The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency


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Hailed as a definitive analytical and historical study of the juvenile justice system, this 40th anniversary edition of The Child Savers features a new essay by Anthony M. Platt that highlights recent directions in the field, as well as a critique of his original text. Platt's argues that the "child savers" movement was not altruistic but, instead, a punitive and intrusive attempt to control the lives of working-class urban adolescents. This edition places it in historical context and features an essay by Miroslava Ch???vez ...

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Jul 31, 2009

Were they really Child Savers?

Platt looks at the juvenile reform movement in Cook County Illinois at the turn of the century that resulted in the formation of the first separate juvenile court system. Calling themselves the Child Savers, this group of reformers has often been depicted as having nothing but the welfare of wayward and delinquent children in mind.
Platt portrays the movement for what it really was--not just reform, but a movement started by members of the upper classes to "clean" up the streets that these abandoned children occupied. The main goals of the Child Savers may have been tooted as keeping children safe from the perils of an adult criminal system ill equipped to deal with youths, but the real efforts were hardly so pure.
Platt covers the movement in its entirety, and he does not sugarcoat the facts. Readers are given the information and allowed to come to their own conclusions.
This work should be a mandatory read for anyone interested in delinquency or juvenile justice.

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