I've read quite a bit on this topic over the years, but still this book shook me.
The most powerful aspect, for me, is that it's so much more than a thoughtful narrative citing facts and data. Alisa Roth takes us with her into the reality of what it's like for someone with a mental illness who gets caught in the criminal justice system. We meet patients and family, as well as cops and corrections officers and psychologists. We see the good, the bad, and perhaps worst of all, the indifference in how the sick are treated.
As the author points out, mental illnesses are diseases of the mind, just as cancer is a disease of the body. We would not ridicule a cancer patient. We would not lock a cancer patient in an isolation cell because he/she is too sick to live within the general population. It's about time we extended the same human courtesy to people with mental illness.
Insane is an exceptionally well researched, well written, profound, and disturbing look at the way we're treating an already marginalized segment of society. I would love for everyone to read this book. Until we start flinging open those closed doors and shining light into the darkness, the abuse will continue. And one day it might be your child or your spouse or your brother - or you - behind those closed doors.