criminal justice system

Alisa Roth is a former staff reporter for Marketplace and frequent contributor to various NPR programs. A Soros Justice Fellow, her work has also appeared in the New York Review of Books and New York Times.

America has made mental illness a crime. Jails in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago each house more people with mental illnesses than any hospital. As many as half of all people in America's jails and prisons have a psychiatric disorder. One in four fatal police shootings involves a person with such disorders.

In "Insane: America's Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness," Roth goes deep inside the criminal justice system to show how and why it has become a warehouse where inmates are denied proper treatment, abused, and punished in ways that make them sicker.

  Growing up in the rough outskirts of northern Dublin at a time when joining the guards, the army, or the civil service was the height of most parents’ ambitions for their children, Luke Waters knew he was destined for a career in some sort of law enforcement. Dreaming of becoming a police officer, Waters immigrated to the United States in search of better employment opportunities and joined the NYPD.

In NYPD Green Waters offers a gripping and fascinating account filled with details from real criminal cases involving murder, theft, gang violence, and more, and takes you into the thick of the danger and scandal of life as a New York cop—both on and off the beat.

Elizabeth Anderson

A new report by the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that young African-American men have better survival chances in prison than on the street because they have better access to health care. Meanwhile,  a group based in Albany is rolling out a new program to address the intersection of race, crime, criminal justice policy, and health.

Alan Cleaver/Flickr

A New York state assemblyman says he is preparing legislation to give the state attorney general sole power to prosecute police crimes. This comes in the wake of the death of Eric Garner and a request by the attorney general for an executive order to investigate such cases.