Events & Reviews

Upcoming Events

June 30, 2018:
Author’s Showcase at 2018 NAMI National Convention
New Orleans, LA

September 24, 2018:
Southern Wisconsin Conference on Mental Health
Janesville, WI

November 13, 2018:
Director’s Speaker Series NIMH
Bethesda, MD

February 20, 2019:
UCLA Semel Institute
Los Angeles, CA

Past Events

April 14, 2018:
The Next Big Questions in Behavioral Health Journalism, WHYY
Philadelphia, PA

April 24, 2018:
Book Culture
Long Island City, NY

June 5, 2018:
Searchlight Series at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site
Philadelphia, NY


“Roth writes movingly of the human toll of incarceration… She convincingly diagnoses the glaring inadequacies of mental health treatment in prison but she is not out for scapegoats… INSANE is rife with sharp, brutal details that pull the reader beyond the realms of abstract policy debates.”―New York Times Editors’ Choice

“Like a journalist Virgil, Roth is our guide to the seven circles of prison hell and their unique horrors….She is remarkably evenhanded to guards in attributing these hellish conditions not just to the failings of human nature (although they are certainly on display), but also to the overcrowding, understaffing, and lack of training that exist in many correctional facilities.” Review in Democracy

“A searing exposé about the criminalization of mental illness…. Though the subject matter dictates that much of the book is relentlessly depressing, the author is such a talented information gatherer and fluid stylist that the narrative becomes compulsive reading. An eye-opening book that cries out for change.” Starred review in Kirkus Reviews

“Roth strikes a powerful balance between big picture analysis and individual stories to make this searing account of America’s misguided treatment of the mentally ill hard to ignore.” Starred review in Publishers Weekly

Advance Praise for Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness

“Alisa Roth lays bare the true costs of incarcerating, rather than attempting to help, our nation’s mentally ill citizens…. Insane is a sobering and profoundly important read for any American with a conscience.”―Heather Ann Thompson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy

“With heartbreaking stories of suffering, Alisa Roth shines a much-needed light on the crisis that afflicts the overwhelming number of mentally ill people locked away behind bars, where they are not treated but abused. This is essential reading for anyone who cares about how our country treats its most vulnerable citizens.”―David Cole, national legal director of the ACLU, and author of Engines of Liberty: How Citizen Movements Succeed

Alisa Roth’s Insane provides an anatomy of our troubled system of dealing with people with mental illness who commit crimes…. Extensively researched and exquisitely written, Insane is a must read for policymakers, mental health professionals, mental health consumers and their families, and the general public.”―Elyn R. Saks, author of The Center Cannot Hold

“Alisa Roth’s Insane clearly and objectively lays out the extent and history of our abandonment of the mentally ill while setting forth thoughtful pathways forward…. This book should be required reading for any person involved with the criminal justice system or legislatures.”―Thomas J. Dart, sheriff of Cook County, Illinois