Dorothy Dix Changed the Prison and Mental Health Systems

1068 Words Feb 2nd, 2018 4 Pages
Some people dedicate their lives to improving the world and making it a better place. In the early 1800s, one woman decided that the prison and mental health systems could be improved to be kinder and more effective institutions. She saw a change to be complete in the world and made it her task to recreate the prison and mental health systems in a new and superior style. Throughout the years, prisons and mental health asylums have changed greatly, especially concerning unfair prison treatment, the reform movement, and today’s important impact.
Before the reform movement, prisoners and the mentally ill were treated cruelly under the prison system. Up until the 1800s, it was believed that mental illnesses meant some form of “religious punishment or demonic possession”. Most people had negative feelings toward the mentally ill during the years up to the reform movement. Hippocrates actually was well known to treat the mentally ill. He’d change their lives to change their feeling or he’d use certain substances to help these people. In the times of the middle ages, most people believed that the mentally ill were in need of religion. In the 1800s, people could be hanged for a variety of reasons, ranging from murder, to arson, to forgery, or even for being an single mother hiding a stillborn child. Almost all the mentally ill people were jailed in 1800s America. Others were hidden by family members (Brief). In this time period, the New York…
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