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What is Reform School: History, Facts, and Secrets

Prisons help rehabilitate individuals who have gone against the laws and statutes that guide human behaviour. In the same vein, a reform school acts as a rehabilitation center for teenagers that have committed a crime before we can send them to adult prison.

According to Wikipedia, they came out of social concerns about cities, poverty, immigration, and vagrancy following industrialization, as well as from a shift in society’s attitude from retribution, punishing the miscreant to reforming.

In this article, you’ll learn about reform school; their history, secrets, and facts. The table of content below clearly spells out everything you’ll learn from this article.

What is A Reform School?

The desire to reduce the molestation of younger crime offenders from their older counterparts led to the introduction of the reform school by social reformers, and these schools have played a huge role.

According to Wikipedia, a reform school is a penal institution for teenagers mainly operating between 1830 and 1900.

In the United Kingdom and its colonies, reformatories commonly called reform schools were set up from 1854 onwards for youngsters who were convicted of a crime as an alternative to an adult prison.

What is the History of Reform Schools?

Reform schools were a stronghold in the 1800s going towards the 1900s. We trace the history of these schools back to the dissatisfaction of social reformers that found it unfit for juvenile offenders to be receiving the same treatment as adult offenders.

The reformers posited that these juvenile offenders suffered molestation and sexual exploitation from their older inmates. And this caused a lot of them to emerge from the process worse than they had entered because of their experiences.

The reform that introduced these schools first sought to introduce a juvenile code and then a court.

Then, it emerged from there and sought to build an institution where all these offenders could stay. Because of the narrative, the reformers sought to change, they called the centers “reform schools”.

In the United Kingdom, there were two schools; industrial schools and reformatory schools. The reformatory schools acted as rehabilitation centers for juvenile offenders, while the industrial schools prevented resistless children from becoming criminals.

In the 19th century, crime rates kept increasing as more children went into the streets despite the paid employment opportunities available for young people.

This became a point of concern, and the Parliament set up a committee to investigate the matter.

The results of the investigation changed the laws and made it mandatory for children to attend industrial schools.

Because of the Parliament’s decision, reform and industrial schools received appropriate funding to enable them to address their affairs.

However, as things progressed, the same behaviour that was prevalent in correctional centres started growing in the reform schools – older juveniles molesting and sexually exploiting younger ones.

How Do Reform Schools Function?

Reform schools functioned as correctional centres for people who weren’t adults but were guilty of performing certain crimes against society.

These schools function like juvenile centres just that the difference is in the age range of the people there.

A major difference, however, is the indoctrination of these young people into different areas of productive learning where they can build up skill sets that can help them solve problems and grant them a means of livelihood.

Do Reform Schools Still Exist?

Reform schools still exist, however, they don’t operate in that juvenile structure anymore because of the uncontrolled molestation and sexual exploitation.

Many efforts are ongoing to reduce the growing population of these centers to the minimum number, allowing the youths an opportunity to thrive in a well-coordinated home setting.

Additionally, to make the situation less detrimental, several institutions are now coeducational giving these young people an opportunity to keep learning while improving their character.

Alternative strategies such as maximizing less-restrictive settings that allow kids to stay home while attending any of these schools have added a level of structure to the center. A strict curfew is also one plan that will help achieve this aim.

In so many countries, these schools have been revamped to be continuation high schools or youth detention centers. And there are currently no guidelines checking the severity of a crime, nor are there statutes that guide the decision of taking a child to a reform school.

FAQ

What is a Reform School?

A reform school is a correctional institution for teenagers guilty of performing a crime at different levels.

Do Reform Schools Still Exist

Yes, reform schools still exist

What does reform school mean?

Reform school means a place where individuals can get mental and behavioural reformation for them to contribute valuably to society.

Is there a need for educational reform?

Yes, there is a strong need for educational reform.

Conclusion

Reform schools remain in numerous countries playing a vital role in the behavioural restructuring and skill empowerment of young people. There are still plans to improve them to create a standard that is acceptable worldwide.

References

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