Philippe Bourgois, University of California Los Angeles
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.
On Video: This talk will include a video appearance of Craigen Armstrong. After 12 years on death row, Craigen Armstrong is confined in the LA County Jail awaiting a retrial. In jail, he co-founded and is an administrator of the Mental Health Assistance Program. He will talk about co-developing and managing a peer support program for inmates with serious mental illnesses.