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Principles of Social Change$
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Leonard A. Jason

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199841851

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841851.001.0001

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Navigating the Maze

Navigating the Maze

(p.55) 3 Navigating the Maze
Principles of Social Change

Leonard A. Jason

Oxford University Press

In Chapter 3, I provide an overview of the complex network of health care systems, and why working with community-based coalitions is critical. This is our next principle for social change: the importance of working with or creating like-minded groups who are affected by the current situation. I begin with a reflection on the closure of mental hospitals in the 1960s, which many heralded as a serious effort to bring patients back to the community. Unfortunately, this was a case of the best intentions with unintended consequences years later. It wasn’t until years afterward that researchers realized that the number of patients with mental disorders had not decreased. Worse, they were now either in prison, in nursing homes, or homeless. In this chapter, I provide a glimpse into the Oxford House coalition of recovery homes to demonstrate the potential for giving people who are disenfranchised through drugs, prison records, or mental illness the chance to take decision-making responsibilities and authority into their own hands.

Keywords:   Oxford House, Recovery Homes, Deinstitutionalization, Mental Hospitals, Prisons, Community Psychology, Community Coalitions

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