Hey Dorothea can you teach Sunday school at the jail next Sunday?
Why yes I can!
This is nasty and to crowed!
This is terrible!
In 1841, A women named Dorothea Dix is asked to teach Sunday School in a local jail. But when she showed up she horrified at what she saw, prisoners were tied to chairs and locked in cages. The Children accused of being minor thefts were locked up with the major criminals.
They are kept in cages, closets, cellars, stalls, and pens! This is not sanitary
She though was it like this everywhere? She devoted herself to try to find that answer and make a change. She visited thousands of jails and prisons throughout Massachusetts.
We will be creating a new special system for the children
She was most disgusted of the treatment the mentally ill got. They were locked up in nasty cells that were crowded. If they were caught misbehaving they were whipped.
This is terrible
Not as bad as the 1800's
After gathering information for two years she made a detailed report about the conditions and the ways people were treated . She made her speech to the Massachusetts State Legislature. This speech swayed lawmakers to get public asylums of the mentally ill.
After her death, most states created special justice system for misbehaved children. Many states also outlawed cruel punishments, like whiping or branding people with hot irons. Dix showed that reformers could make changes for better.
Many prisons now are cleaner and better living conditions. The mentally ill get the proper care they need, and the treatment they deserve. If Dix did not do anything about the prisons, they might still be as bad as they were then.