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NCJ Number: 49774 Find in a Library
Title: BRITAIN - THE EVENTS LEADING TO THE 1908 CHILDREN ACT (FROM JUVENILE JUSTICE IN BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES THE BALANCE OF NEEDS AND RIGHTS, 1978, BY PHYLLIDA PARSLOE - SEE NCJ-49769)
Author(s): P PARSLOE
Corporate Author: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd
Boston, MA 02108
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: SOCIAL CONDITIONS AND INSTITUTIONS OF 19TH-CENTURY ENGLAND, WALES, AND SCOTLAND THAT CULMINATED IN THE PASSAGE OF THE CHILDREN ACT OF 1908 ARE DISCUSSED AND COMPARED TO DEVELOPMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES.
Abstract: AT THE END OF THE 18TH CENTURY, THE SOCIAL PROBLEMS IN ENGLAND'S TOWNS WERE GREAT. AS IN THE UNITED STATES, CONCERN FOR THE WELFARE OF CRIMINAL AND DESTITUTE CHILDREN MINGLED WITH A WISH TO CONTROL THEM AND TO PREVENT THEIR BECOMING ADULT CRIMINALS OR PAUPERS. BECAUSE OF THE LINKING OF PAUPERISM AND CRIMINALITY, BRITAIN'S JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM INHERITED INSTITUTIONS DEVELOPED UNDER THE POOR LAW, AS WELL AS THOSE DERIVED FROM THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. DURING THE 19TH CENTURY, THERE WERE ATTEMPTS TO DEAL WITH THE CORRUPTION OF CHILDREN WHO WERE SENT TO BRITISH PRISONS; HOWEVER, ATTEMPTS TO ESTABLISH SEPARATE PRISONS FOR JUVENILES WERE NOT SUCCESSFUL. PRIVATE SOCIETIES PROVIDED ALTERNATIVES TO PRISON FOR SELECTED CHILDREN. THE YOUTHFUL OFFENDERS ACT OF 1854 GAVE COURTS THE POWER TO COMMIT CHILDREN TO REFORMATORIES. THAT LAW, AND THE REFORMATORY SCHOOL ACT OF 1866, ESTABLISHED A SYSTEM THAT LASTED IN ENGLAND UNTIL 1969 AND THAT STILL EXISTED IN SCOTLAND IN 1977. JURISDICTION OVER NONOFFENDING CHILDREN CAN BE TRACED TO THE INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS ACTS OF THE 1850'S, WHICH DELINEATED THE CLASSES OF CHILDREN WHOM THE JUVENILE COURTS COULD COMMIT TO INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS (AS OPPOSED TO REFORMATORIES). IN SCOTLAND, GREATER EMPHASIS WAS PLACED ON DELINQUENCY PREVENTION AND ON FAMILY LIFE. DAY INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS WERE DEVELOPED, AND THE BOARDING-OUT OF PAUPER CHILDREN WAS WIDELY PRACTICED. THE QUESTION OF THE CHILDREN'S RIGHTS WAS EVEN LESS AN ISSUE IN BRITAIN THAN IN THE U.S. FORMAL PROBATION DID NOT DEVELOP IN BRITAIN UNTIL THE END OF THE CENTURY; COURTS HAD TO CHOOSE BETWEEN ACQUITTAL AND SOME FORM OF RESIDENTIAL CARE UNTIL THE PROBATION OF FIRST OFFENDERS ACT IN 1887 ALLOWED THEM TO SUSPEND SENTENCE. FORCES WITHIN AND OUTSIDE OF THE HOME OFFICE BROUGHT PASSAGE OF THE CHILDREN ACT OF 1908. UNLIKE THE ILLINOIS STATUTE THAT ENDED CRIMINAL COURT JURISDICTION OVER CHILDREN IN THE UNITED STATES, THE CHILDREN ACT INCLUDED LITTLE THAT WAS NEW, BUT RATHER DREW TOGETHER A NUMBER OF EARLIER STATUTES. THE ACT MADE JUVENILE COURTS MANDATORY, WITH CRIMINAL AND CIVIL JURISDICTION. PROVISIONS FOR SEGREGATING CHILDREN AWAITING TRIAL FROM ADULTS WERE INCLUDED, AND PERMISSIBLE SENTENCES WERE DELINEATED. THE ACT DECIDED THE DIRECTION OF JUVENILE JUSTICE IN BRITAIN FOR THE NEXT 70 YEARS, EMBODYING A CRIMINAL JUSTICE, AS OPPOSED TO A WELFARE, APPROACH TO THE HANDLING OF PROBLEM CHILDREN. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; England; Illinois; Juvenile codes; Juvenile courts; Juvenile justice system; Scotland; Social conditions; United States of America; Wales
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49774

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