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only control left is the law. And this is often ineffective because the law as a control comes into play after the event-after the delinquent act has been committed
The Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967 should make possible a total and frontal attack on the problem, involving not only law enforcement agencies, courts and other correctional institutions but also the community, its agencies and the youth themselves.
Among the principal findings of projects funded under previous Juvenile Delinquency Prevention acts was that an attack on Juvenile Delinquency, if it were to be effective, needed both a comprehensive approach and a saturation program. Effective prevention needs the involvement of the total resources of the community, police and law enforcement, the schools, the church, business and industry, the university, the public and the voluntary social agencies.
These earlier tax and foundation supported programs increasingly moved in the direction of a comprehensive approach, putting juvenile delinquency in the context of a syioptom of a nuch larger problem, that of disadvantage. It is in these comprehensive approaches that one finds the bases for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and many of the OEO programs.
Grants for projects and program planning are extremely important. This will provide the seed money so essential to the development of carefully devised elements of a total community plan. Planning, to be effective, need to be decentralized to the agencies and institutions close to the youth who need to be served and the neighborhoods in which they reside. Planning in these settings, while related to an overall design, must first be relevant in terms of youth needs in a specific neighborhood and in the context of that neighborhood's stakes and resources.
The experience of our Member Houses in youth involvement, both in the determination of the nature and context of programs and services and as participants in the delivery of these services to others convinces us of the validity of this approach. Many such projects are documented in the case material in “100,000 Hours A Week.” (This NFS publication is the report of a conference on the use of youth and adult volunteers in Juvenile Delinquency prevention, funded under a grant from the President's Committee on Juvenile Delinquency.) We therefore endorse the inclusion of youth involvement in The Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967.
We are in favor of provisions for funding effective community resources and services for treatment and rehabilitation. We believe it is in the interest of juvenile delinquency prevention and reduced recidivism of these youth that they be treated, to the extent feasible, in their own communities. This, we believe, should be provided through a variety of settings including half-way houses and day-care centers for these youth, as well as other institutionalized approaches to assure the earliest possible rehabilitation of youthful offenders.
It has been the experience of our Member Houses that in addition to efforts to improve the system of juvenile justice, efforts at prevention need increased knowledge and skill along with growing financial resources. Along with efforts to get youth out of correctional institutions and back into the community must go efforts to keep youth out. Our Member House recognizes the crucial roles of the schools, police, juvenile court and corrections, but suggest that other institutions, too, must play a significant role. We find it helpful to rehabilitation when there is a reduction in official labeling of youth as “delinquents” and suggest that community efforts should be undertaken first, with the invoking of the official processing of a "delinquent" only where clearly necessary for public safety.
We urge adequate provision for research and technical assistance. We are aware of the several theoretical bases for juvenile delinqnency prevention and control, beginning with the late Clifford Shaw and continuing through Whyte, Thrasher, Kobrin, Redl, Ohlin, Cloward, Short and others. It is important, in this context, to underscore the fact of the difficulties and paucity of pure research in the area of prevention. Here, the research laboratory is the community with all of its variables for each youth-his family, his peers, his school, his image of himself, the image of him held by others. In addition, a good part of delinquent behavior is not rooted in a life pattern. Instead, it has its roots in a variety of other causes, including association with others in a group who participate in these kinds of acts.
Nevertheless, continuing research is essential if we are to evaluate the wide range of old and new services for prevention and assess their effectiveness.
There are gaps, often chasms in our knowledge. What, for example, are the real roots of character? What experiences in the home, school, neighborhood center, neighborhood, best help the child grow and mature as an effective, participating citizen? These are but two from among hundreds of questions for which we do not yet have answers.
Since growing-up cannot wait on research findings, which may or may not provide answers, we need to accept and depend upon reasonable assumptions where scientific evidence does not exist.
These assumptions, then, become the basis for the development of projects for the remaking of old or the establishment of new methods or institutions to serve our needs in this area. At the same time, some of us must be engaged in researchable hypotheses, out of these assumptions and others, so that we may continue our search for answers. Training
The shortage of adequately equipped personnel for work with Juvenile De linquents and delinquency prevention can, more than any other factor, prevent the achievement of the Bill's purposes. The inclusion of an effective Section on Training is therefore endorsed by NFS.
Our own agency has had considerable experience in training for the field of delinquency prevention under 3 grants from the President's Committee on Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Development. Between 1962 and 1965, 309 Trainees received 2,267 days of intensive training, in classroom and in the field. Almost fifty percent of these trainees came from such public agencies as the Illinois Youth Commission, the State of Colorado Youth Board, the District of Columbia Recreation Department and from a large number of voluntary agencies other than our Member Houses.
In addition to the direct training received by these 309 men and women, other benefits resulted. Included were the development of curricula and syllabi for short and long term training, and the testing of training methods. Further, six major publications resulted from these training programs. These publications have been widely disseminated NFS, cooperating Universities and Departments of the Federal government. Among these publications are, "100,000 Hours a Week,” referred to above, “Young People and the World of Work," "Serving the Teen-Age Girl," "Neighborhood Centers Serve the Troubled Family," "The Role of Agencies Serving Low Income Girls,” and our most recent publication, “Neighborhood Gangs-A Case Book for Youth Workers."
Another important by-product of training is the impact of the trainee, with his new learnings and skills, on the agency to which he returns and the com. munity in which he works. Excerpts from only two of the many letters received by our Training Center give witness to this.
John A. Troike, chairman of the State of Illinois Youth Commission wrote: "All who have participated in these youth worker courses are not only very thrilled about their participation, but have become better members of our staff as a result. Congratulations to you and to the leadership of these courses for what you are doing to help upgrade the quality of work in the delinquency prevention field.”
An agency supervisor, District of Columbia Recreation Department stated : "The quality of our staff's work with the boys has improved 100% since the return from Chicago. In fact, the training sessions with you have increased the effectiveness of the work of the total staff in countless ways."
Still another advantage stemmed from these training programs. Much of the content and the methodology developed in these courses and training conferences were found to be effective and practical in the training of Community Workers for State Employment Services under the CAUSE II Program of the U.S. Department of Labor, for whom NFS trained 70 workers, in 1966, and in the conduct of 7 VISTA training programs for OEO by NFS this year.
Your Committee is considering both s. 1248 and H.R. 12120. Both recognize the need for planning, but H.R. 12120 provides no funds for planning at State and local levels. Such funds should be provided for.
Further, H.R. 12120 provides for the distribution of the small sum authorized for the first year, $25 million, on the basis of a population formula. This is much less desirable than on a project basis, according to a well thought through set of criteria which would ensure funding according to priority of need. In any event, we would suggest that the authorization be doubled, at least for the first year.
Also, if significant new programs are to be developed, authorization of the program should be extended at least five years.
While H.R. 12120 includes provision for training, it provides only one channel, through the states. This would preclude national agencies such as ours, with a long and valid experience and expertise in this area from service training needs in this field. We urge inclusion of direct Federal grants to National agencies and Universities for training. In summary
The National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers supported the Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Offenses Control Act of 1901 and its extension for a 3 year period. We are impressed by the impact of this legislation not only in those cities in which comprehensive demonstration programs were funded, but also across the country as agencies and communities began to apply the learnings from these demonstrations.
The validity of the comprehensive attack having been demonstrated, Congress must now take the lead to enable the fifty States and their localities build effective, collaborative systems for prevention and rehabilitation.
We strongly urge your Subcommittee to provide leadership in the full Committee and in the Congress to expedite passage of enabling legislation and so provide the opportunity to move ahead in this vital area by forging effective links between and among federal, state and local public and voluntary resources.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MRS. EDWARD F. Ryan, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL PTA
COMMITTEE ON LEGISLATION, CHICAGO, ILL. Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, we greatly appreciate the privilege of offering to your Committee the views of the National PTA in respect to the provisions of the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967. I am Mrs. Edward F. Ryan, of Manchester, Massachusetts, chairman for legislation of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, which has a membership of more than eleven million.
The factors in our society that bring about delinquency in children and youth were one of the major reasons for the founding of our organization in 1897. Protection of children and the prevention of delinquency have been a continuous concern with us ever since. We were early involved in the efforts to secure juvenile courts in every state, and Judge Ben B. Lindsey is quoted as saying that no one factor did more to advance this humanitarian work than our organization. In the last few years we have carried on a close cooperation with the National Council of Juvenile Court Judges, with a series of conferences across the country on the topic, “Judicial Concern for Children in Trouble."
We praise this bill, S. 1248, for separating the public concern for children in trouble from concern for adult crime, and for lodging its responsibilities with the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare instead of with the Attorney General, while yet providing for appropriate consultation. We also praise the “Findings and Objectives” of the bill for recognizing so clearly that a youth may not be dealt with separately from his community or separately from the other institutions that touch his life. The juvenile court is central to the procedure of dealing with delinquency, even though a delinquent child may not reach that court, but youth is best served when we reach back into the community and the family for prevention, nor does our concern cease until he is again a welcome member of society.
We believe the existing amount of recidivism is directly related to the primary need for a substantial increase in qualified personnel to enable the juvenile courts to fulfill their original concept: probation officers, counselors, diagnosticians, detention care personnel. For this there will be required not only provisions for recruitment and training, but also development of suitable training programs. Assistance to the courts is needed to develop more widely a better understanding of the juvenile court concept and procedures, and better means of insuring competence in juvenile court judges. Police generally need training in understanding of ethnic groups and of youth, and of their reactions to various uses of authority. It seems to us also that more attention should be given to developing valid alternatives to probation and detention in remedial educational and work programs plus therapy for parents; further, there should be examination of present laws and ordinances respecting the conduct of youth, and revision where sensible.
Seeing as much as we do how interdependent are the multiple influences in the lives of children, we place great importance upon the requirement 1-A for applications in Section 122, that operations in both preventive and rehabilitative sevices will be coordinated with education, welfare, recreation, job training, and all the other basic services in the community for youth. We cannot refrain from observing that in low-income groups the current cutbacks in Economic Opportunity programs will not only make these efforts more difficult, but are in part removing the platforms of basic trust in community leadership. We further oppose the proposed refusal of funds to any local program coordinated with an Economic Opportunity project; it seems foolish to demand duplication of program where coordination with OEO, the schools, or some other public agency will conserve funds and strengthen effort.
In respect to Part C under Title I: “Preventive Services" we believe that it would be a flaw to require for all projects the identification of youth to be involved as delinquent or in danger of becoming delinquent, if such requirement is intended. Children help each other; therefore we suggest that acceptable projects include some measures providing for all youth, without screening for desirable and undesirable participants, but with adequate and appropriate staff to meet behavioral needs as they appear. There is a thin line today between de linquency and nondelinquency. We believe some youth are needlessly pushed into delinquency by awkward and misguided direction and activity. They can be better redirected by positive, constructive contribution to the community in many cases than by correctional activity.
We are happy to see the provision in Section 142 for participation by youth in the formulation and operation of the program. This does not mean determination, except as involvement brings agreement. Involvement is the best available means of communication with youth, and of securing willing cooperation in a desirable program.
The proposed authorization of $25 million is small to invest in reducing an annual juvenile crime bill of $24 billion. If this small authorization is enacted, however, we believe it would be unwisely used this first year in "block grants". Rather, we suggest the funds would be best used in local projects developed under state direction to meet certain requirements, including full coordination of local resources, and presented by state administration to the Secretary for approval.
We are most grateful for the opportunity to offer our suggestions on this important question.
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington D.C., October 24, 1967. Hon. JOSEPH S. CLARK, Chairman, Subcommittee on Employment, Manpower and Poverty. Senate
Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : I have noted that your Subcommittee is currently holding hearings on your bill S. 1248 and the House-passed related companion bill H.R. 12120, “The Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Control Act of 1967."
I would like you to know that according to Mr. Lisle C. Carter Jr., Assistant Secretary for Individual and Family Services in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the omission of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the territories and possessions of the United States from the coverage of S. 1248 and its identical companion bills, H.R. 6162 and H.R. 7642, was indeed an inadvertent technical omission from the final draft of the hill.
Together with Mr. Carter, I called the oversight to the attention of Chairman Perkins and lat to Chairman Puciuski when his General Subcommittee on Education and Labor was considering the bill. As a result, the appropriate amendments were made to correct the oversight in section 309 (3) of the Committee's clean bill H.R. 12120, which was approred by the House on September 26. 1967.
Surely. Mr. Clark, there can be no difficulty in correcting the final draft of this legislation. Nevertheless, I felt it best to notify you of this problem and to ask your support for the adoption of the above mentioned amendments. Cordially yours,
DISTRICT COURT OF
Colorado Springs, Colo., July 17, 1967.
Labor and Public Welfare Committee, U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C. DEAR SENATOR : This letter comes to you to emphasize an important community and national problem. If statistics are a true indicator, the increase of jurenile offenders and juvenile activity is almost staggering. In the Juvenile Probation Department of the Fourth Judicial District, we received a few more than 600 referrals in 1965. At the end of 1966, the department had referred cases of 897, and at the end of June, 1967, the department has received a total referral of 784. Not only has there been a constant increase here in the past two years, but the increase in this department in 1967 to June is approximately 60%. That this increase exceeds the growth rate of this rapidly expanding community is clear. This trend is, I am sure, consistent with that of many cities in the United States, wherein the increase in urbanization contributes to the rise of juvenile delinquency.
What then can be done with this exploding social problem? To institutionalize the juvenile offender is seldom an adequate remedy for delinquent behavior. Except in the most incorrigible instances, to remove a child from the community and to place him in an institution is to alienate him from the mainstream of community life and the prospect of his becoming a functioning contributing community member is virtually eliminated.
Were institutions able to perform a more rehabilitative function, the expense for commitments by volume would be prohibitive. At the present time the cost at Lookout Mountain School for Boys at Golden, Colorado for a 12 month period exceeds $3,000.00 per boy. In actuality, one main factor which decreases this rehabilitative function is the great volume of commitments which prohibit close individual counseling and supervision.
The remedy clearly then is not institutionalization, but some measures as effective within community structures. Competent, conscientious probation personnel form a nucleus for an effective juvenile delinquency program. Effective staff requires specialized training and specific attitudes. Staff members must be willing and able to work with nonmotivated youth. Hostile, hurt, suspicious juveniles require the best counselors to help them overcome their resistance and work through their adjustment problems. Such a caliber of counselor warrants adequate compensation for the frustrations and difficulty of his job. Only when compensation is commensurate with the responsibility given in the job will juvenile probation departments be able to attract and keep competent personnel.
Needless to say, each community in the United States varies in regards to social makeup and complexities. The approach to the delinquent problem has to be evaluated on a local basis. Three areas that I feel would be helpful to this particular community would be that of increased probation officers, people who are specially trained in working with troubled youth, and assistance in developing group homes and accessibility to psychiatric consultants. I feel if these things were developed the community would be more capable of dealing creatively and constructively with the delinquent child. Sincerely,
GARY HOLMES, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer.
ATLANTA YOUTH COUNCIL,
Atlanta, Ga., June 22, 1967. Hon. EDWARD KENNEDY, 1.8. House of Senate, Fashington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR KENNEDY: The Atlanta Children and Youth Services Council has been informed that your sub-committee will conduct a Senate hearing on the proposed Juvenile Delinquency Act of 1967.
This letter is to inform you and your committee that the Atlanta Children and Youth Services Council strongly endorses this bill and recommends its early enactment.
In studying the bill, we notice that the amount of money requested by the administration was $25,000,000. We certainly hope that this amount would be increased considerably.