New York House of Refuge

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A wood engraving representing the NY House of Refuge in 1855

The New York House of Refuge was the first youth detention center in the United States.[1] The building was located in Manhattan, New York City, at Randalls Island.


The concept of a youth detention center came from Cadwallader Colden, John Griscom, Thomas Eddy, and Stephen Allen with the Society for the Prevention of Pauperism. In 1820 the society surveyed United States prisons and issued a report in 1824. The report called for the creation of a reformatory for juveniles to segregate them from adult prisoners.[1]


  1. ^ a b "New York House of Refuge". New York State Archives. Retrieved 2011-05-05. The New York House of Refuge was the first juvenile reformatory in the nation. ... 

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Coordinates: 40°47′42″N 73°55′23″W / 40.795°N 73.923°W / 40.795; -73.923