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we place in charge of it those who are specially equipped and educated for the task?
I am not criticizing society so much in this regard as I am pointing out its mistake. Indeed, may we hope for any change until the public itself becomes better educated? It has been my conviction of this difficulty that has made me feel that an opportunity to use the advantages and opportunities one has in this court would be as much, if not more, to help to educate the public than to just sit on the bench and try cases. And, if you will pardon these personal observations in this intimate gathering, this has been one of the reasons that I have used my vacation periods to present these phases of our problems, as well as take advantage of the opportunity it gave me to get the wherewithal to fight the battles that ensued. And please do not forget that you cannot have a part in this bigger aspect of child welfare work unless you are willing to fight, and unless you are willing to give and take the blows that you must expect, and endure. The pains of the gauntlet you must run toward that goal will help in the shaping of this institution of the future. Anything else is to content yourself with being only stretcher-bearers to the superstitions, taboos, customs, injustices, and ignorance of the present-with becoming a party to their perpetuation.
We know well enough that, outside of perhaps a few exceptional cases, neither juries nor judges as now provided are sufficiently educated or equipped to deal with the problems of delinquency among children or crime among adults. Doubtless the persons who administer the affairs of institutions of human welfare in which the work of social welfare agents or agencies will in the future be carried on by the state will be especially educated and trained for their work. The absurdity of limiting that education to that of a lawyer has already become too apparent. If there is any one thing that is becoming less and less important in cases concerning the delinquency of children and even the crime of many adults it is this feature of it, as at present demanded by the law. As a lawyer, and having great pride in my own profession, I wish to explain, however, that what has been added by the law is as nothing compared to what may yet, and indeed must yet, be added by the law. And I believe this will be so, for our profession is as capable of being scientific and progressive as any other profession. The fact that it has not been, or has at least been a laggard, is no reason why it is not yet capable of great advance and great change.
Holy Writ promised us that a little child should lead us. Curiously enough, it has been that consideration of the law for a little child that has so far, from the legal aspects of the case, led the way. Even long before the historic year of 1899 in Colorado and in Illinois, the principle that in these states we then seized upon and applied for the correction of child offenders had been used in more ways than one for the protection of children. It was the doctrine of parens patriae, which some of us have translated into the state as "superparent." It was not, I believe, a power of the chancery courts, as has so often been, I am afraid, mistakenly referred to. It is rather a power in the legislatures that by
them has been conferred upon courts, and being a power to help people and not to hurt them was certainly not an invitation to confer it upon criminal courts, whose power has been to hurt people and not to help them. It is true that Massachusetts gave us the probation that we have used so generously in juvenile courts. But it is more appropriate that this power should be conferred upon a court having chancery jurisdiction, through which it has been generally exercised in children's or juvenile courts under rules and regulations that are there only available, and, of course, much more appropriate and effective, for its successful application. This power will gradually be extended to adult offenders in chancery courts everywhere. The first step in this direction began in Colorado nearly twenty years ago and has proven a great success.
The law, of course, had for hundreds of years, presumably under this power, recognized the added protection to which the minor was entitled in the probate court in his dealings with others concerning property. His contracts were not legal unless to his assent was added the maturity of years that he did not possess, but which were represented by his adult guardian. And so it has been asked if, after all, this question of obedience to law is anything more than an implied contract between the citizen and the state which, in return for the state's protection, through its police powers and its courts, the citizen, whether adult or minor, will in turn contract and agree to obey the state's laws, rules, and regulations concerning behavior, manners, and conduct. Why may not the state waive its part of the contract, or treat every person under twenty-one years old by the same system as to his morals? That is to say, if a minor was not to be held to the same accountability as the adult in his contracts regarding property, why should there be a distinction when it comes to his contract regarding behavior and conduct? It was nothing but this principle that our first laws in Colorado and in Illinois saw fit to recognize more definitely in their definitions regarding the child being "a disorderly juvenile," as provided in Colorado, and "a delinquent" (which is the same thing), as provided in Illinois, instead of a "criminal," and so dealt with by a different procedure. It did not mean that he could not commit a crime, but for the correction of such conduct a different procedure was provided.
But it must be remembered that this same attitude of the state held good as to adults non compos mentis, that is, those adults who were so handicapped through mental weakness that they deserved to be classed with the minors.
And now, since the mental testers, or specialists, and the scientists have convinced us of the absurdity of the rigid test of the chronological age of twentyone, in their disclosure that the habits and conduct of people are determined by their ages psychologically and biologically, and that the average mental age of most people is that of a twelve-year-old child, should there continue to be a limitation of the application of this power of the state as exercised through its legislatures and its courts, and as expounded, directed, and applied by the judges?
I have not the slightest doubt that there shall be an extension of the old limitations, and that new boundary lines will be set. This will come when the judges are better educated and their contact with the social worker and the new social order becomes more sympathetic. They will fix these boundaries just as far as it is necessary to go in bringing about a more real justice in the changing society in which we live.
This being so, the character of the judges themselves must undergo an equal change. They must be educated not only in law, but, what is far more important, in physiology, psychology, biology, and sociology. In a word, they will be men of the most eminent scientific attainments. As individuals they will be selected not only from the standpoint of their education, but of their adaptability and temperament, and no man or woman may aspire to the great artistry of the human artist unless he be of an understanding nature, and as much called to the work as the violinist to his bow or the painter to his brush. How this selection will be brought about is, of course, one of the problems of the future. This, of course, will mean the utter abolition of all of these constitutional and statutory hobbles which carry such absurdities as limiting the qualifications of judges to a certain period of residence in a community where his work is to be done. They will be removed as completely as they have already been removed with reference to the school and the church. Why should there be any more reason for such qualifications of residence, etc., for the judge, probation officer, or social worker so employed? Why should they not be as freely called from one city to the other as we now call our superintendent of schools, or the pastors of our churches? They, perhaps, never before have seen the city in which they are to serve, but they have seen and dealt with the people, since people are people, very much alike the world over, especially in this country of ours.
I venture to suggest, if not predict, that those people called "delinquents," dealt with in this institution of the future, will, after some fashion, be divided into several classes. Speaking from my own experience, I should say the most dangerous class to society as a whole could be designated as those superintellectuals whose cunning, because of intelligence, enables them to cheat and rob and take unjust advantage of their fellows by keeping within the law, or, controlling great wealth, find it necessary to employ the best minds to protect them from the law, and by their superintelligence excelling in the art of "not getting caught."
The remedy as to this class will perhaps be found more in improved methods in home, school, and church which this new institution will constantly point out. Here they must be trained in the virtues of unselfishness. Skill must be used in directing their enlightened selfishness to find its chief joy and happiness in consideration for others, that they should have justice and a courage and willingness to sacrifice themselves that justice shall no longer be assailed, denied, or destroyed. They are just as capable of development as other less favored
classes into real altruistic citizens of the communities of the state that make up its whole-its active cells, as it were. We had best spend most of our time with them, and in the end do our best work through them.
Another classification will perhaps be made of dullards and mediocrities, of yokels and dim-wits, so many of whom are too ignorant to do right, and, in doing wrong, are not bright enough not to get caught. They are also a very hopeful class who, notwithstanding the fact that they become the easy prey of the demagogue and the charlatan and furnish most promising material for mobs and the Ku Klux Klan, yet under wise direction, may become as docile and useful as the average twelve-year-old into whose class mentally they mostly belong. Another classification, no doubt-though not so important potentially either for good or evil, and therefore neither so hopeful nor so dangerous-are those types called feebleminded or insane, badly diseased mentally or physically. They will be then, as now-if we continue to allow them to multiply— easily caught, easily recognized, even by the casual layman, without the assistance, in most cases, of psychiatrists or psychologists. They will, of course, have to be isolated from society in institutions more like hospitals than like prisons. But the great duty of the state in that future time to these unfortunate children will be to exercise the supremest of all humanities in seeing that they are spared the pains and penalties, the tragedies, the sin, and crime of being born. And it may be also a duty of the state, through this institution of the future, not only to find new methods for the care and disposition of this class, but, in a measure, for their first cousins, the classes so near akin to them. Thus more and more the race stream may gradually be clarified by the absence of their presence.
The time and theme unite to tempt one to prolong these pleasantries of prophecy, but I must yield no further. I shall merely add one final bit from my own dreams in that vision I see of a great building, fashioned by artists from stone and marble, that shall some day grace our civic center here in Denver. I think it might be called the Children's Building-not as carrying any reflection on the child, but as indicating the adoration of all the state's wise men for this child, that is the state, in the most important time of life of any state: the beginnings and development of its childhood and its youth. Here we shall have gathered together all the director-generals of these agencies of the state which now contribute to this child's welfare. It shall at once be the symbol and the directing place of the state's superparenthood, and so, above its portals, I would inscribe that sentiment given us by Sir Rabindranath Tagore: "I love my child -not because he is good, but because he is my child."
THE RELATION OF SOCIAL WORKER TO
IS THERE A CONFLICT BETWEEN SOCIAL WELFARE
Mazyck Ravenel, M.D., Professor of Preventive Medicine,
The outstanding feature of the results of modern public health work is the increase in the expectation of life. A closer examination reveals the fact that this saving of life takes place largely during the first five years and that there is little evidence of any improvement in the later periods. Indeed, the earliest life tables show that if an individual reached the age of sixty, his expectation was better than it is at the present time. In almost every country the death-rate for 1,000 inhabitants for the age period 1 to 5 has been cut in half, while in some it is only one-third of what it was about the end of the last century. The infant mortality rate, which twenty-five years ago, even in certain cities in the United States, ran to more than 400 for every 1000 live births, has shown a tremendous reduction in every country from which reports are received. The saving of life is then a matter of saving those infants who a short time ago would have died.
Few will question the statement that man, as a race, has obtained his personal position by selection, or what has been spoken of as survival of the fittest. Some of the outstanding nations of past ages have practiced the exposure of infants, which led to the survival of only the hardiest. Studies in various classes of life, from royalty down, have shown that there is a relation between the longevity of the parent and the mortality of children under five years; in other words, parents who possess the vigor to live long beget children who have vigor enough to survive the dangers of infancy and childhood. Natural selection tends to eliminate stocks of defective vitality.
Longevity is also inherited, as shown in the studies of the Hyde family by Bell. Comparing the two groups into which this family could be divided on the basis of longevity, Group I, in which both parents lived to eighty or over, had twenty years added to their lives through their inheritance as compared with the second group. In saving the lives of those who are weak and short-lived through heredity, it is possible that we are reducing the longevity of the race as a whole.