Insane: America's Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness (Hardcover)
An urgent exposÃ©f the mental health crisis in our courts, jails, and prisons
America has made mental illness a crime. Jails in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago each house more people with mental illnesses than any hospital. As many as half of all people in America's jails and prisons have a psychiatric disorder. One in four fatal police shootings involves a person with such disorders.
In this revelatory book, journalist Alisa Roth goes deep inside the criminal justice system to show how and why it has become a warehouse where inmates are denied proper treatment, abused, and punished in ways that make them sicker.
Through intimate stories of people in the system and those trying to fix it, Roth reveals the hidden forces behind this crisis and suggests how a fairer and more humane approach might look. Insane is a galvanizing wake-up call for criminal justice reformers and anyone concerned about the plight of our most vulnerable.
About the Author
Alisa Roth is the mental health correspondent for Minnesota Public Radio and frequent contributor to various NPR programs. A Soros Justice Fellow, her work has also appeared in the New York Review of Books and New York Times. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
"Chilling...Roth writes movingly of the human toll of incarceration...She convincingly diagnoses the glaring inadequacies of mental health treatment in prison but she is not out for scapegoats...Insane is rife with sharp, brutal details that pull the reader beyond the realms of abstract policy debates."—New York Times Book Review
"Superb...Roth stresses America's failure to provide the vital community mental health services first promised in the Kennedy years...Some of the most revealing sections of Insane deal with the officers who patrol these wards...Burnout is inevitable."—New York Review of Books