Boys Behind Iron Bars, 15 August 1954, courtesy of National Library of Australia.
Term commonly found on child welfare records
Delinquent was a term used to describe a child or young person whose behaviour was likely to lead them to be convicted of an offence. The term delinquent starts to appear in Western Australia in Annual Reports of the State Children Department from the mid-1920s, in reference to children who had been detained under the State Children Act 1907.
The following is representative of the views in the mid 1920's:
'The release of boys on probation by the Children's Court and also the release on parole from the Industrial School, besides giving delinquents an opportunity of making good, tends toward lessening the number of adult criminals, for if the child can be satisfactorily dealt with the adult must necessarily be a respectable law-abiding citizen. Annual Report of the State Children Department for the Year Ended 30th June, 1926'.