I am interested in exploring mental illness beyond a psychological and biological affliction by examining its social aspects. My focus is on the culture of mental illness (madness, insanity) and, specifically, the intersection of mental illness and the criminal justice system. I am interested in the ways in which certain understandings of mental illness are constructed, represented, and proliferated throughout culture. In doing this research, I hope to remove some of the cultural stigma attached to the mentally ill. Those with a mental illness are trapped in stigma twice: inside an illness and inside a cultural prejudice against that illness. Mass incarceration adds a third layer of stigma and barrier to understanding and treatment. I hope my research can lessen the discomfort and fear we feel around both mental illness and criminality.