Around this time, Niels Erik Bank-Mikkelsen, Director of the Danish National Service for the Mentally Retarded, visited a state institution in California. His report was read across the country. "I couldn't believe my eyes," he said. It was worse than any institutions I have seen on visits to a dozen foreign countries ... In our country, we would not be allowed to treat cattle like that."
Much of the problem could be related to the gross underfunding of facilities. In 1964, the per diem rate for a person living in an institution was $5.57, about one-half the amount devoted to tending animals in a zoo.