15The Best Way To Calm Them Down Was To Tie Them Up
In 1997, 20 years ago, the Topeka State Hospital finally shut down amidst allegations of abuse and ill-treatment of its mentally ill inmates. It didn’t start off bad, but after years of being understaffed and poorly maintained, many of its inmates lived in pure, never-ending hell, with just their monotony
of being for company.
In the 1950s, a reporter saw the deplorable conditions of the “hospital” that existed in the name of care, where patients were often kept nude and chained to beds. One inmate in particular had been strapped to a bed with leather strips for so long that the skin had started growing around those straps. The hospital could not procure the records of many of its inmates, and they became nobody’s people – since no one even remembered who they were to begin with.
Luckily the government intervened and for a while, Topeka became renowned for excellent psychiatric care and rehabilitation before budget cuts stepped back in, and Topeka finally shut its doors as more and more patients with mental illness were treated as OPDs.