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Stacey

Griffiths

United Kingdom

More about Stacey

Thesis Title: Rural reformatories in the mid-Victorian era: an investigation of the spatially informed practices of these institutions and an evaluation of their function in the reformation of juvenile delinquents.

Stacey is a PhD student in the School of Arts and Humanities. Stacey's research project focuses upon the origins and spatial practices of juvenile reformatory schools which became a key feature of English society during the mid-Victorian period (1840-1880s). They were the institutional response to the anxiety within Victorian society regarding the delinquent activities of working class youth and the role this appeared to play in generating crime and social disorder.

The mid-Victorian expansion of reformatory schools, facilitated by legislation such as the 1854 Youthful Offenders Act, were the product of intense investigation and debate regarding the causes and cures of the delinquent malaise. In both aspects of this discussion the power of environmental and spatial factors was increasingly salient; in one particularly influential discourse the adverse influence of the urban environment as a cause of crime and delinquency being countered by the supposed salving power of the rural environment. This environmental discourse and its implications for spatial practice form a central part of this research project.

This research project builds upon work begun on my master's dissertation. It examines the notion of the Victorian rural idyll and the social climate behind its promotion as the solution to the problem of juvenile delinquency. The project then critically examines the management practices of three juvenile reformatories that were inspired and informed by the ideal of the rural as a model for their reformative programmes.

This involves close scrutiny and evaluation of how the internal and external spaces at the disposal of these regimes were managed and manipulated in order to educate, train and morally regenerate their juvenile inmates. In all cases the focus is on the foundation and management of The Yorkshire Catholic Reform School, Market Weighton; Mount Saint Bernard's Reformatory, Whitwick and The Philanthropic Society Farm School, Red Hill, rural-based reformatories that provide a good geographical spread, being located in the north of England, the Midlands and the south of England.

Director of Studies

Dr Gary Moses

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