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volunteers of the most intelligent type, and are even beginning to see afar off on the horizon the danger that it may become fashionable.

These workers are indeed untrained, if one insists on applying the standard of the professional sociologist, but from the practical point of view they are men of large experience in the world of affairs, and adjust themselves rapidly to the idea of helping a boy to get along in the very world in which they have succeeded. They find it a familiar task, most of them enjoy it, and a resignation is a rare occurrence.


The practical method of procedure employed in the use of the system is a simple one and designed, of course, to save the time of the volunteer worker. Whenever the investigating officer reports to the court that the evidence in a case is likely to show the need for a probation officer the directory containing names, addresses, and telephone numbers furnished us by the committee already mentioned is at once consulted. The volunteer residing in the district nearest to the future probationer, or for any other reason specially fitted for the case, is then notified that it is the desire of the court to place the boy in his care.

The hour of trial is designated and the officer urged to be present that he may have the benefit of all the information which may be presented to the court. In the selection of these officers special care is given. All girls and younger boys are assigned to women; boys 12 years and over to men. Distinctions of color and religion are kept as far as possible, beside that of locality, although we have not in Indianapolis so far made any systematic effort to district the city. The officer selected rarely fails to respond. At the close of the hearing the child is assigned to the officer, who at once holds his first consultation with the child in order to make the appointments for the regular weekly report, which is one of the terms of probation. If this does not take place at the time designated, the court is at once notified.

In his personal work the volunteer officer tries to keep in touch with the child in the different phases of its life. Through the blanks provided for the purpose he can know the attendance, conduct, and progress in its school life, if he is unable to make a personal visit to the teacher. By telephone he can determine the nature of the employment record or the boy's reputation in the neighborhood from the patrolman on the beat, but at least once a month every officer is urged to visit the home of the child, in order to keep in touch with the home and neighborhood environment which are surrounding his ward, for it is in these that the real cause of a child's delinquency is hidden, and it is only after close and persistent study of these conditions that this cause can be discovered and a systematic effort at removal be made. The first of every month the officer is expected to file with the court a full report of his work, including any recommendations he thinks

necessary, either for discharge, new methods of treatment, or institutional training. The court stands ready at any time to respond to any appeal made by the officer for assistance, to summon the child to court for further reprimand, to furnish employment, for which a regular employment bureau has been developed, or, if necessary, to remove the child from the home. Thus in every way the probation officers are assisted by the court, but the personal supervision in the majority of cases is left fully in their charge.

That the supervision thus intrusted to a corps of wholly untrained workers by a court still in its experimental stage was not misplaced is corroborated by the fact that out of 240 children placed in the charge of volunteer probation officers only 42 have been returned to · court for a second offense.

From this brief description of the development and methods of the volunteer probation system in Indianapolis I hope that it is at least partially obvious that the difficulties in the way of the system are by no means insurmountable.


I wish now to present on the positive side the actual advantages which I believe it to possess. The most obvious claim to practical consideration is, of course, the ground of expense. Few counties or cities will salary a sufficient number of paid officers for adequate supervision, and there is always a limit to the good will of private organizations or individuals, but even if the paid worker could be obtained there is always this danger to be considered—that the office may become a political graft in the first instance, and in the latter that the officer may come to do his work in a perfunctory way. But these are mere superficial reasons, nor does the real vindication of the system lie in the actual success obtained with a corps of workers in the experimental stage of the newly established court, but rather in the principle already stated, that regeneration in the child is wrought by personal contact with men and women of a higher type than he has ever known, by the presentation to him of an ideal which he can clothe in the form of a wholesome hero worship.

For the boy who stated to his probation officer that as soon as he was old enough he, too, wanted to be a probation officer, and for the two little girls who refused to accept their discharge there had been fulfilled something of the purpose of the court in securing this relationship. The chief difficulty of recognizing the possibilities and value of this relationship lies, I think, in our failure to distinguish the essential difference between the released prisoneron parole and the boy on probation. In the case of adults, in the release from a penal institution, the idea of law is necessarily the prime factor to be considered. Character is already formed, ideals and standards are no longer in a

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state of formation; thus supervision must primarily take the shape of authority and be more or less negative and suppressive in its nature. In dealing with the juvenile delinquents, on the contrary, we have an entirely different set of conditions—conditions which become more apparent when looked at from the view point of probation rather than from that of investigation. We have here the individual in a state of evolution, with the instinct of imitation paramount. This is the instinct which has, in the majority of cases, produced the misdemeanor, and through it rather than through any other function of the child's life will his development be effected.

If this be true, the chief end of the probation system is to present to the mind of the child a tangible ideal worthy of his imitation, and the function of every juvenile court to provide not punishment, but a friend to every child that crosses its threshold, and its regenerative work with delinquent children will be a success, as it is able to bring these children into close personal contact with vigorous and wholesome personalities. And these conditions, I believe, are better satisfied under the volunteer than the paid probation system, because the volunteer is able to come into more normal, more individual, and more permanent relations with the probationer than can the paid official.

Personally I believe that the paid worker is in certain phases of philanthropy at a decided disadvantage; that always the most helpful relationship is the most normal, the most natural and spontaneous. Again, no one nature, no matter how well rounded, can adapt itself to an indefinite number of personalities. The better service is obtained, I believe, where the interest of the worker can be centered on one, at the most three, children, in whose life he becomes so interested that he has no thought of discharge, and they in their turn are thus able to have a sense of personal ownership and to take pride in this, as they know that interest is given freely and without price. I know of no other relationship more sacred, more holy than this—the relationship between the child handicapped by heredity and environment and a man endowed with culture and advantages, meeting on a common plane of mutual helpfulness; for, if you please, there is in probation as well as in settlement work a subjective as well as an objective value. Relationship is indeed unique, older than Christianity, yet as new as the newest modern movement for the realization of democratic ideals in our social life, of which this form of volunteer personal service is but another manifestation.


Let me, then, in closing summarize our credo thus: We believe that the probation system is a scientific method of treating juvenile delinquency, because it seeks to determine facts, to arrive at the causes behind effects. We believe it, moreover, to be the humanitarian and ethical method as well, because it seeks to remove those causes through the uplifting power of healthy, human influence. We believe that a juvenile court without a thorough probation system is both unscientific and unhumanitarian; though it may obey every letter of the law if it has not the scientific attitude toward delinquency it is a mockery, and if it has not the power of personal contact it is like sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. The probation system was one of the first steps for the scientific treatment of criminality, but so long as it was merely applied to adults it was working at the wrong end. Its proper application to juvenile delinquency should be one of the most potent factors toward the ultimate solution of the criminal problem. MISSOURI.



The first session of the juvenile court of St. Louis was held in May, 1903, in the chamber of the court of criminal correction, temporarily used for the purpose. Among those present were a number to whom the day represented the culmination of four years of effort, yet the contrast with scenes enacted in the same court room under the old régime was such that they felt that they had not fully realized, until they received this object lesson, how merciful, wise, and just was the reform that had been effected.

The court of criminal correction, before whose bar had been arraigned more than one-half of the children brought to trial, appears to be an institution peculiar to St. Louis. It is distinct from the police courts, where are tried violations of city ordinances, and before it appear offenders who have violated any statute of Missouri. If the crime is sufficiently serious to be classed as a felony, the accused is held for the grand jury, and, in case of indictment, tried in the criminal division of the circuit court. A very low and degraded class of criminals are tried in the court of criminal correction, many of them old offenders, but there are also novices in crime, and formerly there were many children who on the day of trial waited a summons to the bar in the iron cage outside the court room with the adult prisoners. In this court little discrimination was made between children and adults. The children had their preliminary hearing, the day of trial was set, and they went from the court room to the jail, there to spend five or ten days until again summoned. Boys held for the grand jury spent weeks or months in jail. Three or four boys a month were frequently held. Since the establishment of the juvenile court as a “court of original jurisdiction” only two boys in a period of five months have been held for possible indictment.

The Humanity Club of St. Louis is an informal organization of ladies, whose object it is to aid in effecting legislation remedial of existing evils in the public institutions of St. Louis. In the summer of 1899 the jail committee visited the city jail and found there between thirty and forty boys under 16 years of age, some of whom were awaiting trial in the court of criminal correction, but the majority of whom were held for action by the grand jury, which was not to meet until


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