Incarceration After WWII

David Caley argues that the experience of witnessing totalitarian states using their imprisonment strategies to control – and kill - their population gave rise to criticisms of the criminal justice system in the western world. In the United States, harsh imprisonment techniques came under attack from critiques, particularly as they were applied to juvenile offenders.

Albert Deutsch was a journalist and author who wrote about the state of mental hospitals in America, discussed further in the Treating trace. His book "The Mentally Ill in America" was published already in 1937. In 1948, he wrote "The Shame of the States" which was a sharp critique of state mental institutions. However, it was his book "Our Rejected Children", published in 1950, which qualified him to testify before the Senate Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency in the United States in 1953. In his testimony, he criticized the methods of punishment in correctional facilities. In his testimony, he said “I am more convinced now than I was 5 years ago that under such conditions these institutions cannot be reformed, they can only further deform the children that come within their precincts.”

Deutsch stressed that a democratic society should seek the resocialization of its prisoners: "You do not [...] get lads to adjust to a free democratic community by keeping them locked up day in and day out, night in and night out,” he told the Subcommittee and argued for prison reform.


Our Rejected Children

Our Rejected Children