Institute for Defective and Delinquent Men at Napanoch

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Institute for Defective and Delinquent Men at Napanoch
Established 1892
Opened 1900
Closed 1966 (as a psychiatric facility)
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Napanoch, NY
Alternate Names
  • Eastern New York Reformatory
  • Institute for Defective and Delinquent Men at Napanoch
  • Eastern Correctional Institution
  • Catskill Reformatory


Eastern New York Correctional Facility is located at Napanoch, Ulster County. It is classified as a maximum security correctional facility, to be used as a general confinement facility for males 16 years of age or older. Many of the inmates are from the New York City area and have sentences of less than one year. Eastern presently confines approximately 1,100 inmates.

The Laws of 1892, Chapter 336, established the Eastern New York Reformatory. The institution opened on October 1, 1900. Administered by the Superintendent of State Prisons, Eastern received prisoners from any State prison or reformatory. Most of its inmates were transferred from the New York State Reformatory at Elmira. In 1906, the State Board of Managers of Reformatories was established and given authority over both the Elmira and Eastern reformatories. They appointed a superintendent for each institution.

The Laws of 1921, Chapter 483, changed Eastern from a reformatory into the Institution for Male Defective Delinquents at Napanoch. The control of Napanoch was taken from the Board of Managers of State reformatories and placed under the State Commission for Mental Defectives. The institution was similar to Bedford's division for defective delinquent women. The new institution had the function of caring for, training, and treating defective delinquent inmates over the age of 16. Sent to Napanoch were individuals charged with committing a crime who were judged to be mentally defective by a board of examiners. Usually admitted were individuals who were judged to have IQs under 70. In addition, inmates at other institutions could be examined and subsequently transferred to Napanoch. All sentences at Napanoch were indefinite. The Napanoch program focused principally on discipline and military drill. There was a large farming program as well.

In 1927, the institution was placed under the Department of Mental Hygiene and the following year put under the Department of Correction. In 1958 (Chapter 370), Napanoch was renamed the Eastern Correctional Institution. Part of the institution was for regular inmates while another part continued for inmates of below-normal or borderline intelligence. In 1966 (Chapter 819), the institution was renamed the Catskill Reformatory. Inmates considered defective delinquent were sent to the Institution for Mental Defective Delinquents at Beacon. In 1970, the institution was given its present name.