I spoke to a woman today whose oldest son is 35 and is awaiting what is likely to be a life sentence. He has been in and out of jails, prisons, and mental hospitals for most of his life. Now it is recognized that he has bipolar disorder, but for many years he did crimes that involved robbery and threats on police officers, and this woman was afraid that he was going to end up as a suicide by cop. She sent him My Brother Ron a while back. He read it, and was overwhelmed by how much it described what his life has been like, and how his mental illness problem caused him to do crazy and criminal things.
Talking to his mother, she can now look back on his childhood and realize how terribly severe his problems were. But they weren't recognized early enough as mental illness, and now rest of his life is going to be spent behind bars.
Such an utter waste, and I know that he is by no means alone.