1890: Reformatory Act

Legislation was created to establish a juvenile reformatory for boys. Similar legislation was not passed for girls, who were not incarcerated at this time in B.C. A reformatory was a lawful place of confinement for boys 16 years and under, sentenced by the court for a term of two years but not exceeding five years, for the purpose of “custody and detention, with a view to their education, industrial training, and moral reclamation.” The legislation also allowed for confinement of dependent and neglected juveniles within the reformatory. Youth as young as 10 were housed in reformatories.

Juveniles were often confined separately within an institution used by adults. The Industrial School for Boys opened at Jericho in Vancouver February 1, 1905 and allowed for indeterminate plans, meaning that boys were committed under guardianship of the institution and remained under supervision until age 21.