World:Gotham's Finest/The Cityscape/Arkham Asylum

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The Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for The Criminally Insane

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History

Arkham Asylum is located on the outskirts of Gotham City and is where those criminals considered to be legally insane are incarcerated (other criminals are normally housed at Blackgate Penitentiary).

Arkham Asylum does not have a good track record, at least with regard to the high profile cases (most notable include: The Joker, The Riddler, and Victor Zsasz); and those who are 'cured' and released tend to re-offend. Furthermore, several staff members, including security, doctors, and even its own founder Dr. Amadeus Arkham, have committed serious crimes.

In addition, prisoners with unusual medical conditions that prevent them from staying in a regular prison are housed there. For example, Killer Croc is not classified as legally insane, but he requires a strongly reinforced security system that even Blackgate Penitentiary is unable to provide; Arkham, with special conditions required for certain patients or inmates being a regularity rather than exception, is potentially seen by authorities to be an ideal location under certain circumstances.

Gotham criminals deemed "criminally insane" or "mentally unfit" by the court of law generally are typically treated at Williams Medical Center before being deemed dangerous enough to be sent to Arkham Asylum.

Origin

Just outside Gotham City, Arkham Asylum has a long and brutal history, beginning when its own architect went mad, hacking his workers to death with an axe. He was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in the same dark halls that had sent him over the brink. The asylum is named after Elizabeth Arkham, the mother of founder Amadeus Arkham. The original name of the asylum was "Arkham Hospital." Its dark history began in the early 1900s when Arkham's mother, having suffered from mental illness most of her life, committed suicide. With her death Amadeus Arkham decided, as the sole heir to the Arkham estate, to remodel his family home in order to properly treat the mentally ill, so others might not suffer the fate that his mother did. Prior to the period of the hospital's remodeling, Amadeus Arkham treated patients at the State Psychiatric Hospital in Metropolis, where he, his wife, Constance, and his daughter, Harriet, had been living for quite some time. Upon telling his family of his plans, they moved back to his family home to oversee the remodeling. While there, Amadeus Arkham received a call from the police notifying him that Mad Dog, a serial killer, referred to Amadeus Arkham by Metropolis Penitentiary while at State Psychiatric Hospital, had escaped from prison, and sought his considered opinion on the murderer's state of mind. Dr. Arkham had worked many times in joint cooperation with the Gotham police department including teaming with the infamous bounty hunter Jonah Hex years before in arresting the Gotham Butcher. Shortly afterward, Amadeus Arkham returned to his home to find his front door wide open. Inside, he discovered the corpses of his wife and daughter in an upstairs room, with Mad Dog's alias carved on Harriet's body. Despite this family tragedy, the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for The Criminally Insane officially opened that November. One of its first patients was Mad Dog, whom Amadeus Arkham insisted on personally treating. After treating Mad Dog for six months, Amadeus Arkham strapped him to an electroshock couch then deliberately and purposefully electrocuted him. The death was treated as an accident but contributed to Amadeus Arkham's gradual descent into madness, which he began to believe was his birthright. Eventually, Amadeus Arkham was incarcerated in his own asylum, where he died.

Head of Staff

  * Jeremiah Arkham
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Warden

  * Quincy Sharp
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Doctors

  * Hugo Strange
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  * David Thurman
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  * Penelope Young
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  * Jonathan Crane
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  * Harleen Quinzel
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  *Sarah Cassidy


  *Gretchen Whistler

Security Staff

  * Aaron Cash
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  * Frank Boles
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  *William North