The largest providers of psychiatric care in the US aren’t hospitals – they’re jails and prisons. On this edition of Your Call, we speak with journalist Alisa Roth about her new book Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness.
Roth shows how the dysfunction and cruelty of nineteenth-century asylums have reappeared in modern jails and prisons. She found that inmates are denied proper treatment, abused, and punished in ways that make them sicker. Everyone she interviewed, from people behind bars to prosecutors, said the system isn’t working. What would a more humane approach look like?
Alisa Roth, radio and print reporter, former staff reporter at Marketplace, and author of Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness
New York Times: The ‘Insane’ Way Our Prison System Handles the Mentally Ill
The Atlantic: Prisons Are the New Asylums