Pete Earley had no idea. He
had 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 had 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. Download and start listening now!