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  • Hey Dorothea would you like to teach Sunday school at the jail?
  • Sure
  • The classroom is down the hall and the second door to your right.
  • Okay thanks.
  •  In 1841 a women by the name of Dorothea Dix agreed to teach Sunday school at a jail. 
  • I need to do something about the living conditions here!
  • “I come as the advocate of helpless, forgotten, insane men and women, I proceed to call your attention to the present state of insane persons, confined  in cages, closets, cellars, stalls, pens! Chained, naked, beaten with rods, and lashed into obedience!” 
  • She enters the jail unknowing that this will forever change her life for the better.
  • On her way to the classroom she saw some of the horrible living conditions of the prisoners and the children  who were accused of minor theft were charged with adult crimes.
  • Public Asylum for the Mentally ill
  • Dix was horrified to see that many prisoners were bound in chains and locked in cages. She wondered if this is what is was like everywhere and wanted change!
  •  For two years, Dix gathered information about the horrors she had seen. Then she prepared a detailed report for the Massachusetts state legislature. 
  • Shocked by Dix's report, the lawmakers voted to create public asylums for the mentally ill and other states have followed.
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