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hinged was later proved to be perjured. Mooney 's sentence
was commuted to life imprisonment, and for twenty years
his cell in San Quentin has been the focus of agitation by
groups which seek to use the case as propaganda tinder, and
by other groups which see in Mooney 's continued incar-
ceration a blot on the country's legal system and a threat
to American civil liberties.

Mooney 's counsel has now moved for permission to
renew a three-year-old application for an original writ of
habeas corpus. It will probably be some weeks before the
U.S. Supreme Court answers this petition. Meanwhile,
Mooney and many of his supporters await anxiously the
California election returns. Culbert Olson, Democratic
nominee for governor, championed the prisoner's cause in
the state legislature and is believed to favor a pardon.

Minority Note

TWO court items appeared one bright October morning
in the inner pages of a New York newspaper. One
told of the dismissal of manslaughter charges against the
superintendent of a Pennsylvania reformatory where a
nineteen-year-old Negro inmate died in a closed cell last
Christmas, suffocated by tear gas. Said the judge: "The
superintendent cannot be held responsible for some under-
ling or warden who breaks the law." The other item told
of the sentencing to life imprisonment in a Louisiana peni-
tentiary of a twelve-year-old Negro boy guilty of having
shot, a year previously, a white boy who "had been playing
with a slingshot near the Negro's home."

And So On ...

RISING to new heights of circumspection, a Social Se-
curity Board press release in a single paragraph ven-
tures news that is "expected soon to become," "considered,"
"intended," "reported as progressing toward," "said to be
considering," "reported as likely to effect," "said to be
probable." Joseph H. Willits, dean of the Wharton
School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, has
been elected director of the division of social studies of the
Rockefeller Foundation. He succeeds Edmund E. Day,
now president of Cornell University. With appropriate
ceremonies the S.S. Erica Reed set sail on November 1,
loaded with relief supplies valued at some $300,000, the
gift to loyalist Spain of the Medical Bureau and North
American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy. Edith
Abbott of Chicago, Harry Greenstein of Baltimore and
Paul Kellogg of New York were co-chairmen of the social
workers committee that helped raise funds for the ship.



The Social Front

Concerning Children

pHILD-CONSCIOUS were the leg-
^ islatures of forty-six states in 1937,
as can be seen by a glance at a com-
pilation of the U. S. Children's Bureau
entitled Child Welfare Legislation, 1937.
Preponderant were laws passed to co-
operate with the federal program provid-
ing for aid to dependent children and
child health services. Handicapped chil-
dren received special attention from the
legislatures, thirty-one making provision
for the care of crippled children, and
twenty-two for the treatment of mentally
diseased minors. Liberalized birth certifi-
cate laws in thirteen states reflected a
tendency toward the protection of the
illegitimate child. Tightened marriage
laws in eight states aimed to prevent
child marriages. Forty-three of these
child-protecting states held regular legis-
lative sessions in 1937, three had only
special sessions. The legislatures of Mis-
sissippi and Louisiana, the only states
where child welfare did not receive some
legislative boost, had no regular meetings
during the year.

Racial Tragedy The burden of color
is nowhere heavier than on neglected or
delinquent children. In New York City
facilities for their care are so limited
that curtailment of intake of Negro Prot-
estant children by several agencies has
added a further handicap to them. Only
the Children's Aid Society reports prog-
ress in Negro foster home care, and this
is for a selected group boys between
thirteen and sixteen confined in the New
York State Vocational School, for whose
placement the 1937 legislature appropri-
ated $10,000. It is readily admitted that
many Negro boys have been committed
to this school, not because they are really
delinquent but because of a lack of any
other means of caring for those who are
neglected. Finding the situation reaching
the proportions of an emergency, the
New York City Department of Welfare
has delegated two Negro workers to in-
vestigate foster home resources.

Illinois Asks Why When the total
population of institutions in Illinois rose
from 39,631 in 1930 to 50,078 in 1937,
the Board of Public Welfare Commis-
sioners decided to find out why. It didn't
make sense to go on increasing institu-
tional care at the rate of almost 1500 a
year without going back into local com-
munities to find out who these people
were and how they lived.

Study seemed indicated, and the board
decided to begin with the St. Charles


School for Boys, where the population
curve suggested interesting possibilities.
Overcrowding at St. Charles was noth-
ing new. Normal capacity is 650, but
boys were sleeping on the floor in cot-
tage dormitories back in 1930, as they
are today. From 1930 through 1934, how-
ever, the curve dipped sharply down-
ward. In January 1935 the population
had reached an all-time low of 379 boys.
From 1935 through 1938 it rose stead-
ily. By December 1937, there were 771
boys in residence.

The Department of Public Welfare,
meeting the immediate situation by cut-
ting down new admissions, assigned John
Kahlert, research assistant of the child
welfare division, to the job of satisfying
the curiosity of the commissioners. Mr.
Kahlert has analyzed the records of the
boys committed to St. Charles in the last
six months of 1937, and compared them
with those of boys committed during the
same months of 1934. He visited the
counties where increases in commitments
have been unusually high, talked with
the families of these youngsters and in-
terviewed county officials and other in-
terested people. His recent report merely
whets the curiosity of the Illinois Board
of Public Welfare Commissioners, who
still want to know:

Why do colored boys make up 28.6 per-
cent of these commitments, when
the colored population of Illinois
is only 4.3 percent of the white?
Isn't this a shocking indication of
the lack of resources for colored
boys who are in danger of getting
into trouble?

Why is there an increase in the num-
ber of younger boys? Are they be-
ing committed before they have
done anything serious enough to
bring them to the attention of
the criminal courts? No more
boys are being sent to penal insti-
tutions than in other years.

Why did the population curve of St.
Charles hit that all-time low dur-
ing the year when public relief in
Illinois was more nearly adequate
than ever before or since?

And why isn't this increase of delin-
quency commitments in Illinois
reflected in the rest of the United
States? Children's Bureau figures
from 1934 through 1936 show no
such national increase. Is it possi-
ble that Illinois is slower than
other states in developing local
services for children?

Where do the public schools fit into
this picture? What about probation ser-
vices? Recreation programs, public and

private? Would services to dependent
children under the social security act re-
lieve the pressure? The curiosity of the
Illinois Board of Public Welfare Com-
missioners is far from satisfied. Its ex-
ecutive secretary, Olive Chandler, calls
Mr. Kahlert's report "a study to prove
that we need more study." It will be fol-
lowed up, in the near future, by intensive
work in Cook County, whose boys make
up about half of St. Charles' population,
and by another study based on the boys'
own stories. After that, the board will
turn its attention to overcrowding in
other state institutions. It plans to go on
studying until it knows why.

Increase Aid to dependent children
reaches 56 percent more families in Bos-
ton than it did a year ago, touching 46
out of every 1000 children. The change in
state policy in the interpretation of "tem-
porary need" caused by the desertion,
physical incapacity, or prison sentence
of the wage earner, as covering a six
months' period where formerly a full year
was involved, is probably a large factor
in the increase. The Boston ratio of chil-
dren receiving aid is more than twice as
high as the ratio for the state as a whole.

For Crippled Children Emphasis

on the vocational education of the crip-
pled child and on research are stressed by
the Nemours Foundation for Crippled
Children which plans to open its new
one hundred-bed hospital, now under
construction, in the fall of 1939. The
foundation will also sponsor graduate ir
struction for persons interested in edu
cation of the crippled child. Facilities of
the hospital will in the beginning be ope
only to the crippled children of Dela-
ware where it is estimated there are ap
proximately 200 in need of hospital care
After the hospital is opened it is planned
to build separate cottages for the cor
valescent school children, and eventually
a school building. The research program
will coordinate work on laboratory and
clinical problems and will have available
for its study a certain number of the
hospital beds. Four fellowships for re-
search in crippling diseases of childhood
have already been established by the foun-
dation in selected medical centers.

In Print A Historical Summary of
State Service for Children in Alabama;
A Historical Summary of State Services
for Children in Massachusetts, Parts
3 and 4 of Publication 239 of the U. S.
Children's Bureau.Detailed presentations
of the growth of child care programs in
the two states from the middle of the
nineteenth century until 1934 when stud-


ics of the existing services in each of the
states were made by representatives of
the Children's Bureau. Both programs
show their greatest development since
the twenties, much in fact since 1930,
but differences are as marked as is the
growth of two individuals. The publi-
cations are primarily intended for stu-
dents of public welfare administration.
. . . Thirteenth annual report of the
orphan section of the Duke Endowment,
Charlotte, N. C., showing assistance
granted to forty-three child caring insti-
tutions during 1937, twenty-seven in
North Carolina and sixteen in South
Carolina. The average annual per capita
cost in the institutions was $304, an in-
crease of 12 percent over the 1936 aver-
age. Food, clothing, education and sal-
aries account for 72 percent of the cost;
replacement and repair, health, fuel,
light, power, ice, water, insurance, in-
terest, and recreation divide the rest.

Old Age. Insurance

ANY worker who wants a statement
of his old age insurance account can
now obtain it from the Social Security
Board. The statement will show the
wages credited to the worker for 1937,
on the basis of the reports made by his
employer. Postcard forms can be ob-
tained from any field office of the Social
Security Board, and their use will ex-
pedite a reply. John J. Corson, director
of the Bureau of Old Age Insurance,
states that more than 12,000 such re-
quests have been answered, and that in
only a negligible number of cases has
the worker complained that the state-
ment failed to show all the wages paid
him during 1937 in covered employment.

First Figures The importance of
social security records as a source of
data on wages and employment is under-
scored by preliminary analyses of old
age insurance figures. According to the
reports of the two six-months' periods of
1937, there were approximately 1,700,-
000 returns from employers. These pre-
sented individual wage reports for each
employe. For the first period, there were
35,700,000' such wage items, aggregating
$14 billion, according to a recent release
from the Bureau of Old Age Insurance;
for the second period, 37,100,000 items,
aggregating $13.9 billion. (These are
preliminary, not final figures). It is esti-
mated that the wage items represent
about 32,500,000 different persons, or
approximately 60 percent of the gainful
workers in the country. The statement
warns that, because the number of in-
dividuals represented and the varying
amounts of employment per individual
are unknown, "the average amount of
these employe wage items has no sig-

The present data strikingly show the
extent to which industrial and commer-

cial employment and earnings are con-
centrated in large business concerns.
Some 0.2 percent of the employer re-
turns listing 1000 or more wage items
account for nearly one third (32 per-
cent) of all such items, and for an
even larger share 38.7 percent of the
aggregate amount of reported taxable
wages. The largest concerns included
those listing 10,000 or more individual
wage items for the period represent
less than one twentieth of one percent
of the reporting employers, but they rep-
resent 12.3 percent of the total number
and 16.4 percent of the total amount of
the wage items.

Age and Sex A 10 percent sample of
the more than 36 million applications
for social security account numbers re-
ceived before January 1, 1938, shows
that more than 40 percent of all account
cardholders are under thirty years of
age, more than 54 percent under thirty-
five. The median age is thirty-three. One
fourth of the social security account
numbers have been assigned to women.
This is larger than the proportion of
women wage earners enumerated in the
1930 census, where they constituted only
22 percent of the gainfully employed. In
the age group twenty to twenty-four
years (18 percent of the total) nearly
two out of five axe women. Approxi-
mately one fourth of all women holding
account cards and a little less than one
sixth of all men are in this age group.
About 2 percent of the women and 5.3


For the first time in its twenty-
eight-year history the National
Conference of Catholic Charities,
which met last month in Richmond,
Va., chose a woman for its presi-
dent. Miss Gibbons is first deputy
commissioner for New York City
of the State Department of Social
Welfare. She was formerly super-
visor and later director of the
division of families of the Catholic
Charities of the Archdiocese of
New York, with a three-year in-
terval as director of the City Home
Relief Bureau.

percent of the men holding account num-
bers are sixty years of age or over.

Record and Report A brisk sum-
mary of both sides of the argument as
to the old age reserve is offered in the
weekly information bulletin for Septem-
ber 24 of the department of research and
education, Federal Council of Churches,
297 Fourth Avenue, New York. . . .
Alanson W. Willcox of the Social Se-
curity Board offered a detailed defense
of the reserve provisions of the security
act in The Annalist, August 17, 24, and
31. ... In Funds for the Future, in the
Atlantic Monthly for August, Thomas
H. Eliot, former general counsel for
the Social Security Board, discusses the
old age reserve and the general policy
behind it.


DAYMENTS for unemployment in-
surance benefits for the first six
months of 1938 exceeded current con-
tributions deposited by the state agencies
in the unemployment trust fund in
twelve of the twenty-five states paying
benefits during this period, according to
a recent security board release. A table
in the last (September) issue of the
Social Security Bulletin shows total con-
tributions to the fund during this period
of $748,813,895.53; total withdrawals of
$195,720,000. The balance in the unem-
ployment trust fund as of June 30 was

"Undeliverable" - Unemployment
benefits checks which cannot be delivered
because of faulty address are a fre-
quent source of inconvenience to job-
less workers and to compensation ad-
ministrators, particularly in large urban
areas. Thus in New York, fifty to a
hundred checks are returned daily, to be
cancelled unless a better address can be
provided. Unemployment insurance ad-
ministrators urge that a claimant keep
the post office and his local employment
service office informed at all times where
he can be reached.

First Drop The amount of benefits
paid during July decreased 8 percent,
the Social Security Board reports. This
was the first significant decrease since
payments began, and was accompanied
by a drop of 21 percent in the number of
initial claims for benefits filed in states
which had paid benefits in June. Reem-
ployment and fewer layoffs are seen by
the board as "significant factors under-
lying these decreases," though "exhaus-
tion of wage credits of workers who had
been receiving benefits must also be con-
sidered as a factor contributing to the
reduction in the amount of benefits paid."
The average July payment for total un-
employment in eighteen states for which




data are available was $10.90 a week,
ranging from $7.44 in Tennessee to
$12.65 in Utah. Payments for partial
unemployment averaged $5.72.

Lawsuit What is believed to be the
first case of its kind was brought be-
fore a justice of the municipal court in
Brooklyn, N. Y. by Sylvia Davis against
her former employer, John Mullins and
Sons, Inc., for $1000 damages, alleging
that the firm failed to pay in her behalf
the amount required by the unemploy-
ment insurance law of the state. Ac-
cording to the Brooklyn Eagle, motion
of the defendant to dismiss was denied,
and the case is expected to come to trial
within a year.

Prison Congress

^" EW president of the American Pris-
on Association is Austin H. Mac-
Cormick, commissioner of the Depart-
ment of Correction
of the City of New
York, elected at the
association's recent
congress in St. Paul,
Minn. Forty-two
states, the District
of Columbia and
Canada were repre-
sented at the meet-
ing where 575 dele-
gates registered. The sessions, particu-
larly those of the Warden's Association,
were well attended and gave rise to
eleven resolutions, stars for the wagons
of all interested in prison work.

Brightest was the star of personnel
standards. The same emphasis on quali-
fied, trained personnel found in all the
fields of modern social work was con-
stantly expressed throughout the sessions.
That the importance of this is realized
by the personnel itself was vividly por-
trayed in a short speech by a prison
guard, Jean S. Long of Wallkill State
Prison, New York, given from a paper
which won the first prize in a competition
among the personnel of the New York
State Department of Correction. Mr.
Long spoke of the guard as the link be-
tween the penal specialists and the pris-
on inmates, who must therefore not only
be familiar with but also must believe
in the program of rehabilitation.

Particular stress was laid in the ses-
sions and in the resolutions on the train-
ing of probation and parole officers. The
greatest weaknesses in parole programs
were found to be inadequate personnel
and financial support, usually to be laid
at the door of politics. Because of this
there was a real clamoring for the spread
of the merit system, and a merit system
without loopholes. Belief in parole as
an important part of the correctional
process was reaffirmed while a resolu-
tion deplored the "indiscriminate attacks"

being made against it as "tending to in-
flame and confuse the public mind."

In the midst of the congress appeared
a new-born organization, the National
Jail Association, which grew out of the
standing committee on jails. Prompted
by the deplorable conditions of the coun-
ty jails throughout the country where
two thirds have been found unsatisfac-
tory by the Bureau of Prisons of the fed-
eral Department of Justice, the new asso-
ciation aims to develop a mature system
for the custody and care of persons nec-
essarily confined to jails. Its first presi-
dent is Warden Richard A. McGee of
the Penitentiary of the City of New

Prison labor received much attention
at the conference though the outlook is
conceded to be gloomy. Idleness is in-
creasing in spite of the efforts of prison
officials to provide employment. Sugges-
tions were made for federal subsidies to
aid the expansion of prison industries
though these suggestions were not em-
bodied in the resolution which urged the
extension of prison employment "within
the structure of existing legislation" and
"a searching study ... to determine
whether or not this legislation is serving
the best interests of the taxpayer and
the public generally." The value of pris-
on labor not only in preventing the hu-
man deterioration that grows with idle-
ness but also in offering a means of re-
habilitation was strongly emphasized in
the address of Sam A. Lewisohn of the
New York State Commission of Correc-
tion and member of the board of the
National Prison Association.

That the prisoner is no longer just a
number but is beginning to be recognized
as an individual was evidenced by the
interest shown in discussions of case
work and classification. These meetings
particularly brought out the need for a
practical program of classification.

Closing feature of the congress was
an observation trip to the Minnesota
State Reformatory at St. Cloud.

Youth and Education

tJARVARD University is undertak-
ing a long time study of "the forces
that have produced normal young men,"
using funds made available through the
William T. Grant Foundation. The
study, in which groups of students will
participate voluntarily, is described as
"a new type of medical research" which
will "use existing and generally accepted
methods applying them to the study of
the total constitution and personality of
well, successful young men." The study
will continue for at least five years, and
will be confined to "normal" young men.
The term "normal" for the purposes of
the study is defined as "that combination
of sentiments and physiological factors
which in toto is commonly interpreted as

successful living." It is believed that the
study will give the participants new in-
sight into their own abilities and inter-
ests, and that it will constitute a "posi-
tive attack" on the problem of "keeping
well" and "doing well." The study will
deal with heredity, constitution, family
life, school life, and other individual

Circuit Riders A complete fresh-
man college-credit course is being offered
this semester in sixteen Wisconsin cities
by members of the faculty of the uni-
versity extension division. Each partici-
pating instructor teaches in four or five
cities, usually remaining one day a week
in each city to which he is assigned. The
program was set up to enable highschool
graduates who are precluded from going
away to college to continue their edu-
cation at home at little cost. In four of
the sixteen centers, sophomore courses
are also available.

Community and {Schools As a first
step toward building better understand-
ing between the school and the commu-
nity, the New York City Board of Edu-
cation has arranged a special course for
teachers and supervisors in the schools
of Harlem, the great Negro "city within
a city." Teachers and supervisors will
meet once a week with leading social,
religious and welfare leaders, to discuss
Harlem problems and analyze the needs
of the neighborhood. Questions to be
studied include housing, recreation, ju-
venile delinquency, racial prejudice. A
series of similar studies will be under-
taken next year "to bring the teacher
into more intimate contact with the com-
munity in which he or she teaches."

Placement and Guidance Since
March 1936, the junior employment di-
vision of the National Youth Adminis-
tration has placed 128,732 young people
in private industry. Special employment
services for youths in 101 cities in thirty-
six states are provided through NYA.
Up to September 1, 1938, the division
had registered a total of 343,578 young
job applicants, 63 percent of them be-
tween the ages of eighteen and twenty-
one, 27 percent under eighteen, and 10
percent between twenty-one and twenty-
five. Two thirds of the registrants had
worked before. The largest group 44
percent were highschool graduates; 20
percent had only an eighth grade edu-
cation; 35 percent had had some high-
school training; only one percent were
college graduates. ... In addition to
placement, the junior service has con-
ducted more than 900,000 interviews with
registrants for the purpose of providing
vocational guidance and advice.

Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesSurvey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) → online text (page 95 of 109)