« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
mend that a school's certificate be withdrawn, certainly. But many abuses exist which, though serious, do not warrant such drastic action-particularly now, when so many children are being sent to the schools that it is difficult to find accommodation for them all, and the schools are more at liberty to pick and choose among the children committed. This circumstance points to another shortcoming of the pseudo-voluntary character of the schools, viz., that, although supported by public money, they can please themselves whether or not they take any lad committed by a Court to them. And not only have they this power of choice, but they very actively exercise it, the result being that the committing Court must often canvass a dozen or more schools before finding one that will take a lad, particularly if he is defective in any way. Much of what was said of defective adult offenders applies to defective juveniles. They represent the worst part of the delinquency problem,, and should be taken in hand while young. There is needed a central clearing-house, to which these defective children may be sent, thence to be drafted to schools appropriate to their needs. Such special schools do not exist as yet, nor will they, we fear, till all certified schools are put directly under control of the public authorities-industrial schools under the Education Authority, and reformatories under the Home Office. The institution that is paid for by the public should meet the needs of, and be controlled by the public." These opinions will doubtless arouse interest in national reformatories and industrial schools, which under considerable difficulties are accomplishing much valuable work. The suggestions put forward as to reconstruction and readjustment will doubtless receive full consideration in the proper quarters. It is clear that come what may modern views and methods must be allowed free scope if we are to organize and administer measures for the prevention and arrest of delinquency and the care and training of juvenile delinquents on scientific and rational lines. The whole Report of the Howard Association deserves careful study. Copies may be obtained from the Secretary, Mr. Cecil Leeson, 42, Devonshire Chambers, Bishopsgate, E. C.2.
At the Royal Sanitary Institute, 90, Buckingham Palace Road, S.W.1, a course of lectures for maternity and child welfare workers commences on February 4.
A Conference on the Administration of the Mental Deficiency Act, 1913, will be held in the Guildhall, London, on Tuesday, February 5, commencing at 10.15 a.m. Tickets and full particulars may be obtained from Miss Evelyn Fox, Hon. Secretary, Central Association for the Care of the Mentally Defective, Queen Anne's Chambers, Tothill Street, S.W.I.
The National Association for the Prevention of Infant Mortality, 4, Tavistock Square, London, W.C.1, have arranged for the following lectures in connection with an advanced course on "Infant Care" February 4: : Pregnancy affected by Maternal Disease," by J. S. Fairbairn, Esq., M.A., M.B., F.R.C.S.; February 1I: "Venereal Disease in Relation to Infant Mortality and Sickness," by Mrs. Scharlieb, C.B.E., M.S.; February 18 "The Care of the Newborn Infant," by Mrs. Shepherd, M.B.; February 25: "The Development of Infants and Young Children," by H. C. Cameron, Esq., M.A., M.D., F.R.C.P.; March 4: "The Early Symptoms of Nervous Disease in Children," by David Forsyth, Esq., M.D., F.R.C.P.; March 11: "Milk and its Relation to Infant Mortality," by Henry Kenwood, Esq., M.B., L.R.C.P.; March 18: "The Nutritional Disorders of Infants and Young Children," by F. P. Elliott, Esq., M.B.; March 25: "The Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention of Rickets," by Eric Pritchard, Esq., M.A., M.D., M.R.C.P.; April 8: " Respiratory Disease in Infancy and Early Childhood," by R. C. Jewesbury, Esq., M.D.; April 15: The Clothing of Infants and Children," by Miss M. B. Synge; April 22: "Acts and Regulations relating to Mothers and Children under School Age," by T. Shadick Higgins, Esq., M.D. The lectures are given at 5.30 p.m., at 1, Wimpole Street, W.C.1, the fee for the whole course being 5s. Full particulars may be obtained on application to Miss Halford, the Secretary, at 4, Tavistock Square, W.C.1.
GREAT THOUGHTS ON CHILD LIFE AND
Under this heading are gathered quotations from the works of those who have formed ideals or dealt It is hoped that many of our readers will with actualities relating to child life and child welfare. assist in the compilation of this page by sending any helpful thoughts which they may have found of service in their own experience or discovered in the course of their general reading.
Let the boy stand stoutly against his enemies, both from without and from within, let him show courage in confronting fearlessly one set of enemies, and in controlling and mastering the others.. Let him be unselfish and gentle, as well as strong and brave. Don't ever forget to let the boy know that courtesy, politeness, and good manners must not be neglected. Let the boy remember also that in addition to courage, unselfishness, and fair dealing, he must have efficiency, he must have knowledge, he must cultivate a sound body and a good mind, and train himself so that he can act with quick decision in any crisis that may arise. Mind, eye, muscle, all must be trained so that the boy can master himself, and thereby learn to master his fate."
A MONTHLY JOURNAL DEVOTED TO CHILD WELFARE.
By ROBERT PEACOCK, M.V.O.
Chief Constable of the City of Manchester.
IN presenting my views upon the subject of Juvenile Delinquency, I would preface my remarks by quoting the immortal lines of one of Lancashire's greatest playwriters, cut off unfortunately in his early manhood. I refer to Stanley Houghton, who knew life as well as most men. He said: "The younger generation is bound to win; that's how the world goes on.". This is more than a truism; it contains the kernel of the whole situation we have to meet and contend with, viz., the problem of the welfare of the younger generation : our citizens of to-morrow.
This is no new subject, and in a period covering nearly forty years of official life, I have on several occasions attempted to express my experiences and views on the question. On July 18, 1902, I was requested to read a paper on "The Employment of Children, with special reference to Street Trading," before the Third International Congress for the Welfare and Protection of Children, held at the Guildhall, London, under the patronage of His late Majesty King Edward VII. It was the most representative and productive of good results of any congress I have ever known, and from time to time, since this subject has become more acute, I have been requested to allow a reprint of the paper given to be circulated to municipalities and societies interested in the matter.
The question of child welfare is vital to the welfare of the nation. The children of to-day are the fathers and mothers of to-morrow: the human capital bank of future man and womanhood. The training of the child commences with the parents; the fundamental mistake of
treating with the child alone is largely responsible for the present unsatisfactory state of many of the children of to-day. We must grapple with the subject in a fearless manner, and treat it from the standpoint of the mother from the birth of the child. We should build up the first ten years of life in such a manner that each succeeding decade would bring forth and reap the fruits of the initial stage. Each succeeding year would then cement the solidarity of the child's character and make it more confident in its own powers. In all human probability the result of Christian teaching, living and example, would be seen in the latter end of the first ten years of life, steadily maintained and strengthened by natural growth in the second decade, and fully matured in the third. A new and a higher order of intelligence would be brought to bear upon children of those whose early training and upbringing had received the beneficial treatment advocated and now so urgently desired.
I have stated that the children of to-day are the parents. of tomorrow. Then let us set our house in order and treat the canker of juvenile indiscretion from the point most accessible and likely to be effective. The space at my disposal will not allow me to deal with the subject in more than a superficial manner. I therefore purpose to divide my remarks under the following heads, viz.: (1) The Increase in Juvenile Delinquency. (2) The Causes of the Increase of Juvenile Delinquency. (3) Suggestions and Remedies for the Prevention and Arrest of Juvenile Delinquency.
The Increase of Juvenile Delinquency.
During the year ending December 31, 1916, 1,161 children under 16 years of age were charged with various offences before the Manchester City Justices. This, compared with 1913, the last completed pre-war year, shows an increase of no less than 458 juveniles in the number of cases taken before the Justices. It must be remembered that only a portion of the delinquents have been brought to justice.
I hope, however, that the high water mark has now been reached, and I think it has, for I have caused a return to be furnished giving the figures of all children brought before the magistrates for the ten months ending October 31, 1917, with the result that I find there is no increase on the previous year-in point of fact, there is a slight decrease. The problem, however, remains a serious one. The following are a few illustrations of the numerous methods adopted by juveniles in committing their depredations.
A short time ago in Manchester, one Sunday afternoon, three boys, aged 5, 7 and 10, the eldest of whom was mentally deficient, broke into an engineering works. They destroyed delicate tools to the value of 10. Caught in the works by the policeman on the beat the two younger could not be proceeded against, as the law presumes children up to 7 years of age innocent. The eldest child had been before the court on two previous occasions, but owing to his feeble-minded state neither reformatory institution, nor industrial school would take him. It was sought under the powers of the Children Act, 1908, Section 99, to have the parents of the children brought before the court as the responsible persons for the actions of their offspring. The officials of the court, however, would not grant process against the parents, ruling that they had not "conduced " (a word in the Section) to the offence. Surely a Statute framed primarily in the interest of the child itself, and for the protection of the public, was not intended to be so interpreted. The two younger children the law presumed innocent. The third child was proceeded against. The Section clearly intended to provide and enforce parental control, where it was loose and wanting, by including the penal clause of the Section. In this case the parents obviously were liable, and in my opinion were correctly provided for in the Statute.
The number of children appearing before the magistrates who are given corrective punishment has increased by leaps and bounds in these War days, and a moral canker seems to be eating up discipline of mind and respect for elders and all authority. The majority of delinquent children are charged with offences of stealing, begging, or not being under proper control.
Two little boys were charged with fourteen cases of housebreaking, and whilst on remand one escaped from the Remand Home, and could not for some time be found. A detective officer called at his mother's house, who denied any knowledge of her son since he had been sent to the Remand Home. She invited the officer into her house and requested him to sit on the sofa. The officer prolonged his stay as it was nearly tea-time, and he thought the boy would come home for his tea and that his mother knew where he was. He did not come and the officer rose to go, when there was a howl of pain. The culprit, stretched out beneath the sofa, had protruded his hand, and the police officer had trodden upon it. These two boys had had no proper training. They lived entirely without hope, thought, or knowledge of the future. Between their escapades of stealing they obtained a livelihood