Imprisoned in State Care? Life inside Kew Cottages 1925-2008

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Manning, Corinne (2009) Imprisoned in State Care? Life inside Kew Cottages 1925-2008. Health and History, 11 (1). pp. 149-171. ISSN 1442-1771


Established in 1887, Kew Cottages was Australia's oldest and largest specialised institution for people with intellectual disability. Kew Cottages was originally designed as a place of benevolent care and education for children. However, its secluded location, adjacent to a 'Lunatic Asylum,' and its use of physical security measures resulted in its reputation as a place of incarceration. This viewpoint emerged through oral history testimony collected as part of the Kew Cottages History Project during 2005-08. Oral histories, which were recorded from people closely associated with Kew Cottages, reveal that despite the introduction of reforms in the mid-twentieth century to accord residents greater freedoms, poor living conditions, strict regimentation, violence, and abuse, all contributed to a prison-like environment within the institution.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 2103 Historical Studies
Historical > SEO Classification > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Keywords ResPubID18050, Kew Cottages history, poor living conditions, strict regimentation, violence, abuse
Citations in Scopus 4 - View on Scopus
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