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That is the other suggestion that I would like to offer.
I still want those copies, if I could have them.
Mr. MITLER. No further questions.
Mr. NEEB. Senator Langer, do you want the bill?
Mr. NEEB. I have those. Do you want any more of those bills?
Mr. Neeb, we are very grateful to you for giving us your thoughts and the summary of your study and your experience in California. I think you have rendered a very fine public service.
Mr. NEEB. I want to say that I appreciate the honor of being here before you gentlemen, and I might say in behalf of all the very distinguished members of that committee, we appreciate your interest in this problem.
And if in the future there is anything that we can do to aid you in your splendid efforts, we would like to have a part in it. Thank you very much.
Chairman KEFAUVER. Thank you very much, Mr. Neeb.
Mr. NEEB. I have already written it down, 12 copies to you. Chairman KEFAUVER. We would be glad for you to sit with us up here during our hearing today.
Mr. NEEB. Thank you.
Chairman KEFAUVER. Mr. Mitler, who is our next witness?
Mr. Mitler, who is the associate counsel of our subcommittee, has, at the direction of the committee, made a detailed study of this problem, the matter of addiction and treatment of juveniles, and I am going to ask him to come around to testify and give us any information he has secured.
Mr. Mitler, do you talk about any people so that you need to be sworn?
Mr. MITLER. No, I am not mentioning the name of any person. Chairman KEFAUVER. All right. Will you first tell the extent of your study, and proceed in your own way?
TESTIMONY OF ERNEST MITLER, SPECIAL COUNSEL, UNITED STATES SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
Mr. MITLER. On behalf of the subcommittee, I interviewed drug addicts and institutions in the Midwest, the west coast, State of Texas, and in New York State, and I interviewed altogether about 200 addicts who were, most of them, in institutions, and some of them were out of institutions.
I interviewed police officials in most of the major cities throughout the United States, and I also interviewed psychiatrists and psychologists who worked in these institutions and were interested in the problem, and I made a visit to the border at the point where Tijuana comes in contact with California, and I want to here simply report on the composite picture.
Chairman KEFAUVER. Mr. Mitler, before making your report in addition to your experience with this subcommittee, you for a number of years were assistant district attorney with Mr. Frank Hogan of New York and you had a great deal of experience in narcotics cases, matters?
Mr. MITLER. Yes. I tried a great many narcotics cases and presented narcotics cases to the grand jury, court of special sessions, while I was in Mr. Hogan's office.
I want to report simply on the composite result of these interviews. I am not an expert in this field; I am simply bringing back to you the observations and what I was told. There are here today the outstanding people in this field who can tell us exactly what is being done in the different treatment centers. Now, of those people interviewed the great majority had had their first contact with narcotics at the age of 17 or 18. Occasionally they had had their contact at 15 or 16. It was usually 6 months to a year later where they had their first conflict or first arrest so that you have to subtract a year or 6 months from the date of the first arrest to give you any indication of the age when these young people came into contact with drugs.
Chairman KEFAUVER. How many did you say you interviewed? Mr. MITLER. About 200.
Chairman KEFAUVER. What was the age of the people you interviewed?
Mr. MITLER. I interviewed people from the age of 15 up to the age of 45. The majority were between 23 and 27. There was a cross section, but I did focus on those under 21, and I interviewed a great many 17 and 18.
Chairman KEFAUVER. About half males and half females?
Mr. MITLER. Yes. I think I interviewed more men than women. Chairman KEFAUVER. All right.
Mr. MITLER. I should add that some of the interviews were conducted under the jurisdiction of the narcotic squads in different parts of the country. I did not interview any addicts at the United States Public Health Service at Lexington or at Fort Worth. That is not in conformity with their policy to have their patients interviewed there.
Now, of those interviewed the majority and especially those of the young group had their first contact with drugs through the use of marihuana. That is universally true. Some started in immediately with heroin and of course it is commonly known heroin is the preponderant drug right now.
Of those interviewed, and this is not mapped out statistically but about half had had some conflict with the law before they started to use drugs and about half had had no conflict with the law before they started to use drugs. But they all had committed crimes or had arrest records after they used drugs as the result of their need to get money to sustain the habit.
Of those interviewed I should state they were usually cooperative and they did not indicate any of the belligerency or aggressiveness that is a common denominator of those identified with armed robbery or with different types of crime, but they were cooperative during the course of the interviews.
Those interviewed-and they were not interviewed as I said at Lexington or Fort Worth of those that had been in Lexington the great
majority had been removed from the use of drugs at the United States Public Health Hospital at Lexington or Fort Worth.
There are 2 types of persons that go on to these 2 installations, hospitals-there are those who go on their own initiative and those who go there as Federal prisoners. Those who had gone there as volunteers and were permitted to leave when they wanted to, the majority did not stay the recommended period of time which is 4 months and 15 days. They had stayed at those two hospitals simply long enough to be drawn from the drug and then they had left the hospital and had relapsed very shortly thereafter into the use of drugs.
With respect to the prisoners who had been to the Public Health hospitals at Lexington and Fort Worth and this is with special reference to those who were in the younger group, they too had relapsed into the use of drugs after having been at these hospitals.
However, of those interviewed, they all did know of other persons who had permanently remained off the use of drugs after having been at both of those hospitals.
In the United States there are three institutions that are exclusively devoted to the treatment of drug addiction. One is the United States Public Health Service Hospital at Lexington. The second is the hospital under the same service at Fort Worth, Tex., and a third is the Riverside Hospital in New York, which is the only hospital, I believe, in the world which is exclusively devoted to the treatment of drug addicts and those in the under-21-year-old age group.
Those who went to Lexington reported to me that the attitude of the staff was helpful and cooperative, but they had been built up very well physically, that Lexington had done a full and good job for them, but as the result of the fact that there was no follow-through or after-care program especially with reference to the volunteers, in other words after they left Lexington they were sort of dumped back into the community, that they felt they had relapsed into the use of drugs, the biggest point made by all of these addicts who had been to Lexington and Fort Worth was that they felt there was a need to have representatives of those hospitals in the major cities to give them guidance, cooperation, and help when they return back into the community.
Now, I just want to briefly report on some of the other things that they said, which have been confirmed by other officials. Many of the addicts who had been to Lexington and Fort Worth stated they felt Fort Worth Hospital had more of an atmosphere of a mental hospital and a treatment center. Some of them felt Lexington had somewhat of a prison atmosphere. They did not object to it. They simply stated that it had something of a prison atmosphere. Some who were in the 17- and 18-year-old group stated to me that they had discussed with the older addicts who were Federal prisoners at Fort Worth and Lexington drug addiction. I asked them about the mixing of volunteers who came as patients and Federal prisoners. The majority said they felt they had a common denominator and that was drug addiction and they did not feel it was wrong to mix the two.
However, some volunteers were reluctant to be mixed with Federal prisoners.
The Riverside Hospital-and there will be testimony about that, I don't need to touch on that, there is the only program for those in
the under-21-years-old group and it is the only hospital where there is existing a followup clinic which exists in the Metropolitan Hospital in New York.
When the patients leave the Riverside Hospital there is available a clinic they can report to to give them help and guidance after they have left the Riverside Hospital.
I spent about 6 weeks in the State of California and I visited some of the mental hospitals which is where drug addicts are committed under civil commitments. In other words if they have not committed a crime they can volunteer and go to a mental hospital. I was told there my be a program there. I think I should report to the subcommittee an interview I had in one of the hospitals near Los Angeles. I interviewed a 17-year-old boy from a nearby community who said that he had been told in his community that he would get guidance, therapy, and help at the hospital. He said to me all that has happened since I have arrived here is that I have been confined in this ward. The mental patients have the availability and the privilege of the grounds and I am staying here for 90 days. I asked the other patients where the treatment program was and they said there simply wasn't any. All the other people who were in that ward who were drug addicts confirmed the fact that there was no program. They were just sitting out the 90 days. The officials at the institution, and I think this is something they want to overcome, stated that with one psychiatrist with so many hundreds of patients and these drug addicts coming for such a short period of time they are not able to provide a full treatment program.
Chairman KEFAUVER. That is a State institution in California? Mr. MITLER. That's right.
Chairman KEFAUVER. So that confirms testimony that we have had from Mr. Neeb that there is just no program there?
Mr. MITLER. There is no program and the officials are the most anxious to be able to develop one.
With respect to the border, I went to the border
Senator LANGER. Just a minute. How many inmates are there at Lexington and Fort Worth and Riverside? Do you have them at each institution?
Mr. MITLER. Can you help me?
Dr. LowRY. Population yesterday was 1,173.
Mr. MITLER. How many at Fort Worth?
Dr. Lowry. I don't know.
Mr. MITLER. Fort Worth is smaller; I believe more of the patients are mental patients there than drug patients. I think the drug patients there are about 250 and the mental patients are 800. correct?
Dr. LowRY. I can't answer that.
Chairman KEFAUVER. About 1,423 altogether?
Mr. MITLER. At the Riverside Hospital there are about 200 to 250 young people so those are the number of people receiving treatment at the moment.
On the border-I just wanted to supplement what Mr. Neeb saidthere is one additional factor. The sheriff's department of San Diego County has appropriated money and is trying to do a job at the border. The sheriff is Bert Strend. He has there, stationed at the border in
the entrance to Mexico, late in the day, three of his deputies. Of course, they don't have full authority to physically stop people but they do have a curfew law and whenever they see young people trying to come over the border they speak to them and ask them the reason for wanting to go into Mexico. They use every power they can to persuade them if it appears that they are going there on a lark and probably to secure drugs and I myself observed them turn back by persuasion some young people.
So that is a voluntary step that has been taken by the sheriff's department in San Diego County.
I want to just report two other things. A lot of addicts said they had been also helped by narcotics squads in cases when they had become addicted. They had been urged to go to Fort Worth and Lexington and had been given guidance and help. However, there were some instances-this was reported to me by a former officer who got into difficulties and is in an institution right now and later confirmed by responsible officials-that there is in some places and in isolated cases but there occasionally has developed a practice whereby addicts who are arrested are given narcotics by the officials while they act as informants and I know that it is not done in New York or Philadelphia but it seems inconsistent with the overall policy of the narcotics law and I have spoken to some of the officers who are here today and they feel that very strongly. But there have been situations that have been confirmed by prosecution whereby addicts have been given narcotics and sustained on the habit while they go and act as informants and it seems that if doctors are not to be given that discretion, that discretion should not be given to anybody else.
Chairman KEFAUVER. That is not done with official sanction by the Bureau of Narcotics?
Mr. MITLER. No; not by the Bureau of Narcotics. It is done in a few areas with official sanction directly and indirectly with the intent of getting behind the scene.
Chairman KEFAUVER. Are you referring to State officers?
Mr. MITLER. State.
Chairman KEFAUVER. State narcotic people? Do you know of any instances where Federal narcotic agents engaged in such practice?
Mr. MITLER. It wasn't reported to me in a reliable enough way to-I wouldn't want to comment on that because unless it is confirmed by an official
Chairman KEFAUVER. It is not confirmed to you that any Federal officers were engaged in such a practice?
Mr. MITLER. It was stated to me by someone who I do not feel was completely reliable. But it was confirmed on the State level. I have been told of isolated instances where it did happen on the Federal level but was not confirmed and I do know it has happened on the State level.
In the interviews in the institutions I think it is only correct to report that the great majority I interviewed-and they are a crosssection-were not addict pushers. It was very rare that I encountered anyone who had been selling drugs who himself was not addicted. There are some. But the great majority of those who are in institutions that were interviewed were addicts who claimed that whatever they did in the way of dispensing of drugs had been done in order