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Indianapolis Juvenile Court.
BY. JEAN COWGILL,
have been mistaken for a new member of the force, and did not tell the court that anything had happened. So the court was unconscious and natural.
George W. Stubbs is the Judge of the Indianapolis Juvenile Court. Once he was a police magistrate. There it was that the child problem came to him with its full meaning. Before ever there was a juvenile court law upon the statutes of Indiana, he had formed in his police court, what was morally a children's court. Also, he had a system of parole for adult offenders. Both these progressions he determined upon because he was beginning to see that there are no accurate methods of determining the deterrent power of punishment, as practiced in our courts. Specifically, it was in 1901 that he began to consider these things seriously. Before that he had served one term and conditions did not seem so hopeless. During the first thirty days of his second term, however, more juvenile delinquents were brought before him than dur
ing the entire first term. The number was appalling. Hon. George W. Stubb.
First there were set apart certain days for the hearing. (All this, mind, when there was no legal neces
sity for it) and court room loiterers were requested Indianapolis is a city of homes. True it is also to stay away. Soon afterward all hearings were in a city of factories and poesy, of legislation and a mo
chambers a condition which continues to this day nument, but more than anything else, it is its homes with none save those immediately interested in which give it a solidarity and a steadfastness that are
the child present. perhaps unmatched in any other American city. This Although the probation systems may vary in difbeing so, it is only natural that Indianapolis has what ferent systems; child life presents the same problems. is probably the most remarkable force of probation The causes of delinquency are the same, whether the officers in the world. No one, I think, gainsays the town be Squedunk or New York. The case of a girl worth of their accomplishment — no one who has in Indianapolis was typical and instructive. made investigation into their methods and organiza Say her name is Susan. It isn't, but this is a story tion, I mean. Because it is a city of homes, much the of a very wayward child who was not sent to an inlarger portion of the force of probation officers is stution but back to her home, to dwell with her parvolunteer! The reason is simple — your home lover
ents and be friends with her probation officer. In is always interested in homes other than his own.
cases like her's, the state faces complexities and reWhen misfortune steals into his domain, he is quick sponsibilities that seem well nigh hopeless. to lend a helping hand. There are four hundred and To begin with the girl was the product of weakfifty men and women in the Indianapolis volunteer ness and not of strength. Her age was a subject for band of probation officers. They are persons of intel- discussion. . Last spring she went to work in a facligence and standing in the community. Because their tory and her mother made affidavit before a notary work is voluntary, it is loving and thorough. Nor is
that the child was fourteen. The Indiana statutes are this in derogation of any paid system of probation. here very weak. All that is necessary for a child to There are cities — like Chicago, for example
where obtain an age certificate is for the parent to swear to such a system would be impossible. The next best the age. If I remember rightly about three out of thing to it is — but more of that farther on. India- five were found to be false here in Chicago, when the napolis and its singularly effective juvenile court procedure was the same. It is so easy to commit perwhich makes demands upon these same four hundred jury when the necessity is dire and such is the conand fifty probation officers.
dition generally, when the elder child is obliged to
go to work, as did this girl. As a matter of fact the In fairness to Indianapolis, I want here to state a
records show that she was fourteen last September. few facts concerning my recent visit to the court. They are facts for other communities, especially. 1
When it is a matter of age, the record is the only
thing that counts, be it baptismal or county or both. did not blazon the fact that I was the representative of
Note that I have said, “Be friends with her proany publication. I went visiting out of curiosity ap
bation officer.” As sure as she is a wayward little parently. My curiosity met a prompt set-back. They did not care to have their court proceedings viewed girl, that is her only salvation. Her parents are help
less and hopeless. She is their victim and they are by merely curious spectators. A door loomed before
society's victims in some vague, illusive manner that me, large and formidable.
I cannot define but only feel. "All hearings are in chambers," said a court officer.
They are weak, first, and the weakness is spiritThen I told him what I had come for. He was dis ual. Poverty holds them in its clutches — holds them creet and polite. He found me a seat among a and will not let them go. There was no one in the small crowd of volunteer officers, where I might easily court room but the witnesses and the child and the
no one save
chief probation officer, Miss Graydon
went out with the others. The disclosures concernthe Judge, of course.
ing were grave and pitiful. They were entirely the For the prosecution appeared the manager of a result of a too crowded tenement and lack of parental department store. The charge there was grave. care. The man's face grew white when he heard.
“She stole six dollars and fifty-seven cents,” said "My wife is to blame," he said sullenly. "I wish the manager briefly. Then he produced some checks I was dead. I'd rather seen she was dead and buried." to show how she did it.
The child caught her breath hard and just glanced "It was very simple, your honor," said the wit at him. It was a cruel thing for one's father to say ness. “She took the money from the customer, got when one is only fourteen and blue-eyed and pretty the things wrapped and did not turn in the money." and meaning to be a sweet and good woman. It would
Here a comment. A system which is so plainly a seem as if fatherhood should mean more. In the matemptation to poverty is bad — very bad.
jority of cases it doesn't. It means reproaches and "She confessed it to the store detective," finished repetitions and spites so that the child can not forthe store manager.
get, if it would. Something that parenthood forgets Now a moment of psychological analysis. I have often and often, Judge Stubbs reminded the man of. never seen a case of juvenile delinquency more fairly “You are to blame," he said. "You are responsible or more tenderly tried.
for your children. They were brought into the world "Susan,” said Judge Stubbs," "you hear what the without asking their consent. Your responsibility is gentleman says. Do you want to talk about it?" both to the state and to them. Wishing you were
There was only a plain flat-topped office desk be- dead is not going to help matters. You have got to tween judge and child. He looked at her eagerly, move away from your present quarters or I will take questioningly – not to find out the details of the the girl from your care permanently." case but bolster his faith in her truth. Nor did she He looked at the child. “What do you want to fail. Her blue eyes opened wide and she spoke bravely. do?” he asked. "I did it," she said briefly.
"I want to go home and help my mother,” said At this point it is well to emphasize a difference the girl. between this judge's method and that of some other “You shall,” said the judge, "as soon as they have juvenile court judges that I have seen. There was no moved.” more questioning in regard to the details of the theft. Then he recommended a volunteer probation ofCrime is a mental condition. The only way to cure ficer for the case and talked a few moments with the it is to get away from it, as quickly and as surely as child, who went out of the court room with her eyes possible. A fine young fellow who had raised United
filled with tears. States Money orders, once told me that he did it because he read in a newspaper how easy it was. He is in the federal prison at Leavenworth now. I have seen juvenile court hearings become breeding places for crime. Details cheerfully furnished, if necessary. No personalities.
The next question of the Indianapolis judge hit the mark squarely.
“What did you do with the money," he said gently.
"Treated the girls and went to the theatre and bought new shoes," replied the child.
“How many brothers and sisters have you?" "Five."
The father here broke in. “There'll be another soon, your honor,” he said. “I wish that I was dead before I'd ever seen this day.”
Still the blue eyed child stood there and faced the judge.
"What do you think about it?" asked the judge.
“I know it was wrong," said the child. The court did not make her say it again. Spoke Miss Graydon, now.
“There are some other conditions which the court should know," she said gravely.
“Shall I clear the courtroom?" asked the judge. The chief probation officer nodded her head. Again the judge was tactful.
“There are some details of this case which I wish to discuss with Susan and one of her parents,” he said. “The rest of you will please retire to the other room. The mother may stay."
“Not the mother,” said Miss Graydon. “She is not well." In truth the woman's face was pale and worn. Poverty had held her too long in its chains for any happiness lines to be left in her sharp featured face. So the father stayed in the room and the mother
A few facts could not but impress one strongly.
INDIANAPOLIS JUVENILE COURT. There were no unnecessary details.
SUGGESTIONS There was no twice telling of the offense.
The child was not shamed by the hearing. She was glad, rather than otherwise, that the truth was
First, gain the confidence of the child. established in her life.
Explain the probation idea-that you are to be his friend. Upon the moral delinquency there was small com Begin by believing in him, but never let him succeed in ment. There was much dilation upon the advantages
deceiving you. of goodness.
Keep in touch with him weekly; make definite appoint
ments; see that he meets these promptly; meet them promptly More of the work may be judged from a few sug
yourself. gestions which are printed for the benefit of the vol Treat him primarily as an individual; see him alone; if unteer officers. Their meaning is so plain and so ap
you have several probationers under your care, have them plicable to probation officers everywhere that I print
report separately. them bodily, without apology. They are a sermon in
Make a study of the child's peculiar temperament, his themselves.
habits, likes and dislikes; identify yourself with those interests.
See that your ward is kept in school as long as the law Those who argue for special training for probation requires (14 years); longer if possible. officers find a peculiar fact in Indianapolis. Business If he is in school, use the report blanks; visit the school men have been most successful in helping the chil
in person; co-operate with the teacher. dren. More, they have been most willing. This has If not in school, see that he is steadily employed; inform been a double advantage. Not only has the associa
yourself as to the condition of labor; better these if necestion been good but your business man knows the
sary, but discourage frequent changes. value of employment and where to get it. That men
Insist that the employment shall lead to skilled workman
ship; encourage attendance at night school for supplementoutnumber the women as officers is also significent in
ary training when possible. these days of commercialism. It shows a new trend Know how he spends his money; see that he starts a bank in the life of the public which is encouraging, to say account. If living at home, when practicable, insist that he the least.
pay a regular sum for board; in return, insist that he be
given a regular sum for spending money. Some of the qualifications which the Indiana law
Find out how he amuses himself; urge him to join the requires in the matter of Judges of the juvenile court,
Y. M. C. A., the Boys' Brigade, or the Boys' Club. are interesting.
Discover what he reads; secure him a library card; help He must be forty years of age. He must be a him to select the proper books; talk them over with him. parent.
Question him as to his friends; invite them to see you. In the main, perhaps the restrictions make for the Encourage him to establish some church relationship, and
to atttend Sunday-school. right man. Still it is a little severe on certain judicial
In all of this keep the boy's relation to the Court as aspirants.
confidential as possible; show that you do this to build up Judge Stubbs says there is one serious defect in his self-respect. the Indiana law. It concerns the contributory delin If, however, you find he is not to be trusted, verify his quincy. He hopes to see it changed by the next legis statement through parents, neighbors, employer or patrol
man. lature. It is contended by those who know that the judge who treats the child should also treat the par
Lastly, don't become discouraged.
Visit the home at least once a month; more often if the ent or guardian who contributes to the delinquency.
conditions necessitate it. Now, in case there is action brought against him, there
Explain to the parents your relation to the child; gain is recourse to the criminal court. On the whole it
their confidence and co-operation; give them yours. would seem that the judge's contention is fair and
Make a careful study of the home conditions; inform would result in the avoidance of much confusion.
yourself as to the number of the family, their habits, earnThree. paid officers superintend the work of the
ing capacity, etc. four hundred and fifty volunteers. Two are women.
If necessary for the child's good, insist on possible The other is a police officer who has made a good
changes, such as moving into a better neighborhood, etc.
Above all, keep your relationship to the home a friendly record in his line.
one; refer points of discipline or disagreement to the Court After a session of the court, he and Miss Graydon for adjustment. and I had a little talk. After a time it became very Report regularly to the Court the first of every month earnest. Among other things he asked me concern
on the slips provided for the purpose. ing Judge Lindsey, of Denver. Officer Stevenson is Consult frequently with the Court in person. his name. His little comment needs no explanation
Report all irregularities of conduct at once, but as far
as possible adjust those difficulties nonofficially, using the even to Judge Lindsey, himself, who, I am sure, will
Court only as a last resort. appreciate the viewpoint of the Indianapolis Officer.
If, after a fair trial, for any reason, you find it impossible For myself I have never visited Judge Lindsey's court, to become interested in the particular child assigned you, so I have no opinion.
ask to have him transferred; no creative probation work "They say," said Officer Stevenson, "that he sends
can be done without a mutual liking. boys to the reform school upon honor; that he gives Judge after due recommendation from the volunteer and
Wards of the court must be discharged personally by the them the money for their tickets and trusts them
investigation from the Court. completely."
Don't be in a hurry to sever the relation between the I have heard that this is so and so I told him. probationer and the Court; few wards should be discharged
within a year. Said the Indianapolis officer then.
Employment for boys and girls over fourteen may be se“We would not send a boy who could be trusted
cured through the Children's Aid Association, 501 Lemcke that far to the reform school. We would find him a Building. friend."
Phones: New, 1966; Main, 2366.
Cincinnati Juvenile Court.
Cincinatti faces problems that are more difficult school attendance is directly under the care of the than those that make life interesting for those who juvenile court has had a very gracious effect upon serve the Indianapolis Juvenile Court. It is larger, parents and guardians. Upon the first knowledge that more varied in population, and has more available a child of school age is not in school, the following places of temptation to the young. Yet Cincinnati is letter is sent to the person responsible. Almost in doing good and true work. Nowhere have I found variably the result is satisfactory. The method has more efficient organization along some lines.
been particularly useful to the court in the matter of Prevention is cure so say the Cincinnatians
determining the causes that underlie juvenile delinand they say it with conviction; they think they can
quency see the reason for their feeling in the results that Mr. they have obtained.
Schools are provided for the edication of the children Cincinnati, then, has less organizations than most
and they are in session five days of each week during the school term. The laws of the State of Ohio require that
courts. That is, it has fewer probation officers and
all children of school age attend regularly. (In case of more public appreciation. There are men and women
sickness send note or doctor's certificate to the teacher), in Cincinnati who are hopeful in their belief that some
It is reported that you are not complying with the
school law. To avoid further trouble, this letter is sent as day the majority of cases that are now brought into a kindly warning.
Respectfully, Juvenile Courts for treatment will be cured in some Complaint in your case
Judge Juvenile Court, simpler and still more certain way. This is nothing is
Per derogatory of the court -- it is only a faith in the pos
Chief Officer. sibilities of progression.
Finding the coupling of the court and the comCincinnati has a population of 200,000. There are pulsory education work produced good results, the 60 000 school children. The probation officers num school principals formed themselves into an associaber fifteen. The work that is done here, is the same tion which works in conjunction with the court, enthat is accomplished in other places but it is differ- tirely along the lines of prevention of delinquency. ently done — that is all.
The reason for this was simple. Observation told the There is the matter of compulsory education, for teachers that delinquency. was almost invariably the example. The fact that the matter of compulsory result of truancy. Just now, those same teachers are
compounding a set of statistics which will become problem with all his soul. His democracy is endless a matter of record in the Juvenile Court of Cincinnati and his understanding clear and subtile. Of the fifand which will show the exact relation between the teen probation officers that look after Cincinnati's litdelinquency and the truancy. It will be seen from tle ones, there are but four regularly paid by the this that the juvenile court is here purely "parental.” court. The work that falls upon the chief is heavy The people look upon it as in a measure a part of the but he does it generously and well. One day I came school system. The advantage of this is two-fold. It into the office when he was trying to bring a waydoes away with the odious criminal court idea and it ward boy back into the path of good behavior. The brings teachers into close relationship with the work two of them sat on the side of the table. The man's of the court. I found certain men in Cincinnati hand lay on the lad's shoulder. A tall, ungainly lad who believe that all jurisdiction which has to deal he was. The years had done more work than the ofwith childhood, should be confined to one court. This ficer could at once undo. is an accordance with Judge Stubbs idea in the matter While they talked, the dusk came on. It was manof contributory delinquency. In fact, the tendency hood, honesty, patriotism that the man tried to tell everywhere, seems to be, to confine all the difficulties the boy. When the matron had taken the boy back that assail the free and proper development of child to the detention home, which is just back of the court hood, in a class by themselves to be treated in courts room, he sat for many minutes and stared straight whose specialty is their consideration. Just what ahead. constitutional and other obstacles these good folks
The moment was psychological. I asked him about will run against is hard to prophecy. There is no the boy. They looked more like friends than anydenying the fact that Ohio is ahead in some respects thing else. of a few other states which claim much more com "I've tried hard," said the probation officer. "For prehensive juvenile court administration.
two years, I've tried. I hate to send him to the reCertain sections of the statutes are very clear in form school." certain details. For example there is the section which “Better for him, perhaps," said I. relates to the use of tobacco. "Any child within the The probation officer shook his head. "Never," he provisions of this act," the statute reads, "whose par- said. “I wanted to make a man of him without that ents or guardian permits it to use or become addicted but I found too many circumstances against me.” to the use of tobacco, shall be deemed without proper "His home?” said I. parental care or guardianship."
"His home," acquiesced the officer. "There is noA section like this would have done away with all thing worse than an outgrown home, is there?" the fuss and feather that it took to declare the Illi There are little cards floating around the Cincinnois Anti-cigarettes law unconstitutional. Of course nati Juvenile Court that do good work. Dozens and the expense is something that no one cares about. dozens of juvenile court children can repeat the three We are all too accustomed to the useless expendi- verses that are printed thereon. On the back is a two tures of government to consider them for a moment. or three lines of type which mean much — "compli
Then there is section which declares that boys ments of John A. Caldwell, Judge of the juvenile of seventeen, or under, are juvenile court wards. court." There is no better proof of the spirit that aniThere is another which declares that the power of the mates Cincinnati's juvenile court than the existence court over the delinquent or dependent child shall of these little cards. After all, it is only the animatcontinue until the child is twenty-one, if a boy. ing spirit of any institution that counts.-Jean Cow
Hearings in the Cincinnati Juvenile Court are pri- gill. vate. Their informality is even more marked than it is in Indianapolis. In the center of the room is a long
JUDGE RICHARD S. TUTHILL. table with chairs around it. At the end of the table
(By Judge Arba N. Waterman.) sits the judge so that he faces the child directly and
Born at Vergennes, Jackson county, Ill., Nov. 10 by leaning forward can easily touch him. Judge Cald
1841. Son of Daniel B. and Sally (Strong) Tuthill. well is especially forceful in his defense of this in
His ancestors on both sides fought in the Revolutionformality. In a long talk which I had with him, he
ary War. Judge Tuthill was admitted to the bar in said:
1866 at Nashville, Tenn., came to Chicago in 1873; "It is the only way I have of getting a hold upon was elected City Attorney of Chicago in 1875, and them. A child knows nothing and cares less about Judge of the Circuit Court in 1887 to succeed Judge the law. It is the judge that influences him for good John G. Rogers. He is a prominent Mason and a or bad. Unless I can get his confidence, I can't find
member of the Union League, Illinois, Church and out the truth about him. I do not believe that chil
Hamilton clubs. dren tell the truth through fear. They are a great
Judge Tuthill was married Aug. 24, 1868, to Jendeal more apt to tell it through love."
nie Frances Smith, who died in 1872, leaving one There is much to be said on this matter of the law child, and in January, 1877 he was married to Miss and the child. For myself I have always thought that Harriet McKey of Janesville, Wis. Six children are love of right is a much more desirable deterrent than the result of this marriage. respect for the law. Doubtless, though, the two are
Judge Richard S. Tuthill is one of nature's noblenot far apart --- really. .
men; often tried and never found wanting. There is a chief probation officer in Cincinnati who soldier he was cool, dauntless, determined and peraccomplishes much good. For several days, it was my sistent; at the bar he was studious, untiring, resourcepleasure to watch closely his methods. L. H. Weir is ful and faithful; as a judge he is learned, painstakhis name both Stanford University and the uni- ing, impartial and judicial. Possessed of the courage versity of Indiana claim him as their product. Of his which should attend earnest conviction, he has ever work it is sufficient to say that he is alive to the child been in the community a potent force.