Social workers w/police reduce the number of criminals = $$$ savings


For sure, modern America needs more social workers. The culture dictates it. However, I’m trying to see the macroeconomics here.

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Same things going on in Detroit. There were a couple recent cases where people having a mental crisis made a bad choice, and were promptly shot dead by the policemen, added impetus to the program.

Michigan defunded mental heath at the state level decades ago, transferring the problems, and cost, to county and city law enforcement.

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That may be why several states defunded mental health programs. They could not see a profit in it. Of course, defunding care at the state level, did not make the people vanish. Defunding only transferred the cost to local law enforcement.


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And local law enforcement doesn’t have the expertise to deal with issues like that. We expect them to fulfill the roles of enforcer, psychologist, social worker, and probably a few others. As the heading of this thread said, you can save money if you put social workers in with cops. Keeping people in prison is expensive.

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This was the actual intent of the very badly chosen moniker of “Defund the Police”.



Yea what genius came up with that Slogan? LOL


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Lives saved is first. Then there is the cost of “locking 'em up” for years vs getting mental health care and NOT being involved with the legal system at all. Multiply by thousands of people and the KA-CHING of the private prison system NOT being funded by the public as the funds are then available for other, better, public use.


The article I linked may have mentioned two incidents in Detroit, in the last month or so, of people having a mental episode, made a bad decision during their episode, and were promptly shot dead by the police. Killing people is cheaper than putting them in prison, and treating their illness. Just as a couple departments in Ohio refuse to issue Narcan to officers, so if they come across an OD, they can’t revive him. Dead is cheaper than living and troubled. Then they can give the “JCs” another tax cut. /sarcasm



This all goes back to closing mental hospitals after discovery of drugs like thorazine and movies like One Flew Over the Cookoo Nest. The public decided mental hospitals weren’\t necessary any more and legislatures found it easy to close them.

But they failed to invest in regional treatment centers leaving jails as the last resource for the mentally ill.

Now at last some resources are going into social worker. Much more seems to be needed.

So many mass shootings seem to involve those with mental issues who received grossly inadequate or no treatment.

A step in the right direction but much more is needed.

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My jobs in the 80s and 90s, had me working late into the evening, often past midnight so did not see media reporting on mental health defunding in Michigan. Given the narrative that came into popular use, people went along with the defunding due to promises of tax cuts.

Found some data relating to Michigan:

Michigan sits near the bottom of states for its number of state psychiatric beds per capita. According to the Treatment Advocacy Group, a nonprofit mental health advocacy organization, Michigan in 2016 had 7.3 state psychiatric beds per 100,000 people, compared to the U.S. average of 11.7 beds per 100,000 people.

Funding for state psychiatric hospitals has fallen from 9 percent of the state general fund in 1965 to just under 3 percent of the general fund, according to MDHHS.

That fits with former Gov Engler closing two thirds of the state hospitals. Engler sold the defunding by assuring the mob that patients would be moved to “community care”. How is that working out?

Michigan’s community hospital psychiatric capacity has “fallen precipitously,” from 3,041 adult beds in 1993 to 2,197 adult beds in 2017.

The ill did not magically vanish. Where are they?

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, nearly a quarter of state prisoners have some form of mental illness. A 2003 report of jails in Wayne, Kent and Clinton counties found that 51 percent of inmates were mentally ill.

Will anything happen to reverse the trend of defunding mental health? Social issues like that are now deemed “woke”, and discussing anything “woke” is now against the law in some states.