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The Department of Labor has responsibility for a complex of youth programs, the major objective of which is to help young people obtain dignified, permanent employment.
As the major federal agency charged with the task of proper development and utilization of the nation's manpower resources, the Department is concerned with the employment situation of all youths. But it is the youth with special problems-those who need assistance in preparing for and finding employment-who are the particular focus of the Labor Department's youth programs. Because a person's employment status determines in large part how he regards himself and how he views his role in society, productively employed persons are more likely to be law-abiding citizens.
The youth programs of the Department of Labor provide three kinds of manpower services:
1. Through the Federal-State employment service system the Department reaches out to unemployed youth; evaluates the reasons for unemployment, counsels the youths and refers them to the appropriate next step.
2. Through the Manpower Development and Training Act Special Youth Programs and Neighborhood Youth Corps projects the Department provides worktraining and skill-training experiences that prepare for competitive jobs youth whose backgrounds diminish their employment prospects.
3. Through the Manpower Administration the Department sets up research and demonstration efforts. The findings from many of these projects increase the general body of knowledge about youth employment problems, solutions and prospects.
The newest youth programs for which the Department of Labor is responsible are responses to the crying needs of youth in our contemporary society and grow out of the findings of the experimental juvenile delinquency projects. The Neighborhood Youth Corps, for instance, draws heavily on experiments that demonstrated that certain young people learn more quickly, are better motivated and see themselves as a part of—rather than aloof from-society through direct experience rather than through words. In fact, this program has demonstrated that youths find meaning in traditional education settings through involvement in work-training.
In your letter to the Secretary of Labor you requested information on the various youth programs of the United States Department of Labor and that information has been furnished to you. I cannot provide any overall statistics on how many juvenile delinquents have been reached through our programs. Except for the research and demonstration projects that focus on delinquency, the United States Department of Labor youth programs do not keep track of the number of juvenile offenders enrolled. In the Neighborhood Youth Corps, for instance, we encourage sponsors to recruit from the most disadvantaged group of lowincome youth eligible for participation which include those with juvenile offenses.
It is obvious that before you can provide any service you have to reach the person needing help. In 1965 the United States Department of Labor became aware that some of the youths most in need of help were not getting that help. To provide that help the Employment Service established special Youth Opportunity Centers in areas where they were needed. These centers exist not only to provide help to youth who come to the door but are aimed to reach out to those, who for a variety of reasons, do not seek-but nevertheless need-assistance. In areas where such centers are not operating special youth units have been established in regular employment service offices.
These centers and units generally are staffed by persons specially trained in the needs of youth and have the responsibility to provide such services as testing, counseling, job development, placement and job market information. They attempt to use all resources available in a community to help unemployable or underemployed youth. For example:
1. They refer you to training programs such as MDTA, Job Corps and Neighborhood Youth Corps.
2. In some programs they provide counseling to enrollees during their period of training.
3. They assist with job placement when the training program is completed.
4. They cooperate with other agencies in providing services for draft-rejectees and in helping those who volunteered but were turned down for military service to meet the established standards.
5. They cooperate with State Departments of Education in providing services to high school seniors ready to enter employment and to actual and potential dropouts.
By offering constructive alternatives to young people needing help, all of the efforts of the Employment Service for youth indirectly are geared to combat juvenile delinquency. In addition, the Employment Service works with juvenile court personnel to prevent juvenile delinquency by seeking to place youth who have been in trouble. Many State employment service agencies have developed formal working plans with State correctional institutions or training schools and vocational guidance materials, some of it prepared by the Employment Service, is made available by local employment service offices to juvenile court workers. The Employment Service also refers delinquent youth to special training projects financed through the Department of Labor aimed at reducing recidivism and at increasing the employability of delinquents.
PREPARING YOUNG PEOPLE FOR EMPLOYMENT
The Labor Department's manpower programs for youth, MDTA special youth programs and NYC projects, focus on young people who need special assistance before they can obtain jobs. All of the enrollees are economically disadvantaged. Some are school dropouts. Others attend school precariously and are in danger of dropping out. A heritage of hopelessness and alienation from society characterize the youth who enter these programs. They would seem to be prime candidates for juvenile delinquency.
MANPOWER PROGRAMS WITH JUVENILE OFFENDERS
The Department of Labor currently is operating a number of special experimental projects for persons in or recently released from correctional institutions. While these programs involve both adults and youth, many individuals in these programs are juvenile offenders. These programs were established under title I of the Manpower Development and Training Act which provides for experimental and demonstration projects. For example:
1. At Lorton, Virginia, 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 years who could not profit from routine institutional training. The goal of this project is to help individuals in the development of positve social attitudes and motivations as well as to train them for civil service eligibility. Two hundred and fifty-nine persons are enrolled in this program.
2. At the Draper Correctional Center the Rehabilitation Research Foundation of Alabama sponsors a special program for youth aged 16 through 22 which makes extensive use of programmed learning and involves 275 enrollees.
3. The New York Division of Parole at Albany, New York, is sponsoring an experimental program for youth aged 16 through 21 involving 160 enrollees. In its summary report, the President's Crime Commission reports that:
• A majority of all people arrested for major crimes against property in 1965 were under 21 years of age.
• One in every nine youths will be referred to juvenile court in connection with a delinquent act before his 18th birthday.
• According to FBI reports, approximately 30% of all persons arrested are under 21 years of age.
• Recidivism rates for young offenders are higher than those for any other age group.
• The unemployment rate for youths aged 16-21 is almost three times that of the overall national average.
Sponsors of Neighborhood Youth Corps projects report that involvement of youth in responsible work-training assignments promotes acceptable social behavior.
Let me cite some examples:
• An Illinois boy, with a past juvenile record, who had dropped out of school was enrolled in a project sponsored by the Farmer's Union. The boy returned to school; his grades became "A"s and he has been awarded a scholarship by the University of Illinois.
• All 40 youths enrolled in a Westchester County, New York project operated by the Department of Probation are either on probation for a juvenile offense or they are on parole from a correctional institution. Over 70% of the former
enrollees have been hired for permanent jobs in the same agencies where they worked as enrollees.
• In St. Louis, Missouri, the City Juvenile Court Judge is chairman of a project primarily designed to prevent youth crime and to rehabilitate the youthful offender. Parole and probation officers work closely with the project referring youth to the program and conducting follow-up studies of youth who leave the project. Regular visits are made to correctional institutions in the area arranging for placement of parolees in the project.
A special study conducted by the Neighborhood Youth Corps project director in St. Louis found that young people referred to the program had had as many as 60 previous contacts with the police. After starting participation the rate of police contact among these youths dropped sharply and continued to drop as they continued in the project and moved into permanent jobs.
A dramatic demonstration of how young people respond to opportunities for responsible involvement occurred during the recent disturbances in Tampa, Florida. Fifty-one Neighborhood Youth Corps enrollees and alumni formed a nucleus of 136 youths who volunteered their services this past summer for peace patrols in neighborhoods that remained tense even after the fighting and looting had stopped. The youths, wearing white helmets for identification, roamed their areas urging people to remain calm, and encouraging them to disperse. Only two fires were reported and vandalism was at a minimum during the time the volunteer youth squad was on patrol.
Labor Department youth programs have offered young people this involvement. Some of it is directly related to law enforcement. For instance, the Department of Labor has operated police cadet training programs. Cadets in these programs relieve policemen of routine tasks and permit them to concentrate on professional law enforcement duties. The cadet himself is helped to prepare for a possible career in law enforcement. In addition, the cadet, in his uniform, is a natural community relations vehicle. He can help create links of communications between the police department and the disadvantaged community. Other youths in his neighborhood may aspire to law enforcement careers when they see proof that someone from their block can make it. Finally, it is probable that the cadet, even if he does not make a career of public safety, will have a better respect for the law.
It is generally accepted that adolescents, as a group, have certain behavioral characteristics. The characteristic given most publicity is the need of adolescents to rebel. It has been my experience as a youth worker that adolescents are not seeking so much to rebel as they are seeking the opportunity to determine their own futures. How they determine their futures depends in large part on their history of involvement with various options.
The Department of Labor involves youth in preparing for and obtaining meaningful manpower roles. In my opinion, this kind of option has strong appeal for a young adult in search of his own identity. It provides the kind of alternative that makes him decide to build his future as part of the law-abiding world. Again, I wish to emphasize the strong support of the Secretary of Labor for this measure. Dr. Aller and I will be glad to try and answer any questions you may have.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. I know there are a number of juvenile delinquency-related programs administered by the Labor Department, the names of which you have submitted in response to Senator Clark's request. Do you not have the authority under the MDTA to make the same kinds of grants for the same purposes as those which we authorize for programs under the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act? Do you not have the same kind of authority under the MDTA to provide grants for projects such as halfway houses and community-based programs?
Mr. BATTLE. It seems to me there is authority for community-based programs. I suggest Dr. Aller's participation with reference to the other part of that question.
Dr. ALLER. Well, Senator, I think the problem is that our authority is rooted in job-related activities or job-training activities. That is to say, we could associate ourselves with a halfway house.
project for the purpose of providing the occupational training, job placement services, and the individualized supportive services that may be required to take a person into a job situation and help him to stay there so he could move out of a halfway house. But our authority would not extend, I think, to all the other kinds of things that perhaps ought to be done which might involve the work of the correctional authorities in terms of working on the psychological problems of the individual.
Second, the authority for these experimental-type projects is provided by title I of the Manpower Development and Training Act. This is currently funded at $15 million a year for the country as a whole. Very little of that budget could be directed specifically to juvenile delinquency-type problems, because we have to experiment with the problems of older workers, with the problems of physically handicapped, with new arrangements for developing instructional training programs, and with on-the-job training programs. The whole array of normal activities of the Manpower Development and Training Act are involved in the experimental program.
Over the years, it is true that we have had a number of quite innovative programs directed to juvenile delinquency prevention and rehabilitation, but this activity has been a drop in the bucket compared with the need and potential that exists.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Do you see, with the passage of this act, a possibility for joint financing of certain programs under the MDTA?
Dr. ALLER. I would think this would be very much in the cards since this is our experience. Let me say this: Typically, in our experimental and demonstration activity, as well as in many of our regular programs, we attempt to have a joint program with other agencies, joint funding, where the scope of the project may extend over the authority that is divided in several different departments by several different pieces of legislation. I would say about half of our activities are jointly operated in this respect.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. In regard to this program, do you see the possibilities of working out joint funding arrangements with MDTA and other programs within the Department affecting youth?
Dr. ALLER. Very much so.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Could you tell me who in the Department has the prime responsibility of seeing that there is full utilization of labor programs, maximum utilization of these various programs, to take into consideration the problems of young people? Do you have any?
Mr. BATTLE. The responsibility is divided primarily between the Bureau of Work Programs, which operates the Neighborhood Youth Corps program, solely a youth effort, and the Employment Service, which administers that segment of the MDTA program that is youth focused. There is obviously within the Manpower Administration, which has the total responsibility for both operations, coordination of effort. If I were to name the single individual within a department who would have that responsibility, it would be the Manpower Administrator and, under him, the heads of the Bureaus of Work Programs and Employment Service.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. He would have the general responsibility under any set of circumstances. But I am just wondering if the Secretary would designate someone so that in the Department they would know that this is the person who has the prime responsibility for coordinating various kinds of activities which exist under existing programs and, also, under this program, to insure that there is a maximum utilization of the various provisions of the program directed toward youth.
Now, I asked Secretary Gardner who has that responsibility in HEW, and he said Lisle Čarter. He said that he would have that responsibility, has been given that mandate; he is to report to the Secretary on how various programs work which HEW is concerned with; how they can be developed and expanded so that they will benefit young people. He also responded with regard to where in the Department would lie the primary responsibility and what that coordinating relationship would be.
I know the Director of Manpower has, in any type of organizational chart, the overriding responsibility generally; but the question is, with the extraordinary importance of the problems of young people, who is directing our attack on the whole host of different questions such as education and training and health, housing, and employment, which is certainly one of the areas which is also of great concern, as testified to by the Attorney General, in crime prevention. This program, of course, is directed toward that particular aspect of our young people, but it is heavily interrelated to these other programs, and there should be a great deal of coordination. You can understand that there must be. But it seems to me that to insure that there was going to be a maximum amount of attention and concern about this terribly important problem and program, that responsibility should be pretty clearly defined in the Department.
That is why I raise the question.
Now, I would like to invite you to perhaps take a look at the testimony of the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare and see if you could at least submit for the record how you visualize this program, how you really feel that the various programs in the Department which affect youth, how they are going to be really coordinated, and who-what I think is probably the most important of all-in the Department is going to be really thinking about very little else other than the problems of young people and the full implementation of this program?
Dr. ALLER. Senator, we would be glad to submit something for the record.
Let me quickly say that I would divide this into two parts and to note that for the planning and policy development, I carry the basic responsibility for the Manpower Administrator, and this is across the board. So, we would be looking through the year in terms of our planning and policy development at the problems of young people-various kinds of young people; the problems of prison inmates; the problems of older workers, and so on. As an operating program spins out of the planning and policy development, then it becomes assigned to Mark Battle, if it falls within his basic area, or to the Bureau of Employment Security. If it is a coordinated program and involves both of