Ionia State Hospital
|Ionia State Hospital|
|Building Style||Cottage Plan|
The building of the Ionia State Hospital was authorized in 1883 and was opened under the name of the Michigan Asylum for Insane Criminals in 1885. It was found that this name was objectionable as not all of the patients in the hospital were criminals, so the name was changed by legislative action to Ionia State Hospital. The patients committed to this hospital were insane felons, criminal sexual psychopaths, insane convicts from other prisons, patients transferred from other state institutions that had developed dangerous or homicidal tendencies and persons charged with a crime but acquitted on the grounds of insanity. Initially the hospital patients were housed at the site of the Michigan Reformatory.
The hospital was called the North Branch and the farm located on Riverside Drive was called the South Branch. When a large fire broke out at the hospital, all of the rooms were needed to house prisoners, so all of the hospital patients were sent to the South Branch farm. Since that time, the hospital has been located on the grounds of the Riverside Correctional Facility. The hospital was used to treat the mentally ill as well as the criminally insane until 1972, when civilians were removed from the hospital. In 1977, the Legislature transferred the operation to the Department of Corrections when it began operation as a correctional facility. The facility was closed with the reopening of the Michigan Reformatory.
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