Western Reformatory for Women Psychological Evaluation Reports

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Overview of the Records


New York State Archives
New York State Education Department
Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230

This series consists of patient psychiatric and psychological case files. The files, which typically provide information on the inmate's condition, treatments, medication distributed, and progress, include psychiatric progress notes, medication records, and psychiatric reports. The latter also list patient's age; color; physical characteristics; personality traits when treatment began; crimes; drug abuse; and strengths and weaknesses. Also included are patient letters describing activities and feelings.
Western Reformatory for Women psychological evaluation reports

4 cubic feet

Inclusive Dates:
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Alphabetic by inmate name.

Scope and Content Note

These are psychiatric and psychological case files of patients that contain three major types of forms: Psychiatric Progress Notes; Psychiatric Reports; and Medication records.

These records were generated as a result of the Correction Law, dealing with psychiatric and diagnostic clinics and requiring the staff to determine physical and mental condition and to do a scientific and psychiatric evaluation of each inmate, including career and life history, investigation of cause of crime, and recommendations for cure, training, and employment (this file was continued after classification in the clinic was completed); and the Mental Hygiene Law, requiring clinical records for each patient to be kept at each facility, the records to contain information on the patient's admission, legal status, care, and treatment.

Psychiatric progress notes briefly state the treatment and medication being given. They contain such information as name of institution; name of patient; case number; date; advice of psychiatrist as to beginning, continuing, or suspending certain treatment or activities; type, strength, and length of time of medication given; and whether the patient has made progress in therapy.

Psychiatric reports include the name of the institution; name and number of patient; date; patient's age, color, and physical characteristics; personality traits when treatment began; offenses such as crimes or drug abuse; strengths and weaknesses; progress made through treatment; present condition; medication; frequency of use; period of time; and doctor's name.

Medication records give the patient's name and number; date; type and strength of medication; frequency of use; period of time; and doctor's name.

There are often letters from patients or former patients to their doctors describing their present activities and feelings. The files occasionally contain correspondence and memoranda between doctors regarding the patients. The records were usually prepared by Mental Hygiene personnel.

Access Restrictions

Summary information on adult inmates is disclosable under law. State Archives staff will review records containing probation, parole, medical, and juvenile criminal history data and disclose information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law and Personal Privacy Protection Law. The identity of victims of sex crimes is not disclosable. Unless a specific law forbids disclosure indefinitely, all records must be disclosed after 75 years.

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