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May 10, 2005

PBS Frontline examines the "new asylums"

Though I have plans to watch tonight's finale of The Amazing Race, my DVR is set to record tonight's airing of a new documentary on PBS's Frontline about the mentally ill in prison. Entitled "The New Asylums," here is a description of the show from the PBS webpage:

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.

Today's New York Times has this review of the program, which it calls "enormously disturbing."

May 10, 2005 at 08:34 AM | Permalink


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To Whom it May Concern: I am the Mother of an inmate incarcerated through an imperfect & corrupt system that accepts all sorts of lies as evidence. My Son is mentally challenged & has a drug addiction (which is a disease due to his mental illness). His crimes were choices that he made, but the sentencing was inhumane & cruel & too long & in a system place that is not going to help him in any way. I was hoping to get some assistance while I am looking for Downward Departure relief in the sentencing he was given. He was forced to agree to a plea without our help. His attorney that we hired was just as crooked at the police dept. Not a good system. I am not saying my Son was not a criminal, but his crimes were a spree caused for the need for illegal drugs because he was improperly medicated by the medical system here in the USA & more the LACK of medical for the people that have no insurance, or insurance that had lapsed. Kindest Regards, Selene

Posted by: S. K. Shine | Jun 9, 2005 6:58:54 PM

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