Where: Spring City, Pennsylvania
Years Of Operation: 1908 to 1987
Pennhurst Insane Asylum was built to educate and care for the mentally disabled, but in a little less than a decade, it became clear they were doing nothing of the sort.
In 1968, CBS10 correspondent Bill Baldini televised an exposé of the institution called "Suffer the Little Children." The news report showed harrowing conditions: neglected children's screams filling the air, large scale physical and sexual abuse, and a general lack of empathy towards patients. It was reported children who bit one another got a warning, and upon being admonished a second time, had their teeth pulled.
The report, along with former resident Terry Lee Halderman's account of "unsanitary, inhumane and dangerous" conditions led to a successful class action lawsuit. The court found that over 3,000 of the institution's patients were not receiving adequate care, and the institution was subsequently closed.