“A nightmare of interlocking Catch-22s, of well-meaning, dedicated people working at cross-purposes, of a legal system that, in short, is more insane than the psychotics it processes.” That’s the description of reviewer Allan Lundy in the Philadelphia Inquirer of “Crazy,” by investigative journalist Pete Earley. Lundy calls it “a gripping, disturbing, first-hand account of mentally ill people who have stumbled into our criminal justice system.”
Earley builds a compelling case that the legal system is distorted by its deference to the irrational wishes of people incapable of understanding their own best interests. Earley, who writes about his experiences with his psychotic son, avoids assigning blame to political ideologies. Lundy says that liberals can be faulted for defending the mentally ill person’s right to live untreated in squalor, conservatives for a reluctance to spend money on treatment.