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To the State Board of Charities:

Your committee on the Craig Colony respectfully report that this institution has been visited a number of times during the past year by this committee as a whole, and by the chairman and members of the committee individually.

POPULATION. The census of population on October 1, 1901, was 743, of whom 440 were men and 303 were women, a gain of 131 during the year. There have been 295 admitted, of whom 198 were men and 61 women; 81 were discharged or died, and 13 transferred to insane or State hospitals, leaving 743 remaining on the above date.

The development of the Colony has continued during the past year, and the buildings under construction at the date of our last annual report, have been completed for occupancy, vide for the accommodation of 120 additional colonists.

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The delay in obtaining completed plans for the new cottages has been unfortunate. The plans, as originally presented by the architect to this Board for approval, required several important changes and the delay in the receipt of the amended plans has prevented the letting of contracts for the construction of the same, thus disappointing the expectation that the cottages would be completed and available for occupancy during the current year.

One objectionable feature in the plans referred to has been a provision for basements under the cottages which were to be

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used by the inmates and for purposes of the administration. Your committee has been governed by what it believes to be the opinion of the State Board of Charities, that no basements for occupancy by inmates, for any purpose, should be constructed in any State institution, and has, accordingly, expressed its positive disapproval of this feature of the proposed plans.

We have been unable to see any sufficient reason for the adoption of a plan which is not in accord with the most advanced sanitary opinion, and which is in conflict with that generally held regarding institutional architecture. The broad lands of the Craig Colony, with unlimited opportunity for the location of new buildings, would alone prove sufficient objection to plans which involve occupancy under ground, when life upon the surface is more than amply provided for. Facility of administration is secured by surface construction. There are, therefore, no grounds upon which we can base an approval of such plans. It has been suggested that such arrangement is more economical and should be adopted for this reason. While we believe in strict economy of expenditure in all administration of the State institutions, such economy must be reasonable and intelligently exercised. In all economical considerations, facility of administration and the welfare of the inmate should never be lost sight of, and any attempt to lessen expenditure at the cost of these considerations is an unwise economy. The ease of administration and the convenience, comfort and health of the inmate are more certainly secured by a building which is as much as possible upon the surface level, and though such plan may involve a slightly increased per capita cost for housing, such additional cost is in accordance with a judicious economy.

ADMINISTRATION. In presenting this report we desire to state that during the past year, several important matters have required the presence of the full committee at the Colony for special consultation with its executive committee and superintendent. Every step in the development of this institution is of importance to this Board, in that, under statutory provisions, it shares with its managers the responsibility for all important measures adopted, touching constructive and administrative procedure. This special responsibility on the part of this Board, has led your committee to be solicitous regarding some questions which have arisen, affecting the interests of the Colony.

It frequently occurs that complaints from patients or their friends, are received by the State Board of Charities, which necessitate careful and thorough investigation. In this connection we would call attention to the fact that the epileptic is liable to be in more or less disturbed and unstable condition mentally, and that his sensations and mental impressions are susceptible of perversions which lead to irregular mental action. For this reason, he often becomes irritable and complains of others as being the cause of annoyances, or even of ill treatment, which are in reality the results of his own distorted fancy or ill-regulated actions. The care of these cases, therefore, calls for great forbearance and judgment on the part of officers, nurses and employes.

In the case of the epileptic, individualization of each case is specially important, and such persons must necessarily be kept under constant supervision, day and night. A larger proportionate number of attendants is required, therefore, for such an institution than for one where the character of the inmates demands less constant and skilled observation and attendance, on the part of officers and employes.

In all special investigations this committee has been accompanied by the Board's stenographer and a typewritten transscript of the notes taken in each inquiry, or special consultation, has been filed in the office of the Board at Albany.


The subject of the medical treatment of the patients presents some points of general interest. Diet, exercise in the open air, and medical treatment comprise the resources available in the Colony life. The relative importance of these measures is gen#rally in the order given.

The dietary established at the Colony is a sufficiently liberal one, yet it is chosen with extreme care in order to avoid those foods which are rich in elements known to develop conditions of nutrition favorable to the development of the epileptic seizure.

The epileptic, usually, is lacking in self control and this is specially apparent in his inability to control his appetite either as to the quality or quantity of his food.

Most of the articles, if not all, which enter into this dietary are produced upon the grounds of the institution, and largely by the labor of the colonists.


Employment, judicially adjusted, is a most important resource in the treatment of the epileptic. His disease leads him to be lethargic and sluggish, as regards physical effort and exercise. Employment in the open air which taxes his physical energy moderately, but continually, is of the greatest benefit. In the summer season, this can be found in farming, gardening and kindred pursuits, upon the Colony grounds; but the inclement seasons of the autumn and winter suspend such occupation, almost entirely, and it becomes necessary, therefore, to provide a variety of light technical pursuits for those who would otherwise be unemployed. Besides the physical and mental benefit thus ensured, many articles can be manufactured for use by the inmates of the Colony and contribute, in some degree, toward maintenance.

The manual dextrity manifested by some epileptics, is very considerable and to find a means of employing and developing this is a part of the scientific treatment required for such cases.


Aside from technical and other manual occupation, the treatment of the young epileptic, calls especially, for the consideration of possible mental development. The tendency of continued epileptic seizures is to favor the production of a mental

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