This paper discusses the procedures for referring patients to Adauto Botelho Hospital, in Cariacica, Espírito Santo state, Brazil. The research is based on the medical records since its inauguration in 1954 and statements by people who worked there in the second half of the twentieth century. One hundred and two records were analyzed and four people were interviewed. The records revealed the active involvement of the Chief of Police in hospitalizations. The interviews corroborate this, while also showing the long duration of the hospitalizations. The tone of the paper is set by the life stories of the people hospitalized there. The conclusion is that this hospital served not so much for treatment as for confinement.
Adauto Botelho Hospital; psychology; history of insanity; history of psychiatry; oral history