In 1856 a Select Committee of Inquiry upon Penal Discipline was established and reported to Parliament in 1857. This group influenced the development of Victoria's first piece of child welfare legislation, the Neglected and Criminal Children's Act 1864. Donella Jaggs writes that the 1857 Select Committee of Inquiry upon Penal Discipline 'for the first time provided reliable information about the motley collection of children who passed through Victoria's prisons'. It heard evidence that homeless, destitute children were being housed in prisons. Other children came into prisons when their mother was charged under the Vagrancy Act.
Sources used to compile this entry: Jaggs, Donella, Neglected and criminal: foundations of child welfare legislation in Victoria, Centre for Youth and Community Studies, Phillip Institute of Technology, Melbourne, 1986.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 24 September 2009, Last modified: 20 December 2013