The black robe effect
What is the best way to care for patients with severe mental illness? The United States has struggled with this question for decades. In 1963, President Kennedy signed a law that was supposed to transfer patients with severe mental illness out of hospitals and back into their communities -- into outpatient treatment. That effort hasn't really worked. A lot these patients end up homeless. Many are in prison or jail. One recent study found that more than half of all inmates have some kind of mental illness. Summit County, Ohio, thinks it has a solution: court-ordered outpatient treatment. It’s often called Assisted Outpatient Treatment, or AOT for short. That’s sort of what President Kennedy hoped for: treatment outside of the hospital, in the community. But the treatment is enforced by the courts -- and that’s what makes it so controversial. We had music on this episode from Blue Dot Sessions, Chris Zabriske, Kevin MacLeod, and Poddington Bear. Please email us your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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