Explore the Ryan Report

1 entry for Mr Thomas Guthrie


The Juvenile Offenders Act, 1847 began the process of treating children who were criminals in a different way from adults. This Act allowed children under 14 (this was raised in 1850 to 16) to be tried in a special juvenile court. However, the problem remained as to where they should be sent, and the solution to this problem became crucial because the practice of deporting juvenile criminals was shortly to come to an end. A committee was set up in the House of Lords to advise on the matter. The Scottish reformer, Dr Thomas Guthrie, who had been advocating establishing boarding schools to educate children before they became criminals, and separate reformatory schools for children who had already committed crimes, helped to convince the committee to legislate for such schools.

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