Prison and Asylum Reform

Mason O'Connor and Keshone Evans

How and Why it Emerged

The mentally ill people were put in jails and insane asylums, and were beaten with rods and lashed into obedience. A woman named Dorothea Dix wanted these people to be put in hospitals and to be cared for, rather than in prisons and asylums and to be beat.

What the Movement Hoped to Accomplish

  • Give the mentally ill better treatment
  • Progress the humanity of the prisons
  • Provide mental heath for the ill
  • Establish new laws

Famous People involved in the Movement

  • Dorothea Dix- Helped establish five hospitals in America, and pleaded for human rights to Queen Victoria and the Pope
  • Dr. John Galt- He introduced drugs and "Talk Therapy"
  • Louis Dwight- Founder of the Boston Prison Discipline Society and spread the Auburn system throughout American jails
  • Francis Lieber & Samuel Gridley Howe- They wanted prison libraries, basic literacy, commutation of sentences, etc.
  • Eliza Farnham- She removed the silence rule, added an educational program, and advocated for decorations and activities.


  • Created asylums for the mentally ill
  • Created penitentiaries for convicted criminals
  • A program was created to bring families together
  • Prisons improved living conditions for inmates such as providing a bed and living space

Why should you join?

To help reduce the mistreatment of inmates in asylums and prisons. To try and give the mentally ill the correct treatment that they need. You can help inmates reform and have a better life. Help give neglected children a better life and find a family. These inmates are people too, so why should they be treated like animals?

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