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Museum of DisABILITY History


State Reformitory at Napanoch, NY

The Institute for Defective and Delinquent Men at Napanoch was a facility that housed people with intellectual disabilities who had run into trouble with the law. "Standing half way between the prison and the custodial institution, its problems have been difficult and complicated." These problems included trouble serving the correct people because "The Judges...criminals look alike to them...unless the delinquent is an idiot or a low-grade imbecile..." People who should have gone to Napanoch right away, were put through a drawn out process of going to prisons first, and then being transferred into this facility. (New York Times 1/11/25 23:5)