Reformatory Schools : For the Children of the Perishing and Dangerous Classes, and for Juvenile Offenders Paperback / softback
Part of the Cambridge Library Collection - British and Irish History, 19th Century series
Paperback / softback
Daughter of a Unitarian minister and schoolmaster, the penal reformer and educationist Mary Carpenter (1807-77) grew up in a pious family with a strong sense of obligation to those who were less fortunate.
Moved by the appalling circumstances of destitute children in Bristol, she established her first ragged school in 1846.
In her bid to improve the difficult lives of juvenile delinquents, her enlightened philosophy was one of rehabilitation rather than retribution, emphasising the importance of giving children a sense of self-worth.
These views form the basis of this landmark work, first published in 1851.
Marshalling a range of evidence in support of her argument, Carpenter highlights the need for radical change in the treatment of young offenders.
Her lobbying bore fruit in England with the passage of the Youthful Offenders Act (1854), described as 'the Magna Carta of the neglected child'.
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