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The Hawkspur Experiment : An Informal Account of the Training of Wayward Adolescents, Hardback Book

The Hawkspur Experiment : An Informal Account of the Training of Wayward Adolescents Hardback

Part of the Routledge Library Editions: The Adolescent series



Originally published in 1941 and written in an attempt to dispute the popular assumption at the time that a 'bit of discipline' is what is needed for the correction of young men who show delinquent tendencies, this book is much more than that. Basically an account of a kind of voluntary Borstal Institution of which the author was head from 1936 to 1940, its interest on reissue in 1967 lay in the fact that it contained the germinal ideas of most of the day's newest methods in penal treatment, not just as ideas, but in practice.

Here is the therapeutic community in embryo, here are the beginnings of group therapy, of inmate participation in treatment, of therapy through relationships.

None of them are mentioned by name - the names had not been invented; but anyone who wanted to understand the trends in the treatment of delinquent and maladjusted people at the time would find it all here in simple untechnical English. The book is also an account of an enthralling experience, exciting and interesting in itself, apart from any social significance.

Just before the camp started, Alec Paterson said to David Wills, 'Do you really think you can run a place of this kind without the use of punishment?' Wills said he didn't know, but looked forward to trying.

Readers of this book may judge for themselves how far he succeeded.

A particularly interesting feature of this edition is the account of the subsequent lives of the many boys who were at Hawkspur.

Also in the Routledge Library Editions: The Adolescent series  |  View all