02 February 2019

2nd Feb 1859 - New York State Lunatic Asylum for Convicts opens


On 2nd February 1859 the New York State Asylum for Convicts opened in Auburn, New York. It was the world's first mental hospital for criminal patients, separate from a prison or general hospital.  It was constructed due to a growing reform movement to house mentally ill inmates separately from other inmates, and was built next to the Auburn State Prison, but surrounded by a 12 foot high wall.

New Yorks' s Utica State Mental Hospital pressed for authority to transfer other persons ,considered dangerous, to the Auburn Asylum - not just convicts, and soon it became overcrowded. The hospital moved to a new building in Matteawan in 1892, but these facilities were soon also overcrowded and a second institution, Dannemora State Hospital, opened in 1900.

Thankyou to Today in Psychology History for the date.

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