The DEI Podcast with Max Gaston: The Mental Health Crisis in Prisons

Monday, July 10, 2023 8:00 am EST

What happens to a person’s mind when you lock them in a cage no bigger than a parking space? When they’re constantly exposed to dehumanizing, unsanitary, loud, and violent conditions? When red-flags continuously signal their mental decline, but no one cares or tries to help? On this episode of The DEI Podcast, we’re joined by Madison Kemker, an attorney with the Uptown People’s Law Center in Chicago, and one of Notre Dame Law School’s Thomas L. Shaffer public interest fellows. Madison discusses her experiences witnessing the state of mental health services in Illinois prisons. Madison also discusses her advocacy work in Rasho v. Jeffries, a class action lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Corrections alleging that the quality of mental health services in Illinois state prisons is so poor that it violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. Madison then talks about the public interest path in law school, and how the legacy of Notre Dame calls all of us to be advocates for civil and human rights.

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The DEI Podcast with Max Gaston is sponsored by Notre Dame Law School and co-sponsored on ThinkND by the Black Alumni of Notre Dame, the Alumni Rainbow Community of Notre Dame (ARC ND), YoungND, Native American Alumni, Notre Dame Women Connect, Hispanic Alumni of Notre Dame, Notre Dame Senior Alumni, and Asian Pacific Alumni of Notre Dame.

Law and PoliticsCivil and Human RightsDEIdigest220digest222Eighth AmendmentMax GastonMental Health Crisis in PrisonsRasho v. JeffriesSocial JusticeThe Law SchoolUniversity of Notre DameUptown People's Law Center