These are covered now by the Children’s Act of 1908, which provides that offenders between the ages of twelve and sixteen may be sent to reformatory schools instead of to prison. Children under twelve can be sent to a certified industrial school.
Children found begging, under the care of a drunkard or a known criminal, frequenting the company of criminals, destitute or without home or protector, may be apprehended by anyone and brought before a Petty Sessional Court, where the child may be sent to an industrial school or to one of the well-known children’s homes.
Special accommodation, other than prisons, must be provided in every district for the reception of juveniles, the expenses being met by the local police fund.
When a child is charged before the magistrates, the attendance of the parents in the court is essential.
The death sentence on children and young pleaders has been abolished, but they may be detained at the discretion of the court.