Massachusetts. State Board of Charity.

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Part!.] GENERAL WORK OF THE BOARD. 97

THE COUNTY TRAINING SCHOOLS.

In compliance with the provisions of Chapter 46 of the Re-
vised Laws, the Board's officers have visited each of the six
County Training Schools and submit the following report : —

The names of the several institutions and the territory from
which each receives boys, are as follows : —

Essex Coxmty Training School, Essex County.

Hampden County Training School, Hampden and Berkshire

counties.
Middlesex County Training School, Middlesex, Franklin and

Hampshire counties; Suffolk Coimty outside of Boston.
Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth XJm'on Training School, Norfolk,

Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable and Dukes counties.
Suffolk Coimty Training School, City of Boston.
Worcester County Training School, Worcester County.

Nantucket has not designated the school which it would use
in case of necessity.

Value op Plant and Year Expenpitures.
As shown in the following items, the combined valuation of
the six plants is $825,600, while the total expenditure for the
year 1912 was $156,731, The average weekly cost per capita
in 1918 ranges from $2.70 to $7.50.^

> See Table I.



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PartL] GENERAL WORK OF THE BOARD.



99



Table II.-


— VcdtuOion of Plant, and Total Yearly Expense.


COUNTT


Value of

PlAlK


Total Y«arly


EllMS


1175,000


$30,712


Hamp4ea


28.000
202.000

25.500
820.100

75.000


6,270


Middleaex


45,863


Norfolk


12.384


Suffolk


40.504


Worcester _


11.M8








Total .


1825.600


$156,731


"





> The last county reports in print.

Description op Plants.

The boys in the Essex School are housed in a wooden
cottage and in the wing of the brick administration building.
There is a separate school building of brick. The farm con-
tains 35 acres, 25 of which are cultivated and 10 hired for hay
and crops. The stock consists of 14 cows, 7 horses, 33 cattle,
140 pigs, 250 hens.

The building which constitutes the Hampden County School
is old and ill adapted for the purpose. The county commis-
sioners apparently anticipate early removal to some new site,
and have consequently provided very little in the way of repairs.
The physical condition of the school appears greatly improved ;
there is no longer a stale odor, and the new superintendent is
persevering with the work of getting rid of the waterbugs with
which the place has become infested. This school has but two
shower baths; its sanitary arrangements are poor and inade-
quate.

The Middlesex County School has four cottages for boys and
an industrial building. The number of inmates has greatly
decreased, Cambridge having ceased, during the past year, to
send cases there. As a result there are but two of the four
cottages now occupied. There are 37 acres of land, 3 cows, 4
horses, 8 swine and a number of hens. The superintendent has
a separate residence.



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100 STATE BOARD OF CHARITY. [P. D. 17.

The Norfolk Union School has one wooden building with an
annex and a cottage for care of contagious diseases. There are
32 acres of land, 3 cows, 3 pigs, 1 horse and 150 hens. A new
staircase has been built from the first floor to the basement.
The school needs an indoor playroom, which might be used for
rough games in bad weather and for gymnasium purposes.

The Suffolk Training School has five cottages for inmates
only three of which are occupied. In addition, there are four
buildings, used for a school, administration and hospital, offi-
cers' quarters and service. The superintendent has a separate
residence. Each cottage has a reception room for friends* on
visiting days, but these are not used for that purpose, visitors
being obliged to see boys in the office. There are 50 acres
of land, about 10 of whidi are cultivated; 30 to 40 pigs, 3
horses, and 300 hens.

The Worcester County Training School has one building
and an annex for officers and boys, and about 60 acres of land
(38 owned and 22 leased), 8 of which are cultivated. There
are 6 cows, 4 horses, 4 young cattle, 6 hogs, and 150 hens. A
number of needed changes have been made since the last visit
by this Board. A workshop has been built and fitted up for
instruction in carpentry and repair work; laundry machinery
has been installed; a hospital department on the third floor is
being built; and a steam plant in a separate building is to be
installed. There are too many boys in the group at this school.
If the younger ones could be housed in a cottage by themselves
they would gain both physically and morally by the lessened
contact with the older boys.

Employees.
The six training schools, with about 477 boys, employ 118
persons, or about 1 employee to every 4 boys. These are classi-
fied as follows : —

Superintendents 6

Clerks 3

Teachers 16

Special teachers 11

Male supervisors 11



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Parti.] GENERAL WORK OF THE BOARD. 101

Matrons and women aasiatants . . 44

Male employees for work in institution 15

Male employees for work outside institution 7

Watchmen 5

There has been one change in administration during the year.
Mr. Charles E. Butler became superintendent of the Hampden
County School in place of Mr. Irwin G. Ward, resigned. Mr.
Butler was formerly superintendent of the Chicopee Almshouse.

NuMBEES, Movement of Population, and Ages.

It appears from Table I. that there were 848 boys in the six
schools in 1913. There were 599 at the beginning of the year.
During the twelve months 249 were admitted and 367 were
discharged, leaving 481 on November 30, when the year closed.
The average number of boys during the year was 538. The
average age of the boys at the time of admittance was eleven
years, ten months ; the ages of the individual boys ranged from
seven years to fifteen years and ten months.

The total number of boys enrolled on the several days of
visitation was 477. Table III. shows the distribution of in-
mates by ages : —



Table III. - Number of Bays in Each School,


grouped by Age






AoE Last Bibthoat




Coujrrr


7


t


t


It


11


12


IS


14


15


Totab


Eoex


-


1


4




12


15


23


88


36


134


Hunpden






-


1


-




6


5


14


2


1


33


Middleoex






1


1


4




15


12


22


19


16


97


Norfolk






-


-


1




6


6


13


9


6


45


Suffolk^






-


-


6




11


20


16


23


13


95


Woreeeter






-


1


6




6


7


15


13


17


71


Totals


1


4


21 1 33


55


65


103


104


89


4751



' Two children not accounted for.



The total number of boys in all the schools is about the same
as it was ten years ago, though the distribution has changed.
The Essex School has increased during that period from 35 to



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102 STATE BOARD OF CHARITY. [P. D. 17.

134; Middlesex has decreased from 148 to 97, owing to the
fact that Cambridge has ceased to send cases there ; the Suffolk
School has decreased from 213 to 97, due, perhaps, to a wider
use of the probation system for boys considered hopeful, and
of the Lyman School for those needing institution training.
The Worcester School has increased from 33 to 71 boys during
the ten-year period. The parents of over 50 per cent of the
boys in most of these training schools are foreign bom.

It is apparent, from the ages and general appearance of
the boys, that many cannot be habitual truants or school
offenders, and that others are much more than this. Last year
the Middlesex School received 33 boys under nine years of age ;
5 boys entered the school when they were only seven years of
age, or the year during which they attained legal school age.
These younger boys are either neglected children or are placed
in the training school because of the poverty of their parents.
Many cases should have been dealt with individually, on the
basis of the need in the family, and should never have been com-
mitted to an institution xmder the archaic system of uniting re-
lief and correction. On the other hand, many of the older boys
have been guilty of various kinds and degrees of crime. Inves-
tigation will show that cigarette smokers, degenerates and per-
verts are plentiful among them; and unless the most careful
classification is pursued, the more hardened boys are certain to
instruct the more innocent, until the lowest moral standard be-
comes the average standard of' the whole number.

Records and Histories.
The records of the institutions, as a rule, show little more
than enough to identify the boy in case he escapes. As a rule,
no information comes with him except that contained in the
mittimus ; and his past historj', therefore, is learned, if at all,
in a haphazard manner after he reaches the school. Further
knowledge or information ends when the boy leaves, unless he
chooses to write and divulge his plans and progress.



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Part I.] GENERAL WORK OF THE BOARD. 103

Medicaid Examinations and Cabe.

The Essex^ the Middlesex and Suffolk schools, require a
medical examination of new boys upon entrance, the last an
inspection at regular intervals. The second school has just in-
augurated such a system. The amount of medical attendance
upon the sick varies ; for instance, the Hampden School has con-
fined its care largely to the extraction of teeth. The Worcester
School pays out scarcely $1 per capita for physician's services
in a year.

It is not safe to presume that the boys do not need medical
care of the most expert type, as even cursory examination will
show. Seventeen boys out of a fraction of those in the six
training schools said that they had worn glasses before entering,
but not afterwards. Only four boys were seen wearing than.
Many of the boys are bed wetters; and a large proportion of
th^n are undersized and ansemic and are plainly the victims of
previous neglect, underfeeding, and bad habits. Taking the
schools as a whole, the physical condition of the inmates at the
time of commitment does not vary greatly in the several locali-
ties. It may be safely asserted, therefore, that the 989 recorded
instances of sickness in the Suffolk County School during the
past year indicate the probable health conditions existing in
the other schools if the same medical scrutiny were invoked to
bring them to light.

The Essex, Hampden and Middlesex schools have not suf-
ficient provision for isolating suspicious cases. Norfolk has
recently equipped a separate cottage, and Worcester, a portion
of the attic, as a hospital ward. Suffolk uses one end of the
office building (the former hospital building) for non-con-
tagious cases, with a nurse in charge. The Middlesex School
has a well-equipped dental laboratory. This school, as well as
the one in Essex, employs a dentist regularly one day each week.

Food.
The dietaries in the different schools differ greatly. The
Essex School leads the list in the variety and substance of the
food furnished. At the other extreme is the Hampden School,



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104 STATE BOARD OF CHARITY. [P. D. 17.

which serves all breakfasts of bread, molasses and milk, and all
suppers of bread, molasses and water. The dinners are v^e-
tables, soup or baked beans with bread and water; oomed beef
is served once a week. There are no desserts or milk. Such
fare is monotonous and dreary to the last degree, and the poor
physical appearance of the boys must be partly due to lack of
proper n6urishment In connection with this school it is grati-
fying to note that the present management is making a special
study of dietary, and has made a number of changes for the
better.

The dietaries of the other four schools fall in between these
two extremes. The Suffolk County School gives baked beans an
important place, serving them twice each week for dinner. A
new chef was employed there at the close of the year, and less
prominence may be given in the future, perhaps, to this article
of diet. It is a fair conclusion from inspection that the dietaries
in several of the schools would be improved if they were more
varied and contained more meat and milk. Silence is the pre-
vailing rule at meal times in all but the Norfolk School, where
the boys are allowed to talk in moderate tones. The honor table,
permitted to some extent, forms an exception to this rule for a
small group of the boys.

Sleeping Facilities.

The dormitories, on the whole, are found to be clean and well
equipped. All except those in the Hampden School have indi-
rect as well as direct ventilation. Fifteen boys in the Hampden
School sleep in an attic dormitory, ventilated by open windows
against which beds have to be placed, due to crowding. Six boys
in the Worcester School were sleeping in an unfinished, un-
heated attic, where conditions are very poor. Upon later in-
spection these beds had been removed. In view of the fact that
this institution was built to accommodate 50 inmates, the neces-
sities to which even a highly resourceful management must re-
sort in caring for 71 boys are at once apparent.

The boys in all the institutions have at least two sets of under-
clothing, which is changed weekly. The Essex and Hampden
schools provide no nightshirts, the boys wearing their shirts

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Parti.] GENERAL WORK OF THE BOARD. 105

both night and day for a week. Many of the larger boys in the
Worcester School were found to be wearing house shoes which
were too shorty resulting in brt^en-down counters and a shuffling
gait

Sai?itabies and Baths.

All have shower baths. In three of the schools these are used
once a week in cool weather and twice a week in summer, with
a feet-washing midway between. Two schools require bathing
twice a week. The Suffolk School uses its showers every night.
The Hampden School has tubs in a dark basement, used weekly.

Most of the schools supply individual towels, soap, tooth-
brushes and aluminum combs.

The urinals and toilets are fairly satisfactory, except in the
Hampden School, where they are inadequate. In this building
no amount of cleanliness and surveillance can render the equip-
ment proper for the purpose of the school.

Physical Training.
None of the schools gives its boys systematic physical training
or employs a physical instructor. The Essex and the Worces-
ter schools have space which, with proper equipment, would
serve for gymnasia. These are now used for indoor playrooms.
Many of the boys are undersized and poorly developed, and
would benefit from intelligent physical training.

Religious Instruction.
The Catholic boys in all six institutions receive instruction
once a week from a visiting priest. In the Norfolk School a
non-sectarian service is held every Sunday afternoon, which is
open to ministers of all denominations. The boys in the five
other schools are taken each Sunday in two squads to a Catholic
and a Protestant church, respectively.

Routine Work.

Practically all the housework and most of the outside work on

the farms and in the bams is performed by the boys under the

supervision of the various matrons and men. For the most part,

some particular chore or section of the work is assigned to each



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106 STATE BOARD OF CHARITY. [P. D. 17.

boy on his arrival, and unless he is changed because he does not
fit in well, he is likely to continue with the same work through-
out his stay. In one or two schools there is some attempt to
change the boys around every six months ; but in the main, the
policy is to keep the machinery of the institution running
smoothly by retaining the boys on the chores which they have
learned to do welL Most of the schools keep a squad of boys
at work waxing floors, an occupation looked upon as a legitimate
part of the upkeep of the institution, and also as exercise for
the boy.

Schooling.

The Essex institution gives its boys about three hours of
school work each day; the first four grades have five sessions
and the last four grades but four sessions each week. There are
eight grades and each of the two teachers has two grades at one
time.

The Middlesex boys have a three-hour session, with the ex-
ception of those in the first two grades, who have four and one-
half hours a day. Two teachers have three grades each at a
time, and one teacher two grades.

Worcester has but two and one-half hours per day in the
schoolroom, with one teacher in charge. She is assisted by two
pupils from the normal schocA who are changed every six weeks.
There are nine grades in the school.

The Hampden and Norfolk boys have four and one-half hours
and the Suffolk boys four hours and forty minutes each day in
school.

The Hampden School has sessions the year round, a substitute
being employed in simimer to allow the regular teacher the usual
vacation. There are seven grades.

Xorfolk employs two teachers for its six grades, and Suffolk
seven teachers. In the latter school classes below the third grade
are styled '* ungraded."

About 380 boys, or 81 per cent, of the whole number, are be-
low grade, according to their system of rating, which, in the ma-
jority of the institutions, is not as strict as that used in city
schools. There are 171 boys, or 35.8 per cent of the present
inmates of the six schools, who will probably never get above



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Parti.] GENERAL WORK OF THE BOARD.



107



the sixth grade, even though they remain until they are sixteen
years of age, — the legal limit of commitment. This means that
a large numher, in all probability, will not have sufficient edu-
cation to hold their own in the business world. A number of
the boys have all the appearance of being feeble-minded.

The following table shows the ages and grades of the 477
boys in the six schools : —

Table IV.




* Seven unaooounted for in Worcester School end 2 in Suffolk School.

From a study of this table it is apparent that if one grade per
year be assumed to be the rate of progress, all those cases falling
immediately under the diagonal line, 90 in number, may reach
the sixth grade at the age limit for detention, but will not get
beyond. In the same manner 42 may reach the fifth grade, but
will get no higher in the school ; 25 will not exceed fourth grade ;
12 must stop at third grade and 2 will still be in second grade at
the date of discharge. Adding the totals, therefore, there are
171 boys, or 35.8 per cent, of all the inmates of these schools
on the days of inspection, who at the age of sixteen will have
advanced not farther than the sixth grade, and this even though
the average age at commitment was eleven years, ten months.
The average child in the public schools of Massachusetts reaches
sixth grade at the age of eleven to twelve years.



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108 STATE BOARD OF CHARITY. [P. D. 17.



Online LibraryMassachusetts. State Board of CharityAnnual report → online text (page 8 of 60)