THE ORIGINS OF JUVENILE JUSTICE POLICY IN PENNSYLVANIA (DELINQUENCY, REFUGES)

MARY HENDRICKS GLAZIER, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

Problem. Chartered in 1826, the Philadelphia House of Refuge was the first institution in Pennsylvania established to reform youngsters charged with delinquency. This dissertation examines the social and historical forces which stimulated creation of the Refuge, the Refuge's conception of delinquency and program for reform and the relationship between the House of Refuge and the early juvenile court.^ Procedure and Methods. Primary sources of data included the case histories and minute books of the Philadelphia House of Refuge as well as published reports, addresses, speeches, statutes and court decisions. Most of the materials were examined using nonquantitative methods. Appropriate quantitative techniques were used to measure and compare characteristics of different groups of Refuge subjects.^ Results. Early nineteenth-century changes in family life, apprenticeship and work made socializing and controlling youth problematic. This stimulated the creation of new educational and reformative institutions. Although the original intention of the founders of the House of Refuge was to provide an alternative to imprisonment for young offenders, this became secondary to the goal of reforming youngsters not yet seriously criminal. Although the creators of the juvenile court were harsh critics of the House of Refuge, the juvenile court modified rather than recreated juvenile justice policies.^ Conclusions. Within the context of major social and economic changes, the founders of the Philadelphia House of Refuge created a conception of delinquency as the wayward behavior of inadequately supervised youngsters. This definition persisted throughout the nineteenth century and was embraced by the juvenile court in the early twentieth century. By 1910, juvenile justice policy in Pennsylvania was essentially as it would be for the next sixty years, shaped jointly by the rationale of the House of Refuge and the procedural modifications of the juvenile court. ^

Subject Area

Sociology, Criminology and Penology

Recommended Citation

MARY HENDRICKS GLAZIER, "THE ORIGINS OF JUVENILE JUSTICE POLICY IN PENNSYLVANIA (DELINQUENCY, REFUGES)" (January 1, 1985). Dissertations available from ProQuest. Paper AAI8603642.
http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8603642

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