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Corrupt, inhumane reform school was SF’s first form of juvenile justice

Originally posted in the San Francisco Chronicle.

The San Francisco Chronicle quotes CJCJ’s Executive Director Daniel Macallair in an article on the tragic history of San Francisco’s juvenile justice system.

From the article:

The San Francisco Industrial School opened in May 1859, to great acclaim and high hopes. In its first year, it took in 60 boys and five girls. As Daniel Macallair notes in The San Francisco Industrial School and the Origins of Juvenile Justice in California: A Glance at the Great Reformation,” only 12 of these children had been accused of crimes, mostly petty larceny. The others were committed on the grounds of leading an idle and dissolute life.”

The Industrial School was designed like a prison. It was a three-story, single-wing building, with every floor holding 16 cells that were 5½ feet by 7½ feet. Each cell had an iron bed that folded against the wall. Toilets at the end of the hall spread an absolutely intolerable” stench through the building.

Read the full article on the San Francisco Chronicle »