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Juvenile Crime and Treatment

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Juvenile crime and treatment in Great Britain began to change in the nineteenth-century as the crime rates began to increase. The government had to change things to reduce the number of crimes being committed. It was not until the middle of the century that different tactics were taken to understand the criminals and to give them a change for change. Since the assumptions on how crime came from a person's weak or evil character, government officials did not think that they could reform the inmate's way of thinking. As time went on, this began to change and movements were started to help educate the children. This time period also showed the change on how the prisons were organized. According the Select Committee Report on the Prisons of London in 1818, children who committed misdemeanors and assaults were being put in the same yard as others who were imprisoned for much more serious crimes. There were also children of very young ages being put into the Clerkenwell Prison including one at the age of eight and sixty-nine under the age of fourteen. New steps were taken on how the prisoners were confined and how they were treated. Reformatory schools were being built and new laws were passed to change the punishments for those under the age of sixteen. Physical punishments were becoming more popular instead of transportation for the younger children. Sometime during the mid-nineteenth century and the late nineteenth century, the assumption on why an individual committed a crime began to change and some blamed the condition of the society for the increase in crime. The view on the causes of juvenile crime and their legal treatment during the nineteenth-century began to change according to the belief that change is possible for the young children and that crime did not come from an individual's weak or evil character but from the influences that society had to offer.

Before the changes in the mid- to late nineteenth century, criminals were not given a chance to change. The people that lived in the poorer areas were mostly portrayed as criminals. They were shown to be working together to steal against the richer individuals. Criminals worked in teams to make committing crimes easier and made it less obvious to the law enforcements. According to John Wade, delinquents were born thieves. It is how they are from the beginning of their life. They have their own way of talking, living, thinking, and their own habits. This was the way most people thought in the early nineteenth century and before the reforms were made in the mid-nineteenth century. It described criminals of having no change for redemption even for small crimes committed by children. All criminals were treated the same and their reason for imprisonment did not matter to the officials in charge. A prison testimony from Mr. Hoare after he visited the Clerkenwell House of Correction stated that a child at the age of seven was convicted for having stolen certain goods that the mother knew about. The child was sentenced to transportation to Australia and the mother was imprisoned for six months. The sentence for transportation was a punishment for life. It was used for all typed of criminals of all ages. It was only until later that changes were made for there to be an age requirement for exportations. This was also the start of more physical punishments for the criminals. During the nineteenth century, people started to connect the cause of crime to the surroundings of the criminal. In Mr. Rushton's report of an address to the Town Council of Liverpool, children were influenced by their parents to commit crimes. They were taught how to pickpocket and steal so that parents could live an easier life. He states that unless children are taught better and the parent's corrupt influenced stopped, there can be no reformation for criminals.

New teachings and reforms made for prisoners and criminals began to take place during the mid-nineteenth century. Mr. W.A. Miles' Report on Prison Discipline talked about how crime was caused because of the need for basic needs and because of the peer pressure. The society around the individual reflects how they act and what they do. Imprisonment is no punishment for those children because they still get food, clothing, and they are able to learn from others that



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