Prison Reform

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  • oh my. 
  • how old are you boy?
  • I am twelve mam.
  • this poor man. they are abusing him, and they do not understand his illness and how to help.
  • stop crying so we can get this done!
  • In 1841 Dorothea Dix agreed to teach Sunday school at a jail in Boston, MA. She was shocked with the way prisoners were held. with chains and sometimes in cages the prisoners were treated horribly and abused. the prisons were in horrible conditions being unhygienic.
  • In the prisons kids were in there for minor crimes. When she visited debtors prison she found out that the people never got jobs to pay off their debt.
  • i come as an advocate for the helpless, forgotten, and insane men and women.
  • Dorothea also visited Mental hospitals were it was much worse. When the patients behavior badly they would whip them and abuse them to obey. the prison cells were also very dirty. This then triggered her to start the Asylum Movement. her and other reformers believed that mentally ill should have treatment and care to get better.
  • Dorothea studied the horrors in prisons and mental hospitals for years to get information. to then write a report for her to share. including the over crowding in the asylums, because only the rich could afford actual help.
  • 1843, Dorothea shared her report on the prisons and asylums to the Massachusetts state legislature. after sharing her speech the lawmakers were shocked. then they voted to create public asylums.
  • in 1887 after Dorothea died, state governments no longer had debtors prison. Plus most states had created special justice systems for children in trouble and there were no longer cruel punishments in prisons. In the end Dorothea showed people you can make a change in the society. Now conditions are way better.
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