skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 213988 
Title: History of Juvenile Justice (From Juvenile Justice: An Introduction, P 27-45, 2006 -- See NCJ-213986)
Author(s): John T. Whitehead; Steven P. Lab
Date Published: 2006
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Anderson Publishing Co
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Sale Source: Anderson Publishing Co
Publicity Director
2035 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States of America
Type: Curriculum
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter discusses the development of the juvenile justice system and the early workings of the system.
Abstract: The status of “child” within society as a relatively recent phenomenon is examined as the authors illustrate how children throughout history have generally been regarded as either property or as full-fledged members of society expected to adhere to adult roles. The concept of childhood began to emerge in the 16th and 17th centuries, which corresponded to advances in medical science that extended the life cycles of humans. During the 1800s the United States experienced a mass movement toward cities, which effectively brought about the emergence of juvenile institutions as a means for dealing with a new class of urban deviant youth. The main goal of the early juvenile institutions was to handle problems associated with being poor. Early juvenile institutions were known as houses of refuge and focused on education, religious and skills training, and parental discipline. The problems associated with houses of refuge are discussed, as is the rise of the new reformatories, which employed a cottage setup intended to mimic family life. The development of juvenile courts is examined, including the debate regarding the philosophy of the court and the issue of juvenile’s constitutional rights. The doctrine of parens patriae, or “the state as parent,” is explained as the basis for the establishment of the juvenile court. Criticisms of the juvenile court and its related components are examined before the authors turn to a discussion of juvenile justice from 1920 to the 1960s. Finally, changes in the juvenile court system ushered in by challenges to the parens patriae doctrine are explored. Three discussion questions at the end of the chapter focus attention on the status of the child, houses of refuge, and parens patriae. Key terms are listed. Tables
Main Term(s): History of juvenile justice
Index Term(s): Curriculum; Survey texts
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.