Of the 100,000 people incarcerated
in New York State's prison system, it is estimated that 20,000 have
severe mental illness. Once they are released from jail, what happens
to these sick individuals? After their condition has deteriorated
behind bars, who watches over them when they are released to the
Michael Lesser is a parole officer working in New York City. His
entire caseload is made up of ex-inmates with acute paranoid schizophrenia.
MAD JUSTICE is a documentary film about a day in the life of Officer
Lesser, as he oversees 50 mentally ill, drug-addicted felons as
they attempt to adjust back into society.
Officer Lesser is out on the street seven nights a week, making
spot checks on his "flock." The parolees, living in homeless
shelters and halfway houses, struggle with life-long drug addictions,
paranoid delusions and felony records. If they break the rules set
by parole, Officer Lesser brings them back to prison. If they manage
to successfully comply with Officer Lesser's regime, they open the
way to the possibility of a productive future.