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Article
September 23, 1893

INSANITY AMONG CONVICTS.Read in the Section of Neurology and Medical Jurisprudence, at the Forty-fourth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association.

Author Affiliations

PHYSICIAN TO THE STETE PENITENTIARY FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA.

JAMA. 1893;XXI(13):435-441. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420650001001

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Abstract

The few cases here presented illustrate some of the types of insanity found among persons convicted of crime.

I do not believe the fact of their being convicts influences the insanity in any way; but because of the conditions under which they have been raised, and the selection practiced by courts, the most degenerate classes find their way into prison and thus come to our notice.

Very often superficial observers accuse this or that mode of imprisonment as predisposing to insanity. As well charge the almshouses with breeding idiots because the mentally defective are found in them.

The separate system or cellular plan, as practiced in the penitentiary for the eastern district of Pennsylvania has been accused of driving men insane, and year after year this charge finds its way into print.

There are insane prisoners in that institution—some sent there because of their insanity; others whose insanity was not

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