Dorothea Dix must be rolling over in her grave. In 1841, after observing prostitutes, drunks, criminals, retarded individuals, and the mentally ill housed together in the East Cambridge Jail, she became an advocate for the mentally ill and eventually had a part in establishing 32 mental hospitals and 15 schools for the feeble minded. She established many of these facilities after serving as the chief Union Army Nurse during the Civil War and in her final years took an apartment at one of the facilities she founded.
We know the rest of the story, the dismantling of of the institutions in the 1960's through the 80's and the promise of community based services. And now we are back to a situation similar to 150 years ago, housing the mentally ill in jails and prisons.