The limitations of the movement for deinstitutionalization of the chronically mentally disordered have been the subject of a repeated series of investigations and analyses in the last 10 years. These critiques can be summed up in the undeniable observation that the chronically mentally disordered have by and large failed to benefit from deinstitutionalization in the ways that the original advocates and planners of this policy had hoped. The promise of community mental health, at least as articulated by the scores of witnesses before Congressional committees in the early 1960's, has not been realized for this population.

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