Criminal Children: Researching Juvenile Offenders 1820-1920

Emma Watkins, Prof. Barry Godfrey

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book explores how ‘offending’ children were dealt with in the early nineteenth to early twentieth century. Over this hundred-year period, ideas about the way that children should behave, and how they should be corrected when they misbehaved, changed dramatically. Indeed, it was the period in which ‘juvenile delinquency’ is said to have been ‘invented’, when the problem of youth crime and youth gangs developed, and society began to ask, for the first time, how do we stop criminal children from developing into criminal adults? There were various experiments in reformation, from transporting child convicts to Australia, to the creation of separate juvenile prisons, to the establishment of reform schools. But did any of these things actually work? This book reveals the lives of some of the thousands of children who were transported, imprisoned, or kept in reformatory or industrial schools for years, to see how their lives turned out in reality.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPen & Sword Family History
ISBN (Print)9781526738080
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2018


  • Juvenile Crime
  • Juvenile Punishment
  • Life-narrative
  • Life-course
  • Data-Linkage
  • Crime History
  • Juvenile Delinquency

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