Date of Award

12-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Economics

Advisor

Miller, Daniel

Committee Member

Bodenhorn , Howard

Committee Member

Tollison , Robert

Abstract

New York State has been among the leaders of mental healthcare since the 19th century and today the state continues to promote innovative thinking in this system. Due to budgetary concerns across the nation New York has compiled a three-year plan to decrease Inpatient costs and increase community-based care. This is the second wave of rapid deinstitutionalization that has occurred in the state and the effect of deinstitutionalization on violent crime is still a major concern to the public. In the past the connection between mental illness and violent crime has at best been established as weak association and is often overlooked. This paper establishes a connection between the mentally ill and violent crime and uses this connection to further reveal how patients move throughout the mental healthcare system. Most importantly, the flow of patients provides a basis for a system of equations which can estimate how changes in budget allocation according to the goals established in New York State's plan will affect the violent crime rate in the state. The results find that ultimately there is a tradeoff between cutting costs and the violent crime rate. This tradeoff must become a part of the equation for improving the mental healthcare system if New York truly wishes to decrease it's budget and not to simply shift expenditure from the mental healthcare system to the criminal justice system.

Included in

Economics Commons

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