Is Deinstitutionalization Morally Wrong And Must Be Stopped Essay

1333 Words Apr 9th, 2015 6 Pages
There are 150 homeless people housed in the Central Iowa Shelter in the summer, and 400 cram into the same space to escape the cold in the winter months. 33% of homeless people have a severe mental illness as well, which adds to, if not initiates, their hardships (Homeless Mentally Ill par. 1). I once encountered one of these people at a soup kitchen. The man was very open about his mental illness and his positive experience in a mental hospital. Unfortunately, the mental hospital was shut down, and he was forced onto the streets, relying on soup kitchens to survive. His case is not rare by any means; in an act known as deinstitutionalization, mental hospitals are shut down across the nation in the name of producing revenue. Deinstitutionalization is morally wrong and must be stopped. The idea that deinstitutionalization is best proves null and void when the mentally ill are put behind bars due to it. Once released from the mental hospital, a patient must seek out any form of shelter and assistance available. However, with sparse options, the mentally ill become vulnerable, as they are not rooted in any particular place. They can easily get swept up in the world of drug abuse and crime. Additionally, with no provided medication to rein in their mental illness, their condition begins to take its toll on them. Unhindered effects of their mental illness combined with their vulnerability inevitably leads to a run-in with the law. The prison and, in turn, the United States then…

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