As an extension of the ideals that motivated the reform of penal system in New York City, juvenile reform also became a pressing matter of the early 19th century. This collection of essays will briefly summarize the history and background of the House of Refuge, its procedures and organization, physical punishment within its facilities, and the factor of ethnicity and its connection to the institute.
My research begins with the history of reformatories in New York City, namely the House of Refuge; the main focus of this essay will be describing the background of the House of Refuge, including its creators, justification, and basic design.
Moving along, I then deal with the actual organization of the House of Refuge, such as the basic activities and schedule of the House of Refuge. Essentially this section describes a day in the life of a typical juvenile in a House of Refuge, as well as what followed after the House of Refuge.
With the basics understood, my final research deals with the more questionable topics of punishment and ethnicity in the context of the reformatory. These essays detail the most common types of punishment in the House of Refuge and the discrepancy between the official doctrine of punishment and actual punishment inside the institution, as well as the role of ethnicity in the profile of the average reformatory inmate. The focus here will be the statistics of the most common inmates of the House of Refuge and how these statistics reinforced preconceived notions of the habits of certain races.