Photographs from
Public Hostage: Public Ransom
Inside Institutional America

©1979 by William Bronston, M.D.

William Bronston, M.D., shared six chapters from his unpublished book entitled Public Hostage: Public Ransom—Inside Institutional America about Willowbrook, with photos that illustrate each chapter. This is a gallery of photos from those chapters.

     Click the images to view full size:

Social Control: Origins of Willowbrook
Keep door locked Group Willowbrook Sign: Department of Mental Hygiene
Skyscraper Nelson Rockefeller and Officials Guards outside  
People Become Things—Mass Reduction
Willowbrook Residents Pile of Shoes Rows of beds Rows of beds
Child and wheelchair Toilets Row of children in wheelchairs Playground slide
Row of children in beds Piles of junk Residents on bare floor Toothbrushes on hooks
The Radiator
Child with radiator Sleeping on radiator Radiator Seated on floor by radiator
Huddled on floor Huddled on floor Resident in chair Group by radiator
Sleeping on floor by radiator Naked resident lying on floor by radiator    
Living Death… Alone
Child behind fence Child alone Child curled up in bare floor Resident alone on bench by window
Row of wheel beds child in wheel chair Child curled up behind bars Children
Isolated resident      
Injured child Injured child Injured child Injured child
Injured child Injured resident Injured child Injured child
For the People—a Choice
Cavett show Cavett show Cavett show 50
Photos by Howard Blatt