Patients or Prisoners? – Edinburgh fringe event at New Register House, Edinburgh. 7th August 2019, 1.30pm

7 August 2019, 1.30 – 2.30pm, New Register House
Prisoners or Patients? Criminal Insanity in Victorian Scotland

Professor Rab Houston, University of St Andrews
Book Online via Eventbrite

As part of National Records of Scotland’s (NRS) free Edinburgh Fringe exhibition, guest curator Professor Rab Houston of the University of St. Andrews, will examine the ‘criminal lunatics’ featured – those who had ‘committed grave and heinous crimes dangerous to the public’ – and how the exhibition has been informed by his wider project ‘Promoting mental health through the lessons of history’.

Image of the prisoner-patient Elizabeth Gilchrist or Brown: Crown copyright, National Records of Scotland, HH21/48/1

The talk outlines who the criminal lunatics were, how they ended up as ‘prisoner-patients’ in what until 1948 was the only specialist facility in Scotland, and what chances these violent yet vulnerable people had of release and rehabilitation. As well as examining patterns of behaviour and the legal/medical structures of the time, it will explore the lived experiences of individual prisoner-patients and those they encountered.

BBC Reporting Scotland interview with Professor Houston

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