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A reformatory is a youth detention center, or an adult correctional facility. The term is still in popular use[citation needed] for adult facilities throughout the United States, although most reformatories have been renamed correctional centers (or similar) in recent years. The term reformatory (or reformatory school) was also commonly used during the 19th century throughout the United Kingdom in reference to penal facilities for children under the age of 14.[1] [2]

Reformatories in Ontario, Canada[edit]

The Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women in Toronto in 1895

Until 1972, the term reformatory referred to an Ontario provincial prison for either juveniles (16 and 17 years of age) or adults (18 years of age or older). Very often, one reformatory facility would house both. Offenders under the age of 16 were held in Training Schools. After 1972, when Ontario's Department of Correctional Services (having been renamed in 1968 from the Department of Reform Institutions) became the Ministry of Correctional Services, these facilities were officially redesignated as correctional centres.


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