Little more than a year after the approval of Law no. 180/1978, which had ratified the closing of the civil mental hospitals, the judge Romano Canosa published Storia del manicomio in Italia dall’Unità a oggi (Milano, Feltrinelli, 1979). For about three decades, this is the only complete and total available reconstruction of the history of the Italian psychiatric asylums. The seventh chapter of the book was dedicated to those places of internment that the prison system in 1975 had renamed the “judicial mental hospital” and on which the reform had not intervened. This text is the new edition of the chapter “I manicomi criminali” of the book Storia del manicomio in Italia dall’Unità a oggi.

Keywords: History of Criminal Lunatic Asylum; Romano Canosa; Judicial Mental Hospital; Criminal Lunatic Asylum.