The juvenile court has had several distinct phases in its seventy years of existence. The court was founded on a curious Victorian mixture of sentiment("child-saving"), seemingly sound political economy ("if we save the little rascals from their environment, it will be the end of vice, spiritous liquors,crime and degradation") and hard-headed reform.' Although it is not always obvious in the reform literature, which is rather tear-stained, the last named factor is the most important. The radical reformers of the nineteenth century had been working in what might be called the juvenile court movement for many years before the court was itself established. Hard-headed reform resulted in a century of saving children from the thief's gallows, the agonies of chimney-sweeping, or working in coal mines and factories, and the temptations of the gin palaces and other dens of vice.
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"The Appellate Court View of the Juvenile Court."
Osgoode Hall Law Journal