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From Asylum to Prison – Deinstitutionalization and the Rise of Mass Incarceration after 1945 - North Carolina Scholarship Online
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From Asylum to Prison: Deinstitutionalization and the Rise of Mass Incarceration after 1945

Anne E. Parsons


To many, insane asylums are a relic of a bygone era. State governments took steps between 1950 and 1990 to minimize the involuntary confinement of people in mental hospitals, and many mental health facilities closed down. Yet, as this book reveals, the asylum did not die during deinstitutionalization. Instead, it returned in the modern prison industrial complex as the government shifted to a more punitive, institutional approach to social deviance, mental illness, and people with disabilities. Focusing on Pennsylvania, the state that ran one of the largest mental health systems in the country, ... More

Keywords: asylums, deinstitutionalization, disabilities, history of asylums, history of imprisonment, mental hospitals, mental illness, prisons, social marginality, social welfare

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9781469640631
Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469640631.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Anne E. Parsons, author
University of North Carolina, Greensboro