Jeffrey L. Metzner served as psychiatrist on the Colorado theater shooting case of James Holmes, ruling him sane and fit to stand trial. Holmes was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the death of 12 and the wounding of 70 individual.
Pleased to receive a review from Jeffrey L. Metzner, M.D.
This book provides the reader with a history of the burgeoning growth of supermax prisons within the United States and an insider’s knowledge regarding many of the problematic inmates housed in such prisons. The complex dynamics leading to the often bizarre self-injurious behaviors demonstrated by a small but significant number of supermax inmates is explored in this well-written book. The authors’ conclusion that the mental health treatment offered to inmates with a serious mental illness at Tamms was often better than the treatment available at other Illinois prisons, related to class action litigation, is ironic and concerning.
The authors attempt to provide a balanced review of the pros and cons of the supermax prison, which was largely successful. A chapter entitled “Silent Voices” includes success stories of inmates who benefitted from their stays at Tamms in contrast to many other inmates who did poorly in reaction to the “dark, blackness of isolation” that was inherent in the Tamms environment.
This book will be very interesting to both staff working in correctional facilities as well as the lay public related to both its content and public policy implications.
Jeffrey L Metzner, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry
University of Colorado School of Medicine