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be regarded as an implied waiver of the right under decisions in this State.
The court has been in operation now almost a year, and the effects have been quite striking. Besides the expected results-viz, separation of juveniles from hardened criminals, conviction of mere delinquency instead of crime, and the advantage of centralization in dealing with such offenders—there has been a diminution in the number of offenders. It was necessary at first to have a session of the court once a week; now once a month suffices, and the number of offenders arraigned each month is no greater than the number that were formerly arraigned weekly. This is probably partly due to the fact that one or more members of a gang having been put on probation or committed to a reformatory, the gang has been broken up, and partly because the method of disposition of cases in the juvenile court has taught police magistrates throughout the county to make more careful inquiry and dispose of the charge without further and more elaborate criminal procedure. Another result obtained is that it is found that not more than one out of twenty-five juvenile delinquents have to be sent to the county jail. They can be paroled, and where before the jail used to have from five to twenty boys undergoing all the contaminating influences of jail life it is now seldom that the jail contains one.
THE MISSION OF THE JUVENILE COURT OF INDIANAPOLIS.
By Hon. GEORGE W. STUBBS, Judge of the Court.
The establishinent of the juvenile court in Indianapolis grew out of the conditions found to exist in our city when I became judge of the police court in October, 1901. I had been judge of that court for one term of two years from October, 1893, to October, 1895, and after I had been out of office some years I was again elected to the same position in 1901. When I went into office the second time I was astounded at the number of children brought before me charged with offenses against the law. During the first thirty days of my second term more boys were brought into court than had been brought before me during the entire term of two years when I had held the court some years earlier. The situation was alarming and I began to cast about for some other and better method of handling their cases. Under the law as it then existed I could only deal with them as adults might be dealt with. The first step taken was to order a separation of their cases from the cases against adults, and a day was set apart for a special hearing in all cases against children under 16 years of age. This was not satisfactory, as I could only punish them as adults might be punished.
Out of this situation grew the agitation which resulted in the enactment of a law for the organization of juvenile courts in Indiana. We are greatly indebted to Mr. Timothy Nicholson and Mr. Amos W. Butler, of the board of State charities, for many of the wisest provisions in the law, notably the provision for the appointment of probation officers, which in my opinion is the best feature of the statute. The law provides for the appointment of two probation officers in cities of 100,000 population or more.
These officers are officers of the court. Their duty is to make what is termed a preliminary investigation of the home conditions, reputation, general character and conduct, habits, associations, and school record of every boy and girl against whom a charge is filed, and this investigation must be made before the case is heard by the court. The law also provides for the appointment of as many volunteer probation officers as may be needed, who are willing to serve without pay. Nearly 200 of these volunteer officers have enrolled themselves, many of whom are now serving the court and the community by caring for some poor boy or girl and aiding such child by precept and example to lead better and cleaner lives. These volunteer officers are all men and women who can afford to give a little time to the boy or girl who may be placed in their charge. They are clergymen, doctors, lawyers, and business men, and broad-minded, charitable women.
Since the Indianapolis court was organized, now a little more than one year ago, we have had before us more than 750 children against whom charges have been filed. The offenses charged covered the entire list of offenses known to the law, from the most trivial misdemeanor to grand and petit larceny, forgery, burglary, arson, rape, and murder.
A few of the worst criminals, the utterly incorrigibles and degenerates, have been sent to the State institutions—the Indiana Boys' School and the Indiana Industrial School for Girls—and some of the mildly incorrigibles have been sent to private schools and institutions, schools and institutions that are organized to care for such children. Many have been discharged outright, and in the cases of many others judgment has been suspended and they have been allowed to return home without further supervision of the court or its officers where the preliminary investigation has shown that the home conditions were good and the parents respectable people who were able to care for their child and who were anxious to have him uuder their own control. Nearly all the others, some 250 in number, have been released on probation, and each one of these has been declared to be a ward of the court and placed in charge of a volunteer probation officer.
VOLUNTEER PROBATION OFFICERS.
The work of these volunteer probation officers has been fruitful of good results. A boy who has lived in an environment of vice and degradation, who has been repeatedly sent to the nearest saloon after a bucket of beer which is consumed in his presence by the family, who listens to quarrels and often witnesses a fight between his father and mother, who is kicked and cuffed out of the house and often ordered to steal coal for the kitchen stove, which sometimes affords the only heat in the house, such a boy has but a poor chance in life without some outside assistance. But place him in charge of a kindly hearted, broad-minded man of affairs, a man of character and standing, and a new world is opened to him. He has never known that there was anything better in life for him than the treatment he is so painfully familiar with. Let such a man get the confidence of such a boy and the effect on the boy is almost electrical. If there be a spark of manliness in that boy's heart it is pretty sure to be fanned into a flame, and if the kindly, thoughtful supervision is only kept up that boy can be saved and developed into a good citizen in nine cases out of ten if only his appetite for cigarettes has not mastered him.
THE PERSONAL TOUCH.
It is the personal touch that does it. I have often observed that if I sat on a high platform behind a high desk, such as we had in our city court, with the boy on the prisoner's bench some distance away, that my words had little effect on him, but if I could get close enough to him to put my hand on his head or shoulder or my arm around him, in nearly every such case I could get his confidence. It is this close personal contact between the probation officer and the boy which we try to bring about, and it is this kindly interest taken in the boy by his probation officer that has proven to be so valuable to the boy and to the court. Out of more than 250 bad boys and girls—mostly boys--who have been placed on probation, less than 10 per cent of them have been brought into court again charged with a second offense. If the delinquent children of our large cities are to be reformed and saved from becoming criminals through the agency of the juvenile court, it will be found that the best and most effective work will be done by the volunteer probation officer.
I have said that we have had about 750 cases in the juvenile court in Indianapolis in little more than one year. This does not include the cases of many children about whom complaint has been made and in whose cases investigation has been made, but against whom we have not allowed formal charges to be filed, so that the whole number investigated would probably aggregate 850.
TAKING CARE OF BOYS ON PAROLE.
In addition to the regular work of the juvenile court we have taken upon ourselves the duty of finding work and homes for the boys who are paroled from the Indiana Boys' School at Plainfield, which institution is our State reformatory for boys. When a boy is sent to that institution he is committed until he is 21 years of age, but if he violates none of the regulations of the institution and applies himself closely to study and performs the work he is required to do to the satisfaction of the superintendent and board of managers he may earn his parole or ticket of leave when he has received a certain number of credits. Under this rule a boy may earn his parole in about a year.
The State has provided only one paroling officer for the institution for the whole State, and manifestly it is impossible for him to keep in touch with all the boys who are paroled, as his field is the entire State of Indiana. We took note of these conditions and made a proposition to the superintendent and board of managers that if when a boy was to be paroled who belongs in our county they would bring him to Indianapolis and parole him in the juvenile court and turn him over to us we would undertake to furnish a probation officer who would keep in close touch with him, and that we would also find a job of work and a decent boarding place for him.
This arrangement went into effect in January last, though I believe the first Plainfield boys came to us in February. Since that time we have received a number of boys from that institution, all of whom have been furnished with work and with boarding places where they did not have homes to go to. A probation officer has been found for each one, and I am pleased to state that most of them are doing well.
In order to carry out this plan we had to call upon the manufacturers of Indianapolis to assist us in the matter of furnishing employment for these boys. They nearly all offered to take the boys after the matter was explained to them, to pay them reasonable wages from the start, with a promise of increase as the boys might be able to earn more money, and to furnish a man, usually an assistant superintendent or foreman, who would look after, care for, and advise with the boys about their work during working hours, and about their conduct and associations when not actually employed. This plan is proving to be an excellent one. So far as the county in which Indianapolis is situated is concerned, the boys when paroled from Plainfield are no longer permitted to drist back into their old habits and associations, but are given a start on the high road that leads to manliness, good citizenship, and success in life; and while all this is not a part of the duties of the juvenile court as laid down in the statute, yet we have taken it up and have so far been amply repaid for our work. This feature of our work affords a fruitful field, with the promise of a glorious future.'
I would not have you think for one moment that because of the large number of children brought into our juvenile court that Indianapolis is a bad city to live in or that it is worse than other cities of its size in the country. It is not. Indianapolis is a good city; it is a city of homes, a city of schools, a city of churches, a city of manufactures, a city of good people. I do not believe that there is a city of its size between the two oceans that will excel it in point of good citizenship, and yet we have our submerged tenth.
THE CIGARETTE HABIT.
How is the great increase in the number of delinquent children in all our large cities to be accounted for? I have given this question a good deal of thought and some investigation, and I have reached the conclusion that aside from all the frailties and weaknesses that afflict our common humanity and which are liable to blossom and develop into crime, especially where there is a lack of parental control or where the parents themselves belong to the ignorant and vicious class, yet by far the worst thing to be met with in the cases of boys charged with delinquencies is the cigarette habit. Manliness and good conduct can be aroused and stimulated in most boys, no matter what the offense of which they have been guilty, if only they are not cigarette fiends. When a boy has become addicted to the use of