Behavior: The End of Bedlam?

Once there was Bedlam, where curious Londoners could while away an afternoon by staring and laughing at the insane, who were kept in chains, writhing and screaming. Over the centuries, the treatment of the mentally ill has slowly improved. Yet just this month, an official inquiry into cruelty at a Lancashire mental hospital described how patients were locked in closets for being "mischievous," how they were half-strangled with wet towels if they became violent, and how one victim had been injured when male nurses filled his dressing-gown pocket with alcohol and then set it afire.

According to a new plan drawn up...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!