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Revisiting 'Waiting for an Echo' on Thursday's Access Utah

The cover of "Waiting for an Echo: The Madness of American Incarceration" features a person in a prison cell, sitting and holding their head in their hands.
Penguin Random House
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Penguin Random House

Christine Montross has spent her career treating the most severely ill psychiatric patients. Several years ago, she set out to investigate why so many of her patients became caught up in the legal system when discharged from her care—and what happened to them in that legal system. Drawing on extensive research as well as Dr. Montross’s own experience working in our nation’s jails and prisons, her new book, WAITING FOR AN ECHO: The Madness of American Incarceration, is a rarely-seen glimpse into the American prison system. It is also a damning account of policies that disproportionately and egregiously punish people who are mentally ill, people of color, people who are poor and people who struggle with addiction.

Dr. Christine Montross, a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow in General Nonfiction, is an associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a practicing inpatient psychiatrist. She is an award-winning poet and the author of Body of Work and Falling into the Fire.

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Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.