Guilty Except for Insanity - Maddening Journeys Through an American Asylum

"Unfolds as a profound critique of institutional care tragically overtaken by the criminal justice system."


— Lynne Layton, Ph.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School


" excellent starting point for discussions of community health services, social action research, and the responsibilities of filmmakers to those they profile."

— Frann Michel, Professor of English, Willamette Universit

"This film is a powerful teacher. I hope anyone studying health and human services has a chance to see it.

— Maggie Bennington-Davis, Psychiatrist and Chief Medical Officer, Cascadia Behavioral

Unfolding much like a play with nine acts, Guilty Except for Insanity may be shown in its entirety or in segments. Each segment focuses on a dilemma in the journey into and out of a state psychiatric hospital.The film and included study guide are intended to stimulate thoughtful discussions on problems in the care of people suffering mental health crises and on how boundaries are constructed between sanity and madness.

Guilty Except for Insanity is guided by the social action research tradition in the field of psychology -- a tradition committed to placing psychological problems in their social contexts to facilitate social change. Guilty Except for Insanity is a vital teaching and research tool for:

  • Majors in a wide range of fields, including Arts and Letters, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Criminal Justice, Media Studies, Diversity Studies.
  • Graduate and professional programs, including Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Education, Psychology, Counseling, Psychiatry, Social Work, Law, Nursing, Urban Studies, Criminology.
Order Education Copy

If you are an educator or institution who has featured Guilty Except for Insanity in your curriculum, we'd love to hear from you.