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JUVENILE COURT LAWS ADOPTED IN
A new departure of any description from the existing Buffalo. Judge Tuthill, Judge O. H. Horton, Mr. Hastings H. order of things must be successful if it would be popular. Few Hart, LL. D., Mrs. Lucy L. Flower, Miss Julia Lathrop, Mrs. human beings are so constituted that they care to be actively Martha C. Falconer and Miss Minnie F. Low were constantly on identified with a measure of any kind calculated to bring about a the go telling others interested in the work how Illinois has radical change, to the extent of pushing it against great opposi solved the problem. tion. Reformers throughout the United States realized that the As a result of all this agitation laws similar to the Juvenile worm in the bud, the poison that was destroying the life of good Court law of Illinois have been enacted in Wisconsin, Penncitizenship, the moth that was gnawins at the fabric of human sylvania, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Missouri, Maryland, society until it was becoming tattered and disreputable, was the Colorado and Washington, D. C. fact that the rising generation was growing up surrounded by It was never contemplated by the child-saving workers in Illiseasoned vice and hardened criminality. They realized, too, that nois that the Juvenile Court law of Illinois should or could be if the crime disease should ever be destroyed, the work of adopted in its entirety in other states, but some features of the fumigation must begin in the homes and with the children, and law can be engrafted or added to the laws of the several states. that they must be cured by being educated and loved out of their For example, a separate court might fit the needs of some states, ignorance and desolation. Every person interested in studying probation officers others, recognition of child-saving societies conditions and helping people to rise above them knew that noth others, preventing children from being confined in prisons others, ing could be accomplished along this line without the arm of the visitation of institutions and formal indorsement of same by some state backing them up in the form of legislation which would official body of societies and persons engaged in the work others, help them. The need of legislation of this kind was discussed and last and greatest of all, the section of the law compelling at meetings and before clubs, but no good was accomplished be parents when able to do so, to support their children wherever cause there was no strong, guiding hand back of the movement. they may be, which section it would seem would be useful to No battle was ever yet won without a master hand and brain every state. Any one or other of these various features of the at the head of the army. The necessary leader was lacking Illinois Juvenile Court law may be of use and benefit to the among the reformers and as a consequence, while a great deal other states. The principal feature of the Juvenile Court law, of ammunition was used, most of it was wasted, scattered and however, should always be uppermost in the minds of those inrendered ineffective because the aim was poor, and the mouth terested in securing similar laws in other states, and that is to of the weapon was not turned squarely upon the enemy; and be transfer the care and custody of the person of the child to a cause the undertaking was such a great one, each state hesitated court of original and unlimited jurisdiction, so that the court to take the initiative and lead in the fight against the forces of shall have sufficient power to deal with all the difficulties that evil and crime. At last Illinois forged to the front, strong in her surround the particular child, not only at the time it is brought earnestness of purpose. Determined to take a position against into court and becomes a ward of the court, but at any time the forces of the enemy and lacking a weapon that would enable when it may be brought in in the future to have its growing her to make an intelligent fight, she made a weapon for herself. wants supplied by the court, standing in loco parentis. The Juvenile Court law was the result. Not alone the people in Chicago, but throughout the state, vibrated with joy when the Juvenile Court law was finally passed and placed on the statute books of the state. Every person interested in child-saving work up and down and across the entire country sent up to Heaven a prayer of thanksgiving that a leader had come out of the wilderness of woe, a leader who pointed the way to a star of hope, a leader strong in battle with a weapon which they could pattern after.
Requests for copies of the Juvenile Court law began to pour in from all sides. These requests were promptly answered, and copies of the JUVENILE RECORD (published by the V. & A. So.), containing the necessary information, sent to applicants. Eager eyes watched the formation of the Juvenile court in Cook county, Illinois, and anxious brains studied results to see if the new law would be a success. It was a success, and then, with the cry of “Eureka, I have found it, the philosopher's stone which will transmute the base metal of evil into the gold of good. The thing is a success, now I will push it,” the reformers in the several states gave their enthusiastic support in an effort to secure similar enactments. Because the Juvenile Court law was a success it became popular.
Agitation began at once in other states for a law similar to the one passed in Illinois, and those who had helped to frame the Illinois law were invited to visit other states and explain the measure and the method of administering it in Cook county. The enthusiasm even traveled across the ocean and was taken up by London child-saving societies and charity workers, and like work was done in Japan. Judge Hurd spoke before clubs and societies in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Wm. O. La Monte, clerk of the Juvenile court and a deep student of the relation between the law and the child, explained the theory and practice of the legislation governing the cases of Juvenile offenders to the members of the Wisconsin legislature at Madison. Mr. T. D. Hurley spoke in Washington, D. C., in Baltimore, Ohio, Wisconsin and
DENVER JUVENILE COURT.
American Boy, and Youth's Companion as he left the courtroom,
Among all of these children I could not find a hardened or malicious face. They are not bad, they are simply struggling through the period of infancy and adolescence with no staying hand to guide the way. Some mischievous habit, perhaps an inherent one, is trying to get the mastery and they were drifting along tossed by fate until the authorities and the Juvenile Court have attempted to be the pilot. With such able assistants as Attendance Officer John J. Smith and his efficient assistant, Mr. William Shafer, we may feel the truth of Shakespeare's words:
"How far that little candle throws his beams,
So shines a good deed in a naughty world." I feel that a great educator is in our midst doing where we fail and lending us a helping hand when we need it. Beaumont once wrote:
"He that's liberal
Sending Poor Children to the Country.
Saturday, June 7th, was the last report day for the school year in the juvenile court presided over by Judge Ben B. Lindsey. It was an edifying audience which received the judge as he entered the court room. A couple of little tads as soon as he opened the entrance door clapped their hands in glee, but all the rest of the room was decorum and order. Their bright eyes and faces shown from the refreshing contact of water, for each child had come directly from the baths to the court room, with but one exception. One lad of 10 or 12 years, whose face was dirty and hair all on ends, complained to Judge Lindsey that he could not take a bath, for he took cold the last time, but on gentle persuasion he repaired to the bath-room and came back a half hour later in a presentable shape.
One hundred and twenty children brought individual reports to the judge, who opened each one and commented on its contents. Most of them contained words of praise and encouragement from teachers and principals, and the bearer of each was still farther rewarded by receiving the heartfelt praise and sympathy of Judge Lindsey. How their faces beamed when he would say: "I knew you were all right, Jim ; just got a little off the track of right dealing, and that is why we did not let you go to the Golden. You are going to stay right with me, aren't you, and we will show the world some day what a fine fellow you have become.” A kind talk was given to each one as his name was called and words were not needed by those children to express their feelings—their faces spoke louder and sank deeper into the minds of the spactators who were present. One dear little chap with his ringlets still dripping from the bath, broke into piteous low sobs as he cuddled close to Judge Lindsey's side and made known amidst moans that he had lost his report from the principal, and the worst part of the disaster was that it said "excellent.” He was scarcely 9 years of age, in height he barely reached the top of the desk, and yet if there was not the report system this baby perhaps would be in Golden among the criminal class of boys. Oh, it was lovely to see how tenderly the judge patted his shoulders and the "word of honor” was accepted as just as good, and this wayward tot just beamed oceans of thanks on the man who sat in judgment against these children, yet lived with them, and met their level with his unbounded sympathy and care.
I had the extreme honor to sit on the bench with Judge Lindsey and read with him some hundred and twenty reports, and all gave proof of improvement with but one exception. This boy's report read “unsatisfactory.” It was here that the discretion of educator and judge was practiced, for the restless-eyed urchin amidst the happy room full of children was not subjected to public chastisement or discipline. He was kindly asked to take a seat to one side and meet the judge after the session in his chambers. This boy looked most unhappy and depressed, for he heard the closing talk to those who had kept their promises and who for months past had made their reports read “excellent," when in September it read "incorrigible." These children are not requested to bring written reports during the summer months, but are placed on the roll of honor and are to report themselves on the 7th of July to Judge Lindsey. Several boys had been excused before court opened, for they are employed and serving in many responsible ways their employers. But sixteen boys were especially honored and rewarded, and as the clerk read the names they filed in front of Judge Lindsey's bench. In simple language he told them how the court appreciated their worth, their integrity and effort—that they had transformed themselves from criminals charged with various offenses, to upright, manly fellows, kept in school regular and had conformed to the rules of both school and court. He told them they were excused from ever reporting at that court again, and urged them to go out and live the life he felt sure they were capable of leading. He complimented them on the excellent reports for nine months and invited them to come and see him so that their good fellowship might not wane. Each child was given a copy of Success, the
The Chicago Bureau of Charities and the Chicago Daily News Fresh Air Fund are again planning to send poor children from the overcrowded sections of the city into the country for a two weeks' outing. The object is to give needy and neglected children, many of whom have never been in the country, an oppor. tunity to enjoy two weeks of fresh air and wholesome food. The children sent will usually be between the ages of six and twelve; they will be given a medical examination to guard against contagious disease and will be clean and properly clothed. An attendant will be sent with the children to see that they reach their destination safely and that they are properly distributed in the various homes willing to receive them. This attendant will call for the children at the end of two weeks to bring them back to the city.
The Bureau of 'Charities and the Daily News Fresh Air Fund select the children most in need of an outing; arrange and provide the transportation and supervise and direct the selecting of the parties who go to the country, notifying them of the time of departure and return, arranging with the country people for the number, age and sex of the children to be received, etc.