Decades of failed mental health policies have placed law enforcement on the front line of mental health crisis response and turned jails and prisons into the new asylums. Deinstitutionalization, treatment laws demanding a person become violent before intervention, discriminatory Federal Medicaid funding policies and the prolonged failure by states to fund their mental health systems drive those in need of care into the criminal justice and corrections systems, rather than into the public health system where they belong.
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