chapter  8
24 Pages

Deinstitutionalization and Community Services in Virginia: A Policy Assessment

Across the United States, many states and communities have faced prob­

lems-real or perceived-associated with deinstitutionalization (see, for

example, Bardach 1977). “Deinstitutionalization” refers to the process by

which the primary treatment responsibility for the mentally disabled is

transferred from mental health hospitals-often operated by state govern­

ments-to service providers in community-based settings. Deinstitutional­

ization is a complicated policy that encompasses the efforts of many

agencies and programs. This case study relates one state’s efforts to in­

crease its knowledge and understanding for policy action in this arena

through primarily exploratory policy research.* The research represents a

panoply of research methods, including quantitative descriptive tech­

niques and more qualitative and less-structured data collection efforts.