One woman is described as, “clinging to or beating upon the bars of her caged apartment... unwashed [body] invested with fragments of unclean garments... irritation of body produced by utter filth an exposure incited her to t he horrid process of tearing off her skin by inches,”(Dix 5). Dix also describes how cages were a commonplace within almshouses by stating, “Hardly a town but can refer to some not distant period of using [cages],”(Dix 4). In this manner, Dix is imploring the Massachusetts Legislature to take immediate action. By describing these wretched conditions, Dix gives evidence and reason for reformation. The indecent livelihood of the mentally ill brought to the surface by Dix brings to question the effectiveness of the current prison system in Massachusetts. These details also highlight in what ways are moral to care for the mentally ill. At the time, whips, cages, and other violent means are used to “care” for the insane. Dix's details of the human suffering brings to question if this is a moral way to treat fellow humans. Dix provides the legislature with their answer when she refers to this issue as “a sacred cause,”(Dix 28) which the legislature must address. Dorothea Dix's Memorial was unique in it presentation of the problem in graphic detail, while at the same time providing a proposed
Most mentally ill people live by themselves with no family or friends to take care of them and they are off their medications. The mentally ill come in to prison on non violent offenses such as disturbing the peace, trespassing, etc. After leaving mental hospitals they usually end up on the streets and become homeless. Many psychiatric hospitals have closed down, which the only option left for the mentally ill was to be taken in jails and prisons.
Institutionalization in the 1800’s was Dorothea Dix was a mover and shaker, who together with a few others in her era was responsible for alleviating the plight of the mentally ill. In the 1800's she found them in jails, almshouses and underneath bridges. She then began her major lobby with legislators and authority figures across the land, to get hospitals built in what was then known as the "Moral Treatment Era." Things did get better, with ups and downs, of course. She visited widely, in the Midwest state hospitals in Independence and Mt. Pleasant, Iowa and Winnebago in Wisconsin ca. 1874.
From 1841 to 1856 her crusades had highlighted the inequalities and the maltreatment of the mentally ill, changing the way people viewed mental health. Throughout her campaign she gained the support of many influential figures including Pope Pius IX and President Fillmore. At the beginning of her campaign in 1841, there had been only 13 mental asylums in the United States but towards the end of her life in 1881 there were 123, personally founding more than 30 of these, as well as numerous support groups. Dix used her position and influence by furthering the asylum movement. Though Dix successfully influenced the increase in hospitals for the mentally ill, injustices within the mentally ill sector would continue as highlighted in Source 8; which implies that though the number of asylums had increased and treatment had improved, inequalities amongst patients still remained. Despite this, Goldenson has claimed Dix as “the most effective advocate of humanitarian reform in American mental institutions during the nineteenth century”. Similarly, Kovach has stated that "there are few cases in history where a social movement of such proportions can be attributed to the work of a single individual” due to her relentless and persisting efforts in improving the lives of the mentally ill. Consequently, Dorothea Dix played a significant role in improving the lives of the mentally ill in spite of being unable to improve and change certain aspects within the asylum movement. She had successfully brought to life the maltreatment of the mentally ill resulting in an improvement in the treatment of the mentally
Shocked to see prisoners devoid of medical and moral treatment in damp, cold quarters, Dix vowed to end the barbaric and revolting degradation. Very little of the population knew or cared about the mentally ill’s peril, and Dix’s crusade changed the way the mentally ill were received. Dix not only shed light on the nation’s most perplexing problem, she fearlessly shoved the issue squarely into the center of public policy, broadcasting the issue through her written account On Behalf of the Insane and Poor. Dix constructed 32 hospitals and 13 asylums throughout America and Europe (Reddi, 2005, para. 6). Most of these symbols of hope and progress are still standing today. In addition, Dix effectively lobbied for better prison conditions, and in 1843, she successfully influenced the Massachusetts legislature to pass a bill requiring better treatment and hospitalization for the mentally ill (Haas, vol. 57, p. 1465) To Dix, the mentally ill were not criminals, and her voice was heard. Lastly, Dix redefined the fledgling career of nursing, and instilled her expertise to improve the way nurses operated. Nicknamed “Dragon Dix” for her autocratic methodology, Dix applied her iron will and progressive attitude to the battlefield in the Civil War. With a myriad of qualifications such a plain appearance and no prior illness, Dix proved that women could perform just as well as men in the war. Ultimately, Dix earned the prestigious title of Superintendent of the Union Army Nurses.
Although life during the 1800s and early 1900s weren’t all that great, to begin with, compare that to how asylums treated patients during this time, the normal population life should have seen life as a simple breeze in the wind. There is a reason that our first thoughts when thinking of asylums is horror and it’s because of all of the horror shows that actually happen at these areas. Then comes in a place that has a new idea of treating patients, a new of thinking that never had been seen before. A new revolution when it comes to the psychological medical field. Step in Danvers State Hospital.
The inspiring Dorothea Dix was a visionary leader who choose to disregard the objectives that stood in her way to impact the vulnerable mental health population. Her mission was to remove the mentally ill from same prisons that housed harden criminals, and her views to the federal government. Dorothea’s component Franklin Pierce, debated against her proposal believing that by supplying land to the sates to build asylums, would put the federal government in a dependent position, making the needs of the poor and mentally ill the responsibility of the federal government.
It can be argued that, theoretically if the mentally ill were to be sent to the mental health system instead of the prison system again it would turn into another asylum type of situation. However, within the last few decades the understanding of mental health and treatment for it has come a long way and that should be taken into consideration, even if there is still a stigmatization of mental illness within society the prison system is obviously not working for those who are mentally
She was appointed as the “superintendent of U.S. Army” (anb). She trained many young nurses, this included Louisa May Alcott. Dix was feared by many of the nurses and butted heads with many of the army officials (history). In 1881, the state of New Jersey opened a hospital in the town of Trenton (webster). This hospital was established in honor of her. At the end of her life, Dix became very ill and spent the last few years in that hospital. In 1887, Dorothea Dix passed away leaving a legacy. During her lifetime, Dorothea Dix made many changes for the mentally ill and how they were treated in North America as well as in Europe. She changed many policies in prisons, by showing that the mentally ill belonged in hospital institutions rather than cells. Dix opened eyes of people across the country to see the mentally ill were not incurable. There were more than 120 mental health institutions that were made because of Dix (anb). Dorothea Dix’s work in the medical field left an impact in peoples lives and in medical
The gradual growth of interest in mental health resulted in deinstitutionalization, or the discharge of prison and asylums in the 1960’s. This resulted in the development of new medication and ways to treat mental illness (Simmons, 1990). This changed allowed the once permanent patients of the asylums to be released into society into the care of their loved ones (Newman, 1998). However, this was unsuccessful as the government did not develop and improve community services. Consequently many of the individuals that were mentally ill suffered a great deal (Newman,
Much adversity arose against institutionalization due to the fact that many patients with chronic mental illness were often institutionalized for life.The 1970’s started a trend of cutting funding to many of these institutions (while some still exist). This was the start of the mass influx of mentally ill criminals into jails and prisons. One example of the effects of deinstitutionalization PBS presents is Keith Williams. With no psychiatric institutions, Williams was forced to into imprisonment. Soon after his release, he was re-incarcerated for assaulting a police officer. Unfortunately many released mentally ill share similar stories. This cycle of re-incarceration among mentally ill criminals has led to their increasing prison and jail
Nellie Bly states Margaret’s story, “Her name was Margaret. She told me she had been a cook, and was extremely neat. One day, after she had scrubbed the kitchen floor, the chambermaids came down and deliberately soiled it. Her temper was aroused and she began to quarrel with them, an officer was called and she was taken to an asylum.” Margaret was sent to an institution because some maids tipped her over the edge and she freaked out, not because she was insane. One last story was Josephine Despereaux who was locked up for becoming sick. Her story was, “One morning as I was trying to get breakfast I grew deathly sick, and two officers were called in by the woman of the house, and I was taken to the station-house. I was unable to understand their proceedings, and they paid little attention to my story. Doings in this country were new to me, and before I realized it I was lodged as an insane woman in this asylum.” Josephine was just another example of a false imprisonment because of what other people said. Because the woman of her house wanted her to go to an institution she was sent there. No one listened to what Josephine had to say and it was because of this reason that many people including Josephine were falsely imprisoned. The institution was a place where real mentally ill patients could get treatment, but people were taking advantage of it and getting rid of their wifes and people
As the influx of mentally ill prisoners increase in federal penitentiaries, and prison’s staffing level remaining the same, inhumane treatment and dehumanizing practices of prisons are becoming more common and inescapable. In his article, “One of the Darkest Periods in the History of American Prisons,” Andrew Cohen elucidates how federal prisons are negatively developing over the years. By primary referencing to investigations in California and Florida, and allegations in Mississippi and Louisiana, Cohen is able demonstrate how ill-equipped, and reckless prisons have become in response to the needs of prisoners with mental illness. He even goes so far to compare today’s jails to “medieval places of unspeakable cruelty” ( ). In “One of the Darkest Periods in the History of American Prisons,” Cohen appeals heavily on pathos to the convince the audience of the fundamental corruption and carelessness that beholds today’s prisons towards inmates, especially mentally ill inmates.
Psychiatric hospitals are proven to provide assistance and treatment to those who live with mental illnesses. The system is designed to take away the suffering, assist in the patient’s recovery, and put them on the path toward good health and a happy life. Although hospitals are supposed to take a certain level of responsibility over a patient; in this ward, the control over the patients are clearly interfering with their well being. In Ken Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Nurse Ratched’s suffocating authority and the ward’s power over the patients are exacerbating their illness instead of helping these patients heal, proving that them being mentally ill is a faux.
During treatment, the criminally insane are cared for by nurses, psychiatrists and other hospital administrators. For the treatments to be effective, the hospital staff must adapt to the way of life in the psychiatric hospital. In the article “Inside a hospital for the criminally insane” by Caitlin Dickson, posted on The Daily Beast, Dickson shares her readings of a book written by Dr. Stephen Seager about the inside of the Napa State Hospital. Napa State Hospital is home to approximately 12,000 patients and a majority of the patients are rapists, killers and mass murderers (TheDailyBeast). Everyday the hospital staff endures violence and personalities of the patients. Seager tells a story about his first day working at the hospital and ending