Segments in this Video

Bedlam Behind Bars: Introduction (01:02)


More than 1 million prisoners in America have mental health problems. This segment orients viewers to Panorama's investigation behind bars.

Timothy Souders (02:42)

Guards at a Michigan prison take Souders to solitary confinement; he is bipolar and suicidal. See footage of his confinement and treatment over a five day period. Souders' mother recalls learning her son died in prison.

Cook County Jail, Chicago (02:22)

The largest jail complex in America processes approximately 250 new inmates daily; staff screen them for serious mental conditions. See inmates in a ward for mentally ill prisoners. Sheriff Tom Dart discusses jails as a treatment center.

Abusing Mentally Ill Inmates (02:32)

Security cameras catch an officer punching an inmate. Reporter Hilary Andersson talks with an inmate about abuse. A legal case alleges 45 assaults by officers against inmates.

Prison Living Conditions (04:06)

Andersson examines Division 10 of Cook County Jail and speaks with a former prisoner diagnosed with bipolar disorder about abuse. Jail officials discuss monitoring the jail system and a culture of brutality. See video footage of a cell extraction.

Failing Mental Health System (03:38)

Andersson tours a closed asylum in Peoria and accompanies Texas police to an emergency call involving a mental health patient. Services are inadequate, failing about half of the population with mental illnesses.

Harris County Jail (02:55)

Andersson visits a mental health unit that is considered a model facility. Approximately 24,000 prisoners with mental health problems are held in solitary confinement. Experts discuss the effects of isolation and the amount of time spent in segregation.

Prisoner in Isolation (03:05)

See footage of bipolar inmate Paul Schlosser after two months of segregation; he discusses self-mutilation. Guards place Schlosser in restraint chair and spray him with pepper spray after he spits at a guard.

Bridgewater Correctional Complex (03:24)

Joshua Messier was sent to a prison for the criminally insane after striking a nurse. After Messier left a visit with his mother, guards restrained and beat him; Messier died. Joshua's mother Lisa Brown and her attorney discuss the prison's response to Joshua's death.

Caring for Mental Illness (02:33)

Andersson finds that 100 inmates with mental illness died in U.S. prisons. Paolo del Vecchio says the federal mental health program is doing all it can do with the resources that it has. Experts discuss the failure in treating mental illness among inmates.

Credits: Bedlam Behind Bars: Mental Health Problems in American Prisons (00:39)

Credits: Bedlam Behind Bars: Mental Health Problems in American Prisons

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Bedlam Behind Bars: Mental Health Problems in American Prisons

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There is a crisis today in America’s prison system which has little to do with crime. It contributes to the abuse and even the deaths of some prisoners at the hands of those paid to take care of them. With access to two U.S. jails, this program finds America’s prisons are now having to accommodate vast numbers of inmates with serious mental health problems. The program reveals that more than a million mentally troubled Americans are imprisoned and may be chained to beds, sprayed with pepper spray, and kept in isolation indefinitely. A BBC Production.

Length: 30 minutes

Item#: FMK95045

ISBN: 978-1-68272-268-8

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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