The correctional system serves several functions in America. The system itself consists of various government agencies that are tasked with the responsibility of protecting the populace from dangerous individuals. This is achieved through a number of means, such as imprisonment and probation.
At some point in the 1970s the decision was made to close state-run mental health institutions. Much of this was motivated by The Community Mental Health Act in 1963 . Reports at the time indicated significant abuse of patients and a general lack of credible mental health care. The idea was that funds would be redirected from the states to local communities to manage and monitor the needs of individuals with mental health issues. Unfortunately, this transfer of funds never happened and local communities were simply overwhelmed.
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