Natchez, Miss.: The Chief and His Ward

Too often, when the mentally ill have no place to go, they go to jail

Big Earl is crouching naked inside a cell at the Natchez police department while officers watch from a safe distance. He rises suddenly, all 6 ft. and 275 lbs. of him, hulking now over his captors. His psychotropics have long since worn off because he stopped taking them, and the police want to scoop him up and help him find rest in a bed finally ready for him at the state mental hospital. Instead, Big Earl has jammed his foot in the toilet, flooding the concrete floor. To lure him out, they have offered him 7-Up and $100, but he won't...

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