July 27, 2009

HEATHER MACDONALD: Inside the Jail Inferno. Excerpt: “The spread of quality-of-life policing, which targets low-level offenses like aggressive panhandling, public urination, and littering, has brought a more mentally unstable, troubled population into jails—one that mental hospitals would have treated before the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1960s and ’70s shuttered most state mental hospitals. In fact, jails have become society’s primary mental institutions, though few have the funding or expertise to carry out that role properly.”