AskDefine | Define reformatory

Dictionary Definition

reformatory adj : tending to reform; "reformative and rehabilitative agencies"; "reformatory punishment" [syn: reformative] n : correctional institution for the detention and discipline and training of young or first offenders [syn: reform school, training school]

User Contributed Dictionary



Extensive Definition

A reformatory is a juvenile prison where legal minors are sent by (juvenile or general) courts to spend a custodial sentence, separate from the bad example of and abuse by adult (often hardened) convicts, usually gender-separated (mainly boys).
It is generally designed not just as a punishment but as a means for (re)education, to reform (hence the name) their hopefully still mendable character, through a combination of strict discipline (symbolic for its harsh reputation is the term reformatory cane) and schooling (hence many are officially called reformatory school or simply school) and/or labor.
The reality has all too often tended rather to penal harm and/or exploitation. Alternative forms of juvenile reeducation have therefore been devised, such as community services, in some cases with better results.
A well-known example is the British borstal.

Reformatories in Ontario, Canada

Until 1972, the term reformatory referred to an Ontario provincial prison for both juveniles and adults. 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, these facilities were officially redesignated as 'correctional centres'.
Examples: Ontario Reformatory-Guleph became Guelph Correctional Centre Ontario Reformatory-Mimico became Mimico Correctional Centre

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

POW camp, bastille, black hole, borstal, borstal institution, borstal school, bridewell, brig, can, cell, concentration camp, condemned cell, cooler, death cell, death house, death row, detention camp, federal prison, forced-labor camp, gaol, guardhouse, house of correction, house of detention, industrial school, internment camp, jail, jailhouse, keep, labor camp, lockup, maximum-security prison, minimum-security prison, oubliette, pen, penal colony, penal institution, penal settlement, penitentiary, pokey, prison, prison camp, prisonhouse, reform school, remand school, sponging house, state prison, stir, stockade, the hole, tollbooth, training school
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