Reformatory is a term that has had varied meanings within the penal system, depending on the jurisdiction and the era. It may refer to a youth detention center
Youth detention center
A youth detention center, also known as a juvenile detention center , juvenile hall or, more colloquially as juvie, is a secure residential facility for young people, often termed juvenile delinquents, awaiting court hearings and/or placement in long-term care facilities and programs...

, or an adult correctional facility
In criminal justice, particularly in North America, correction, corrections, and correctional, are umbrella terms describing a variety of functions typically carried out by government agencies and involving the punishment, treatment, and supervision of persons who have been convicted of crimes....

. The term is still in popular use for adult facilities throughout the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, although most reformatories have been renamed correctional centers (or similar) in recent years. The term reformatory (or reformatory school) was also commonly used during the 19th century throughout the United Kingdom in reference to penal facilities for children under the age of 14.

Reformatories in Ontario, Canada

Until 1972, the term reformatory referred to an Ontario provincial prison
A prison is a place in which people are physically confined and, usually, deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime...

 for either juveniles (16 and 17 years of age) or adults (18 years of age or older). Very often, one reformatory facility would house both. Offenders under the age of 16 were held in Training Schools. After 1972, when Ontario's Department of Correctional Services (having been renamed in 1968 from the Department of Reform Institutions) became the Ministry of Correctional Services
Ministry of Correctional Services (Ontario)
The Ministry of Correctional Services is a former cabinet department in the Canadian province of Ontario. It was eliminated in 2002, and its responsibilities were shifted to the newly-created Ministry of Public Safety and Security...

, these facilities were officially redesignated as correctional centres.

  • Ontario Reformatory-Guelph became Guelph Correctional Centre
  • Ontario Reformatory-Mimico became Mimico Correctional Centre
    Mimico Correctional Centre
    The Mimico Correctional Centre is a provincial medium-security correctional facility for adult male inmates serving a sentence of 2-years-less-a-day or less in Ontario, Canada. Its history can be traced back to 1887...

  • Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women
    Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women
    The Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women was the first women's prison in Canada. At various times, the facility was also known as the Mercer Complex, Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Females, and Andrew Mercer Ontario Reformatory for Females...

     was, for a time, renamed The Mercer Complex

See also

  • Ohio State Reformatory
    Ohio State Reformatory
    The Ohio State Reformatory , also known as the Mansfield Reformatory, is a historic prison located in Mansfield, Ohio in the United States. It was built between 1886 and 1910 and remained in operation until a 1990 federal court ruling ordered the facility to be closed...

  • Ohio Reformatory for Women
    Ohio Reformatory for Women
    The Ohio Reformatory for Women is a state prison owned and operated by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in Marysville, Ohio. It opened in September 1916, when 34 female inmates were transferred from the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus. ORW is a multi-security, state facility...

  • Oklahoma State Reformatory
    Oklahoma State Reformatory
    The Oklahoma State Reformatory is a medium-security facility with some maximum and minimum-security housing for adult male inmates. Located off of U.S. Highway 9 in Granite, Oklahoma, the facility has a maximum capacity of 999 inmates. The medium-security area accommodates 799 prisoners,...

  • Kentucky State Reformatory
    Kentucky State Reformatory
    Kentucky State Reformatory is a medium-security prison for adult males. The prison is located in unincorporated Oldham County, Kentucky, near La Grange, and about northeast of Louisville. It was established in 1936 to replace the Kentucky State Reformatory located in Frankfort after a flood...

  • Lorton Reformatory
    Lorton Reformatory
    The Lorton Reformatory was a prison built for the District of Columbia, United States. It was operated by the District of Columbia Department of Corrections.-History:...

  • Reform school
    Reform school
    A reform school in the United States was a term used to define, often somewhat euphemistically, what was often essentially a penal institution for boys, generally teenagers.-History:...

  • Borstal
    A borstal was a type of youth prison in the United Kingdom, run by the Prison Service and intended to reform seriously delinquent young people. The word is sometimes used loosely to apply to other kinds of youth institution or reformatory, such as Approved Schools and Detention Centres. The court...

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