Nipping Crime in the Bud : How the Philanthropic Quest Was Put into Law, by Whitten, Muriel
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- ISBN: 9781904380658 | 1904380654
- Cover: Paperback
- Copyright: 1/10/2011
At a time when the problems of youth crime and anti-social behaviour stimulate debate on 'Big Society' solutions, this book provides an exceptional means of tracing a line of response from the end of the eighteenth-century into a twenty-first century context of concern. It does so by exploring the origins and early development of the Philanthropic Society. Founded in London in 1788, amid growing alarm about the failure of existing measures to stem a rising tide of crime and delinquency, this was one of the first charitable institutions designed for nipping crime in the bud through providing education, training and employment to children in its care. Rendering a lively account of the rivalries and tribulations encountered in the quest to reform sometimes rebellious children and transform them into good citizens, this book also contributes to our understanding of the dynamics of voluntarism during a period when the framework of laws and level of State intervention in civil society were very different to those that prevail today. Uniquely, this book traces the emergence of one of the first policy networks involving the Home Office. Drawing upon previously neglected archival sources, it reveals how influential philanthropists and powerful politicians forged a special State and voluntary agency partnership relationship over the 1840s. The book proceeds to detail how the Society's new Reformatory Farm School experiment was then used by government to test the feasibility of introducing major legislation in the next decade. It ends by briefly bringing the Philanthropic story up-to-date. Author Dr. Muriel Whitten has been a Youth and Family Court magistrate and a member of the West Sussex Probation Committee. She has lectured on criminal justice policy and criminology at Goldsmith's and Birkbeck (University of London) and more recently on sentencing theory, policy and practice at the University of Ulster. She has presented on policing issues for Centrex (now the National Police Improvement Agency) and has contributed a weekly column to the Belfast News Letter (est. 1737). She lives in County Antrim.