Criminalizing children : a history of welfare and the state in Australia

McCallum, David, author
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  • Creator David McCallum, Victoria University, Melbourne
  • Format Books
  • Publication Cambridge, United Kingdom : Cambridge University Press, 2017.
  • Series
  • Physical Details
    • vii, 305 pages ; 24 cm
  • ISBNs 9781845656676, 1845656679
  • OCLC ocn982092068


  • Incarceration of children is rising rapidly throughout of Australia, with indigenous children most at risk of imprisonment. Indigenous and non-indigenous children have been subject to detention in both welfare and justice systems in Australian states and territories since colonization. McCallum traces the history of 'problem children' over several decades, demonstrating that the categories of neglected and offending children are both linked to similar kinds of governing. Institutions and encampments have historically played a significant role in contributing to the social problems of today. This book also takes a theoretical perspective, tracking parallel developments within the human sciences of childhood and theories of race.


  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 275-292) and index.


  • Child welfare and the Australian state: an introduction -- Knowing the 'neglected' aboriginal child -- Neglected and criminal children -- Science, race and separations -- Unstable categories: children in welfare and justice in the early twentieth century -- The mission station as a correctional institution -- From mental defectives to the psychology of the family -- The discovery of the aboriginal child -- Government and family