Philippe Bourgois, University of California, Los Angeles

Thu February 16th 2023, 12:00 - 1:15pm
McClatchy Hall, Building 120, Studio S40

Note: This is a co-sponsored event for the Program on Urban Studies 16th annual Model Scholar lecture series.

Title: Incarceration and Mental Illness: Lessons from the Los Angeles County Jail

Abstract: The United States has become a caricatural case of cruel, expensive mismanagement/repression of individuals on the psychosis spectrum. Drawing on historical data and too many years of participant observation ethnographic fieldwork on inner-city streets among people who use and/or sell drugs and cycle chronically through carceral facilities (1980s-present), I will trace the specific policies and structural political economic forces (predatory accumulation) that have turned the Los Angeles County Jail into the world's largest de facto psychiatric facility.

Appearing on Video: This talk will include a video appearance of Craigen Armstrong. After serving 12 years on death row, Mr. Armstrong is confined at the Los Angeles County Jail awaiting a new trial. In jail,  he co-founded and is an administrator of the jail's Mental Health Assistance Program. He will talk about developing and managing a peer support program for inmates with serious mental illnesses.

Warning: If hearing from an individual facing criminal charges for violence could be upsetting, please take care of yourself. There is no obligation for any student to attend this event. Students needing mental health care can reach out for immediate assistance from CAPS or the Confidential Support Team.