Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Prisons: Our New Asylums?

Tonight, on PBS's Frontline: The New Asylums

Excerpt from their website:

"There are nearly half a million mentally ill people serving time in America's prisons and jails. As sheriffs and prison wardens become the unexpected and ill-equipped gatekeepers of this burgeoning population, they raise a troubling new concern: are jails and prisons America's new asylums? With exclusive and unprecedented access to prison therapy sessions, mental health treatment meetings, crisis wards, and prison disciplinary tribunals, FRONTLINE goes deep inside Ohio's state prison system to present a searing exploration of the complex and growing topic of mental health behind bars and a moving portrait of the individuals at the center of this issue."

Oh my god, this breaks my heart:

"Within six days of being paroled in 2000, inmate Sigmon Clark, a paranoid schizophrenic, was rearrested for robbery. "Six days with $75 in my pocket. Fare the best way you can, man. We done took twelve years out of your life, and you're mentally ill...do what you can for yourself," Clark tells FRONTLINE."

Check out Bazelon.org to help.

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