Archival Pennhurst Images

Sleeping Quarters, 1912
Sleeping Quarters, 1912
Only four years after Pennhurst opened, beds were lined up with no space to even walk between them and the people sleeping in them were "inmates." No, the problem was never the lack of money (although the lack of money made the outcomes found by Bill Baldini and Judge Broderick inevitable), the pro
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Joseph B.1/15/2016
As bad as it might have been, society's care and treatment of dev disabled persons would not have progressed without places like Pennhurst. Now we can say We tried institutions and we know they don't work. The road to success is potholed with failures like Pennhurst. Expensive but important lessons.
People with any kind of disability are still treated like they cannot do stuff.
The word inmate depersonalizes a person. They no longer have an identity. Also, inmate has connotations that the person being labeled as such has done something wrong to receive that treatment. As PC as we think we are today, people with mental disabilties are often still treated that way.
Inmate was the default term at the time for anyone living in a large-scale non-family setting ie, an institution I'm not so sure it was as dehumanizing then as it seems now. Interesting, though, that they didn't just use student.