Brisbane State Child Treatment Center

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Brisbane State Child Treatment Center
Opened 1947
Closed 2005
Current Status Closed
Building Style Cottage Plan
Alternate Names
  • Arthur Brisbane State Child Treatment Center


Originally given to the state to be used as a convalescent home for veterans, the State Board of Control requested and received permission of the donors to devote the property to psychiatric residential treatment of children. The home is the former residence of the late Arthur Brisbane, noted newspaper editor. It was deeded to the State by Mr. Brisbane's family in March, 1944. The family burial grounds is on the property.

In 1947, Brisbane opened as a state hospital for the observation, care and treatment of children with mental illness between the ages of 5 and 12. The hospital continued serving as an inpatient psychiatric facility for children under age 14 until the late 1980's. At that time, the Adolescent Unit at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital was closed as a result of the Slocum v. Perselay litigation and Brisbane began functioning, as it currently does, as an acute, psychiatric inpatient facility for youth ages 11 to 17 years.

Following the death of an adolescent patient in the Adolescent Unit at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, the Public Advocate filed the Complaint in Slocum v. Perselay on June 27, 1986, in New Jersey Superior Court, Law Division, Mercer County. The action, in lieu of prerogative writ, sought declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent further harm to the children hospitalized there caused by improperly trained staff, lack of proper supervision, improper use of restraints, overuse of chemical restraints, lack of fresh air and exercise, and the failure to identify or develop appropriate and less-restrictive placements.

On May 20, 1988, a Consent Order with Partial Stipulation of Settlement and Dismissal was filed, requiring the complete closing of the Adolescent Unit at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital by December 31, 1988. Incorporated into the Consent Order was the State Plan for the Establishment of Regional Psychiatric Programs for Seriously Mentally Ill Children and Adolescents, dated February 1987. This Plan called for the development of: 40 additional CCIS beds statewide to serve all children who required inpatient care at the regional level for the first 28 days; post-28 day inpatient care; mental health services for 5 to 10 year olds; mental health services within the Division of Developmental Disabilities and in the Department of Corrections at Jamesburg; and a 40-bed unit at Brisbane to serve as a "Statewide Back-Up Unit" for severely mentally ill adolescents in need of extended hospitalization.[1]

On November 1, 1946 the Children's Unit of Marlboro State Hospital was moved to this property and continued as a satellite of Marlboro State hospital. By authority of R. S. 30 :4-177.1 it became a separate institution on July 1, 1947. Subsequent experience led to the recognition of the need for an open type residential treatment center for pre-adolescent mentally ill children in addition to the children's units in State Hospitals.[2]


  2. From the State of New Jersey Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey, 1970