Charles Clanton Rogers

Reflections based on poetry, music, visual art, book reviews, history of science, first-person history, philosophical essays and International Blogging

Exploring the history of prisoner health

Catherine Cox and Hilary Marland

Since the inception of the ‘modern’ prison system in the mid-nineteenth century to the current day, the relationship between mental illness and the prison has been hotly debated, in terms of why so many prisons came to contain large numbers of mentally ill people, as well as their tendency as institutions to produce or exacerbate mental disease.

This strand of the project explores this enduring relationship and the management of mental illness in English and Irish prisons. Prison governors, medical officers, chaplains and other prison officers grappled with relentlessly high levels of mental illness among prisoners, and the detrimental impact of prison regimes – the separate system and solitary confinement, overcrowding, and poor diet and conditions. However, advocates of these regimes and prison officials were reluctant in many cases to acknowledge the impact of prison discipline on prisoners’ health and wellbeing, as they remained ever…

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One thought on “Prisoners and Mental Illness in Prisons, 1850–2000

  1. Even in modern day this is an issue though not as barbaric.

    Liked by 1 person

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