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Giving Asylum to Those Who Need It (online)

Giving Asylum to Those Who Need It (online)

This talk is presented by Dominic Sisti, Ph.D., Director of the Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics in Behavioral Health Care and Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

The history of psychiatric confinement in the US and Europe is punctuated with scenes of dungeons, snake pits, and hellholes.  While the aims of historic reformers like Dorthea Dix were ethically laudable, their vision was quickly overtaken by social and financial forces that transformed the early asylums into custodial institutions used to warehouse hundreds of thousands of people suffering with various mental, physical, and intellectual disabilities.  In theory, the widespread closure of psychiatric institutions was generally welcomed. In practice, however, the loss of psychiatric hospitals—coupled with unmet investments in community psychiatry—led to new significant social, juridical, and healthcare challenges. In this talk, Dr. Sisti will discuss how deinstitutionalization and mass incarceration are related and how racism in both criminal justice and psychiatry accelerated the criminalization of mental illness. He will present ideas for addressing this ongoing and catastrophic failure of our society to care for our most vulnerable citizens.

This program will be presented via Zoom. Registration is encouraged. On the day of the program, use this link to join:

This workshop is presented in conjunction with Care and Custody: Past Responses to Mental Health exhibit. This exhibit, sponsored by the National Library of Medicine, will be on display in the Ginsburg Library from the end of September through the beginning of November 2021. We have prepared a weeklong online program related to the exhibit, which features workshops, speaker events, and local resources

Please contact Jenny Pierce,, with any questions.

Event is open to: Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, Temple Hospital staff and the community.

Thursday, October 7, 2021
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
  Events     Exhibit     NLM: Care and Custody  

Registration is required. There are 99 seats available.