Wild Arabs and savages

A history of juvenile justice in Ireland

By Paul Sargent

Wild Arabs and savages


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0725-1
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £29.99
  • Published Date: September 2016
  • BIC Category: Sociology, Juvenile Criminal Law, European history, Criminal justice law, LAW / Criminal Law / Juvenile Offenders, Society & social sciences / Sociology, HISTORY / Europe / Ireland, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Penology, Ireland, Criminal Justice Law, Sociology, Penology & punishment, Juvenile criminal law, Ireland


This book is the first history of the Irish juvenile justice system. It charts the emergence of the system from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. From the beginning, the system was dominated by a large network of reformatory and industrial schools which incarcerated tens of thousands of children and remained in existence into the late twentieth century. This dominance was eventually challenged by emerging discourses which emanated from the psychological sciences, social work, youth work and the children's rights movement.

The book draws from a wide range of official and unofficial sources in exploring the key rationalities underpinning the system. In adopting a governmentality approach, it also examines the technologies and forms of childhood identity that are employed to govern the child and young person within the context of the Irish juvenile justice system. This unique and original approach will appeal to legal scholars, criminologists and those with an interest in juvenile justice, history and social policy.


1. Introduction
2. From penitentiary to community
3. How the system became visible
4. Rationalities underpinning the system
5. The technologies employed to govern
6. The forms of childhood identity employed to govern
7. Conclusion


Paul Sargent is Research Associate at the School of Social Work and Social Policy, University of Dublin, Trinity College

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