A extraordinary, eye-opening look behind the razor wire into life inside the walls of one of the most notorious hospitals for the criminally insane, a hellish world inhabited by mass murderers, serial killers, and other figures from our nightmares.
Psychiatrist Stephen Seager was no stranger to locked psych wards when he accepted a job at California's Gorman State hospital, known locally as 'Gomorrah', but nothing could have prepared him for what he encountered when he stepped through its gates, a triple sally port behind the twenty-foot walls topped with shining coils of razor wire. Gorman State is one of the nation's largest forensic mental hospitals, dedicated to treating the criminally insane. Unit C, where Seager was assigned, was reserved for the 'bad actors', the mass murderers, serial killers, and the real-life Hannibal Lecters of the world.
Against a backdrop of surreal beauty - a campus-like setting where peacocks strolled the well-kept lawns - is a place of remarkable violence, a place where a small staff of clinicians are expected to manage a volatile population of prison-hardened ex-cons, where lone therapists lead sharing circles with psychopaths, where homemade weapons and contraband circulate freely, and where patients and physicians often measure their lives according to how fast they can run.
Behind the Gates of Gomorrah affords an eye-opening look inside a facility to which few people have ever had access. Honest, reflective, and at times darkly funny, Seager's gripping account of his experiences at Gorman State hospital give us an extraordinary insight into a unique and terrifying world, inhabited by figures from our nightmares.
Stephen Seager is a board-certified psychiatrist, a former professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine and a multiply published author.
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
Paperback - C format
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