Book ID: CBB955008011

Silent Cells: The Secret Drugging of Captive America (2019)


Hatch, Anthony Ryan (Author)

University of Minnesota Press

Publication Date: 2019
Physical Details: 184
Language: English

A critical investigation into the use of psychotropic drugs to pacify and control inmates and other captives in the vast U.S. prison, military, and welfare systemsFor at least four decades, U.S. prisons and jails have aggressively turned to psychotropic drugs—antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedatives, and tranquilizers—to silence inmates, whether or not they have been diagnosed with mental illnesses. In Silent Cells, Anthony Ryan Hatch demonstrates that the pervasive use of psychotropic drugs has not only defined and enabled mass incarceration but has also become central to other forms of captivity, including foster homes, military and immigrant detention centers, and nursing homes. Silent Cells shows how, in shockingly large numbers, federal, state, and local governments and government-authorized private agencies pacify people with drugs, uncovering patterns of institutional violence that threaten basic human and civil rights. Drawing on publicly available records, Hatch unearths the coercive ways that psychotropics serve to manufacture compliance and docility, practices hidden behind layers of state secrecy, medical complicity, and corporate profiteering.Psychotropics, Hatch shows, are integral to “technocorrectional” policies devised to minimize public costs and increase the private profitability of mass captivity while guaranteeing public safety and national security. This broad indictment of psychotropics is therefore animated by a radical counterfactual question: would incarceration on the scale practiced in the United States even be possible without psychotropics?

Reviewed By

Review Carolyn Sufrin (2020) Review of "Silent Cells: The Secret Drugging of Captive America". Bulletin of the History of Medicine (pp. 174-175). unapi

Review Lucas Richert (2020) Review of "Silent Cells: The Secret Drugging of Captive America". Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (pp. 221-241). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Flannery, Michael A.
Campbell, Nancy D.
Shao Dan
Demichelis, Alessandro
Weston, Janet
Daemmrich, Arthur
Pharmacy in History
Mefisto: Rivista di medicina, filosofia, storia
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Pacific Historical Review
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
University of Michigan Press
New York University Press
MIT Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Bloomsbury Academic
Medicine and society
Pharmaceutical industry
Psychotropic drugs
Higby, Gregory J.
Helfand, William H.
Time Periods
20th century
21st century
20th century, late
19th century
20th century, early
United States
Great Britain
New Mexico (U.S.)
Chinese Communist Party

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