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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.
We can build new institutions and programs by the dozen, and we can create employment and educational opportunities for every delinquent in the country. But these alone will not work miracles unless the delinquent also gets professional treatment.
This treatment is what we today know as counseling, therapy or probation case work. At its best it brings about an interaction between a skilled practitioner and a delinquent which can change the latter's attitudes and behavior, and perhaps the whole course of his life.
This is treatment that cannot be substituted with anything else.
By the time a young boy or girl gets in serious trouble with the police they almost always have had other problems as well. They may be problems in the family, problems in school, at work and in the
, community. They are problems of rejection, of misunderstanding, of discrimination and often of cruelty. They are painful experiences for a young mind. They are experiences which little by little cause distortions in the personality, which warp emotions, and which build a wall of loneliness and isolation.
This development may go on for months or years. And somewhere along the line there is a point of no return. Beyond this point, getting a job, changing schools or living in a halfway house, no longer helps. The child is shut off from the world as we know it; he has lost the desire to come back. He has entered a different world made up of crime, of violence, of drug addiction, or of insanity.
Only a person skilled in understanding human emotions, psychology, and social problems can reach into such a personality, to give it a new direction into the real world. And only trained persons can build a child's motivation to begin, a will to continue and a character to sustain the growth process so that he may take advantage of life's opportunities within the law rather than out of it.
I am wholly convinced that this type of individual treatment must remain the core substance of correctional practice.
We know that our youth are not getting this treatment at present. We know that we need it desperately in our probation departments. We know that we need it in our training schools. And I submit that we will also need it in the new programs and institutions now being proposed. But again, the bill does not recognize this need. There is still a third problem. It has been made clear by the recent reports from the President's Crime Commission and from other sources that the present juvenile correctional systems are inadequate in many other ways besides personnel and treatment programs.
They are defective in organization and policy, in administration, and in physical facilities.
I sometimes feel that we have been the victims of our own creations. We have neglected to improve the juvenile courts. We have under
manned the probation departments and we have turned juvenile training schools into junior prisons.
We have created monsters that threaten to devour our delinquent youth. And now in sheer desperation, we are proposing a bill to run away from them rather than to tame and control them.
This bill would spend 450 million Federal dollars to keep and get youths out of courts, out of the probation departments, out of the training schools and into community based programs. But it would not lift a finger to remove the defects from the existing correctional structure.
In my estimation, this is wrong. If the old system is defective beyond repair, we must abolish it. On the other hand, if we want to maintain it, we must improve it.
We must do either one or the other.
But we cannot just leave it suspended in mid-air in its present inadequate state while spending millions on getting delinquents out of it and into something else.
I submit that as a policy we should be less concerned with developing new institutions and programs than we should be with improving the old ones. The best example of this is the juvenile court system. What glowing promise this idea offered us in 1900.
But the execution of that idea was atrocious. As one witness told the Judiciary Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency:
I submit we have been the heirs in the past 50 years of what I regard as the most monstrous abortion of what was the intent of our society in its conceiving at the begining of this century of the need for distinguishing young people from adults in the provision of a method of adjudication of their difficulty and their problem, namely, to relieve them of the consequences of stigma which is associated with their being dealt with by a system of criminal justice and to be dealt with by courts of equity * * *.
The best of them have become too much like criminal courts They have lost in large measure that distinguished quality of equity because we have failed to staff them, equip them, present them with resources, and with an emphasis from the standpoint of the bench itself which would clearly distinguish the operations of those institutions from what was intended when a person in earlier years was brought before the criminal courts of the land.
Mr. Chairman, the witness was Joseph Lohman, an outstanding authority in this field who is presently the dean of the School of Criminology of the University of California.
The year was 1959 and I had been a member of the Juvenile Delinquency Subcommittee for only a short time. Since then I became chairman of that committee and have heard hundreds of witnesses, experts if you will, in this field. They have all said in one way or another what Mr. Lohman said.
And I submit to you today, Mr. Chairman, that the reason our traditional institutions haven't worked is not because the basic ideas behind them are unsound. The reason is we simply haven't provided the trained people or the money to make those ideas work.
I believe that every part of the juvenile correctional field must be developed to reflect the new knowledge, the new methods, and the new correctional techniques which have been formulated in recent years.
Every juvenile court must provide youth services capable of helping a child regain his foothold in the community.
Every training school we have today and every other correctional institution should be community based.
And every such institution should act as a halfway house from the first day a child gets there to help him prepare for an effective reentry into his own neighborhood.
Unless we improve what we have and make it an integral part of the new programs proposed in this bill, we will dissipate our effort.
Unless we do this, I fear we will fail again, as we have failed before, to prevent and control the delinquency problem.
Mr. Chairman, the committee may hear from the administration's witnesses, and from others that the bill as it stands now can do all the things that I have said it does not do but should do.
I do not read it that way. I have found no master plan which shows specifically what this bill will do other than support community based programs and institutions.
For these reasons, I plan to propose an amendment to cover each of the following areas: personnel, research, rehabilitation, and prevention.
First, I propose that we include in the bill a provision for the training and recruitment of personnel. Second, I propose that under the sections dealing with research and
I development, we specifically require the creation of a controlled experiment establishing a treatment unit for delinquents ranging from preinstitutional to postinstitutional treatment.
Third, I propose modifying the bill to specifically allow Federal assistance to juvenile courts, to probation departments, and to longterm correctional institutions.
Fourth, I propose in this amendment a provision designed to get the Nation's school systems involved in the prevention of juvenile delinquency.
One part of the amendment, Mr. Chairman, would require a cooperative effort between colleges and universities of this Nation, between crime control agencies and between the practitioners in crime control in developing a training and recruitment program for specialists in correctional treatment.
There will perhaps always be a shortage of qualified men in any profession. But I believe that we need to establish at least the skeleton of a system through which the correctional field can obtain a minimum of uniformly trained and qualified practitioners.
The second part of the amendment is required because we have a critical need for a model correctional system that can eventually serve as a guide for the rest of the Nation. This should be a continuous experiment that can systematically test the effectiveness of different types of treatment, including individual treatment. And it should test the effectiveness of a cooperative effort among the several phases of correctional work such as probation, institutionalization, and aftercare.
Such an experiment can be mounted under the auspices of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. There are examples now of elaborate treatment units for physical diseases in the National Institutes of Health. Since the causes and solutions of the delinquency and crime problem are as indeterminate as those of our most serious physical diseases, they should warrant equally serious consideration and study.
Over and above these reasons, such a model correctional system can well serve as a proving grounds for the training of personnel proposed in this amendment.
The third part of the amendment would help us improve the existing correctional system for juveniles, including the courts, the probation departments, and the training schools.
I said before that the existing system should be performing some of the operations which this bill would delegate to the community based system. There must be more adequate treatment programs in our probation departments and training schools based on counseling and therapy. Particularly in the training schools which house the most seriously disturbed delinquents there should be more rather than less treatment performed than in any other facility.
Yet, today, just the opposite is true. The philosophy seems to be, "These kids are hopeless anyhow. Why waste time with them.”
The juvenile court itself needs a massive overhaul. It has been criticized and stigmatized for decades and just a few months ago its procedures were rebuked by the Supreme Court of the United States.
We still do not know what the repercussions of the High Court ruling will be, but it is inconceivable that we could pass a major delinquency bill at this time without specifically spending some of the money it authorizes on the juvenile court which can play the most critical role in the life of a budding young hoodlum.
Finally, the proposed amendment will help the schools assume some responsibiity for delinquency prevention. It will develop personnel and techniques for teaching delinquency control to the secondary school population.
This, I think is a long overdue proposal for several reasons. The school is a normal extension of the family for the training of children. And yet it has failed badly in helping mold our young people into constructive, informed, and stable citizens.
On the contrary, we have study upon study in the social sciences which show that the school discriminates against the potential delinquent. It discriminates against the child engulfed by poverty and against the child whose racial, ethnic, or cultural background is different from what we call the American middle class.
Because the schools are run according to these so-called middle class standards, by middle class teachers, many children with different backgrounds cannot find a home there.
They cannot learn. They cannot be motivated to learn. They cannot keep up with their studies and, as a result, some 30 percent of them drop out. This is tragic in our modern world where the barest minimum requirement for any occupational and economic stability is a high school diploma.
Delinquency and crime are often the inescapable results of school failure.
But, the school's own failure is only part of the story. Another part pertains to the failure of the family which the school should help counteract. Here again we have piled up studies which show that the Negro family for generations has trained its children to distrust, if not hate, the white world. Because of the injustices suffered by this
group it has taught its young to evade legitimate interactions with the white society and to be defensive against it.
This type of teaching has bred isolation. And beyond this it has prepared the ground for hatred of the police, for disrespect toward law and order, and for delinquency and riots and the other disturbances which today grip our cities across the Nation. This is in part because the schools have failed to give young children a realistic understanding of the world they live in.
The schools have doubly failed because they have been blind and deaf both to their own inherent weaknesses in developing all young people, and because they have failed to go beyond the surface in understanding and answering the special needs of many children.
The modern world has become bewildering in its complexity and no family, rich or poor, black or white, can alone interpret it to the satisfaction of the young.
The school, however, can do this. It can mobilize the scientific knowledge we have about human behavior and teach children how to escape the pitfalls of delinquency, drug addiction, and social disorganization. I believe the school must assume this responsibility.
The bill before us states in the section on “Findings and Objectives." that delinquency prevention can be best achieved in the “normal environment of growing children and youths.”
I agree with this statement. But I think it is the school rather than a halfway house or a diagnostic center that makes up the normal environment of youths. But sadly, the school is hardly mentioned in this bill.
The halfway houses and diagnostic centers are almost viewed as the ultimate solution. In my mind this is not a realistic approach. That is why I have offered this amendment to get the schools involved in delinquency prevention. I think it would be a tragic mistake if we failed to consider this course of action at the present time.
Mr. Chairman, in my testimony I have tried to explore what I feel are the most crucial elements in our efforts to control youth crime. I have attempted to set them forth in the amendments that I have offered.
I might add that to take care of the additional provisions recommended in the amendment, I have proposed raising the ceiling of Federal expenditures under the act from $25 million for the first year to any sum the Congress deems appropriate not to exceed $35 million.
I hope the committee will benefit from my statement, and I hope it will call on me and on the Juvenile Delinquency Subcommittee for any further assistance that we may be able to provide.
[S. 1248, 90th Cong., first sess.) AMENDMENTS Intended to be proposed by Mr. Dodd to S. 1248, a bill to provide Federal
assistance to courts, correctional systems, and community agencies to increase their capability to prevent, treat, and control juvenile delinquency; to assist research efforts in the prevention, treatment, and control of juvenile delinquency; and for other purposes, viz:
On the first page, begining with "the" on line 7, strike out all through “of” on line 8 and insert in lieu thereof the following: "the inadequateness of”.
On page 4, begining with line 20, strike out all through line 3 on page 5 and insert in lieu thereof the following:
"Sec. 120. The purpose of this part is to assist law enforcement agencies, courts, and other correctional institutions, in connection with the treatment of rehabilita