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press reaction

The New York Times · Ned Martel

"An enormously disturbing Frontline report profiles the enormously disturbed. …

"The show never feels like the problem is being solved nor is its exact origin understood, which is the central frustration in dealing with mental illness. Just by venturing into these Stygian cellblocks, however, "The New Asylums" is performing a public service. The documentary takes an admirably long view, and thus a few prisoners, who are at first seen flailing under the grip of six guards, sit down for startlingly calm interviews years later. They sound like the grateful survivors of a living hell, the road to which was paved with good intentions. …"

Rocky Moutain News · Dusty Saunders

"… another first-rate report on Frontline.

"The hour asks an important question: Have America's jails and prisons become new asylums for the mentally ill?

"Not a pleasant subject but it's an important one. And Frontline explores it thoroughly. …

"Frontline remains a shining beacon on a news landscape that seems to be wallowing in pop culture."

The Kansas City Star · Aaron Barhnhart

"… The video is chilling, the fate of these deinstitutionalized souls heartbreaking.

"There are 500,000 people in these 'new asylums,' as 'Frontline' calls these gray-bar hotels for the mentally ill. And as you watch this disturbing program, keep this in mind: Ohio is one of the states that actually handles these incarcerees well."

Akron Beacon Journal · R.D. Heldenfels

"... thoughtful, disturbing and even sad. ..."

The Sacramento Bee · Kevin McDonough

"… grim …"


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posted may 10, 2005

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