Care facilities in Essex County blended work and recreation as a rehabilitative model to improve the mental and physical conditions of patients. The preference was for outdoor recreation, dancing, or other entertainment. Patients also spent there time learning skills such as embroidery or basket weaving. However, medical protocols also recommended "special treatment by electricity, vibratory stimulation, or possibly a visit to the dentist."
This excerpt from an Annual Report from the Treasure of the State of New Jersey shows the funding spent on running the Essex County Lunatic Asylum. It also shows how the asylum was growing, causing the cost to increase. Mental health care was not only a public health concern, but an economic one as well.
Excerpt from Journal of the ... Senate of the State of New Jersey on the Essex County Insane Asylum. Note the raio of male to female patients - 224 males, 335 females.
Within the school systems of Newark, there were several physical and mental characteristics that would label students "defective." Some of these categories were broad and imprecise such as "the imperfect" and "the incorrigibles."
In terms of care, doctors were not objective in their diagnosis of patients. If patients were of the "inebriated" categoy, e.g. alcholism, doctors found that this was not a sufficient reason to be committed. Commissioner Wright stated that judges do not provide thorough investigations of each committed individual because of the volume of inebriated potential patients.