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This paper explores the deterioration of institutionalized mental health care by conducting a case study on the reasons why moral treatment methods declined in the Utica Lunatic Asylum, later renamed Utica State Hospital. The Utica State Hospital serves as a concrete example of how the general causes of decline in the United States varied among individual asylums. In the late nineteenth century, mental health care in the United States evolved from the personal, therapeutic environment that moral treatment promoted, to one of systematic abuse and neglect. In general, the reasons for this change were overcrowding, insufficient funding, and a decline in public opinion that state institutions experienced. However, this paper argues that it was the unnecessary spending and corruption of authorities in the Utica State Hospital which led to a decline in public opinion and, ultimately, the deterioration of patient care. The paper relied heavily on primary source material to form this argument and provide the evidence behind it.