Reformation or Retribution: Daily Life and the Landscape of Two Maryland Industrial Schools for Girls, 1916-1989


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Historical Studies

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The scholarship on American industrial schools can be clearly characterized by a large gap in knowledge, especially in the state of Maryland. This research focuses on two major industrial schools in and around the Baltimore, Maryland landscape: the Maryland Industrial School for Girls and the Maryland Industrial School for Colored Girls. Known over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with many different names and locations, these schools showed the wide range of ways the state of Maryland delivered rehabilitation to young, disadvantaged children. This research looks specifically at how state authority ran institutions for "delinquents” were handled, as well as how their treatment of children, architecture, and more were influenced by an incredibly racialized ideology. The conclusions from this research reinforces that the Black girls at the Maryland Industrial School for Colored Girls were continuously treated as prisoners who were forced by juvenile courts to be rehabilitated in this institution, while white girls at the Maryland Industrial School for Girls were also treated as prisoners, but could reintegrate into society after successful reformation.