Dorothea Dix, a determined woman, fought hard to urge the need for change to happen in prisons. In 1841, Dorothea went to go teach Sunday school at a jail; however, she was horrified at what she saw going on there. Inmates were bound together by chains and thrown into cages, and children with minor crimes were jailed with adult criminals. She traveled throughout Masschusetts to look at the conditions of other prisons, and on her journey she discovered something else. The mentally ill were locked away in filthy, congested prisons and where whipped if they misbehaved; unhappy with this, Dorothea claimed that the mentality ill needed care not punishment. She gathered enough evidence and proof about how conditions like these could no longer escalate, and in return, she was able to rid the cruel punishments, get more hospitals made, commutation of sentences, the separating of women and children , and proper care given to the mentally ill.
Picture of the Prison Reform leader Dorothea Dix