effect freak out and discontinuation of meds. Lather, rinse, repeat in an ever-tightening downward spiral. One Saturday, his Dad called to tell us that he had committed suicide. That act has forever screwed up his parents. His Mom is now a pretty serious drinker, which is bad since alcoholism runs in her family. Dad is still somewhat shell-shocked, and is slowly just fading away.

The people who “freed the slaves” have destroyed far more than they ever improved. I hope they rot in a special hell.

Aesop · June 2, 2022 at 9:53 pm

1) Keep working on the paper. Don’t pull punches.

2) Latest numbers are that Califrutopia now has closer to 33% of the homeless people in the country, which is why I keep telling all the California-haters that they can have their toothless banjo-playing kinfolk back any time, because those crazy folks ain’t from around here. I see their SSNs, and you can look up the state of origin in about 2 mouseclicks.
2a) 100:1, your state, for any of 49 values of that descriptor, hands the incorrigibly insane something between $5-10K for substance detox. In Califrutopia only. They fly them here, get into rehab, flunk out in about a day or two because they’re crazy addicts, end up on the streets, and drink or snort the balance of their funds. Then they become everyone’s problem. I.E. mine. Ask me how I know, and how many times I’ve seen this exact scenario replayed again and again at local EDs.

3) The aren’t releasing the homeless from prison to make room for the druggies. It’s the same population. A Venn diagram of the homeless, the alcoholics, and the lifelong drug addicts would be nearly one single circle, with all three groups overlapping. A fourth circle containing the convicts wouldn’t stray too far from 1, 2, or 3 either.

4) People aren’t homeless because they misplaced their homes, they’re homeless because they drank it away, snorted it away, or perpetrated it away. No job, no skills, addiction, mental deficiency, and a criminal record is a crappy poker hand for life.

5) Psych meds make psych patients feel “weird”. The rest of us call that weird feeling “sanity”. So they stop taking those meds the minute they’re released back into the community, with the result that ordinary folks have to fortify themselves inside secure plush home cells, while the crazy people walk around loose and free.

6) But not taking those meds means the voices come back. And the voices always say “”You suck. Kill yourself.” Or “Everyone’s trying to kill you. Kill them first!” So they do drugs, alcohol, and/or both. Why?
a) Actual quote from extremely insightful 17-year-old schizophrenic addict: “I take dope and get drunk, because it gets the voices drunk too, and then I can’t understand what they’re saying!”
F**king brilliant, right there.
b) And they get to feel the euphoria of drunkeness and/or being “high”, which is way better than what sanity and responsibility feels like.

7) When I started in the medical biz decades and decades ago, we got a drunk a week, maybe an OD a month or two, and pot cases never. Now we get 5-15 of all of the above per night, or worse. Don’t get me started about banning Narcan when a new batch of anything loaded with homebrew carfentanil (which dealers put in literally everything) hits the streets. The only good thing about that is when it occasionally takes a few regulars out of circulation permanently. But the 20 addicts who hear about that, and want to get the new “hot” batch, more than takes up the slack.

8) At current course and speed, it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing open Committees Of Vigilance, or else onesy-twosey incidents of The Three esSes (Shoot-Shovel-Shut Up) begin to become commonplace among the homeless/mentally ill/alcoholic/druggie/convicts on the loose. And we’re talking when, not if. After a month or two, they’ll start skipping the “shovel” part, too. Mark my words.

9) TPTB will talk a good game, but the push to track down the culprits will be about as enthusiastic as going after the johns serviced by Epstein and Maxwell on Lolita Island. They’ll toss the wretches in paupers’ graves, throw the cold case files in a cabinet in some endless warehouse next to the Ark of the Covenant, and that will be that. It’s how California, and a good bit of the rest of the country, cleaned house 100+ years ago. Some ideas never go out of style.

10) The alternative will be a mental health “Three Strikes And Yer Out!” rule for getting placed on a psych hold.
After the third time you’re running naked down the freeway throwing rocks off the overpass because you’re off your meds, you will be deposited on Shutter Island, and never allowed to return. You can run around naked, chase butterflies, jump off cliffs, eat dirt, pound your head with a rock, whatever. But your civilization privileges will be permanently revoked.

Nothing less than #9 or #10 will avail, and no one’s willing to pay for reinstating Bedlam in 50 states, and warehousing the insane for life at public expense. It won’t matter what’s right, or good, only what works, at that point. And half the population trying to ensure that nothing works is only hastening those two unpalatable conclusions.
By design and malign intent.

If we could mandate that the first two times, the insaniacs were set at liberty, it had to be as the permanent houseguest of anyone in favor of the current scheme, starting with do-gooders, judges, and lawyers, it would go a long way toward solving things long-term short of more draconian measures. but that will never happen.

Homeless people turning up all inexplicably dead all over the place? That could happen as early as tomorrow, and I’m frankly surprised it hasn’t already started. What a Brave New World mental health do-gooderism has inflicted on us all.

    Divemedic · June 3, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    On this, we agree. I can’t argue with a single one of your points

War In the Heavens · June 3, 2022 at 8:54 am

Local mental health hospital became WIC/Section 8 housing and the replacements have no idea.
It only had a chain link fence around it when it was active and you could see people wandering around or escaping before the Long March to burn down America Uniparty (CPUSA/Grand Old Politburo) destroyed the once great republic.
I agree with previous commenter, demons are walking among us guiding the burning it all down better.

Kid · June 3, 2022 at 9:08 am

Gun Free Zones. Get rid of em.

D · June 3, 2022 at 11:17 am

“people cannot be involuntarily committed to a mental institution unless it could be proven that they were a danger to themselves or others”

I don’t see this as a bad thing.

Would you really want *one* psychologist, counselor, or government bureaucrat drone to be able to lock you away for a long time just because they don’t like you?

    Divemedic · June 3, 2022 at 3:06 pm

    The problem is that the bar is too high and too expensive, so no one tries.

      D · June 3, 2022 at 4:12 pm

      Sure, but I think there’s an easier solution.
      Drop all the dumb regulations.
      Let gun shops discriminate however they want.
      Let *everyone* carry a gun *anywhere* if they want to.

      If some crazy person starts trying to kill people and they get smoked, prevent sh*tlib prosecutors from filing charges against the shooter to make their life miserable.

        Divemedic · June 3, 2022 at 5:56 pm

        The left is opposed to that because they don’t want people who haven’t committed a crime to be deprived of their rights. Ironic, isn’t it?

Robert · June 3, 2022 at 4:17 pm

This blog post and ensuing comments make our local newspaper as useful as a fish wrapper. Divemedic, this post (and Aesop’s remarkably profanity-free comments) should be featured as a “guest columnist” piece.

    Aesop · June 4, 2022 at 12:34 am

    Hey, I can be erudite and civil if needs be.
    But where’s the fun in that?

rd · June 3, 2022 at 10:19 pm

I have a sibling that is mentally ill and has had treatments including ECT. She has had relapses due to not taking meds and other reasons. Fortunately, her Close Family (husbands and children) have been able to get her treatment including at least a half dozen stints in Mental Health Wards. She gets treatment and her meds stabilized and is good for a year or five. Yes, she has long term adverse side effects from her treatments and medications too. Palsy, memory issues, kidney and liver problems.

Last time she needed treatment, the only mental health bed was 6 hours away, halfway across a good sized midwestern state. Thankfully that bed was available.

She is a wonderful person and a fantastic wife and mother who has had a tough time with mental health issues, but she keeps trying, and she makes life better for us all.

Lots of your friends and family know someone with serious mental health problems that they do have under control, or mostly under control. These people are not the problem unless we make them a problem.

    Aesop · June 4, 2022 at 12:39 am

    The ones like that, making an effort, aren’t the problem, because 200;1 they’ll never end up on my radar.

    The “frequent flyer” douchebags whom I know on sight, because they’ve been to my ER 57 times this year already, and 116 times to all the ERs in the county (and yes, we can look up visits by patient globally now) are the problem.

    My ER Rule Of Thumb:
    I you remember me, you’ve been to the ER two times.
    If I remember you, you’ve been to the ER too many times.

Russell G. · June 4, 2022 at 5:08 am

As Divemedic knows…It’s not going to get any better. In fact, it will get worse.

Year after year about 60% or more of my wife’s first grade classes in SWFL are medicated for ADHD or some other behavioral abnormality. Notice I typed “abnormality”, because that normal population distribution has been essentially deleted by democrats/communists (read: psychologists). Basically, we have now, and will be getting, people that lack of impulse inhibition. That’s first grade. When their meth-head or crack-head parents forget to medicate or run out of meds the children literally go feral and get extremely violent. This will not stop. “Inclusion” of these kids in a classroom will continue, in addition to the lack of consequence for violent behavior AT AN EARLY AGE.

Impulse inhibition is prefrontal cortex and amygdala (e.g., Kluver Bucy syndrome), and as we see, we already have a generation of abnormal people that already have chemically-induced lobotomies as adults. Many are now in positions of power. This stuff starts when normal synapse formation during development is altered artificially by potent chemicals that literally out-compete or interfere with natural neurotransmitters.

Sabre22 · June 4, 2022 at 8:15 am

I come at this issue from a different perspective. I worked in the regional prison for over 13 years. We also had a population of county inmates as well. One County inmate would get arrested for something the judge would send him down to the the state mental health facility where he would take all his meds and in general behave himself so when he came back for his trial he would appear to be acting normal. so he would get a reduced sentence on the condition that he Self medicates. Well after a few months he would stop his meds and the cycle would start all over again. The last I heard his family made an agreement with the court to ship him to a hospital out of state for more treatment. If he ever shows up back in this state he is supposedly looking at a long prison term.

    Aesop · June 4, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    No points for guessing which state.

TRX · June 4, 2022 at 12:08 pm

> Grand Old Politburo

I am stealing the hell out of that…

BarrySoetero · June 6, 2022 at 7:26 pm

One of my relatives was a neurosurgeon and was working for a large mental hospital when the libtards started dismantling the mental hospitals. He lamented the way they turned the crazies out into the streets to be bums. I don’t think it saved us much money, made anyone safer, or helped them in any way.

At this point, I think we need to go back to locking the bastards up and keeping them there forever or until they can function normally. I don’t think we can rely on the Honor System they’ll just keep taking their pills and acting normal. It doesn’t appear to work and it puts us all in danger. Otherwise, just put out free Fentanyl and rat poison and let them solve the problem themselves.
Wish I could feel more compassion, but at this point, I’ll accept any solution that keeps crazy far away from me and mine.

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