Article ID: CBB668624075

The Final Years of Central State Hospital (2019)


There is a rich literature on the deinstitutionalization movement in the US but few, if any, parallel histories of state mental hospitals. Under attack from the 1950s on, state hospitals dwindled in size and importance. Yet, their budgets remained large. This paper offers a case study of one such facility, Indiana’s Central State Hospital, between 1968 and 1994. During these years, local newspapers published multiple stories of patient abuse and neglect. Internal hospital materials also acknowledged problems but offered few solutions. In 1984, the US Department of Justice intervened, charging Central State with having violated patients’ civil rights, the first such action filed under the 1980 Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act. Although Indiana signed a consent decree promising major reform, long-lasting change proved elusive. Civil and criminal lawsuits proliferated. In 1992, as Central State continued to attract negative attention, Indiana Governor Evan Bayh ordered the troubled hospital closed. His decision promised to save the state millions of dollars and won plaudits from many, but not all, mental health advocates. Even as the last patients left in 1994, some families continued to challenge the wisdom of eliminating Indiana’s only large urban mental hospital, but to no effect.

Included in

Article Nancy Tomes; Kathleen W Jones (2019) Introduction. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (pp. 1-14). unapi

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Badertscher, Kathi; (2012)
A New Wishard Is On the Way (/isis/citation/CBB001200582/) unapi

Book Brendan Kelly; (2016)
Hearing Voices: The History of Psychiatry in Ireland (/isis/citation/CBB338641127/) unapi

Article David May; (2019)
The Baldovan Institution Abuse Inquiry: A Forgotten Scandal (/isis/citation/CBB413496613/) unapi

Book Weinstein, Deborah; (2013)
The Pathological Family: Postwar America and the Rise of Family Therapy (/isis/citation/CBB001201271/) unapi

Book Alexander Dunst; (2016)
Madness in Cold War America (/isis/citation/CBB039375782/) unapi

Article Patrick Kirkham; (2017)
‘The Line Between Intervention and Abuse’ – Autism and Applied Behaviour Analysis (/isis/citation/CBB923307084/) unapi

Book Francesco Bianchi; Giovanni Silvano; (2020)
Saggi di storia della salute. Medicina, ospedali e cura fra medioevo ed età contemporanea (/isis/citation/CBB840139278/) unapi

Chapter Giovanni Silvano; (2020)
Una sfida per l’amministrazione di ospedali e ospizi a Parigi dopo l’89 (/isis/citation/CBB142493911/) unapi

Article Dora Vargha; (2018)
Socialist Utopia in Practice: Everyday Life and Medical Authority in a Hungarian Polio Hospital (/isis/citation/CBB994725403/) unapi

Book Roberts, Elizabeth F. S.; (2012)
God's Laboratory: Assisted Reproduction in the Andes (/isis/citation/CBB001213115/) unapi

Article Pencak, William; (2012)
Free Health Care for the Poor: The Philadelphia Dispensary (/isis/citation/CBB001200546/) unapi

Article Helen P. Knight; (2020)
St. Luke's Hospice: Prioritizing Comfort, Not Cure, in the Hospital Setting (/isis/citation/CBB480816105/) unapi

Book Sarah F. Liebschutz; (2013)
Communities and Health Care: The Rochester, New York, Experiment (/isis/citation/CBB014688647/) unapi

Article Beltrão, Jane Felipe; (2007)
Memórias da cólera no Pará (1855 e 1991): tragédias se repetem? (/isis/citation/CBB000831575/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Silvano, Giovanni
Beltrão, Jane Felipe
Pencak, William
Badertscher, Kathi
Weinstein, Deborah Fran
Roberts, Elizabeth F. S.
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
Indiana Magazine of History
History of Psychiatry
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Asclepio: Archivo Iberoamericano de Historia de la Medicina
Franco Angeli
Cornell University Press
University of California Press
Arizona State University
University of Houston
Boydell & Brewer
Hospitals and clinics
Medicine and society
Public health
Medical abuse
Clinton, Bill
Lovaas, Ole Ivar
United States
Paris (France)
Philadelphia, PA
Indiana (U.S.)
20th century, late
19th century
18th century
21st century
20th century

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment