The Rise and Fall of the Asylum

Until a few decades ago, the United States relied on mass confinement in mental asylums, for the mentally ill, as well as extreme treatments, from lobotomy to coma therapy. Today, at Cook County Jail in Chicago, more than one-third of inmates have a mental health diagnosis. Meet the detainees whose lives hang in the balance and discover the harsh realities of care both in and out of jail.

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