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.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Author's Note 13
Part I Ensnared: How We Got Here
1 Jail Is the Only Safe Place 21
2 The Largest Psych Ward in America 39
3 The Asylum Fallacy 73
Part II Locked Up: What Happens Inside
4 Jail as Hospital 97
5 Destined to Fail 111
6 Sanctioned Torture 131
7 Better Off Dead 151
8 Guilty by Reason of Insanity 175
Part III Breaking Free: Toward a Better Way
9 Inside Out 195
10 The Cycle 209
11 Shooting the Victim 229
12 The Good-Cop Solution 241
13 Disorder in the Court 259