Matteawan State Hospital for Insane Criminals – Men & Women.
Twenty-Third Annual Report Of The Medical Superintendent Of The State Asylum For Insane Criminals, Matteawan, N.Y., For the Year Ending September 30, 1892.
OFFICERS OF THE ASYLUM 1892.
Hon. AUSTIN LATHROP, Superintendent Of State Prisons.
H.E. ALLISON, M.D., Medical Superintendent.
J. ELVIN COURTNEY, M.D., First Assistant Physician.
LUTHER C. JONES, M.D., Second Assistant Physician.
JAMES F. HOWELL, Steward.
R.B. LAMB, M.D., Resident Clinical Assistant.
Hon. Austin Lathrop, Superintendent of State Prisons:
Sir.— The following pages which, in accordance with the statute, I have the honor to submit, constitute the first annual report issued from this new institution, which was created by act of the Legislature for the relief of the overcrowded asylum at Auburn, and is the thirty-third of a series presented annually since the original establishment of the State Asylum for Insane Criminals.
This new hospital structure of modern architecture, commandingly situated and furnished with every convenience for the care of its inmates, was occupied during the latter part of April of the present year; the first patients having been received by transfer from Auburn on the twenty-fifth of that month. The entire population of the Auburn asylum, a total of 261 patients, were moved into their present quarters and the new asylum organized and put in operation within a period of five days. Fortunately the transfer was made safely, without the slightest accident or any attempt at escape. The buildings and grounds at Auburn, which were occupied for more than thirty years, are now entirely relinquished, and the oldest of asylums for insane criminals is domiciled in these new quarters as its permanent abode.
Owing to the increased accommodations afforded by the opening of these new buildings, we have been able to provide for those patients who had, up to this time, been retained in the various State hospitals awaiting transfer to our custody, and who had previously been refused admission to Auburn for the lack of room. Because of this large and rapid influx the total number of admissions has more than doubled that of any previous year. During the year the various courts of the State have also, to a larger extent than heretofore, committed patients to this asylum directly. The practice, however, still exists of sending patients charged with crime to the general hospitals of the insane, where their presence is objectionable, and whence they are transferred to us under the provisions of chapter 515, Laws of 1884; the superintendents of the various State hospitals applying under this law to justices of the Supreme Court for orders permitting such transfers. We hope, when the scope and character of this institution become more widely known, that commitments in the future will be made to us directly in all cases where the plea of insanity prevails as a defense for criminal acts. It is the purpose of this hospital to care for all insane persons competed or unconvicted, who are charged with crime, whether the disease of insanity is known to exist at the time of arraignment or trial, or subsequently develops while undergoing sentence.”
SOURCE: Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, One Hundred and Sixteenth Session, 1893, Volume I, Nos. 1 to 6, Inclusive, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893. Pages 203-208.