Harold Pollack & Samuel Bagenstos

Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration and Public Health Sciences at the University of Chicago.

Sam Bagenstos is the Frank G. Millard Professor of Law at the University of Michigan.


Recent Articles

We Don't Need 'Modern Asylums'

We need to make deinstitutionalization work for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

AP Photo/Jaime Henry-White
This article appears in the Summer 2015 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . A move is afoot to undo one of the great social policy successes of the past half-century—the commitment to serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their homes and communities, rather than in institutions. Although those who propose to “bring back the asylum” point to real gaps in our current community services, their proposed solutions are misdirected. Instead of returning to the flawed models of the past, we need to strengthen community-based services that promote independence and integration, even for those with very significant disabilities. Fifty years ago, parents of children with intellectual or developmental disabilities were often advised to institutionalize those children for life. In the absence of community supports and basic services, institutionalization often seemed to be the only alternative. In theory, institutions provided care...