Page images
PDF
EPUB

“Never do a mean thing.

but he was the leader of a movement which resulted "It is mean to lie.

in a thorough reform and reorganization of the alms"It is mean to allow another boy to be blamed houses and reformatory institutions of England. for your faults.

No change will be made in the charities he found"It is mean to take advantage of a fellow who ed. His work will be carried on under the direction does not know about things as well as you do.

of William Baker, his chief assistant, and other men “It is awfully mean to take anything that is not

and women he trained for managers of the ninety

four homes, shelters and schools under his care. He yours, even if it is only a stamp or a pencil or a button.

was wise and far-sighted enough to incorporate “The “Keep honest and always quite straight in little

Barnado Homes" with a board of directors composed things.

of leading business men and philanthropists of Lon"Always speak the truth.

don. The articles of incorporation were drawn by his "Keep your mind and your thoughts pure and

own hand, and he left a will setting forth the plans clean.

and policy he wished to have his successors follow. “Never listen to a boy saying dirty or rude things.

Indeed, his death has stirred up more interest in his "Never look at another fellow doing rude things.

work than was ever shown before, and one of the "Don't forget to pray every day. If we ask God

results will be a memorial fund upon which his sucto keep us straight and mean it, He will do so."

cessors can depend in the future whenever the volunDr. Barnardo's influence was not limited to his tary contributions may be insufficient to pay the runown work and to the institutions which he founded, ning expenses.

“Just Boys.

Benjamin J. Shove, Police Justice.

was

a

Are the boys of Syracuse better than the boys living in other localities? says "Chalk Talk". Outside, of course, of the advantage of living in the City of Syracuse, I guess our boys are just like other boys the world over, no better, no worse; and yet, of the five hundred or more boys that have been brought before me within the past two years, charged with all kinds of offenses and coming from all kinds of homes and from all different conditions of life, I have failed to find one boy among them who was a born criminal. I have found two or three that were born vagrants, but the born criminal among boys under sixteen years of age I have not found. Naturally, I am becoming somewhat skeptical about all this talk of the born criminal, and am coming more and more to the belief, that it is our only self-satisfied excuse for treating boys as criminals in the past and making criminals of them. Speaking from personal experience and observation, I would say, that if we treat a boy as a criminal, the chances are nine to one that he will become a criminal, and if we treat a boy as a boy,-just boy,—the chances are nine to one that he will remain a boy and grow up and become the ordinary respectable citizen.

There has been no greater progress in any phase of our modern social problem than there has been in the treatment of the boy under sixteen years of age in his relation to the administration of criminal law. I find few people know how deep and fundamental these changes are. Up to as late as 1903 a poy of twelve or fifteen years of age, charged with a felony, burglary or grand larceny for example, was placed in a cell with adult criminals, brought into Court with them, was charged with a felony, and held for the action of the grand jury, and if convicted, was ordinarily sentenced to the House of Refuge at Rochester. Throughout the proceeding he was treated as a criminal and every impression that his

childish mind received was, that he and necessarily must be a criminal for the rest of his life. In the old institution at Rochester, which now, thank Heaven, exists no more, he was received as a prisoner, placed behind bars and in cells, and throughout his term was treated as a prisoner and a criminal. When released from the institution' he came out into the world, and the world treated him as a criminal and, no matter what his intentions were when he came out of the institution, he soon found that he had to accept himself at the world's valuation of him, and so became criminal. When he became twenty-one years of age he found he could not vote; that he was not a citizen because he had committed a felony. Now, all this is changed. In the first place, he can no longer be placed in the same cell with adult criminals. In the second place, he can no longer commit a felony.

By a law enacted in 1905 “The commission by a child under sixteen years of age, of a crime, not capital or punishable by life imprisonment, which, if committed by an adult would be a felony, renders such child guilty of a misdemeanor only." He is no longer brought into Police Court; he is simply brought into a Children's Court, and is talked to by a man who tries, as best he can, to impress the boy with the idea that he is talking to a friend who is trying to help him; and if finally owing to surroundings or other conditions, it is necessary that the boy be sent away, he can be sent to the new State Agricultural School of Industry, which has taken the place of the old school of refuge at Rochester. Here he is placed out on a large farm, finds himself in a small group of other boys like himself; is placed upon his honor, given his freedom and independence, lives and sleeps in rooms with no suggestions of a bar or of a jail about them, and receive no suggestions that he is a criminal or must necessarily be treated as a criminal. We find that by the

boys appear at the appointed time to hear and receive the final judgment of the Court. You can not make me believe that boys with a sense of honor like that, are born criminals. I will grant that they may fail many times and when they get out with their crowd, will be bad or mischievous, but if they are treated as boys and not as criminals, the chances are all in their favor that they will grow up good and respectable citizens.

“Bless your

practical operation of these laws for the past three years, society has been more fully protected than under the former methods, and that instead of making criminals, as we did under the old method, we are now making men.

During the past two years some one hundred and fifty boys, charged with offenses ranging from burglary down to truancy, have been placed upon probation and given a chance. Of these one hundred and fifty boys less than fifteen per cent., have gone wrong and have had to be committed to an institution. Nearly every one of these failed because of home surroundings. People frequently ask me, "What do you do with the boys between the time they are arraigned and the time their cases are tried or finally disposed of in the Childrens Court; of course, the great majority of them can not get bail; do you keep them locked up all that time?"

rt, no; I arole them. The boy and I have a heart to heart talk, and after it, I say to him: 'Now, I want you to be in Children's Court at such and such a time. If I let you go, will you promise me upon your honor, that you will be there at that time?'” And the boy will say: 'I will be there, and we shake hands on it and the boy goes away, back to his home. Of the four or five hundred boys I have paroled in this manner in the past two years, how many do you think have gone back on their word? Not a single one. I have even gone farther than that.. Time and time again, after a boy has been convicted, and I have not made up my mind what is best to do with him, I have said: “I want to think about this some more; you come back on such and such a day, and I will let you know whether then I will send you away to an institution or give you a chance." Even under those severe conditions where the boy himself does not know but what he is going to be sent away for a number of years, I have never failed to have one of those

The greatest problem with a boy is what to do with him evenings, or when he' is not at school or at work. Frequently when a boy is placed upon probation, I will make rules as to his conduct, that he must not go out evenings except in such company or to such places as his probation officer approves; but you can not expect that the very best volunteer probation officer can give up more than one evening in the week to a boy; and what about the boy the other evenings of the week, where in the great majority of cases, he has no home in which he can spend the evening either in comfort or pleasure or with any profit to himself? The only solution of this problem lies in play-grounds and in the boys' clubs; and until we, the citizens of the City of Syracuse, give every one of these boys in the city who have practically no home life, and there are hundreds of them, yes, thousands of them, good open air play-grounds, in which they can indulge in wholesome play, and good boys' clubs in which they can spend their evenings in wholesome amusement, and with profit to themselves, we can not expect any better results than we are now obtaining. Speaking from my experience of the past two years, give me good play-grounds and good boys' clubs, and I will guarantee there will be practically no criminals growing out of the present generation of boys in Syracuse.

Congestion of Population.

Address Delivered by Judge R. J. Wilkin, Children's Court, Brooklyn, N. Y., April 7, 1908, at meeting Historical Hall,

Brooklyn, N. Y.

That the changing conditions in the City, so far as the congestion of population is concerned, are having great effect upon all classes of people and in fact on relationships, I think we can agree to without dissension.

This seems to enter into the life of every resident of the Borough of Brooklyn as well as in the greater City of New York. That it affects the passage on the street of pedestrians as well as vehicles; that it affects the transportation from one point to another; that it affects social and business life at every point and apparently in every possible way must be admitted by all. Such a condition applies equally to the children of the city. The gathering together of a crowd of people in one section of the city overloads the capacity of the public schools and the elasticity of conditions will not permit of giving every child of school age in that particular district the benefit of a full day's time in his class. This leads to the half time classes and in its turn it reaches to the irregularity of the attendance of the children, because the experience in the Children's Court during the past few years when the question of the enforcement of the Compulsory Education Law has been more closely studied than heretofore, shows to us that one of the most

regular his attendance, is due to the fact that this week his school hours begin at nine o'clock in the morning, and end at one and next week begin at one and continue into the late afternoon. This succeeding week he goes back again to the morning session and any child who is at all inclined to truancy or inattention in attendance at school, his nonattendance is rendered more difficult of curing because the mother perhaps who may be the part or whole wage-earner of the family, has no time in the actual providing of the necessities of life to study whether Willie must attend school this week at nine o'clock in the morning or at the afternoon session, so it comes that this congestion is in a degree responsible for the truancy in our city.

As our cities grow in population also apparently new crimes are made, not in fact those crimes which are wrong in themselves and show a moral turpitude but what we term in the law, malum prohibitum, that is, owing to conditions it is necessary for the law to prohibit the doing of certain things, but it is almost laughable when we think that now roller-skating on the throughfares of the city by children, in other words the playing in the streets by the children and citizens is classified under one section of the Penal Code.

It was

Lawn-tennis, the batting of a soft ball about the streets has on the farmers side to even indicate to them that that is important reasons that is given why the child does not make private or prohibited property. Is it any wonder then, that been the cause of bringing children under the control, of the larcency of growing vegetables is of daily occurrence and criminal law, and the throwing of a' base-ball, or the playing that the children's Court becomes cognizant of this condition of "cat" has now for some years been so reprehensible that and worse than all the child who under ordinary circumthe uniformed guardian on the post must interfere with the stances would have gone along playing the free life of the strong arm of authority and put a stop to it.

child is brought down to be classed soon with the disreput

able and dangerous element of the community. But why Under this condition it prohibits the playing of tag be

need we enlarge more on the conditions the evils of concause it is noisy and tends to rowdyism and the various other

gestion during this and next week will be expatiated upon old fashioned games that the children played when the men

by eloquent speakers and views from almost all positions. and women of to-day were children, are now very frequently

It has always been my hope that if I could speak it would be prevented owing to the large number of people who are upon

to try in some way to suggest a remedy or a possible remedy the streets who have rights upon the streets and who through

and to-night it seems to me if anything is going to be gained the carrying on of the games have their rights interfered with.

by this exhibit and this exposition it is going to be along the I look upon the great growth of the gambling habit

lines of improvement in efforts that are going to be suzamong children in the shape of "craps" as being largely due

gested and practiced if inaugurated here. to the fact that the boys no longer can claim the health giving active games usually expected of youth, but must Not long after the organization of the Children's Court confine their efforts to standing around the corner or in some

it developed that children would come into the court and be other way behave themselves so as to not interfere in a placed on probation and after being placed on probation and boisterous way with the rights of their fellow citizens. having served their time under the care of kindly probation

At such a time as this, one can only generalize in regard officers had earned what we might call their right of freedom to the thoughts and hint at conditions. I could take up the

and the sentence of the court was suspended upon them, or whole evening in presenting to this audience the various as we, in the Children's Court prefer to say, the disposition phases in which the attitude of the child to the public has

of the case was deferred, it was found that in many cases the changed with the increase of population in our great cities.

beneficial effects on the other side were lost by the too This does not apply only to the old Manhattan Island ex- hasty removal of the care. It anpeared that of children who cept in degree, for Brooklyn, Jersey City, Long Island City,

were doing well on Probation when sentence was suspended and the other large communities surrounding Manhattan and the care was released, some dropped back into their old Island show more and more as time goes on the effect of habits, some dropped back under the old influences and were the pulling in of the lines of safe activity on the part of the again arrested and brought before the court. It happened individual.

that boys were brought some times three, four, five, and even

six different successive times charged with offenses. Take another view of the condition. The foreign laborer

found also that after a child had been committed to an infrom his home across the ocean lands on our shores and be gins his work; after he has toiled arduously for a period he

stitution and had been in the institution a sufficiently long earns and saves sufficient money to send over to the other

time to have been benefited by the training and care there side and bring out his family and this usually consists of

that he when discharged to his home and returned to the wife, and one, two or three children, perhaps more and when

old environment without the benefit of the kindly word and they arrive a small space is rented for their home, sometimes guiding hand of a friend soon dropped back into the old it is of one, two or three rooms. The man is hard at work

surroundings and was again brought before the court. These

conditions have been ascertained and efforts now are being still every day arising early in the morning and going perhaps some great distance to his labor. He returns late at night made to endeavor to supply through the agency of a tired with the physical effort he has put forth and in no con- volunteer the kindly friendship of the probation officer for dition either physically or mentally to be of much benefit

the individual child so liberated. A meeting was called by toward the education or entertainment of his children. The the justices sitting in the Children's Court in Brooklyn and mother with her providing the food, looking after her home the charitably and beneficiently inclined gathered together and mending the clothing, taking care of her household representing the Catholic, the Jew and the Protestant and duties is equally engaged from her up-getting to her retiring finally after discussing the situation it was determined to at night and in addition to the household of the man and his organize an association whose object would be to endeavor in family

, perhaps to eke out the rent one or two boarders are some way to bring to the life of each child that required such taken and when they are provided for in the household, the a friend, a kind hearted citizen who would be willing to give older of the boys and unfortunately sometimes of the girls, of himself not in the shape of alms nor money, but of his are physically crowded out of the room through the necessity thought and of his kindly word and in fact of himself and of

Is it any wonder then that the little his friendship what little he could to some one particular boy goes out upon the streets, sleeps in the hallways or boy. In this way the Brooklyn Juvenile Probation Associaother protecting places at night, in the summer time in tion came into existence and the organization has continued wagons or vacant lots and soon comes to the attention of and is striving now to interest those who are better placed the police either as a vagrant or under some more serious in the community in such a relation to the unfortunate child charge?

that both may be benefitted by the misfortunes of the one

and so it is that the people in the more and continually more Another class of emigrants come to our land. It is a class of people who have lived in the smaller towns, perhaps the

congested city are trying to ameliorate the condition of those

who suffer by the drawing in of the lines and in this way hill towns of the countries of Europe and these people come

meet the situation that confronts us. here and are placed in the more closely populated and built up city growing as the outlying parts of Brooklyn are to-day hope that it will be the good fortune of our Probation and with closely built up city on one side of the street and a Association to get the names of a number of volunteers who kitchen gardenfarm on the other. There is no room on the will be willing to take an interest in some particular one dwelling side for the child to play, and there are no fences unfortunate boy.

Robert J. Wilkin.

of lack of space.

.

[graphic]

Juvenile Fire Insurance
Court Law Company

How To Work Under It

[ocr errors]

A
MANUAL

OF CHICAGO, ILL.
Organized, Officered and Owned by residents of this
city. It should, therefore, receive the encouragement
of the insuring public of Chicago...

STATEMENT DECEMBER 31, 1905 :
CASH CAPITAL

$200,000.00
NET SURPLUS

27,684.52 TOTAL ASSETS

811,368.19

Officers:
Thos. F. Keeley, Pres. Wm. J. Kervin, Treas.
Frank E. Willard, Vic -Pres. Geor.e Essig, Sec'y.

Directors:
Thos. F. Keeley, Pres. of Keeley Brewing Co.
M. J. Naghtin, of John Naghten & Co.
Z. P. Brosseau, of Brosseau & Co., Board of Trade.
Edward Cluff, Insurance, New York City.
James I. Naghten, of John Naghten & Co.
Frank E. Willard, Sec. and Treas. of Willard

Sons & Bell Co.
Peter Fortune, Pres. of Fortune Bros. Brewing Co.
M. W. Kerwin, Capitalist.
Eugene M. Keeley, Sec.-Treas. Keeley Brewing Co.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »