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Schizophrenic. Killer. My Cousin.

Deinstitutionalization moved thousands of mentally ill people out of hospitals and into the prison system. States are cutting mental-health funding. A look at America's mental health care crisis:

"'Homelessmentallyilldeinstitutionalized was one noun in the media at the time,' says SAMHSA's Roth, who is the source of the oft-cited data point that a third of America's homeless people are seriously mentally ill (helping to rebut the misconception then that they all were). In 1984, Dr. John A. Talbott, then president of the American Psychiatric Association, apologized for the association's role in the disaster. 'The psychiatrists involved in the policymaking at that time certainly oversold community treatment,' he said, 'and our credibility today is probably damaged because of it.'

"'Think of it as haircuts,' says Roth, who watched deinstitutionalization unfold in her 37 years as chief of evaluation and research at the Ohio Department of Mental Health. 'In the age of the great gothic castle on the hill, mentally ill patients had everything taken care of. Health care, sleeping, eating, etc. When they got out, they were supposed to have everything. They got Medicare and Medicaid, but [policymakers] didn't think about food. And haircuts. Clothes. How to find a place to live.' How to do laundry; how to grocery shop. How to ensure people who need meds take them. What to do with people who had too many behavioral problems to avoid being evicted six times in a row."
PUBLISHED: April 29, 2013
LENGTH: 33 minutes (8317 words)

This Is What Humane Slaughter Looks Like. Is It Good Enough?

A visit to the Prather Ranch Meat Company in California, which prides itself on high standards for handling cattle. But what does that even mean?

"The phone in Prather’s modest beige office rings a lot. But when people call these days, it’s most often not to ask what the cows are fed, or if they’re on antibiotics or hormones, or how lushly and freely they range.

"It’s to confirm how peacefully they died."
PUBLISHED: April 18, 2013
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2674 words)

Is PTSD Contagious?

A look at the families who are not just affected by returning veterans, but display similar symptons:

"Brannan and Katie's teacher have conferenced about Katie's behavior many times. Brannan's not surprised she's picked up overreacting and yelling—you don't have to be at the Vines residence for too long to hear Caleb hollering from his room, where he sometimes hides for 18, 20 hours at a time, and certainly not if you're there during his nightmares, which Katie is. 'She mirrors…she just mirrors' her dad's behavior, Brannan says. She can't get Katie to stop picking at the sores on her legs, sores she digs into her own skin with anxious little fingers. She is not, according to Brannan, 'a normal, carefree six-year-old.'"
PUBLISHED: Jan. 17, 2013
LENGTH: 36 minutes (9091 words)

I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave

A writer goes undercover at a shipping warehouse in Mississippi—and wonders whether Americans will ever demand higher standards for how their Internet purchases are being fulfilled:

"We will be fired if we say we just can't or won't get better, the workamper tells me. But so long as I resign myself to hearing how inadequate I am on a regular basis, I can keep this job. 'Do you think this job has to be this terrible?' I ask the workamper.

"'Oh, no,' she says, and makes a face at me like I've asked a stupid question, which I have. As if Amalgamated couldn't bear to lose a fraction of a percent of profits by employing a few more than the absolute minimum of bodies they have to, or by storing the merchandise at halfway ergonomic heights and angles. But that would cost space, and space costs money, and money is not a thing customers could possibly be expected to hand over for this service without huffily taking their business elsewhere."
PUBLISHED: Feb. 27, 2012
LENGTH: 31 minutes (7999 words)

I Can Find an Indicted Warlord. So Why Isn't He in The Hague?

Some people think that arresting Bosco would unravel the peace deal between Congo and Rwanda," he says. "I think that that's not true. You could certainly make a case that arresting him could be stabilizing." He's divisive within the former CNDP. He's become an incredibly powerful mineral smuggler, the cause of much of Congo's conflict. Also: "He's a living insult to international justice, and the fact that he wines and dines next to the largest peacekeeping mission in the world in full sight? And everybody knows where he is, and logistically speaking, he would not be very difficult to arrest.
PUBLISHED: Sept. 28, 2011
LENGTH: 25 minutes (6314 words)