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The major mental health reforms of the last generation in the U.S.A. have given rise to much discussion and often heated debate; but have they actually produced any real changes? This book is the first overview of this controversial subject - and the author's appraisal of the consequences of these reforms is surprising. Changes which were originally aimed at making it more difficult to hospitalize and treat people with mental illness, and easier to punish them, have actually;resulted in far less change than was predicted or intended. This stimulating book argues that, when the law contradicted commonsense ideas of how to deal with the mentally ill, it was bent or ignored, whether by judges, medical professionals, or family members.