Recycling The Mentally Ill

30 years ago, California, later followed by other states, decided to virtually close down the State Mental Hospitals.

There had been multiple exposures of abuse throughout the Nation's systems such as over-medicated individuals kept on back wards for years without clinical justification. However, the primary force leading to the widespread closures was economic. Providing free room, board, medication and psychiatric care to the chronic and seriously impaired mental health population was expensive and failed to result in any positive financial or political benefits.

Theoretically, these marginally functional individuals would now be cared for by a network of community service agencies that would spring up on a local basis. Unfortunately, such a network never existed and failed to develop for the same economic challenges the State Institutions had faced. Counties continued to provide outpatient services, with occasional brief local hospitalizations for those who became unstable, and nonprofit organizations were founded, and often financially foundered, to provide services.

With few resources and the cognitive and emotional inability to connect with the few programs available, the mentally ill started to drift into the streets where they often self-medicated with illegal drugs. Within 10 years, police and social service agencies estimated that possibly one third of the growing homeless population had mental disabilities.

An increase in street crime, the resentment of business owners who lost customers who would not cross the crowds of homeless on the sidewalks, and the disgust of working citizens who resented the litter and potential dangers of large numbers of people living on the streets, led to a political decision to crackdown on the homeless. Sweeps of targeted areas moved the homeless away - to other areas where the resentment was just as great. Petty street crimes to enable the penniless to live, and drug use, provided the excuse for more draconian measures. The homeless started moving again, this time into the prisons.

It is now estimated that the penal system is the largest provider of mental health services in the nation. Apart from those Institutions designed for those who have been legally determined to be "criminally insane," the system houses mentally ill individuals who may make up a third or more of the total prison population.

Building more prisons and hiring more guards is politically positive: voters want to keep their communities clean and safe and willingly pay for the fight against crime. While the murderers and rapists are held up as examples of those who need to be contained at all costs, the fact remains that a majority of the enormous and growing prison population are serving their time for drug-related activities or victimless crimes.

The mentally ill have finally been fully recycled. They are still invisible but instead of vegetating in State Mental Wards, they are caught within a system which robs them of their dignity, provides less than optimal treatment, and costs far more to the taxpayers than would well-organized and efficiently run hospitals and clinics.

This is progress?

Virginia Bola is a licensed clinical psychologist with deep interests in Social Psychology and politics. She has performed therapeutic services for more than 20 years and has studied the effects of cultural forces and employment on the individual. The author of an interactive workbook, The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual, and a monthly ezine, The Worker's Edge, she can be reached at http://www.virginiabola.com

In The News:

On Politics: Trump’s Emergency Declaration Divides Republicans  The New York TimesPresident Trump's move, aimed at securing funding for a border wall, is a serious challenge to congressional authority. It remains to be seen whether Senate ...
Comment | General Elections 2019: Rajinikanth takes a big political gamble  Moneycontrol.comWhen the 2021 assembly elections in Tamil Nadu take place, Rajinikanth will be 70 years old. Unless there are tectonic shifts in Tamil Nadu politics, it's difficult ...
Tom Watson says Labour must change to avoid more MPs leaving – Politics live  The GuardianRolling updates as Labour's deputy leader says he sometimes does not recognise his own party after seven MPs quit.
Sunday Politics  NPRThe president's declaration of a national emergency is headed to the courts, where its future is uncertain. In the mean time, is he able to declare a political ...
Do Women in Politics Face a Double Standard?  The New York TimesReaders discuss if and how gender bias and stereotypes play a role in politics, citing past presidential races.
The Real National Emergency: The Triviality of Our Politics  RealClearPoliticsWASHINGTON -- When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi learned that President Trump would declare a national emergency to shift around money to finance his ...
Understanding Women's Choice in Mixing Marriage With Politics  The WireTwo stories – one from India and the other from Germany – show how women have exercised their choice in marriage due to conviction in an ideology.
BBC accidentally broadcasts sweary voiceover as Labour MPs resign – audio  The GuardianBBC News accidentally broadcasts voiceover in which man can be heard swearing.
Politics as Usual  Allentown Morning CallPolitics as Usual, a roundup of Pennsylvania's political news.
Minister plans to vote against government to stop no-deal Brexit  The GuardianTobias Ellwood says crashing out would be catastrophic and must be taken off the table.
The week that shook Thai politics – and what comes next  The GuardianA puppet-master in exile and a princess stopped from running for prime minister throw hopes of a return to democracy into doubt.
From ‘mixture maama’ to Modi: How new Tamil films are taking digs at politicians  The News MinutePublic anger in Tamil Nadu about the state's leadership as well as the centre's attitude is reflected in several of Kollywood's recent films like 'LKG', 'Sarkar', ...
Copycat politics: Kamal Haasan, Stalin lock horns  THE WEEKIt was a day of veiled digs and mockery between actor-politician Kamal Haasan and DMK leader M.K. Stalin. Speaking at an event in Chennai, on Sunday, ...
Fela Kuti, Chinua Achebe Saro-Wiwa were right on Nigeria politics  QuartzNIgeria's delayed election is the latest failure of leadership which these icons warned about repeatedly.
White House defends Trump’s emergency declaration as lawsuits and political battles mount  The Washington PostPresident Trump's declaration of a national emergency has been hit with several lawsuits, and lawmakers are divided as to whether the move is legitimate or ...
Leaving the EU won’t advance anti-capitalism  The GuardianLetters: Readers discuss the pros and cons of Brexit and frictionless trade between the UK and the rest of Europe.
EU parliament's centrist coalition set to lose majority, poll finds  The GuardianThe “grand coalition” of centre-right and centre-left that has run the European parliament for 40 years is set to lose its majority for the first time following elections ...
What are Brexit contingency plans for aerospace and defence?  The GuardianWith no deal estimated to mean billions of pounds in extra costs, here's what firms are doing.
Respected former MP Paul Dewar had politics in his blood  The Globe and MailPaul Dewar and his family, Nathaniel, Jordan and wife Julie, at the launch of Mr. Dewar's leadership campaign. Courtesy of the Family. As Paul Dewar spoke at ...
Labour MP Paul Flynn dies aged 84  The GuardianPaul Flynn, the Labour MP for Newport West, has died, his local association has announced. He was 84 and had served his constituency since 1987.
A Political Economist on the End of the Age of Objectivity  The New YorkerIn his new book, “Nervous States: Democracy and the Decline of Reason,” the British political economist William Davies argues that the age of the primacy of ...
Australia's major political parties hacked in 'sophisticated' attack ahead of election  The AgePrime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed Australia's political parties suffered cyber attacks alongside the Parliament House computer network several weeks ...
Barnier: May's Brexit strategy has failed after latest Commons defeat  The GuardianTheresa May will face a wall of resistance when she returns to Brussels next week as the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, declared her Brexit strategy had ...
Labour pulls level with Tories in latest opinion poll  The GuardianLabour has pulled level with the Conservatives, according to the latest Opinium poll for the Observer that suggests significant potential support for a new party.
What is deselection? What is happening to political parties in the UK right now?  Express.co.ukSENIOR MPs from both the Conservative and Labour party are to face deselection votes in the coming weeks, it has emerged. But what is deselection and what ...
Pulwama Fallout: From Social Media to the Streets, Calls for Revenge Feed Political Agenda  The WireWith the BJP-led government and its supporters taking the lead in fanning anxieties, aggressiveness and hyper-nationalism have taken centre stage.
Kerala twin murders: Fissures in state politics deepen as Congress blames CPM, vows to get justice for...  FirstpostThe brutal murder of two Youth Congress workers in Kasargod district on Sunday night has brought political violence back to focus in Kerala in the run-up to the ...
From Hamilton to Beto, Politicians Who Shared a Little More Than We Wanted to Know  Mother JonesBefore Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and her Instant Pot became social media sensations, a few American politicians had dared to share personal ...
Amazon was not prepared for New York City politics  QuartzThree months after selecting New York City as the site of a sprawling new headquarters, Amazon got cold feet. “We've decided not to move forward with our ...
Desperate Politics of the BJP  Economic and Political WeeklyThe origin of desperate politics is in the acute desire of a party that wants to retain or come back to power.
'This Week' Roundtable: Political Impact Of National Emergency, Can Bill Weld Challenge Trump, Dems Prep 2020 Debates  RealClearPoliticsMartha Raddatz hosts ABC News Political Analyst Matthew Dowd, Molly Ball, national political correspondent for Time Magazine, Susan Ferrechio, chief ...
Congress’ hug-and-wink politics over Pulwama is a recipe for disaster  ThePrintCongress had taken a similar line after the terror attack on the Uri army base in 2016.
Let's start a new chapter in politics, says Priyanka in her audio message ahead of UP visit  India TodayA day ahead of her Lucknow visit, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra released an audio message for the people. In her message, she asked ...
Health and rail plans sidelined ahead of Brexit deadline  The GuardianCivil servants working on vital health, education and transport policies are redeployed to deal with farming and fishing.
The latest in Thailand's political drama: Ruling government dismisses #ThaiCoup rumors  CNBC"There's been so many coups in Thai history that when you see military vehicles on the street, something must be up," said Paul Chambers, a lecturer for ...
Trump Organization scraps plans for hotel chains, blaming politics  CBS NewsPresident Donald Trump's company is ditching plans for two new hotel chains announced two years ago, casting blame in part on a hostile political environment.
The Future of Politics Is Coming to Poland  Foreign PolicyIn recent years, many words have been devoted to the rise of populism and illiberalism in Poland. Often comparing the country to Hungary, commentators have ...
Cash aide admits raids had political links  The AgeA top aide to Senator Michaelia Cash has admitted an unsolicited tip-off about union raids had "obvious political implications" for federal opposition leader Bill ...
Do Americans really want outsider politicians?  CNNMore than half of Americans said that all things being equal, they would be more likely to support a candidate for Congress who is seen as a political outsider ...
Intermittency, Storage, & Politics -- The Case For & Against Super Grids  CleanTechnicaFebruary 15th, 2019 by Steve Hanley. Intermittency is the new buzzword in the clean energy revolution. For opponents of renewables, it is the reason why we ...
Bill Weld defends decision to run against Trump, says Republicans ‘want to have no election’  The Washington PostFormer Massachusetts governor Bill Weld on Sunday defended his decision to pursue a 2020 Republican primary challenge against President Trump, saying in ...
New political poll brings more bad news for Nat leader  Otago Daily TimesA new political poll has brought more bad news for National leader Simon Bridges, showing the party down four points to 42% and his personal polling also ...
Anthony Weiner has been released from federal prison  Washington PostThe disgraced former congressman pleaded guilty in 2017 to exchanging obscene messages with a minor.
In the new Malaysia, signs of an older, uglier politics  CNNKuala Lumpur, Malaysia (CNN) In a swanky shopping mall underneath Kuala Lumpur's iconic Petronas Towers, a traditional Chinese lion dance is attracting a ...
A Complicated Racial History Underpins Politics In Virginia  NPRThe controversies currently rocking Virginia politics are rooted in a historical legacy of racism that cannot be overcome overnight, says historian Gregg Kimball.
Politics Now: 2/9/19  KLAS-TVThis week on Politics Now: the legislature kicks off, a sitdown with Governor Sisolak about taxes and collective bargaining, and a bill that would put cameras in ...
Naidu broke people's trust, his delusional politics about to end: Amit Shah  Economic TimesIn an open letter to people of Andhra Pradesh, Amit Shah accused Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu of breaking their trust.
Kanimozhi, Divya Spandana to lend voice to maximise women’s representation in politics  The News MinuteAhead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Shakti, a non-partisan collective for women in politics, has been doing several campaigns to push for more women ...
Women stamping their mark in New Malaysia's politics - Nation  The Star OnlineKUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Women's participation in politics has long been recognised as an important measure of the status of women and in Malaysia, the ...
NJ Politics Digest: Democratic Leaders Reach Deal on Legal Weed  ObserverReports are that Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders have finally reached an agreement on legalizing the use of recreational marijuana in New Jersey.
The meme-ification of politics: Politicians & their 'lit' memes  The Conversation - CanadaPoliticians have been using memes to appear cool, plugged in, even 'lit.' Here's why that's not necessarily a smart idea.
A week of political uncertainties  Bangalore MirrorAt the end, the coalition govt headed by HD Kumaraswamy managed to outsmart Yeddyurappa A week is a long time in politics, said late Harold Wilson , the ...
BBC World Service - WorklifeIndia, Women in politics: Breaking barriers  BBC NewsWhat can be done to inspire more young women to consider a career in politics?
Your Office Politics Playbook: Understanding The Psychology Of The Human Workplace  ForbesOffice politics is usually viewed as a bad thing, but it doesn't have to be that way. This series of articles will outline the psychology of office politics, and show you ...
Want to reduce political polarization? Save your local newspaper  Nieman Journalism Lab at HarvardIn places that lose a newspaper, split-ticket voting decreases by almost 2 percent. Without trustworthy political information, we fall back on party labels and our ...
McDonnell accuses PM of 'pork-barrel' politics with Brexit 'bribery'  The GuardianShadow chancellor criticises May over reports she pledged extra cash for leave-voting areas if MPs back Brexit deal.
Labour must stop the Tory Brexit dream  The GuardianThe party must put its socialist vision for our relationship with the EU to the people.
Political fights are turning personal  Hindustan TimesPolitical manuscripts are often written in a clandestine manner. The seeds of thoughts are sown by someone, they sprout somewhere else and no one knows ...
Four men with a ladder: the billboard campaigners battling Brexit  The GuardianPosters exposing politicians' lies and hypocrisy over leaving the EU are appearing across the UK. The friends behind the Led By Donkeys campaign explain ...
The Legacy Of Black Women Politicians  EssenceFrom Shirley Chisholm to Kamala Harris and Ayanna Pressley, the legacy of Black women in politics is one that challenges the status quo. Will the Democratic ...
Analysis | A Trump property earned money from a political committee one out of every two days from 2017 until the midterms  The Washington PostIn total, Trump properties earned over $6 million in the 2018 election cycle.
Lyndon LaRouche, who spread fear in Oregon and showed where U.S. politics was headed, dies  OregonLive.comThe extremist never came close to winning a major party's nomination, but he did earn headlines.
Nigeria election 2019: How ‘godfathers’ influence politics  BBC NewsA look at the men who many believe decide the winners and losers of elections in Nigeria.
Political Bazaar | Will Priyanka Gandhi's entry into politics help Congress?  Moneycontrol.comWhile, the Congress feels the move would bolster the party ahead of the 2019 general elections, some experts suggest that the move is a little too late.
How the geography of climate damage could make the politics less polarizing  Brookings InstitutionWhat if flip the frame from emissions to impacts when looking at the geography of climate change?
With Northam Picture, Obscure Publication Plays Big Role in Virginia Politics  The New York TimesBig League Politics, an obscure right-wing publication, has put both Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax on the defensive.
Q&A: Why Megan Mullally Won’t Talk Politics While Hosting the SAG Awards  VarietyMegan Mullally is funny. The “Will & Grace” star can also sing and dance. While she's not picking up the Oscar hosting gig after the Kevin Hart fiasco, Mullally will ...
Do mention the war: the politicians comparing Brexit to WWII  The GuardianA Conservative MP came under fire this weekend after invoking the second world war in a statement about the way the “ungrateful” EU treats the UK on Twitter.
Government cancels Brexit ferry contract with no-ship firm  The GuardianSeaborne Freight had won £13.8m contract despite never having run Channel *service*.
Nancy Pelosi hands Donald Trump a lesson in the art of politics  The GuardianTrump delights in inventing nicknames for political adversaries but he refers to the House speaker as 'Nancy', a sign he may have met his match.
Don Cheadle Makes Potent Political Statements With ‘SNL’ Wardrobe Choices  Rolling StoneActor Don Cheadle hosted Saturday Night Live this week, and one of the stories to come out of the show was not from the sketches but from Cheadle's wardrobe ...
NYT columnist blasts Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal  Fox NewsDavid Brooks, the center-right political columnist at The New York Times, on Sunday said that he could never support a candidate who backs the Green New ...
Virginia’s Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, and Mark Herring scandals, explained  Vox.comThe cascading blackface and sexual assault scandals roiling Virginia politics, explained.
Trump’s Political Emergency  The Wall Street JournalHis border order will divide Republicans and may be stopped in court.
Officials warn of putrefying piles of rubbish after no-deal Brexit  The GuardianExclusive: leaked emails show officials planning crisis centres to manage halt in waste exports to EU.
Brexiters hit back at Tusk after he says they deserve 'special place in hell' for failing to have a plan - Politics live  The GuardianBrexiters have hit back at Donald Tusk after he said that those who promoted Brexit without having a plan to make it work deserved “a special place in hell”.
Facebook is out of control and politicians have no idea what to do  The GuardianA Commons report lays bare horrifying abuses. But the UK is no closer to regulating the far-too-powerful tech industry, says Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins.
Queen to be evacuated if Brexit turns ugly – reports  The GuardianBritish officials have revived cold war emergency plans to relocate the royal family should there be riots in London if Britain suffers a disruptive departure from ...

An Environmental Voting Guide for US State Elections

In these times when states are suffering extreme downward pressure... Read More

Take Marijuana Off the DEAs Docket

Quit paying the DEA to chase marijuana. We could save... Read More

Positive People Power - Taking Control By Being Proactive NOT Reactive!

WE MUST PUT A STOP TO THE EVER-INCREASING PRICE OF... Read More

China Finds Humans to Test Bird Flu Vaccine On, in Qinghai

China is serious about breaking into the bio-tech field and... Read More

The European Bank for the Retardation of Development

In typical bureaucratese, the pensive EBRD analyst ventures with the... Read More

Making Peace with Our Ancestors and Neighbors

As a result of the conflict analysis exercise and a... Read More

Truckers Take Some Hits and Keep On Trucking

After 9-11 insurance rates on Independent Truck Drivers and smaller... Read More

Tracking Over The Road Trucks from Canada

Are you happy with all this so-called security after 9-11?... Read More

Thune Republicans: Sudden Friends of the Working Person?

The Right's defense of John Thune in the Dan Nelson/MetaBank... Read More

When Political Correctness in NOT a Virtue

The other day I was sucker punched, hoodwinked, bamboozled, had... Read More

How to Become a Whistle Blower

Since the United States Government is promoting the whistle blower... Read More

May Day, May Day

Down The Bush and BlairBy now everyone, except us, is... Read More

Colts? Stadium Short on Horse Sense

The predominant discussion in the Indianapolis media over the proposed... Read More

TSA Missteps at Our Airports

The TSA seems to have completely missed the ball at... Read More

Genetically Modified Plants Could Become Sentinels for the Military

As concerns grow over the threat of bioterrorism and weapons... Read More

Fuel Prices at the Pump: That is not the problem, Natural Gas Prices are high too

The price at the gas pump is certainly on everyone's... Read More

The Gun Control Debate

The gun control debate in America is a battle between... Read More

How Many Cases Will Elliot Spitzer Lose Now?

The devastating loss in case of Elliot Spitzer for NY... Read More

Bird Flu may kill you and your family

We have heard a lot about the coming bird flu... Read More

Proven Risk Youth Vs At-Risk & High-Risk Youth

In the fields of juvenile justice policy and programming, there... Read More

The G-8 and Other Figureheads

The Presidents Before Washington:From the moment that the first Declaration... Read More

The Bush There Or Here Fallacy and the War in Iraq

Today we wish to examine a fallacy, or error in... Read More

Without Trucks America Stops

Do you ever wonder how everything gets to the super... Read More

Slovenia - The Star Pupil

The most exciting event in Slovenia last week was when... Read More

Does Your Farm Stink? The EPA Wants to Find Out

Farmers will eventually be facing federal regulations involving air emissions... Read More