Prisons and Asylums

19th century Reform


In the 19th century, prisons and asylums had major problems such as the treatment, conditions, and overflow. Anybody that the common public thought were unsuitable to live with, went into prisons and asylums. Men, women, children, the insane, and criminals were all together under one roof, but this was all going to change.

Dorothea Dix

She was a committed in being religious since an early age. After taking teachings at Sunday school at the East Cambridge Jail, she was disgusted in seeing the state of conditions in the jail. The next several years, she has talked to the U.S and Canadian legislators to authorize state hospitals for the mentally ill. Her ambitions led to the creations of 32 institutions across the United States.


After many bad starts the United States finally relished a decade of reform, and by 1835 the United States designed two of the greatest prisons in Pennsylvania. These reforms helped the insane and criminals to have their own separate spaces and it gave them better treatment and conditions for them in the asylums and the prisons.