About reform schools for troubled teens

Updated March 23, 2017

Has your teenager been acting out? If you feel powerless in the face of your child's destructive behaviour, it may be time to enlist professional help by enrolling him in a reform school for teens.

Reform School Candidates

Teens sent to reform school tend to have a history of very poor academic performance, substance abuse, violence or breaking the law. Parents often decide on reform school after unsuccessful attempts at treatment and intervention.


Reform schools offer programs that combine academics and therapy in a way that teaches teens about accountability, the consequences of their behaviour and making responsible choices. To keep students out of trouble, the curriculum typically includes mandatory extra-curricular activities and counselling.


More often than not, troubled teens fail to improve their behaviour on their own. In an effort to maximise supervision and guidance, reform schools have higher teacher/student ratios than other educational institutions.


Reform school places teenagers in a new environment that they are not used to manipulating. As a result, teens tend to adjust and begin recovery faster if they attend a reform school located in a place far away and different from their home.


The first reform institutions for young adults in the U.S. were created in the mid 19th century. These segregated reformatories taught girls to embrace domestic life and monogamy and provided boys with vocational skills.

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About the Author

Aksana Nikolai is a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in language studies and international affairs. Nikolai is currently working in online marketing and communications. She has been writing since 2008, specializing in made-for-Web content and maintaining her fashion and beauty blog.