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The state authorized a House of Refuge for Juvenile Delinquents
in 1857 at Waukesha; its name was changed in 1859 to the State Reform School. The school opened its doors in 1860 to boys under 18 and girls under 17 who had been convicted of criminal offenses and vagrancy. After 1870, the school accepted only boys and accordingly changed its name to the Industrial School for Boys in 1871. In 1945 the institution was renamed the Wisconsin School for Boys.