Borstal

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For other uses, see Borstal (disambiguation).

In the United Kingdom, a Borstal was a juvenile detention centre, prison or reformatory, an institution of the criminal justice system, intended to reform delinquent youths aged between about 16 and 21.

The Gladstone Committee (1895) proposed the concept, wishing to separate youths from older men in adult prisons. It was the task of Sir Evelyn Ruggles-Brise (1857-1935), a prison commissioner, to introduce the system and the first institution was established at Borstal Prison in Borstal, near Rochester in north Kent in 1902.

The regime in these institutions was highly regulated, with a focus on education, routine, discipline and authority. Breaking the rules could result in physical punishment.

The Criminal Justice Act 1982 abolished the borstal system, introducing youth custody centres instead.

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