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JUVENILE DELINQUENCY PREVENTION AND CONTROL

ACT

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1967

D.C.

U.S. SENATE,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT, MANPOWER, AND POVERTY
OF THE COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND PUBLIC WELFARE,

Washington, D.C.

in room The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 10:05 a.m., 4232, New Senate Office Building, Senator Edward M. Kennedy presiding pro tempore. Members present : Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts. Committee staff present: William C. Smith, counsel.

Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. The subcommittee will come to order.

We will now hear a statement from Senator McGovern of South Dakota.

STATEMENT OF HON. GEORGE McGOVERN, A U.S. SENATOR FROM

THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

Senator McGOVERN. I very much appreciate the opportunity to submit my views on the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967.

Let me say at the outset that I hope the Congress will adopt S. 1248 in its entirety, for the full 5 years and with authority for at least $25 million for the first year. Even at that, it would be a minimum program in light of what can be accomplished and in comparison with the urgent need for positive action in all of the areas it would cover.

I also want to strongly urge one addition to the bill--the inclusion of Indian tribes as entities eligible for assistance in establishing broadened community services and facilities for the prevention of delinquency and the rehabilitation of young offenders.

Crime on reservations is an acute problem, running at a rate of 274 per 1,000 Indian population or substantially in excess of the average rate for rural America. The increase in reported crime in fiscal 1967 Was an alarming 9.7 percent. A large proportion of the offenders were juveniles. Significantly, some 36.8 percent of the Federal offenses—the great majority of which were felonies-were committed by juveniles.

The strong general justification for this legislation applies with equal force on Indian reservations, yet Indian tribes in the past have been denied the benefit of Federal funds in numerous programs because of a lack of specific reference in the legislative authority. I hope the bill will be modified to correct this omission.

Our experience with operative Federal programs in the field of juvenile delinquency, as opposed to research, technical aid, and proj

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ects such as vocational training that affect it secondarily, has been relatively brief, dating back only to the Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Offenses Control Act of 1961. Moreover, Federal participation has been quite modest, involving a total expenditure of only $47 million. Clearly it has been a pilot or demonstration effort, not a fullscale attack.

Viewed in those terms, I would not be as timid as some of the Health, Education, and Welfare officials who have evaluated the program. I think we are witnessing a success. Certainly all of the some 200 projects that have been assisted have not had measurable results. Some approaches have failed.

But they have nonetheless all been important, because we need to know which techniques will not work as well as which ones will. Through exploration of a variety of innovative methods of preventing and correcting delinquency we have added a great deal to our knowledge of how positive results can be achieved.

Some of our new wisdom flatly rejects traditional methods of treating juvenile offenders. For example, designation of “delinquents” should be avoided. Exposure to the correctional process can have a lavge negative impact, and can push young people along a path of repeated offenses.

On the other hand, we have learned that every effort should be made to find opportunities for involvement in constructive activities within the community-that isolation into special groups is likely to impede both prevention and rehabilitation. Demonstration projects have shown that the schools, business, job-training systems, wel. fare agencies, and parents, as well as juvenile court officials and police, should be brought into the effort.

It has been found that the best hope for progress exists when young people can be treated where they live instead of in an institution.

This knowledge, in light of existing conditions, exposes corresponding urgent needs for implementation—for new facilities, new training, and new techniques. Many programs should be completely reconstructed.

In 1965, for example, some 100,000 children were incarcerated in adult prisons. Of the 833,507 juveniles taken into custody in that year, only 24,146—or 2.9 percent-were referred to a welfare agency. The primary consequence of delinquent behavior for the rest was one form or another of judicial or police proceeding. We know that, alone, this can cause serious damage. It probably accounts in large measure for the sad truth that, to a greater extent than for any other age group, a youth that is in trouble once will soon be in trouble again.

The Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967 is a wholly appropriate and well-considered response. We have much to do in all of the areas it covers.

Planning incentives for States and communities would begin fulfilling a glaring need for exchanges of experiences and techniques within and among the States, and for a coordinated approach using the best of what has been learned through demonstration projects.

Assistance in the expansion of rehabilitative services is uniquely important. A broadened range of alternatives in treatment to account for differences in types and degrees of delinquent behavior is absolutely necessary to the rehabilitation process. Preventative efforts, to reach troubled youth in advance of the first offense are on the same high level of importance.

Research must also continue to occupy our attention. We are a great distance, indeed, from knowing all there is to know about juvenile delinquency, and as our present body of knowledge is fleshed out we can expect new kinds of problems to develop. In a dynamic field such as this, which is so intimately related to changes in our environment, research is in all probability a permanent requirement.

These efforts must involve all levels of government and private groups as well. State and local agencies, however, are severely restricted by strained tax bases and mounting responsibilities. The statistics on what is being done with juvenile offenders now are unquestionably the most persuasive indication that improvements cannot be made without Federal assistance.

In my State's largest city of Sioux Falls, primarily through the efforts of officials of the juvenile court, positive efforts are being made to improve and expand rehabilitation of young offenders. A bond issue for a juvenile detention center has been approved but, unless financial help can be obtained from other sources, new facilities will fall far short of what is necessary. I am sure that hundreds of other communities across the country are going through the same experience.

S. 1248 would be entirely justified even if we thought of it as no more than a measure to benefit the small minority of our young citizens who

may run afoul of the law. The case becomes even more compelling in view of the stake that all of society has in solving the problem of criminality among young people.

More than 2,780,000 serious crimes were reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1965, an increase of 5 percent over the year before in the number of crimes per 100,000 population and of 6. percent in absolute terms. The cost in lost property was over $3 billion, and the cost in human agony was immeasurable.

People between 15 and 21 years of age, moreover, had the highest incidence of crime of any age group; 15-year-olds commit more serious crimes than people of any other age. In 1965 a majority of all arrests for major crimes involved people under 21 years old.

Even more significantly, it is among young people that the crime rate is growing most rapidly. While the population under 18 years old grew by only 17 percent between 1960 and 1965, the number of arrests in that age bracket went up by 47 percent.

These alarming statistics stand in stark contrast to such reports as a 30 percent drop in youthful arrests in Chicago, and a reduction of nearly half in the number of repeaters, over a 2-year period, through use of broadened and improved methods of dealing with juvenile crime. This instance, and a number of others, indicate that it is possible, through projects such as would be authorized through S. 1248, to bring about dramatic reductions in the crime rate among young people, and to greatly affect the total figure in the process. The

prevention of juvenile offenses can strike at the roots of crime in this country. Through early rehabilitation, when it is still possible, it can reduce offenses among other age groups as well. As declared by the National Crime Commission, “America's best type hope for reducing crime is to reduce juvenile delinquency and youth crime.”

The Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act is clearly not the complete answer, but it is a significant beginning. I urge your favorable action.

(The text of the amendment to be proposed by Senator McGovern appears on p. 311.)

Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. We are always ready to accept the counsel of the Senator from South Dakota.

We have as our next witness Mr. Mark Battle, the Administrator of the Bureau of Work Programs of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Mr. Battle, if you do not mind, we will start in with you and see how far we go. As I mentioned earlier, there will have to be a short recess at around 10:30. Why not see if we can get started ?

STATEMENT OF MARK BATTLE, ADMINISTRATOR, BUREAU OF

WORK PROGRAMS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, WASHINGTON, D.C.; ACCOMPANIED BY DR. CURTIS ALLER, ASSOCIATE MANPOWER ADMINISTRATOR

Mr. BATTLE. Mr. Chairman, I am happy to have this opportunity to appear before you in support of S. 1248, the proposed Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967. Accompanying me today is Dr. Curtis Àller, Associate Manpower Administrator.

Mr. Chairman, would you like me to read my statement, or summarize it briefly?

Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. We will include it in its entirety in the record. You can summarize it, refer to it, or whatever way you would like to proceed.

Mr. BATTLE. Fine.

The Department of Labor strongly supports the enactment of this bill. It has the responsibility for a complex of youth programs. The major objective of these programs is to help young people obtain dignified and permanent employment. But it is those youth with special problems, those who need assistance in preparing for and finding employment, who are the particular focus of the Department of Labor. În my prepared statement there are a number of examples of the kinds of services that are offered by the Department for youth with special problems.

As an example, through the Federal-State employment service system, the Department reaches out to help unemployed youth, evaluates their reasons for unemployment, and refers them to the next appropriate step. Through the Manpower Development and Training Act special youth programs and Neighborhood Youth Corps projects, the Department provides funds for preparation in employment. Through the Manpower Administration's Office of Manpower Policy Evaluation and Research, it provides for research and demonstration activity, attempting to identify the most appropriate ways of dealing with the problems of unemployed youth.

With reference to the concerns of this particular bill, the Department of Labor, through the Neighborhood Youth Corps and the Manpower Development and Training Act programs, has had a body of experience which indicates very clearly that the provision of manpower services is an essential part of preventing delinquency or rehabilitating delinquents themselves. We have a number of examples included in the statement from a variety of communities around the country that are testimonials to the value of these services.

There is the example of Lorton, Va., where a program sponsored by the National Committee for Children and Youth includes intensified counseling, testing, evaluation, and vocational training for inmates aged 17 through 25.

There is the example of the Neighborhood Youth Corps project in Illinois, where a youth with a juvenile record who had dropped out of school was enrolled in a project sponsored by the Farmers Union. In this particular instance, the result of his involvement was that he returned to his school and his grades improved up to an A record. The culmination of this effort included a scholarship to the University of Illinois.

We have dramatic examples of the involvement of young people in connection with recent riot activity. In Tampa, Fla., for example, 51 Neighborhood Youth Corps enrollees and alumni formed a nucleus of 136 youth who volunteered their services for peace patrols. These young people, wearing white helmets for identification, roamed the areas urging people to remain calm and urging them to disperse. To them is attributed a good deal of the responsibility for preventing that incident from becoming much more serious than it was.

What the Department of Labor has offered to young people through these programs is an opportunity for involvement, involvement in the determination of their own futures and their own destinies.

The programs have demonstrated to us and to the young people that, given the opportunity, they can become productive economic units despite their past involvement with delinquent activity. In none of our programs, for example, is delinquency a barrier to participation. While we do not maintain statistics as to how many adjudicated delinquents are participating in the program, the testimony we have received from sponsors around the country, from police officials, from juvenile court justices, is a clear indication that the programs are on target with regard to serving these young people.

With that, by way of a brief introduction, I would simply like to say that the Secretary of Labor expresses strong support for this measure. Dr. Aller and I would be very happy to answer any questions that you may have for us with reference to the bill.

Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Thank you very much, Mr. Battle.

(The prepared statement of Mr. Battle follows:) PREPARED STATEMENT OF MARK BATTLE, ADMINISTRATOR, BUREAU OF WORK

PROGRAMS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Jr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, I am happy to have this opportunity to appear before you in support of S. 1248, the proposed “Juvenile Delinquency Prerention Act of 1967.” Accompanying me today is Dr. Curtis Aller, the Associate Manpower Administrator.

The bill's programs for rehabilitation would be aimed at delinquent youth and preventive services for youth in danger of becoming delinquents. The main thrust of the bill looks toward the providing of those diagnostic and treatment services for youth which would otherwise not be provided and to the providing of local agencies with the means to stimulate communities and other agenices into developing new and more effective programs and services. The Department of Labor strongly supports enactment of this bill.

I plan to spend the remainder of my time describing the ways in which the manpower programs operated through the Department of Labor involve youth who are or may become delinquent.

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