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County's Disgrace

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Parent Issue
Public Domain
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Editor Argns: I hope the newspapers of the county will iusist that the Board of Supervisors do something tor onr county ïusane, along the line suggested by yon in a recent ïosue, and in so doing. the people of Wasbtenaw county, I believe, will support them. The lack uf some place for temporary detention for these unfortunates is a disgrace to ns as a county. To those who are not brought in contact with our insane the situation perhapa does not appeal so strongly. but to tbose who must look after tbein, tbe situation is ' a most distressing one. We dow have in this county three meu and three women waiting for adrnission to the asylum. For weeks the friends of these women have been canng for them at their humes as best they can. They must need watch night and day ; keep them confined behind nailed windows and locked doors; listen day after day and week after week to their insane raving ; replace what they destory in sobstance under all the awfnl care and responsiiblities of looking after an insaue person. The men have been here ïu jail, confined with tramps, thieves and crimináis of all kinds and classs. Two of these rnen are young men, of good families, of bright, intelligent appearance, and only subject to periodical insauity. What must be their feelings during the days wheu their minds are in a normal condition, having committed no crime, to ponder over the fact that they are the cousorts of the worst elements of our criminal class; companions and niessmates of convicted crimináis? What must be the feelings of the parents ana friends of these unfortunates, who are obliged to submit to this disgrace and are without reruedy? The asylums of the state are crowded, and the counties of th"e state must do somethiug to relieve the situation. Saginaw county türough a special session of her board of supervisors has decided to erect an asylum of her own. Wuyue couuty has acided to the capacity of her county house for the care of her insane. Washteuaw connty, one of the wealthiest and heat known in the state, shonld imrnediately, throngh the board of supervisors, make some provisioo for the temporary care and confinemeut of her insane at the county honse, and relieve us of tne disgrace and odium of sending oor insane patieuts to our county jail to wait for weeks, perhaps nionths, in an atmosphere of "hoboism,1' vice and crime, for an opening at the asylum. I have grown ashamed when parents come to me with their hearts already heavily burdened with the misfortune of their loved oues, to make ït heavier aud more grevious, by telling thein the patiënt must be confiued in the county jail until snch time as they can be taken away. Some months ago a young man of edncation, of refinement, was committed to tne county jail to await his turn. He wonld have perfectiy lucid intervals for weeks at a time. He was of asensitive, nervous temperament and realizing his surroundings and feeling as deeply as any one the disgrace of his environments, having nothing to distract his raind from his condition, he becanie extremeiy nervous and despondent, and the physician who attended his case informed me that had he not been taken to the asylum he might have become a raving maniac. This matter cannot be agitated too much, nor the crying need too quickly supplied.