John Gould.

Biennial report of the State Board of Charities and Corrections of ..., Volume 6 online

. (page 14 of 28)
Online LibraryJohn GouldBiennial report of the State Board of Charities and Corrections of ..., Volume 6 → online text (page 14 of 28)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


provided. The entire interior is painted white and there is indirect
electric lighting.

The lumber for the new dormitory building for female employees is
on the ground and as the bids received did not come within the $5,000
appropriated for this purpose, it is to be constructed by day labor,
under the supervision of the steward of the Home. This structure
is planned primarily to house the night attendants, thus providing
quiet sleeping quarters for many who now sleep on the wards.

The new cottage for epileptic girls has not been started as yet, but
it is hoped to commence building operations in the near future.

Improvements. Recent improvements at this institution include the
completion of a new incinerator, clearing of the ground and wire
fencing for a playyard at Maple Cottage, new swings and benches in
the girls' playyard. In course of construction at the present time are
a new concrete septic* tank, consisting of three units with a capacity of
fifty thousand gallons each, concrete conduits for the steam pipes
leading to Maple and Laurel cottager, concrete manure pit, concrete
cesspool and new calf shed at the dairy, and a new well. The appear-
ance of the grounds has been improved by the laying of cement walks



Digitized by CjOOQIC



118 STATE BOARD OF CHARITIES AND CORRECTIONS.

around the Administration Building and the setting out of additional
plants, hedges and shrubbery.

Addition to teaching staff. The recent employment of a gymnasiuin
teacher increases the number of instructors to six, classes in the follow-
ing subjects being held : Music, kindergarten work, school grade work,
sloyd, fancywork and gymnasium. The superintendent feels that this
addition to his staflf will prove of great advantage to the children.

Present needs. The needs of this institution are many and urgent

and large appropriations will be asked of the legislature. For the sake

of convenience, the management of the Home has listed the desired

improvements in three groups, on a basis of their relative importance.

The following are considered of primary importance :

One cottage for epileptic males (90 inmates) $20,000 00

Furnishing for same 5,000 00

Building for laundry 15,000 00

Remodeling Madrona Hall for commissary and bakery 5,000 00

Additions to electric power plant 15,000 00

Water and steam piping, with plumbing repairs 15,000 00

Improvement of grounds and roads 5,000 00

Cottage for first assistant physician 3,500 00

Furnishing for same 1,500 00

Girls' nursery building 20,000 00

Furnishing for same 5,000 00

In the second group are listed the following :

Infirmary building for low-grade girls (90 inmates) $20,000 00

Furnishing for same 5,000 00

Cottage for females of marriageable age (90 inmates) 20,000 00

Furnishing for same 5,000 00

Schoolrooms and Assembly Hall 65,000 00

Furnishing for same 5,000 00

Industrial school building 10,(X)0 00

Dormitory for male employees 10,000 00

Furnishing for same 2,500 00

Apartment house for married employees 20,0(X) 00

Conceded as very important, but marked third on the list is a

Moron settlement of ten cottages $65,(XK) OO

Furnishing for same 10,000 00

Estimates of the necessary support and salaries appropriations aiv

as follows:

Support, sixty-seventh fiscal year $161,888 40

Support, sixty-eighth fiscal year ^ 174,88© 80

Salaries, sixty-seventh fiscal year 138,960 00

Salaries, sixty-eighth fiscal year 150,120 OO

The idea of the superintendent in making the foregoing classification
is that the first duty of the institution is to comfortably liouse it*
present population and to provide accommodations for the waiting list
of 140. The present housing capacity, under normal conditions, i>
1,038, while the population now numbers 1,072. The general averai?
increase for the past ten years has been about 93 inmates per year



Digitized by CjOOQIC



SONOMA STATE HOME. 119

With the completion of the new boys' nursery building and the cottage
for epileptic females, there will be accommodations for an additional
120 inmates, which will still leave a waiting list. It is estimated that
there are about 7,000 feeble-minded in the State of California for whom
institutional care should be provided. There can be no question about
the necessity for all the new buildings for inmates, appropriations for
which will be asked of the legislature.

Another cottage for epileptic males is one of the most pressing needs
of the institution. There are approximately 286 of this class in the
Home, to house which there are at present two cottages for males and one
for females. One of the cottages for males cares for both cripples and
epileptics. The normal capacity of each of these buildings is about 50,
which leaves nearly 150 epileptics scattered among the remaining popu-
lation. When erected, the new cottage for epileptic females, appropri-
ation for which was allowed by the legislature of 1913, will partially
relieve this condition, but the state should make provision for the com-
plete segregation of this class. Many of the epileptics are almost
normal mentally and such close association with the feeble-minded is
detrimental to them. Indeed, it is a question as to whether it might
not be better to provide for these unfortunates in a separate colony.

The nursery building for girls would permit of the segregation of
the very small girls, some of whom are little more than infants, who
are now scattered among the older girls and old women.

The infirmary building for low-grade girls would take care of such as
are in poor physical condition, and, together with the nursery building,
would relieve the congestion in other departments and provide addi-
tional accommodations for the waiting list.

The reasons for the establishment by the state of a moron colony
have been set forth in the report of Dr. Lucas, and the legislature will
be asked to appropriate the necessary moneys. The question of a suit-
able site presents some difficulties, which might perhaps be best met by
the establishment of the colony as an entirely separate and distinct
institution, at some other location. The state is large enough to support
two institutions for the feeble-minded, and the ideal arrangement
i\'ould be to have one entirely devoted to the care of the high-grade
)r moron type, and the other, the Sonoma State Home, devoted to the
diot and imbecile. This plan, however, has one decided drawback —
t would make difficult the visiting of the children by their parents.
The question of practicability may make it necessary to provide at
•aeli institution for every type of defective.

In case provision for the moron colony is not made by the legislature,
t -will be asked to appropriate money for the erection of a cottage for
emales of marriageable age, with a capacity of 90 inmates.



Digitized by CjOOQIC



120 STATE BOARD OP CHARITIES AND CORRECTIONS.

In addition to increased accommodations for inmates, there is great
need for new quarters for employees. Their work is very trying and
difficult, requiring infinite patience and kindliness, and the state should
provide them with suitable living quarters. Many are obliged to hire
cottages oif the institution grounds, and some of the male employees
are forced to sleep in the two railroad depots at Eldridge. Appropri-
ations for a dormitory for male employees and an apartment house for
married emploj^ees are being asked for. It would seem that these two
might well be combined into one building and thus effect a saving of
money.

A request for the schoolrooms and Assembly Hall was made at the
last session of the legislature, and granted, but owing to lack of funds,
the necessary money was not appropriated. This will be asked for
again and it is to be hoped that there will be no difficulty this time,
for both this building and an industrial school building are very greatly
needed improvements. The educational and industrial training needs
of the Home have never been adequately met, the inmates being denied
proper opportunities along these lines, owing to the lack of facilities to
carry on the work. It might be feasible to combine the school and
industrial class rooms in one building, though the board of managers
is asking for two structures.

The new building for laundry is certainly very necessary, as is also
the remodeling of Madrona Hall for the use of the commissary and
bakery. The commissary is now located in the basement of the main
building, with insufficient room', and the bakery is dark and cramped
for space. Additions to the electric power plant would permit of the
installation of a number of needed conveniences, i. e., power for the
sewing machines, electric irons for the use of the girls working in the
laundry, electric lights for the milking barn, and electric light during
the daytime when necessary. Water and steam piping, plumbing
repairs, and improvement of the roads should be provided for.

INDUSTRIAL HOME FOR THE ADULT BLIND.

Oakland.

BOARD OP DIRECTORS.

John P. Irish, President Oakland

Geo. E. Randolph, Vice-President Oakland

J. W. Scott Oakland

Joseph Sanders, Superintendent.

The usual membership of the board of directors is five, but since

the resignations of iMr. IT. C'. Capwcll and ^Vfr. Warren Olney, Sr.,

over a year ago, no appointments have been made to fill the vacancies.

Investigation. In December of 1912 charges against the manage-

ent of the Industrial Home for Adult Blind were brought by the



Digitized by CjOOQIC



rNTDUSTRIAL HOME FOR THE ADULT BLIND. 121

Blind Men's Club of California, certain members of which were
inmates of the Home. At the request of Governor Johnson, a com-
mittee of this Board conducted an investigation of these charges, a
public hearing occupying five days and twelve sessions being held at
the institution, at which the Blind Men's Club was represented by its
members responsible for the charges, and the management of the
Home by some of the members of the board of directors and the
superintendent. All of the witnesses offered by either side and a num-
ber of additional witnesses called by the committee, were sworn and
examined. As a result of this exhaustive investigation, the committee
filed a complete report with the Governor, concluding with the follow-
ing recommendations:

I. Matebial Impbovements.

First — That a refrigerator or cold storage rooms of sufficient capacity to care
for the various food stuffs be provided. (This has been done.)

Second — ^That, in view of the fact that the present men's dormitories are in a
disgraceful and antiquated condition, a new dormitory with a capacity for housing
from 80 to 100 men should be constructed at as early a date as possible. There
is sufficient ground to provide for a one-story building in the form of a quadrangle
with a central court, which we recommend. Such a building should also contain
adequate hospital accommodations and a dispensary. This request for a new men's
dormitory has been made frequently by the board of directors. (In process of
construction.)

Third — ^That a central heating plant be constructed, either ill connection with the
new dormitory building, or as a separate building, and all the buildings heated from
this plant

Fourth — That radiators be placed in the rooms occupied by the women and those
rooms made comfortable during cold weather.

Fifth — That the present old buildings occupied by the men have the heat turned
on during cold days and nights and whenever the comfort of the inmates requires it.

Siwth — That hot water for washrooms and for baths be made available daily at
limes to be fixed by the board of directors.

Seventh — That the quality of beds and bedding be improved, and methods be de-
vised by which it may be certain that all blankets be washed at least once a year.
(A number of blankets are now sent out to the laundry each month.)

Eighth — ^That new chairs be provided for the smoking room and benches be placed
in the yard at places convenient for the inmates. (New benches have been in-
stalled in the smoking room.)

II. SUPEBINTENDENCE.

First — ^That there should be a better organization of the service, a better defini-
tion of the duties of the employees, and more instruction given in regard to the per-
formance of those duties. In general, more system and more efficiency are re-
quired. The necessity of having a seeing man charged with the responsibility of
seeing that employees perform their work properly is apparent.

Second — That there be employed a trained nurse, who shall have the care of those
who are sick, care of the general sanitary conditions, and also charge of the linen
room. The physician's work and salary could be reduced sufficiently to pay" the
wages of such a nurse.

III. General Poijcies.

irirst — Education. That sufficient stress has not been placed by the directors
and superintendent upon the instruction of the adult blind, the primary object of
this Home. The first clause of the organic act creating this Home reads, "The ob-



Digitized by CjOOQIC



122 STATE BOARD OF CHARITIES AND CORRECTIONS.

jects of the Industrial Home for the Adult Blind are : First, the instruction of such
blind admitted thereto in some trade or trades to enable them to contribute to their
own support." At present, broom making, cane-seating of chairs, and piano tuning
are the only vocations taught. We are satisfied that more trades should be intro-
duced into the educational part of the work. In addition to the industries men-
tioned in the next paragraph, the blind have been successfully taught elsewhere
shampooing, massage, typesetting, telephoning and reporting. This committee con-
siders the educational part of the work of this Home of first importance, as it is
the first mentioned of the objects of the Home's creation.

Second — New Industbies. That new industries should be added, to include such
vocations as are available for the blind. The following are in use elsewhere and are
here suggested for consideration : knitting, crocheting, lace weaving, rug weaving,
bead work and the making of mattresses, baskets, brushes, mops, and for men with
partial sight, truck gardening and poultry raising.

Third — Status of Students. That closer attention should be given to the first
sentence of the second section of the act, which reads, "Every person who has
been a resident of the state for three years prior to his application for admission
is, if of suitable age, character and qualifications, entitled to the benefit of instruc-
tion in such home free of charge, though he is not of such physical strength as to be
able to work every day." While this section provides for free education, it does
not require the pupil to remain at the Home. When possible, he should on tht
contrary be encouraged to reside in his own home. Nor does this mean free main-
tenance if he is able to pay, but it does contemplate that those who are physically
able shall perform work when at the Home. Pupils should not be maintained free
at the Home while being taught only a short period each day, and performing no
other work, and especially blind men of means, in good physical condition, should nol
be maintained at the Home free, while neither studying nor working there.

Fourth — Wages and Maintenance. That the second part of the first section
of the act, which reads, "And second, the furnishing of a working home for the
adult blind, who, after learning a trade or trades, desire to remain at the Home
as workmen, but all who so remain must pay to the state, through the board ol
directors, the cost of their maintenance at the Home. The rate of wages to be
paid these workmen, as well as the amounts which they must pay for their mainte-
nance, must be fixed by the board," be followed. This will require the fixing of a
monthly or weekly cost of maintenance. Probably this rate will have to be less that
the real cost, to enable the workers to pay the cost and have enough left to W
other necessary expenses. The wages should then be increased to all that the shop
would warrant. The present policy tends to pauperize. Many of the inmates now
think the state furnishes them a home and maintenance free, and that it makes no
difference whether they work or not. Those who are physically unable to wort
and are indigent, should be classified as "aged and enfeebled" and be maintain?^
free of charge, as the law provides. This does not mean that a man "aged flii'-^
enfeebled" who draws a good government pension should be maintained free at ti*
Home.

Fifth — Accounting. That, in view of the fact that while we found no dishon-
esty in the keeping of the accounts, we did find considerable confusion in methods
and lack of an effective system of checks on outgoing products from the factory, »'
recommend that the matter be taken up by the State Board of Control and a defini'^
system of accounting be prescribed as soon as possible. Along this line, we quoi'
from the 1911 special report upon this institution made by the Department of Pa^
lie Accounting of the State Board of Control : "Proper records have not been kef*
recording the receipt and issuance of raw material used in the manufacture, or '^
supplies received and consumed at the Institution." (Accounting system has be'i
installed by Board of Control.)

Sixth — Admissions. That the law distinguishing between the laborers and at**-
and enfeebled be more closely followed, and that on admission the status of the '*
mate shall be determined and appear in the records of the superintendent and t^\
directors, and that when it becomes necessary to transfer a worker to tbe **aged 8t3
enfeebled" class, that the records shall show this transfer. According to the ^



Digitized by CjOOQIC



INDUSTRIAL HOME FOR THE ADULT BLIND. 123

ganic act, the final word of admission lies with the doctor, who certifies as to the
physical condition of the applicant, and we recommend that this be changed so as to
leave the final word with the board of directors and the superintendent, who may
consider not only the physical ability of the applicant, but also his economic status
and the general propriety of his admission into the Home.

Seventh — Outmates. That, in accordance with the provision of the law, the
Home should encourage the blind people to live at home with their families wher-
ever feasible, coming only to the shop for their daily instruction and labor. The
present system has just the contrary influence and encourages those who could and
should lite at home, to become inmates of the institution. That the purpose of the
law should be more closely adhered to in encouraging the blind people to work in
their own homes after they have acquired knowledge of the trades. Further, we
should like to recommend that wherever it is not feasible for the blind person re-
siding in the vicinity to come to the shop for instruction, provision be made for
instruction in his own home, thus following a precedent set by other institutions of
a similar nature.

Eighth — Dismissals. That no inmate shall be finally dismissed until he has
been given a hearing by the board of directors.

Ninth — Recbeation. That the superintendent make more effort to provide en-
tertainment and recreation for the inmates. At present the matter is left entirely
to outside volunteers. In view of the lack of proper recreation rooms for both men
and women, we recommend that they be provided. The recent improvements on
the grounds, while they may have added to the appearance, have sadly reduced
the opportunities of the inmates for outdoor life, and it seems to us something
should be done to bring back the privacy which the hedges and trees gave in the
past.

Tenth — Revision of Organic Act. That the organic act be amended and re-
vised so that the Adult Blind Fund shall be no longer available for payment of the
general expenses of the institution. That all moneys earned by the shops and in-
dustries shall be turned into this fund ; that only charges of manufacturing, wages,
raw materials, and actual superintendence of the shop be charged to it, and when
the fund reaches $10,000, which sum is suggested so that raw materials may be
bought advantageously in the market, that no more additions to be made thereto.
That the surplus of the shop shall be divided annually in three parts, the propor-
tions to be determined by the board of directors ; one part being paid out as deferred
wages to the shop laborers in twelve monthly installments during the ensuing year,
the amount of the bonus to be proportionate to the wages earned during the past
year ; a second part of this surplus to be distributed among the "aged and enfeebled^*
inmates for their personal expenses ; and a third part to be used for the introduc-
tion and development of new trades and industries. In this manner the wages of
the workers would be increased. This would also enable a reorganization of the
shop and the elimination of the incapables, who at present draw a small wage and
do little, if anything, toward the development of the industries.

As there are other parts of the organic act that should be changed, we rectom-
tnend that a committee of the board of directors of the Home be appointed to co-
oi>erate with a committee of this Board in making such revision.

In conclusion, we wish to say that we believe that most of these recommendations
cannot be carried out without changing the superintendency of the institution. The
present superintendent is a blind man and there is no one oflacially charged with the
duty of seeing for him. We agree with the members of the board of directors that
a blind man makes the best instructor for the blind, for which place the present su-
perintendent is especi-ally fitted. His services would be of most value to the state in
such a position, while as superintendent his limitations are obvious. We think
he appointment of a seeing superintendent, especially chosen for a special fitness,
^onld be an indispensable condition to the oarry'ng out of these recommendations,
xnd. would have the effect of lifting the institution to higher efficiency. We recom-
nend that the present superintendent be retained if possible as the head of the de-
>artment of instruction, in its wider scope.



Digitized by CjOOQIC



124 STATE BOARD OF CHARITIES AND CORRECTIONS.

The charges against the Home, including complaints regarding the
food, and a great deal of contradictory testimony being brought forth
at the hearing, the Board requested Dr. Adele S. Jaffa, Lecturer in
Dietetics at the University of California, to render an opinion on the
dietary of the Home. The results of Dr. Jaffa's study were presented
in a comprehensive report, the general trend of which is indicated by
the following quotation therefrom : ^ * My opinion is that a just criticism
of the menus, as they stand, and as a whole, would lead us to say
that, with the exception of the lack of fruit and perhaps a shortage
on desserts, they are good; that they compare very favorably with
those of other institutions, and are superior to many in several ways/'

Present conditions. A recent inspection of the Home shows that a
number of the minor material improvements suggested in the fore-
going report have been made, but, on the whole, the policies remain
unchanged. The matter of admission of inmates still rests with the
physician, though the superintendent states that every dismissal is
passed upon by the directors and every person discharged from the
institution given a hearing before that body. No new trades or indus-
tries have been introduced, nor are any plans along that line being
made. The same system of maintaining the inmates free of charge
and paying small wages for their work still prevails. The superinten-
dent insists that these blind people are paid the full amount they
could earn on the outside, and says that the plan of charging them
board has been attempted on two different occasions in the past, with
marked failure. Most of the malcontents have left the Home. There
appear to be still three or four men who work on the outside and reside
at the institution free of charge. No attempt has been made to teach
the blind in their own homes and there are no outmates.

A complete system of accounting has been installed by the State
Board of Control. All the expenses of the shops, including salaries of
teachers and assistants, and wages to inmates, are now paid out of the
Adult Blind Fund, and a careful segregation is maintained. All
requisitions for supplies are signed by three persons, i. c., the superin-
tendent, the person ordering the supplies, and the person filling the


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Online LibraryJohn GouldBiennial report of the State Board of Charities and Corrections of ..., Volume 6 → online text (page 14 of 28)