Prison Reform

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by chkama
Last updated 7 years ago

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Prison Reform

A major problem of the mid 1800s was the issue of the prisons. Before the reform, prisons were inhumane and horrible for human living. Aside from the living condition, mentally ill inmates and people were treated poorly. They weren't given access to see the outside world. The sick and insane were held in cages, closets, etc. They were chained, beaten, and lashed into obedience. The prisons overflowing with everyone who gave offense to society, men, women, and children were being put together in the most atrocious conditions.

There were many ways that people and groups tried to deal with the prison problem. Dorothea Dix and some parts of the government tried to spread publicity and increase the fact that what the prisons were doing was wrong. Dorothea Dix observed the conditions and treatment of the mentality handicap.

Prison Reform

Ashton Kubo&Chelline Kamaka-Keliiliki

Dorothea Dix

Dorothea Dix was determined to improve conditions towards the inmates. She increased awareness of the treatment the mentally-ill recieved. Dix wanted to use her vivid descriptions to powerful effect, ridding the existence of abuses, shaming politcial leaders into taking action. She helped provide for the mentally ill the first generation of mental asylums in America.

Social Problem


Key Figure

In this picture inmates are being mistreated in prison.

This is a picture of an asylum in America that Dix provided for the mentally ill.


A few positive results from the prison reform movement is that inmates had more civilized punishments and each inmate had a room which was properly cared for. Inmates were also allowed to a limited amount of visitors. The mentally ill are treated by psychotherapy along with medications. During psychotherpay, a person with a mental illness talks to a licensed and trained mental health care professional who helps him or her identify and work through the factors that may be triggering the illness. Modern nurses care for patients of mental health disorder. Nurses care for mentally ill patients either in hospitals or at a nursing home.



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