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Events Calendar

"America's Hidden Mental Health Crisis"

Tuesday, March 12 at 7:30pm to 9:30pm

Straub Hall, 156
1451 Onyx Street, Eugene, OR 97403

Alisa Roth, journalist and author of Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness, will serve as the 2018–19 speaker for the University of Oregon’s Lorwin Lectureship on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Roth’s work is an investigation into the crisis of mental illness in the U.S. criminal justice system. She writes, “One of the most horrific—and least acknowledged—effects of mass incarceration is the epidemic of mental illness in our jails and prisons.” 

In uncovering this crisis, Roth traveled around the country to police departments, courts, jails, and emergency health-care facilities; interviewed current and former prisoners and their families, mental health professionals, lawyers, and police; and conducted research using public records and other source materials. She writes, “Mental illness affects every aspect of the criminal justice system—from policing, to the courts, to prisons, and beyond. Nor are the effects limited to the criminal justice system; many people with mental illness cycle back and forth between jail or prison and living in the community.” 

She continues, “People with mental illness are among the most disadvantaged members of our society, and when they end up in the criminal justice system, they tend to fare worse than others.” Roth hopes her work on this crisis will help “to end the abuses and to bring more compassion and common sense into the way we approach mental illness in our society.” 

Roth’s lecture is free and open to the public and will be live-streamed. For information, or disability accommodations (which must be made by March 5th), please call 541-346-3934 or contact ohc@uoregon.edu