Think that Denver looks pretty bad in this book? Yeah, well, Denver's got nothing on the Crank Palace. The Crank Palace is the epitome of pain and suffering. It's a place of insanity, and it's where the end of the world is actually happening.
Crank Palace is described as "a place where they send the infected and try to make it bearable for them until they reach the Gone" (35.8). Well, that's what Crank Palace was supposed to be; instead, it just turned into a mad-zone where Cranks go nuts. It's a microcosm of what humanity will come to in the world of the Flare.
One guard describes the difficulty in Crank Palace in these terms: "You can't just leave 'em hanging out with the healthy folks in the fortressed cities. You can't just dump 'em in a place full of Cranks way past the Gone and let 'em get eaten alive. And no government's gotten desperate enough yet to start killing people as soon as they catch the Flare" (36.6).
What the guard is saying is that the world is at an ethical standstill. The Flare slowly turns you crazy, so what should happen to the people who aren't yet crazy but are still infected? It'd be unethical to just kill anyone who catches the Flare; it'd be unethical to put them with Cranks who are super crazy; but it'd also be unethical to not do anything with them and just let them infect innocent people. Ugh, what should the government do?
Well, the government's best solution was to make Crank Palace, a magical vacation-land for Cranks. As another guard sarcastically says: "Enjoy your stay at the Crank Palace. No refunds or exchanges if you lose an arm or eyeball!" (35.24).
Yeah, this place is basically a representation of what the apocalypse looks like.