Thursday, May 14, 2009

PBS DVDs examine pollution problems and mental health issues

Two New Frontline Produced Documentaries Explore Hazardous Effects of America’s Polluted Waters and the Challenges Faced By Mentally Ill Criminals After Released From Prison

PBS Home Video and Frontline give a revealing exposé on some of America’s most disturbing social problems. Poisoned Waters, set to street on June 16, explores how the polluted waterways of Puget Sound and the Chesapeake Bay are causing major heath issues for humans and animals. The Released, set to debut on July 7, offers an exclusive look at the lives of mentally ill public offenders and the obstacles they face once released from prison.

Poisoned Waters

More than three decades after the Clean Water Act, two iconic waterways—the great coastal estuaries of Puget Sound and the Chesapeake Bay—are in perilous condition. With polluted runoff still flowing in from industry, agriculture and massive suburban development, scientists fear contamination to the food chain and drinking water for millions of people. A growing list of endangered species also is threatened in both estuaries. Poisoned Waters examines the rising hazards to human health and the ecosystem and why it’s so hard to keep our waters clean.

The Released

This year, hundreds of thousands of prisoners with serious mental illnesses will be released into communities across America, the largest exodus in the nation’s history. Typically, mentally ill offenders leave prison with a bus ticket, $75 and two weeks worth of medication. Within 18 months, nearly two-thirds are re-arrested. FRONTLINE examines what happens to the mentally ill when they leave prison and why they return at such alarming rates. The intimate stories of the released—along with interviews with parole officers, social workers and psychiatrists—provide a rare look at the lives of the mentally ill as they struggle to stay out of prison and reintegrate into society.

To order any DVD release from PBS Home Video, including Poisoned Waters and The Released, please call (800) PLAY-PBS or visit