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Managing moral reformation: the case of Queensland's reformatory for boys, 1871–1919

Managing moral reformation: the case of Queensland's reformatory for boys, 1871–1919 This article explores the case of the Queensland's reformatory for boys through the years 1871–1919 to analyse how the institution negotiated the complex, and at times competing, goals of reforming, educating and punishing its inmate population.Design/methodology/approachThe article relies on documentary evidence, including archival material produced by the institution and newspaper records published between 1865, when the legislation allowing the institution to be created was passed, to 1919, when the institution ceased to be known as a “reformatory”.FindingsThis research demonstrates that, despite considerable changes during the studied period, the overarching goal of reforming criminal and potentially criminal young people continuously relied on achieving a balance between reformative techniques such as religious instruction and work placements, providing a useful education and punishing offenders. It also demonstrates that, despite efforts to achieve this balance, the institution was often described as unsuccessful.Originality/valueDue to the paucity of available archival evidence, there is still relatively little known about how the reformatories of late-19th- and early-20th-century Australia attempted to carry out programmes of moral reformation. This paper contributes to the field through an analysis of an institution which faced unusual challenges as a result of a complex inmate population. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Education Review Emerald Publishing

Managing moral reformation: the case of Queensland's reformatory for boys, 1871–1919

History of Education Review , Volume 50 (2): 15 – Oct 5, 2021

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0819-8691
DOI
10.1108/her-05-2020-0034
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article explores the case of the Queensland's reformatory for boys through the years 1871–1919 to analyse how the institution negotiated the complex, and at times competing, goals of reforming, educating and punishing its inmate population.Design/methodology/approachThe article relies on documentary evidence, including archival material produced by the institution and newspaper records published between 1865, when the legislation allowing the institution to be created was passed, to 1919, when the institution ceased to be known as a “reformatory”.FindingsThis research demonstrates that, despite considerable changes during the studied period, the overarching goal of reforming criminal and potentially criminal young people continuously relied on achieving a balance between reformative techniques such as religious instruction and work placements, providing a useful education and punishing offenders. It also demonstrates that, despite efforts to achieve this balance, the institution was often described as unsuccessful.Originality/valueDue to the paucity of available archival evidence, there is still relatively little known about how the reformatories of late-19th- and early-20th-century Australia attempted to carry out programmes of moral reformation. This paper contributes to the field through an analysis of an institution which faced unusual challenges as a result of a complex inmate population.

Journal

History of Education ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 5, 2021

Keywords: Reformatory; Queensland; Education; Punishment; Reformation; Youth justice

References