Studies in the History of Early 20th Century Delinquency Prevention

by Steven L. Schlossman


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This Note is divided into two essays that form part of a larger study on the historical antecedents of modern-day ideas, practices, and policies in the field of delinquency prevention. The first essay examines the writings of seven of the most prominent commentators on juvenile delinquency in the early 20th century and links their ideas to broader currents in American social thought. The discussion focuses especially on the new approaches to social control that these writers developed in order to revitalize "community" as a visible, personal, authoritative moral presence in the eyes of urban youth. The second essay examines the emergence of state policies for delinquency prevention in early 20th century California and, more selectively, in Ohio. It focuses in particular on the development of new rehabilitative programs for delinquents in juvenile reformatories and the creation of new methods to advance scientific knowledge on the causes and treatment of juvenile crime.

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