Northampton Decree

DMH Memorial Panel
DMH Memorial Panel

I had the pleasure of attending a Memorial put on by the Department of Mental Health (DMH) last week to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1978 Brewster Consent Decree which began the process of closing Northampton State Hospital by stipulating that people with mental illness had the right to live and be treated in the least restrictive environment possible. I felt the speech given by Rebecca Macauley was especially apt and moving, and I have a recording made by WFCR (the local National Public Radio station) of the first half of the event. I will post the audio as soon as I get a chance to clean it up and cut it into sections.

Brewster Consent Decree at Washington University School of Law


  1. Full program and all speakers.
  2. Dedication by Rev. Peter Ives, First Churches of Northampton.
  3. Barbara Leadholm, DMH Commissioner.
  4. Rebecca Macauley, Ex-patient, Security Guard and Advocate.
  5. Elizabeth Cardona, Director, Western MA Office of the Governor.
  6. Robert Fleischner, Center for Public Representation.

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