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SUMMARY STATEMENT OF FLORENE JONES, DIRECTOR, YWCA, PROJECT MIAMI
The escalation of juvenile delinquency as a major social ill in our increasingly urban nation, coupled with the ineffectual efforts of state and local institutions toward circumvention of the problem, make it imperative that Federal Legislation in the area of Juvenile Delinquency be continued and expanded.
H.R. 7642, cited as "The Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967" is, I believe a monumental step forward in assessing and dealing with Planning, Preventive, and Rehabilitative Services, and for Research and Technical Assistance, which must be carried on as a complement to any comprehensive plan dealing with social reforms.
From our experience of working in a demonstration action program-Project MIAMI,-sponsored by the YWCA of Miami, Florida and funded by the Office of Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Development, we believe that the freedom to be experimental and creative in the selection of strategies which effect change in both the juvenile delinquent and in the agencies which serve him, must continue to be a vital part of this work.
I respectfully urge the Committee's favorable consideration of Bill H.R. 7642.
STATEMENT OF Miss FLORENE JONES, DIRECTOR, YWCA PROJECT MIAMI IN
FAVOR OF BILL H.R. 7642 I am Florene Jones, Director of Project MIAMI, a demonstration-action Project sponsored by the YWCA of Miami, Florida, and funded by the Office of Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Development, which was created by the Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Offenses Control Act of 1961.
Project MIAMI works with 56 multiple-problem, predelinquent teenage Negro girls, in order to bring about a change in their attitudes and motivations, both about themselves and about their roles in the community in which they live.
On an experimental basis, we have been exploring and reporting approaches that work with these girls; using informal, educational techniques, recreational and occupational activities, individual counseling and group approaches, cultural enrichment techniques, and a variety of other methods to help these children derelop a sense of worthwhileness and a kind of hopeful self-direction, 80 that they can better adjust and function usefully within their surroundings, Instead of channleing their energies into self-destructive and anti-social behavior.
Programs of this sort could not have been possible without Federal assistance, as channeled through the Office of Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Development. We are just one of many such projects which are needed if the human potential of a large segment of our society is not to be lost, or to become an ever-increasing burden to our society.
as a person who has worked with this group of hard-to-reach girls, I believe that H.R. 7642, cited as “The Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967," presents the implementation of many of the actions which must be taken if we are to deal effectively with the problems of predelinquent youth, as well as with adjudicated delinquents.
Our work brings us into contact with schools, probation services, juvenile delinquency detention facilities, and the various social agencies which serve the underprivileged, and so we were using the work of the project as a lever to attempt to modifs some of the traditional approaches which have proven to be ineffective in working with this population. For example, my contact with the probation derartment and juvenile detention facilities in the area where I live indicate a dearth of diagnostic and preventive programs, a lack of adequate physical laeilities, of trained personnel (and of training for the personnel which is available. The people involved in these services are often well-meaning, but overbarviened, underpaid, and lacking in the means to develop programs which, hopefuily, might work to reverse or deter the rapid delinquency trend in the area.
The schools, bound by their own traditions and routines, require personnel and efforts from the outside to stimulate an attempt to implement new approaches, to develop further small experimental programs of prevention and **rvices to this group, and to institute changes which they, themselves, recogsize as needed. To ask this system to move on its own behalf to serve the needs of the hard-to-reach, is a little like asking them to lift themselves by their own botstraps.
We have found, however that schools generally are eager to accept help from the outside if it appears to be beneficial to the school program. For example,
Project MIAMI is currently conducting a special class at one of the Junior High Schools in the area for girls who will be 16 years of age by June of 1967. With the cooperation of the school board, girls are enrolled in this class in lieu of one of their elective classes. This class is different from any class currently being conducted in Miami, in that it is strongly oriented towards attitudinal changes in the girls and motivation in managing jobs. As we worked out this program with the school, it was our feeling that most potential drop-outs are unable to maintain jobs, not because of lack of skills, which the employer generally teaches, but because of poor attitudes toward the world of work, lack of knowledge of job expectations, and an undeveloped sense of responsibility towards a job. School officials are observing this class very closely with the agreement that its successful culmination may result in classes of this sort being included in the curriculum of other schools dealing with hard-to-reach children.
The efforts of social agencies are frequently fragmented and lack effective ness in the absence of overall planning to coordinate interagency coordination Unfortunately, these agencies, too, are bound in established systems of work, and while they probably tend to be cooperative when called upou for specifics, it takes forces from the outside, rather than within the agencies, to develop comprehensive programs between agencies. I know we can say this should not be so, but we are talking about realities within the agencies. On the other hand, our experi. ence has been that when the outside push comes, modifications do take place, even though not always easily.
In studying the provisions of Bill H.R. 7642, I find that it includes many provisions which were not in the original bill, but tends to be more expansive, especially in the area of state and local planning, in meeting the cost of construction of unusual and special-purpose of innovative, types of facilities which are deemed necessary to the program of Planning and Preventive and Rehabilita. tive Services, stronger measures that, in my opinion, are sorely needed. I, therefore, urge the support and passage of this Bill.
I particularly hope that funds will be allocated for experimentation and evaluation. The problems involved in delinquency are complex, and there is much that we still do not know about the use of mass education, social agencies and their interaction, and types of personnel and facilities needed in juvenile delinquency in terms of prevention and rehabilitation. In our project, though we had well-educated personnel we had to learn by experience and by experimentation as to the approaches which work with this kind of group.
We know that in developing new drugs or new scientific techniques, sometimes thousands of experiments are carried out over many years, with large expenditure of funds, and are performed without achieving the original goal. Yet the great achievement of our medical science and technology were made possible only through this kind of commitment. Should we, then, do less in an area vital to the moral fibre of our nation and to the mental and emotional health of our youth?
Miss Jones, in your testimony you discussed a project in Miami. We had questions raised yesterday as to whether or not the $17 million that has been spent so far really gave us any concrete information on which to build a continuing program. Obviously, we will want to know specifically what you learned from that program. SUMMARY OF TESTIMONY OF NARCIA D. ALLEN, FIELD SUPERVISOR, ROVING LEADER
PROGRAM, RECREATION DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D.C. We are indeed thankful for this opportunity to relate our views on the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967. The Roving Leader staff gives its total support in favor of this legislation.
Our experiences have made us recognize the importance of well trained men and women in the field of prevention and control of juvenile delinquency.
With the present escalation of juvenile delinquency, increased school drop-onts, unavailable jobs, problems of unwed mothers, and breakdown in parental control there is increased demands for :
1. Properly organized and supervised day care centers.
2. Expanded programs in the field of training for human services, partie ularly non-professionals.
3. More and better trained professional women for services in the area of working with families and pre-adolescent troubled girls.
Yes, we do need the above-mentioned opportunities, but also include:
Youth need the availability of adventure and excitement, and availability of responsible adults, to provide a face-to-face relationship, and communicate their concern and caring, for these youths who present them
selves as hostile and aggressive. Passage of this Bill provides funds that will encourage community-wide agency cooperation in providing improved experimentation in programs in delinquency prevention. Urgently needed research information; opportunity for non-professionals to engage in human services.
We support this Bill. We recommend that an amendment of the Act include adequate provisions for training of personnel.
TESTIMONY OF NARCIA D. ALLEN I am Xarcia Allen, Field Supervisor for the Roving Leader Program of the District of Columbia Recreation Department. I appear before you as a representative of this agency in support of the passage of The Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967. We certainly wish to thank you for inviting us to this hearing. Furthermore we appreciate this opportunity to relate some of the facts concerning the Roving Leader Program.
The Roving Leader Program started in 1956 following a request from the Recreation Group Work Section of United Community Service, the Gang's Committee of the Commissioners' Youth Council, and the Youth Aid Division of the Metropolitan Police Department to assign a worker to a "service team." This Roving Leader service was to provide a face-to-face leadership, separate from the normal playground staff, who in working with children and youth would work toward effecting changes in their attitudes, action, and outlook, and would aid them in finding their fun and satisfaction in community approved programs and activities. Since the assignment of the first worker, the program has developed in scope and size with a current staff of 17, which included a full-time director and 2 field supervisors. (We received 5 additional workers to work in the Cardozo Target Area for a special Summer Jobs Project in May 1963. The 5 workers and an additional woman worker have been continued under a grant from the United Planning Organization. These 6 workers will make the staff 18 in number.)
The Roving Leader Program represents a new idea for the District of Columbia and for Recreation. He does not belong to the D.C. Recreation Department alone, but he must confer with, refer to, and receive referrals from all youth serving agencies—the D.C. Commissioners' Youth Council, Youth Aid Division of the Metropolitan Police Department, Juvenile Court, Public Schools, United States Employment Service, Public Housing, Health Department, Child Welfare Division of Welfare Department, United Planning Organization and the Neighborhood Development Centers, mental clinics, private agencies, civic groups, and interested citizen groups. The Roving Leader will work with two or maybe three groups. His main objectives are as follows: To help the youth make use of community resources that are available (many of the youth do not know what the United States Employment Services provides or how to go about getting health Deeds taken care of); to encourage the drop-outs to return to school and to interrene in their behalf with school authorities; to help develop trust in adults; to belp them understand the consequences of their antisocial acts. We hope to make them feel that they can be part of society and make some contribution to it. The Roring Leader uses group work techniques to help individuals enhance their social functioning through purposeful group experiences and to cope more effectively with their personal group or community problems.
We have found that most of the Roving Leaders' time is spent with groups of boys and some girls with these characteristics: They are aged from 14 to 19 years, and are school drop-outs; most have arrest records; many have been in correctional institutions; they come from broken homes ; some have never known their real fathers; they are unemployed and have no skills that would recommend hem to an employer; and some would like to go to vocational schools but cannot meet such schools' requirements.
The Roving Leaders worked with 66 youth groups which represents 1,660 individuals. During the past fiscal years, services were terminated to an additional nine groups or “gangs" which have made satisfactory adjustments. In addition there were 343 individual referrals. Current analysis of Roving Leader services as of June 30, 1966 follows: Number of groups (average size 15 to 20)
66 Number in groups.
1, 660 Individual referrals received..
343 Age range (median, 13 to 16).
7-22 Broken homes---
528 In school (includes special programs)
583 Conflict with law (police contact)
487 Jobs secured (full and part-time).
212 1 Includes youths referred to training programs and STAY (School to Aid Youth) pro. grams of the D.C. Public Schools.
The Roving Leader service has been actively involved with the Commis. sioners' Human Relation Council in avoiding outbreaks. Through "Operation Communications" we have actively talked with the youth in areas suspected of difficulty and assisted in control of same. An operational code has been innovated for emergencies and leaders remain on duty late hours until tensions are reduced. There were several attempts to organize the gangs of Northwest Washington for anti-social purposes, but “Operation Communication” was successful in curbing this action.
The Roving Leaders continued to meet with civic and parent groups and church teen center councils to aid in the control of group anti-social activities. They also attended hearings conducted by the gang squad of the Youth Aid Division in conflict situations.
The director and several members of the staff have been regular lecturers at the Metropolitan Police Academy's Training Sessions.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAM Roving Leaders continued to work with children in the elementary schools who are delinquency prone. As of June 1966, there were 13 Roving Leaders working with groups of children from 15 elementary schools.
The Roving Leaders' goal has been to establish a warm, friendly, stable relationship with the children, and to help them learn to get along with each other and with adults. The Leaders have engaged the children in a wide variety of activities including swimming, tumbling, low organized games, and reading for fun. They have taken the children on many trips and outings to local parks, beaches, Children's Theatre productions, and many other places.
UPO SUMMER JOB PROJECT
The Roving Leaders referred 1,780 youths into the Summer Job Program. In some instances the Youth Opportunity Center counselors accompanied the Roving Leaders into pool halls, carry-out shops, alleys, laundromats, etc.
The Roving Leaders are providing counseling services for youths who were working. Not only did they provide this service for the youths in their particular groups, but they organized and carried out “on job" counseling sessions for youths in Federal and District agencies on requests. Two-day seminars were requested by the Federal Drug Administration and the Department of Highways and Traffic.
At the conclusion of the Summer Job Program, drop-outs were encouraged to return to school or to participate in the Manpower Development and Training Program.
Three years ago a scholarship program was instituted for youth who de veloped their skills through Roving Leader activities and playground team participation.
Forty-seven boys received scholarship aid through the Roving Leader Program during 1965. This is an increase of fifteen young men over the last year, Two dropped out because of financial difficulties at home and one because of grades. Alumni, defense grants, and work-aid scholarships were the source of financial assistance. The youths were assisted in securing summer employment with the D. C. Recreation Department as Recreation Leaders at playgrounds, day camps, and swimming pools.
Eight groups participated in the Roving Leader Football League which completed its sixth year during the last fiscal year. Sizeable donations of money and equipment were made by business establishments, colleges, and civic groups to service the league. Games were officiated by the Eastern Board of Officials under contract to the D. C. Recreation Department.
A softball league and a summer basketball tournament were conducted by the Roving Leaders. Twenty-eight groups played in leagues conducted at Neighborhood Centers in cooperation with Roving Leaders in baseball and basketball.
Roving Leaders took several groups on sightseeing trips, beaches, parties, straw rides, overnight camping, athletic events, and tours of military establishments.
ORIENTATION AND TRAINING
Major emphasis was continued in provding traning opportunities through grants and scholarships. The opportunities included formal university training as well as institutes, workshops and in-service training. A 14-week course was conducted by the field supervisor-group work instructor of the Roving Leader staff.
A 15-week in-service training program was conducted for new staff members with 20 federal, municipal, and private agency representatives sharing their knowledge and skills. The District of Columbia Roving Leader staff also participated in the orientation and training program conducted by the Baltimore Recreation Bureau for their “Street Club Workers.”
The Roving Leaders during the year 1965–66 were able to obtain a grant from the United Planning Organization to train six Recreation Aides to work with youths 13 and under in the Cardozo Target Area. This was an innovative experience in that the Aides selected were former gang members with whom a Roving Leader had an official contact. The Aide had also demonstrated leadership capabilities in workng with groups. (See description on Roving Leader Recreation Aides, page 6.)
The Aides were given an extensive in-service training for three months conducted by Howard University's Institute for Youth Studies. Each Aide had a Roving Leader for his supervisor who helped him with his personal and group problems. They were placed at various open lots in the Cardozo Target Area where no recreational facilities were available. Experience here demonstrated that such aides can do an outstanding job in that they were able to engage the younger teens into meaningful constructive activity.
RESIDENTIAL CAMPING The Roving Leader Program in cooperation with the 12th Place Block Club, the United Planning Organization, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and Mr. William Smith (a local businessman), conducted a six-week residential camping program on Montross, Virginia, 92 miles from the District of Columbia. The camping program was financed by a $4,500 grant from the Philip M. Stern Family Foundation.
One hundred and sixty-four children and youths enjoyed a summer of fun and adventure. It was ine experience in the world of the outdoors.
NEW FACILITIES AND SERVICES
The expanding staff of the Roving Leaders have been housed in UPO Neighborhood Development Center No. 3 with office and desk facilities being provided for leaders and the field supervisors. A clerical position was funded by the United Planning Organization to assist the operation.
Foreign visitors continued to request field experiences with Roving Leaders. Twenty-six requests were made through the Department of Health, Education,