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Wild Arabs and savagesA history of juvenile justice in Ireland$
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Paul Sargent

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719089169

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719089169.001.0001

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How the system became visible

How the system became visible

3 (p.50) How the system became visible
Wild Arabs and savages

Paul Sargent

Manchester University Press

Chapter 3 explains how the juvenile justice system became visible in Ireland. It highlights how the ‘problem’ of the juvenile delinquent emerged in the mid-nineteenth century. Both the problem of delinquency and its government are framed within various official reports by means of statistics. In addition, a new system of governing the delinquent population emerged in the form of the reformatory and later the industrial school and these regulatory sites supplemented existing sites such as the workhouse and the prison. From a governmentality perspective, the growth in bio-political knowledge surrounding the child results in the greater classification of delinquency and also results in a more refined calibration of the system itself. Although legislation providing for the borstal system and probation were later enacted, these initiatives never challenged the dominance of the reformatory and industrial school system and it was to be the early 1970s before this model began to be replaced. Around this time we see the emergence of a range of regulatory sites located within the ‘community’. The juvenile justice system has since become less visible but more pervasive within a myriad of governmental spaces within the community.

Keywords:   visibility, statistics, bio-politics, population, classification, regulation, juvenile delinquent, prison, reformatory, community

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