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GIRLS, DEFICIENCY AND DELINQUENCY

Pamela Cox

INTRODUCTION

The 1913 Mental Deficiency Act intensified social regulation in England and Wales, widening the existing grounds for state intervention in private life on the basis of mental condition. Observed links between deficiency and crime were used to justify this development. While there are a number of accounts of the legal construction and treatment of the criminally insane, histories of the mental deficiency system have not fully discussed the experiences of those designated ‘defective’ within the penal realm.1 This chapter examines the reconfiguration of the relationship between crime and mental status in the context of the certification of girls within the juvenile justice system.

It was ...

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