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The Unwelcome and Unwell

An excerpt from a new memoir by Elizabeth Ford, who reflects on nearly two decades of treating patients in New York City’s correctional system.

On any given day, the New York City jail system, with its hub on Rikers Island, manages more than 9,500 inmates. About 1,000 of them have serious mental illnesses, a number higher than the total capacity of all inpatient psychiatric units in the city.

Elizabeth Ford serves as chief of psychiatry for New York City Health + Hospitals' Correctional...

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