More insights on the English Borstal: ‘shaping’ or just ‘shaking’ the young-offender?

Susanna Menis


The borstal project was a system aiming at the arrestment of the youth criminal tendencies. The idea was to expose the youth to values and skills which may have stimulated a responsible and thoughtful way of living. The novelty of the system laid in the rejection of the damaging effects that the prison had on the mind and character of the prisoner. But mainly, the borstal penal policy recognized that the youth would not be detained for ever; thus, great effort was put in cultivating a healthy and positive relationship between the youth and the outside world. How this was done, and to what extent this was successful, are questions that this article has attempted to answer.

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International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory | ISSN : 1916-2782