I doubt there's enough hospitals in New York City to commit all of Gotham's crazy residents, much less the staff to care for them.
There are fully staffed mental hospitals all over the state...totally empty. They’re kept staffed because of a combination of unions and the political need to provide jobs for those rural areas.
However, they’re empty because nobody can be sent there now.
I worked for a Catholic volunteer organization in the late 60s, and we would normally pick people up from the Bowery and, if we couldn’t deal with them because they were not just alcoholics but were mentally ill, we’d have them committed. They lived in cottages, were well-treated, medicated, and we visited them regularly. Then they’d be released into our custody until they either recovered enough to resume their lives or had to be committed again. At a certain point, this could go into long-term committment.
And then we had the passage of the law relating to “community mental health care,” sponsored by the ACLU, which seemed to believe that the mentally ill were just expressing themselves in a slightly unusual way.
This destroyed the mental hospitals and their programs. The last time I remember visiting one of our residents who had gone off the deep end (and who in the past had been committed to a lovely little 6-person cabin with great, dedicated nurses), the state had shut down his program and he was living in an 8-bed (four bunkbed) “independent living unit” in the unheated garage of a local person.
Of course, only a year or two later, the state stopped paying anything and these folks all hit the street. And for anybody who thought this might have been a cost saving, the cost was enormous in terms of everything from increased emergency room visits and hospitalization, sanitation services for the subway stations turned into latrines, confinement and legal costs for them after their arrests...and the biggest cost of all, medical expenses and lost income for their victims and the families of these victims. Nobody ever considers the negative economic impact of the roaming mentally ill on their surrounding society.