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The Judiciary Psychiatric Hospital of Aversa

The Judiciary Psychiatric Hospital of Aversa is the biggest and oldest of the six still existing in Italy. Its history is often intertwined with the history of Italian psychiatry of the last century,  representing a leading scientific and cultural centre and, at the same time, a symbol of horror and rejection.
Half hospital and half prison, the J.P.H. houses almost 300 inmates judged mentally ill but still dangerous by the law-court.
In 1978, the so-called Basaglia Law (law n. 180/1978) outlawed all mental Italian asylums. Most of this modern law was not applied. Today there is in Italy a debate about the utility to keep still open the Judiciary Psychiatric Hospitals.
Unanime is the conviction that the J.P.H. have done their time and that institutions must propose new alternatives to promote care, rehabilitation and social reintegration of the mentally ill offender.

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The J.P.H. of Aversa. The loneliness at twelve 'o clock . The most part of the internees are elderly people.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. Waiting for the air hours in the morning.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. The internees suffer from schizophrenia, psychotic and personality disorders, chronic alcoholism. Every year there are two or three cases of suicide.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. The courtyard of the sixth ward. Today there is in Italy a debate about the utility to keep still open the Judiciary Psychiatric Hospitals. Unanimous is the conviction that Institutions must propose new alternatives to promote care, rehabilitation and social reintegration of the mentally ill offender.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. Little moments of solidarity among the internees. The structure is overcrowded. Actually the J.P.H. of Aversa has 322 units but originally it was predisposed only for 150 units.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. The moments before afternoon walking.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. The cigarette becomes the main pastime during the day.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. Many internees have already discounted the penalty but their families don't want to accept them at home. They have no alternative.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. An internee during an Italian lesson. Few volunteers come here to lead different kinds of courses. Today there are: a course of general education, a theatre course and another course of art therapy.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. Two internees are playing cards.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. The look over the wall.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. The J.P.H. of Aversa viewed from the green area of the Hospital. It was established in 1876 and is the oldest J.P.H in Italy.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. Green area project. This project offers to the internees the opportunity to work with animals, plants and flowers.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. The particular of a wall. Today J.P.H in Italy are old structures and should be restructured.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. The green area. Looking at the future. The daily social cost of one internee is 55 euros all-inclusive. In an external structure the social cost varies from 100 to 170 euros.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. A moment of the religious procession of Our Lady of Aversa. Every year the procession passes in front of the J.P.H. and only few internees can exit at he entrance of J.P.H to watch the procession and recite some poems publicly.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. It is the oldest in Italy, established by a legislative decree in 1876. It is perhaps the most representative of its kind. Its history is often intertwined with the history of Italian psychiatry of the last century, from the Positivism to basagliane disputes, representing a leading scientific and cultural centre and, at the same time, a symbol of horror and rejection.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. The entrance of the J.P.H.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. An old photograph of an internee at the museum inside the J.P.H.
The J.P.H. of Aversa. An inmate walks up the stairs after lunch.
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