Child Savers

Child Savers

The child-saving movement emerged in the United States during the nineteenth century and influenced the development of the juvenile justice system. Child-savers stressed the value of redemption and prevention through early identification of deviance and intervention in the form of education and training.

Humanitism and altruism were not the only motivating factors for the child-savers. There is suggestions that an additional and perhaps overriding aim was to expand control over poor and immigrant children.

The Child Savers were 20th Century Progressive era reformers whose intent was to mitigate the roots of child delinquency and change and also to change the treatment of juveniles under the justice system. These women reformers organized in 1909 to stem the tide of 10,000 young offenders who passed annually through the city's court system. The greatest accomplishment of the Child Savers was the creation of the first juvenile court which appeared in Chicago in 1899. This court was founded on two principles both highly advocated by the Child Savers. These two principles were formed on the basis that “juveniles were not ready to be held accountable for their actions” and “that they were not fully developed and could rehabilitate easier than adults”. This issue of juvenile delinquency was a big issue between the 19th and the 20th centuries, therefore the contributions of the Child Savers, both good and bad are evident in their history. Also the establishment of juvenile courts in cities across the United States was one of the earliest social welfare reforms of the progressive Ear, and represented a major change in the way in which the law dealt with wayward children. The essence of the juvenile court idea, and of the juvenile court movement, is the recognition of the obligation of the great mother state to her neglected and erring children, and her obligation to deal with them as children and wards, rather than to class them as criminals and drive them by harsh measures into the ranks of vice and crime.

Read more about Child Savers:  Results of The Child Savers, Positive Outcomes, Negative Effects

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