Between Great Expectations and Hard Times: The First Decade of the Geneva Children’s Penal Court, 1914–1925

  • Joëlle Droux
  • Mariama Kaba
Part of the World Histories of Crime, Culture and Violence book series (WHCCV)


This chapter looks at the Geneva (Switzerland) juvenile court in its first decade (1914–1925). The 1913 Act that established this court arose from ambiguous, apparently contradictory, ambitions: removing minors from the ambit of the criminal law, re-educating them, and repressing delinquency. The practice of the court shows—among other things—that the concern for re-education and other pragmatic factors were present in daily decisions. The introduction of ‘persistent misconduct’ as a basis for intervention that aimed to prevent future delinquency led to the imposition of important measures that can be viewed both from a welfare and from a repressive standpoint. The proactive role of some parents suggests that families were not mere subjects of repression but could take an active part in procedures.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute for the History of Medicine and Public Health‚ CHUV-University of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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