Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness

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9780399153136: Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness

Pete Earley had no idea. He'd been a journalist for over thirty years, and the author of several award-winning-even bestselling-nonfiction books about crime and punishment and society. Yet he'd always been on the outside looking in. He had no idea what it was like to be on the inside looking out until his son, Mike, was declared mentally ill, and Earley was thrown headlong into the maze of contradictions, disparities, and catch-22s that is America's mental health system.

The more Earley dug, the more he uncovered the bigger picture: Our nation's prisons have become our new mental hospitals. Crazy tells two stories. The first is his son's. The second describes what Earley learned during a yearlong investigation inside the Miami-Dade County jail, where he was given complete, unrestricted access. There, and in the surrounding community, he shadowed inmates and patients; interviewed correctional officers, public defenders, prosecutors, judges, mental-health professionals, and the police; talked with parents, siblings, and spouses; consulted historians, civil rights lawyers, and legislators.

The result is both a remarkable piece of investigative journalism, and a wake-up call-a portrait that could serve as a snapshot of any community in America

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About the Author:

Pete Earley, a former reporter for The Washington Post, is the author of seven works of nonfiction, including the bestsellers The Hot House and Family of Spies, and the multi-award-winning Circumstantial Evidence. According to the Washingtonian magazine, he is one of ten journalist/authors in America "who have the power to introduce new ideas and give them currency." Earley is also the author of two novels.

From AudioFile:

A journalist with a seriously mental ill son tells the chilling story of how difficult it was to find people and institutions that could help them. The larger story, told with equal grace and thoroughness, is that U.S. prisons and jails are increasingly warehousing people not reached by the mental health system. Michael Prichard's narration is classy and restrained. Letting the story itself remain prominent, he sounds concerned but never strays into melodrama. The struggles with the son's bipolar illness are heart-wrenching; the boy is always of the verge of spinning out of control. Yet the intensity of the author's personal story didn't prevent him from writing a balanced investigation on the broader issues. T.W. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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