of the reforms achieved at the close of the 19th century
served New York City well into the next century. Protections
against child neglect and legal measures that allowed
the state to intercede on behalf of children were
ahead of their time. As immigration into the United
States slowed after 1920, with the federal passage
of the National Origins Quota Act, the problem of
unruly "un-Americanized" youth seemed to
of course, other diversions; world wars and worldwide
depression made juvenile detention a secondary consideration.
As a result, the basic principles of juvenile detention
established in the prior century were broadened. Increasingly,
children's rights were protected as the state asserted
its authority to intervene on their behalf.
20th century began, state statutes strengthened earlier
laws; children's courts were legally fortified, segregation
of children's cases and records were mandated statewide,
and conviction of juveniles was limited to misdemeanors,
except in the case of capital crimes.
the most significant developments in the way juvenile
justice was administered stemmed from a pair of changes
in the late 1920s. The Children's Court Act of New
York City established a new tribunal for children
and altered the substantive laws governing youthful
behavior. The Act took the significant step of merging
the categories of criminal activity, disorderly conduct,
truancy and desertion, under the umbrella of juvenile
delinquency. Three years later, in 1927, the State
Court of Appeals applied the standards used in criminal
procedurings to delinquency cases.
in conception were accompanied by an expansion of
the physical space of detention. In 1928, the Lavenburg
Foundation opened the Hanavah Lavenburg Home for Working
Girls at 331 East 12th Street.