Designation: Government Medical Institution
Affiliation: American Government
Batman #258 (1974)
Named for original asylum director Amadeus Arkham's mother, the facility was dedicated to helping those afflicted with mental illnesses. Inheriting the family mansion, Amadeus had it converted into an asylum, constantly rebuilt and added on to over the years. Amadeus himself was slowly driven insane shortly following the grisly murder of his wife and child by a lunatic named Martin "Mad Dog" Hawkins. Dying inside his own hospital, custodianship of Arkham Asylum was passed down to his nephew, Jeremiah Arkham.
Jermiah Arkham took a hardline approach towards the care of his patients. He completely renovated the interior of the hospital, tearing away the old Victorian-style architecture, replacing it with newly designed interconnecting corridors patterned in the style of old classical labyrinths. With little regard for the hospital's dark history, Jeremiah was certain to destroy old remnants of the old asylum, including his uncle's private journal. Jeremiah installed the most state-of-the-art security measures when he took control of the asylum. Video recorders were installed in every room and corridor with two guards stationed on every level twenty-four hours a day to discourage bribery. Even Arkham himself was required to present identification to access various levels of the hospital. All exterior windows at Arkham were installed with heat detectors and microwave motion detectors. Magnetic foils in the walls were used to block radio waves from penetrating locked cells.
Despite these additions the facility on the whole proved extremely porous, its residents having escaped on countless occasions. Those released had a high rate of recidivsm. Security was uneven as well, to put it kindly, and the asylum's staffing proved questionable at best. The institute itself has been the target of numerous breakouts and attacks that leave the facility requiring reconstruction before it can open again. The most notable of these are the attacks by Bane; who wished to release the asylum's criminals upon Gotham to wear down Batman, the year Gotham was evicted from the United States as a No Man's Land, and the Black Glove; who wished to destroy everything the Batman had created. Despite all that, the asylum remained a functioning facility, relied upon by the government to treat those in need. Other cities across the country have sent their dangerous or insane super-villains to Arkham Asylum despite its somewhat shaky history, believing it better to simply dump the criminal problem on Gotham City.
Bruce Wayne is on the Asylum's parole board, overhearing reform testimonies from "cured" inmates to deem wether or not they can reenter public life.
Doctor Benjamin Stoner was a head doctor at Arkham Asylum before he was chosen by a Lord of Chaos named Typhon to act as a soldier of Chaos. Possessed by Typhon, Stoner became the "Anti-Fate" and was manipulated into battling and bringing about the death of Doctor Fate (Eric Strauss).