The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency
Anthony Platt's study, a chronicle of the child-saving movement and the juvenile court, explodes myth after myth about the benign character of both. The movement is described not as an effort to liberate and dignify youth but as a punitive, romantic, and intrusive effort to control the lives of lower-class urban adolescents and to maintain their dependent status. In so doing Platt analyzes early views of criminal behavior, the origins of the reformatory system, the social values of middle-class reformers, and the handling of youthful offenders before and after the creation of separate juvenile jurisdictions.
In this second, enlarged edition of The Child Savers, the author has added a new introduction and postscript in which he critically reflects upon his original analysis, suggests new ways of thinking about the child-saving movement, and summarizes recent developments in the juvenile justice system.
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