Kentucky’s First Asylum: A Saga of the People and Practices

By: Alma Wynelle Deese

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Book Information

Asylums were first established to care for the unfortunates of society. It was only later they acquired a negative image. In Kentucky’s First Asylum, author Alma Wynelle Deese explores this issue by dissecting the inner workings of the Eastern Kentucky Asylum, Kentucky’s first asylum and the second state-supported asylum to be established in the United States. She describes the people who were involved in the creation and maintenance of a medical school, law department, and lunatic asylum in Lexington, Kentucky.

Using historical data, Deese presents a fictionalized narrative to explore this institution’s history from 1817 to the 1990s-including a chapter dedicated to 1906, a pivotal year for Eastern Kentucky Asylum. That year, four employees were charged in the murder of a patient, and this incident set the stage for the past and present history of this facility.

Kentucky’s First Asylum provides a historical understanding of one early asylum that became a state hospital and serves to give broader context for the understanding of the current mental health system. It provides a platform to better comprehend the problems and processes of American psychiatric care.

About the author

Type

Ebook, Hard Bound, Paper Back

About the Author

Alma Wynelle Deese graduated from Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, and the University of Mississippi Graduate School. She worked as a psychologist at several institutions, including Eastern State Hospital, for thirty-four years. Deese is the author of several other books. Retired, she now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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