The modern practice of treating youth offenders differently than adult offenders was not always the norm. In fact, prior to the 15th century, there was little understanding about children and childhood, and parents often remained detached from their children for years due to the high mortality rate (Aries, 1962; Bernard & Kurlychek, 2010; Freiburger & Jordan, 2016). However, as the infant mortality rate declined, children were viewed as innocent yet impressionable and corruptible and therefore needed special attention (Empey, Stafford, & Hay, 1999; Freiburger & Jordan, 2016). Prior to formally distinguishing between youths and adults in America, developments began in England with the establishment of poor laws and chancery courts in the 15th century under the doctrine of parens patriae.