A few decades back, it was decided that public mental institutions needed to be phased out. Not to save taxpayer money, not to have the private sector do it, but to be compassionate to those with mental health issues. As Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley noted in his Breakpoint Commentary today, Bedlam: Prisons and the Mentally Ill, they still are mentally ill, they just end up behind bars. In many ways I am a law & order kind of person, plus, I prefer to minimize government involvement in most things. That being said, however, this is one area, while not ideal, where the government would may be the appropriate party.