Page images



concern. But we are understanding, I believe, of what you are attempting to achieve, and we wish you the best of luck-as well as to Mr. Carter. We hope, Mr. Secretary, that you will permit Mr. Carter or perhaps Miss Switzer to come back another time, after we go through the rest of the list of witnesses, so that if there are some questions that come up, we can go to you to get their comments on some of the changes that will be made.

Senator Dodd proposed an amendment. There are other amendments which will be proposed.

We want to thank all of you very much for your statements and your presentations. They have been very helpful.

(The prepared statement of Secretary Gardner follows:)




Mr. Chairman, I welcome this opportunity to appear before the Subcommittee on behalf of S. 1218, the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967.

The record of achievement of this Subcommittee in seeking solutions to the problems of juvenile delinquency is impressive. In 1961, your Subcommittee offered strong leadership in passing the first Federal juvenile delinquency program. In six years, that program demonstrated a variety of concepts and techniques that have enhanced our understanding of youthful devianey. The Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967 would enable us to make good use of that knowledge and to continue developing new approaches through support of State and local efforts.


Jír. Chairman, in 1965, youths between 11 and 17, who represent only 13 percent of the population, accounted for half of the arrests for such relatively serious crimes against property as burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft. In that year, the rate of arrests of juveniles jumped nine percent over the previous year, while adult arrests fell by one percent in the same period.

The President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, responding to this dramatic rate of growth, was moved to suggest that "America's best hope for reducing crime is to reduce juvenile delinquency and yonth crime."

But our task is not only to reduce crime; it is to salvage young Americans and set them on the path of constructive self-development.

Our current methods of dealing with delinquency have been relatively ineffectire. limited in content and impact, and in some cases, positively harmful. Many experts inform us that the process of being adjudicated, of bearing the stigma of the delinquent label, of being dealt with by the courts and correctional systems are often in themselves a factor in leading the way to a criminal career. The recidivism rate among youth who have been institutionalized runs as high as 50 percent.

Jere involvement of a youth with the juvenile justice system increases the chances that he will return to that system; and commitment to correctional institutions may reinforce delinquent values and negative attitudes towards authority.

The ineffectiveness (to say nothing of the expense) of commitment to correctional institutions argues for a heavy emphasis on prevention, and if prevention fails, for alternatives to institutional commitment.

We have witnessed success of programs in which adjudicated youth are retrained in their communities as an alternative to commitment to institutions. One such program in Essex and West Hudson Counties, New Jersey, supported under the Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Offenses Control Act of 1961, accepted delinquent boys referred by the Juvenile Court.

The project combined special education, job training, community service, and parent group counseling. After six months in the project, the majority of the participants were able to return to their regular classrooms.

The President's proposal, S. 1248, would go a long way towards providing the resources necessary to meet problems of delinquency and to implement the recommendations of the President's Commission.

THE LEGISLATION : AN OVERVIEW The legislation proposed by the President emphasizes treating the offender in the community in which he lives, not in an isolated institutional complex far from normal family life. The community ultimately must cope with the offender on his return and he must learn to live in that community as well. Treatment of youth apart from communities generally offers little more than a temporary disengagement for both youth and society. But community resources for working with problem youth are universally scarce. The proposal would provide incentives to communities to develop methods of delinquency prevention and correction that take into account the varied needs of today's youth. It would support continued research and experimentation in order continually to refine our knowledge, and would provide for continuing evaluation of programs as to their success or lack of it. The proposal would also provide technical and material assistance to communities seeking to develop comprehensive programs for prevention and control.

Mr. Chairman, the House Committee did painstaking work on this legislation and deserves commendation for its efforts. The Committee has made a number of changes in the proposal, but in the main it has supported the intent of the bill before you.

I would like to describe the provisions of the President's proposal and then comment briefly on the significant ways in which the House bill differs from that proposal.

Although its implications are broad, the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act is a relatively simple proposition—it has only two titles and it would authorize $25,000,000 for 1968 and necessary sums for the next four fiscal years.


One of the greatest needs in the field of juvenile service is systematic planning. Each State has within its boundaries many different approaches to the problems of delinquency. In many States, these approaches range all the way from the most traditional to the most experimental, from the most punitive to the most permissive. Some localities within the same State have more and better programs than others; some have competing and overlapping programs side-by-side. There has been little effort to compare experience, or to adopt sound practices developed elsewhere.

The President's proposal would offer States and localities positive incentives to plan for a comprehensive and coordinated system of preventive services and control facilities. It would allow us to require such a plan as a precondition to receiving funds.


Law enforcement agencies, courts, and correction agencies could receive help to make full use of community resources for the treatment and rehabilitation of youth who have come to their attention or under their jurisdiction. Official agencies would be encouraged and assisted to improve the handling and disposition of cases prior to adjudication.

Courts and correctional agencies could develop alternatives to the traditional practice of probation and parole, through broader access to the resources of community institutions.

A principal need facing probation and corrections is a greater range of alternatives to traditional forms of incarceration to encompass the varying needs of offenders. This legislation would support development of these alternatives. These might include group treatment programs carried out in the community, family type group homes, peer group residences, work camps, and youth rehabilitation centers.

Each agency which receives support for the development of such rehabilitative facilities would be asked to make provisions for relating its programs to the schools, employers and other community institutions. At some point in the process of rehabilitation, offenders must be given the opportunity to try out new and legitimate roles in the community. Until they have the opportunity to learn such roles they will remain locked in a delinquent status. Priorits woul!! be given, therefore, to projects which involve employers, school officials and various other organizational representatives in aiding the reintegration of these young people into normal community life.

PREVENTIVE SERVICES Providing sufficiently specialized services while avoiding injurious la beling and stigma poses one of the central dilemmas in the field of delinquency prevention and treatment. The Crime Commission has outlined some ways of meeting it-by minimizing the separation in special classes of children who need special help in school and by returning them to regular routine as soon as possible; by involving whole groups of young people rather than just the trouble. makers, and by de-emphasizing adjudication as the primary method of dealing with difficult children. To achieve these goals we will need to have new and different kinds of community agencies for dealing with delinquents, non-judici. ally and close to where they live.

The President's proposal is designed to help communities establish these new kinds of resources-and to carry out one of the Crime Commission's major recommendations for youth-the establishment of a special youth agency in the community. Such an agency would be expected to give priority to youth referred by police or courts, but would be a resource for youth with a variety of problems or needs. Thus, it would not be set a part and stigmatized as a place for youth in trouble.

It could offer, either directly or through other agencies, a full range of services, e.g., diagnosis, group guidance, family counseling, creative recreation, employment and training, and remedial education, and opportunities for youth to participate in community activities. Members of its staff might be located in schools, recreation centers and other agencies to keep track of youth having difficulties and to relate them to appropriate resources.

Because of the important relationship between school experience and delinqueney, States and communities would be given incentives to develop new mechanisms for “rescuing' truants and other students in trouble by channeling them back into the educational process rather than referring them to juvenile court.

States and communities receiving funds for the development of communitybased services would be asked to provide opportunities for youth and their parents to become involved in efforts to help them. For it is in the process of involvement that much desired change comes about. Experience has shown, for example, that youth can participate effectively in efforts to create shifts from delinquent to conventional behavior within a group; that they themselves can help to stimulate community change through work in neighborhood organization programs.


Despite the fact that we have some knowledge about the delinquency problem, there are still many unknowns. Several examples come to mind: the growing phenomenon of alienation of middle-class youth; causes and treatment of youthful drug abuse; relative effectiveness of different approaches to prevention and treatment.

These Mr. Chairman, are the four principal elements of the President's proposal: planning, rehabilitative services, preventive services and research. I would like now to discuss briefly the major changes introduced by the House Committee.


The House Bill does not authorize funds for state and local comprehensive planning.

While it is true that funds for planning are available under the provisions of the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Act of 1967 and the Model Cities Plan; these funds are limited. Furthermore, the emphasis of the crime Bill is on adults and adult law enforcement agencies, more than on juveniles, and it is ununlikely that already limited funds will be stretched to the extent necessary to plan for delinquency prerention and control. The Attorney General and I have been cooperating on this and agree that planning is needed under both acts.

We urge that the Senate adopt this provision of the President's bill.

TRAINING AMENDMENT Much of the testimony heard in the House focused on the lack of provision for training of personnel in the field of juvenile delinquepey prevention and control. The House followed this advice and amended the Bill to provide grants for a

[blocks in formation]

variety of training activities, including university-based programs, in-service training programs, and special-purpose institutes.

But the Department has authority to support various types of training and we are planning to expand these resources. The Vocational Rehabilitation Training Program, the National Defense Education Act, the Child Welfare Training Grants Program are just a few examples of our existing resources for training.

The addition of training provisions in this bill will perpetuate the fragmented pattern that characterizes the Nation's training efforts. We hope to move in just the opposite direction-toward a consolidation of separate training programs.


Much evidence now indicates that problems of delinquency are associated in a complex fashion with the formation of a separate and distinct “youth culture." Everyone recognizes that the differences between youth and the adult world can harden into antagonisms, and even explode in overt conflict.

For these reasons the President's Bill emphasizes the need to engage youth in designing constructive solutions to the problems of delinquency. Experience has shown that delinquent and near-deliquent youth are capable of disciplined and responsible thought and action if they are given responsible roles.

The experiences of "White Hats" in cities throughout the country and of groups such as Pride, Inc. here in the District, demonstrate the effectiveness of involving youth in attempts to reduce violence.

The House Bill, as ordered reported, omits the passages referring to youth involvement in programs. We believe that it is important that the significance of this approach be reflected in the action of the Congress.


Finally, I would like to comment on what I believe to be the most restrictive measure in the House Committee Bill—the one-year authorization. This would seriously hamper our ability to administer the program.

Juvenile delinquency, like poverty an related social problems, is rooted deep in the fabric of our society and will not yield to short-term solutions. It takes months and even years of planning before some programs can be properly designed and successfully launched.

While the urgency of the problem suggests the need for immediate action, our current knowledge and the integral relation of delinquency to American life indicate that progress comes slowly. It is therefore necessary at the outset to plan for delinquency prevention and control in long-range terms, and to rely on an enlarged commitment of time, funds, and other resources if the problem is to be treated seriously.

The agency that has an insecure funding base is likely to seek short-term solutions to long-range problems. The end result is often disappointment and frustration among agencies that desperately need continuing help.

For this reason, we believe that the one-year authorization imposed by the House Committee would plant the seeds of doubt and uncertainty in agencies and their clientele. We strongly urge the Senate to adopt the President's provision on appropriations.

There are other changes introduced by the House Committee which warrant further consideration--for example, the limitation on funds for research. But I have stressed those changes which I believe to be the most critical.


Jr. Chairman, the Bill before you takes a long and carefully measured step toward meeting the problems of Juvenile deliquency. Much hard and diligent work has gone into its planning and writing. Members of the House Committee on Education and Labor have given in their close attention. In addition, it reflects the thinking and experiences of many thousands of people across our country who are striving for solutions to what is surely one of the most urgent problems of our day. This concludes my testimony. Thank you.

( The information requested by the subcommittee and subsequently supplied by Secretary Gardner follows:)

SEPTEMBER 15, 1967. Hon. Joux W. GARDNER, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Tashington, D.C.

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: In connection with the subcommittee's hearings on the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967 and your testimony which is scheduled for Thursday, September 21, the subcommittee requests that HEW representatives from each bureau or division which has responsibility for activities related to delinquent youth accompany you at the hearing.

It is my understanding that among the HEW divisions which have responsibilities in this field are the Children's Bureau, the Bureau of Family Services, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Vocational Rehabilitation Admiuistration, the Bureau of Higher Education, the Bureau of Vocational Education and the Bureau of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Prior to the hearing, I would appreciate it if your department would prepare and deliver to the subcommittee a report listing all legislative authority giving HEW responsibility for and all activities in fields related to the prevention, control or treatment of juvenile delinquency, youth offenses, and the problems of disturbed or delinquent youth in which HEW is presently engaged.

At our hearings the subcommittee will inquire into each of these activities particularly with respect to their relationship to each other and their relationship to activities in other Federal departments and agencies. Sincerely yours,

Chairman, Subcommittee on Employment,

Manpower, and Porerty.

( Report of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, September 20,


Program Title: Juvenile Delinquency Services. Nature and Purpose of Program : Development, extension, and improvement of State and local programs in the field of juvenile delinquency is encouraged through (a) providing leadership in the development of national, State and local programs for control and treatment of juvenile delinquency; (b) providing technical aid and advisory services to public and voluntary agencies and others, on standards and guides, methods, content, organization and coordination of such program (including police services, juvenile court and probation services, institutional care and community planning for delinquent youth); (c) assisting in planning training programs of professional and non-professional staff providing services to delinquent youth in States and local communities.

Authorizing Legislation : Basic Act of 1912 (42 U.S.C., Ch. c) Reorganization Act of 1945, Effective July 11, 1946 (60 Stat. 1095).

Administering Agency: Children's Bureau, Social and Rehabilitation Services. Program Title: Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Nature and Purpose of Program: Matching funds to states to cover 75 percent of the costs of vocational rehabilitation services for physically or mentally handicapped persons who can probably be rehabilitated for work. These services include: diagnosis, comprehensive evaluation, counseling, training, and employment placement; assistance in payment for medical and related services, prostheses, transportation to secure rehabilitation services, maintenance during rehabilitation, tools, equipment, supplies, other goods and services and vending stands for handicapped persons; and assistance in establishing rehabilitation facilities and workshops.

Authorizing Legislation : Vocational Rehabilitation Act as amended, 29 USC ch. 4, Section 31, et seq.

Administering Agency: Rehabilitation Services Administration, Social and Rehabilitation Service.


DIVISION OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY SERVICES The Division of Juvenile Delinquency Services provides technical assistance to public and voluntary agencies and develops standards, guides, and methods relating to various types of services and care for delinquent children. The fields

« PreviousContinue »