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The version of the bill as passed in the House provides that the services can only become available once a juvenile is declared to be delinquent. I think this is a major weakness of the version which passed the House, and is directly contrary to programs that are being developed at the present time, for example, with the help of the Ford Foundation and the creation of coordinated defender services under which as soon as the attention is brought, the specific problems can be identified, and resources can be devoted to them.
I think another major weakness of the version of the bill passed by the House is that there is no provision for involvement of young people themselves in the participation in the formulation and operation of these programs.
It seems to me one of the basic recommendations in the President's Crime Commission report was that in order to effectively deal with the problems of crime and delinquency in our urban areas, provision must be made for bringing into the established processes of dealing with crime and delinquency the young people from the community themselves must be brought in.
Senator CLARK. We had very good testimony to that effect last week from the Executive Director. Are you generally in accord with the recommendations of that Commission?
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. Yes; I am.
Senator CLARK. Now, you told us that we did not have much experience in terms of delinquency other than slum delinquency, hardcore delinquency. You are dealing in Wisconsin, at least, with the Lake Geneva end of it, with suburban and I suppose to some extent rural delinquency. You have a large area of your State which is rural.
Can you give us some guidance as to what can be done with the inner city or the slum areas? Can you fill us in on the problem at another geographic level?
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. Well, it seems to me one of the basic findings that the sociologists have reached in the past few years with regard to this problem is that delinquency is not simply a phenomenon related to economic disadvantaged families that there may be different kinds of delinquencies in all kinds of family life-both those who are extremely well off and those who are not.
But I think the basic underlying factor involved in delinquency is lack of proper parental control and guidance. In almost every case of delinquency, there is something wrong in the environment of the family life of the individual delinquent.
Studies that have been made, for example, in European slum areas show that where the family structures are wholesome and constructive, the environment is good, even though it is a run down, dilapidated slum area-delinquency patterns are low.
Senator CLARK. How would you respond to the suggestion that there is a close connection between delinquency and disenchantment with the American social fabric?
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. Well, I think that this is a factor involved-although it would just be my own personal opinion, without having the benefit of the scientific research that has
Senator CLARK. You see, the so-called hippies are not of the lowest income strata. Yet they seem to be completely disoriented from the
traditional values of American life. This puzzles me. I don't have any answer to it. I wonder if you have any answer.
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. I think that this disenchantment with--let me say this. If we are going to talk about hippies, we are talking about an entirely different type of problem than what is generally known as juvenile delinquency.
Senator CLARK. Well, let me interrupt to ask you if there were any hippies involved in Lake Geneva?
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. Not that I know of. These were what I would say would be sort of average young people from any small- or middle-class community, or upper class, although a lot of them would be characterized as tough kids or troublemakers or delinquents. These were not the bearded wonders and the flower throwers.
I think that the hippie thing is a wholly different kind of problem. It may relate to juvenile delinquency in terms of drug usage, or something like that, but I do not think that it can be discussed in the same terms. For example, the hippies are essentially nonviolent in theory. Senator CLARK. Well, let's get back to the bill. I am wandering far afield. It is so interesting to pick your brain.
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. As I was saying, I feel the fact that there is no participation provided for by young people themselves in developing the operation of the program in the version that passed the House is a major weakness, and ought to be put back in the Senate bill.
Senator CLARK. You would think, then, as many of our witnesses have testified, that the young people have the competence to be involved in the planning and training and actual carrying out of this program?
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. Very much so. I think that some programs that have been developed have indicated what contributions the young people who are from the segment of the population we are talking about, the juvenile delinquents themselves, what they can do on a constructive basis when given the responsibility to do so.
It seems that many of the problem of delinquency stem from lack of a feeling of participation in the mainstream of American life.
The President's Crime Commission report recommends-this is along a different line, but I think the same principle is involved that special types of officers or agents of law enforcement be developed from the community themselves young people who know the community, know the background of the people involved, and who can provide a better channel of communication between law enforcement and the community, is a proper way to deal with it.
Now, I would like to turn to the parts of the House version pertaining to training, which is not contained in the administration bill. One of the subjects which we discuss in the prepared testimony involves a discussion of the lack of an adequate number of qualified, trained personnel to assist in solving these problems.
The population statistics alone are a major factor here. There are not enough persons in the mature, productive adult age group to go. around. No wonder there is a lack of an adequate number of trained sociologists and social workers.
Senator CLARK. This need was clear when this subcommittee back in 1965 passed the Correctional Rehabilitation Study Act of 1965. We
have had a first annual report from that Commission, but a final report is not due for a couple of years.
What bothers me is how you are going to get sufficiently competent people to go into these largely undramatic and nonglamorous occupations. Of course, we could raise salaries.
I am going to make sort of a general observation and ask you to comment on it.
I have been of the view for some years that we are lacking in skilled manpower in a wide variety of human service areas of which correctional manpower is only one, possibly a small segment.
We have a system of career selection in this country by which everybody is free to go into any particular occupation he or she wants to. And God knows we ought to preserve that. But how in the world are you going to get competent people to go into the badly underpaid, nonglamorous areas where in a sense you are dealing with the same motivation that motivates the kids in the Peace Corps and VISTA, at a far less dramatic sort of level. I just do not know. What do you think?
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. It seems to me that the problems of delinquency and the whole sphere of problems of urban America that are wrapped up in delinquency are every bit as dramatic, or should be, as the types of programs available for those who go into the Peace Corps, or into VISTA programs. And I think that what is necessary is to develop programs at the college level which will give those students who are aware and concerned about making a contribution toward improving the quality of American life, an opportunity to have available this kind of a field as a career. There are plenty concerned students in our colleges today. Let me say this. I think that because of the immediate shortage of skilled manpower in this area, we must also develop programs to involve persons who are not as fully trained to be able to work in this area, under obviously appropriate supervision. This should include field work for college students, as well as people from the local communities.
I think we have to develop programs, for example, for those who can go in and actively carry on responsibility in this area, who don't necessarily have to have a master's degree in sociology.
Senator CLARK. Sure, I would agree with that.
But let me give you two examples of what really rather frustrates
Who wants to be a prison warden? And how can you get enough psychiatrists? Those are the ends of the spectrum of badly needed correctional manpower.
It takes forever to train a psychiatrist. If you do get one trained, how are you going to persuade him or her to devote a substantial amount of time in the correctional field of juvenile delinquency. At the other end of the spectrum, how are you going to get anybody to be a warden?
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. What I am suggesting is that you do not necessarily have to be a psychiatrist to make a valuable contribution toward solving the problems of delinquency. Oftentimes if the areas of preventive delinquency-that is identifying a potential delinquent, going in with the social agencies in the community. For example supposeSenator CLARK. Well, that is social work, isn't it? We are short on social workers.
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. Yes.
Senator CLARK. Then you get into parole and probation officers, you are short there-the caseload is frightening.
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. Yes. In Wisconsin, for example, in our main juvenile institution, the facilities are so overcrowded that for every persons coming in the front door referred to by the court, they are letting someone out the back door who they know has not reached the point where he is ready to be released, but they simply have to make room for him.
Senator CLARK. Well, I don't expect you to come up with a solution. I would just like your comments on it.
How do we fill the gap?
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. I think that we must develop the kinds of programs which can be carried on by less-trained individuals under supervision of those who do have the full training. This will take the pressure off our existing institutions so that they can do their job better. And that is why I think that the provisions of the bill pertaining to training which passed the House ought to be included in a Senate version.
Senator CLARK. I agree with that.
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. I would like to turn to the provisions of title III of the bill as it passed the House.
It seems to me that one of the serious weaknesses in this version of the proposal is that it fails-the limitation of funds for research is too severe. And I think that there ought to be high emphasis placed on research and demonstration and the restrictions that are placed on the manner in which funds are available for this purpose should be removed, so that, for example, individuals could receive contracts for consulting purposes.
Senator CLARK. I think the House's point of view probably was that we have been engaged in research and demonstration on juvenile delinquency as early as 1961, and now is the time to fish or cut bait. You can spend your whole life in demonstration projects and research. I think that was their thinking.
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. Well, I guess my comment on that that I have just made would be sufficient.
Senator CLARK. How about the money? The authorization. Is $25 million enough? How much do you think we could usefully spend?
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. I would have to say frankly that I am not qualified to speak to the subject of how much, because we are dealing with the entire Nation.
Senator CLARK. How much could you usefully spend in Wisconsin? Mr. LA FOLLETTE. Well
Senator CLARK. I do not want to force you to answer. If you do not know, say you do not know.
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. Yes, I would have to say I am not prepared to peg a figure on what we could use in Wisconsin. I do know that our facilities and the ability of the juvenile system in Wisconsin to work as it was intended-that is, for rehabilitative purpose-and the resources available, the limited resources available at the State level, to provide the kind of institutions that are necessary to fulfill the expectations of the originators of the juvenile system, are woefully inadequate.
There are not enough personnel to give the kind of rehabilitative services that are envisioned by the whole theme and philosophy that
underlies the juvenile system. And as a result, many of our juvenile institutions are merely becoming places for incarceration of juveniles. Senator CLARK. I suspect that is right. But then the question comes— is it worthwhile just dribbling small sums of money into the continuing demonstration, research, teaching program, which does not meet a fraction of the need. Perhaps it would be better to shut the whole thing off.
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. Yes, but you must remember many of these demonstration projects, if successful, help to take the pressure off our overcrowded institutions.
Senator CLARK. I am afraid you are right.
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. I would say that, however, that in the long run, the expenditure of a large sum of money, although it cannot be accurately measured, may more than make up in saving, because the costs involved in institutional care for the growing number of delinquents that we have are staggering, and for every delinquent that we can rehabilitate or prevent from becoming a serious offender, is a saving to the resources of the community and the State that cannot be measured in dollars and cents, and yet it is very real.
Senator CLARK. Well, I am wondering if it is not possible to measure it in dollars and cents. I wonder if you think there is a possibility of using systems analysis to attack this whole problem, very much as business uses it to determine how best to use their dollar revenue in order to end up with an adequate profit.
The poverty program is beginning to play around with this, and they told us at hearings this year, somewhat to their surprise and my surprise, that a dollar spent on planned parenthood got you more money back than a dollar spent on the Neighborhood Youth Corps or Headstart or any other program. This is not a popular conclusion in certain circles, but I suspect it is right.
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. Well, I think any efforts that can be directed along this line certainly would be worth while in demonstrating the justification for the expenditure of these funds. And I think systems analysis could some up with some real answers to the problems. Senator CLARK. It might be an area of research.
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. Very much so.
Senator CLARK. I have kept you pretty long. I am going to let you go now. What else would you like to tell us?
Mr. LA FOLLETTE. Well, there are just two other comments I would like to make regarding provisions of the House version of the bill.
I do not think, for example, there is any reason whatsoever for the designation of a single State agency. That is, to coordinate juvenile delinquency programs in the State.
This may vary from State to State. I don't think that that provision is worthwhile.
And the other section of the House version of the bill which I think should be changed is the prohibition of the participation of the Office of Economic Opportunity in participating in these programs.
I think that this prohibition is not constructive. If the Office of Economic Opportunity is making a contribution through some of the programs that they have developed, they certainly ought to be coordinated with new programs under this bill.
Those are the comments that I would have with regard to this bill.