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search I collaborated with Clifford R. Shaw and others at the Institute for Juvenile Research in the studies of delinquency areas. I wrote the theoretical sections of the first publication of those studies titled "Delinquency Areas,” published by the University of Chicago Press in 1929.
After leaving the Institute for Juvenile Research in 1929, I continued research and teaching in sociology at the University of Chicago, with special emphasis on the problems of the family. I served for 3 years as a clinical sociologist in the Branch Child Guidance Clinic of the Institute for Juvenile Research.
Following a long period of academic teaching, research and administration at Cornell University, I joined the Russell Sage Foundation staff in 1951. This organization is interested in the applications of social science to a range of practical problems including the family, mental health, law, crime, and delinquency.
In recent years, I have been actively involved in Federal programs directed toward the prevention and control of delinquency. I served as chairman of the Delinquency Program Review Committee of the National Institute of Mental Health for 2 years. I also served under the President's Committee on Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Crime, which sought to implement the Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Offenses Control Act of 1961. I was chairman of the technical advisory panel which reviewed applications for funds under that act to set up demonstration programs in many of our cities. I also served as chairman of the citizens' advisory council, also set up to aid in implementing that legislation.
In 1966 at the request of the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, I prepared in collaboration with Dr. Stanton Wheeler of the Russell Sage Foundation staff a memorandum in which we tried to give the Secretary an overview of the status of thinking and practice concerning delinquency. This was revised and published and has been widely used.
I cite these facts from my background to suggest that my opinions, for what they are worth, do rest on a fairly substantial amount of both systematic research and practical experience.
Let me briefly summarize then what these opinions are and urge them as worthy of your careful consideration.
1. The conventional individual casework and psychotherapeutic approach to the problems of delinquency is hopelessly inadequate to cope with the massive dimensions of that problem today. These approaches do not deal with the cultural, social, and economic processes that provide the conditions out of which delinquency arises. This was clearly shown by the delinquency area studies in Chicago 40 years ago. But the attempts to experiment with developing the competence of communities to cope with these problems of youth were not pushed then partly because of the fact that there was little professional knowledge of how to do it. But in large part also it was because the relevant social work and correctional professions were preoccupied with various forms of psychiatric, clinical, and casework techniques. While the case approach is of course necessary and important, it cannot resolve the problems alone, but must be integrated with a much broader plan of attack.
The basic strategy required by the nature of the problem involves a two-pronged program.
First, one major component is a well-planned, intensive, and continuing effort to develop the competence of the local community to cope with this and other problems confronting it. This means that we must develop ways and means of insuring active, responsible participation by the people of the community in getting goals and implementing them. In the problem which we are discussing here, it is of fundamental importance that youth become heavily involved in responsible roles in the life of the community. A root problem of all youth of our time is the lack of a responsible part in the life of the community and the larger society. No program addressed to the problems of youth today can afford to neglect this basic essential.
A second major component of the required strategy is the development of a variety of special programs addressed to special problems of youth, especially the delinquent and delinquency-prone youths. We must have among others—
(1) a local, all-purpose service agency that can deal with the whole person and the whole family at the local level, rather than in bits and pieces as is now done by large, remote, impersonal agencies;
(2) special educational programs requiring flexibility of our too-rigid school curriculums;
(3) special employment and on-the-job opportunities for training, tied in closely with educational and training processes;
(4) special community-based group treatment facilities and programs that would be capable of bringing the delinquent youth back into the constructive roles in the community; and
(5) special counseling and treatment agencies locally placed to deal with special problems of those who have personality and mental disorders.
It must be stressed that this battery of services will not function properly unless they are integrated among themselves and into the total life of the community. They require the intelligent backing and community wide cooperation of all the major segments of the community-business, labor, school, court, police, welfare and religious agencies, as well as organized citizen groups, including especially in the case the youth.
The kind of attack I see necessary requires flexibility, freedom to innovate and experiment and test ideas. It also requires careful planning, and technical assistance. Without planning and freedom to try new forms of activities and services, any program is almost certain to be abortive.
If such a broad forward-looking program is to maximize its impact, it must insure that experience in it is systematically analyzed and evaluated. Research is therefore an essential element.
Finally, the kind of program I have suggested needs an intensive program of training personnel in the skills needed to mount it. We were seriously handicapped in the program under the Delinquency Control Act of 1961 by not having the appropriately trained manpower. Many people learned on the job, but we are still short of trained personnel in these areas.
In view of what I have suggested as basic essentials of the kind of program needed, the bill passed by the House of Representatives (H.R. 12120) has some fatal defects:
First, in general it fails to provide for careful planning. This will insure fragmentary, uncoordinated, stopgap efforts that will almost certainly be inadequate.
Secondly, it limits programs pretty much to adjudicated delinquents and those clearly headed for delinquency. Anyone who knows the first thing about delinquency and its prevention, knows this is completely misguided and crippling to any adequate program. One of the essentials in specific programs is to try to keep the delinquent and delinquency prone child integrated in the community as far as possible.
Third, the House bill has no provision for involvement of youth in significant participation in the programs that are to be developed in the community. This is a fatal flaw for any constructive attack.
Fourth, it does not provide for essential research and technical assistance and thus insures wasteful effort and failure to conserve the knowledge and experience gained.
Fifth, it does make provision for training, but this needs some expansion. I urge that a more adequate training provision be incorporated in S. 1248.
Sixth, it would funnel funds through a cumbersome State bureaucracy and thereby handicap initiative and innovation.
Seventh, it has a curious prohibition against cooperation with other relevant Federal programs under OEO. This in my opinion is utter folly.
Eighth, it provides 1-year authorization, whereas the kind of effort called for requires a much longer commitment.
I repeat, these are incredible handicaps to what this country wants to do and should be doing about a major problem. In contrast the Senate bill (S. 1248) carries us well ahead with the task, and I strongly urge its passage.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Thank you very much, Doctor. That is a very comprehensive statement, and it is made by someone who has had an extraordinary experience and interest in this whole
I know—as was mentioned in your statement, and know from my own experience about your work, serving in the advisory role for the President's Committee on Juvenile Delinquency. One of the things which is suggested by your testimony, and which has impressed me, is the apparent lack of close coordination of the various programs. It seems that we have heard in the course of these hearings from the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, we have heard as well. from the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, who sent representatives here and filed a statement. And among the many programs in the various agencies, we try to define within the agencies those that have a particular responsibility in the field of juveniles. As far as I am concerned, it has not really rung clear, that today in the Government there is a focal point of concern for juvenile problems.
I am just wondering whether (1) this distresses you, and (2) what can really be done about it.
Dr. COTTRELL. I wish I could give you a good, clean-cut answer as to what can be done about it.
But you have touched on a very difficult point that we have faced all the way through the experimental programs that we tried to mount
under the act of 1961-the President's Committee for Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Crime.
You have two aspects.
One is that if we go away from the Federal Government for the moment, and look in the local communities, one of the great problems that we had trying to get a coherent, comprehensive program going was that the private agencies and the public agencies, including the courts, police, welfare agencies, et cetera, all were in rather routine. types of operation that they wanted to continue their personnel were trained to continue. And it was very difficult for us to break down these walls of insulation among these agencies and get them to see the necessity for coordinating their efforts in a combined, joint, coherent attack, and to involve the community in this process.
Now, where we were successful in getting some of these agencies to try new ways of dealing with youth groups, to get the schools to innovate new types of programs adapted to the problems of youth in these areas, we felt that these experimental demonstration situations were making progress.
Now, while we were lecturing the local communities about coordinating their efforts, breaking down old practices, and trying to establish a more integrated program, we were plagued by the fact that the Federal agencies themselves had great difficulty in coordinating their efforts and their programs from this level, and we went so far at one time to try to suggest to people in the Bureau of the Budget and to some of the agencies in town here that we ought to have some kind of coodinating agency that focused problems of youth, to coordinate the efforts.
This appeared to be such a massive task and hopelessly wound up in the bureaucratic problems that large organizations such as the governmental agencies have to be, that we did not make any progress at all. But I think you put your finger on a very difficult and a very important problem that I would urge considerable attention be given to it if we can get the kind of bill we are trying to get through here passed that one of the focal efforts at this level would be to coordinate the Government's efforts more closely, more effectively.
Then I think we are in a stronger position to exert pressure, guidance, and persuasion on local communities to do likewise.
It is not going to be an easy task.
We have had some very hard knocks, and we have had some scars in the efforts to do this, both at the local and at the State and the Federal level.
As I said in the beginning, I wish I had an answer to it. All I can say is that we ran into the problem, it is still a problem, and when I hear some of the testimony here I get the feeling that the agencies are still in a traditional way of thinking-the professional personnel are trained in a particular kind of technology. And we need breakthroughs and innovations in attacking these problems, and we need a kind of freedom and flexibility to do that, to demonstrate to agencies that this could be done.
I think it can be done.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. As you know, there is an Executive order that came out in 1961.
Dr. COTTRELL. Yes.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. The Secretaries were appointed to this Committee, in consultation with a number of lay people, and it was really meant to consolidate and coordinate these activities.
That group has sort of dissolved-it is not really functioning today. We have asked the Secretary of HEW for a note as to what he feels-whether it is necessary to reactivate that group, or if they are not going to activate it, what is really being done to consolidate or coordinate these programs.
It strikes me unless you have a forceful voice within these departments that are concerned and have one locus of responsibility for trying to work these programs out, then you do not get the kind of hearing they really should have and so richly deserve.
Dr. COTTRELL. I am glad you have asked the Secretary of HEW to give some thought to this, because he would be a wise guide and leader in such an attempt. I know he would be and anyone else would be confronted with the terrific problem of the structures of our agencies and they are competing for their shares of the budget and the training and orientation they have it takes a tremendous amount of effort, and willing effort, to try to reach that.
But I think it should be tried.
I was sorry to see the old Committee dissolve. But I can understand that that would happen with a relatively brief experimental program under which it was operated.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. I think your statements are extremely helpful, and we appreciate having your ideas about the House bill. I would like to have you tell us from your own experience why you believe that funneling the funds through a State agency would be cumbersome, and thereby handicap initiative and innovation. Based upon your experience, how do you reach that conclusion?
Dr. COTTRELL. Well, I would have to say, of course, that States will differ. I think a State like California, for example, might be much more flexible and much more at least traditionally its correctional system has had much more interest in experimentation.
But you have in the State the same kind of thing you have in all government bureaucracies you have departments, and pretty well set policies and lines, and when moneys go through these bureaucratic structures, they somehow get dissipated in-what shall I say— programs that are, well, in part traditional, in part safe, in part in line with the practices of the agencies that make up the State governments that are responsible for these areas.
Now, when President Kennedy set up this Juvenile Delinquency Committee, under this act, there was this imaginative idea that the Federal Government would make available funds for communities that could come up with new comprehensive ideas. They were not bound by the traditional bureaucratic structures and agencies. In fact, we had to knock heads together in the local communities to get them to see that they were actually free to try new things.
Now, a State department is not about to break over and try new things if it is going to be politically risky or bureaucratically risky. And so you do need a kind of experimental fund that is more free, that you can directly pour into an area or a community or a State, for that matter, if it is willing to try new things. And the Lord knows, we need new things in this field.