Anthropology on the Front Lines

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019
12:00 am


California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI)

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“Mass Incarceration and Mental Illness in Los Angeles”

in conversation with

Philippe Bourgois
Professor-in-Residence, UCLA Department of Anthropology
Director, Center for Social Medicine and the Humanities
UCLA Semel Institute of Neuroscience/Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences


Laurie Hart
Professor, UCLA Department of Anthropology

Wednesday May 8, 2019
6:00 p.m.

California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI)


Self-pay parking available in Structure 9
About the presentation : Working as a team of professors and graduate students, in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, we have been conducting participant observation anthropological fieldwork on the front lines of our home town’s fragmented safety net for people with serious mental illness. We soon found ourselves swept into the Los Angeles County Jail, which has tragically become the world’s largest de facto psychiatric facility. Of the approximately 19,000 to 20,000 inmates, between 4,000 and 5,000 have a serious mental illness with diagnoses of psychosis or bipolar disorder or serious generalized anxiety and depression. Presenting excerpts from our field notes in clinics, homeless encampments, streets, police patrol mental health outreach units, Mental Health Court, and County Jail “lockdown,” we confront the crisis of care for socially vulnerable populations in the U.S. at this moment in history.

About the speakers:
Philippe Bourgois
Laurie Hart

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