The Pennhurst Mental Hospital was built in a small remote area of Pennsylvania in 1908. Obviously the objective of Pennhurst mental hospital was to assist the people who had mental as well as physical disorder. People with the afore-said disabilities were brought to Pennhurst State Mental Hospital which had very asymmetrical structure. Although both adults and children were brought here for treatment yet the children were left alone by their parents. The parents who left them here for treatment will never come again to see them.
The hospital had the system of sorting the patients with respect to degree and type of disorder in order to avoid mismanagement. There were patients who had enough intelligence to do their own work. On the other hand there were patients who couldn’t even wipe their face. The patients who had greater degree of disorder and severe mental conditions were kept in confinement or cribs which left no chance for them even to move or turn around. These types of patients badly require greater attention of attendants or physicians due to serious nature of their disability. But a time came when patients started to come here in great number which made the hospital over-burdened.
The congestion of psychiatric patients led to violent and abusive environment in the hospital. At that time, patients were seen in horrible conditions. So much so even mentally retarded patients learned how to catch the attention of the nurse or attendant. Pennhurst had to face the criminal cases when the ratio of violence, molestation and abuse of mentally retarded patients rose and the media exposed what is going on behind the closed doors of remotely located hospital and how hospital administration making human rights violations. Pennhurst was closed in 1987 on these allegations.