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denunciation. Yet we have been fifty years trying to extirpate the curse and have not succeeded. In some states the evil is more potent than in others. Some communities have been blessed with a better and nobler conception of the function of the state with respect to these institutions and have made an earnest effort to exile spoils politics from them. There are no words available to my limited tongue properly to describe the loathsomeness of the spoils system when fastened upon the flesh and blood of the helpless insane, feebleminded, epileptic, the delinquent, defective, or dependent child, the aged poor, or the criminal behind the bars, or the petty offender in the workhouse.

We may denounce spoils politics in hot words year after year and make small gains. It is only a symptom. We may not remedy what is wrong by treating symptoms. Spoils for politicians, jobs for office seekers in payment of electioneering and election expenses, appropriations allowed or withheld as political expediency may dictate all these may be regarded as the excrescences of ills that are fundamental in our benighted ideas about the purposes of these institutions and the form and character of their administration. We may not rid them of that which we see on the surface so long as they are founded on untenable principles. We shall have spoils politics in all its offensiveness while we continue to hold to our present low ideals and, I may say, superstitions.

What I wish to put across to you this morning is not new. I believe that it was in the thoughts of the fathers who organized the National Conference of Charities more than fifty years ago. It is this: that our eleemosynary service should not be political, but professional and scientific in its organization processes and ideals. Its outlook, its functions, its methods, and its products must be measured in the terms of professionalism and science, never in the terms of political government. We seem to have been satisfied with a political product, the expedient that has removed undesirable elements from our midst, the cheapest and easiest way for putting out of sight and out of mind that which we have not cared to see, consider, or understand. We are beginning to realize that this political expediency is not solving our problem or accomplishing even that which we have wished to have accomplished. Our institutions increase in number and swell in proportions. Long lines of suppliants for beds and care wait at the doors for the dead to give up their cots. Our states are unable or unwilling to face the problems of appropriations and housing to make humane provision for their dependents and sick. Political expediency, always cowardly, quakes in the presence of this inscrutable mystery in human life and abjectly confesses its incapacity, but refuses to relinquish control. We have more beds always occupied in state hospitals than are in all our general hospitals for physical sickness, many of which are not always occupied. Hundreds of millions of dollars are invested in plant and equipment, and tens of millions of dollars are required every year for current expenses. Our political ideal has no program or plan for the future. It is paralyzed, but refuses to concede the truth that it is incapable of the task that lies before it.

The remedies are not in legislative devices such as boards of control, directors of departments, merit systems for the selection of employes, or bipartisan commissions. The remedy is in the professionalization of the service, the infusing into it of the true scientific spirit, and the transformation of it from a political to a professional form. It must become a service detached from all extraneous influences and devoted single-eyed to its scientific problems and possibilities. It must have no other viewpoint than that of science; its material affairs must be placed in the hands of men of experience and vision, free to organize its business life on business principles. To the accomplishment of its purposes and ends the man of science must be called.

The conditions I have described I charge to our misconceptions, to our ignorance, and to our failure to grant the scientific character of the service these institutions must give in order to justify themselves as more than mere places of custody. Credit politics and the political forms that government naturally assumes at their true values; credit them with all that is due them; firm conviction remains that medical, penal, and correctional institutions and all other institutions of the eleemosynary type deal with subjects that are in no wise related to politics and never should be mixed with politics.

These desperate situations I have outlined have not been even approximately approached by politically minded organization or government. Science, untrammeled, soon would adopt those policies and courses that science knows will furnish relief. Science would not stand long without the cooperation of the state hospitals and the general hospitals. Not long would it tolerate archaic commitment laws. Preventive medicine soon would be ordered to the attack. The methods of intelligent assault upon physical disease would be harnessed to oppose nervous and mental diseases, and many of our complex phases of behavior and conduct. As long as our institutions are political rather than scientific in character our insane and feebleminded will be committed by processes that simulate criminal proceedings; as long will these laws be absurd, brutal, wasteful, and a reflection upon our vaunted intelligence and humane instincts; nor shall we have an effective worth-while mental hygiene program.

There is no sympathy between the political form of government and the ways of science, no common ground on which both can stand and work; we may not hope to develop such neutrality. The two are as far apart as the poles of the earth. They do not understand each other; it is hopeless to expect that they ever will. We may have our welfare institutions, our charities, and prisons, and reformatories, our correctional schools, our juvenile courts, as political adjuncts, parts of a political system of government, or we may have them as centers of scientific work and research for the benefit, happiness, and improvement of the race. The power and the influence of this humane and powerful national organization should be directed and exerted toward a revolution in this realm.


Emil Frankel, Statistician, Pennsylvania Department of
Welfare, Harrisburg

Seeing our social problems whole.-We are bent on "seeing social work whole," and we are setting to work with a will to collect the necessary data. I am one of those undaunted persons who wants to cast his glance even farther, desirous of "seeing our social problems whole," and one who has the utmost confidence that the necessary instruments can be devised.

The desire to have a composite picture of our various social problems seems to me a very natural one. Our efforts in social amelioration and reconstruction are multitudinous. We are ever introducing new social work methods designed to correct and prevent social disorders. The vast number of institutions and agencies doing social work are keeping records of some sort concerning their clients and their experiences.

It is my ardent hope to have this enormous amount of social data so welded together as to show us graphically the experience of whole communities, states, and the entire nation, with social disorders and the factors affecting them; to give us a picture of the direction our social forces are taking and to show us the rate of progress, either current or over a period of time, toward the attainment of our objectives in social improvement through our manifold social efforts.

National social statistics service.-As I see it, a coordinated national social statistical service would have four important functions: first, to present a picture of the sum total of our social efforts as expressed through all public and private social work institutions and agencies; second, to enable us to observe the prevailing extent of social maladjustments and current changes; third, to furnish us statistical gauges to determine the effectiveness of our varied efforts at social amelioration and of our attempts at the prevention of conditions causing social disorders; fourth, to give us "social indicators" through which approaching social maladjustments and society at large can be predicted with a fair degree of accuracy.

Business statistics precedents.-For the establishment of such social indexes the social statistician might well take a leaf out of the statistics serving the business world.

In the Survey of Current Business, issued monthly, the United States Department of Commerce brings together data from a great many governmental departments, trade associations, and hundreds of technical journals. Relative numbers are published to facilitate comparison between different commodities or industries, and render the trend of a movement more apparent; index numbers are furnished combining many relative numbers designed to show the trend of an entire group of industries or for the country as a whole. Innumerable charts and other graphic presentations give a vivid and easily grasped picture of current business movements and trend in production, prices, trade, etc. in

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various groups of industry and commerce. Weekly advance leaflets are published because it is realized "that current statistics are highly perishable, and to be of use they must reach the business man at the earliest possible moment."

Need for institutional statistical standardization.-Now the premises for a similar service to the social sciences are standardized and uniform statistics (and the next remark I venture even if accused of triteness), so that we have definite assurance that we are comparing the comparable. I need hardly point out that in any program of statistical coordination of social data the statistics of institutions will naturally play a very important rôle. However, the standardization of institutional statistics is imperative, not alone for building social indexes, but for its own purposes. We should be able to compare similar institutions within the state with like institutions in other states; we should have data covering the whole institutional population of one state definitely comparable with other states. In my opinion, complete standardization of institutional statistics should not prove insuperable. Generally speaking, we are dealing with fairly well defined groups of human beings presenting similar problems. In our inquiring minds there is ever present the desire to record facts and observations, and to compare and evaluate them.

History of statistical standardization.-Permit me to digress at this point to say that the movement toward standardization of institutional statistics is not a latter-day phenomenon. The first conference of boards of public charities, held in 1874, expressed itself strongly in favor of "uniformity of statistical reports," and thought that the reports of the various state authorities should be designed "so as to present an aggregate by means of which the condition of one state can be closely compared with that of another." The schedules of inquiry then suggested presented the groundwork for a very thorough and comprehensive study of the extent and cost of dependency, delinquency, and mental defect; to secure data from all private and public institutions and agencies dealing with these classes with the aim of delving into the circumstances surrounding the conditions giving rise to social disorders then presenting themselves. Thus the social statistician of today is bound to pay his respects to those of yesterday, for it is apparent that the earnestness, scientific thoroughness, and unprejudiced attitude with which they approached their problems are hardly surpassed today. It looks as if all our pride in the modernity of our present-day approach is not quite justified, for the only difference I can see as between the methods then proposed and the ones of today is that we have substituted the word "standardization" for their "uniformity."

Present status of statistical standardization of social statistics.-While the rate of statistical standardization has not been moving any too fast, I am happy to report that substantial progress has been made in the last fifty years, and especially the efforts of the last few years have laid a firm foundation upon which to build in the future. I should like to present to you very briefly the status of statistical standardization in a few of the more important social work fields.

Mental hygiene.-The joint efforts of the American Psychiatric Association and the National Committee for Mental Hygiene have resulted in a complete system of uniform classification of mental diseases and a system of statistics for hospitals for mental diseases. Eighteen standard tabular forms, a series of schedule cards, and a statistical manual have furnished the foundation. Of 163 state hospitals for mental diseases, all but twenty are using the standard classification and uniform statistical system. The forthcoming report of the United States Census on patients in hospitals for mental disease is based on the standardized system and covers "a wider scope than those of any previous census of institutions for mental disease."

The American Association for the Study of the Feebleminded and the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, working jointly, have inaugurated a complete statistical system designed to furnish important general information concerning the operations of institutions for the feebleminded and adequate data concerning the patients. This system includes statistical cards, standardized tabulation tables, and a statistical manual. This statistical system has been adopted by forty-two out of fifty-eight state institutions for the feebleminded. A standard scheme of records and statistics in institutions for epileptics is being prepared by the National Association for the Study of Epilepsy.

The cooperative efforts of the National Committee for Mental Hygiene and the federal authorities at statistical standardization regarding the mentally diseased, the feebleminded, and epileptics have borne fruits, as is evidenced by the testimony of the Director of the Census: "In the final reports the statistics will be analyzed with greater certainty and detail than was possible at any preceding census."

Child care. The Child Welfare League of America has been instrumental in bringing together a group of people representing different child caring agencies who recognize the need of uniformity in terminology and reporting. In cooperation with a committee of the American Statistical Association, forms for uniform population reporting have been worked out. An account book permitting analysis of financial expenditures in a way which will bear some relation to the functions of the agencies has been set up. A set of record forms devised by the Child Welfare League will form the basis for the statistical reporting system. The report on inmates of child caring institutions to be issued by the United States Census is based upon this standard statistical system.

Corrections.-The Committee on Criminal Records and Statistics of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology (through Professor Sam B. Warner and Commissioner Sanford Bates) has devised a complete statistical system concerning adult male criminals in reformatories, penitentiaries, and state prisons. This statistical reporting system has been adopted by a great many of our state penal institutions.

The National Probation Association, through a committee of leading probation officers and statisticians, has prepared a system of case records for ju

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