Definition of reform school in US English:

reform school


  • An institution to which youthful offenders are sent as an alternative to prison.

    • ‘Among other details, she recounts that Douglas spent time in a rural reform school as a youth and his job was to tend the pigs.’
    • ‘Rumor has it that, last year Mike went to a reform school (no one knew where).’
    • ‘James Cagney plays Patsy Gargan, a two-bit racketeer who is awarded a post as deputy commissioner of a boys reform school as a political payoff.’
    • ‘The suspect was recently allowed home for a holiday from a reform school in Mpumalanga, where he was serving a two-year sentence for a brutal murder committed here in 2001.’
    • ‘Grant, 46, grew up in a Bronx housing project and had what he earnestly describes as a ‘less than ideal’ childhood, which included spending time at a reform school.’
    • ‘Asbos may be effective, but where they are not, the kindest thing for the young offender is a well-managed reform school.’
    • ‘This film is filled with rich dialogue, bad, bad girlfriends and an inside look at the politics within a Catholic reform school for wayward girls.’
    • ‘If the girl was deemed promiscuous, became pregnant, or could not keep a job, she could be returned to the reform school.’
    • ‘The riot police were considerably less amused than partygoers would have been at the sight of two punks spoofing the upper class, and the lads ended up at a reform school for juvenile offenders, where Dorian spent six months.’
    • ‘In determining who might be incarcerated or placed in a reform school, ‘illegitimate pregnancy was considered a marker of delinquency, as were interracial liaisons’.’
    • ‘The rest of the cast pretty much flounders, too; the girls at the reform school are too sweet and soft for the kind of sweaty danger that the story needs, and the gals playing the guards are little more than confused extras with dialogue.’
    • ‘Preston School of Industry is an old reform school - for delinquent boys - located close to Spiral's hometown of Stockton.’
    • ‘Ménard was sent to a Montreal reform school and when he reached adulthood he served in the Korean War.’
    • ‘At the time of the attack, the youth was on ‘Christmas break’ from a reform school where he was serving a rehabilitation sentence.’
    • ‘Elizabeth Bentley spent her last years as a near-recluse in rented rooms in Connecticut, teaching in a reform school for girls.’
    • ‘At 15, Hart was sent to reform school for stealing a car.’
    • ‘They also evaluated 97 boys and 22 girls, average age 15, living in a reform school for violent and nonviolent delinquents.’
    • ‘As you might expect from someone who has spent time in an orphanage and a reform school, he has a rather jaundiced view of some professional charity organisers.’
    • ‘I am locked down in a reform school for flipping out at school and for threatening my teacher.’
    • ‘The job is that of a teacher in a reform school for delinquent boys run by the Christian Brothers.’


reform school

/rəˈfôrm ˌsko͞ol/