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Publisher's Summary

Pete Earley had no idea. He'd been a journalist for over 30 years, and the author of several award-winning, even best-selling, 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 year-long 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.
©2006 Pete Earley; (P)2006 Tantor Media Inc
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Critic Reviews

"Parents of the mentally ill should find solace and food for thought in its pages." (Publishers Weekly)
"Crazy is a godsend. It will open the minds of many who make choices for the mentally ill." (Patty Duke)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By C. Anne on 01-28-07

Harrowing, Heart-Breaking

Mr. Earley has written an important book, and he weaves his son's personal story into a well-researched narrative.

I learned a great deal about the history of treating mental illnesses in the U.S., as well as the Catch-22 implicit in many current US state laws, which place a premium on individual rights protection at the expense of appropriate treatment for the mentally ill. The result is that many mentally ill people end up in prisons for decades -- having fallen through the cracks in the health care system.

It is not a happy story; however, it is an important story -- a must for those working in local police forces or prisons, public policy makers in the area of health, and those who have family members suffering from a mental illness. Written accessibly, the book is easy to understand, and well-narrated.







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7 of 7 people found this review helpful


By Paradace on 11-04-07

Crazy

I started this book with fear and trepidation - I was not disappointed. Throughout his very personal and painful journey, Pete Earley doesn't "white wash" any of the terrible attributes associated with mental illness. His straight forward stories and anecdotes, plus disturbing truths about how hard it is for both patients and family members, have stayed with me long past the end of the book. He's correct when he says, only when personally affected are people willing to get involved. The author gives a compelling argument for revamping our mental illness protocol and a disheartening enlightment on why it hasn't happened. The book shook me down to my boots yet I found I could not pull away.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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