[ExI] Jimmy 'the Greek' Snyder

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Mon Jul 6 01:41:40 UTC 2020

On Sat, Jun 6, 2020 at 4:58 PM spike jones via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Ja.  If we didn’t have prisons, we would be in one hell of a jam.
> Regarding psychiatric institutions being dismantled, most people do not
> know why that was done.  But we do: lack of customers.

### Lack of customers was a part of the story after the introduction of
neuroleptics - a huge number of violently agitated patients could then be
safely managed on medications, especially after the introduction of depot
formulations, so the need for inpatient psychiatry beds was reduced.
However, there was more to it - The movement towards community management
of psychiatric patients became both ideological and economic. Like the
Baptists and bootleggers during prohibition, ideologues claimed that
long-term institutional care deprives patients of dignity, freedom and
basic rights, while penny-pinchers in the state governments saw a chance to
slash a big chunk of spending nobody really cared about. So long-term
patients ended up being released en masse, often without due consideration
of their chances of resuming independent life outside of the hospital. The
result was an explosion in the number of the homeless, petty crime, drug
abuse. Lots of people afflicted by diverse psychiatric conditions will
self-medicate with alcohol, heroin and worse to help them escape their
inner demons.

This should not have happened - there are a lot of people who are just not
capable of surviving independently but are not decrepit enough to go to a
nursing home. Halfway homes, group homes and similar institutions help many
but long-term inpatient psychiatric care is still needed for others, and it
seems to be under-provided.

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