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MICHIGAN STATE PRIBON, HOSPITAL DEPARTMENT,
December 1, 1854, To the Inspectors of the Michigan State Prison:
GENTLEMEN—-It becomes my duty to make the annual report of the sanitary condition of the Prison, for the year just ended.
The transactions of the hospital department will be found embodied in the annexed table, which contains all the facts required to be set forth. The
year just ended, although we have passed the ordeal of the chot. era, diarrhoea and dysentery in an epidemic form, which have scattered death over many parts of our State, has been one of unexampled freedom from serious disease and death. Sporadic cases of diarrhea and dysentery will always be more or less frequent in an institution like this, owing to the depraved constitutions which are found here, and to the coarse diet adopted. In the months of July and August, they as sumed an epidemic form, during which time more than two-thirds of the convicts were attacked with one or the other form of this disease, but from the attention given to the first development of the symptoms, they were promptly arrested, and no deaths have resulted from these diseases; for which happy result, I have to record the active co-operation of all the officers of the Prison. During the prevalence of the excessive hot weather of the past summer, and the attendant drouth, much suffering was caused from the want of proper ventilation in the cells, and it is to be hoped that in all future additions to the number of cells, or in the solitary confinement prison, this matter will be properly cared for.
There have been three deaths in the Institution the past year. The first occurred in May, of "Phthisis Pulmonalis," in a young man of twenty-the disease was hereditary. The next in July, of continued fever;" age about fifty. This case had been for a long time in close confinement, in consequence of violent insanity. The third in August of “Typhoid Fever," age about 30.
There have occurred during the past year, two cases of mental derangement among the convicts, which have readily yielded to treatment; besides which, there are at present three cases of permanent insanity for want of suitable arrangements for their appropriate treatment, nothing has been done for their restoration, and they should be trane ferred to a suitable Asylum, as soon as one is provided.
The greater number of convicts, with the consequent increase of hospital patients, calls for a like increase of hospital facilities. The sick, for the most part, have been kept in the cells or in the hall; necessity will soon demand their separation, and for this purpose, a safe and appropriate room is required. Another matter which will demand your consideration, is the proper disposition of the infirm convicts; made so by age or disease. There are thirteen such now in prison. Seven were of this class at the beginning of the year, three have become so, four have been admitted during the year, and one has died. In the returns for work during the year, this number shows as an entire loss to the State, although some of them have been able to do light work some portions of the time, such as the manufacture of buckets and quilts for the cells. They cannot be kept in close confinement in the cells, they do not require hospital treatment, nor should they have the liberty of the hall or yard. As the number increases, it becomes a question of moment, what shall be done with them, that they suffer no injury, and the State be benefited. The present contractors do not want them, nor are they able to be put on the contracts; but if some light work could be furnished under proper restrictions, they would cease to be a tax on the resources of the Prison, and at the same time have an opportunity to recover health and strength.
I cannot close this report without acknowledging my indebtedness to the Agent and his deputy, and the officers of the Prison, for the kind manner in which they have aided me in the promotion of the health and bodily comfort of the convicts.
JOHN L MITCHELL H. D.
Table showing the transactions in the Hospital Department.
1221 213 21512142211217 224 224 222 2301260/250
25 50 51 85 65 62 71 115 130 92 51 46 40 114 95 220 131 158 140 309 519 275| 93 67
August... :: :: September..
9. November టులు: sii w wie:
20 3 541 33
Whole number in Prison,
REPORT of the Trustees of the Michigan Asylums.
To the Legislature of the State of Michigan:
The Trustees of the Michigan Asylums submit the following report:
Their first duty was to ascertain what were the views of the Legislature in the acts and appropriations relating to the proposed Asylums for the Insane, and for the Deaf and Dumb, and the Blind; what the condition of the fund applicable to the purposes in view, and what the action taken by the first Board of Trustees.
It appeared that two money appropriations had been made by the Legislature, out of the general fund, viz: April 2, 1850, one of five thousand dollars, to be used in the construction of the Asylums and for other necessary expenses, and February 15, 1853, one of twenty three thousand dollars; of which latter appropriation, according to the terr of the act, twenty thousand dollars "may be used from time to time, as shall become necessary in the construction of buildings for the Asylum for the Insane, and three thousand dollars for the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind, and for other necessary expenses attending the same.'' These sums were made payable on warrants to be drawn by the Clerk and approved by the President of the Board, and countersigned by the Auditor General.