Deviant behavior was punished during the middle ages. In the seventeenth century, people were locked up in asylums. A first step towards humanization was taken by the founders of the moral treatment movement in the nineteenth century, but it declined at the end of that century. What we today call “milieu therapy” represents a new phase in treating mental illness and deviance. After the Second World War, the therapeutic community (TC) method was widely implemented in Europe, but the needs of different target populations were not dealt with equally. The paper aims to discuss these issues.