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Prisoners and juvenile delinquents in the United States 1910 online

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Table 133



All ages

Under 5 years....

S toQyears

10 to 14 years

15 to 24 years

25 to 44 years

45 to 64 years

65 years or over..
Age not reported



"WBITE population: 1910.



Native.



Number.



6,412



220, 407
176, 664
560,078
850, 660
156, 650
857, 386
456, 654
108,013



Per
cent
distri-
bution.



100.0



13.5
12.0
11.1
20.3
26.5
13.0
3.6
0.2



Foreign born.



Number.



13,345,545



102, 507

298, 509

358, 330

2, 104, 142

5,879,979

3, 392, 518

1, 183, 349

26,211



Per
cent
distri-
bution.



100.0



0.8
2.2
2.7
15.8
44.1
25.4
8.9
0.2



While 36.6 per cent of the native white population
in 1910 were under 15 years of age, the corresponding
percentage for the foreign-bom white was only 5.7.



The percentage imder 25 years of age was 56.9 for the
native and 21.5 for the foreign bom. On the other
hand, 69.5 per cent, or more than two-thirds, of the
foreign-bom white were from 25 to 64 years of age,
as compared with 39.5 per cent, or only about two-
fifths, of the native white. The percentage 65 years
of age or over was also larger for the former (8.9) than
for the latter (3.6).

It has abeady been pointed out (p. 108) that this
difference in the age composition of the two classes,
or the fact that a much larger proportion of the native
population than of the foreign bom are infants or
children, goes far towards explaining why the ratio
of commitments based on total poptdation is higher
for the foreign-bom white than for the native white
and why there is a larger percentage foreign born in
the total niunber of persons committed to prisons^ and
jaUs than in the total population. In view of this
fact it is especially important that the data for the two
classes should be presented in connection with age;
and in the following table the classification of the
white prisoners and juvenile delinquents by nativity
is combined with a classification by age groups:



Table 124



All ages

Under 10 years...

10 to 14 years

15 to 17 years

18 to 20 years

21 to 24 years

25 to 34 years

35 to 44 years

45 to 54 years

55 to 64 years

65 years or over..
Age not reported.



WHITE PEIS0NEE3 AND. JUVENILE DELINQUENTS
COMMITTED IN 1910.



Number.



Total.



382,052



456

7,1
10, 457
23,080
42,885
97,424
84,630
51,457
20,949

7,152
36,503



Native.



253,929

417

6,306

9,268

18,560

32, 175

69, 927

57,568

32,962

12,639

3,545

10,562



For-
eign
bom.



Nar
tivity

not

re-
ported.



99,639



1,076

4,163

10,030

26, 144

26,022

17,944

8,082

3,520

1,944



28,484

10

68

113

357

680

1,353

1,040

551

228

87

23,997



Per cent of total.



Na-
tive.



66.5
91.4



80.4
75.0
71.8
68.0
64.1
60.3
49.6
28.9



For-
eign
bom,



Na-
tiv-

not
re-
port-
ed,



26.1

6.4
9.7
10.3
18.0
23.4
26.8
30.7
34.9
38.6
49.2
6.3



7.5

Ti

1.0
1.1
1.S
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.1
1.1
1.2
6S.7



al
II

|l



16.3

2.3
4.5
6.2
13.1
18.4
23.4
25.8
27.2
28.5
32.5
19.5



The percentage foreign bom in the total niunber
of white prisoners and juvenile delinquents committed
increases regularly with each successive age group.
Thus of the youthful offenders of the white race 10 to
17 years of age only about 10 per cent were of foreign
birth. But the percentage, as it increases, becomes 26.8
in the age group "25 to 34 years," advances to 30.7 in
the next older group, "35 to 44 years," and finally
reaches 49.2 in the oldest age group, "65 years or
over." This increase is in part a natural conse-
quence of the corresponding increase in the percent-
age foreign bom in the total white popidation, which
is shown in the last column of Table 124. The per-
centage foreign bom is, however, invariably larger
among white prisoners and juvenile delinquents than
it is in the total white population in the same age
group, which indicates that in every age group com-
mitments to penal or reformatory institutions are



NATIVITY.



119



relatively more frequent in the foreign-bom wliite
population than in the native. The difference in this
respect is best indicated by the figures in the follow-
ing table showing the ratio of commitments per 100,000
population for the native and foreign-bom white, clas-
sified by age periods.



Table 12&



All ages.



Under 10 years...

10 years

11 years

12 years

13 years

14 years

15 years

16 years.

17 years

18 years

19 years.... ^

20 years

21 to 24 years

25 to 34 years

35 to 44 years

45 to 54 years

65 to 64 years

65 years or over...
Age not reported.



WHITE PRISONERS


AND UTTENILE DELINQUENTS




COMMITTED m 1910.




Number.


Ratio of commitments.!










Coeffi-






Native.


Foreign
bom.


cient of
differ-


NatlTe.


Foreign
bom.






ence.


A


B


B-5-A


253,929


99,639


371.3


746.6


2.0


417


29


2.4


7.2


3.0


536


53


34.7


70.8


2.0


749


76


52.1


115.1


2.2


1,250


138


79.7


183.4


2.3


1,695


180


114.7


266.6


2.3


2,076


238


135.5


318.5


2.4


. 2,353


272


164.3


361.8


2.2


2,784


261


181.6


261.0


1.4


4,131


543


283.5


456.1


1.6


6,035


1,015


400.3


659.1


1.4


6,616


1,445


485.0


729.8


1.5


5,909


1,703


430.7


658.8


1.5


32,175


10,030


620.6


855.9


1.4


69.927


26,144


675.2


825.1


1.2


57,568


26,022


738.0


959.7


1.3


32,962


17,944


594.4


866.3


1.5


12,639


8,082


381.6


611.8


1.6


. 3,S4S


3,520


144.3


297.5


2.1


10,562


1,944









» Number committed per 100,000 population oftbe same race, nativity, and age.

The difference in the ratio of commitments varies
considerably at different ages. The contrast is most
marked as regards the commitments of children, prob-
ably because a much larger proportion of the foreign-
bom population than of the native is resident in states
where the policy of committing juvenile offenders to
special institutions for this class for reformatory
treatment is well estabhshed. In each year of
age from 10 to 15, inclusive, the ratio of commit-
ments for the foreign-bom white is more than twice
as great as that for the native white, but from 15 to 24,
inclusive, it is about one and one-haK times as great.
The difference is still smaller in the age periods from
25 to 44, but increases in the older age periods ; and in
the oldest period, "65 years or over," the ratio of
commitments for the foreign-bom white is again more
than twice as great as that for the native white.

That the contrast between native and foreign born
as regards the ratio of commitments should be greater
in old age than in middle fife is consistent with the
fact — shown by statistics previously presented — that
a larger proportion of the foreign-bom prisoners than
of the native are committed for drunkenness and dis-
orderly conduct,, taken in connection with the further
fact that the prisoners committed for drunkenness are
as a class much older than those committed for other
offenses. Differences in economic status and degree
of education may, however, be reflected in the sta-
tistics here presented. The immigrants as compared
with the native Americans include a relatively larger



number of manual laborers without education and
therefore as a class are less likely to have made any
provision for old age and are more likely to be "shelved"
as they grow older and to become drifters or vagrants.
Perhaps that is one reason why the difference between
the native and the foreigner as regards the ratio of
prison commitments becomes more marked in old age
and is least marked in the period of maximum physical
strength and activity, namely the period from 25 to 44.
The conjecture impHes of course that the ratio of
prison or jail commitments for any class is determined
in some degree at least by economic status. In the
period of early middle life the immigrant as compared
with the native is least handicapped by his poverty
and ignorance. As long as his physical strength re-
mains unimpaired he can secure remunerative em-
ployment and take care of himseK and his family; but
as old age comes on he finds it increasingly difl&cult to
obtain a Hvehhood, and is therefore at a greater dis-
advantage as compared with the average native
American, who presumably possesses more property
and is better educated. Old age, in short, is probably
more of an economic handicap to the immigrant than
to the native, and that may explain in part why the
ratio of commitments to prisons and jails, although it
decreases for both classes in old age, decreases more
gradually for the immigrant than for the native, with
the result that the difference between them in this re-
spect becomes more pronounced.

Another possible influence which should be con-
sidered in this connection, however, is the fact that,
owing to the changes which have taken place as re-
gards the sources of immigration to the United States,
the racial composition of the foreign-born element in
the older age groups differs considerably from that in
the younger groups. The earher immigration came
mainly from the northern and western countries of
Europe; the later largely from the southeastern coun-
tries. The composition of the older age groups in the
foreign-bom population reflects that of the earlier im-
migration, because most of the more recent immigrants
are found in the younger age groups. But what the
effect of this difference may be upon the ratio of prison
commitments is not easy to determine. It is some-
times contended that the later immigration is of a less
desirable character than the earher; and yet it is possi-
ble that the vice of drunkenness, which, as we must
continuaUy remind ourselves, accounts for a large pro-
portion of the prison and jail commitments, may be
more prevalent among the survivors of the earlier
immigration than among the later arrivals.

The above comparison by age periods establishes the
fact that the higher ratio of commitments shown for
the foreign-born white population as compared with
the native is not entirely due to the difference in the
age composition of the two classes, since the ratio is
higher for the foreign born than for the native in every
age group. It is significant, however, that from the
age of 16 up to that of 65 the difference between the



120



PRISONERS AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS.



native and foreign bom is less than it is in the total
for all ages, indicating that the difference in the total
is in part at least the result of differences in age dis-
tribution, or of the fact already noted that the native
white population as compared with the foreign bom
includes a relatively large proportion of very young
children and infants incapable of committing a penal
offense in the legal sense of the term.

The extent to which the difference between the
ratios for all ages combined is a result of the difference
in age composition may be determined approximately
by the results of a computation * showing what the
ratio of commitments for the foreign-born white would
be if their age distribution was the same as that of
the native white and at the same time the ratio of
commitments within each age group remained un-



changed. On that assumption the ' ratio for the
foreign-born white would be 506 per 100,000, whereas
the actual ratio is 746.6. The hypothetical ratio, in-
stead of being, like the actual ratio, twice as great as
that for the native white, is hardly more than one and
one-third times as great. Thus almost two-thirds of
the difference between the native and the foreign-
born white as regards the relative numbers committed
to prisons and jails is due to the difference in age
composition.

Table 126 gives the ratio of commitments per
100,000 population for the native white and foreign-
bom white by age periods for each geographic divi-
sion. The numbers committed are shown in General
Table 35 (p. 350).



Table 120


RATIO or WHITE


PHISOSTEKS AND JDVENILE DELINQUENTS COMMITTED IN 1910
POPDI.ATION OF SAME EACE, NATIVITY, AND AGE.


PER 100,000 WHITE




Native.


Foreign
born.


Native.


Foreign
born.


Native.


Foreign
born.


Native.


Foreign
born.


Native.


Foreign
bom. '




United States.


New England
division.


Middle Atlantic
division.


East North Central
division.


West N(rth Central
division.




371.3


746.6


630.2


1,143.2


487.7


716.7


375.9


680.4


296.3


650.1






Under 10 years


2.4
83.4
209.6
437.4
620.6
675.2
738;
594.4
381.6
144.3


42
191.2
365.7
652.5
855.9
825.1
959.7
866.3
611.8
297.5


7.4

163.0

.243.8

581.0

871.9

1,156.8

1,554.4

1,261.7

682.2

139.0


8.8

191.9

267.4

535.9

914.7

1,094.0

1,646.4

1,660.8

1,272.3

688.1


4.2
146.7
339.3
653.6
840.0
852.3
965.5
864.5
573.6
206.1


8.5
242.6
448.9
710.3
793.3
709.4
872.8
916.2
704.1
420.5


1.4

83.2
207.8
428.8
620.1
693.8
757.1
580.0
397.3
193.8


6.1
166.9
349.7
659.6
823.9
699.9
712.6
622.2
443.5
231.1


1.4
53.4
155.5
309.6
473.8
585. 7
586.1
438.7
293.8
90.5


6.0


10 to 14 years


136.8


15 to 17 years .,~..^,


200.3


18 to 20 years


425..2




693.8


25to34 years. ..-.:.. . ,


735.0




719.0


45to54years


567.8




371.4




115.1








South Atlantic
division.


East South Central
division.


West South Central
division.


Mountain division.


Pacific division.


All ages


261.0


979.8


209.5


325.8


139.0


381.6


54S.1


1,314.7


578.8








Under 10 years. . . :


2.1
49.9
• 159.6
283.5
429.6
474.3
617.3
377.8
235.1
93.6




1.6
38.2
124.0
309.1
388.1
317.2
243.8
172.1
102.6
37.2




0.4
26.2
113.7
218.7
294.1
266.9
220.2
137.8
71.4
24.5




3.0
102.4
266.7
714.8
898.2
958.3
856.0
559.7
367.9
143.3


21.7

228.8

741.5

866.7

1,333.2

1,529.1

1,546.0

1,021.8

734.4

326.4


1.1
63.6
217.3
651.0
1,109.4
1,049.9
945.9
764.8
552.1
241.8


"


lOto 14 years


109.0

312.4

855.2

980.9

1,106.3

1,409.4

1, 107. 6

637.8

340.3


165.6
349.7
289.7
523.6
439.0
396.3
311.9
177.1
77.1


26.6
98.7
361.7
611.8
643.1
356.5
259.1
181.4
61.3


60 4






18to20years


790 8


21 to 24 years...


1,272.6

1, 055.16

1,000.6

822.5

560.4

294.8




35 to 44 years. .


45to54years


55 to 64 years







Although as a rule the ratio of commitments is
distinctly higher for the foreign-born white than for
the native white in every age period, there are some
noteworthy exceptions. In the Middle Atlantic di-
vision the ratio for the native white is greater than
that for the foreign-bom white in the age periods
"21 to 24 years," "25 to 34 years," and "35 to 44
years;" this is also the case in New England as
regards the age periods "18 to 20 years" and "25

'The computation consists simply in multiplying the total native
white population in each age group by the ratio of commitments
for the loreign-bom white in the same age group, adding the products
and dividing the total thus obtained by the total native white popu-
lation. The result shows what the ratio of commitments for the
foreign-bom white would be if the ratio for the foreign-born white
in each age group had the same weight in determining the total
ratio that the ratio for the native white in each age group has in
determining the total ratio for the native white.



to 34 years," and in the East North Central division
as regards the age period "35 to 44 years." In
most divisions the difference between the two classes
is less marked in the age groups between 21 and 44
than it is in younger and older groups; and in four
divisions — the New England, Middle Atlantic, East
North Central, and Pacific — the ratio for the native
white between these ages either exceeds that for the
foreign-born white or does not faU much below it.

Table 127 gives for each geographic division, by age
groups, the coefficient of the difference between the
native white and the foreign-bom white as regards
the ratio of conmaitments, this coefficient, as already
explained, being the quotient obtained by dividing
the ratio for the foreign-bom white by that for the
native white.



NATIVITY.



121



Iv



Table 127


COEFFICIENT OP DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RATIO OF COMMIT-
MENTS FOR FOREIGN-BOKN WHITES ANB THAT FOR NATIVE
WHITES. 1


AGE.


1


fl


1

0'


1




CQ




if


.9 d

"S-tQ
1


1

1


All ages

tinder 10 years . . .


2.0

3.0
2.3
1.7
1.5
1.4
1.2
1.3
1.5
1.6
2.1


1.8

1.2
1.2
1.1
0.9
1.0
0.9
1.1
1.3
1.9
4.2


1.5

2.0
1.7
1.3
1.1
0.9
0.8
-0.9
1.1
1.2
2.0


1.5

4.4
2.0
1.7
1.5
1.3
1.0
■ 0.9
1.1
1.1
1.2


1.9

4.3
2.6
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.3
1:2
1.3
1.3
1.3


3.8


1.6


2-7


2.4

7.3
2.2
2.8
1.2
1.5
1.6
1.8
1.8
2.0
2.3


1.5


10 to 14 years

15 to 17 years

18 to 20 years

21 to 24 years

25 to 34 years

35 to 44 years

45 to 54 years

55 to 64 years

65 years or over...


2.2
2.0
3.0
2.3
2.3
2.7
2.9
2.7
3.6


4.3
2.8
0.9
1.3
1.4
1.6
1.8
1.7
2.1


1.0
0.9
1.7
2.1
2.4
1.6
1.9
2.5
2.5


0.9
1.3
1.2
1.1
1.0
1.1
1.1
1.0
1.2



' The ratio of cominitiaents represents the number of prisoners and juvenile
delinquents committed in 1910 per 100,000 population of the same race, nativity, and
age, and the coefficient of difference here given is the quotient obtained by dividing
the ratio for the foreign-born white by that for the native white.

The instances already mentioned in which the ratio
for the native white is higher than that for the foreign
bom are here represented by a coefficient below 1.
The tendency for the coefficient to increase in the
older age groups is more pronounced in New England
than in any other division, but is apparent to some
degree in every division except the West North
pientral, In general, although not invariably, the
coefficients are somewhat larger in the age groups
under 21 and over 45 than in those from 21 to 44.

SEX.

In the following table the white prisoners and
juvenile delinquents enumerated on January 1, 1910,
and also those committed during the year, are classified
by sex and nativity:



Table 128


WHITE PRISONERS AND JUVENILE DELINQVENTS: 1910.


sex.


Enumerated January 1. . :


Committed during the year.




Total.


Na-
tive.


For-
eign
born.


Nativ-
ity
not re-
ported.


Total.


Na-
tive.


For-
eign
bom.


Nativ-
ity
not re-
ported.




NtmBER.


Both sexes.....


93,841


71,841


20,970


1,030


382,052


263,929


99,639


28,484


Male


85,218
8,623


64,807
7,034


19,450
1,520


961
69


354,367
27,685


236,151
17,778


90,850
8,789


27,366


female ..,..,.


1,118




PER CENT DISTRIBUTION BY SEX.


■ Both sexes


100.0


100.0


100.0


100.0


100.0


100.0


100.0


, 100.0


Male


90.8
9.2


90.2
9.8


92.8
7.2


93.3
6.7


92.8
7.2


93.0
7.0


91.2

8.8


96.1




3.9








PER CENT DISTRIBUTION BY NATIVITY. ^


Both sexes...


100.0


76.6


22.3


1-1


100.0


66.5


26.1


7.5


Male


100.0
' 100.0


76.0
81.6


22.8
17.6


1.1
0.8


100.0
100.0


66.6
64.2


25.6
31.7


7.7


Female


4.0







As shown by the above table, 9.8 per cent of the
native white prisoners enumerated on January 1,
1910, and 7 per cent of those committed during the



year, were females. For the foreign-born white the
correspondiug percentages were 7.2 and 8.8, re-
spectively. Thus in the case of the native white 'the
percentage of females was larger ia the prison popula-
tion than in the prison commitments, while in the case
of the foreign-born white the higher percentage of
females was that for the commitments . The difference
is probably not especially significant but may indicate
that among the foreign-born white the average term
of imprisonment is somewhat longer for males thaa
for females but that among the native white it is
longer for females than for males. This, it may be
weU to point out, would not necessarily mean that
in the native white population relatively more of the
female offenders than of the male were committed
for serious offenses, or that they were punished by
relatively longer sentences for the same offenses. It
may result from the fact that a larger proportion of
the female offenders than of the male were committed
to reformatories, where the term of confinement is
not determined primarily by the gravitj'^ of the
offense.

The same general relationship as that pointed out in.
the precedirig paragraph is shown in the per cent-
distribution by nativity, the percentage foreign bom
being greater among males (22.8) than among females
(17.6) in the prison population but greater among
females (31.7) than among males (25.6) in the prisoa
commitments. For either sex the percentage foreign
bom is greater in the commitments than iti the prison,
population, indicating a shorter average term of im-
prisonment for the foreign bom than for the native.

As shown by Table 129 below, the contrast betweea
the native and foreign-born white as regards the
relative numbers committed to prisons and jails
is more marked for the female sex than it is for the
male, the ratio of commitments for foreign-bom
white males being less than twice as great as that
for native white males, while the ratio for foreignr
born white females is nearly three times that for
native white females.



Table 129


WHITE PRISONERS AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS
COMMITTED IN 1910.




Number.


Eatio of commitments.!


SEX.


Native.


Foreign
born.


Native.


Foreign
born.


Coeffi-
cient ol
differ-
ence.




A


B


Bh-A


Both sexes


253,929


99,639


371.3


746.6


2.0






Male


236,161
17,778


90,850
8,789


681.4
52.7


1,207.5
151.0


l.»




2.»







1 Number committed per 100,000 population of the same race, nativity, and sex.

The ratio for males alone, it may be noted, is muck
higher than that for both sexes combined. In other
words, the elimination of females increases the ratio



122



PRISONERS AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS.



very materially, and naturally so simply because the
proportion of females among prisoners is small as
compared with the proportion of females in the total
population. The effect is greater relatively, however,
on the ratio for the native white than on that for the
foreign bom, the result being that the diflFerence
between the two classes, as shown by the coefficient,
is less for males alone than for both sexes combined.



In the next table the white prisoners and juvenile
delinquents of each sex committed in 1910 in each
geographic division are classified by nativity, the
table showing also the ratio of commitments per
100,000 population for the native and foreign-bom
white by sex and the percentage native and foreign
bom, respectively, in the total number of white
offenders of either sex.



Table 130


WHITE PBI30NEES AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS COMMITTED IN 1910.




Total.


Nativity reported.


Nativity
not re-
ported.


Per cent of total.


Ratio ol commitments.'


DIVISroN AND SEX.


Total.


Native.


Foreign hom.


Native.


Foreign
born.


Nativity
not re-
ported.


Native.


Foreign
born.


Coeffi-
cient of
differ-
ence.




Number.


Peroeut
ol total.




A


B


B+A


United States: '

Male


354,367
27,685

46,290
4,221

92,928
11,177

70,401
5,149

42,729
2,046

23,862
1^758

12,552
805

13,594
452

19,813
778

31,460
1,298


327,001
26,567


236,151

17,778


90,850
8,789


27.8
33.1


27,366
1,118


66.6
64.2


25.6
31.7


7.7
40


681.4
52.7


1,207.5
151.0


1.8


Female


2.9


New England:

Male


45,936
4,213

91,992
11,141

68,644
5,018

35,910
1,817

21,506
1,650

11,486
672

9,946
'246

16,455
647

24,418
1,162


27,306
2,101

62,123
6,423

51,940
3,921

27,335
1,517

18,759
i;550

11,213
662

8,648
213

10,871
487

17,401
903


18,630
2,112

29,869
4,718

16,704
1,097

8,575
300

2,747
100

273
10

1,298
33

5,584
160

7,017
259


40.6
60.1

32.5
42.3

24.3
21.9

23.9
16.5

12.8
6.1

2.4
1.5

13.1
13.4

33.9
24.7

28.7
22.3


354

8

936
36

1,757
131

6,819
229

2,356



Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of the CensusPrisoners and juvenile delinquents in the United States 1910 → online text (page 28 of 110)