© 2018

Youth and Justice in Western States, 1815-1950

From Punishment to Welfare

  • Jean Trépanier
  • Xavier Rousseaux

Part of the World Histories of Crime, Culture and Violence book series (WHCCV)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Jean Trépanier, Xavier Rousseaux
    Pages 1-13
  3. An International Overview

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
  4. Nineteenth Century Responses to Juvenile Delinquency: Punishment, Reform and Child Protection

  5. A New Institution in the Welfare Era: Juvenile Court Policies and Practices

  6. Children and Families Before the Juvenile Court

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 419-433

About this book


This book explores the treatment of junevile offenders in modern Western history. The last few decades have witnessed major debates over youth justice policies. Juvenile and youth justice legislation has been reviewed in a number of countries. Despite the fact that new perspectives, such as restorative justice, have emerged, the debates have largely focused on issues that bring us back to the inception of juvenile justice: namely whether youth justice ought to be more akin to punitive adult criminal justice, or more sensitive to the welfare of youths. This issue has been at the core of policy choices that have given juvenile justice its orientations since the beginning of the twentieth century. It also gave shape to the evolution that paved the way for the creation of juvenile courts in the nineteenth century. Understanding those early debates is essential if we are to understand current debates, and place them into perspective.

Based on primary archival research, this comprehensive study begins by presenting the roots, birth and evolution of juvenile justice, from the nineteenth century up to the beginning of the twenty-first. The second part deals with nineteenth century responses to juvenile delinquency in England and Canada, while the third focuses on the welfare orientation that characterized juvenile courts in the first half of the twentieth century in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Finally, the fourth part focuses on the perspective of the youths and their families in Belgium, France and Canada.


juvenile justice legislation restorative justice criminal justice juvenile courts

Editors and affiliations

  • Jean Trépanier
    • 1
  • Xavier Rousseaux
    • 2
  1. 1.University of MontrealMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Université catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

About the editors

Jean Trépanier is Professor Emeritus in the School of Criminology at the Université de Montréal, Canada. Having previously studied law and criminology at the London School of Economics, UK, and worked in the civil service, including as a juvenile probation officer, he has a strong background in youth justice from both an historical and a contemporary perspective.

Xavier Rousseaux is Research Director at the Belgian Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique, Belgium, and Professor at the Université catholique de Louvain. Working on the history of crime and justice, he is member of the board of Crime, History & Societies, and co-edited Modernisation of the Criminal Justice Chain and the Judicial System (Springer, 2016) and Policing New Risks in Modern European History (Palgrave, 2016).

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Youth and Justice in Western States, 1815-1950
  • Book Subtitle From Punishment to Welfare
  • Editors Jean Trépanier
    Xavier Rousseaux
  • Series Title World Histories of Crime, Culture and Violence
  • Series Abbreviated Title World Histories of Crime, Culture and Violence
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-66244-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-88205-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-66245-9
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVII, 433
  • Number of Illustrations 14 b/w illustrations, 2 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Modern History
    Social History
    World History, Global and Transnational History
    Legal History
    Crime and Society
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