1902 Encyclopedia > Reformatory and Industrial Schools

Reformatory and Industrial Schools

REFORMATORY AND INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS. There exist two classes of schools for the reformation and industrial training of children in Great Britain and Ireland, both under state control when duly certified. Reformatory schools are for the better training of juvenile convicted offenders; industrial schools, in which industrial training is provided, are chiefly for vagrant and neglected children and children not convicted of theft. These schools are of modern but gradual growth, the result in part of humane endeavours to rescue children from evil courses already embarked on or likely to be their lot, in part of the con-viction that, as a matter of social economy, the expendi-ture incurred in early restraint is less costly than the punishment of matured crime.

England and Scotland.—The Acts of Parliament relating to reformatory and industrial schools in Great Britain were consolidated and amended in 1866; and these Acts (29 and 30 Vict. cc. 117, 118), with local legislation and some extension and amendment, govern the two classes of schools at the present time. Both reformatory and industrial schools are certified by the home secretary upon the appli-cation of the managers, and upon a satisfactory inspection and report, and subject to a yearly visit by inspectors. In both classes industrial training is an essential feature, so as to engender industrious habits in the inmates and give them the means of earning an honest livelihood. Not only local circumstances but reasonable individual inclina-tions are taken into consideration. In rural districts the cultivation of the soil and in urban districts local trades are obvious sources of employment; the duties of a sailor are taught in training ships near the coast. Occupations that create a distaste for labour or that do not provide a permanent source of profitable labour for adults are avoided. The managers (often a committee of magistrates) make all necessary rules for the management and discipline of the schools, subject to the provisions of the legislature and the intervention of the secretary of state. They have the appointment of officers. Conformity to the rules and residence in the schools may be enforced by imprisonment, the application and limits of which vary somewhat in reformatory and industrial schools, e.g., such imprisonment for school offences is confined in industrial schools to children above ten, an age almost always exceeded in the inmates of reformatories. Attention is paid in both classes to religious convictions, and as far as possible a selection is made of a school conducted in accordance with the creed professed by the child or its responsible guardians. Children after eighteen months' detention may be placed out on licence with trustworthy persons and with their own consent. The managers of a reformatory or of an in-dustrial school may decline to receive the youthful offender in the one case and in the other the child proposed to be sent j but the reception of a child operates as an under-taking by the managers to educate, clothe, lodge, and feed him (or her) until he (or she) can be legally discharged or is removed. Beformatory and industrial schools are, however, essentially distinct in character and governed by distinct Acts of Parliament: a school cannot at the same time be both a certified industrial school and a certified reformatory school. The Middlesex Industrial School for juvenile offenders, established under local Acts, and in part a certified industrial school, is, however, somewhat exceptional in blending the treatment of both classes.

Any offender under sixteen, convicted of an offence punishable with penal servitude or imprisonment and sentenced to be imprisoned for ten days or a longer term, may be sent to a certified reformatory school for not less than two and not more than five years. A youthful offender under ten cannot be sent to a reformatory school unless he has been previously charged with some crime or offence punishable with penal servitude or imprisonment, or is sentenced in England by a judge of assize or court of general or quarter sessions or in Scotland by a circuit court of justiciary or a sheriff. Youthful offenders receiving a conditional pardon may now be sent to a certified reformatory school. Certified industrial schools receive any child apparently under fourteen who is brought by any person before justices as answering to any of the following descriptions :—if found begging or receiving alms (whether actually or under the pretext of selling or offering for sale anything) or being in any street or public place for these purposes; if found wandering and not having any home or settled place of abode, or proper guardianship, or visible means of subsistence; if found destitute, either being an orphan or having a surviving parent who is undergoing penal servitude or imprisonment; if it frequents the company of reputed thieves ; if lodging, living, or residing with common or reputed prostitutes, or in a house resided in or frequented by prostitutes for the purpose of prostitution; if it frequents the company of prostitutes (43 and 44 Vict. c. 15); where a parent or step-parent represents to the magistrates that he is unable to control a child and that he desires that the child be sent to an industrial school; where the guardians of the poor represent that a child maintained in a workhouse or pauper school or poor-house is refractory or the child of a parent convicted of a crime or offence punishable with penal servitude or im-prisonment, and that it is desirable that he be sent to an industrial school. To the above cases have to be added a child apparently under twelve who is charged with an offence punishable by imprisonment or a less punishment but has not been in England convicted of felony or in Scotland for theft; and the children of any woman con-victed of a crime after a previous conviction, and under her care and control at the time of conviction for the last of such crimes, who have no visible means of subsistence or who are without proper guardianship (Prevention of Crimes Act, 1871).

A prison authority (a term as regards industrial schools calculated to mislead, as the authority is in general the court of quarter sessions or school boards, and in Scotland commissioners of supply, magistrates of burghs, or county boards) may, with the approval of the secretary of state, establish or contribute towards the establishment, building (including borrowing money), or management (and in England may not only contribute to but undertake these matters) of reformatory or industrial schools, or towards the support of the inmates, and such authority may con-tract with the managers for the reception and maintenance of offenders or children. The treasury contributes towards the custody and maintenance of offenders in reformatory and of children in industrial schools on the recommendation of the secretary of state, the sum being limited as regards children in industrial schools, on the application of their parents or guardians, to 2s. per head per week. The guard-ians of the poor or the board of management of district pauper schools or parochial boards of a parish or com-bination may, with the consent in England of the local government, and in Scotland of the board of management, contribute towards the maintenance of children detained in industrial schools. A prison authority in England may contribute towards the ultimate disposal of an inmate of a certified industrial school. The parent or other person legally liable to maintain a youthful offender or child in a school is required (if able) to contribute not more than 5s. per week, recoverable summarily. The alleged want of diligent enforcement of this liability is a great source of complaint.
The introduction of a system of compulsory elementary educa-tion rendered it necessary to extend industrial schools. Under various Acts passed since 1870 school hoards have power, with the consent of the secretary of state, to contribute to or wholly to undertake the establishment, building, and maintenance of in-dustrial schools, and a power exists to transfer industrial schools from other authorities to school boards, but such schools are sub-ject to the jurisdiction of the secretary of state in the same manner as other certified industrial schools. The machinery for bringing children, the subjects of certified industrial schools, before the proper tribunal for making orders has been and is a vexed question. Legis-lative powers given to "any one" are apt to fall into abeyance or into the hands of the police. School boards have a discretionary power to appoint officers to bring children before justices to be sent to industrial schools (33_ and 34 Vict. c. 75, s. 36). A school board or school attendance committee (as the local authority) is required, after due warning to the parents, to complain to a court of summary jurisdiction of the non-attendance of a child coming within the elementary education Acts, and must so complain at the instance of any person. The court may then make an attend-ance order for the child at some certified efficient school, and, in case of non-compliance, may order the child to be sent to a certified day or other industrial school. The expenses of industrial schools, established by or contributed to by school boards, form part of the general expenses of the school fund. As in the case of other industrial schools, parents are liable to contribution, and where a child is ordered upon complaint made by a school attendance com-mittee to be sent to a certified industrial school the council, guard-ians, or sanitary authority appointing such committee have, on the recommendation of the committee, the same power of contri-buting towards the maintenance as if they were a school board (42 and 43 Vict. c. 48, s. 4).

In 1876 a fresh class of industrial schools was introduced called "certified day industrial schools," in relation to which prison authorities and school boards have the same powers as in the case of industrial schools ; and towards the custody, industrial training, elementary education, and meals of children attending these schools parliament may contribute a sum limited to 1s. per head per week, on conditions recommended by the secretary of state, with a limited power over the contribution of parents. In certain cases of noncompliance with an attendance order the child is sent to a day industrial school rather than to an industrial school of the class described above (39 and 40 Viet. c. 79, s. 16). In large cities day industrial schools are calculated to be of great service in dealing with the class of poor neglected children. The children are found to be managed without much difficulty, and to respond to any efforts made on their behalf; they compare favourably with children kept for years in close confinement, and are often their superiors in spirit and intelligence (27th Report of inspector). Another de-scription of certified schools has sprung up in connexion with school boards,—" truant schools." The few which at present are established in London and some large towns are on the whole doing a good work. The necessary adaptation of certified industrial schools to the school-board system must necessitate the placing of all reformatory and industrial schools on a clearer system of classi-fication. Crime must be distinguished from pauperism. However crime may arise from neglect of parents, it is neither desirable nor fair to compel as the price of poverty children unconvicted of crime to associate with juvenile delinquents even after the punishment of crime has ceased. On the other hand, the actual incarceration of boys and girls in a jail should be avoided as far as possible.

The total number of schools under Government inspection at the close of 1883 was 200, viz., 61 reformatory and 139 industrial schools, of which last 7 were specially certified as truant and 12 as day industrial schools. The number of children under detention in 1883 in reformatory schools in Great Britain was 6657, at a total school expenditure of £126,122, of which £85,635 was paid by tho treasury, £6140 by parents, £23,183 by rates, and £4943 by sub-scriptions and legacies. In industrial schools the number was 18,780 and the expenditure £359,821, of which £176,733 was paid by the treasury, £17,596 by parents, £40,052 by rates, £65,542 by school boards, and £42,129 by subscriptions. The total admissions (excluding transfers) to reformatory schools to the end of 1883 amounted to 42,669, viz., 34,640 boys and 8029 girls. The total discharges (excluding transfers) were 36,111, viz., 29,235 boys and 6876 girls. They were disposed of as follows :—

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Ireland.—Reformatory schools were established in Ireland in 1858, and ten years afterwards were placed mainly on their present footing (Irish Reformatory Schools Act, 1868) ; whilst the estab-lishment and regulation of industrial schools were provided for by the Industrial Schools Act (Ireland), 1868, extending to Ireland, with certain modifications, the English Act of 1866. The differ-ences between the Acts applicable in Ireland and Great Britain relate chiefly to minor matters. The rule requiring a young offender or a child to be sent to a school under the same religious manage-ment is much more rigid in Ireland than in Great Britain, and the Irish Act does not limit the power of sending a child under ten to a reformatory school where the child has not been previously charged with an offence punishable with penal servitude or im-prisonment. The power to contract with managers for the recep-tion and maintenance of young offenders is in general vested in grand juries and in some town councils. The number of reforma-tory schools in Ireland at tho close of 1883 was 9, viz., 5 for boys and 4 for girls, with 907 boys and 192 girls. Of industrial schools there were 62, viz., 17 for boys, 44 for girls, and 1 for young boys and girls, with a total of 2409 boys and 3759 girls. The disposal on discharge follows the lines given in the tables for Great Britain. Much the larger proportion of girls in industrial schools in Ireland, as might be anticipated, find their subsequent career in employment or service, or are placed out through friends. Emigra-tion also is absolutely far larger (and has been from the establish-ment of industrial schools) in the case of girls than of boys. The reported results of tho training of girls discharged from reformatory schools are very satisfactory, and among the 1526 girls discharged during the three years 1880-82 there was only one conviction for crime during 1883. The total receipts for the maintenance of reformatory schools in 1883 were £28,116, of which £17,555 was contributed by the treasury vote and £7920 from local rates. The average cost per head for maintenance (including rent and dis-posal) was £23, 9s. for boys and £27, 2s. 2d. for girls. For in-dustrial schools the receipts in 1883 were £126,820, of which the treasury contributed £77,259 and rates £27,960. Parental contributions to reformatory and industrial schools were £1018.

United States.—The institutions in the United States and of other civilized countries, having for their object or effort the reclamation of the young, are too closely connected with the educa-tion of poor and destitute children generally to allow of examination here, or of useful comparison with the reformatory and industrial schools of Great Britain under state control.
In 1882 a royal commission was issued to inquire into the management generally of all certified reformatories and industrial schools in the United Kingdom. The commission, in the following year, suggested a simplification of the law and the removal of some anomalies and defects, including the vexed question as to the treatment of boys and girls in relation to imprisonment, and the distinctions already adverted to. The commissioners expressed their opinion that these schools were having a salutary effect in reducing the amount both of juvenile and of adult crime. The memoranda of the earl of Dalhousie and Lord Norton attached to the Report are worthy of special attention. (J. E. D.)

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