What is a Reform School?: History, Facts, and Secrets

Victor Okoma

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In the same way that jails help rehabilitate individuals who have broken the laws and statutes that govern human behavior, a reform school serves kids.

It acts as a rehabilitation center for teenagers who have broken the law before sending them to adult prison.


This article will give you some insights on all you need to know about the existence and functions of reform schools today.

What is a reform school?

Social reformers established reform schools to reduce the molestation of younger criminal offenders by their older counterparts. These schools have played an important role for many years.

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A reform school, according to Wikipedia, is a penal institution for teenagers that operated primarily between 1830 and 1900.


From 1854 onwards, reform schools, or reformatories, existed in the United Kingdom and its member states as an alternative to adult prisons for young people convicted of a crime.

What is the Reform Schools History?

Reform schools were a base of operations in the 1800s and early 1900s in the United Kingdom.

And their history can be traced back to the dissatisfaction of social reformers. These reformers believed that juvenile offenders should not be treated the same as adult offenders.

The reformers insisted that these juvenile offenders were sexually abused and molested by their older counterparts.

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And as a result, many of them were worse off when they were released than they were before they entered. This occurs as a result of their experiences.


The reform that established these schools in the early 1990s sought to establish a juvenile code first. This was later to be followed by a court. Then it sought to construct institutions where all of these juvenile offenders could be housed.

Where did reform schools start?

The existence of reform schools can be traced back to the United Kingdom, when sexual harassment occurred in prison.

There were two types of schools in the United Kingdom: reformatory schools and industrial schools.

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The industrial schools kept defenseless children from becoming criminals, whereas the reformatory schools served as rehabilitation facilities for juvenile offenders.

Crime rates continued to rise in the nineteenth century as more children roamed the streets, despite the availability of paid employment opportunities for young people.


This sparked concern, and the Parliament launched an investigation, changing the laws and making it mandatory for children to attend industrial schools.

As a result of the Parliament’s decision, industrial and reform schools received adequate funding to address their issues.

Do reform schools still exist?

Yes, reform schools still exist, but due to uncontrolled sexual exploitation and molestation, they no longer operate in that juvenile structure.

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Many steps are being taken to enable youths to survive in a well-coordinated residential setting by limiting the growing population of these centers to the bare minimum.

Furthermore, to mitigate the situation, several institutions are now coeducational, giving these young people the opportunity to continue developing their character while learning.


How do reform schools work?

Reform schools served as correctional facilities for teenagers who had committed certain crimes against society.

The difference in these schools is the age range of the students, so they function like juvenile detention facilities.

The indoctrination of these young people into various areas of productive learning, which helps them build skillsets to solve problems and provide them with a means of livelihood, is a significant difference.

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Various methods, such as enhancing a less-restrictive setup that allows children to remain at home while participating in any of these schools, have added structure to the center, and a strict curfew is also part of the plan that will help achieve this goal.


If you have been wondering or asking yourself what reform schools are, probably because you learned about them from a friend or online, this article will provide you with enough details. Do you think you got all you need from this article you just read?

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