where the ability to do all that you mentioned was heavily curtailed and meds were monitored.
Granted, that gave the government a shady spot to do their MK Ultra mindfrakking and experimentation. However, dumping the mentally ill out to wander around living the hobo life has its own set of problems. The jails are full up because half the people there would have been put into a mental hosptial a couple of generations ago. My stepdad is a jailer and says after their two week meds runs out that they get at the jail, they do something nuts and wind up back in jail again.
The original idea for mental hospitals in this country was a self-sustaining operation where the patients worked the land and made their own clothing, etc. I remember seeing an interview from a nurse who spoke to some of the old timers who had lived under that system and how much they missed their "jobs", after the ACLU came in and said that was slavery or something. That ushered in the age of sitting in a dayroom all day with nothing to do but get more nuts.
Here's one of my favorite sites showing what the mental hosptials look like now-really cool photography!
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