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The New Asylums (full documentary) | Are Prisons the New Mental Hospitals? | FRONTLINE

Nearly half a million people in America’s prisons and jails were dealing with mental illness in 2005. FRONTLINE examined mental health in the prison system. (Aired 2005)

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When “The New Asylums” was originally released, 16 percent of America’s prison population could be classified as having a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder, according to National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. The numbers were much higher when taking into consideration other types of mental illnesses and disorders.

As sheriffs and prison wardens became the unexpected and ill-equipped gatekeepers of this burgeoning population, they raised a troubling issue: were jails and prisons turning into America’s new mental hospitals?

With unprecedented access to prison therapy sessions, mental health treatment meetings, crisis wards, and prison disciplinary tribunals, FRONTLINE went inside Ohio’s state prison system to present a searing exploration of the complex topic of mental health behind bars and a moving portrait of the individuals at the center of this issue.

Explore additional reporting related to “The New Asylums” on our website:

The New Asylums

#Documentary #Prison #MentalHealth #MentalIllness

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FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional support for FRONTLINE is provided by the Abrams Foundation, Park Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund, with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation, and additional support from Koo and Patricia Yuen.

00:00 – Prologue
01:06 – People With Mental Illness Ending Up in Jails & Prisons
12:31 – How Prisoners With Severe Mental Illness Filter Into Maximum Security Prison
24:35 – Cycling Between the Prison Psychiatric Hospital and Maximum Security
34:41 – Solitary Confinement While Living With Mental Illness: ‘A Prison’s Prison’
38:56 – What Comes After Release For Prisoners With Mental Illness
52:49 – Credits