Colonial Puritan Philosophy Regarding Juvenile Behavior Essays

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Colonial Puritan philosophy regarding juvenile behavior was enacted into law, in 1646 Massachusetts passed the Stubborn Child Law, which created the first status offense which was an act considered illegal for minors only. Also, according to the common law, a youth under the age of 14 may or could be adjudged incapable of discerning right from wrong this appeared to the court and jury that he could discern between good and evil. These trials and punishments were based on age and any one older than 7 was subject to the courts, in these jails were the only form of incarceration which was primarily used for detention pending trial. Puritans imposed the law that the child was evil and the family needed to discipline. Those who did not obey their parents were dealt with by the law. Also, during this period the social control which was exerted by the family weakened, children in the workforce had to obey their bosses’ demands, which in turn often conflicted with their parents demands. In addition to this poverty was ever increasing for many families. However, during this time period there were many things done to counteract the continued breakdown of these traditional forms of social control, within these communities created institutions for children in which they could learn good work and study habits, to help them better live in a disciplined and healthy environment to develop character. There were 5 distinct institutions that were evolved to handle the poor, abused, neglected,…

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