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Your interst in the problems of the young people of this country is demonstrated by the laws which are upon the statute books of this country, and your continued interest, I think, is a matter of great source of satisfaction to all of us.
I want to say how delighted I am to have this chance to work with you on this legislation and other legislation affecting the young people of this country;
Let me say that I am equally delighted to welcome Senator Dodd here this morning, who is the chairman of the Juvenile Delinquency Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. I have the unique privilege serving both on this Subcommittee of Labor and Public Welfare and on the Juvenile Delinquency Subcommittee.
Senator CLARK. The Senator is really a real expert on this because you and I are only on one committee. He is on both.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. That should qualify me, but I recognize my peers in this field. I am delighted to have a chance to work with Senator Dodd on the Judiciary Committee, as I am with Senator Clark on this subcommittee.
I want to express a word of welcome to Senator Dodd.
I have a brief opening statement, Mr. Chairman, and with your indulgence, I shall present it.
Senator Clark. We shall be glad to have you do so.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. This Nation's youth are its greatest resource. They are its hope, its strength, its future. Yet at the same time from among this vast reservoir of spirit and exuberance and talent and potential arises one of our most urgent and most difficult domestic problems. For it seems that the teenagers of America despite the fact that the vast majority of them are diligent, well-behaved, and responsible are nevertheless the greatest single source of the criminal activity which threatens the tranquillity of our streets and our homes and our families. Certainly, if we can successfully attack the problem of youth crime and delinquency, we will be taking a major step toward reversing the rising tide of criminality.
But the problem of juvenile lawlessness is not a simple one, nor are its answers easy to find and implement. For juvenile crime has many faces—it is the riot of collegians in Fort Lauderdale as well as the looting of stores by young Hough residents; it is the stealing of hubcaps in Harlem and it is the smoking of marihuana in Westchester; it is gang fighting, and it is joy riding. And the causes are many and desperate—they involve every aspect of life itself; economic status, mental health, physical health, education, training, family life, community life, discrimination, and onward endlessly.
We have moved and we have moved decisively in many of these areas—the antipoverty program, massive elementary, secondary, and higher education programs, housing and urban development, health and mental health services and civil rights bills. These are the foundation for progress; they must be supported and they must be expanded. Without them we can have no hope of addressing the problem of crime among either adults or children.
Yet at the same time these programs alone are not enough for while they may attempt and achieve the uplift and development of the generality of citizens and of youth, there are and there always will be young people who can be identified and helped before their childish antisocial behavior turns into criminality, or before their youthful delinquency turns into a life of crime. It is to this area and these children that we will be addressing ourselves in this series of hearings and in the legislation before us. It is targeted and focused on the problems of young people who are or are likely to be in trouble. It proceeds from the theory that the child who is identified as a potential troublemaker because he is a truant or an incorrigible, or a street fighter, or a runaway, needs help and special attention more than he needs punishment and stigmatization. And it proceeds on the thesis that the child whose behavior has brought him into the criminal justice system can be rehabilitated, that if we lock him up and throw the key away we will help neither him nor society. For someday that child will be released and, apart from the high cost of keeping him incarcerated, there is an even higher cost if he rejoins society without any effort having been made to prepare him to be part of that society. Thus, incarceration can only be the answer of the last and least resort and we must proceed to try and demonstrate and implement every other method of restoring to the community young children whose early behavior appears to be leading them to a life apart from and adverse to the community.
The field of juvenile delinquency and youth development was one which was extremely close to the heart of President Kennedy.
In 1961, the Congress passed and President Kennedy signed the Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Offenses Control Act of 1961. He also established the President's Comunittee on Juvenile Delinquency and gave it a strong mandate to mobilize every resource of the Federal Government toward the solution of this most vexing problem. The work of that committee emphasized what I have just called the foundation of all anticrime efforts, the broadscale community action programs, to bring all the people of the community and especially its youth into the community's main stream and to assure that they have the benefit of all the services, opportunities, and resources the community has to offer. Thus, the work done in the early 1960's by the President's Committee constituted the prototype and the model for the entire poverty program.
At the same time the President's Committee and the Office of Juvenile Delinquency in HEW set out in new directions and in new ways to find new and innovated methods of dealing with and rehabilitating problem youth. The ideas which they developed, the demonstrations they completed, and the suggestions they made now give us the basis for the vastly larger program to proceed with this search for new methods and to implement the methods which have already proved themselves or have shown great promise.
We have a great challenge before us but it is a most exciting and hopeful one. I am sure that this committee and the 90th Congress will be equal to the task.
Senator Clark. Thank you, Senator Kemedy.
The next witness this morning is Senator Dodd, an expert on problems of juvenile delinquency. He is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. As I earlier stated, we have been in this field for many years.
I have your most interesting and provocative prepared statement. I understand that it is satisfactory to you that we have it printed in full in the record.
Senator Dodd. I would appreciate that. Senator CLARK. You may comment as you see fit. Your statement will be printed in full in the record. STATEMENT OF HON. THOMAS J. DODD, A U.S. SENATOR FROM THE
STATE OF CONNECTICUT Senator Dodd. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have been happy to work with you on the juvenile delinquency problem and on delinquency control legislation for many years, and I have high regard for your work in this field.
Senator Kennedy also has been most interested and helpful in these matters, as has been pointed out.
The enactment of this bill, in my opinion, is most desirable. I was privileged to introduce it. As I said, I am for it.
There are some things however, that I want to comment on. I will not be very long this morning in doing that. You have generously stated that my whole statement will be printed in the record.
Let me say that nothing is more important today than the welfare of the youth of the country, as both you and Senator Kennedy have pointed out, that the future of the country rests in their hands. Unfortunately every year more and more of our young people are appearing in the juvenile courts across the land, as the result of their delinquent behavior.
I am sure that you know that since 1957 the juvenile court cases have risen, I think, 58 percent; so that makes it incumbent upon all of us to do everything in our power to see that the boys and girls of our country who find themselves confronted with this situation are given the very best treatment that our modern society is capable of administering. That is why I support this bill. I did introduce it, and I was happy to do so. Let me now say, however, that I have some reservations about it.
The bill directs the States, local communities, and nonprofit organizations to devise better ways of preventing delinquency and of rehabilitating delinquents.
It offers Federal grants for planning, for development and for research.
It provides in large part for diagnostic centers, youth services bureaus, prerelease guidance centers, halfway houses and other so-called community-based treatment facilities. These are provisions that I am very pleased with.
But my difficulty is that I question the direction in which the bill proposes to move our overall delinquency control programs. It gets out of balance. I am sure that your committee will consider this problem. I think that you are, perhaps, aware of it already.
It gives no promise of a concerted and comprehensive improvement of the basic juvenile correctional systems, the courts, the probation departments and the training schools. It rather reflects an overwhelming amount of confidence in a new system of peripheral services and facilities composed of community-based programs.
I think it is well at this point to point out that we have to reconsider some of the basic problems in delinquency control, and I think we ought to do something concrete about these problems.
However, we propose to manage the 4 million children in the United States who are either delinquent or in danger of becoming delinquent, we must have trained and qualified people to do it.
We have learned recently from the President's Crime Commission report and from a study by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, that there are only a third of the trained people we need, anywhere, in our correctional system. This is a distressing fact.
Senator CLARK. If I may interrupt you. I am keenly aware of that. When we had the legislation which authorized this study of manpower needs in the correctional system, it was quite shocking to know of these shortages. I hope that there is going to be an adequate report next year as to how we can get that personnel, all the way from psychiatrists and the like, and police officers and probation officers who deal with the criminal side. It is just shocking to know of the shortages.
Senator Dodd. I know it is. I know that you are well aware of it. I am happy to hear that there will be a report out on it.
I feel that if we propose to manage these youngsters we have got to have better trained people; as you have indicated you agree, Senator Clark.
In this legislation we are proposing new institutions and programs that will cost the Federal Government some $450 million.
These new institutions and programs will definitely need more people, but nowhere does the bill provide for the training or recruitment of personnel for these new institutions let alone the old ones. We are way behind.
Senator ČLARK. If we do not have the people to manage them, there is no need to have the institutions.
Senator Dopp. That is exactly my point. It is most unfortunate, because it could easily lead to the erosion of the traditional correctional field by siphoning off even the inadequate personnel it now has to man the new programs. This pirating of trained people occurred when the original Juvenile Delinquency Act was passed much to the detriment of already existing programs.
There is a second problem
Senator CLARK. If I may interrupt. I see that the Secretary has arrived, and I am sure that he is very much concerned about this, too, as to how we can recruit the trained personnel necessary to administer an adequate system of juvenile delinquency correction. Of course, the usual way is to raise the salaries. We know that this results in other people raising salaries, and the like. How can we induce the young people to go into this most worthy profession?
I said earlier it consists all the way from wardens to psychiatrists.
Senator Dodd. Yes; I think anybody who has thought about this problem at all realizes that we have to train people in our educational institutions and encourage them to get into this field. This can be done in many of our State universities and colleges. I just do not think that we give enough opportunity and enough encouragement for people to go into these fields. I feel that the best way of going about it is placing more emphasis on the need for people to enter the field, and to give them good training programs so that they will be better suited to carry on the work when they get there.
Senator CLARK. Of course, there is a wide spread of skills needed in this field. I think we were told that there is something like 60 disciplines involved in the correctional system. And this is true, because you do not have to have all Ph.D.'s in this field.
Senator Dopp. That is true, I am sure.
Senator CLARK. We can use high school graduates for some of this work.
Senator Dodd. Yes. However, we need professional people for counseling, therapy, or probation casework. At its best, this treatment seems to be an interaction between a skillful practitioner and a deliquent which can change the latter's attitude or behavior and change, perhaps, the whole course of his life.
Senator CLARK. The caseload of the many individuals dealing with juvenile delinquency is so heavy that it is impossible for any individual to take care of the youngsters who are supposed to be under his charge; is that correct?
Senator Dodd. There is no question about it. Somebody has told me that with what we have now in the way of trained available personnel we can only give about 15 minutes a week per patient, which is, obviously, wholly inadequate. So, we do not have enough trained people. I consider this a grave problem.
Senator CLARK. I am sure that you have given much thought to this. I wonder what your reaction is to the assistance that can be given by private, charitable institutions in this area. For many years, I was a member of the Big Brother Association which dealt with kids who had gotten into trouble, on a one-to-one basis. I must admit that my own experiences in that regard were not entirely satisfactory. I was in it for 5 or 6 years. We had many of them follow fine practices, and then found them ending up in jail. Do you not think that such institutions can be very helpful?
Senator Dopp. Yes, I do. I think they are tremendously helpful. And without this help, we would be much worse off, obviously, than
However, these organizations have their limitations.
By the time a young boy or girl gets into serious trouble with the police, they almost always have already had other problems as well, as I have learned with the limited experience I have had in this area. There may be problems in the family, problems in the school, at work, or in the community. There are problems of rejection, misunderstanding, discrimination, and often of cruelty. They are painful experiences for young minds; they are experiences which little by little cause distortion in the personality, which warp emotions and which build a wall of loneliness and isolation. These problems require professionally trained people, if they are going to be solved.
Senator (CLARK. I am sure that you would agree there is a direct connection between juvenile delinquency and the riots that we have been having in so many American cities where the youngsters are out there in the front for whatever reason they are out there. I do not know whether you would agree, but is occurs to me that they see a good opportunity.
we are now.