Many of the youths received confinement for criminal behaviors because there were no other good options. At that time, American cities were focusing on problems related to high children neglect and poverty. This put city leaders at pressure of getting a solution to the emerging issues (Feld & Bishop 2012).
In response to the challenges, pioneering penal reformers John Griscom andThomas Eddy organized the community against Pauperism. This was to prevent the housing of youths in adult jails and prisons. It further agitated for the creation of a new of system. The foundation of the two men led to the establishment of New York House of Refugees in 1825. This was the first institution designed to house the less fortunate, vagrant youth and the destitute. People to be housed in the institution were viewed, by the authorities, to be on the path towards delinquency.
On the likely event, The New York House of Refuge was established as the first Juvenile system. After three since its establishment, similar institutions started operating in Philadelphia and Boston. By 1840s, about 25 such facilities had been constructed throughout the country. Houses of Refuge located in urban centers were designated for delinquent, incorrigible and abandoned youths. The house of refuge accommodated an average number of 200 youths. Some houses like the New York House of Refuge accommodated over 1,000 youths (Carmen & Trulson 2006).
Until the late 19th century, criminal courts have been responsible for trying youths and adults. The 16th century education reform movement in England perceived youth to be totally different from adults. The juvenile system in America was fuelled a movement because youths lacked cognitive capacities and fully developed morals. By the middle of the 19th century, innovations like probations, cottage institutions and out-of-home placement were introduced. The