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dustrial Studies of the Russell Sage Foundation. The result
is a detailed study by Mary La Dame of the Foundation,
just published by the Welfare Council of New York City.

"Why," asks the foreword, "should 12 separate agencies
serve those suffering from disabilities [in New York City]
and each one in turn approach the same employers for jobs?

"Why should one organization serve the crippled and
disabled men and boys; an entirely different one, the hard
of hearing; a third, girls with mental and behavior
problems ?

"Why should crippled girls be without service and the
blind and tuberculous be inadequately cared for?"

Why indeed? The presentation of the facts suggested
the answer, which came in the announcement that the four
largest agencies in New York City concerned with finding
jobs for handicapped men and women would consolidate
their services. That intention has been announced by the
Institute for Crippled and Disabled Men, the Employment
Bureau for the Handicapped, the New York Tuberculosis
and Health Association (including the New York Heart
Association) and the Jewish Social Service Association. The
consolidated service, which is to be directed by Louise
Odencrantz, will be known as the Joint Employment

Bureau for the Disabled and will have its headquarters at T-iRIENDS and admirers of Eugene V. Debs are raising
the Institute for Crippled and Disabled Men. It is hoped < f un( l s f or a memorial to him as a champion of liberty
that other organizations with a smaller volume of work an( j j ust i ce . The planned monument will not be of stone
and very highly specialized services will gradually merge or bronze, but a living instrument of social service, a high-
this aspect of their work with the Bureau in the interests power ra( jj o sta tion, to be known as WDEBS, and to be
of economy and effectiveness which are promised by such operat ed it is announced in the interests of "all progressive
a plan. movements and ideas and in aid of all struggles for social

justice in the tolerant and broad-minded spir
Gene Debs." The station will be acquired and operated
by a board of trustees whose personnel will give it distinctive
character. Norman Thomas is chairman, Morris I

WHAT should social workers live by, their jobs alone, treasurer, and G. August Gerber, secretary An
or the job plus the wider reaches of family life, of members are Roger -Bs in, Victor i^m* ^
play, of apart in the whole drama of their towns and cities? Stanton ch,

In one form and another this question bobbed up insistently i ncuuu- ~ ^, "^ ^ James H . Maurer,
at a recent meeting of the New York chapter of the Amen- Haynes Holmes Robert M rss tx> , ^

can Association of Social Workers given over to a discussion A. Phil.p Randolph, I
by Dr. Richard C. Cabot of subjects proposed by the mem-



205

bers. As one harrassed query put it, "Is it possible in the
noise and speed of this hurried age to work eight or nine
hours a day and have time and energy left for home, church,
music and the other enriching things of life?" "Wouldn't
it be better," another suggested, "to eliminate the eternal
conflict by just giving up and doing only one's job?"

"Is our work great enough to be equated to life?" Dr.
Cabot himself asked, re-phrasing the problem. His answer
was no. If the work itself is so engrossing and exhausting
as to fill the whole horizon, something is the matter. Per-
haps the trouble is with the work. If numbers of social
workers, carefully studying themselves, found that this is
the case, a representation of the difficulties of their lot should
be made to their employers. It is altogether too easy, too
easy for Americans especially, to do nothing but work, and
the joy in play is also of essential value, and not to be
cast away.

But, Dr. Cabot suggested, before it is assumed that the
kind and quantity of work is too severe, let its quality be
studied. Sometimes exhaustion comes not from too much
work, but from the distractions in the minds of the workers
themselves. Try watching your minds, he suggested ; clear
from them the useless throwbacks to past idiocies, or the
equally useless projections toward the uncontrollable future.
Biologists, studying the behavior of rats or guinea-pigs, have
a method of covering the animals' feet or tails with lamp-
black to trace the aimless wanderings about a maze until
finally a solution is found. Does not an analysis of human
action often show a similar aimless squandering of energies?

Most people who work hard have several speeds a No. i
speed to start the day, taking every atom of wit and con-
centration ; a slower speed to accomplish more routine tasks
as energy begins to flag; and perhaps even a slower pace
to fall into which still can carry through mechanical but
useful and necessary tasks toward the end of the day. Before
such an organization of one's abilities, eliminating personal
conflicts whenever it is possible, conserving one's vitality for
the purposes most in need of it, mountains of work which
look insurmountable sometimes can be made to melt away
without too severe a strain.





Harry F. Ward.



Harriot
Coyle,
, John



SOCIAL PRACTICE



New York Studies Causes of Crime



By NELS ANDERSON



DURING the winter I interviewed the governor
of one of the smaller eastern states on the crime
situation. He had gone to the papers with a
story of his intention to clean up the state. He
was going to go to the roots. It sounded good.
I found him very optimistic about the prospects his state
was going to be put on the map. He explained in boyish glee,
"You see I've been going to the bottom. I been reading
Lombroso and all them fellows and now the whole matter
is beginning to clear up."

I tried to look learned. "You are going to make some
study of the causes of crime?" I asked.

He turned on me with a look of pity. "Causes? We know
all about the causes. We knew that before we started. We
need law! Law with teeth in it! And that's what we are
going to get ; law with teeth in it !"

He did appoint his commission. It consisted of the mayors
of five cities of the state. The commission reported and the
law was passed. It is a vest-pocket replica of the Baumes
Laws of New York. Everybody who had anything to do
with the passing of the law has returned home with a virtuous
feeling, and the police and judges are left to do their duty.

That is one way of facing the crime problem ; and that is
one kind of commission. It is the tried and true method of
the ages. It inevitably ends in passing laws and more laws ;
in going after the culprit with tooth and tongs. Once they
did it to save his soul but later they did it as an example to
others. In those days mothers took their knitting and
watched the witches burn and 'the children went in groups
to see them hang the beggars. We have entered a new era
of feeling but still the vindictivist is with us.

It is refreshing to turn from this point of view and ap-
proach to the New York Crime Commission now in the
midst of its work. It consists of two members from the
Senate, two from the Assembly and five members appointed
by the governor. Governor Smith did
not pick the mayors of five cities. He
selected a lawyer, a doctor who had
been connected with the police, a news-
paper man, a leader in boys' work and
a social worker. Caleb H. Baumes,
father of the law that bears his name,
is chairman of the commission. The
commission has been at work some six
months. The advance reports on causes
of crime have just been given out for
newspaper consumption by the Sub-
committee on Causes, which includes
William Lewis Butcher, chairman;
Jane M. Hoey, and Joseph A. Mc-
Ginnies. Five other sub-commissions
that have not yet reported are studying



Courtesy of the Boy' Club of Worcester,
2O6



statistics, police, penal institutions, the adjustment of
sentences, and courts.

Having in mind the vindictive spirit of the Baumes Laws
in New York, we outsiders had no reason to expect much
delving into the matter of causes. However, the report on
causes is an agreeable surprise. It includes studies of two
urban areas, of two rural areas, of 145 individual offenders,
of 201 truants in the New York schools, of the relation of
the daily press to crime and of "art" magazines to crime,
and of a questionnaire on causes of crime submitted to
3,000 prominent citizens in New York State.

The merit of this or that individual study may be a
matter of dispute but the merit of the nine studies in toto
is not to be questioned. The study of one of the urban areas,
the East Side, is not complete but the study of Red Hook,
an isolated section in Brooklyn, is illuminating, especially
with reference to juvenile delinquency. We are reminded
again that crime is not a problem apart but is matted into
a hundred other forms of social abnormality. In each of
the several reports it is brought to our attention that there
is no one cause of crime. With special reference to the
individual studies of 145 offenders we read:

In every case studied there are many causative factors
bad or broken homes, poor neighborhoods, difficulties in
schools, drunkenness, feeblemindedness, poverty, mental ab-
normalities, low moral standards and other factors that might
result in anti-social conduct.

A companion conclusion, which ought to be common
knowledge but which the vindictivists never concede is
that treatment must be individual. The governor of the
small eastern state admitted to me that treatment must
relate to individuals and not masses, yet he was for passing
a law that automatically sends an offender to prison for
life on the fourth offense, taking no account of the whys
and wherefores or the complexities involved. That is the
easiest way out. To raise questions and
delve into causes takes time and gums
up the machinery. The vindictivist has
no patience with such delays. He calls
it sentimentality. His weakness lies in
not being able to distinguish between
maudlin sentiment and critical investi-
gation.

The report of the Sub-commission on
the Causes of Crime is neither senti-
mental nor vindictive. Nor does it
claim to be a final answer. It is trying
to raise some of the fundamental issues
in the administration of justice. It in-
sists that passing law is alone no cure
for crime because crime involves a total
situation only part of which is recog-




May 15, 1927



THE SU RV EY



LTQ



riized by the law. We need to understand this total situation
aefore we can formulate a constructive program of treat-
ment. Significantly the report points out:

The time has come for clear thinking regarding the aims
of our corrective system. If the only aim of society is to inflict
vengeance upon law-breakers, then the more mandatory laws
that can be enacted the better it will be. If vengeance is the
sole aim, then probation, the indeterminate sentence and parole
should be abolished, and the state should begin to build more
prisons. But, if the aim is the protection of society and the
reformation of the offender, mass treatment of offenders should
be done away with and individual treatment substituted.
Mandatory laws which fix penalties for specific offenses or
limit the 'power of the judges should be enacted only as
emergency measures.

The Sub-commission took up in one study the relation of
the daily press and crime. The conclusion is a condemnation
of tabloid journalism not only for giving false notions about
"crime waves" but for overstimulating people by parading
the details of certain colorful cases. The conclusion goes
on in a guarded way to say that if there is no other means
of avoiding the unwholesome psychological effects of the
"new yellow journalism" we might have to resort to censor-
ship. I would like to see this study of newspapers carried
on because the censorship proposal might eventually grieve
us. On the other hand, if we refrain from censorship, hov
are we going to get on with the malicious methods of the
tabloids? Then there are the off-color "art" magazines,
snappy story magazines and hot-stuff publications. Certainly
all of this stuff is linked up with the crime problem.

I HAVE heard criticism of the study of the 3,000 ques-
tionnaires on the causes of crime sent to representative
groups of clergymen, judges, lawyers, business men, teachers,
and others in the state of New York. Twenty-six of the
popularlv conceived causes of crime were named and
object was to get these men to number the causes in the
order of their importance. The most popular cause namec
was "bad companionship," the second was declining respec
for authority," and the twenty-sixth was capital punish-
ment and severe prison sentences." Except for satisfying
the proponents of the questionnaire method the money
spent on this study was wasted, as the Sub-commission
admits. It adds, however, "As a means of illustrating
rather wide disparity of opinion among intelligent pec
and of showing the guesses that are made, as well as the
prejudices that exist, this questionnaire serves a very :
mirable purpose." The object of the Sub-commission was
to take stock of the snap-judgments that get quoted in th
papers and help form public opinion on the matter of.
These same opinions that the average man holds constuut
the background of much of our law-making. The argume.
of the Sub-commission is that law should grow out of car -
f ul fact-finding and not out of points of view of individuals
who may have no other information than their convictions-
as for example, the laws against teaching evolution

The study of the causes of crime will go on Bother year
which is as it should be. Six months ^'"g into the
problem has only stripped the surface. The real ore ,s
under the grass roots and another twelve month OUgh
bring no little of it to the top. The relation of ^ .rime to
the various commercialized amusements in the greatjty
needs to be studied. How about the movie and e vodie
and what about the amusement parks and the chop ^
joints? Broadway itself would be a real study m causes.



JEFFERSON Cl



207




New York World



You Can Count On Him



What does Broadway mean to the country in general and
New York in particular? And what is Broadway doing
to the bright-light hounds that hover about it, and where
do we get in the study of crime without taking the white-
light hounds of Broadway into consideration?

The press got all het up over the gang situation in Red
Hook as reported by the Sub-commission on Causes. More
than seventy juvenile gangs were located. The leaders of
Red Hook didn't like it. Some of them said that Governor
Al Smith's Crime Commission was anti-Catholic. That,
of course, is a droll conclusion but it shows how touchy
a subject the gang problem is. These juvenile gangs are
called schools of crime from which the real criminal
gangsters graduate. That raises a lot of questions about
the adult gangs, the kind of gangs that are putting Chia
on the map. This is a field the Sub-commission on Caus
could explore with profit. What is the relation ibetw*
the entrenched gang and democracy in the city?
in its essence is a denial of democracy and yet it seems th.
the gang is here to stay. By studying the gang could we
find some elements in its make-up that might be util

'ThTthere is this matter of the movement of criminal,
from area to area in the city as they are identified
S or another form of crime. Just as the hobo on comin,
o New York finds his way to the Bowery or as the rising
artUtfinds Greenwich Village, so the cr mmal finds his
a a Why not study these areas, and while we are about
whv not study the movements of offenders as they hop
rin to city' This is a subject on wh.ch certain
departments are posted, but the study



what the
recognising



with only an open mind,
. manifestation of a
bwn



208



THE SURVEY



May 15, 1927



Stabilizing Dependency?

By Maurice B. Hexter



SEASONAL INJPEXES

SOCIAL- SERVICE EXCHANGE

"- iaoT.. ioc

'o O .- I06-I9S



no

MO





THE writer has recently been concerned with an attempt
to establish for the city of Boston a dependency index
running back, month by month, to 1875. In the construc-
tion of that index, it became important to eliminate the
seasonal variation in the monthly data. The two accompany-
ing charts show the distinct changes in seasonal variations
which took place during the past half century.

The first chart concerns the Social Service Exchange. It
will be readily noted that in the epoch 1887-1905 the range
over which the seasonal index varies is vastly larger than
the range of the seasonal index for the epoch 1906-1925.
This change is noticeable to an even largT degree in the
second chart, concerning the Overseers of Public Welfare,
which gives three epochs covering the period 1875-1925



SEASONAL INPEXES

OVERSEERS Of THE TOBI.IC WELPAHC
Ift-rs-IMC



jeo

I TO




1875-1886; 1887-1911; 1912-1925. Notice on this chart
that the seasonal index for the first epoch ranges from a
maximum of 190 through a minimum of 58; the second
epoch, from a maximum of 126 through a minimum of 82;
while it is extremely interesting to see the very modest
variation of the seasonal index of the latest epoch, in which
the maximum is 105 and the minimum 98.

It is plain from these two charts that the seasonal feature



in social case-work has been progressively less prominent.
Among the reasons for this fundamental change unques-
tionably must be placed the changing feature of seasonal
unemployment. Unemployment itself does not play so
prominent a part in the total case-load as formerly; and,
seasonal unemployment has been greatly brought under
control despite the large part which it still plays. Another
important reason for this decline in variation due to the
round of seasons, is unquestionably the change in our con-
cept of case-treatment. In earlier years a case would be
discharged after emergency relief of any sort had been pro-
vided. That method no longer prevails. Even though a
case comes because of emergency, it is carried by the case-
working agency until all of the family necessities which
modern case-treatment discloses have been remedied. These
charts depict graphically this change in the philosophy of
case-working agencies.

What Social Workers Do

TO find out not what social workers might do, or ought
to do, but exactly what they are doing in some of the
more usual types of positions is the object of the job analysis
which Louise Odencrantz has been conducting during the
past year for the American Association of Social Workers.
Such job analyses have been used increasingly in industry
and commerce, and occasionally in some of the professional
fields. They have been found to serve as a basis for de-
termining the necessary qualifications for a position, en-
suring better selection, fewer misfits, less turnover; as a
basis for working out training methods, increasing stability,
general efficiency, earning power and the happiness and
adjustment of the worker; and as a basis for salary grading
and organized methods of promotion, eliminating the many
injustices and misunderstandings which arise when these
policies are left to chance and the whims of a supervisor.
Would they not be enlightening also in the nascent pro-
fession of social work?

Although she confronted a certain amount of frank
scepticism as to whether or not such a device could be used
at all in a field which deals with intangible human relations
and has evolved comparatively few standards and criteria
for evaluating its results, Miss Odencrantz has worked out
job analyses for the visitor, district supervisor, case super-
visor, and general secretary in the field of family social
work; for the medical social worker, chief and staff, in the
social service department of a clinic or hospital ; and for the
psychiatric social worker. The series will make a fat pamph-
let to b published by the Association early in the summer.

The analysis of the district secretary, for example, giving
a composite picture of the work of such an individual in
some sixteen family agencies, covers ten pages in single-
spaced typewriting, defining the objectives of the office, its
duties and responsibilities, the requirements and qualities
of the worker essential for an efficient performance, and the
working conditions which generally obtain. The significant
part of a study such as this is its analysis of the actual
processes of the job in this case of the responsibilities of
the district supervisor in supervising the case-load of the
office, possibly carrying some cases herself; in raising funds,
directing and training workers, supervising volunteers and
clerical personnel, maintaining relations with the central
office of the agency and with the community itself. Time



May 15, 1927



THE SURFEY



studies carried through a month in four organizations
showed that about 24 per cent of the supervisor's time was
taken by consultations with staff, students, volunteers and
committee members; 14 per cent by telephone calls with
clients or re clients; 5 per cent with dictation re cases; 15
per cent by record-keeping; 20 per cent by clerical work
"mail, reports, appeals, statistics, accounts, planning day-
book entries, and miscellaneous;" 1 1 per cent by conferences
and committees outside the office and attendance at classes
and lectures; and 1 1 per cent by case-work in the field.

It will be of interest both to organizations and social
workers to find that the minimum age for district super-
visors was found to be 24 years; that salaries ranged from
a minimum of $125-$! 75 a month to a maximum of
$i50-$275, while $150$ 175 was the usual amount; that
there was usually a vacation of four weeks or a month, with
various additional allowances for sick leave; and that,
though the official working-day was seven hours in all cases,
the time studies in four agencies showed an average of from
7 hours 28 minutes in one, to 9 hours 4 minutes in another ;
that annual turn-over in district-secretary positions was
estimated at not more than 25 per cent.

Commenting on the whole study at the May meeting of
the Association, Miss Odencrantz declared:

As happens in the development of any new movement, in-
terest has been centered primarily upon the formulation of
the ideals and objectives of social work, the development of
effective methods of technique, of a necessary body of
knowledge, and of standards of preparation and training.

How about the worker back of the job? Those who have
been active in efforts to advance the understanding and ac-
ceptance of social work objectives and methods and to develop
technique out of vague conditions, have been enjoying the
compensations that come to the pioneer who pushes into un-
known territory and breaks soil. But we are beginning to pass
out of this pioneering stage, and the profession calls for an
increasing proportion of workers whose essential task is the
intelligent, conscientious and enthusiastic application of those
methods. There will always be a bit of the pioneer's compen-
sation left, but now large numbers are entering the field for
the carrying on of everyday work new workers who may
choose this particular profession from among other professions
offering equal opportunity for rendering services to society.
In return for thoughtful, interested and faithful service, they
may well ask for the compensations which they might expect
in other professions, an opportunity for lives of their own,
with recreation, leisure, self-development, and the material
compensations considered as the essential minimum for a pro-
fessional worker.

This is especially important in a field such as social work,
where a primary factor for effective results is the contribution
of the worker from his own vision, philosophy, and outlook,
all colored by his own background and experience and his
present adjustment and well-being.

Pennsylvania's Prisons

"INDESCRIBABLE" is the epithet used by Ellen C.
Potter, the retiring secretary of the Pennsylvania Depart-
ment of Welfare, to characterize the conditions which ob-
tained at the Eastern State Penitentiary in the early months
of 1923. "With hootch freely for sale, even manufactured
within the institution ; with dope easily available ; with the
women's section of the prison a brothel, with the building
itself infested with filth and vermin, there were no lower
depths to which it could sink," Dr. Potter told the Pennsyl-
vania and All-Philadelphia Conferences of Social Work.

The control of the institution itself was actually in the hands
of the "Four Horsemen," four convicts running the institution



Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesThe Survey (Volume 58) → online text (page 47 of 130)