No, we'd rather see them in jail or on the street than care for them. Yes the old mental hospitals were awful. But more awful than being beaten to death on the street? Or freezing in below zero weather? And how long are we going to allow the failures of the past to stop us from trying to do it right?
But until we overcome our own crazy attitudes about mental illness, our virtual phobia of even discussing or thinking about it, we aren't likely to demand that our tax dollars be spent on solutions for the mentally ill. In our society, if you're sick you must have asked for it somehow. What a reassuring thought for those who still possess health. Until they lose it.