Page images

about a horrible murder, some other assault, or other tragedy. Eight nurses murdered in their own home and the community says, “Gee, that is too bad," and proceeds to accept this kind of tragedy as the way of life in America.

I, for one, refuse to accept that doctrine. I don't think crime has to be a way of life in this country. I think with the modest start we are making now, we may be able to break this tragic cycle, but it is going to take a lot of help.

Legislation of this type always draws those who do not understand what we are doing. So we are very grateful to you for your contribution. The more information of this kind we get, the more convincing are our efforts and our arguments to get this legislation through the Congress.

Mr. Grant. I appreciate the opportunity to possibly be of some help.

Mr. PUCINSKI. The committee will stand in recess until 9:25 Monday morning.

(Whereupon, at 3:25 p.m., the committee recessed, to reconvene at 9:25 a.m. Monday, May 15, 1967.)


OF 1967

MONDAY, MAY 15, 1967


Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10 a.m., pursuant to recess, in room 2175, Rayburn Building, Hon. Roman Ć. Pucinski, chairman of the subcommittee, presiding.

Present: Representatives Pucinski, Scheuer, Ford, Gibbons, Mink and Scherle.

Present also: Margaret B. Sugg, director, Mattie L. Maynard, clerk and Charles Eischer, staff assistant.

Mr. GIBBONS (presiding). The committee will come to order. We are glad to have with us this morning Congressman Sam Devine of Ohio and we understand he has one of his very fine constituents with him this morning.

Mr. DEVINE. Good morning, Mr. Chairman, my cohort Congressman Wylie from Columbus is also here and we are delighted to present the Honorable Mayor from Columbus, Ohio.

Mayor Jack Sensenbrenner.
Mr. GIBBONS. Come right up, sir. We are happy to have you




Mr. SENSENBRENNER. I would like to tell you gentlemen the reason I got elected was because all the Republicans voted for me, too.

Mr. Chairman and members of this committee, this is very important to me because I have worked with youth all my life. I have been with the Boy Scouts of America over 50 years and the Girl Scouts and Boys Clubs of America.

I am Maynard E. Sensenbrenner, mayor of the All-America City of Columbus, Ohio. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you this morning on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors as well as my own city of Columbus.

I earnestly request that you give every consideration to the passage of this legislation now before your committee and cited as "The Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967.”

I am the mayor of a metropolitan area containing more than 852,411 persons and which is growing at a rate much faster than most of the cities in this country. In the next 10 years we expect to be a city of over 1 million persons.

In a growing area such as ours it is apparent that all efforts should be made to bring about the prevention of those social ills which have obverted and crippled the growth of many of our major metropolitan communities.

I am of the school of thought that believes in the theory of kan ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Therefore I feel confident of the fact that this legislation will provide the means of preventing delinquency, or being a tremendous help.

Further, it will make it possible for the coordination of the law enforcement agencies, the courts, and private and public agencies and institutions in our society to research into the problems of juvenile delinquency and to find the answers necessary to curb the alarming growth of juvenile delinquency in our Nation.

However, of equal importance is some means of preventing a youngster from repeating his delinquent act over and over again.

The need for coordination of efforts by those concerned with jurenile problems cannot be overstated. It would appear to me that research, diagnosis, and treatment are necessary if we are able to make some impact on the causes of juvenile delinquency.

In order to make a constructive impact on the problems of delinquency then, we must deal with those early developmental factors which have left their marks upon the character of the adolescent which makes rehabilitation difficult if not impossible.

This is not in my report, but I would like to say it is time the press, radio, and television started telling the good things our kids of America are doing.

The kids in my high school brought me an award for traffic safety and that got two lines on page 37 in the paper. I was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times back in the twenties and I know if we can start putting on the line the good things the boys and girls are doing, that might be an inspiration for some other little kid and a great strike forward in America.

If the press, radio, and TV will start telling the good things kids are doing, we will make great strides forward.

In our community, as in many others, present physical facilities for the treatment of juvenile delinquency are totally inadequate. Without a doubt in order to overcome this problem there will have to be a great expenditure of moneys on behalf of this problem.

In one instance that I am familiar with, Fairfield School for Boys. there are currently 1,200 youngsters crowded into facilities originally designed for 500. Such overcrowded conditions are repeated over and over again throughout the existing juvenile system.

The hardened, sophisticated youngsters are thrown into daily contact with the innocent, impressionable, mischievous dependent young sters. The possibility for rehabilitation under such circumstances are minimal at best.

What I consider important is the need for services and treatment to the families and parents of the delinquent child while he is in the

institutional setting. Unless some preparation or work is done in this area, the delinquent youngster returns to the source of his trouble more disheartened and frustrated than ever and the stage is set for the repetition of his delinquent activities. There seems to be little question but that the magnitude of the problem is growing by leaps and bounds. Let me illustrate:

According to figures on delinquency in our county from 1959 to 1966, there was an 85 percent increase in referrals from the different subdivisions in the county.

I think the greater part of the crimes consisted of theft and particularly, auto theft, for which juveniles are primarily responsible. This means that youth courts being faced with the problem of having to resolve cases of delinquent boys are placed in quite a dilemma.

I am wholeheartedly in favor of the purpose of this legislation which is to promote the use of community-based services for the prevention of juvenile delinquency and the rehabilitation of delinquent youth.

If this legislation is passed, I am quite confident that the funds which would be available will assist in the development of programs in the metropolitan areas which would definitely aid in the prevention of juvenile delinquency.

Certainly one of the major problems in carrying out a program which would advance the purpose of this legis)ation is the lack of funds. If funds were made available I could assure you, gentlemen, that a program could be immediately set up in my city and in my county to coordinate the activities of existing agencies which could bring about the coordinated effort on the problems of juvenile delinquency, and to promote the spirit and fact of this proposed legislation.

In Columbus we have a citizens' advisory committee under whose authority a subcommittee with a paid staff could begin immediately to work in the development of such a program. Currently on the drawing boards in Columbus we have a program which I think has considerable merit but due to the lack of funds we are unable to initiate it.

This program in effect, calls for a team of professional workers detached from established social agencies who would be available to the police department to assist in nonpolice matters which are primarily social in nature.

The availability of such a staff would provide greater use of existing law enforcement officers in fighting crime. Such a proposal would free its officers currently tied up in unrelated, nonpolice matters causing them to work more diligently in their primary area-fighting crime.

It seems logical to me that such a team of detached workers might well be placed within the physical setting of ECCO. ECCO is a self-help organization. It receives only community assistance, no Federal or State funds. The self-help concept of ECCO developed with professional availability provides two-way communication between the police officers and the residents of the area.

ECCO with its direct contact with people of the area could provide the means of bringing in professional help to the families most in


need of services. ECCO currently has a good working relationship with our police department.

Such relationship could be improved through a program geared toward prevention of juvenile delinquency. Therefore, the need to stimulate the various agencies and institutions in our society which are in contact with and serving our youth is imperative. If the treatment and rehabilitation of delinquent youth is to be effective, then it seems to me that it must have a coordinated effort on the part of all segments of our society.

We must encourage new designs and new methods of operating full-time or part-time, community-based, and residential facilities for youths requiring residence care, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.

These things must be done and they will be done if we have the money in the local area. We feel that the initiative for programs should come from the local communities, but since the money is not presently available it is an absolute necessity that the Federal Government assist us in these programs which we will carry out, but the Federal Government should not take over a program like this.

This should be done by the communities of our great Nation and when you get it tied up in so many Government things it is absolutely not good. The cities are perfectly capable of handling these things with the help of the Government. We have enough roadblocks. I don't need any more committees to examine all the other committees. We have committees set up to do this planning and they have been doing a great job.

With this legislation before you, you are in an excellent position to assist the local communities in their drive to prevent delinquency and crime before it becomes attractive to our youth.

If this legislation is passed I am quite sure that it will be a step further in the efforts being made to eliminate one of our most serious national problems—and that is the spread of juvenile delinquency.

I wish to thank you for your kind attention and for the considerstion that you have given to my remarks, and I again would like to express my appreciation for the opportunity to appear before you.

Let me say in closing, I have worked with youth my entire life I am 64 years of age. The only answer to juvenile delinquency is better American homes. I have been in working with Girl Scouts boys clubs, and other clubs and I think we need a school to train parents to make better homes.

You people are to be congratulated for proposing this great bil that is going to help save America but most important help save the youth of America.

Thank you.

Mr. GIBBONS. We appreciate your coming and the spirit in which your testimony is given.

Last year before this same committee we had a number of witnesses who talked about the possibility of detecting incipient delinquency problems at a very early age through the use of the school teacher and. through the mechanism of observing children in preschool areas and early grades of schools at that time, it was brought out it was possible to detect these social failures at a very early age.

« PreviousContinue »