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Another chance : some sociological conditions of juvenile probation in a family court 1975

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ANOTHER CHANCE: SOME SOCIOLOGICAL CONDITIONS OF JUVENILE PROBATION IN A FAMILY COURT by WILLIAM D. DARROUGH B.A., Whittier College, 1965 M.S.W., Uni v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a , Berkeley, 1967 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n the Department of Anthropology and Sociology We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERS£F£> OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May, 1975 In presenting th i s thes is in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary shal l make it f ree ly ava i l ab le for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thesis for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives . It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of th is thes is fo r f i nanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my written permiss ion. Department of Anthropology and Sociology The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date 6-6-75 i i ABSTRACT Although there i s an extensive p r o f e s s i o n a l - s o c i a l s c i e n t i f i c l i t e r a t u r e on j u v e n i l e probation, there are few empirical studies of normal work routines of probation o f f i c e r s . The present research was designed to examine juvenile probation i n a family court bureaucracy as a p r a c t i c a l , i n t e r a c t i o n a l l y - b a s e d e n t e r p r i s e . The thesis reports on two years of f i e l d work i n a Canadian fam- i l y court. The f i e l d work experience i t s e l f i s treated as a topic of i n - quiry. The perceived i d e n t i t y of the researcher as ' s o c i a l worker' and 'ex-probation o f f i c e r ' are shown to have been valuable ethnographic re- sources. Records of naturally-occurring i n t e r a c t i o n between probation o f f i c e r s and j u v e n i l e s , probationers, parents, judges, e t c . , are presented and analysed. The i d e o l o g i c a l notions of 'help and guidance and proper supervision', 'cooperation', and the 'proper understanding of the meaning of behaviour' are studied as procedural matters of pervasive and p r a c t i c a l concern to probation o f f i c e r s doing probation. The problematic status of what i t termed 'the i d e o l o g i c a l perspective of the j u v e n i l e court movement' i n the s e t t i n g i s discussed. Competent probation work i s shown to involve the continual and accountable accomplishing of cooperation and understandings adequate-for- the-practical-purposes of the probation o f f i c e r . This on-going work i s , i n turn, shown to underpin and make possible the apparently routine, mun- dane and unproblematic processing of cases by the Court. i l l The study presents and analyzes data which d i s p l a y the c r i t i c a l status of the 'terms of probation' as a device par excellence, with which the cooperation and proper understandings are accountably pursued. The i n t e r a c t i o n a l uses of the document In supervision and placement are i l l u s - t r a t e d . i v TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE PAGE SIX INTRODUCTION OBSERVING PROBATION WORK: NOTES ON SETTING, FIELD WORK AND DATA BECOMING A PROBATIONER: TERMS THE LAYING DOWN OF THE SEVEN THE TERMS IN USE: THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF PROBATION SUPERVISION COOLING A PROBATIONER OUT: THE INTERACTIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT OF A PROBATION-ADEQUATE UNDER- STANDING OF AND COOPERATION IN 'PLACEMENT' (PART ONE: THE PARENTS) COOLING A PROBATIONER OUT: THE INTERACTIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT OF A PROBATION-ADEQUATE UNDER- STANDING OF AND COOPERATION IN 'PLACEMENT' (PART TWO: THE PROBATIONER) CONCLUSION 12 59 96 133 180 207 BIBLIOGRAPHY APPENDIX 217 221 V ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to thank Roy Turner f o r both showing how l i t t l e I knew about j u v e n i l e probation and the world i n general and f o r introducing me to an e x c i t i n g and stimulating way of proceeding with the remedial work of ethnographic discovery. He was a continual source of conceptual and prac- t i c a l assistance throughout the actual f i e l d work, the lengthy period of germination, and the eventual w r i t i n g of the r e p o r t . Appreciation i s also expressed to: Bob Ratner, Jim Ford and E l v i Whittaker f o r reading and commenting on the report; Mat, Gary, Rudy, Peter, Gene, Ron, Dorothy, and Bruce for t h e i r seminarial assistance; Larry, Marion and A r t f o r t h e i r southern h o s p i t a l i t y and encouragement; Gale f o r typing, and e s p e c i a l l y Masako and Shannon (and e x c e l l e n t day care centers i n two countries) f o r s u r v i v a l . F i n a l l y I acknowledge a p a r t i c u l a r debt to the various members of the family court bureaucracy whose help and guidance made the report p o s s i b l e . v i THIS APPEAL A TRIFLE LATE TORONTO (CP) - (The defendant), 21, of Montreal, asked for a second chance "to prove that this s o r t of thing w i l l never happen again" when he pleaded g u i l t y to s t e a l i n g a newspaper. But he had stolen a newspaper once before, i n Vancouver. Magistrate Hugh Foster sentenced him to 30 days. 1 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION The following quotes r e f l e c t r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t conceptions of the tasks confronting the s o c i o l o g i c a l student of deviant behaviour. The framework...is designed to provide one systematic approach to the analysis of s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l sources of deviant be- havior. Our primary aim i s to discover how some s o c i a l s t r u c - tures exert a d e f i n i t e pressure upon c e r t a i n persons i n the society to engage i n non-conforming rather than conforming conduct. If we can locate groups p e c u l i a r l y subject to such pressures, we should expect to f i n d f a i r l y high rates of de- viant behavior i n these groups, not because the human beings comprising them are compounded of d i s t i n c t i v e b i o l o g i c a l ten- dencies but because they are responding normally to the s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n i n which they f i n d themselves. Our perspective i s s o c i o l o g i c a l . We look at va r i a t i o n s i n the rates of deviant behavior, not at i t s incidence (Merton, 1957: 147). A question l i k e "What 'forces' motivate or structure the en- trance into delinquent a c t i v i t y ? " misses the general relevance of the problem of p r a c t i c a l reasoning that j u v e n i l e s engage i n when pursuing d a i l y a c t i v i t i e s , how the p o l i c e and probation o f f i c i a l s are drawn into contact with j u v e n i l e s , and how the po l i c e or probation o f f i c e r s decide that p a r t i c u l a r events f a l l under general p o l i c i e s or rules relevant. A simple reference to "forces" or " s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e " or "values" imposes an order instead of seeking to discover the nature of s o c i a l l y organized a c t i v i t i e s ( Cicourel, 1968: 169). The f i r s t statement i s from Robert K. Merton's " S o c i a l Structure and Anomie", an extremely i n f l u e n t i a l paper published i n 1938, i n which he outlined a working paradigm which informed much subsequent theorizing and research i n the f i e l d . For example, a good deal of the work on 'juvenile delinquency' during the ensuing years was p r i m a r i l y concerned with the l o c a t i o n of s t r u c t u r a l or c u l t u r a l conditions underlying and/or producing 'delinquent' or 'criminal' behaviour. 2 Cicourel's much more recent statement i s part of a body of theorizing and empirical research which e x p l i c i t l y and consciously r e - j e c t s some of the presuppositions embedded i n the Mertonian framework, presuppositions which are claimed to fundamentally misconceive the task 1 of sociology and misdirect i t s p r a c t i t i o n e r s . The preferred topic of inquiry under the a l t e r n a t i v e paradigm developed by G a r f i n k e l , C i c o u r e l , and others, i s the situated p r a c t i c a l reasoning engaged i n by members of society i n the routine accomplishment of th e i r everyday a c t i v i t i e s . The questions asked about the s o c i a l world of everyday l i f e d i f f e r accordingly: How are members going about the task of i n v e s t i g a t i n g scenes of t h e i r actions so that they see and report patterning and structure i n those scenes? By what procedures are descriptions being done so that they portray order? How i s the f a c t u a l character of such accounts established? and How i s the sense of appearance of a world i n common and common understanding con- cerning i t s shared features accomplished? (Zimmerman and Wieder, 1970: 290). The present undertaking represents an empirical attempt to ask the above questions about the a c t i v i t y of 'juvenile probation' i n a family court bureaucracy. The reported study i s based upon f i e l d work c a r r i e d out i n a Canadian court. In order to describe and analyse 'juvenile pro- bation' as a p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t y , the researcher personally observed and recorded a l l of the a c t i v i t i e s r o u t i n e l y engaged i n by probation o f f i c e r s 1. See Kitsuse and Cicourel (1963) and Cicourel (1968) for c r i t i q u e s of Merton. The e a r l i e s t development of the a l t e r n a t i v e , or ethnometh- odological paradigm may be found i n the c o l l e c t e d papers of G a r f i n k e l (1967). C i c o u r e l (1964) made an early attempt to s p e l l out i t s the- o r e t i c a l and methodological implications. For representative exam- ples of work informed by the ethnomethodological paradigm, see Douglas (1970), Sudnow (1972), and Turner (1974). 3 as probation o f f i c e r s . For a period of almost two years, he r e g u l a r l y positioned himself i n the various areas where the relevant i n t e r a c t i o n s r o u t i n e l y took place, i . e . , the waiting room, hallways, courtrooms, deten- t i o n f a c i l i t y , probation o f f i c e r s ' o f f i c e s , judges' chambers, etc. There he observed and recorded the every-day in t e r a c t i o n s of probation o f f i c e r s with, i . e . , judges, supervisors, parents, j u v e n i l e s , probationers, etc. Observations i n the above lo c a l e s was f a c i l i t a t e d by the f a c t that the juve n i l e detention h a l l , courtrooms and a l l other court-probation o f f i c e s were located i n a s i n g l e complex of attached b u i l d i n g s . The data gathered i n these settings was supplemented by observations of i n t e r a c t i o n s between probation o f f i c e r s and j u v e n i l e s , probationers, parents, teachers, etc., at home, i n school,and 'on the s t r e e t ' . The attempt was made, i n other words, to observe and record a l l types of work re l a t e d a c t i v i t i e s of probation o f f i c e r s no matter where or when they occurred or who they i n - volved. The everyday business of determining which juv e n i l e s should be, i . e . , released", placed on probation', placed, etc., was observed and recorded as f u l l y as poss i b l e . During one of the years of f i e l d work, 1970, the court processed 3,363 cases which were referred for t h e i r attention. Largely upon the basis of the routine pre-court i n v e s t i g a t i o n l e g a l l y required of the probation department i n a l l cases, 294 (9%) of the cases were dropped be- cause they were found to be l e g a l l y inadequate, 951 (29%) were 'settled at the home l e v e l ' a d i s p o s i t i o n which ac t u a l l y describes a v a r i e t y of methods by which juveniles who admit to delinquencies which are not deemed to warrant formal hearings 'at this time' are processed, and 2,412 (7 2%) 4 were taken through a formal hearing of some kind. A primary focus of the present report w i l l be the d e s c r i p t i o n , e x p l i c a t i o n , and analysis of the work routines v i a which the accomplishment of such d i s p o s i t i o n s i s pur- sued . Before turning to the empirical materials, however, i t w i l l be necessary to discuss two matters. F i r s t , I b e l i e v e i t w i l l be useful at this point to discuss c e r t a i n features of the h i s t o r y and ideology of j u - v e n i l e courts which w i l l l a t e r be shown to powerfully and r e f l e x i v e l y shape the accomplishment of 'probation work' i n the s e t t i n g . Second, I w i l l provide an account of my f i e l d work i n the s e t t i n g under study. Contemporary l e g a l statutes d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y from early codes i n that they mandate s p e c i a l j u d i c i a l systems which are expressly designed to deal with troublesome youths. The j u v e n i l e court was a t r i - bunal created by statute to determine the l e g a l status of such c h i l d r e n . The c r e a t i o n of contemporary j u v e n i l e j u s t i c e systems i s gen- e r a l l y traced to the e n t e r p r i s i n g reforms of the j u v e n i l e court movement 2 or c h i l d savers movement, a widespread, amorphous, and u n l i k e l y c o a l i t i o n of reform-minded lawyers, progressive l e g i s l a t o r s , s o c i a l workers, p h i l a n - t h r o p i s t s , and s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s . Their e f f o r t s led to the 1899 passage of j u v e n i l e court l e g i s l a t i o n i n I l l i n o i s which was widely acknowledged as 3 a model statute by other states and countries. Y. See Young (1937), Tappan (1949) and Mack (1909. For a c r i t i c a l h i s - tory of the movement see P i a t t (1969), also Fox (1970). See Schultz (1973) for an attempt at further r e v i s i o n . 3. An o f f i c i a l government inquiry into the issues r e l a t e d to j u v e n i l e j u s t i c e i n Canada has suggested that Canadian l e g i s l a t i o n was patterned on the I l l i n o i s l e g i s l a t i o n with modifications necessitated by the B r i t i s h North American Act (Report of the Department of J u s t i c e . . . , 1967: 29-30). 5 Under t h i s l e g i s l a t i v e philosophy, the administration of j u v e n i l e j u s t i c e was supposed to d i f f e r from adult criminal court process i n many s i g n i f i c a n t ways. A c h i l d was not to be 'accused' of 'committing a crime', but a 'delinquency', and offered 'help and guidance' rather than punishment. Intervention i n h i s l i f e was not supposed to carry the stigma of a c r i m i - nal record; the hearings, records, etc. were to be r e l a t i v e l y p r i v a t e , proceedings were to be 'informal' and due process safeguards were not seen as applicable for a v a r i e t y of reasons. I would now l i k e to discuss the writings of various representative spokesmen and/or sympathetic h i s t o r i a n s of the movement i n an attempt to explicate the r a t i o n a l e underlying the ju v e n i l e court l e g i s l a t i o n . I w i l l l a t e r demonstrate the relevance of the i d e o l o g i c a l perspective of the ju v e n i l e court movement to the everyday a c t i v i t i e s of personnel i n contemporary j u v e n i l e j u s t i c e systems. F i r s t , under the i d e o l o g i c a l perspective of the j u v e n i l e court movement and l e g i s l a t i o n , the notion of ' j u s t i c e ' i s a l t e r e d , a fac t which i s often marked by the use of a s p e c i a l term, i . e . , ' i n d i v i d u a l i z e d ' , ' s o c i a l i z e d ' , or 'personalized' j u s t i c e . T r a d i t i o n a l precepts of ' j u s t i c e ' were seen as 'outmoded', 'defective' or e s p e c i a l l y ' u n s c i e n t i f i c ' : The creators of the j u v e n i l e court responded to the s p i r i t of modern s o c i a l j u s t i c e and regarded law as a l i v i n g , progressing, s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n subject to modification i n accordance with the changing conditions of l i f e and s c i e n t i f i c thought. Medicine, psychology, and sociology were thought of as d i r e c t aids i n deciding on an adequate course of treatment. J u s t i c e i n the ju v e n i l e court i s not only impersonal and i m p a r t i a l but s c i e n - t i f i c . The goddess of j u s t i c e , f i g u r a t i v e l y speaking, has taken off her b l i n d f o l d i n the cases of juveniles and looks at the sordid s o c i a l conditions, crime-infested areas, s o c i a l and b i o - l o g i c a l disease, c h i l d labor, ignorance, a c i v i l i z a t i o n i n tran- s i t i o n producing personal, s o c i a l , and i n s t i t u t i o n a l disorgan- 6 i z a t i o n . The goddess, with f u l l v i s i o n restored, has decided that law unaided by other s o c i a l sciences i s not competent to decide on a course of treatment for unfortunate, wayward, and delinquent c h i l d r e n who are l a r g e l y victims of circumstances and untoward s o c i a l conditions (Young, 1937: 52-53). Note that "the goddess of j u s t i c e " h e r s e l f (rather than, for ex- ample, the 'progressive' l e g a l and s o c i a l s c i e n t i f i c reformers), has seen that the law, unaided by the other s o c i a l sciences i s unequal to the task of i d e n t i f y i n g and dealing with the problems which are taken to underly 1 delinquency 1. A d i r e c t c o r o l l a r y of the professed inadequacy of the law i n the j u v e n i l e court context was that possession of mere l e g a l t r a i n i n g , competence, knowledge, etc., did not, i n i t s e l f , prepare a person to function adequately as a member of the j u v e n i l e court s t a f f . In response to a state supreme court decision which argued that j u v e n i l e court law "should be administered by those who are learned i n the law and versed i n the rules of procedure, to the end that the b e n e f i c i e n t purposes of the law may be made e f f e c t i v e and i n d i v i d u a l r i g h t s respected", a promi- nent j u v e n i l e court j u r i s t and th e o r e t i c i a n stated: He must, however, be more than t h i s . He must be a student of and deeply interested i n the problems of philanthropy and c h i l d l i f e , as well as a lover of c h i l d r e n . He must be able to under- stand the boy's point of view and ideas of j u s t i c e ; he must be w i l l i n g and patient enough to search out the underlying causes of the trouble and to formulate the plan by which, through the cooperation, o f t times, of many agencies, the cure may be ef- fected (Mack, 1909: 119) . That the j u v e n i l e court was i n the business of 'saving' rather than 'punishing' delinquents was an assumption which warranted the notion that t r a d i t i o n a l l e g a l concerns would be out of place i n the j u v e n i l e court: 7 The problem for determination by the judge i s not, Has t h i s boy or g i r l committed a s p e c i f i c wrong, but What i s he, how has he become what he i s , and what had best be done i n his i n t e r e s t and i n the i n t e r e s t of the state to save him from a downward career (Mack, 1909: 119-120). The judge was to be aided i n these determinations by the a c t i - v i t i e s of the 'probation o f f i c e r ' and others: A thorough i n v e s t i g a t i o n , usually made by the probation o f f i c e r , w i l l give the court much information bearing on the heredity and environment of the c h i l d . This, of course, w i l l be supple- mented i n every possible way; but this alone i s not enough. The physical and mental condition of the c h i l d must be known, for the r e l a t i o n s h i p between physical defects and c r i m i n a l i t y i s very close. I t i s , therefore, of the utmost importance that there be attached to the court...a c h i l d study department where every c h i l d , before hearing, s h a l l be subjected to a thorough psycho-physical examination (Mack 1909: 120). The overriding i n t e r e s t of the court was to act ' i n the i n t e r e s t ' of the c h i l d . Under t h i s perspective, the court i s providing 'help' to which the j u v e n i l e i s ' e n t i t l e d ' , i . e . , to which he i s seen as having a 'legal r i g h t ' . This philosophy was l a t e r summarized as follows: The philosophy of c o r r e c t i o n a l work may be summarized i n the following terms. Every c h i l d has numerous p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r adjustment to society i f properly trained and guided; a c h i l d grows, develops, and gains s o c i a l consciousness through whole- some group p a r t i c i p a t i o n ; a c h i l d ' s misconduct i s i n response to his conditioning environment, and therefore punishment as such i s f u t i l e , since the acts which he committed may be beyond h i s p h y s i c a l , mental, and moral c o n t r o l . Every c h i l d has a r i g h t to proper t r a i n i n g and where parents do not and cannot give such t r a i n i n g , the court must assume the duties of a super- parent , or .parens patrae (Young, 1937: 53, emphasis added). The i d e o l o g i c a l perspective of the j u v e n i l e court movement, therefore, i d e a l i z e d a version of the court process which was purged of a d v e r s a r i a l elements. The f a c t that such r h e t o r i c shaped the l e g a l mandate of the court under present study i s evidenced by the f e d e r a l act from which 8 the court draws i t s powers. Note e s p e c i a l l y the act's t y p i f i c a t i o n of the business at hand for the j u v e n i l e court v i s - a - v i s the way i n which a 'delinquent' i s to be dealt with: (2) How c h i l d dealt with. Where a c h i l d i s adjudged to have committed a delinquency he s h a l l be dealt with, not as an of- fender, but as one i n a condition of delinquency and therefore requiring help and guidance and proper supervision (Juvenile Delinquents A c t ) . Inasmuch as such a court i s seen as acting ' i n the i n t e r e s t of the c h i l d ' and ensuring that juveniles who appear before i t receive the 'help and guidance and proper supervision' to which they have l e g a l claim (rather than, for example, the 'punishment' they 'deserve'), the notion of ' c o n f l i c t ' between the i n t e r e s t of the c h i l d and the i n t e r e s t of the state i s rendered nugatory. Instead, the ' i d e a l ' system of j u s t i c e under the i d e o l o g i c a l perspective of the j u v e n i l e court movement i s perceived as operating on the basis of 'cooperation': In short, the idea i s a system of probation work which contem- plates cooperation with the c h i l d , the home, the school, the neighborhood, the church, and the business man i n i t s (the chil d ) i n t e r e s t s and that of the state. Its purpose i s to help a l l i t can, and to hurt as l i t t l e as i t can; i t seeks to b u i l d c h a r a c t e r — t o make good c i t i z e n s rather than useless c r i m i n a l s . The state i s thus helping i t s e l f as well as the c h i l d , f o r the good of the c h i l d i s the good of the state ( J u r i s t quoted i n Mack, 1909: 121-122, emphasis added). The Ideological Perspective and Its Problematic Status i n the Ethnographic Description of Probation Work Studies of, and w r i t i n g about j u v e n i l e j u s t i c e bureaucracies and probation frequently employ the i d e o l o g i c a l perspective represented i n the foregoing materials i n the production of t h e i r reports, analyses, and des- 9 c r i p t i o n s of the phenomena. T y p i c a l l y , elements of the perspective inform such enterprises i n the following ways: They may be traded upon consciously or unconsciously as an ex- planatory resource i n the construction of an e x p l i c i t or i m p l i c i t i d e a l - ized 'model' of 'probation'. This model i s then c a r r i e d i n t o a s e t t i n g where i t i s used to locate and display, i . e . , 'bad' probation work. Thus, the everyday a c t i v i t i e s of probation o f f i c e r s may be seen as 'bad', 'incom- petent', etc., probation work to the extent that they deviate from the i d e o l o g i c a l l y prescribed versions. A l t e r n a t i v e l y , the i d e a l i z e d , i d e o l o g i c a l l y - p r e f e r r e d models of probation work may be employed i n the l o c a t i o n of, and recognition, and display of a c t i v i t i e s of probation o f f i c e r s which seem to correspond to those prescribed by the models. These a c t i v i t i e s are then treated as 'pro- bation' while others, j u s t as commonly present, may be ignored or even attacked as i n t e r f e r i n g with 'professional probation work'. In addition, i t should be noted, such i d e o l o g i c a l l y preferred versions may provide the researcher and or the reader with the grounds for taking 'corrective' action to remedy whatever aspects of 'probation' or 'juvenile j u s t i c e ' are targeted as i n need of c o r r e c t i o n . The present study w i l l treat the i d e a l i z e d , i d e o l o g i c a l l y pre- ferred versions of 'probation', and their status i n the research s e t t i n g as a topic of i n q u i r y rather than an a n a l y t i c resource which may be con- s c i o u s l y or unconsciously traded upon to, for example, f i n d probation work or correct i t . F i r s t as a probation o f f i c e r i n another court and then as an ethnographic observer i n the court under study, the researcher noted 10 that elements of the i d e a l i z e d , i d e o l o g i c a l l y - p r e f e r r e d versions of pro- bation work massively pervaded the normal t a l k of probation o f f i c e r s and other court personnel as they went about t h e i r everyday a c t i v i t i e s . Talk about, for example, 'help and guidance and proper supervision', 'acting i n the i n t e r e s t of the c h i l d ' , the importance of 'cooperation' on the part of the c h i l d and i t s parents, 'the meaning' of the j u v e n i l e ' s behaviour and h i s and h i s parents' 'understanding' of i t as a warrant for the 'ser- vices of the court', etc., was seen to constitute probation work rather than to 'merely' describe the phenomena at hand. Such elements, along with the terms of probation and notions of 'what had happened i n court', 'what the judge had s a i d ' , etc., were seen to provide the probation o f f i - cer with a vague and heretofore unexplicated or described i n t e r p r e t i v e schema with which to i n t e r a c t i o n a l l y manage h i s p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s as a probation o f f i c e r . The competent probation o f f i c e r ' s i n t e r a c t i o n a l uses of the schema are seen as s i m i l a r to the uses of the 'Convict Code' made by residents i n the narcotics half-way-house studied by Wieder (1969), i . e . , as a r e f l e x - ive, i n t e r a c t i o n a l l y employed, ad hoc, and substantively e l u s i v e device with which they accomplish the on-going business of e s t a b l i s h i n g and main- taining 'understandings' necessary to t h e i r p r a c t i c a l tasks. Before turning to the task of e x p l i c a t i n g and analyzing what I have suggested are, i n the l i t e r a t u r e , heretofore unnoticed and/or unre- ported features of probation work as an on-going i n t e r a c t i o n a l accomplish- 11 4 ment, I w i l l provide the reader with a necessarily b r i e f overview of the probation task and some remarks about my f i e l d experiences i n the s e t t i n g . 4. What follows should i n no way be treated as an ethnography of a ju v e n i l e court, or a complete ethnography of probation work. For useful attempts at a more general account, see C i c o u r e l (1968) and Emerson (1969) . Although (at l e a s t i n my opinion) both attempted to do too much, they have provided any p o t e n t i a l students of j u v e n i l e court bureaucracies with invaluable guidebooks. A l e g a l l y s o p h i s t i - cated study of ju v e n i l e processing i n various United States j u r i s d i c - tions i s reported i n Barrett, et a l . (1966). Also of relevance to the present study i s the study of English j u v e n i l e court procedure provided by Cavenagh (1967). Of more d i r e c t relevance to the student of Canadian j u v e n i l e procedure i s the Report of the Department of J u s t i c e . . . (1967), which provides extensive information on Canadian j u v e n i l e courts, delinquency s t a t i s t i c s , etc. 12 CHAPTER TWO OBSERVING PROBATION WORK: NOTES ON SETTING, FIELD WORK AND DATA In order to obtain an overview of probation work i n th i s court bureaucracy, I attempted to observe and record v i r t u a l l y a l l of the various 1 a c t i v i t i e s with which probation o f f i c e r s were involved. To f a c i l i t a t e the systematic gathering of data, I 'targeted' i n d i v i d u a l j u v e n i l e s who were dealt with d i f f e r e n t l y a f t e r t h e i r i n i t i a l contacts with probation o f f i - cers and attempted to 'track" them through any subsequent experiences they had with the court. Some examples of d i f f e r e n t 'types' of ju v e n i l e court 'careers' which I was able to observe more or less i n toto were: Juveniles who were dealt with 'informally' and who did not come back into contact with court personnel during the period of f i e l d work. Juveniles i n i t i a l l y dealt with informally who were subsequently rearrested and processed 'formally', v i a a court hearing. Juveniles i n i t i a l l y dealt with v i a hearing who received 'dispos- i t i o n s ' ranging from probation i n the home through placement outside the home. Juveniles, placed on probation i n i t i a l l y , who were subsequently removed from th e i r homes, either with the 'understanding and cooperation' of th e i r parents or over the objections and r e s i s - tance of parents. 1. A discussion of the methods by which I attempted to protect the 'natural- ness' of observed probation work as well as a more general d i s c u s s i o n of the s e t t i n g and f i e l d work therein may be found l a t e r i n t h i s Chapter. 13 Probationers who were subsequently 'raised' to adult court as well as ones with whom unsuccessful attempts were made to ob- tain such d i s p o s i t i o n s . The l o g i s t i c a l problems faced by the researcher i n attempting to stay abreast of the on-going developments of various cases were con- siderable, and yet i n many senses they resembled the 'normal' temporal, scheduling, geographical, etc., pressures and organizational contingencies which must be competently managed by probation o f f i c e r s . L i k e probation o f f i c e r s , I needed and fortunately was able to obtain cooperation and assistance from members of the court bureaucracy (POs, c l e r k s , o f f i c e r s , and judges), who n o t i f i e d me of developments, helped me s l i p into and out of courtrooms to observe s p e c i f i c cases, and shared t h e i r expertise gener- ously . The rather confusing flow of i n t e r a c t i o n a l events which I attempted to observe at times necessitated my 'on c a l l ' a v a i l a b i l i t y . On occasion I was picked up f o r early morning v i s i t s to homes, schools, e t c . I accom- panied probation o f f i c e r s on working v i s i t s to i n s t i t u t i o n s , adult court, and other l o c a l e s where the i r d a i l y rounds took them. I went to the a i r p o r t with them to transfer and pick up out-of-Province j u v e n i l e s . I accompanied probation o f f i c e r s on lengthy searches f o r probationers who were 'running', and made many night home v i s i t s followed by beer drinking and gossip ses- sions with probation o f f i c e r s . As much as possible, I attempted to f i t myself into the temporal flow of their normal a c t i v i t i e s . I also worked to develop c l o s e working r e l a t i o n s h i p s with pro- bation o f f i c e r s who struck me (and were talked about i n the s e t t i n g ) , as d i f f e r e n t 'types' of probation o f f i c e r s . In th i s way I was able to spend a 14 great deal of time with ' s o c i a l worker' PO's as well as 'cop' PO's, 'old timers' as we l l as 'newcomers', a strategy which further ensured that I was indeed able to obtain an overview. The P r o v i s i o n a l and Pervasive Character of the P r a c t i c a l Matters of Intake and D i s p o s i t i o n The problem of 'd i s p o s i t i o n ' and i t s p r a c t i c a l implications per- vade the a c t i v i t i e s and concerns of ju v e n i l e j u s t i c e personnel. P i l i a v i n and B r i a r have pointed to p o l i c e d i s p o s i t i o n decisions as "...the f i r s t of a series of decisions made i n the channeling of youthful offenders through the agencies concerned with juvenile j u s t i c e and c o r r e c t i o n s . . . . " (1964: 441). What i s overlooked i n such a c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i s the f a c t that p o l i c e d i s p o s i t i o n decisions are quite often preceded by the d e c i s i o n on the part of another adult, whether c i t i z e n , school authority, parent, or whoever, to ' c a l l the p o l i c e ' . The question of 'what to do' with, about, or for a problematic juvenile are not exclus i v e l y the business of j u v e n i l e j u s t i c e personnel, but of 'adults' i n general. Furthermore, i t should be noted that what may be taken to be a 'solution' to the problem at one l e v e l becomes a p r a c t i c a l problem to which persons at the next l e v e l may be expected and/or l e g a l l y required to attend. There are always 'options', i . e . , a l t e r n a t i v e methods a v a i l a b l e for dispos- ing of p a r t i c u l a r cases. 'Neighbours', f o r example, who observe a j u v e n i l e misbehaving may choose to scold him, t a l k to his parents, c a l l the p o l i c e , etc. The p o l i c e , i n turn may themselves scold or counsel the j u v e n i l e , warn him and make a note of the warning for possible future use, return him 15 to his parents or guardians and informally talk with them, or formally a r r e s t him and then e i t h e r release him into the custody of h i s parents or guardians or 'book' him into the juvenile detention f a c i l i t y which i s both l e g a l l y and p h y s i c a l l y attached to the Family D i v i s i o n of the P r o v i n c i a l Court. Whether released or detained, once a j u v e n i l e has been arrested, the p o l i c e are required to submit two copies of the a r r e s t report, t i t l e d JUVENILE REPORT, to the Family D i v i s i o n . The copies are routed to the pro- 2 bation service's 'supervisor of intake' and to the o f f i c e of the C i t y Attorney (the prosecutor). The more serious p o l i c e d i s p o s i t i o n - d e c i s i o n s require that the court bureaucracy do something' about the j u v e n i l e s r e - ferred to them. Again, there are a l t e r n a t i v e methods of dealing with the p a r t i c u l a r cases. For the probation bureaucracy, however, every JUVEN- ILE REPORT received must be 'investigated' i n order to determine the 'appropriate' course of a c t i o n . The procedure by which such i n v e s t i g a - tions are accomplished i s as follows: the intake supervisor 'disposes' of incoming cases by 'assigning them to i n d i v i d u a l probation o f f i c e r s . The supervisor f i r s t consults his book to see i f he has any record of a 'past contact' with the court or i f , for example the j u v e n i l e has been or i s presently on probation to one of the PO's. The book (as i t i s c a l l e d by members of the bureaucracy) i s a r e l a t i v e l y new device which the intake 2. See Wallace and Brennan (1963) for a 'professional' d i s c u s s i o n of the intake function i n j u v e n i l e courts. As s h a l l be seen, intake inves- tigations do not i n v a r i a b l y r e s u l t i n intake , but rather function to screen' cases and to sort them into o r g a n i z a t i o n a l l y appropriate d i s p o s i t i o n tracks. For an i d e a l i z e d , public r e l a t i o n s v e r s i o n of t h i s process, see Appendix. 16 supervisor developed to f a c i l i t a t e the e f f i c i e n t and proper assigning of cases. I t i s a c t u a l l y merely a card-index which enables 'anyone to quickly search for s p e c i f i c names to 'see' i f they are 'active', i . e . , have had a 'recent' contact, what the ' p r i o r s ' ; a r e , and what probation o f f i c e r , i f any, 'has' the case. If the j u v e n i l e i s determined by the supervisor to be on probation, the relevant probation o f f i c e r i s informed of the new development on his caseload by the receipt of the JUVENILE REPORT. The probation o f f i c e r , i n turn, i s required to 'investigate' and then make a 'recommendationf as to what course of a c t i o n should be taken by the court. I f , on the other hand, the j u v e n i l e i s not determined to be on probation or to have 'been i n recent contact with the court' i n the recoverable past, the case i s assigned to probation o f f i c e r s purportedly i n terms of the 'size' of t h e i r caseload, i . e . , the attempt i s made to assign new cases to probation o f f i c e r s with the fewest probationers. During the period of my f i e l d observations, I was able to accompany four d i f f e r e n t probation o f f i c e r s as they attended to these i n v e s t i g a t i o n s . The 'interviews' ranged i n length from l e s s than f i v e minutes to more than two hours, and took place i n a v a r i e t y of l o c a t i o n s , e.g., the detention f a c i l i t y , the juvenile's home, school, and one 'on the s t r e e t ' . I was t y p i c a l l y present when the probation o f f i c e r received the case, a f a c t which enabled me to record any 'comments' which he had about the case. Af t e r the interview, I would also have access to any .'notes' heemade, r e - marks on the case, and the recommendation submitted. The recommendation submitted at this point should be distinguished from the l a t e r d i s p o s i t i o n recommendation which may be required i f the case i s dealt with through a 17 3 formal court hearing. At t h i s point, the p r a c t i c a l problem at hand i s to determine whether the case warrants formal processing by court hearing, or the various informal procedures which do not involve a hearing. Important elements of the probation o f f i c e r ' s task at t h i s point may be u s e f u l l y , i f s i m p l i s t i c a l l y characterized i n the following way: determine whether the 'facts' of the case warrant the use of scarce court time and energy at this time. If not, attempt to deal with the case i n a competent and professional manner 'out of court', i . e . , through coun- s e l l i n g , admonishing, dealing with the juvenile's a t t i t u d e , discussing the matter with the parents and e n l i s t i n g t h e i r a i d , arranging r e s t i t u - t i o n , etc. I f the case warrants formal processing, so recommend. In e i t h e r case, display the appropriateness of the recommended action or ina c t i o n to the necessary persons and prepare them f o r i t i n any ways which seem necessary. By necessary persons' I mean persons who may 'make trouble' for the probation o f f i c e r i f such 'appropriateness' and 'prepara- t i o n ' are: net adequately accomplished. I w i l l now turn to some data to c l a r i f y the above remarks. F i r s t , a t y p i c a l example of an 'obvious case which the probation deals with by competently d i s p l a y i n g 'appropriateness' a f t e r 'preparing' the p r i n c i p a l s : Juvenile arrested f o r s h o p l i f t i n g . On the way to the j u v e n i l e ' s home, PO remarked that the case was 'mickey mouse', that the g i r l has 'probably taken the s t u f f on impulse'. He also s a i d , how- ever, that she had been lucky to have st o l e n from a store which did not r o u t i n e l y demand prosecution of a l l s h o p l i f t e r s . At the house, an interview with the g i r l was conducted. The PO stressed the 'seriousness' of the offense and obtained the j u v e n i l e ' s 3. The accomplishment of these determinations i s a complex issue i n i t s e l f , one which need not be examined i n d e t a i l i n t h i s study. 18 promise to write a l e t t e r of apology to the store involved. The g i r l expressed remorse. The probation o f f i c e r suggested that her a c t i o n had been a 'dumb mistake' and explained to her the f a c t that the court could take a c t i o n on the matter. He said that he would wait to make his recommendation to the court u n t i l she had sent the l e t t e r and requested that he receive a copy. The probation o f f i c e r then t o l d her about what the probable con- sequences of any further i n f r a c t i o n s would be. The mother was then consulted and provided with roughly the same information. During t h e i r t a l k , the PO ascertained that the g i r l was 'grounded' as punishment. Upon his return to the o f f i c e , the probation o f f i c e r s c r i b b l e d the following note upon the JUVENILE REPORT, which he than took to the C i t y Attorney's o f f i c e : 00C (stands for 'out of court') No p r i o r s Good family Apologized to complainant The C i t y Attorney accepted the recommendation and the matter was dropped. Notice that during the interactions the j u v e n i l e and her parents are engaged i n a more or less c o l l a b o r a t i v e production of a f a i r l y s p e c i f i c understanding of the meaning of the p a r t i c u l a r case which had been e a r l i e r assumed to be appropriate. The j u v e n i l e , at the same time, i s provided with a remedial exercise and the p o s s i b i l i t y of court a c t i o n i s i n t e r a c - t i o n a l l y employed to accomplish her cooperation. I t i s also ascertained that she i s being punished, something taken to be an i n d i c a t o r of a 'good family' for present purposes. The juvenile and mother are also 'prepared' i n t e r a c t i o n a l l y f or the d i f f e r e n t consequences of subsequent i n f r a c t i o n s which w i l l i n d i c a t e that treatment as 'dumb mistakes' i s not appropriate. F i n a l l y , note how the mundane 'obvious' character of the case as a poor candidate for the use of 'court time' i s displayed i n the recommendation. 19 That such 'obviousness' involves a r t f u l work and i s an e s s e n t i a l part of the competent accomplishment of the probation task i s evidenced by cases where, f o r one reason or another, the 'obviousness' that a case recommendation i s 'appropriate' i s somehow c a l l e d into question. By pre- senting a case which occasions a d i s r u p t i o n of normal court proceedings and sanctioning of the PO, I hope to demonstrate the c r i t i c a l importance of the mundane accomplishment of 'appropriateness' f o r the e f f i c i e n t pro- cessing of cases. In doing so, I w i l l introduce a concern, which w i l l engage our attention throughout the d i s s e r t a t i o n , the di s p l a y and analysis of the inte r a c t i o n s during which juveniles and parents as w e l l as court personnel are provided with proper understandings of the 'appropriateness', 'reasonableness', ' e x p e c t a b i l i t y ' , etc., of p a r t i c u l a r courses of a c t i o n . I had not been present during the intake interview on the f o l - lowing case, but had been alerted by a PO that a ' t r i a l ' of an extremely young juvenile was scheduled and that I might be i n t e r - ested. Since the case was going to t r i a l , e i t h e r the PO had recommended a t r i a l or the C i t y Attorney had 'overruled' an O.O.C. recommendation, an act which would be wit h i n h i s power. A j u v e n i l e of 7 years was being t r i e d for taking the lunch money from a f i v e year old and threatening to beat him up i f he to l d anyone. A f t e r the charge i s read, a 'heavy' set of i n f r a c - tions, the f i v e year old v i c t i m i s 'sworn i n ' as a witness. Aft e r h i s testimony, the judge recesses the t r i a l and asks the p r i n c i p a l s to 'step out for a moment'. The judge then directed a question apparently to both Ci t y Attorney and probation o f f i c e r : Judge: Would somebody mind t e l l i n g me why t h i s case i s being tried? PO: Your honour, on the basis of my i n v e s t i g a t i o n we thought the seriousness of the matter j u s t i f i e d / Judge: /You d i d , did you? Well i t never should have come th i s f a r ! Do you think we've got an hour to waste on t h i s thing? We're running behind now. Why didn't you ju s t warn the kid? 20 PO: I didn't think he was taking the matter s e r i o u s l y . He didn't think i t was serious. Judge: Neither do I. Bring them back i n and le.t's f i n i s h t h i s damn thing. And I don't want to see any more cases l i k e this one. We've got a hard enough time keeping up as i t i s . Later i n h i s o f f i c e j the probation o f f i c e r launched into an undemanded 'defense' of h i s recommendation for a t r i a l . He suggested that he had screwed up during the recess by not s t a t - ing the 'fact' that the school o f f i c i a l s suspected that the offender was 'a leader' at his school and that other j u v e n i l e s were involved i n other, s i m i l a r offenses with him. He continued: PO: If he had known about the gang aspect, I'm sure he wouldn't have come down on me at that time, r i g h t i n court. He would have understood. The ki d could be dangerous. Tak- ing him to court was the only way of making the point with that k i d . Do you think that i t came out i n the t r i a l enough? Res: Yeah, I think so. PO: Well, I'd better drop i n on the judge t h i s afternoon, make sure i t got through. Thing l i k e that i s bad for business. When the judge halted the t r i a l , i t appeared that he was genuinely puzzled about the fac t that t h i s p a r t i c u l a r case had reached t r i a l . He pro- vided the probation o f f i c e r with an opportunity to ' f i l l him i n ' , but the PO merely c i t e d the formal, professional warrant f o r his recommendation. He made no attempt to display the 'facts' which he traded upon i n the pro- duction of the recommendation. The judge expressed immediate d i s s a t i s f a c - t i o n with the probation o f f i c e r , taking the occasion as an opportunity to st e r n l y c r i t i c i z e the l a t t e r ' s performance and, i n so doing, his competence. Note that t h i s 'backstage' exchange has been shielded from the p r i n c i p a l s i n the case. 21 The judge seemed to 'see' the case as, e.g., a l i t t l e k i d pick- ing on another l i t t l e k i d , a matter which 'obviously' should have been dealt with informally. The probation o f f i c e r , on the other hand, was dealing with what he took to be a gang-related, a s s a u l t i v e robbery, a t y p i f i c a t i o n which warranted formal court action as a means by which a 'gang' could be con t r o l l e d and a 'leader' convinced of the seriousness of his actions and the i r consequentiality. The judge's l e c t u r e may be seen as an attempt upon h i s part to i n s t r u c t the probation o f f i c e r as to the inadequacy of his performance and to i n s t r u c t him that he w i l l be held accountable for such 'mistakes' i n the 4 future. A f t e r court, the probation o f f i c e r claimed that he had i n f a c t , competently screened the case, but sensed that he had not displayed that f a c t when requested to by the judge. He also sensed that such matters could lead to 'problems' for him i f the judge began to doubt h i s competence and, therefore, decided to discuss the matter with him immediately. The following data from the same case shows us that the probation o f f i c e r i s held generally accountable for 'preparation' of the various p r i n c i p a l s i n court hearings for t h e i r 'roles' i n the d a i l y operations of the court. An 8 year o ld c h i l d i s a 'witness' at the same t r i a l . The judge i s 'making sure that the ju v e n i l e 'understands' the meaning of an oath, a measure which i s required by law: Judge: And do you know what i t means to l i e ? Juv: Yeah, i t ' s when you say something that i s n ' t so. 4. As we s h a l l see, such an exchange c l o s e l y resembles 'normal' i n t e r a c t i o n between probation o f f i c e r s and probationers. 22 Judge: And do you know what happens i f you don't t e l l the truth when you're supposed to? Juv: (pause) Um, I don't remember. Judge: Mr. Brown! Didn't you talk with t h i s young man? PO: Yes, your honour Johnny, don't you remember that God doesn't want you to l i e ? Juv: Yeah, God gets mad. Judge: That's r i g h t Johnny, now this man (indicates C i t y A t t o r - ney) wants to ask you some questions and you have to t e l l the t r u t h . Again, by attending to a di s r u p t i o n , a l b e i t one s l i g h t and e f f i - c i e n t l y managed i n a competent manner by the probation o f f i c e r , we are able to catch a glimpse of some of the i n t e r a c t i o n a l work which under- pins, and makes possible the more or l e s s e f f i c i e n t operation of the court routine. We see that even the practically-adequate 'understanding of 5 truth' by a j u v e n i l e i s a matter of p r a c t i c a l concern to the PO. ters intended to c r e d e n t i a l my d e s c r i p t i o n and a n a l y s i s , we w i l l see that such concerns and the p r a c t i c a l problems of d i s p o s i t i o n of p a r t i c u l a r cases are matters which must be dealt with throughout a ju v e n i l e ' s career with the j u v e n i l e court i f and when he i s rearrested or deemed to be performing inadequately 'as a probationer'. Thus, a mundane and pervasive concern with probation o f f i c e r s while 'working with' probationers i s how to accom- 5. One PO stated that he once forgot to 'rehearse' a very young boy 'about the oath'. When the judge asked what would happen i f a boy t e l l s a l i e when he's supposed to t e l l the truth, the j u v e n i l e supposedly r e - p l i e d : "He'd probably do about f i v e years for perjury." According to the PO his answer 'brought down the house, but was accepted as adequate'. After a discussion of my methodology and some ethnographic mat- 23 p l i s h adequate performance on the part of the probationer and, at the same time, to prepare them for 'what w i l l happen' i f they do not perform ade- quately. Short of taking a juvenile back to court, I w i l l be attempting to explicate and analyze the ways i n which they attempt to deal with 'problems' i n t h e i r caseload. If the j u v e n i l e is_ returned to court, either by the p o l i c e on a new a r r e s t , or by a probationer 'because probation i s not working', how are the matters of s e l e c t i n g an 'appropriate' d e c i s i o n , accomplishing i t s appropriateness, and di s p l a y i n g i t to the necessary parti e s managed as p r a c t i c a l matters? How are the necessary 'understandings' accomplished during these interactions? What 'preparation' of p r i n c i p a l s routinely and mundanely takes place? I t i s to these matters that we w i l l shortly turn. Biography and Identity as Ethnographic Resources The f i e l d work upon which the present report i s based was not my i n i t i a l encounter with j u v e n i l e j u s t i c e bureaucracies. Years e a r l i e r , as a graduate student of s o c i a l work, I had spent two days a week for a nine month period working i n a large urban j u v e n i l e court A as a probation o f f i c e r . During that period I engaged i n and was responsible for the ac- complishment of many of the routine tasks routinely performed by probation o f f i c e r s , i . e . , i n v e s t i g a t i n g cases by interviewing p r i n c i p a l s , preparing reports, making p s y c h i a t r i c r e f e r r a l s , appearing i n court, recommending s p e c i f i c court actions, etc. During the following summer, I was able to spend several hours per week observing juvenile court B, a smaller, suburban 24 court, process j u v e n i l e cases. During that period I was able to engage i n a great deal of inforraal i n t e r a c t i o n with probation o f f i c e r s , judges, and other court personnel. During my period of tenure at ju v e n i l e court A, I was assigned a s p e c i a l l y selected caseload of s i x juveniles on probation, and was super- vised by a u n i v e r s i t y f i e l d work supervisor. As per my i n s t r u c t i o n s , I attempted to orient to my f i e l d work experience as an opportunity to 'learn about professional s o c i a l work i n a c o r r e c t i o n a l s e t t i n g ' . I was introduced to various members of the court bureaucracy. I noticed but thought nothing of the f a c t that some of the persons I met seemed ' f r i e n d l y ' while others appeared to be rather 'cold' or 'brusque'. I l a t e r learned that the more extreme i n i t i a l reactions to me almost i n v a r i a b l y r e f l e c t e d t h e i r a t t i - tudes' toward s o c i a l workers' which, i n turn, seemed rooted i n d i f f e r e n t conceptions of 'probation work'. Two of the o f f i c e r s were barely c i v i l from the f i r s t meeting and became increasingly ' h o s t i l e ' towards the s o c i a l work student unit i n general. We learned through other PO's that they joked about, c r i t i c i z e d , and went so far as to complain to the administra- t i o n about our unprofessional methods, e.g., sex education for g i r l s i n trouble, attempts to work with probationers i n the community long a f t e r our c r i t i c s had recommended incarceration and our unprofessional appearance, i . e . , long hair f o r men, 'miniskirts' for women. The complaints which were duly passed down by the administration of the j u v e n i l e court bureau- cracy stated that we were undermining the image of 'professional probation o f f i c e r s i n the court and l o s i n g 'community respect . By doing t h i s , we were said to be having negative impact as_ probation o f f i c e r s . 25 The two probation o f f i c e r s who c r i t i c i z e d the students most voc i f e r o u s l y were c r i t i c a l of 's o c i a l work' i n general and i t s c o r r e c t i o n a l applications i n p a r t i c u l a r . S o c i a l workers, or 'bleeding-hearts' were taken to be a major source or cause of what was seen to be the general f a i l u r e of the ju v e n i l e j u s t i c e system. Their argument seemed to be that ' l i b e r a l s who run the government, the Supreme Court', etc., consciously refused to grant the 'powers' e s s e n t i a l to su c c e s s f u l l y 'control d e l i n - quency!. They argued that 'the system' wasted time attempting to 'rehab- i l i t a t e ' j u v e n i l e s who 'just need a l i t t l e d i s c i p l i n e that they aren't getting from t h e i r parents' and that 'punishment' should be the goal of the co r r e c t i o n a l process i n many cases. When the 'goal' of probation was mentioned by these two probation o f f i c e r s , i t was i n v a r i a b l y 'protection of the community from the offender'. 'Rehabilitation' and 'treatment' were treated as b i t t e r jokes. On the other hand of what I perceived to be a continuum, were two probation o f f i c e r s who greeted us warmly from the beginning, a c t i v e l y pursued our companionship and suggestions. Both saw themselves as pro- f e s s i o n a l s o c i a l workers doing t h e i r best i n a d i f f i c u l t s e t t i n g . They re a d i l y gave advice on how we should go about our business as PO's and eagerly sought out advice, expressing i n t e r e s t i n our experiences, ideas, treatment theories and methods, etc. They also talked r e a d i l y of 'proba- t i o n ' as a dismal and almost complete f a i l u r e , but located the 'causes' i n such factors as undertrained, or inadequate s t a f f , t r e a t i n g the symptoms instead of the problems, etc. Both expressed i n t e r e s t i n returning to 26 school to get an M.S.W. The 'goal' of probation for them was 'treatment' or 'getting the kid functioning' and they were frequently attempting to try new 'group methods', 'games', etc., on t h e i r probationers. One proba- t i o n o f f i c e r had been dismissed because he came to work a f t e r a vacation with a beard. He l a t e r was reinstated a f t e r a lengthy court b a t t l e , but many probation o f f i c e r s remarked c r i t i c a l l y about h i s 'lack of profession- alism' while others claimed that he was one of the few ' r e a l ' probation o f f i c e r s around insofar as he seemed to be able to develop r e l a t i o n s h i p s with probationers with whom other PO's had been unable to communicate. In short, I learned that there was no c l e a r , undisputed consensus about what 'probation' was and how probation o f f i c e r s should go about 6 'doing probation'. The ways i n which probation o f f i c e r s and other members of the court bureaucracy 'talked about' probation d i f f e r e d markedly. Furthermore, p a r t i c u l a r conceptions of and attitudes toward 'probation' were invoked to 'make sense' of t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s and the a c t i v i t i e s of others i n the s e t t i n g . Competent probation o f f i c e r s had to o r i e n t to the p a r t i c u l a r con- ceptions of 'probation' held by other members of the court bureaucracy, p a r t i c u l a r l y the judges and supervisors. This was true to the extent that those conceptions were seen to 'shape' j u d i c i a l decisions about cases which a probation o f f i c e r 'presents' i n court,and.d administrative evaluations, etc., of the probation o f f i c e r ' s performance: 6. I l a t e r discovered that such 'problems' of d e f i n i t i o n and the behavioural content of the probation task pervades the 'professional' and ' s o c i a l s c i e n t i f i c ' l i t e r a t u r e on probation. See, for example, Tappan (1949), Young (1937), Diana (1960), Bates (1960), and Ohlin, et a l . (1956). 27 In court bureaucracy B, the two judges were oriented to by pro- bation o f f i c e r s as holding markedly d i f f e r e n t 'legal p h i l o s o - phies' . One was seen as being 'extremely l e g a l i s t i c ' while the other was seen as 'very p s y c h i a t r i c a l l y , or social-work oriented'. The former was a l t e r n a t e l y 'attacked' and 'admired' for attending to the 'legal adequacy' of cases. Social-work oriented probation o f f i c e r s were frequently heard 'complaining' about the f a c t that the judge had 'thrown out' one of t h e i r cases 'on a l e g a l tech- n i c a l i t y ' , e.g., the probation o f f i c e r had not 'prepared' the case according to the 'legal g uidelines' which were to govern such matters, or had not 'informed' the j u v e n i l e that he was e n t i t l e d to counsel, etc. For such probation o f f i c e r s , the judge had not attended to the 'important' features of the case as they had been formulated by them 'in court': PO: How couild he do that? I j u s t can't b e l i e v e i t . The k i d needs help and he j u s t turns her loose. This i s n ' t a criminal court for christsake - we're trying to help the kids. The 'fact' that a PO's supervisor, a p a r t i c u l a r judge, or another probation o f f i c e r was, i . e . , ' b a s i c a l l y a cop', ' s o c i a l work oriented', or somewhere between was a s a l i e n t p r a c t i c a l concern which had to be attended to during informal and formal i n t e r a c t i o n s , whether 'shooting the breeze' or 'reporting on a case i n court'. I t should be noted that my discovery of and i n i t i a l i n t e r e s t i n such matters was not ' t h e o r e t i c a l ' but fundamentally p r a c t i c a l inasmuch as I f e l t that members of the bureaucracy interpreted and reacted to my presence and actions i n the s e t t i n g of as those of a social-work-student- doing-and-observing-probation. Some probation o f f i c e r s , for example, openly and b l u n t l y suggested that I should stay out of t h e i r way or keep my nose out of t h e i r cases because I wouldn't understand what they were doing. On one occasion a probation o f f i c e r went to my supervisor with a request that I not i n t e r f e r e with h i s work by l i s t e n i n g to his interviews with juveniles i n the court waiting room. I had, i n f a c t , been seated i n 28 the waiting room, had seen him 'at work', but had not overheard the i n t e r - a c t i o n . My supervisor suggested that even i f that had been the case, that I should stay away from the concerned probation o f f i c e r who had complained 7 because his 'paranoia' might 'cause trouble' f o r the students. On t h i s and s i m i l a r occasions, I learned that my 'fate' as a f i e l d work student i n the s e t t i n g was influenced d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y by various features of the s e t t i n g and i t s personnel which received l i t t l e or no formal recog- n i t i o n as relevant to my 'educational experience'. The impressions, information, etc., which I gained through my experience and observations i n j u v e n i l e court bureaucracies A and B were a v a i l a b l e to me as a resource while I subsequently planned the s o c i o l o g i c a l f i e l d work i n another j u v e n i l e court. I also had a v a i l a b l e a newspaper account of a speech given by the as s i s t a n t chief probation o f f i c e r of the court which I was planning to study. His remarks to a l o c a l s o c i a l service club were reported prominently i n the l o c a l papers. His remarks reminded me of the s i m i l a r r h e t o r i c about the issues of 'delinquency' and 'probation' which had been voiced by a 'tough' j u v e n i l e court judge under whom I had e a r l i e r served. The newspaper account was t i t l e d : "Why Hoodlums Kick Ladies More Often Nowadays", and began: 7. One year l a t e r , the f i e l d work 'contract' between the University and the j u v e n i l e court was terminated 'by mutual agreement'. Among the reasons for the termination was the f a c t that the r e l a t i o n s h i p between many PO's and the students was one of i l l - c o n c e a l e d 'suspicion' and ' h o s t i l i t y ' on both sides. 29 Odds are good that the next l i t t l e old lady whose purse gets snatched by a hoodlum w i l l also get pushed down and kicked i n the mouth. That's how Dan Armstrong, Medium City's a s s i s t a n t chief pro- bation o f f i c e r sees the r i s i n g j u v e n i l e delinquency rate i n the c i t y . "There's been a gradual increase i n delinquency, e s p e c i a l l y over the l a s t f i v e years. "And I note that i n the l a s t three years, there's been more i n the way of violence with crimes than ever before" he <£old a Medium C i t y Optimist Club meeting Wednesday night. NO REASON. "In the old days, a k i d would snatch a l i t t l e old lady's purse and that was a l l . Now, that lady i s pushed, punched and kicked i n the mouth for no reason," he s a i d . He said the increase i n violense (sic) i s a symbol of modern times. "I t ' s a general a t t i t u d e around today," he said l a t e r when asked to explain the increase i n violence. "The youngsters resent any form of authority, which can be rep- resented by a policeman, probation o f f i c e r s , courts, Uncle Johnny or Cousin Winifred, Mom;jsDad, school, rules and regula- tions ." The assistant chief then went on, according to the account, to state that these 'facts' made the job faced by the j u v e n i l e court and i t s personnel d i f f i c u l t , andt.that increased understanding and support from the community was e s s e n t i a l : "We need more s t a f f at our o f f i c e s . There are times when a probation o f f i c e r can be spread too t h i n l y , and this has occurred," he t o l d h i s audience. According to Armstrong, Medium C i t y probation o f f i c e r s average between 60 and 75 cases each. He said this was f a r above the in t e r n a t i o n a l maximum average i n 1968 of 40 cases a. man. 30 Obviously, this a r t i c l e t o l d me a good deal about how at l e a s t one r e l a t i v e l y high probation authority i n th i s court bureaucracy p u b l i c l y perceived 'the problem of delinquency' and some of the p r a c t i c a l problems of 'doing probation'. Delinquency was seen as growing worse and the s o l u - t i o n was increased f i n a n c i a l support for the court, e s p e c i a l l y the h i r i n g of a d d i t i o n a l probation o f f i c e r s . The im p l i c a t i o n i s that the a d d i t i o n a l probation o f f i c e r s w i l l enable the probation bureaucracy to provide the community with greater 'protection' by ' c o n t r o l l i n g ' the delinquent probationers through 'closer supervision'. This feature of the public presentation of the court bureaucracy, which I encountered constantly throughout my f i e l d experience with the court, was frequently coupled with a plea f o r funding f o r a d d i t i o n a l 'detention f a c i l i t i e s ' , and/or 'treatment i n s t i t u t i o n s ' which were needed 'because' probation o f f i c e r s and judges did not have adequate resources with which to deal with juveniles and pro- bationers . The p r a c t i c a l concerns expressed by members of the court bureau- cracy, i . e . , 'getting the word out on the bad conditions under which we function' and the importance of the court's task were, therefore, a v a i l a b l e to me as a 'researcher' before I approached them with a proposal to engage i n 'research' at the court. I would l i k e to be able to say that I had c a r e f u l l y and consciously thought through the implications of these con- cerns before I approached the chief probation o f f i c e r with my proposal and request f o r access. I did not. "Rather, I entered h i s o f f i c e and introduced myself as a sociology graduate student who was interested i n doing some 31 f i e l d research at the court, adding that I had worked as a probation o f f i - cer and had been interested i n the ' f i e l d of j u v e n i l e j u s t i c e ' for a long time. Aft e r a short pause, the chief probation o f f i c e r asked what I thought of probation work. I answered that I thought that the job was one of the most ' d i f f i c u l t ' and 'challenging' that I had encountered (I did not mention my extremely l i m i t e d work his t o r y ) . The CPO (Chief Probation O f f i c e r ) then launched i n t o what seemed to be a standard 'speech' on the matter of j u v e n i l e j u s t i c e , the probation bureaucracy, and the 'need' for 'research'. The CPO, i n e f f e c t , began to inform me about the need for 'getting the word out' about t h e i r needs and the problems that they en- counter i n attempting to provide the community with adequate probation s e r v i c e s . The CPO explained that the probation bureaucracy i t s e l f was severely limted i n i t s a b i l i t y to do a 'proper job' of making i t s needs known to the 'public' or t h e i r representatives who 'held the purse-strings'. Besides having no funds to support t h e i r own research, the CPO stated that the l e g a l proscriptions on p u b l i c i z i n g t h e i r cases i n h i b i t e d t h e i r a b i l i t y to l e t the public know about the s i t u a t i o n . He then t o l d me that I would be required to respect the c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y of the cases. I r e p l i e d that I would scrupulously s h i e l d the i d e n t i t y of any case materials that I found occasion to use. I also informed him that I would not be concerned with sensational cases, but rather the mundane, routine processing of t y p i c a l cases. He then remarked that they d i d not keep 'good s t a t s ' but that I was welcome to what they did have and that they would appreciate any work that I might do i n the area of organizing t h e i r evaluative data. I could 32 sense a b i t of disappointment when I informed him that ,the primary focus of my study would be routine interactions that probation o f f i c e r s and other court personnel engaged i n with juveniles and t h e i r f a m i l i e s and that my i n t e r e s t s , therefore, would not take me into questions of the effectiveness of d i s p o s i t i o n s . I went; on to explain that I could o f f e r no payoff for the court i n terms of providing them with 'reports' which would be of d i r e c t u t i l i t y i n t h e i r everyday operations, whether the search f o r community understanding and a d d i t i o n a l funds or i n providing them with ready-to- follow recipes for improving t h e i r d e l i v e r y of services. I, then launched into an attack upon the e x i s t i n g l i t e r a t u r e and research i n the f i e l d , claiming that s o c i o l o g i s t s studying delinquency and probation had not ade- quately attended to the routine accomplishment of probation, but rather engaged i n i d e o l o g i c a l disputes over i d e a l i z e d versions of what they assumed happened. My i n t e n t i o n had been to counter any suspicions that the CPO might have that I was engaged i n a d e l i b e r a t e search for expose* material which would 'embarrass' the court and c u r t a i l community and governmental 8 support. By c l e a r l y s t a t i n g that I would not be engaging i n research which would be of c r i t i c a l i n t e r e s t to the community, however, I also made i t clear to the CPO that my work might be of l i m i t e d p r a c t i c a l value to the court bureaucracy i t s e l f . By doing t h i s , I f e l t that I might be able to pursue my research without encountering o f f i c i a l s who were 'anxiously await- 8. Much l a t e r I learned that, i n f a c t , an e a r l i e r study of the court by a graduate s o c i a l workistudent with whom the CPO had cooperated had been seen by the l a t t e r i n j u s t these terms, and that the CPO had at f i r s t considered refusing cooperation i n my study for that reason. 33 ing' my findings and eager to look at my notes or discuss with me d r a f t s , etc. At the same time, however, I was s a c r i f i c i n g one of the factors which might motivate t h e i r a c t i v e cooperation i n my study, i . e . , the promise of a ready payoff for the i r cooperation. Since I was more interested i n t h e i r acceptance of my presence, i n the s e t t i n g than the 'active cooperation' of the high l e v e l authority probation a u t h o r i t i e s , I kept my promises to a minimum and merely asked to be granted permission to observe the everyday a c t i v i t i e s of the court. Here, I took a cue from M e l v i l l e Dalton's study of management. I wanted permission to be around the b u i l d i n g and to t a l k to court per- sonnel but was aware of the various problems which ' o f f i c i a l sponsorship' might produce. Dalton stated: In no case did I make a formal approach to the top management of any of the firms to get approval or support f o r the research. Several times I have seen other researchers do t h i s and have watched"higher managers set the scene and l i m i t the inquir y to s p e c i f i c areas - outside management proper - as though the prob- lem existed i n a vacuum. The findings i n some cases were then regarded as "controlled experiments", which i n f i n a l form made impressive reading. But the smiles and delighted manipulation of researchers by guarded personnel, the assessments made of r e - searchers and t h e i r , and -the frequently t r i v i a l areas to which alerted and f e a r f u l o f f i c e r s guided the inquiry — a l l raised questions about who con t r o l l e d the experiments. This approach was not suited to my purposes (Dalton, 1959: 275). My research s e t t i n g and associated problems of gaining and main- tainin g access d i f f e r e d i n some ways from Dalton's. I would l i k e to now r e l a t e h i s remarks to my preceding account of high l e v e l o f f i c i a l conceptions of the problem of delinquency and the problems i t presents for the bureau- cracy to my 'problems' as a researcher. 34 Dalton's goal was to study the practices of the very persons through whom o f f i c i a l access i s obtained: ...the aim i s to get as close as possible to the world of man- agers and to i n t e r p r e t this world and i t s problems from the i n - side, as they are seen and f e l t at various points and l e v e l s (Dalton, 1959: 1). 'Managing' may include managing research and researchers i n the organization, that ensuring 'approval and cooperation' opens the research enterpise to 'normal management p r a c t i c e s ' i n a way that makes the research 'outcome' a product of the very impression management practices which should have been themselves examined. From Dalton's study and reported experiences, I presumed that my study of the probation bureaucracy would have been s i g n i f i c a n t l y shaped by anri.attempt to gain 'cooperation' from the probation administrators. During my i n i t i a l encounter with the administrator of the probation department, hi s concerns were the on-going concerns of a CPO engaged i n the everyday a c t i v i t y of managing 'his' department. There was no 'time out' during which we 'objectively' discussed possible c o n t r i b u t i o n that he and his pro- bation o f f i c e r s could make to science. Rather, he was engaged i n the eminently p r a c t i c a l problem of attempting to do_ probation administration, and to determine the relevance of my research to that problem. In t h i s context, I would l i k e to argue that h i s e x p l i c i t inquiry as to how I ' f e l t about probation' and, secondly, h i s immediate attempt to t i e my research to organizational goals were fundamentally conventional and routine methods by which administrators attempt to assess a researcher's motivation, goals, etc., to provide them with a basis f o r determining whe- 35 ther the research should be allowed, and/or a c t i v e l y supported by the ad- m i n i s t r a t i o n . I t i s these considerations which induce administrators to view researchers as a p o t e n t i a l source of 'trouble' and/or 'aid' i n t h e i r everyday a c t i v i t i e s . I f , for example, I had informed the administrator that I was 'shocked' by what I had read or heard about probation procedures, the CPO would, i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d e i t h e r have denied access to the bureau- cracy or, more l i k e l y , introduced me to h i s a s s i s t a n t who would have ear- nestly attempted to give me 'an i n s i d e look' at the problems encountered i n the attempt to provide professional probation s e r v i c e s . I would have been subsequently introduced to selected members of the probation s t a f f and court bureaucracy who would have been 'asked by the chief or a s s i s t a n t to t e l l Mr. Darrough what we're up to so that h e ' l l have a balanced idea of our operations here. ' On the other hand, i f I had entered the court as a 'member of the team' (I suggest that t h i s i s the proposal that the CPO made once I had spoken of 'probation' as 'challenging', e t c . ) , I would have been, again, provided with assistance i n planning and carrying out my research which would have more or le s s subtly constrained to ' f i t ' my research to the 9 'needs', 'goals', etc. of the members of the bureaucracy. I wish to emphasize the f a c t that I am not implying that the administrators wouild necessarily have been engaged i n 'cynical manipulation', or that they would have been acting ' h y p o c r i t i c a l l y ' , rather I am merely 9. I say members of the bureaucracy rather than administrators for I w i l l s h o r t l y show that administrators are not alone i n t h e i r attempts to 'manage' research. 36 s t a t i n g that they would have attended to my research as a p o t e n t i a l source of 'trouble or aid-, and acted accordingly. Now I would l i k e to s h i f t my focus and attempt to show that even 'completely free and uncontrolled access' to the bureaucracy which was formally sanctioned or approved by the administration would not have pro- vided me with access to the kinds of materials and observations which, I have become convinced, are e s s e n t i a l for the production of an adequate ethnographic d e s c r i p t i o n of "probation work'. The reasons for this w i l l enable the reader to obtain a firmer grasp of the s e t t i n g . F i r s t , the notion of completely free access does grave violence to the everyday world of the j u v e n i l e court. The administrators themselves do not have free access to a l l the a c t i v i t i e s of court personnel. I t i s , therefore, questionable whether ' i t ' i s theirs to give. Probation o f f i c e r s t y p i c a l l y viewed themselves as professionals and, therefore, attended to supervisory monitoring and administrative i n t e r v e n t i o n i n t h e i r profes- s i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s as, at best, a necessary e v i l . In my discussion of the competing professional conceptions of probation i n the court with which I was associated, I suggested that such matters were not merely t h e o r e t i c a l , but that they were attended to, remarked upon, etc. Probation o f f i c e r s could be 'attacked' for being 'unprofessional' or looked upon as 'exem- plary models' for other probation o f f i c e r s to 'learn from'. Administrative approval was, therefore, oriented to by probation o f f i c e r s as both a source of 'trouble or assistance' i n career advancement. Probation o f f i c e r s could be and were f i r e d or promoted because supervisors and/or administrators 37 regarded t h e i r performance favourably or unfavourably. The rather obvious, yet c r i t i c a l import of administrative sponsorship i n the present s e t t i n g for any researcher attempting to unobtrusively examine normal work routines i s that the sponsorship i t s e l f w i l l ' i n e v i t a b l y a l t e r those routines. Just as the CPO had attempted to 'check me out', to determine what I was up to and what I could do for or against him and h i s bureaucracy, so any probation o f f i c e r would be o r i e n t i n g to my piesence i n s i m i l a r terms. As an ethnographer, I attempted to develop a strategy which would enable me to observe and gather as much information as possible about the on-going accomplishment of normal probation work. In order to do t h i s , I had to provide PO's with s u i t a b l e and adequate 'answers' to the normal concerns that they would have about my presence during t h e i r performance of proba- t i o n tasks. One, of the ways I sought to do this was to maximize my perceived independence from the administrative and supervisory personnel. I had decided that I could best achieve t h i s independence i n appearance and f a c t by obtaining my f i r s t l i n e contact without the sponsorship of the CPO or h i s f u n c t i o n a r i e s . Therefore, when I was introduced to the three l i n e super- v i s o r s (I met the intake supervisor l a t e r ) , I d i d not ask them to introduce me to the PO's whom they supervised. Rather I gave a very b r i e f account of my research i n t e r e s t s , and said that I would be i n touch at a l a t e r date, that I deeply appreciated t h e i r cooperation, and, f i n a l l y , that I wanted to. discuss probation with them i n the near future. Two of them shook hands and l e f t . The t h i r d expressed i n t e r e s t i n my project. He i n v i t e d me into h i s o f f i c e and began to ask me about my design, background, etc. 38 When he expressed i n t e r e s t as a s o c i a l worker, I informed him that I was an M.S.W. and that I had done my f i e l d placement at a j u v e n i l e court. He immediately 'warmed up', saying that he was 'happy to have me aboard'. Again, i n his remarks, I took i t that he was assuming that I was coming aboard as a member.of a team, i n t h i s case a 1 social-worker- probation of f icer,-sociologist' who would j o i n t h i s supervisor i n h i s long- term, on-going attempt to p r o f e s s i o n a l i z e the probation bureaucracy. Dur- ing our conversation, for example, he informed me that he wanted to 'up- grade' the use of the j u v e n i l e court as a f i e l d work placement by a l o c a l u n i v e r s i t y ' s school of s o c i a l work. He assumed that my p r o f e s s i o n a l t r a i n - ing and experience i n the other court would have prepared me for the job of upgrading the professional s k i l l s of probation s t a f f and/or engaging i n research which would provide the supervisor and the f i e l d of s o c i a l work i n general with new theories or applications of e x i s t i n g s o c i a l work theory i n a c o r r e c t i o n a l m i l i e u . Justtas the CPO qua administrator had attempted to e n l i s t me as a member of the team who could contribute to the organization by 'getting our story out', the supervisor who was concerned with upgrading professional s k i l l s , r e c r u i t i n g more professional PO's, and t r a i n i n g new PO's assumed that my i n t e r e s t s qua s o c i a l worker coincided with h i s . As with the admin- i s t r a t o r , I take i t that h i s assumptions were based upon his i n the p r a c t i - c a l tasks of t r a i n i n g , p r o f e s s i o n a l i z i n g the f i e l d of probation as a case- work enterprise, etc. The 'probation as s o c i a l work' l i t e r a t u r e shows that such concerns were not i d i o s y n c r a t i c to t h i s supervisor i n t h i s s e t t i n g 39 but r e f l e c t the on-going concerns of professionals i n the f i e l d and one 10 t r a d i t i o n a l conception of the r o l e of research i n probation s e t t i n g s . Again, I would l i k e to speculate as to the impact of perceived membership on this team on my a b i l i t y as an ethnographic observer to gain access to the on-going accomplishment of probation tasks by probation o f f i c e r s . So membershipped, I would be able to observe, e.g., probation o f f i c e r s going about t h e i r business while being observed by a pro f e s s i o n a l s o c i a l worker with a background i n probation who may be interested i n checking out these probation o f f i c e r s i n an attempt to determine t h e i r 'professional compe- tence' a_s .'social workers'. From my p r i o r experience i n the other j u v e n i l e court as_ a s o c i a l worker, I knew that my research experience and data would, i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d , be shaped i n at l e a s t the following ways: F i r s t , I would be treated by some PO's as a resource for advice, etc., on how to go about doing probation. As 'an expert', I could be c a l l e d upon at any time during my observations to co n s t r u c t i v e l y evMuate,or counsel my subjects about the competent accomplishment of the a c t i v i t y I was supposedly intending to merely observe, record, and report upon. At the same time other probation o f f i c e r s would, i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d a c t i v e l y avoid or r e s i s t my attempts to observe t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s o_r shape those ac- t i v i t i e s to display f or me, e.g., the inadequacies of 'bleeding-heart s o c i a l 1(L See, for example: Ives (1965), Kogon (1965), and Sedio et a l . (1965). For discussions of members'conceptions, of the 'role of research' and the ' i d e n t i t y of the researcher' as of both p r a c t i c a l and t h e o r e t i c a l concern for the ethnographic observer of settings see, for example, Cicourel (1968), Ford (1974), Mackay (1964), Stoddart (1968), Turner (1968), Wieder (1969). Of s p e c i a l relevance (insofar as he deals with ' s o c i o l o g i c a l research-in-a-social-work-setting), i s Zimmerman (1966), note e s p e c i a l l y h i s "Appendix on Methodology". 40 work theory and method' for working i n the s e t t i n g . What I am suggesting i s that the i n d i v i d u a l probation o f f i c e r ' s i n t e r e s t i n , attitudes toward, etc., ' s o c i a l work' would s i g n i f i c a n t l y shape the probation o f f i c e r ' s per- formances to the extent that they i s e attending to the presence of a 'pro- f e s s i o n a l r esearch-social worker 1 who i s 'here' for the express purpose of learning and/or teaching about probation-as-professional-social-work. Also, as an expert, I would be taken as one who could recognize bad or incompetent probation,work, a 'fact' which could be viewed with some apprehension by probation o f f i c e r s who were not quite sure i f what they were doing was good or competent probation work as I_ might define i t . Once again, therefore, I declined the i n v i t a t i o n to j o i n a team and once again noticed that the person who was making the o f f e r displayed mild disappointment. I informed the supervisor that my i n t e r e s t s 'for the moment' were oriented more toward discovering 'how probation o f f i c e r s are doing t h e i r work than how they should do i t ' . I t o l d him that I did not think that I 'knew enough' about probation to be of much help, but that I would t a l k to him l a t e r i f I discovered anything of use. We chatted on for a few minutes about my study. Again, he recommended that I engage i n a s t a t i s t i c a l analysis or d i f f e r e n t treatment methods i n order to produce an evaluation of the various methods, o f f e r i n g to provide me with assistance i n obtaining 'outcome' information. When I informed him that I was going to attempt to do d e s c r i p t i v e ethnography, the supervisor f l a t l y stated that I would have "a h e l l of a time getting f i n a n c i a l support f o r something l i k e that. Maybe f i v e , ten years ago you could have slipped through with 41 something l i k e that, but i n t h i s day and age you've got to have numbers behind you. I f you haven't got them, they won't l i s t e n to a word you say." It had been necessary to obtain formal permission to observe court-probation work because most of the areas i n which such i n t e r a c t i o n takes place were closed i n some way. Also, the permission was then always av a i l a b l e to invoke i f and when i t became necessary or u s e f u l , i . e . , to gain access to the courtrooms themselves, to look at records, etc. What, i n f a c t , I had been given permission to do was something which was always open to negotiation between the researcher and the various members of the court probation s t a f f . I now, however, faced what proved to be an on-going p r a c t i c a l problem, the routine mundane and continual accomplishing of access adequate for my purposes as an ethnographer:'penetration' of the everyday world of the probation o f f i c e r with minimum or at l e a s t delimited di s r u p t i o n of i t . The i n i t i a l contact of a l i n e probation o f f i c e r was, therefore, accomplished i n the following manner: a fellow graduate student had i n - formed me that he'had a f r i e n d who was a probation o f f i c e r ' . Furthermore, he said that the PO (Bob Smith) was a nice guy, easy to t a l k to, and would probably cooperate with me., I decided to contact Smith by telephone and obtain h i s permission to drop by for a t a l k . When I was able to t a l k to Smith, I introduced myself as a grad student at the l o c a l u n i v e r s i t y and also said that I had been a PO. I then said that I wanted to do something 11 about probation work for a seminar that I was taking. I then said that 11. At the time of this contact no more was intended. 42 I wanted to come down to the court 'to look around' and that I had been i n touch with the CPO who had said i t was okay for me to be around the court. I then t o l d him that I wanted to t a l k to someone who knew what was going on at the court, and that the probation o f f i c e r s were the ones who would know, not the supervisors who spend t h e i r days s i t t i n g i n t h e i r o f f i c e s . Such a remark was t y p i c a l of probation o f f i c e r s and other s o c i a l workers working i n such settings and might have informed the PO that, for example, I knew what was up. I then stated that I wanted to see i f things were as screwed up around this court as they had been around the one at which I had worked. In t h i s way, I sought to convince him that I was not coming into the s e t t i n g with naive, i d e a l i z e d notions of what i t ' s l i k e , or that, for example, I would be making comparisons of t h i s court with a highly profes- s i o n a l court, comparisons which, i n e f f e c t , would negatively assess t h i s court as opposed to that court. Rather, I recognized that being 'screwed up' was an i n v a r i a n t feature of court work, due to 'working conditions', etc., at the court. Smith laughed and stated that he was sure that 'things couldn't have been any worse' at the other court. He then asked what day I'd l i k e to 'drop by'. I asked i f Monday would be okay, to which he r e - p l i e d that I must have beai kidding, asking i f I'd forgotten what weekend was coming up. I r e p l i e d that i t was Halloween, then ' r e a l i z e d ' what that 'f a c t ' meant i n the context of work routines and the scheduling problems 12 faced by probation o f f i c e r s , adding j o k i n g l y , "Don't t e l l me the kids are 12. Halloween i s t y p i c a l l y viewed by law-enforcement and j u v e n i l e j u s t i c e personnel as a night which 'produces' a great deal of work. 'Kids' are seen as ' h e l l - r a i s i n g ' and the a c t i v i t i e s of these organizations are or- ganized i n a n t i c i p a t i o n of that f a c t . The p o l i c e , c u s t o d i a l personnel, and court personnel 'get ready' for what i s seen as 'the i n e v i t a b l e ' . Continued . . . . 43 nasty around here on Halloween. How about Wednesday afternoon, think y o u ' l l have recovered by then?" He agreed to the proposed date, I wished him luck and terminated the c a l l . I would l i k e to c a l l a t tention to c e r t a i n aspects of the above i n t e r a c t i o n which I take to be of relevance both to general problems of doing ethnographic research and to the more s p e c i f i c questions which I have raised pertaining to 'access' to t h i s p a r t i c u l a r s e t t i n g . F i r s t , I would l i k e to point to the 'i d e n t i t y s e l e c t i o n ' or 'self-membershipping' a c t i v i - t i e s i n which I was engaged (Sacks, 1966, Turner, 1968). I would l i k e to suggest that the 'fact' that the i n i t i a l contact between myself and a pro- bation o f f i c e r (whom I hoped to observe) was a c a l l from a 'friend of a f r i e n d ' and could be so treated by the probation o f f i c e r enabled the pro- bation o f f i c e r to or i e n t to me as, i . e . , 'a possible f r i e n d ' , 'someone to t a l k to', etc., rather than, for example, a researcher with whom 'the boss' expects him to cooperate. I might add that probation o f f i c e r Smith and I did become friends and that as_ 'a f r i e n d ' he was able to provide me with invaluable assistance both i n gaining the 'cooperation' of other court personnel and i n providing me with a great deal of information, p r a c t i c a l assistance, etc., without which this report would have been impossible. Before proceeding with my analysis of this contact, i t would be useful to remark upon a possible misreading of i t by the reader of the 12. (Continued....) On Halloween, t h i s p a r t i c u l a r probation department had PO's ' i n the f i e l d a f t e r hours' i n an attempt to monitor and aid the p o l i c e i n the 'control* of j u v e n i l e 'disturbances'. The Monday after Halloween would be attended 'to, by probation o f f i c e r s as the day upon which 'Halloween cases' would f i r s t ' h i t court', as a 'busy' day and, therefore, one which would be les s than i d e a l for scheduling a d d i t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s . 44 report. I do not want to give the reader the impression that I had com- p l e t e l y 'planned' the i n t e r a c t i o n which I am describing or that I had engaged i n a p r i o r analysis of, e.g., 'problems of access' and then had c a r e f u l l y constructed a strategy by which 'friendship' could be traded upon i n the accomplishment of my goals, as an ethnographer. Rather, the very f a c t that I made a record of the 'contact' and used i t i n the report i s a t t r i b u t a b l e to the f a c t that my thesis supervisor had encouraged me to treat my f i e l d work problems and a c t i v i t i e s as data for subsequent a n a l y s i s . As a r e s u l t (and without f u l l y understanding the u t i l i t y of such informa- tion) , I conscientiously kept a record of my a c t i v i t i e s , concerns, etc., before, during, and a f t e r my i n i t i a l contact with 'the court', i . e . , throughout my experience i n the s e t t i n g . i : , , Immediately a f t e r the phone c a l l , f o r example, I j o t t e d down as close to a verbatim account as possible and then ' f i l e d ' i t . When I began to write up the research report, I discovered that such records are an i n - valuable resource both for general purposes of ethnographic d e s c r i p t i o n as well as f o r t e l l i n g me and thus, enabling me to t e l l the reader how the data was gathered and hopefully, c r e d e n t i a l i n g my p a r t i c u l a r uses of the data i n the report. My i n t e r e s t i n and use of such data are based upon my reading of a recommendation made by Turner regarding s o c i o l o g i c a l uses of conversational materials: ••-The s o c i o l o g i s t i n e v i t a b l y trades on h i s members' knowledge i n recognizing the a c t i v i t i e s that p a r t i c i p a n t s to i n t e r a c t i o n are engaged in....The s o c i o l o g i s t , having made h i s f i r s t - l e v e l d e c i s i o n on the basis of members' knowledge, must then pose as problematic how utterances come o f f as recognizable unit a c t i - 45 v i t i e s . This requires the s o c i o l o g i s t to e x plicate the r e - sources he shares with the p a r t i c i p a n t s i n making sense of u t t e r - ances i n a s t r e t c h of t a l k . At every step of the way, i n e v i t a b l y , the s o c i o l o g i s t w i l l continue to employ his s o c i a l i z e d competence, while continuing to make e x p l i c i t what these resources are and how he employs them. I see no a l t e r n a t i v e to these procedures, except to pay no e x p l i c i t a t tention to one's s o c i a l i z e d knowledge while continuing to use i t as an indispensable a i d . In short, s o c i o l o g i c a l discoveries are i n e l u c t a b l y discoveries from within the society (Turner, 1970: 177, emphasis i n o r i g i n a l ) . Stoddart has sought to e x p l i c a t e 'shared resources' i n an attempt to make sense of what might have been dismissed as an aborted attempt to maintain access. He provides us with an account which n i c e l y displays the impact of the issues of, e.g., i d e n t i t y and motivations of the researcher, i n an occupational s e t t i n g s i m i l a r , i n some respects, to the one with which we are presently concerned. I b e l i e v e that the account warrants quotation i n f u l l : I t was o r i g i n a l l y planned that approximately one month be spent observing the p o l i c e . However, on the second evening i t became obvious that further observation would not be p o s s i b l e . What follows i s a discussion of the events that ledd up to the termi- nation of my observations of the drug squad. I was introduced to the s t a f f sergeant i n charge of the Western C i t y drug squad by the executive d i r e c t o r of the narcotic addic- t i o n treatment center where I was employed at the time. The two had known each other for a number of years. He told the sergeant that the observations would be part of the treatment center's research program, and would enable me to "see the drug addict as the policeman does". The s t a f f sergeant was quite receptive to this and said that on many occasions i n the past probation o f f i - cers, s o c i a l workers, clergymen, etc., had accompanied the drug squad for this reason. One month was the agreed-upon,length of the observational period. The sergeant t o l d me to telephone him a few days before I wanted to begin the observations. A few weeks l a t e r I telephoned the ser.geant and informed him that I was ready to begin observing. He said that he would "set i t up" and t o l d me to come to the drug squad o f f i c e s h o r t l y before s i x o'clock the following evening. 46 The next evening I reported to the o f f i c e and introduced myself to the drug squad members who were already present. When I gave my name, one of them sai d : "That's very nice, but why are you here?". I explained my presence and i t was obvious that they had not been informed that I would be accompanying them. One of the policemen phoned the sergeant to as c e r t a i n the legitimacy of my presence. Following t h i s , the evening's work began. During the evening, I explained the purpose of the observations to them exactly as i t had been explained to the s t a f f sergeant by the executive d i r e c t o r . At the end of the evening, the o f f i c e r s I had accompanied looked surprised when I said that I would be seeing them "tomorrow". During the next evening, one of the o f f i c e r s asked me how much time I planned to spend with them. I r e p l i e d that I had received permission to spend approximately one month accompanying them i n thei r n i g h t l y a c t i v i t i e s . At this point one of the o f f i c e r s s a i d : "Well, we're going to get r i d of you as soon as we can — l i k e tonight". I asked i f I had been "getting i n t h e i r way" or ham- pering them and I was assured that I had not. They suggested that I see the s t a f f sergeant for an explanation. Following t h i s , I was to l d that the squad had some " s p e c i a l business" to take care of and I was driven to my home. The following day, the s t a f f sergeant t o l d me that further ob- servation would not be possi b l e . He said that i f I was injured during the course of observation, the p o l i c e department would "...never hear the end of i t " . I offered to have prepared a l e g a l document which would r e l i e v e the department of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r any i n j u r y I might incur. At t h i s point he stated that there was also a " s e c u r i t y " or ' c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y " issue at stake: he f e l t that the "hypes" might one day read my "book" and f i n d out how the drug squad operates. He had t o l d me e a r l i e r that drug users were w e l l aware of the arrest-producing procedures employed by the p o l i c e and I reminded him of t h i s . However, he maintained that more observations could not be made "anyway" and refused to discuss the matter further. The d e c i s i o n to discontinue further observations seems to have been made not at the administrative l e v e l but at "working" or "squad" l e v e l . The reason could have been merely that the p o l i c e did not " l i k e " me (although one member did i n v i t e me to h i s home to l i s t e n to recorded music) or that I hampered the performance of some of th e i r tasks (although I was h e l p f u l on some occasions). An a l t e r - 47 nate explanation i s that the members of the drug squad engage i n some a c t i v i t i e s that they do not want observed by an "outsider", i . e . , the presence of an observer might i n t e r r u p t some aspects of t h e i r normal routine. There i s often a c e r t a i n amount of physical coercion involved i n gathering the evidence s u f f i c i e n t to warrant an a r r e s t for "pos- session of narcotis ( s i c ) . " (Indeed, at the time of th i s w r i t i n g a coroner's inquest i s being held to a s c e r t a i n whether or not the p o l i c e are responsible f o r the death of a drug user who suffoca- ted during the process of being "searched" for drugs. Similar incidents have occurred i n the past). A public issue i s often made of this coercion by Western C i t y c i v i l l i b e r t a r i a n s . I f e l t that some of the questions the drug squad members asked me during the evening were attempts to locate me on a l i b e r a l - conservative continuum (e.g., "I don't think smoking marijuana i s r e a l l y such a bad thing, do you?"). Despite my non-committal answers, i t i s quite l i k e l y that due to my a f f i l i a t i o n with a treatment cen.ter they saw me as a " l i b e r a l " and a person who might react negatively to some of t h e i r methods (Stoddart, 1968: 12-14, n. 7). I take i t that this account provides at l e a s t some evidence that my e a r l i e r speculations (about what may have happened had I only cleared my 13 entry into the s e t t i n g with administrators) were sound. Note the 'checking 13. That v i r t u a l l y a l l members of the court bureaucracy do, i n f a c t attend to, and act to ' s h i e l d ' court business from 'outsiders' i s indicated by the following observation recorded s h o r t l y a f t e r I had begun ' v i s i t - ing' PO Smith. As yet, I was unknown to a l l but one other PO: "Bobby (Smith) had j u s t l e f t me i n the o f f i c e to go to court. He l e f t a ' f i l e ' for a coming case, saying that I might be interested i n looking i t over. I had not started to read i t but was looking at i t when a man I recognized as a 'court o f f i c e r ' a person who's primary function seems to be 'page' probation o f f i c e r s and the p r i n c i p a l s , witnesses, etc., when they are supposed to go to court. He walked into the o f f i c e and asked 'which case' I was 'on'. I answered that I was there to see 'Bobby'. He then l e f t . A f t e r he had gone I noticed that he had covered the f i l e I had been prepared to read." Continued . . . . 48 out' done by members of the p o l i c e department, the attempt to f i n d out who the 'outsider' i s , and what he's up to. Also, notice that probable com- p l a i n t s from the squad l e v e l apparently brought about a r e v e r s a l of the administrative permission to observe work routines. Administrators might expectably act i n such a manner e s p e c i a l l y when, as I had done, they were e x p l i c i t l y told that there would be no immediate 'pay-off' f o r t h e i r bureau- cracy from the research. I, therefore, went out of my way to minimize the p o s s i b i l i t y of having either formal or informal 'complaints' made about my presence or a c t i v i t i e s . I s t i l l have not provided an adequate 'explanation' of the r e l e - vance of Stoddart's experiences to mine. To do so, I would l i k e to return to the phone c a l l with which I made my i n i t i a l contact with a probation o f f i c e r . I would l i k e to suggest that from the very beginning of my con- versation, my attempt to gain access was greatly f a c i l i t a t e d by what I r e c a l l as a rather 'offhanded' reference to the 'fact' that I had been a PO. From the moment that I so membershipped myself, our conversation be- came what could be described as 'shop t a l k ' between persons who know what 'probation's a l l about'. Stoddart had been oriented to by the p o l i c e as 'an outsider' of some s o r t . He o f f e r s several possible explanations for th e i r r e f u s a l to allow him to continue observing t h e i r work routines. The 13. (Continued....) A f t e r a few experiences such as t h i s , including some 'h o s t i l e ' stares from other probation o f f i c e r s , I attempted to become 'acquainted' with as many of the court personnel as p r a c t i c a l as quickly as possible. I r e a l i z e d that they would s t a r t wondering about my presence and, learning that I was 'doing research', make the assump- tions and attend to my presence i n exactly the terms with which I had attempted to avoid. 4 9 'fact' that they may r o u t i n e l y engage i n enforcement methods which may dismay a naive outsider or become ammunition i n the hands of a ' l i b e r a l ' outsider are p o s s i b i l i t i e s which i t i s obviously i n t h e i r i n t e r e s t to attend. On the other hand, i t i s also possible that naivete and p o l i t i c s aside, i n a l l p r o b a b i l i t y he was oriented to as a s o c i a l worker or, at l e a s t , a representative of the ideology of 'treatment and r e h a b i l i t a t i o n ' as 'solutions' to the problem of narcotics addiction and d i s t r i b u t i o n , a perspective which systematically questions the u t i l i t y of the e x i s t i n g enforcement methods. As I have suggested, even i f such access is_ obtained, the status of the observed a c t i v i t i e s v i s - a - v i s 'normal' enforcement a c t i - v i t i e s i s problematic i n s o f a r as the 'attitudes' of law enforcement per- sonnel toward 'treatment' and i t s s p r a c t i t i o n e r s and the related f a c t that such actors may take i t that they are engaged i n a h e u r i s t i c exercise i n which they are to 'educate' t h e i r observers, display t h e i r competence, knowledgeability, compassion, etc. By entering the s e t t i n g under study as_ an 'ex-probation o f f i c e r ' and rather quickly 'becoming f r i e n d s ' with at l e a s t a few of the probation o f f i c e r s i n the court, I claim to have minimized the impact of ... the above factors on the a c t i v i t i e s I observed. I would l i k e to point to other features of my f i e l d experience which warrant my claim to have observed 'normal', routine, a c t i v i t i e s of probation o f f i c e r s . During early observations of probation o f f i c e r s , i n s p i t e of my strategy, PO's t y p i c a l l y oriented to my presence and i d e n t i t y i n the conven- t i o n a l terms which have been shown to characterize ' s o c i a l work' and 50 ' s o c i a l - s c i e n t i f i c ' research. Thus, for example, a probation o f f i c e r who had 'agreed to l e t me s i t i n ' seemed to be 'uncomfortable' i n the f i r s t ob- served interview with a probationer. During the interview he had glanced at me several times. F i n a l l y , he asked me i f there was anything that I would l i k e to 'ask' the probationer. I answered negatively and he dismissed the j u v e n i l e . After he had l e f t , the probation o f f i c e r asked me what I had thought of his methods, and whether or not I had any opinions about what the probationer's 'problem' was. In an attempt to put him at ease, I t o l d him that I had thought that he had done a good job during the interview and that the k i d seemed to 'respond' to him. Then, however, I informed him that I was not evaluating, or c r i t i c i z i n g h i s 'methods' or 'figuring out how the job could be done better ' but merely t r y i n g to see how probation o f f i - cers go about 'doing a very d i f f i c u l t , demanding and thankless job'. After i n i t i a l attempts on the part of observed probation o f f i c e r s to 'engage me i n dialogues about probation or t h e i r methods and p a r t i c u l a r cases, they seemed to lose i n t e r e s t i n me and my research because I did not a c t i v e l y enter into such discussions. If and when I was asked how things d i f f e r e d between probation here and i n my former court, I would attempt to minimize the l i k e l i h o o d of being seen as a researcher making ' c r i t i c a l comparisons' by vaguely r e f e r r i n g to the 'basic s i m i l a r i t y of a l l probation departments'. A feature of the o f f i c e s i n which most of the interviews took place which contributed to my a b i l i t y to ' f i t i n t o ' the research s e t t i n g i n an unobtrusive way was the presence of an 'extra' desk. A l l probation o f f i c e r s observed 'shared' t h e i r o f f i c e with at l e a s t one other probation o f f i c e r , 51 although they usually arranged t h e i r schedules so that they were i n f r e - quently i n the o f f i c e at the same time and never both engaged i n i n t e r a c - t i o n with probationers at the same time. F a i r l y often, however, a proba- t i o n o f f i c e r would be seated at h i s desk 'at work' while h i s office-mate interacted with a probationer or prospective probationer. Thus, the pre- sence of a t h i r d party during probation i n t e r a c t i o n was not 'unique' to the research s i t u a t i o n . As the researcher became well known i n the s e t t i n g , he was given r e l a t i v e l y free and open access to the o f f i c e s of probation o f f i c e r s and t h e i r f i l e s and records. He would be allowed to 'browse' through the f i l i n g cabinets i n some of the o f f i c e s , and to 'examine records', take notes, etc., at h i s l e i s u r e . As a r e s u l t of this f a c t , he was often 'at work' i n an o f f i c e when one of the probation o f f i c e r s would enter the o f f i c e with a j u v e n i l e , interview him, and leave, seemingly oblivious to the researcher's presence. These occasions provided materials which were then compared and checked against interviews during which the same pro- bation o f f i c e r had seemed more 'conscious' of the researcher's presence. Techniques and Sources of Data Much of the data upon which the following report i s based con- s i s t s of t r a n s c r i p t s of naturally-occurring i n t e r a c t i o n between probation o f f i c e r s and the various persons with whom they r o u t i n e l y i n t e r a c t . Much of what I say about 'probation' as an i n t e r a c t i o n a l accomplishment i s based upon my observations of such i n t e r a c t i o n s and recordings thereof. I believe that some remarks about my methods of d a t a - c o l l e c t i o n and r e l a t e d exper- 52 iences i n the s e t t i n g w i l l be useful both i n providing the reader with necessary ethnographic information about the s e t t i n g and to underpin my claim that the t r a n s c r i p t s , notes, etc., are equal to my uses of them i n the d i s s e r t a t i o n . In the above discussion, I have argued that I was able to gain access to r e l a t i v e l y 'undisturbed' and therefore routine 'probation i n t e r - a ction'. I would now l i k e to provide an account of my recording a c t i v i t i e s , beginning by pointing to the f a c t that the production of p r a c t i c a l l y - adequate 'records' of a c t i v i t i e s i n the s e t t i n g i s a n o n - t r i v i a l concern of 14 members of l e g a l settings i n general. Thus, such concerns were i n no way peculiar to the researcher and i t i s an i n t e r e s t i n g f a c t that my habit of always carrying a clipboard with me and 'fur i o u s l y w r i t i n g ' during my interactions with probation o f f i c e r s and while observing i n t e r a c t i o n s between probation o f f i c e r s and probationers and other j u v e n i l e s was never 'chal- lenged' by any of the p a r t i c i p a n t s . Occasionally, a probation o f f i c e r would 'jokingly' ask me about my 'writer's cramp' and I would reply, i n kind, that w r i t i n g 'kept me awake', 'forced me to pay attention', was pro- bably 'a symptom of an early psychological problem which has produced an anal-retentive mode of adjustment', etc. The f a c t that I was present dur- ing several hundred 'probation contacts' ranging from b r i e f phone c a l l s to 'interviews' which las t e d more than three hours enabled me to gather data upon aj wide v a r i e t y of ' a c t i v i t i e s ' engaged i n by various probation o f f i c e r s 14. For a useful discussion of records, record keeping, and the uses of records i n j u v e n i l e j u s t i c e bureaucracies, see Lemert (1969). 53 throughout the various stages of 'probation'. My i n i t i a l attempts at recording observed i n t e r a c t i o n s were greatly f a c i l i t a t e d by both my former experience as a probation o f f i c e r and recording s k i l l s developed as a s o c i a l work graduate student. My general f a m i l i a r i t y with the probation task and the p r a c t i c a l i t i e s of doing probation enabled me to r e l a t e the observed i n t e r a c t i o n to the general structure of court-processing. I was able to 'follow' cases through the court process from 'arrest' to ' d i s p o s i - t i o n ' , from ' o r i g i n a l appearance' through 'probation' to 'termination of probation', 'placement', etc. I was c a l l e d by probation o f f i c e r s when they were 'going out' on a case with which I had been involved as an observer. In this way I was able to get a sense of the 'flow' of a c t i v i t y , the prac- t i c a l i t i e s of caseload management, and the organizational context i n which probation work was accomplished. I was also able to observe and record the sequence of contacts between probation o f f i c e r s and j u v e n i l e s at v i r - t u a l l y a l l stages of processing. Recording s k i l l s developed as a s o c i a l work graduate student greatly f a c i l i t a t e d the c o l l e c t i o n and organization of data throughout my f i e l d experience. The s k i l l s enabled me to prepare almost verbatim trans- c r i p t s of many i n t e r a c t i o n a l exchanges which I witnessed. The s o c i a l work ' s k i l l s ' to which I r e f e r are scrupulously pursued through the method of 'process recording', a teaching procedure during which the novice s o c i a l worker i s required to prepare an a s - f u l l - a s - p o s s i b l e 'processual record' of selected interviews with ' c l i e n t s ' immediately following the i n t e r a c - t i o n . Such records are then inspected by the student and/or h i s supervisor i n order to locate and explicate the competent or incompetent use of tech- 54 niques, mistakes made , missed therapeutic opportunities, etc. The records are also seen to be useful insofar as they provide a more or les s ade- quate documentary record from which subsequent o r g a n i z a t i o n a l l y , or edu- c a t i o n a l l y required -reports' may be constructed. Purged of i t s f a i r l y straightforward 'therapeutic' o r i e n t a t i o n , t h i s preferred method of t r a i n - ing', s o c i a l workers i s of obvious value i n ethnographic research. As a s o c i a l work student, the formal 'goal', of the procedure was 'competent', 'professionally conscious' performance during i n t e r a c t i o n with c l i e n t s . A method f or 'recovering' relevant information about the student's p e r f o r - mance which he had f a i l e d to include i n his process recording' was the simultaneous tape recording of his interview which provided him and the supervisor with a yet-more-compl&e record of the i n t e r a c t i o n . Through 'practice' and/or ' d r i l l i n g ' himself by s t r i v i n g to achieve adequately f u l l and accurate recording s k i l l s and ,'testing' the r e s u l t s against the tape- recorded version of the i n t e r a c t i o n , the researcher became f a i r l y p r o f i - cient i n recording. Fortunately the 'professional' concerns which had shaped my ex- perience as a student i n s o c i a l work were, as might be expected, present i n the court bureaucracy now under study. Thus, many probation o f f i c e r s i n this s e t t i n g talked about and oriented to the i r i n t e r a c t i o n s with j u v e n i l e s as 'professionals-in-development' a perspective which was sanctioned by the administration both through constant verbal recommendation that the pro- bation o f f i c e r s 'seek to develop t h e i r professional s k i l l s ' and by the r e - warding PO's fo r , e.g., taking relevant classes at l o c a l education i n s t i t u - tions, engaging i n 'workshops', etc. I have already suggested that record 55 keeping was a sanctioned a c t i v i t y i n the s e t t i n g and that that f a c t pro- vided for the 'understanding' of my concern with recording i n t e r a c t i o n s by members of the s e t t i n g . My a b i l i t y to obtain s u b s t a n t i a l l y accurate records of some extended i n t e r a c t i o n a l exchanges between probation o f f i c e r s and probationers, other j u v e n i l e s , parents, etc., was f a c i l i t a t e d when two PO's began to tape-record t h e i r interviews with probationers and/or t h e i r parents 15 a f t e r obtaining permission. I was able, at the same time, to obtain the f u l l cooperation of two of the three 'regular' j u v e n i l e court judges i n constructing adequately accurate and f u l l records of the 'formal' courtroom i n t e r a c t i o n which I was allowed to observe. When one judge noticed how hard I was. working at my note-taking, he said that I should ' f e e l f r e e ' to ask the court recorder about 'things I may have not been able to write down' during court recesses and the short i n t e r v a l s between hearings. Thus, I was able to take, advantage, on occa- sion, of the ' o f f i c i a l record' which was being kept by the court recorder 16 and the tape recording which was ro u t i n e l y made of court business. Another source of information which I attempted to e x p l o i t as f u l l y as possible was the 'informal' i n t e r a c t i o n which I attempted to engage 15. The probation o f f i c e r s c a r e f u l l y recorded t h e i r request f o r permission to record, and guaranteed that the ' c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y ' of the interview would not be violated.. Their i n t e r e s t , they stated, was i n improving t h e i r a b i l i t y to work with people. They then allowed me to ' l i s t e n ' to the tapes, an opportunity which I took to 'check' my notes against a more compile record. 16. On one occasion the judge himself asked to have the tape played back 'during' a court session, because he hadn't been able to follow things during an extremely 'confusing' exchange between the C i t y Attorney and the j u v e n i l e involved. 56 i n with as many of the members of the court bureaucracy as possible. In additi o n to the information gathered during such i n t e r a c t i o n s , I beli e v e that such i n t e r a c t i o n served to a l l a y suspicions they may have had r e - garding my motives' f o r 'hanging around" and/or 'resentment' about my pre- sence i n the s e t t i n g . I believe that i f I had not engaged i n repeated and sustained e f f o r t s to put various persons i n the s e t t i n g 'at ease', I would i n a l l p r o b a b i l i t y have been forced to drop my research i n an early stage of the f i e l d work because "'complaints' would have been lodged about my 'snooping around' ( i . e . , my attempts at info r m a l i t y may have backfired i f 17 I had not been on the scene to maintain my c r e d i b i l i t y ) . 17. On one occasion, however, I decided that i t would be necessary to r i s k my 'access' to the court s e t t i n g . This occurred during the f i n a l days i n the f i e l d when I decided that the s i t u a t i o n warranted r i s k i n g whatever information I might be able to gain during the remaining two weeks I anticipated remaining i n the s e t t i n g . I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that the 'trouble' involved an administrator, i . e . , one of the persons with whom I had consciously avoided maintaining an on-going r e l a t i o n s h i p f o r the reasons discussed at length above. One of the probation o f f i c e r s informed me that, he had overheard the new assi s t a n t chief probation o f f i c e r (there had been a major adminis- t r a t i v e s h i f t when the CPO resigned, the as s i s t a n t CPO replaced him, and a person with whom I was only vaguely acquainted, moved i n as the new assistant) inform someone that I would not be allowed to attend a 's t a f f meeting'. I decided that I 'needed1 to attend the meeting inasmuch as I did not have s u f f i c i e n t data on such occasions. I hurried to the CPO's o f f i c e and informed him that I was nearly f i n i s h e d with my 'study', thanking him f o r allowing me to stay a f t e r he had assumed control of the probation bureaucracy. I then e x p l i c i t l y asked i f ' i t would be okay' f or me to attend the s t a f f meeting, a request he granted without apparent h e s i t a t i o n . As I entered the room i n which the meeting was to be held, I was approached by the as s i s t a n t . Before he spoke I stated that I 'hoped' that he didn't mind me being there f o r the meeting, that Mr. Armstrong had 'said that i t would be okay'. I stayed, and l a t e r thanked the probation o f f i c e r for the ' t i p ' . 57 F i n a l l y , I conducted more formal interviews with probation o f f i - cers and judges, some of which I tape recorded a f t e r obtaining t h e i r per- mission. I want to close this s ection by b r i e f l y describing one of these interviews, and my experiences both during the i n t e r a c t i o n as a p a r t i c i - pant and l a t e r , as an analyst l i s t e n i n g to the tape recording of the i n t e r - action. I suggest that the incident quite n i c e l y i l l u s t r a t e s many of the conceptual and ex p e r i e n t i a l complexities which I have been suggesting are intimately and i n e x t r i c a b l y faced by an ethnographer attempting to study probation: I had spent the better part of two hours with a probation o f f i c e r "waiting f o r " three probationers with whom he had sche- duled interviews. E a r l i e r i n the week, i n f a c t , he had approached me with enthusiasm, s t a t i n g that he 'thought that I would be interested 5' i n a couple of cases he had coming i n l a t e r i n the week. He claimed that they would be 'good m a t e r i a l r for my study. I did appear for the interviews both because the PO seemed to 'want' me to be present and because I thought that I would be able to 'see some probation-work'. The PO was v i s i b l y upset, p a r t i a l l y because he had gone out of his way to ensure my presence for something which was apparently not going to occur. F i n a l l y , he turned to me and suggested that 'at l e a s t ' I interview him so that the afternoon would not be a 'dead l o s s ' for me. I agreed, l a r g e l y because I thought that he might be hurt i f I did not go along with the suggestion. I was i l l - p r e p a r e d for an 'interview' but we were able to exchange remarks into the microphone for a few minutes when the phone rang. I forgot to turn the tape recorder off and as a r e s u l t , the f o l - lowing exchange (we have, of course, only one side of the con- versation on tape) became part of my data: PO: Brown. (pause) Oh h i Johnnie, I thought that you were going to be here by now. What happened? (pause) Yeah, as long as you c a l l me and have a good reason, but i t ' s too bad, I sort of wanted to talk to you today. (pause) Umhum. (pause) What picture were you thinking of? Oh, that's supposed to be good. But what does your Mum say? (pause) Okay, and who a l l would be going? Fine. Everything okay at school? ((at this point, the PO covered the phone with his hand and 'whispered' rather loudly: One down, two to 58 go.)) Okay, w e l l , I don't see any reason that you can't go to the movie as long as you're back by 12 sharp. You've been doing r e a l good, keep i t up, okay? (pause) And w i l l ya try to get i n here next week? Okay, see ya. Without comment, the probation o f f i c e r returned to our i n t e r - view about -probation'. Neither he nor I pointed to the phone contact which I had j u s t observed as 'probation' . Rather, we both attended to what might have happened had the three juven- i l e ' s 'shown' for th e i r scheduled'.'probation interviews as 'pro- bation' . I t was only months l a t e r , when I began to notice that phone c a l l s ' l i k e t h i s ' r o u t i n e l y occur are, i n f a c t , 'probation' par excellence, as I w i l l attempt to show i n t h i s dissertation.18 At the time of the 'interview' I did not think i t 'strage', how- ever, when the PO ended by 'apologizing' f o r 'not being able to ?do anything of i n t e r e s t today'. 18. See, e s p e c i a l l y , Chapter Four. 5 9 CHAPTER THREE BECOMING A PROBATIONER: THE LAYING DOWN OF TERMS Once a j u v e n i l e i s placed on probation, he frequently receives a 1 copy of a document referred to both as h i s > terms"•' or 'probation contract . Since the a c t i v i t y of probation i s , i n many important respects, shaped by thi s document, I intend to deal with the document and i t s J i n t e r a c t i o n a l uses at length. As we have seen, the l e g a l warrant for placing a j u v e n i l e on probation i s that he i s seen as being ' i n need of help and supervision and proper guidance'. Probation represents the family court's routine bur- eaucratic method of providing t h i s help, supervision and guidance. The ju v e n i l e i s instructed by both the probation o f f i c e r and the judge that he i s being released 'on probation', and that he i s to behave and cooperate with h i s parents or guardian and probation o f f i c e r . The following i s a rather t y p i c a l exchange between a judge who i s placing a j u v e n i l e on pro- bation and a :Vnews probationer: According to some probation o f f i c e r s , a l l probationers were supposed to be provided with terms. I t became apparent, however, that t h i s was not the case. Rather, whether or not a p a r t i c u l a r j u v e n i l e placed on probation did, i n f a c t , receive a set of terms "formally ( i . e . , typed out) depended on whether the PO had the time a v a i l a b l e to produce the document and whether the pre-court i n v e s t i g a t i o n had indicated to him that 'terms' would be necessary and/or useful 'given the facts of the case. For example, when I asked a probation o f f i c e r i f there was any reason that some probationers were given terms while others were not, he r e p l i e d : Oh, I don't know, i f we decide to get around to doing them. We're supposed to do them for every one of them of course. Some of them r e a l l y don't need them - you know - no re a l problem at home. 60 Judge: Ok John, we're going to l e t you go home now. But I want to know i f you've learned anything from a l l t h i s . ((PO nods to j u v e n i l e , i n d i c a t i n g that he should respond.)) Juv: Yeah. I shouldn't take things. Judge: Steal things. Juv: Yeah, I shouldn't s t e a l things. Judge: That's r i g h t . We don't want you coming back here. Mr. Smith (PO) i s going to help you keep out of trouble. He doesn't want to see you back here e i t h e r . I'm sure you don't want to come back, so you cooperate with him and your parents. Remember, we're a l l j u s t t r y i n g to keep you out of trouble, so give us a change. You made a mistake. I t was a serious mistake, a very serious one, but I don't think you're a t h i e f . Now i t ' s up to you to show me that I'm r i g h t about you. Ok John? Juv: Yeah'i Judge: Understand? Juv: Yeah. Judge: If you have any questions, ask Mr. Smith. Good luck. ((nods to PO who ushers mother and j u v e n i l e out of court room.)) I want to suggest, f i r s t of a l l , that t h i s r o u t i n i z e d , almost r i t - u a l i z e d exchange i s a c r i t i c a l stage i n the i n t e r a c t i o n a l process by which a j u v e n i l e becomes a 'probationer'. E x p l i c a t i n g some of the features of 'probation' as i t i s presented to the j u v e n i l e by the judge, as we s h a l l see, are c r i t i c a l for our analysis of l a t e r probation i n t e r a c t i o n . I suggest that t h i s exchange between the j u v e n i l e and the judge comes off quite ' e f f i c i e n t l y ' . There i s no sustained argumentation or discussion. Rather, a good deal of the exchange seems to be designed to accomplish and record the 'fact' that the j u v e n i l e 'understands' the present occasion i n a s p e c i a l way, a way which i s an e s s e n t i a l background for subsequent inference and act i o n . 61 What i s accomplished during t h i s exchange? F i r s t , and perhaps most s i g n i f i c a n t , the j u v e n i l e i s constrained to place 'on record' what the judge takes to be the proper understanding of h i s p r i o r behaviour as w e l l as the meaning of h i s release. Note how the judge forces the j u v e n i l e to describe his a c t i o n and the 'lesson' i n e x p l i c i t l e g a l terms: that he was 2 " s t e a l i n g " rather than merely "taking things". The judge then moves to a A B r i t i s h magistrate and l e g a l writer suggests that such an exchange and the associated i n t e r a c t i o n may have a ' s i g n i f i c a n t ' and 'long- l a s t i n g ' impact on a j u v e n i l e . I quote her at length: I t must be remembered that the appearance i n court and the c a r e f u l r e c i t a l of what happened, the d i s c u s s i o n with the par- ents and the complainant, and f i n a l l y with the c h i l d himself, a l l b u i l d up into an experience which w i l l become part of hi s l i f e . A c h i l d who comes into court with no f e e l i n g about having done something wrong, i n s p i t e of knowing that he has done i t , sometimes seems to acquire such a f e e l i n g during the proceedings, as i f the gap between h i s p r i v a t e view of l i f e and that held by society had suddenly diminished. Such a c h i l d recently charged with having picked up a number of boxes of pencils and taken them away from a locked ware- house into which he had climbed. After a f i n d i n g of guilifc he was c a l l e d up to the Bench and the following conversation took place: CHAIRMAN: What i s a person who takes things belonging to other people called? CHILD: ( s l i g h t l y s e l f - r i g h t e o u s l y ) : A t h i e f , s i r . CHAIRMAN: (a f t e r a pause): Is that what you are, then? CHILD: (after a long pause): No s i r . . . I j u s t wanted the p e n c i l s . . . ( f u r t h e r pause, followed by a v i s i b l e i n t e r n a l struggle and the beginning of tears...) Yes s i r ! Only the subsequent behaviour of the c h i l d w i l l show whether t h i s was anything more than the same i n t e l l e c t u a l perception with which he entered the court,or whether he had at that Continued . . . . 62 d e s c r i p t i o n of probation, one which c a l l s the juvenile's a t t e n t i o n to one of the formally recognized goals of probation and, therefore, the probation o f f i c e r : to keep the j u v e n i l e out of subsequent trouble . The juven- i l e i s i n s t r u c t e d to see h i s probation o f f i c e r and h i s status as a 'pro- bationer.' as help proffered by the court. The judge states that the goal i s one shared by a l l concerned, even the j u v e n i l e himself. The j u v e n i l e i s asked to 'cooperate' with the PO and his parents, who are merely attempt- ing to help him. The judge then provides the j u v e n i l e with a reason f o r cooperating by allud i n g to the p r o v i s i o n a l nature of the present d e c i s i o n , d i s p l a y i n g for the j u v e n i l e the f a c t that his action i s being treated for the present as Aa mistake' rather than an adequate i n d i c a t o r of h i s essen- t i a l moral character. Thus, for now, he w i l l be treated as a 'kid who made a mistake'. Subsequent i n f r a c t i o n s , or a lack of 'cooperation' may be taken to i n d i c a t e that such a categorization was i n error and provide the grounds 3 for dealing with the j u v e n i l e as a ' r e a l ' delinquent. 2. (Continued....) moment succeeded i n f i n a l l y accepting a l i t t l e b i t more of r e a l i t y for himself. In these cases the subsequent a t t i t u d e of the parents or, i f necessary, of a probation o f f i c e r to the offense i s probably the paramount fa c t o r i n consolidating or a r r e s t i n g any movement which may have been made (Cavenagh, 1967: 151-152, emphasis added). Note how probation may enable the court to monitor the subsequent be- haviour' as w e l l as providing the probation o f f i c e r with the mandate to a c t i v e l y seek to 'consolidate' any movement which may have been made, i . e . , i n the d i r e c t i o n of a 'proper understanding'. 3. As C a r l Werthman has argued, the l a b e l " j u v e n i l e delinquent" as i t i s used i n p r a c t i c e by the various adult a u t h o r i t i e s who apply i t i n the world, i s "ultimately a condemnation of moral character rather than a negative judgement about one or more s p e c i f i c deviant acts." (Werthman, p. 7). B r i e f l y , his argument i s that commission of deviant acts, i n and of i t s e l f i s i n s u f f i c i e n t to ensure treatment of a j u v e n i l e as e s s e n t i a l l y delinquent because such judgements are based upon knowledge Continued . . . . 63 The judge's d e s c r i p t i o n of 'probation' provides the j u v e n i l e with the materials with which he may construct a 'proper' understanding of the phenomenon of probation and his 'rol e ' as a probationer. Thus, the meaning of the present offense as well as future i n f r a c t i o n s w i l l be determined at l e a s t p a r t i a l l y by reference to the general performance of the j u v e n i l e as probationer. On the present occasion there i s no attempt by the judge to e x p l i c i t l y set out a set of 'rules' with which the probationer must comply. Rather, the probationer i s t o l d to show the judge that he i s not a thie f v i a h i s 'cooperation' with the probation o f f i c e r and parents. As we s h a l l see s h o r t l y , the probationer may be almost immediately confronted with an occasion upon which he i s constrained to 'cooperate', i . e . , he i s asked to sign a s p e c i f i c set of probation terms sho r t l y a f t e r h i s court appearance. I want to suggest that 'cooperation' i s not something which i s seen as beginning a f t e r court appearances. Whether the j u v e n i l e 'cooper- 3. (Continued...)of a person's fundamental a t t i t u d e towards authority, of which his behaviour i s merely an imperfect i n d i c a t o r . The gap between character and behaviour which may render t h e i r f i t imperfect presents o f f i c i a l s and laymen a l i k e with a p r a c t i c a l problem of inference i n any p a r t i c u l a r case where one must decide whether or not a youth i s r e a l l y , or e s s e n t i a l l y delinquent. The perceived ade- quacy of this inference may be seen to rest on the c r e d i b i l i t y of the lab e l e r ' s reading of the 'real meaning' of the behaviour: Simply to know that a boy i s frequently truant, f o r example, t e l l s us nothing about his general a t t i t u d e towards the laws against truancy. The truant may not be responsible for h i s behaviour; he may be s l i g h t l y r e b e l l i o u s ; or he may be a c t - ing i n a complete and w i l l f u l disregard.(Werthman, 1964: 9). The probation system functions to provide the j u v e n i l e court with perceivably adequate and credible 'readings' i n the form of 'probation reports'. 64 ates' i n pre-court interviews with the PO i s , as I have shown, treated as a c r i t i c a l f a ctor i n the dec i s i o n to 'go to court' or s e t t l e out of court. Note that i n the hearing the j u v e n i l e is_ cooperating insofar as he i s pro- v i d i n g expected, adequate answers to the judge's questions. E a r l i e r , the juv e n i l e had cooperated with the PO by admitting that he had committed the delinquent act and asking to be 'given a chance' on probation. When placed on probation e x p l i c i t reference i s frequently made to the 'fact' that the juve n i l e has 'cooperated', and to the 'fa c t ' that he 'seems to have made a mistake and i s ready to face up to i t ' . The juv e n i l e ' s cooperation enables the i n t e r a c t i o n to come o f f the way i t does. He picks up cues from both the PO and the judge. The PO, judge, andijuvenile 'team up' to get through the occasion i n an e f f i c i e n t , nonproblematic way. In the absence of t h i s s t y l e of cooperation, the i n t e r a c t i o n takes on a d i f f e r e n t character, although the tasks at hand may be handled j u s t as routinely and e f f i c i e n t l y . Here I am speaking of the j u v e n i l e placed on probation who has, i n one way or another, indicated to the Pro- bation O f f i c e r before the hearing that he questions or challenges the 'probation-as-help' conception of probation offered by the PO during early i n t e r a c t i o n s . That i s to say, juveniles who show that they see court i n t e r - vention as unwarranted and probation 'help, supervison and guidance' as an u n j u s t i f i e d v i o l a t i o n of the i r privacy and autonomy rather than as a r e - source for 'help' are t y p i c a l l y dealt with i n a s t y l e d i f f e r e n t than that outlined for 'cooperative' j u v e n i l e s . A p r a c t i c a l task for the PO i n such cases i s to prepare the j u v e n i l e for h i s appearance and then to a l e r t the 65 judge to the f a c t that the j u v e n i l e i s 'non-cooperative'. In such cases, the judge's remarks to the j u v e n i l e markedly d i f f e r from those made to most other j u v e n i l e s : The j u v e n i l e i n this case has 'admitted' that he committed the delinquent act ( s h o p l i f t i n g ) , but i n pre-court i n t e r a c t i o n said that i t "wasn't serious" and that the PO didn't have any business " t e l l i n g " him what he could or could not do. While the PO speaks to d i s p o s i t i o n , the j u v e n i l e 'slumps' at the table looking at the f l o o r . PO: I've discussed the offense with John and think h i s a t t i - tude leaves much to be desired. I'm recommending proba- t i o n i n t h i s case but think that he's going to have to change h i s e n t i r e a t t i t u d e i f i t ' s going to work. Judge: A l l r i g h t young man, what do you have to say for yourself? Juv: I don't see what the big/ Judge: You stand when you address the Court! So you don't see do you? Well that's f i n e . I'm going to put you on proba- t i o n j u s t because Mr. Brown (PO) wants to give you a chance to make i t work. He's w i l l i n g to take a chance on you. But i f you get into any trouble, i f you step out of l i n e - and Mr. Brown's going to keep me informed - you're coming back here so f a s t your head w i l l swim! Do you understand that? Juv: Yeah. Judge: You'd better straighten out! And I mean r i g h t now buster! Now get out of here and don't come back, i f you know what's good for you. ((closes f i l e and turns to PO)) Mr. Brown, you keep a close eye on him. If he steps out of l i n e I want to hear about i t ! Note how 'probation-as-help' has been de-emphasized i n this t a l k about probation. In i t s place i s a notion of probation as more or le s s straightforward surveilance. The j u v e n i l e i s being prepared for probation i n a way which d i f f e r s markedly from 'cooperative' j u v e n i l e s . I suggest that t h i s j u v e n i l e i s being provided with the resources with which to 'explain' 6 6 future f a i l u r e as a probationer. The PO i n e f f e c t , informs the judge and the j u v e n i l e , i n the above exchange, that ' f a i l u r e ' w i l l be the expect- able, understandable outcome of probation i f h i s a t t i t u d e does not undergo a s i g n i f i c a n t change. The judge's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of h i s 'reason' for granting probation i s that the PO asked f o r 'a chance 1. The probation o f f i c e r , even i n this case, therefore, i s presented as a person who con- vinced the judge to give the j u v e n i l e !a chance', a 'fact' which may be seen as encouraging the j u v e n i l e to change h i s a t t i t u d e about probation and the probation o f f i c e r . Note that the juvenile's a t t i t u d e i s attacked and the probable consequences of the a t t i t u d e are made a v a i l a b l e to him, but there i s no extended attempt to 'convince* him, to engage him i n a dialogue about 'why' h i s a t t i t u d e i s 'wrong' or the moral meaning of h i s offense. Rather, the primary thrust of the remarks focuses on the 'fact' that sub- sequent i n f r a c t i o n s or behaviour the PO deems reportable w i l l be immediately acted upon by the court. The r o l e of the PO i n transporting d i s c r e d i t i n g information to the judge i s stressed. Note how this contrasts with the benign d e s c r i p t i o n of probation offered to 'cooperative' j u v e n i l e s , although the differences are matters of emphasis rather than kind. The d i f f e r e n t elements of 'probation', i . e . , 'supervision and guidance', 'surveillance', 'help', etc., surface i n a l l probation i n t e r a c t i o n . For example, the im- p l i c i t o f f e r of help embedded i n the above d e s c r i p t i o n of probation may be activated by the probationer or the probation o f f i c e r during subsequent i n t e r a c t i o n . At any given point, s u r v e i l l a n c e and control may become issues , i n the i n t e r a c t i o n s between probation o f f i c e r s and 'cooperative' probation- ers. Quite obviously, 'cooperation' may be a strategy employed by the 67 j u v e n i l e to 'get through' a hearing. This i s a p o s s i b i l i t y to which the PO must attend, and may have to deal with during l a t e r i n t e r a c t i o n s . On other occasions, the probation o f f i c e r r a i s e s the issue of a s p e c i f i c term or set of terms i n court, t y p i c a l l y because the PO f e e l s that the j u v e n i l e 'needs' to be instructed by the judge. The PO i n t h i s case has asked that a g i r l who was before the court on a s h o p l i f t i n g charge be allowed to go home for three weeks.... PO: . . . i n order to try out l i v i n g at home and to t r y to get a job. This would be with your honour's understanding that she doesn't hang around down town around the (department s t o r e ) . This w i l l have to be one concession she makes. She knows t h i s . I've discussed i t with her thoroughly,, and her parents know this - i t ' s been discussed and I w i l l put i t down i n the rules that she must/ Judge: /that she must not come to ihendowntowncareai. by h e r s e l f . Are you w i l l i n g to try Shirley? ((Juv nods)) You can't l i v e by. s t e a l i n g and that's what th i s amounts to, even s h o p l i f t i n g . Find a job and conduct yourself properly and don't get into anymore trouble. You cooperate with Miss Smith (PO) and your parents, they're j u s t t r y i n g to help, OK? Juv: OK. Here the probation o f f i c e r assumed that 'hanging around downtown' was an a c t i v i t y causally re l a t e d to the offense, s h o p l i f t i n g at a downtown department store. Therefore, she informs the judge that she w i l l proscribe 4 the a c t i v i t y f o r the j u v e n i l e . She places 'on record' the f a c t that the 'rule' has been 'discussed' with both the j u v e n i l e and her parents. 4. When a PO speaks 'to the record' or places something 'on record' they t y p i c a l l y never expect to see the t r a n s c r i p t , for t r a n s c r i p t s of these hearings are almost never prepared. Rather, I see such t a c t i c s as i n t e r - a c t i o n a l devices intended to provide j u v e n i l e s with the sense that 'a record' of t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s , promises, agreements, etc., _is_ being kept. To the extent that t h i s i s accomplished, such 'promises', 'agreements', etc., may l a t e r be traded.upon by court personnel during probation i n t e r - actions . 68 The c o l l a b o r a t i v e utterance of the judge then displays to the j u v e n i l e the j u d i c i a l force behind the r u l e , the f a c t that the r u l e i s not j u s t a matter of i n t e r e s t to the probation o f f i c e r , but to the court. The r u l e as phrased by the judge d i f f e r s from the one l a t e r presented to the j u v e n i l e by the probation o f f i c e r . The judge stated that the j u v e n i l e was not to go downtown 'by h e r s e l f , while the r u l e presented by the PO stated that she 'must be accompanied by a parent'. The PO thought that the judge hadn't thought about the r u l e as she stated i t , insofar as the probationer could be i n compliance with the grammar of that p a r t i c u l a r r u l e " i f she and a f r i e n d went downtown to r i p a store o f f . I mean, she wouldn't be by h e r s e l f , would she?" The discrepancy was not pointed out to .the j u - v e n i l e i n the subsequent interview between PO, parents, and j u v e n i l e . Under the r u l e as formulated by the PO, note that the future inferences that the court may make about this behaviour as well as subsequent i n f r a c - tions may be bolstered by reference to the f a c t that she i s ' i n v i o l a t i o n ' of at l e a s t t h i s term of probation as w e l l . Any treatment of 'probation' as an i n t e r a c t i o n a l accomplishment must c a r e f u l l y examine such rule-use i n context. I w i l l s h o r t l y turn to an analysis of post-court interviews during which the 'terms of probation' are explicated. F i r s t , however, i t w i l l be necessary to describe the document around which such i n t e r a c t i o n revolves. The Terms The document "terms of probation" i s prepared by the PO and typed on court stationary which c i t e s the names of the judges, and the Chief Pro- 69 bation O f f i c e r as well as the address and phone number of the court. F o l - lowing i s a t y p i c a l example: May 12, 1974 TERMS OF PROBATION FOR JOHN SMITH PROBATIONER MUST ABIDE BY THE FOLLOWING TERMS: 1. Probationer must be of good behaviour at home, at school and i n the community. 2. Probationer must attend school r e g u l a r l y and must not be" truant or tardy. 3. CURFEW: Probationer must be off the st r e e t s and i n h i s home as follows: 10:00 yP.M. - week nights 11:30 P.M. - weekends (Friday and Saturday only) Probationer must respect t h i s curfew. There w i l l be no extension allowed on this curfew. 4. Probationer must report to h i s Probation O f f i c e r when requested. 5. Probationermmust not associate with Larry Brown, nor with any other known delinquents, a f t e r school or at any time. Probationer i s made aware that any v i o l a t i o n of the above Terms constitutes a Breach of Probation, and may r e s u l t i n h i s being brought back before the Court. I have read and f u l l y understand the above terms. Signed: John Smith Witness: R.S. Jones, Provation O f f i c e r Date: J.971 As we have seen, c h i l d r e n are placed on probation when the court formally determines that they are i n need of 'supervision and guidance'. 70 Probation has been e x p l i c i t l y designed by adult a u t h o r i t i e s to provide assistance to the adult ' s o c i a l i z a t i o n ' agents, i . e . , parents, teachers, etc. The document 'terms' of probation'represents the formal record of the proffered "supervision and guidance". A ju v e n i l e placed on probation i s faced with a set of 'rules' by which he i s instructed to l i v e i f he i s to get o f f probation. As we s h a l l see, the probationer i s encouraged to organize his behaviour, i . e . , to determine whether or not to engage i n a c t i v i t i e s , associate with s p e c i f i c i n d i v i d u a l s , etc., according to the terms. I t i s through probation i n t e r a c t i o n that he i s encouraged to employ the terms as a mechanism for s e l e c t i n g and r e j e c t i n g a c t i v i t i e s and asso- c i a t e s . I w i l l describe the various types of 'rules' which are t y p i c a l l y included i n the document. 1. General Behaviour Clause - this clause requires the j u v e n i l e to 'behave' at home, at school, and i n the community. Note that the r u l e i s not r e s t r i c t e d to the s p e c i f i c 'area" i n which the p r i o r behaviour occurred. The ju v e n i l e i s held generally account- able. Subsequent rules specify some of the c r i t i c a l a t t r i b u t e s of 'good behaviour' i n the three s e t t i n g s . 2. School Attendance Clause - regular and punctual attendance are required. Note that compliance with this r u l e i s documentable, i . e . , an adult authority i n the s e t t i n g may be contacted to con- f i r m reported performance. 3. Curfew - the probationer i s instructed that he must be 'off the str e e t and i n h i s home' by a s p e c i f i e d time. On th i s p a r t i c u l a r 71 set of terms, the PO has ordered that there w i l l be "no_ exten- sion allowed on this curfew." On other terms the PO may allow parents and/or the PO to grant extensions. In our subsequent analysis, we s h a l l examine the p r a c t i c a l consequences of such formulations. The mandatory character of the present document r e f l e c t s the fac t that the PO does not f e e l the parents capable of 'saying no' to th i s j u v e n i l e as well as his wish to not have to 'say no' to the kid 'every week'. What the curfew time s h a l l be i n any p a r t i c u l a r case depends upon the age of the probationer, the type of offense, and 'the family s i t u a t i o n ' . Thus, any older probationer i s t y p i c a l l y allowed to stay out l a t e r than a younger one, but the hour i s usually set e a r l i e r than what the PO takes to be the l o c a l norm f o r non-probationers. If the delinquency involved a c t i v i t i e s during the afternoon, the PO may require the j u v e n i l e to return home immediately a f t e r school every afternoon. The probationer may be required to spend h i s weekend afternoons i n some supervised s e t t i n g or with h i s parents. On the other hand, a j u v e n i l e who i s not seen to be 'a problem' i n these respects, may not receive a curfew. 4. Appointment - the probationer i s required to report when reques- ted. Frequently the PO s p e c i f i e s that the probationer i s to meet with him each week at a s p e c i f i e d time. Such a term i s usually accompanied by a procedure to follow i n case of ' i l l n e s s ' , etc., but the procedure t y p i c a l l y involves a phone contact. Thus, 72 under this clause, the probationer must engage i n face-to-face contact with the PO when the PO requests i t , a requirement which f a c i l i t a t e s adequate documentation of performance v i a routine i n t e r a c t i o n . 5. A s s o c i a t i o n Clause - the probationer i s frequently required to avoid 'association' with one or more juve n i l e s named i n the docu- ment as well as 'any known delinquent'. The j u v e n i l e s s p e c i f i e d are t y p i c a l l y those involved i n the present offense as well as, on occasion, juveniles whom the parents or others suggest are 'bad influences' on the probationer. 6 . Miscellaneous Clauses - other clauses may be included with or substituted for the above clauses. For example, i f the j u v e n i l e i s not attending school and the probation o f f i c e r and/or parents decide for one reason or another to not require attendance, the j u v e n i l e may be required to 'seek and maintain employment'. If the offense involved drugs or alcohol or i f the parents or pro- bation o f f i c e r think that there i s a 'drug problem', the proba- tioner may be instructed to 'not use any drugs or intoxicants other than those prescribed by a doctor'. If the j u v e n i l e ' s n i f f s glue' a rule may s p e c i f i c a l l y proscribe, that a c t i v i t y . A spe- c i f i c l o c a l e , i . e . , a park or clubhouse may be defined as o f f l i m i t s . The probation o f f i c e r may generate a d d i t i o n a l r u l e s , t h e o r e t i c a l l y at l e a s t , ad i n f i n i t u m , making them as ' s p e c i f i c ' or as 'vague' as he f e e l s necessary for the purposes of supervi- sion and guidance of a s p e c i f i c probationer. Juveniles, for ex- ample, received the following versions of the terms: 73 Probationer must respect h i s parents' d i s c i p l i n e , and must co- operate when asked to do any chores around the home. Probationer must report to h i s Probation O f f i c e r , at a time and place designated by Probation O f f i c e r WITHOUT FAIL. Probationer must complete the chores assigned by h i s parents. Probationer must eit h e r return to school or be working with Mr. Smith. Probationer must respect h i s mother's curfew. He must notvstay out overnight unless he has mother's permission. Probationer must attend school r e g u l a r l y , and i f probationer i s away from school because of i l l n e s s , he must produce a written explanation from hi s doctor explaining why he was absent. Probationer w i l l not associate with any known probationers or known troublemakers i n the community. Probationer MUST NOT go near the Starbuck Hotel situated at 100 S. Greenwood; t h i s area i s s t r i c t l y OUT OF BOUNDS for proba- tioner . Probationer must be home f o r meals on time and must not be l a t e unless he has permission from either h i s father or s i s t e r . Probationer must not stay out overnight unless he has permission from his father. Probationer must obey t h i s curfew unless granted an extension by his probation o f f i c e r . As mentioned above, some juve n i l e s do not receive terms, except for a suggestion that they 'keep t h e i r nose clean' for 'a few months', a f t e r which the PO states that he w i l l go back to court and have probation terminated. For one reason or another, the probation o f f i c e r f e e l s that these juveniles 'don't need' terms. For the others, terms are seen as the only ' f a i r ' way to operate. In s t i l l other cases, the terms may be seen as simply a mechanism for punitive scrutiny and c o n t r o l , e.g.,a probation o f f i c e r said of one j u v e n i l e who had insulted him during the pre-eourt interview: 74 I ' l l show that l i t t l e bastard. His terms'11 be so t i g h t he.'ll have to ask me before he takes a crap. In e f f e c t , such terms c a l l f o r a massive reorganization of the everyday l i f e of the probationer, a reorganization which has been designed by adults to keep the probationer out of trouble, while at the same time make ' i n f r a c t i o n s ' more v i s i b l e and accountable. It might appear that a probationer could avoid trouble ' e a s i l y ' by 'merely' following the r u l e s . For the j u v e n i l e on probation, however, the rules themselves transform the world i n which he exists into one which i s markedly more hazardous. What I mean by t h i s i s that heretofore 'unproblematic' or, at worst, mar- g i n a l l y acceptable behaviour has suddenly become sanctionable. Certain 'friends' must be avoided, school must be attended, hangouts avoided, parents, teachers and probation o f f i c e r s disobeyed only at r i s k , etc. Nights are to be spent home (weekends often included), unless arrangements made, permission granted, and companions and destinations discussed and approved. The terms are seen by probation o f f i c e r s on s p e c i f i c i n t e r a c - t i o n a l occasions as the tools by which the 'goals' of probation may be reached. They may be perceived by both probation o f f i c e r s and probationers as 'help' or as 'weapons' with which the probationer's everyday l i f e may be supervised and guided. They are, i n f a c t , resources which are a v a i l a b l e to both o f f i c e r s and j u v e n i l e s . In the pages which follow, we s h a l l examine the i n t e r a c t i o n a l occasions during which the j u v e n i l e becomes a probationer. I would l i k e to suggest that the process may be u s e f u l l y viewed as occasioned programming, or ' s o c i a l i z a t i o n 7 insofar as the PO i s consciously engaged i n 75 an attempt to provide the j u v e n i l e going on probation with an understand- ing of -probation" which w i l l be adequate for the p r a c t i c a l purposes of the PO. Inte r a c t i o n a l Laying Down of Terms I now intend to examine some of the techniques and str a t e g i e s whereby probation of f i c e r s , , deploying the terms, attempt to program j u v e n i l e s who have been placed on probation with understandings adequate for p r a c t i c a l purposes of the PO. The signing of the terms often takes place immediately a f t e r the court hearing, a f a c t which enables the PO to give the j u v e n i l e the impression that the hearing and signing of the terms are both parts of a sin g l e occasion. Valuable court time i s thus saved insofar as the time- consuming 'explanation' of p a r t i c u l a r s of probation does not have to be done i n court. At the same time, the formal-legal s t y l e of the PO's i n t e r - a c t i o n as well as s t r a t e g i c invocations of 'the judge' and 'the court' pro- vide the j u v e n i l e with the sense of being ' i n court'. . The judge has i n - structed the j u v e n i l e to 'cooperate' with the PO, who i s 'here to help you keep out of trouble'. During the ensuing i n t e r a c t i o n , the probation o f f i - cer attempts to adequately ' s p e l l out' the meaning of these terms as they r e l a t e to the document 'the terms'. I wish to consider a record of one such interview which i s rather t y p i c a l : A new probationer and his mother have entered the PO's o f f i c e . The j u v e n i l e has been found delinquent for a serie s of thefts he committed as the member of a j u v e n i l e gang. The PO smiles and waves the probation contract at the boy. 76 PO: Well here's the bad news. Now what we're going to do i s go over these and I ' l l read them out aloud. You stop me on any questions you have, but you've got to sign a l l three copies. Then af t e r that y o u ' l l witness i t Mr. Dar- rough, Okay? ((Juvenile and researcher both nod)) Juv: Okay. PO: So, ((reads i n a monotone)) "The probationer i s to behave at school, at home, and i n the community. Juv: Yeah, I know. The PO opens the i n t e r a c t i o n i n a 'cheerful' manner yet, at the same time, e x p l i c i t l y r e f e r s to the terms as 'bad news'. He then provides the j u v e n i l e and h i s mother with a d e s c r i p t i o n of what they are going to do and how i t w i l l be accomplished. The terms are to be 'gone over'. The PO w i l l 'read them out aloud' while the j u v e n i l e i s i n v i t e d to stop the reading for questions he might have. The j u v e n i l e i s thus constrained to speak only when asking questions, the relevance of which w i l l then be determined by the probation o f f i c e r . The PO i n t h i s way provides himself with a de- v i c e with which he may control the i n t e r a c t i o n . The PO then moves to undercut any notion the j u v e n i l e may have that 'to ask questions' means that the terms are open to negotiation, i . e . , that a possible 'answer' to a question would be a changed term. Instead, the probationer i s informed that a f t e r the reading, he must sign a l l three copies. The PO^then asks the r e - searcher to 'witness' the signing of the document, an ad-libbed device which both accounts for the extra person i n the rather small o f f i c e and trades on h i s presence i n the accomplishment of the business at hand, i . e . , to impress on the j u v e n i l e the formal-legal-consequential nature of the present occasion and the binding nature of the probation contract. He also 77 asks the researcher to 'witness.' the signing of the document, an unre- hearsed, ad-libbed strategy which both accounts for the researcher's pre- sence and trades on i t to heighten the juvenile's impression that the s i g n - 5 ing i s a binding act. PO: So, ((reading)) The Probationer i s to behave at school, atohome and i n the community. Juv: Yeah, I know. PO: No, to be p e r f e c t l y honest, that's a c a t c h - a l l . That gives me the power to in t e r p r e t what, uh you know - i f I don't consider what you're doing to be something that you should be doing - Like i f I were to be d r i v i n g by and see you doing something I don't think you should be doing, I could ((taps terms)) you understand? Juv: Yeah ( ( q u i e t l y , looking at f l o o r ) ) PO: Makes me the heavy. OK. ( ( a l l smile, j u v e n i l e laughs)) A f t e r s e t t i n g up the machinery with which he may attempt to d i r e c t ensuing i n t e r a c t i o n , the probation o f f i c e r s h i f t s h i s i n t e r a c t i o n a l s t y l e when he begins 'reading the terms', adopting the monotone which i s rou- t i n e l y employed i n much courtroom t a l k . The f i r s t term read i s the stan- dard admonishment to "behave at school, at home and i n the community". In responding to the f i r s t r u l e , the j u v e n i l e states that he 'knows'. This may appear to be a proper and adequate response, a s i g n a l to the PO that the j u v e n i l e does, i n f a c t , understand the r u l e and that, therefore, the PO may move on to the 'next' r u l e . Quite obviously, the PO does not treat the utterance i n this manner. I suggest that h i s response can t e l l us a good 5. This strategy misfired when, at the end of the interview the researcher 'witnessed' the document by signing on the l i n e marked 'witness', a l i n e which turned out to be , 'reserved' f o r the PO. 78 deal about probation as a p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t y . On t h i s occasion, the proba- tioner's utterance represents a rather elaborate d i s p l a y of what the PO would take to be at best a 'misunderstanding', and at worst the 'wrong a t t i t u d e ' . The PO's utterance may be seen as an attempt to 'repair' the defect. The j u v e n i l e , v i a his intonation, f a c i a l expression, etc., gave me the impression of being a n g r i l y impatient with the reading procedure, i . e . , that he thought i t was unnecessary. The PO then switches back into a 'personal' i n t e r a c t i o n a l s t y l e by dropping the l l e g a l i s t i c monotone, removing his glasses, leaning toward the j u v e n i l e and s t a r i n g into h i s eyes. The youth i s addressed i n a conver- s a t i o n a l mode rather than 'read about'. In t h i s way, the PO transforms the youth from subject into i n t e r l o c u t o r . The opening reference implies that the j u v e n i l e i s going to get the 'real story' on probation, that the PO i s going to ' l e v e l ' with him, i . e . , give him some 'inside' information which should be u s e f u l . He underpins t h i s p a r t i c u l a r reading of h i s remarks by informing the j u v e n i l e that the reading of the terms are 'news' a f t e r a l l insofar as i t i s only through the present i n t e r a c t i o n that an adequate, or 'proper' sense of t h e i r meaning may be obtained. By t h i s , I mean that the PO subtly reveals that i t i s the PO who w i l l decide whether any p a r t i - cular act of the j u v e n i l e ' s w i l l c onstitute a 'breach' of the terms. That i s to say, whatever the PO himself 'doesn't think the j u v e n i l e should be doing' w i l l be sanctionable. The p r a c t i c a l import of this for the j u v e n i l e i s that 'knowing' the grammar of the rules w i l l not t e l l him what probation 'means' under this 79 p a r t i c u l a r probation o f f i c e r . The utterance, therefore, points up the d i s - cretionary power which may be wielded by t h i s PO, a fact which constrains the j u v e n i l e to attend to the present occasion i f only as a means of determining how t h i s PO w i l l exercise the power, information which w i l l be useful i n dealing with the p r a c t i c a l problems of being on probation. The utterance also confronts the j u v e n i l e with what for him may be the p r a c t i c a l problem par excellence, the fact that probation means that at l e a s t f or the immediate future h i s everyday a c t i v i t i e s may be moni- tored, assessed, and become the basis of further action by the court. The remark displays the fact that h i s l i f e has been rendered public i n an impor- tant sense. What he may take to be private matters, i . e . , nobody's business but h i s or just between him and h i s parents may now become the business of the probation o f f i c e r . We s h a l l see that the PO may be faced with regu- l a r attempts by probationers to s h i e l d t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s from h i s scrutiny through the employment of a v a r i e t y of i n t e r a c t i o n a l s t r a t e g i e s . In the utterance, the PO's reference to seeing the j u v e n i l e doing something 'while d r i v i n g by' underscores the r i s k of detection involved in 'doing things' as a probationer. When the j u v e n i l e ' s subdued response informs the PO that the j u v e n i l e has, indeed, heard and i s t r e a t i n g the occasion s e r i o u s l y he then moves to undercut the solemnity which h i s remark has created v i a a double-edged i r o n i c reference to h i s ' r o l e ' i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p as being 1 the heavy'. I w i l l now turn to the way that the PO may f i l l i n a term as i t i s written i n a way which resembles h i s supplementary remarks which accom- 80 panied the reading of the general behaviour clause. The following i s a reading of a school clause: PO: Now "the probationer i s to attend school on a regular b a s i s . " And uh, the people at C i t y High seem to think, and I agree with them John, that you've got the where-withall, i f you apply i t . And i f I get reports that you aren't applying i t you're going to t a l k to me. ((Juvenile chuckles, PO smiles)) OK, or at l e a s t t r y i n g . The general behaviour clause required good behaviour 'in school' but did not mention school attendance. The school clause informs him that he must attend school 'on a regular b a s i s ' . The meaning of 'regular atten- dance' often becomes an issue in these interviews, but not on t h i s occa- sion. Rather, I suggest that the PO concentrates on the achievement of an adequate for p r a c t i c a l purposes at hand understanding of the school clause with t h i s p a r t i c u l a r j u v e n i l e . Thus, regular attendance i s not viewed as the topic to be addressed, rather the^probation-relevant meaning of school attendance and performance i s addressed. Let me examine the u t t e r - ance i n d e t a i l . The PO follows the grammar of the rule with a reference to the fact that the 'school people' think that the probationer has the where-with- a l l ' to perform adequately i n school. I would l i k e to discuss the introduc- t i o n of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r piece of information at t h i s point i n the 'reading of the terms' and the way in which i t i s introduced. What does i t accom- plish? F i r s t , I would l i k e to suggest that, on the surface, i t i s a 'com- plimentary remark, i t says something 'nice' about the j u v e n i l e which may undercut the probationer's view of him as 'the heavy'. Second, the PO i s a r t f u l l y and i n d i r e c t l y informing the j u v e n i l e that PO's get information about probationers from school a u t h o r i t i e s . This was information about 81 competence, but the probationer could assume that other kinds of information, i . e . , probation-relevant information on 'trouble i n school', 'truancy', 'delinquent behaviour', etc., may r o u t i n e l y be passed from school to pro- bation a u t h o r i t i e s . Thus, the rule requires regular attendance and the r e - mark by the probation o f f i c e r i n s t r u c t s the probationer that the school w i l l serve as a p o t e n t i a l source of information about h i s 'good' or 'bad' performance. Then notice how the probation o f f i c e r ' s reference to 'reports' e x p l i c i t l y underscores the f a c t that performance information w i l l be c o l l e c t e d and the probation-relevant concern of the PO w i l l not be s t r i c t l y whether the probationer i s misbehaving, acting up, etc. , but whether he i s 'applying h i m s e l f . So the regular attendance' rule i s quite subtly ex- panded here and the j u v e n i l e i s instructed that compliance as interpreted here and now by t h i s PO e n t a i l s 'applying h i s where-with-all', or at l e a s t ' t r y i n g ' . What i s intended by these terms i s not pursued, but the probationer i s encouraged to see them as related to subsequent probation i n t e r a c t i o n and decision-making. Grades, teachers' a t t i t u d e s , school deportment, etc., are rendered probation-relevant i n t e r a c t i o n a l resources a v a i l a b l e to the PO. We w i l l l a t e r see how they are used i n subsequent probation-work. Probation o f f i c e r s and probationers frequently see the curfew as a very important issue i n the formulation and reading of the terms and, therefore, a good deal of i n t e r a c t i o n i s frequently devoted to the f i x i n g of a p a r t i c u l a r hour and the conditions, i f any, under which the curfew may be 'extended'. Chapter Five w i l l deal with the importance of the curfew to subsequent i n t e r a c t i o n s . At present I w i l l merely present and b r i e f l y discuss a reading of the curfew: 82 PO: "The probationer i s to be o f f the streets and i n h i s home by 9 p.m. each night of the week unless accompanied by a member of the family." Now uh, we discussed t h i s and your mom and I f e l t that rather than c a l l me each time you wan- ted to go to a show or something - i n order to protect yourself - that i f you were with a member of your family such as your brother or somebody, you wouldn't be breaking the terms of your probation. F a i r enough? Juv: F a i r . Uh, as f a r as t h i s weekend goes me and Joe (brother) were sort of planning on going up to the mountains and rent- ing a cabin. PO: You're s t i l l within the terms as I see them. You can be out i f you're accompanied by a member of your family. But I want to make t h i s very c l e a r , I won't buy t h i s on the basis of every evening. Seven days a week. I would consider that a straight abuse of uh, you know, a way of getting around the curfew. And then number one would come back i n force. I want to provide some background information on t h i s case i n order to demonstrate the i n t r i c a c i e s which may be involved i n formulating and invoking a s p e c i f i c term which i s seen to mesh with the contingencies of a p a r t i c u l a r case. This probationer was before the court on an extremely long l i s t 6 of B & E's which he had committed with a group of fr i e n d s . He had been the f i r s t one to be picked up and had provided the p o l i c e with information which led to the apprehension of the others. The association clause was going to proscribe those j u v e n i l e s , but the mother expressed concern that the probationer wouldn't have any friends l e f t with whom to associate and that, furthermore, she was a f r a i d that they would f i n d out that the proba- tioner had been the one who informed the p o l i c e and attempt to punish him. At the same time, the probationer's brother was several years older than 6 . Breaking and entering. 83 the youth, seen as a good influence' by the mother and was apparently anxious to help h i s younger brother. How i s the curfew formulated to meet the p r a c t i c a l contingencies j u s t outlined? The youth's curfew i s designed so that the only way that he can stay out i s by being in the company of h i s brother. This was assumed to be adequate to ensure that they would spend a good deal of time together during which, e.g., the mother would not have to worry because her son was with the 'good influence' who could, i n the u n l i k e l y event of attack, protect h i s brother. A concern expressed by the PO to the researcher a f t e r the family had l e f t was that the brother could keep the mother " o f f my back". In presenting the plan to the proba- tione r , the PO contrasts i t with an a l t e r n a t i v e model which i s often em- ployed f o r curfew extension, i . e . , that the probationer be required to c a l l every time he wishes to stay out past the curfew. Thus, the PO i n - st r u c t s the j u v e n i l e that the 'choice' i s between those two a l t e r n a t i v e s , not between the present formulation of the clause and no curfew. Note, also that the PO would have access to reports from the ' h e l p f u l ' brother of the probationer. The PO takes action to show the probationer that as a pro- bationer s p e c i a l permission must be obtained for extending the curfew without a member of the family and that the procedure for getting permis- sion involves personal contact, even i f by phone, with the PO. The j u v e n i l e then asks i f going to the mountains with h i s brother for a weekend would constitute a breach of the term. The PO states that i t would not, but goes on to say that the occasion would have s p e c i a l ' status insofar as i t could not be done r o u t i n e l y , that to do i t every day would c o n s t i - tute an abuse and be a breachable a c t i v i t y under clause one. This i s merely 84 one i n d i c a t i o n that 'mechanical' observance of the ' l e t t e r ' of the term i s not viewed as 'proper 1 behaviour for a probationer. Rather, the habit of 7 compliance and obediance, or cooperation i s viewed as the i d e a l goal. The ju v e n i l e ' s 't e s t i n g ' continues: Juv: You know, he got me a telescope you know, and l a s t night I just wanted to go to the back yard at about ten and j u s t , you know/ PO: /Well, " o f f the s t r e e t s " . Your back yard i s s t i l l i n your home. Juv: Well she ((i n d i c a t e s mother)) says i t ' s not. PO: I'm not that hard to get along with. But i t ' s better to bring em up and get em c l a r i f i e d . So that there's no mis- understandings. So i f you blow i t , you blew i t with an open mind. OK? Juv: Yeah ((nods)) The j u v e n i l e introduces a new type of a c t i v i t y , asking i f i t would be a breach of the term to 'use a new telescope (just given to him by the good-influence-brother) a f t e r curfew'. The candidate f o r a breach combines a 'p o s i t i v e ' behaviour with a proscribed hour and locates i t , as the PO suggests " o f f the s t r e e t " . The PO says that the behaviour would not be sanctioned. The j u v e n i l e then reveals that he i s not discussing the matter for the f i r s t time, but that h i s mother has already informed him that he could not engage in the a c t i v i t y . The PO does not 'pick up' on a topic which pervades a great deal of probation i n t e r a c t i o n , i . e . , who makes the f i n a l d e c i s i o n , parents or PO's? We s h a l l see i n the next chapter that 7. For another example: A female probationer was severely reprimanded f o r 'complying' with her curfew i n the following way: she l i v e d i n a 'group home1 and would return each night at exactly the prescribed minute of the curfew. She would go to her room without saying a word to the house parents and then would leave the house before anyone else had gotten up. 85 probationers frequently seek to avoid the terms by playing the authority of parents and PO's o f f against one another. On the present occasion, the ju v e n i l e merely shows h i s mother that the terms can be used to defend some a c t i v i t i e s as well asproscribe others. Instead of deciding that p a r t i c u l a r issue, the PO switches to once again providing the new probationer with i n s t r u c t i o n s on how he should be reading the present i n t e r a c t i o n , i . e . , that he should be c l e a r i n g up any 'misunderstandings' he may have of the terms. He also l i n k s the p o s s i b i l i t y of 'misunderstandings' and 'blowing i t ' , suggesting that proper attention to present i n t e r a c t i o n w i l l provide the probationer with the means by which he may, i f he chooses, avoid 'blowing i t ' . The utterance stresses the choice involved i n the probationer's behaviour as well as the fact that present i n t e r a c t i o n i s undercutting possible l a t e r claims by the j u v e n i l e that he didn't understand 1. During the reading of the association clause which deals with the group of juve n i l e s involved i n the t h e f t s : PO: Number f i v e i s that "the probationer i s not to associate with any former members of the group who formed a club which had i t s quarters i n the garage at the rear of the pro- bationer's home". It i s understood that the club has since disbanded but the association clause s t i l l applies to each and every boy/ Juv: /What about g i r l s ? PO: Don't s p l i t h a i r s with me. ((Juv laughs)) Well, i t says member of the club. Juv: OK. PO: The group who banded together i n your club. Now I have a l i s t of them. And i f you've got any doubts, phone me and t a l k i t over. OK? 86 Juv: A l l r i g h t . PO: I f you're r e a l l y interested i n making t h i s work out. Juv: A l l r i g h t . PO: You know, I don't know how to put i t . If you see a doubt you shouldn't do i t . The j u v e n i l e here c a l l s a t t e n t i o n to the fact that there are d i f - 8 ferent ways of reading a term, i . e . , are g i r l s members of the club? 9 What exactly constitutes 'association 1? The probation rules such questions out of order and suggests that the terms are adequately c l e a r f or the prac- t i c a l purposes of the j u v e n i l e , but provides the j u v e n i l e with two 'methods' by which the terms can be employed i n 'proper' decision making as a proba- ti o n e r . They may be stated as two maxims: 1) " C a l l me, i f you have any doubts, and through discussion I w i l l help you decide whether any p a r t i c u l a r act, plan, etc., f a l l s within the terms." 2) " I f you have any 'doubts' re- garding an a c t i v i t y , plan, e t c . , don't do i t . " Thus, the 'cooperative' probationer moves through the world employing the terms and h i s own 'doubts' as resources with which to decide on courses of action. Further, he t a l k s 8. G i r l s were not seen to be bona fi d e 'members' of the club by the boys but were so treated by the probation during t h i s i n t e r a c t i o n . This seemed to be a t t r i b u t a b l e to the fact that he took the j u v e n i l e ' s question as an attempt to 'test' the probation regimen. 9. The 'meaning' of association i s t y p i c a l l y open to negotiation i n s o f a r as the form i t takes on the document and i n the i n t e r a c t i o n s varies according to the contingencies of p a r t i c u l a r contingencies and s i t u a t i o n s . The 'fact' that ' t h i s k i d just won't l i s t e n and manipulates everybody and everything' was invoked to warrant the following a t y p i c a l associa- t i o n clause: The probationer w i l l i n no way associate with Peter Parker. This includes phone contact, w r i t i n g , or any other kind what- soever. 87 over such matters with h i s probation o f f i c e r . This 'model' of the i d e a l probationer i s invoked frequently and s t r a t e g i c a l l y throughout much proba- t i o n i n t e r a c t i o n . Probationers are ro u t i n e l y directed to measure t h e i r own performance i n such terms. 'Doubts' are c a r e f u l l y addressed, worked with, nurtured. A lack of 'doubts' becomes reportable, a target f o r discussion and acti o n , an in d i c a t o r of defective a t t i t u d e , etc. Returning to the 'reading of the terms', the j u v e n i l e , having just been i n v i t e d to 'discuss' apparent r u l e ambiguities and doubts, takes the present occasion as an opportunity to seek c l a r i f i c a t i o n , introduces a question regarding a 'f r i e n d ' who formally comes under the association clause: Juv: Well. Just sort of to s p l i t h a i r s or something, I guess. You know Steve: he's never been i n trouble before you know. He wouldn't/ PO: No, for the time being you're not to associate with anybody from that group of friend s . In other words, I want you to • stay away from them. I mean we have uh, I know, guys with- out a record. But he knew what was going on.' And mistaking the law - t h i s i s just expediency. You know, t h i s i s l i k e saying w e l l , I knew they were - you know, I wasn't involved i n the robbery I was standing outside. You know. It's the same thing. I didn't go s t e a l the s t u f f but I knew they were s t e a l i n g i t . And ignorance i s uh, you can't use i t as a defense. The judge won't buy i t . And i f the judge won't buy i t I can't buy i t . F a i r enough? Juv: ((nods)) The j u v e n i l e i s suggesting that the association clause should be interpreted to allow association with one of the ju v e n i l e s who i s formally included among the proscribed f r i e n d s . The basis of the claim i s that the ju v e n i l e 'has never been i n trouble before'. The PO's response i s once 88 again geared into the a c t i v i t y of providing t h i s j u v e n i l e with a 'proper' understanding of the p r a c t i c a l implications of being a probationer. The PO opened h i s utterance by f i r m l y r u l i n g out the suggested i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and then explains the grounds upon which the p r o s c r i p t i o n i s based. The explanation may be seen to have general relevance for the l i s t e n i n g probationer who i s seeking understanding of probation adequate for h i s p r a c t i c a l purposes. The PO portrays Steve, the f r i e n d , i n terms which undercut the 'innocent' d e s c r i p t i o n provided by the probationer. The boy who "has never been i n trouble before" becomes a j u v e n i l e who 'hasn't been caught', but was involved i n the delinquencies insofar as he knew 'what was going on'. The PO i s trading on the notion of 'innocence' introduced into the exchange by the probationer to d i s p l a y the probation- relevant c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of Steve which warrants h i s i n c l u s i o n i n the association clause. Note that what the PO i s saying about Steve i s av a i l a b l e to the probationer qua probationer. In other words, the PO i s t a l k i n g about the accounta b i l i t y of j u v e n i l e s , suggesting that the common- sense notion of 'innocence' i s defective i n the probation context. The probation o f f i c e r trades on 'the judge' and the notion of 'how the judge looks at things' f o r the accomplishment of purposes-at-hand i n the i n t e r - view. For probation o f f i c e r s , an important part of 'becoming' a probationer i s l e a r n i n g to think of the possible l e g a l import of any action before engaging i n i t . They also frequently ask ju v e n i l e s how they would view t h e i r behaviour i f they were the judge, or have one j u v e n i l e 'judge' the behaviour of another. The PO here b o l s t e r s h i s p r i o r c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of how the 'good' probationer chooses h i s actions, e.g., when in doubt, don't do i t . 89 This t a c t i c a lso encourages the j u v e n i l e to view j u d i c i a l dispo- s i t i o n s as natural r e s u l t s of h i s behaviour. At the same time, he i s constrained to attend to the 'probation relevance' of h i s past, present and future a c t i v i t i e s . Developing t h i s 'sense' i s viewed as an overriding goal of much probation i n t e r a c t i o n by the probation o f f i c e r . One probation o f f i c e r characterized the 'task' i n the following way: F i r s t , they (probationers) can't make the connections between what they did as being why they're on probation. They don't worry about the consequences i f they get caught, but then when they do_ get caught then t h e y ' l l go out of t h e i r way to forget why they were on probation and what getting into more trouble means. Some of 'em are dumb but a l o t of 'em ju s t play dumb. A b i g part of t h i s job i s reminding them why i t i s that they're on probation. Then, the other thing i s that t h e y ' l l go out and f o o l around, breach probation, or p u l l some B & E's, get caught again and then come i n , a l l wide-eyed and t e a r f u l and say that they didn't even think about getting caught when they did i t . They didn't think about the consequences. Consequences, that's what we're interested i n . We have to make these kids see the connection between t h e i r act and the consequences. During the reading of the terms and l a t e r probation i n t e r a c t i o n we may see the occasioned, systematic and rou t i n i z e d 'reminding' of juve n i l e s on probation, the d i s p l a y of 'the l i n k ' between act of planned act and con- sequence, and the invocation of the l e g a l or probation relevance of proba- t i o n e r s ' a c t i v i t i e s . Such, I have argued, i s the machinery with which the PO i n s t r u c t s the j u v e n i l e qua probationer to deal with h i s everyday l i f e . The PO then concludes the reading of the terms: PO: Now. You're to report - er "The probationer i s aware that he i s to report to h i s probation o f f i c e r at the court b u i l d i n g (address) between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m. each Friday." If i t comes up that you're not, you can't make i t , phone and you can leave a message and I w i l l c a l l your home you know - eit h e r the same day or the next day. I f something comes up that you, up that you can't make i t , the onus i s on you to l e t me know. Not your mom. Not your brother, you. OK? 9 0 Juv: Right. PO: "The probationer i s made aware that any breach of the above terms w i l l c o n s t i t u t e unsatisfactory probation and may re- s u l t i n your return to the court. And i s also advised that none of the foregoing terms may be al t e r e d without the ex- press permission of h i s probation o f f i c e r . The terms of t h i s probation are for an i n d e f i n i t e period." Now - as I think I said the other day, i f you cooperate, and go along, and work on t h i s and the reports I get from school and other places are s a t i s f a c t o r y , and you play b a l l with me, within s i x months I ' l l make ap p l i c a t i o n to court to have you released from pro- bation. But i t ' s going to be e n t i r e l y up to you. OK? Any questions. Juv: No. The PO o f f e r s the j u v e n i l e a method by which he may 'cooperate' i n the event that he i s unable to comply with the reporting requirement. Note, however, that he i s informed that h i s phone c a l l w i l l be followed by a c a l l to h i s home, a consequence which he may not desire. Thus, the j u v e n i l e i s provided with a technique f o r excusing himself which would tend to l i m i t i t s own u t i l i t y . Compliance with the rule or the c a l l requirement put the j u v e n i l e into accountable and reportable contact with the PO. The PO then sums up the reading with h i s remarks on the breaching mechanism of the document. Note how he sums up the preferred method by which the j u v e n i l e may ensure unproblematic termination of h i s period on pro- bation. The j u v e n i l e i s to 'cooperate and go along' and, furthermore, the 'reports' must be s a t i s f a c t o r y . The j u v e n i l e i s constrained to 'play b a l l ' with the PO and, at the same time, to attend to the fact that h i s behaviour i s being recorded and remarked upon and that such reporting w i l l become the grounds upon which subsequent p o s i t i v e or negative inferences and actions w i l l be based. 91 At the beginning of the occasion just discussed, the j u v e n i l e seemed i n d i f f e r e n t or d i s i n t e r e s t e d even mildly annoyed'. The PO a r t - f u l l y e l i c i t e d h i s i n t e r e s t by d i s p l a y i n g the pay-off for l i s t e n i n g . On many occasions the j u v e n i l e i s angry , h o s t i l e , or s u l l e n . PO's t y p i - c a l l y employ d i f f e r e n t i n t e r a c t i o n a l s trategies during i n i t i a l interviews with such j u v e n i l e s . A t y p i c a l exchange: During t h i s interview, there i s no parent present and the youth has been 'glaring' s i l e n t l y at the wall during the PO's i n i t i a l remarks which were almost i d e n t i c a l to the ones i n the previous t r a n s c r i p t . The PO i s reading the terms: PO: The probationer w i l l not associate with E r i k Monsen, Alex Bryner or Larry Kennedy. Juv: What do you mean? Larry didn't have nothing to / do ... PO: /I just t o l d you you're here to l i s t e n ! That's one of your problems, you don't l i s t e n ! Always shooting o f f that mouth of yours. ((reads 'emphatically')) The probationer w i l l not associate with E r i k Monsen, Alex Bryner, or Larry Kennedy. ((The PO continues h i s reading of the terms. The j u v e n i l e does not speak but stares at the f l o o r u n t i l asked to sign, signs, and leaves.)) Rather than d i s p l a y i n g the payoff f o r l i s t e n i n g and p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the reading of the terms on t h i s occasion, the PO chooses to address the ju v e n i l e ' s defective performance i n a more d i r e c t way, a way which furthers hi s goals both within t h i s p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r a c t i o n a l occasion and f o r l a t e r probation work. The juvenile's utterance may be seen as an attempt to question the 'fai r n e s s ' , or even l o g i c of a p a r t i c u l a r r u l e . 'Questioning a r u l e ' i s one method by which a j u v e n i l e may seek to l i m i t the impact of probationary control on h i s everyday a c t i v i t i e s . In t h i s case the associa- 92 t i o n clause i s challenged. The PO i s reading the ru l e which i s intended to make asso c i a t i o n with s p e c i f i e d youths a sanctionable a c t i v i t y . Two of the juve n i l e s named in the clause were arrested with the j u v e n i l e . The 'probation relevance' of the p r o s c r i p t i o n of association with them goes unchallenged. Rather, the probationer i s attempting to invoke a ' s t r i c t construction' of probation, suggesting that probation rules should only a f f e c t features of h i s a c t i v i t i e s d i r e c t l y and obviously related to h i s delinquent action. The asso c i a t i o n clause had been drafted to i n - clude the j u v e n i l e i n question because the probationer's mother had t o l d the PO that the f r i e n d was a 'very bad influence' on her son. The PO could have attempted to 'explain' the rule i n these terms, a common p r a c t i c e of PO's while l a y i n g down the terms. But rather than attempting to accom- p l i s h the legitimacy of fa i r n e s s of the term by disp l a y i n g i t s grounds, the probation o f f i c e r trades upon the j u v e n i l e ' s attack i t s e l f to di s p l a y f o r the j u v e n i l e the inadequacy of h i s on-going performance as a probationer. He does t h i s by cu t t i n g o f f the youth's remark mid-sentence and launching into a 'lecture' about the j u v e n i l e ' s v i o l a t i o n of the r u l e which he had layed down to govern the present i n t e r a c t i o n . In t h i s way the PO quite powerfully accomplishes while d i s p l a y i n g f o r the j u v e n i l e a basic feature of probation i n t e r a c t i o n : the fact that i t i s 'owned' by the PO and that he may move to cont r o l i t at any point. I say that t h i s i s at the same time accomplishment and dis p l a y i n s o f a r as i t i s through such situated con- frontations that r e c a l c i t r a n t j u v e n i l e s are provided with a sense of the adequacy or inadequacy of t h e i r probation performance. 93 Via the strategy the focus of the i n t e r a c t i o n i s s h i f t e d from the vague pro s c r i p t i o n s of the terms, the relevance of which may be unclear or questionable, to the immediate, on-going, face-to-face i n t e r a c t i o n . That the j u v e n i l e w i l l get into trouble under the terms i s something which i s unavailable to the interactants, whereas, that the j u v e n i l e ±s_ i n trouble here and now because h i s present behaviour v i o l a t e d a 'rule' which the PO has just l a i d down i s a v a i l a b l e . The accountability of the probationer's behaviour i s underscored. Just as the juvenile i n the ear- l i e r t r a n s c r i p t learned that he would be accountable to 'his' probation o f f i c e r , t h i s probationer i s d i r e c t l y confronted with the fact that h i s pre- sent behaviour i s being s c r u t i n i z e d , evaluated, and found inadequate. Note that the PO both controls the ju v e n i l e ' s attempt to negotiate within t h i s occasion and suggests that the attempt i t s e l f i s symptomatic of 'his problem'. Henceforth, 'mouthing o f f can be treated as a topic relevant f o r subse- quent action and inference on the part of the probation o f f i c e r both during t h i s interview and during l a t e r i n t e r a c t i o n and reports. That t h i s i s a 'problem' makes i t something which i s warrantably the topic and target of probation 'supervision and guidance'. Note that there i s no e x p l i c i t probation rule which i n s t r u c t s the probationer to l i s t e n rather than t a l k when i n t e r a c t i n g with the pro- bation o f f i c e r . Rather, the PO suggests that f o r at l e a s t t h i s moment, that r u l e i s operative and that the probationer i s to organize h i s i n t e r - action accordingly. As we s h a l l see, probation o f f i c e r s a c t u a l l y take i t that probationers should both speak and l i s t e n , but that t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n s with PO's should be governed by the l a t t e r ' s p r a c t i c a l and/or professional 94 concerns. Probationers who 'don't t a l k ' on p a r t i c u l a r occasions w i l l be shown to be at l e a s t as problematic as probationer's who ' i n t e r f e r e ' with the PO's conception of how the i n t e r a c t i o n should unfold. We have seen that PO's orient to j u v e n i l e s ' utterances as i n d i - cations of 'understanding', 'misunderstanding', ' h o s t i l i t y ' , 'cooperation', etc., and that such readings may then be traded upon i n the accomplishment of -understandings and/or employed i n reporting upon and working with the j u v e n i l e during l a t e r court-related a c t i v i t i e s . It i s l a r g e l y v i a such readings that the PO i s subsequently able to suggest to the judge that he 'knows' the probation-relevant meaning of a probationer's behaviour. On one occasion, f o r example, a f t e r an i n i t i a l encounter with a ' h o s t i l e ' youth, a PO wrote the following note which he then clipped into the f i l e , thus making i t an a v a i l a b l e resource for subsequent use i n i n t e r p r e t i v e characterizations of the youth's performance as a p r o b a t i o n e r : ((This PO had been instructed to 'shut up and l i s t e n ' . The j u v e n i l e had responded with "Fuck o f f ! " The PO i n t h i s instance had not pursued the matter but f i n i s h e d the reading. A f t e r the j u v e n i l e had signed and l e f t , the PO remarked to the researcher that he was "wasting my time" with t h i s p a r t i c u l a r j u v e n i l e . ) ) The note: BOB HARGER - b i g chip on shoulder. Resents PO and everything he stands f o r . F i r s t interview (date) t o l d PO off i n no uncer- t a i n terms. Language unrepeatable in court. Later, t h i s information was employed by the PO i n providing the judge with an understanding of the meaning of the subsequent i n f r a c t i o n s . Thus, not only had the probationer committed an i n f r a c t i o n , but: 95 This boy's f i r s t words to me, your honour,were ones I couldn't repeat i n court. He's never given me a chance to help him and I think that probation wasn't given any chance to work. He doesn't have any respect for my authority or h i s mother's. He won't l i s t e n to anybody - t e l l s everybody where to go. Your honour, unless he changes h i s whole attitu d e and started to cooperate, I don't think we can do anything for him. In the chapter which follows, we s h a l l examine the occasions dur- ing which the terms are employed by the probation o f f i c e r i n the i n t e r - a c t i o n a l l o c a t i o n and recording of 'cooperation' or i t s absence, 'good or bad 1 a t t i t u d e s , and the competitive s t r a t e g i e s which characterize the accomplishment of probation. The c r i t i c a l importance of the i n t e r a c t i o n a l 'machinery' which we have seen layed down during early interviews w i l l be demonstrated. 96 CHAPTER FOUR THE TERMS-IN-USE: THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF PROBATION SUPERVISION In the preceding chapter, I examined the probation o f f i c e r ' s use of the terms i n h i s attempt to provide a new probationer with a 'pro- per understanding' of h i s own status and that of the o f f i c e r , an under- standing which i s adequate for the p r a c t i c a l purposes of the probation o f f i c e r , i . e . , the competent and accountable accomplishment of the l e g a l l y prescribed probation tasks of providing 'help and guidance and proper supervision'. In this and l a t e r chapters, I w i l l show that.the on-going i n t e r a c t i o n a l accomplishment of such 'proper understandings' of the 'mean- ing' of probation and i t s p r a c t i c a l implications f o r the probationer i s an omnirelevant concern of PO's, one which pervades t h e i r i n t e r e s t s and shapes th e i r a c t i v i t i e s during the various 'stages' of the probation 'process'. This on-going i n t e r a c t i o n a l l y accomplished 'proper understanding' provides the foundation for the subsequent mundane task of providing the probationer with the l e g a l l y required 'help and supervision and proper guidance' and reporting thereon. In the present chapter we w i l l be examining th e i r p r o vision as an i n t e r a c t i o n a l enterprise. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , we w i l l be focussing upon the probation o f f i c e r ' s use of the probation terms i n the mundane a c t i v i t y . Before turning to the empirical materials with which we s h a l l be concerned, however, I w i l l b r i e f l y characterize the formal s t r u c - ture of the tasks facing probation o f f i c e r s during supervisory,interactions. 97 As we have seen, the formal warrant f o r placing a juvenile 'on probation' i s that he i s seen as being 'in need' of 'help and supervision and proper guidance'. 'Probation', i n l e g a l terms, i s seen as 'help and supervision and proper guidance'. Note the c r i t i c a l d i f f e r e n c e between juveniles who come before the court and probationers who come back before the court, i . e . , that i n f r a c t i o n s committed by 'probationers' may be assumed to have been committed 'in s p i t e ' of court-provided 'help and supervision and proper guidance'. The competent accomplishment of proba- t i o n tasks enables the probation o f f i c e r to provide the court with l e g a l l y adequate grounds with which to generate subsequent decisions involving a probationer, whether those decisions involve the formal termination of pro- bationary status, the tightening or rel a x a t i o n of probationary c o n t r o l , the placement of the j u v e n i l e i n an i n s t i t u t i o n , etc. The competent pro- bation o f f i c e r must, therefore, so organize h i s a c t i v i t i e s that he i s i n a p o s i t i o n to speak 'as an expert' upon any case to which he has been assigned. That i s to say, probation o f f i c e r s are ro u t i n e l y c a l l e d upon to provide d e f i n i t i v e , (at l e a s t f o r present-purposes-at-hand) assessments of t h e i r probationers' performances at appropriate times as well as d i s - play to the court the 'fa c t ' that at l e a s t minimally adequate 'help and supervision and proper guidance' has been provided. The probation o f f i c e r draws upon data gathered during i n t e r a c t i o n with the probationer and others to document h i s assessment and to achieve i t s acceptance as 'the way i t r e a l l y i s ' by the judge, the probationer, the parents, and others. I t must be noted that a probation o f f i c e r i s severely l i m i t e d i n the amount of time a v a i l a b l e to engage i n a c t i v e l y 'supervising' the 9 8 a c t i v i t i e s of the probationers on h i s caseload v i a , for example, v i s i t i n g t h e i r homes, schools, etc., i n order to monitor th e i r behaviour and to counsel them about probation-adequate performance. I r o n i c a l l y , widely held common-sense notions (held by probation o f f i c e r s , laymen and r e - searchers) about 'real probation' take i t that such a d t i v i t i e s constitute the essence of the phenomenon, while, i n f a c t , information-gathering and subsequent 'paper work' involved i n court preparation for juveniles con- sumes the bulk of a probation o f f i c e r ' s time. From the common-sense point of view, these l a t t e r a c t i v i t i e s are seen as obstacles which get i n the way of the accomplishment of ' r e a l ' probation work. Probation o f f i c e r s frequently remarked upon the f a c t that they didn't 'have time to do probation on a p a r t i c u l a r day because of the 'bloody paper work and court appearances'. Knowing „that the researcher was interested i n observing probation, o f f i c e r s would inform him that they wouldn't be 'doing' any probation on a p a r t i c u l a r day because they were 'tied up i n court', had to 'write some goddamn reports', or had to 'get some information' from a j u v e n i l e or h i s parents 'for court'. Indeed, upon being t o l d of my research i n t e r e s t during an interview, one probation o f f i - cer remarked on the nature of 'probation' as done i n the s e t t i n g i n s a r c a s t i c terms: If you can f i n d anybody around here who's able to get any r e a l probation work done don't t e l l anybody or y o u ' l l get him into trouble. Let's face i t , you've been around here long enough to see that anybody who's trying to get any casework done, I mean even getting to know h i s kids, f i n d out what they're up to and so on, out there doing what, i n f a c t , we are supposed to be doing as probation o f f i c e r s - anybody who t r i e s to do that i s going to get fucked over back here (at court) because he's not 99 getting h i s papers pushed around f a s t enough. Granted, i t ' s important. But most of the time i t ' s a l l we can do, j u s t keep up with the calendar. Just f i g h t f i r e s . And that's bad. I mean, the only time I can usually spend some r e a l time with a kid i s a f t e r the f a c t , when things have blown up and we're on our way back to court. Goddamn i t , that's not probation, or at l e a s t not probation as we should do i t . The probation o f f i c e r l a t e r suggested that the i n a b i l i t y of probation o f f i c e r s to do 'real probation' was causally related to the ' f a c t ' that so many probationers are returned to court on subsequent charges. This assumption was shared by other probation o f f i c e r s and court o f f i c i a l s both i n t h i s court and the other j u v e n i l e j u s t i c e bureaucracies observed. Many probation o f f i c e r s take i t that i f they were given 'more time to work with a k i d ' that he would have a better chance of not returning to court. Public statements by probation and other j u v e n i l e j u s t i c e spokesmen f r e - quently account for what are taken to be high rates of r e c i d i v i s m i n terms of inadequate s t a f f i n g of probation bureaucracies. Frequent references were made to t h i s ' f a c t ' by judges between hearings, away from juveniles and the i r parents. For example: Judge: I think that we've r e a l l y f a i l e d with this youngser, and I don't think that t h i s i s any r e f l e c t i o n on you Mr. Jones. (PO) No, you've done everything you could, but you've got f a r too much to do. We need more PO's and we need more f a c - i l i t i e s . We're not doing the job and there's no use pretending that we are. We've got to get more support. I think that to get i t we've got to make our point. Every- time I see a case l i k e that I think that we could have helped him i f we'd had more time to work with him. We've got to make the s i t u a t i o n p u b l i c . The C i t y should know about i t . I t ' s easy to scream about delinquency and a l l that, but when i t comes to doing something about i t , well j u s t look at us. ((sighs)) Well, I don't know. Every time I think about i t I get angry. But, ha, I'm burning up time myself, we r e a l l y should get on with the next case. 100 During the period of observation, the C i t y was conducting a 'time and motion' study of the probation personnel. Probation o f f i c e r s and t h e i r superiors looked upon,the survey as an opportunity to place 'on record' what was seen to be an i n t o l e r a b l e s i t u a t i o n . Thus, an 'informal' p o l i c y was developed which held that probation o f f i c e r s were to record t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s as requested by the ' e f f i c i e n c y experts' but, i n addition, that they would also record information about the impact of excessive caseloads, fragmented work schedule, etc., which would then be passed on to the persons who were assumed to be 'in a p o s i t i o n to do some- thing about the mess'. Although such c r i t i q u e s of 'probation' were common i n the present s e t t i n g they were not made during the accomplishment of court-probation business. Thus, the judge was remarking upon the process a f t e r one hear- ing and before the next. He d i d not inform the j u v e n i l e that, e.g., he had not been 'adequately helped, supervised and guided' by his probation o f f i c e r . The probation o f f i c e r quoted e a r l i e r did not appear i n court and inform the judge on a p a r t i c u l a r case that, e.g., he had not been able to provide the j u v e n i l e with 'adequate supervision and guidance'. Rather, judges and probation o f f i c e r s r o u t i n e l y went about the p r a c t i c a l accomplish- ment of various e s s e n t i a l probation tasks. The present report w i l l attempt to explicate and describe the actual task structure of 'probation supervision' as a situated accomplish- ment. I t i s suggested that such a strategy w i l l t e l l us more about pro- bati o n - a s - i n t e r a c t i o n than an examination of the p r o l i f e r a t i o n of i d e a l i z e d 101 versions of the phenomenon which pervade the rhetoric of p r o f e s s i o n a l s , whether probation o f f i c e r s or researchers. Thus, my overriding concern w i l l be with what -'help and supervision and guidance' look l i k e i n the pre- sent s e t t i n g . More s p e c i f i c a l l y , I w i l l be interested i n how the probation o f f i c e r seeks to accomplish supervisory probation tasks given the f a c t that he has l i m i t e d time to devote to h i s caseload. How does a PO or- ganize his a c t i v i t i e s i n order to accomplish at l e a s t minimal ( i . e . , docu- mentably adequate) 'help and supervision and proper guidance' during h i s 'contacts' with probationers, contacts which may range from extensive interviews to a few words exchanged on a telephone? Compliance with a term of probation r e q u i r i n g 'contact' with the probation o f f i c e r ensures access for the o f f i c e r to c e r t a i n e s s e n t i a l i n f o r - mation. During such i n t e r a c t i o n the probation terms may be used by the o f f i c e r to generate topics which he may warrantably bring up or pursue at any time during h i s face-to-face or telephonic i n t e r a c t i o n with proba- tioners. Frequently the probation o f f i c e r draws upon the terms to method- i c a l l y construct sets of questions to which the probationer i s constrained to reply. Quite often an e n t i r e interview i s b u i l t i n this manner: P0J: ©KHohhm :(';(6pehs;,probationerJs. f i l e on desk)) Uh, how are things going at home? Juv: uh, oh f i n e . PO: No trouble with your mom? Juv: ((short pause)) Uh, no. No. 102 PO: Everything OK at school? Juv: ((Nods p o s i t i v e l y . ) ) PO: Good. ((closes f i l e ) ) I've got a l o t to do today so uh, thanks for coming by. Keep up the good work and I ' l l see you next Friday. And i f anything does happen before that uh, well just give me a buzz and drop by to t a l k . OK? Juv: ((Nods, stands and leaves o f f i c e ) ) ((PO leaves o f f i c e to get 'next' probationer.)) In this short exchange the PO has employed the terms to generate as answers reports on the youth's 'probation-relevant' performance i n s p e c i f i c s e t t i n g s , i . e . , h i s account of whether "things" are "ok" at home and school, and whether his r e l a t i o n s h i p s with relevant adult a u t h o r i t i e s i n those settings are "ok". Such an exchange constrains the probationer to r o u t i n e l y engage i n accountable reporting. By t h i s I mean that the juvenile's report provides the PO with data which may be 'checked out' v i a contact with the relevant adult a u t h o r i t i e s . So used, the terms become a search-device for the methodical l o c a t i o n of 'problems' or 'troubles' which may become topics to which the PO seeks to d i r e c t ensuing i n t e r a c t i o n . I would l i k e to suggest the f a c t that such use of the terms provides for the i n t e r a c t i o n a l treatment of matters which may commonsensi- c a l l y seem 'non-legal' as being of l e g a l concern and consequentiality for the interactants 'here and now'. The PO must be prepared to deal with a probationer's claim that c e r t a i n matters are 'unimportant', that they have 'nothing to do' with probation and are, therefore 'none of the PO's b u s i - ness'. What the PO's 'business' i s becomes a matter of constant concern for both the PO and probationer. A j u v e n i l e on probation may face the 1 0 3 problem of l i m i t i n g the impact of h i s s p e c i a l l e g a l status upon his everyday a c t i v i t i e s . I f he sees hi s required i n t e r a c t i o n with the PO as r o u t i n e l y providing the l a t t e r with the opportunity to question him about his a c t i - v i t y , 'lecture' him, and to gather and record h i s t a l k about such a c t i v i - t i e s , f e e l i n g s , plans, etc., i n an on-going attempt to 'control' and/or 'punish' him, the j u v e n i l e may see i t as i n h i s i n t e r e s t to manage h i s performances s t r a t e g i c a l l y . In a very r e a l sense, the i n t e r a c t i o n during probation i n t e r - views during which the PO attempts to find out i f there are any 'real prob- lems' to which he must attend may i t s e l f c o n s t i t u t e a problem for the j u - v e n i l e . In the same way, the probation programme which i s ostensibly designed to keep a probationer out of trouble may be seen by the j u v e n i l e and treated during such i n t e r a c t i o n s as trouble. I t follows that one method of 'keeping out of trouble' which the j u v e n i l e may employ during such interactions i s to i n t e r a c t i o n a l l y contain or l i m i t the PO's search f o r 'problems' to ensure that none are located during the interviews and that none are i n t e r a c t i o n a l l y generated. In the above t r a n s c r i p t , the PO e l i c i t s responses from the j u v e n i l e which place 'on record' a version of the juvenile's probation-relevant per- formance. The information i s on record i n s o f a r as i t i s now a v a i l a b l e both during this and subsequent i n t e r a c t i o n and reporting. I f , i n f a c t , other versions gathered from the relevant persons i n d i c a t e that a l l i s not well at home or i n school, the j u v e n i l e may be seen and treated as having 'concealed' information, having ' l i e d ' to and therefore not 'cooper- 104 ated' with h i s PO. Such ' f a c t s ' i n turn become resources which the PO may employ i n working with the j u v e n i l e or use to document 'breaches of probation'. A l t e r n a t i v e l y , reports of 'no trouble' may be used i n recom- mendations for termination of probation as evidence documenting 'cooper- a t i o n ' or 'adjustment'. Probation o f f i c e r s therefore, must frequently i n t e r a c t and r e - port upon juveniles who may be relu c t a n t for the above reasons to i n t e r a c t with PO's, who may see 'talk' with probation o f f i c e r s as an a c t i v i t y fraught with hazard. The following t r a n s c r i p t i s of a PO's i n i t i a l supervision interview with a ju v e n i l e who seemed reluctant to t a l k : PO: Well, how'd your week go? Juv: ((pauses, then shrugs shoulders)) PO: What does that mean? T e l l ya what, one shrug means every- thing's OK and two means things aren't too good. Uh, do you kyouknow how to nod and shake your head? Juv: ((smiles and nods)) PO: Well, we made some progress! That's f i n e . Don't say any- thing, that'd probably be a l i t t l e too advanced for you at this stage. Do you ta l k at home and at school? Juv: Yeah. PO: Great! Now you go home and p r a c t i c e for a week. Make sure that you stay out of trouble. Then come back next Friday and see i f you've got anything to say. Don't s t r a i n your vocal chords though. Juv: OK, see you next week. PO: Now you see, that didn't hurt a b i t . If th i s i s going to work, we've got to ta l k , that's the only way I can help you. ((to researcher)) Bet I can't shut him up next week. (( j u v e n i l e leaves)) 1 0 5 The PO informs the j u v e n i l e that the 'meaning' of h i s shrug i s unclear and that i t i s , therefore, an inadequate response to h i s i n i t i a l question. The r e l a t i v e l y humourous s t y l e i n which this information i s imparted to the probationer tends to undercut the suspicion or sense of forboding with which a 'new' probationer may approach a f i r s t supervisory interview. The PO a r t f u l l y t e l l s the probationer that probation interviews cannot proceed i n such a manner and that 'talk' must of necessity be the mode of discourse. Since the consequences of v i o l a t i n g the terms of pro- bation are a matter of concern to many youths on probation the PO e x p l o i t s these anxieties i n order to encourage the youth's future p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The PO follows this with the standard d e s c r i p t i o n of h i s goal i n the pro- bation interview as being 'to help', a benevolent formulation which, as I have suggested e a r l i e r , i s designed to undercut the probationer's expect- able and understandable 'reasons' f o r non-participation. The PO may choose to pursue 'problems' or discuss relevant mat- ters at any time during an interview. Whether or not something i s allowed to pass or targeted for discussion during an interview i s something over which the j u v e n i l e may have l i t t l e c o n t r o l : PO: And how are things at school? Juv: Everything's ok. PO: You're not having any more problems with Mr. Smith ((tea- cher with whom the j u v e n i l e has 'had trouble')) Juv: Nothing serious. PO: What sort of problems? 106 The juvenile's 'answer', at l e a s t on the surface, i s a s a t i s f a c - tory and complete response to the PO's question. The PO follows t h i s 'ans- wer' which 'locks i n ' on a relevant inference, i . e . , i f everything i s ok, then the probationer's r e l a t i o n s h i p with 'problems' i n the past- must be ok. The probation o f f i c e r ' s utterance i s not to be heard as a 'mere observa- t i o n ' which he j u s t happens to make. Rather, he may be seen to be providing a new probationer with i n s t r u c t i o n s on the probation-relevant meaning of his remarks. Through such seemingly mundane, uninteresting utterances, the PO moves'to provide the j u v e n i l e with c e r t a i n 'facts' about ^probation which are-seen as f a c i l i t a t i n g competent and adequate 'reporting' by a probationer. PO's know that juveniless may 'conceal' information for the reasons outlined above and organize t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n s accordingly. If the j u v e n i l e i s not concelaing anything on t h i s occasion, then producing an adequate answer to the PO's second question i s a simple matter. I f , on the other hand, things are not 'ok 1, that i s to say, i f the probationer i s engaged i n deception, the probation o f f i c e r ' s probe functions to display for the juven- i l e the hazards involved i n h i s use of the strategy. I want to suggest that i n an important sense the PO here i s pro- v i d i n g the novice probationer with i n s t r u c t i o n s for adequate and competent reporting. He goes beyond the juvenile's gloss, 'everything's ok at school' which on the surface appears to be an adequate and complete answer to the i n i t i a l question, to formulate a l o g i c a l l y included i m p l i c a t i o n . Thus, i f i n f a c t everything i s Mok : at school, i f 'no problems' i s a correct descrip- 107 t i o n of the juvenile's probation-relevant performance at school, then there must be 'no problems' i n h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with Mr. Smith. The probation o f f i c e r displays for the j u v e n i l e the kinds of information which are pro- bation relevant, that i s , expectably reportable during probation interviews Note that by sheer f a c t that the second question i s asked, the probation o f f i c e r demonstrates to the j u v e n i l e that such questions may, i n f a c t , be asked at any time during such occasions, that i t i s the proba- ti o n o f f i c e r and not the probationer who w i l l decide whether or not a r e - port w i l l 'pass' without further remark or be 'tested', or become the topic of this or subsequent i n t e r a c t i o n . Thus, the competent probationer 'learns through such i n t e r a c t i o n s , that such questions, probes, or challenges are expectable features of probation i n t e r a c t i o n and that he must organize h i s i n t e r a c t i o n a l performances accordingly. In t h i s chapter we w i l l be examining the competing s t r a t e g i e s developed by probation o f f i c e r s and probationers as they pursue th e i r r e s - pective and often c o n f l i c t i n g p r a c t i c a l goals ' during probation interviews I have said that the very asking of such questions displays to the j u v e n i l e h i s lack of 'control' over the unfolding i n t e r a c t i o n . I want to suggest that the probation o f f i c e r at the same time displays to the j u v e n i l e another dimension of 'probation' over which he, as probationer, also lacks control'-. Via h i s introduction of Mr. Smith and h i s r e l a t i o n - ship with the probationer, the PO 'shows' the probationer that h i s v e r s i o n his performance at school w i l l not necessarily and i n v a r i a b l y stand alone, i . e . , that Mr. Smith and others who are i n a p o s i t i o n to know' about the 108 juvenile's probation-relevant performance may be treated by the probation o f f i c e r as resources f o r information. The strategy i s one r o u t i n e l y em- ployed by probation o f f i c e r s to show probationers that i n the course of thei r everyday accomplishment of 'probation' a probation o f f i c e r e l i c i t s various accounts of h i s probationers' performances from persons who are i n a p o s i t i o n to 'know'. The probationer's lack of complete co n t r o l of possible d i s c r e d i t i n g information i s a feature of the status of probationer which probation o f f i c e r s frequently encourage juveniles to attend. R e c a l l , for example, that during the l a y i n g down of the terms the probation o f f i c e r f i l l e d i n the p r a c t i c a l meaning of one of the terms with the remark that: PO: Like i f I were to be d r i v i n g by and see you doing something you shouldn't be doing.... During my analysis of that interview, I suggested that such r e - marks are employed to provide a new probationer with the sense that h i s actions are 'public' i n an important way. 'Help and supervision and proper guidance' as provided by the court e n t a i l a loss of control by the pro- bationer over c e r t a i n information. The probationer's 'at t i t u d e ' toward th i s loss of control may be used by the probation o f f i c e r as a c r i t i c a l i n d i c a t o r of 'cooperation' or lack of cooperation. 'Acceptance of this loss of control and the 'proper a t t i t u d e ' towards the loss i s often taken to be the goal of much early probation i n t e r a c t i o n . However, the probation o f f i c e r ' s search f o r probation-relevant topics may be dealt with by probationers i n various ways. Cooperative probationers may 'bring up 1 'problems' which they have been encountering as probationers, even ask for 'help'. Others, with l i t t l e prodding, may 109 openly 'talk' dbout what i s happening, i f anything, i n the probation relevant s e t t i n g s . S t i l l others, as we have seen, may have 'nothing to say'. Probation o f f i c e r s , i n turn, may r o u t i n e l y i n s t r u c t probationers that such performance during interviews may be treated as lack of the expected 'cooperation': PO: OK, s u i t y o urself. You don't want to t a l k to me. Fine. But just remember uh, ((opens f i l e on desk and taps i t emphatically)) what Judge Brown s a i d , and i t ' s r i g h t here i n your terms, that you are to report to me so that we can work things out. I f you don't want to, then maybe we should go back to the Judge r i g h t now. ((stands)) Is that what you want? Juv: No, but 1/ PO: A l r i g h t then, i f this i s going to work we're going to have to urn, understand one another. I mean, uh, you've got to cooperate with me, that's r i g h t there i n black and white. That was what the Judge s a i d , remember? Juv: Yeah. PO: We've got to get that s t r a i g h t r i g h t o f f . I mean we're i n t h i s thing together uh, sink or swim. OK? Juv: Yeah. I wasn't trying to cause trouble, y'know. I'm sorry. I would l i k e to attend to the way i n which the PO on the above occasion constrains a new probationer to engage i n probation adequate r e - porting, i n a c t i v e l y engaging i n i n t e r a c t i o n with the PO. Rather than t r e a t i n g the matter i n the 'good-natured' manner which characterized the 1 probation o f f i c e r ' s s t y l e examined e a r l i e r , the probation o f f i c e r here trades upon the l e g a l structure of the probation r e l a t i o n s h i p i n a way s i m i l a r to methods we have seen employed during the l a y i n g down of the 1. See p. 104. 110 terms. Thus, once again, the j u v e n i l e i s being instructed that as a probationer he i s i n a very s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p with h i s probation o f f i c e r . Furthermore, i n t e r a c t i o n between them i s to be of a s p e c i a l type. The probation o f f i c e r opens the exchange with the remark that i t ' s f i n e i f the j u v e n i l e does not -'want to ta l k to 1' him. The probation o f f i c e r ' s r e - mark frames the immediately-appended professed "consequence of the pro- bationer's performance. Just as probation o f f i c e r s 'refresh' new probationers' memories about 'what happened i n court' during the l a y i n g down of the terms, they routinely 'activate' the terms' and the previously layed down 'proper understanding' of probation during subsequent i n t e r a c t i o n . The 'meaning " of probation as i t applies to the present, on-going i n t e r - a c t i o n i s explicated f o r the j u v e n i l e . The PO i s requesting the j u v e n i l e to r e c a l l the 'fact' that the judge has placed the j u v e n i l e on probation and requested him to 'obey' the terms and 'cooperate' with the probation o f f i - cer. Here, the PO rather dramatically shows the probationer what may happen i f he does not 'cooperate', i . e . , they can go see the judge 'right now'. Furthermore, 'cooperation' i s not something which i s to be displayed merely 'at home', 'in school' and ' i n the community', but also and e s p e c i a l l y during any i n t e r a c t i o n with h i s probation o f f i c e r . The probation o f f i c e r suggests that the judge i s ready to deal with 'non-cooperation' here and now. The ominous c o n s e q u e n t i a l l y of the PO's suggestion should be apparent to the probationer, given the f a c t that the judge has solemnly (and r e - cently) instructed him to 'cooperate' and 'not come back' and that, f u r - thermore, he would not 'go so easy' on the probationer 'the next time'. I l l In e f f e c t , the probation o f f i c e r i s i n v i t i n g the probationer to contemplate the judge's reaction if_ informed that the probationer had not 'cooperated' during h i s f i r s t supervisory meeting with h i s probation o f f i c e r . On the above occasion, the strategy appears to have immediately achieved at le a s t the temporary 'cooperation' of the probationer. The juve n i l e 'backs o f f by t r e a t i n g the invocation of the judge s e r i o u s l y and then apologizing for h i s performance. During the subsequent i n t e r a c t i o n , the j u v e n i l e talked r e a d i l y about the s i t u a t i o n at home, etc. Note that once the j u v e n i l e has said that he does not wish to go back to the judge, the probation o f f i c e r s h i f t s from e x p l i c a t i n g the l e g a l structure of the pro- bation r e l a t i o n s h i p , ( i . e . , the consequentiality of 'non-cooperation' dur- ing probation interviews, and the immediate a v a i l a b i l i t y of 'the judge' as a resource for probationery control) to a markedly d i f f e r e n t enterprise. A f t e r the j u v e n i l e r e l e n t s , I am suggesting,the probation o f f i c e r s h i f t s to the more benign, supportive features of 'probation' as they had been presented during the hearing by the judge and l a t e r by the probation o f f i c e r . The relevance of the 'terms' and the judge for the present occasion (and probation i n general) are pointed to, but the i n t e r a c t i o n a l s t y l e of the PO has become l e s s mechanical and formal . When he speaks about the two of them 'understanding one another' and how ' i t ' (probation) can be made to 'work', h i s demeanor and s t y l e are noticeably 'warmer'. The probationer i s being ' i n v i t e d ' to j o i n with the probation o f f i c e r i n a cooperative ven- ture rather than an 'ordered' and 'threatened' one i f 'cooperation' i s not forthcoming. Notice how the l a t e r portrayal of the probation' r e l a t i o n s h i p has now subtly s h i f t e d the p o s i t i o n of the judge . "Making i t work" i s 112 displayed as something to which both a cooperative probationer and h i s probation o f f i c e r attend and seek. Adequate probation reporting i s , by imp l i c a t i o n , 'merely' a means by which t h i s shared goal may be pursued. The probation o f f i c e r has transformed himself from merely the agent of j u d i c i a l authority and control into the 'partner' i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p , one who w i l l share the 'fate' of the probationer. On the above occasion we have seen the probation o f f i c e r success- f u l l y employ a c a r e f u l l y 'staged' threat to constrain a reluctant proba- tioner to engage i n adequate probation-reporting. By rather dramatically confronting the probationer with the immediate and threatening consequences of i n t e r a c t i o n a l 'non-cooperation', the probation o f f i c e r has sought to a l t e r the probationer's 'understanding' of the probation r e l a t i o n s h i p , providing him with an understanding which both 'coerces' and ' i n v i t e s ' him to cooperate i n probation i n t e r a c t i o n . The. threat was 'staged' i n s o f a r as the probation o f f i c e r never intended to go the judge, but merely sought to give that impression to the j u v e n i l e . In f a c t , these supervisory i n t e r - views were t y p i c a l l y scheduled a f t e r school hours, at a time when the judges were not usually i n the b u i l d i n g . Further evidence of the conscious staging of such threats was provided by a probation o f f i c e r when I asked i f he had been s e r i o u s l y con- templating the course of action when he used i t during i n t e r a c t i o n with a probationer: PO: H e l l no I Of course I couldn't go to court. I f I did, the judge'd probably be nice and p o l i t e to me u n t i l the kid was out of the room and then give me h e l l . I mean i t would be a l i t t l e r i d i c u l o u s , a kid just on probation, no new charge and here I am, "Your honour, he won't t a l k n i c e to me." ((laughs) 113 The probation o f f i c e r ' s remarks t e l l us something about the compe- tent accomplishment of probation tasks and reveal that, at l e a s t i n c e r t a i n ways, the PO and probationer are ' i n t h i s together', i . e . , both are being held accountable f o r t h e i r respective performances. Thus, the probation o f f i c e r takes i t that the judge would not 'merely' attend to the fact that the probationer was not 'cooperating', but that the probation o f f i c e r was not competently managing h i s interactions with the probationer i n order to obtain the required cooperation or, i n i t s absence, to adequately develop a 'case' so that i t may be dealt with r o u t i n e l y , and at an appropriate 2 time. Judges were not, therefore, considered to be r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e r e - sources which the PO can make free and easy use of i n the re s o l u t i o n of routine probationary supervision problems, although PO's at times c a r e f u l l y managed t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n s with probationers to provide them with the impres- sion that the judge was ready, w i l l i n g , indeed, anxiously awaiting word from the PO upon h i s performance. Probation o f f i c e r s would a l s o , on occasion, suggest that he was going to have the j u v e n i l e immediately 'locked up' i f he did not 'cooperate'. The following remarks indicate that the PO's a b i l i t y to r o u t i n e l y follow through with t h i s threat i s also l i m i t e d by or- ganizational contingencies. The remarks were made by the assistant to the chi e f probation o f f i c e r during a regular meeting of a l l probation o f f i c e r s : "We have a bad overcrowding s i t u a t i o n i n the detention home right now. We're coming into a weekend. We're over our maximum, and about 25% of the boys i n custody now are here on breaches, 2. Emerson (1969, p. 230) has s i m i l a r l y reported that "...frequent attempts to incarcerate probationers tend to d i s c r e d i t the PO i n the eyes of the judge. Routine use of the surrender sanction suggests that the proba- t i o n o f f i c e r i s not working conscientiously with h i s charges." C i c o u r e l (1968, p. 229) has also observed: "Few probation o f f i c e r s ever wish to recommend Youth Authority commitment because i t s i g n i f i e s they were unsuccessful i n working with the j u v e n i l e . " 114 and I think i n that sense t h i s i s good because i t shows that you people, at l e a s t , you know, are. out i n the d i s t r i c t keeping close tabs with your caseloads, and I want to commend you f o r t h i s . But, I'm just wondering, in the next three or four days anyway, i f you could - ah i f there are any breaches - i f you could take a good close look at them and ah, i f we could work out an a l t e r n a t i v e plan because we are j u s t chock-block f u l l at the pre- sent time...I think you know the arrangement, that with the out- l y i n g d i s t r i c t s we have a contract with each of them, but i t ' s on the understanding that they phone f i r s t and i f we have space then we say " f i n e , b r i n g the body i n . " But written into that contract i s a n i c e l i t t l e escape hatch and that i s that i f we become overcrowded ourselves we say to these d i s t r i c t s , "Could you come and get your youngsters, we can no longer handle them." We've had to do t h i s i n the past two days. We've had to refuse a l o t of probationers, and the detention home i s p r i m a r i l y for the kids i n (City) and for your probationers, you know, i n custody, at l e a s t pending court appearance. So i f you could keep that i n mind f o r the next two or three days. As I say, i t ' s j u s t to l e t you know that we are kind of s t u f f e d at the present time." The above remarks show that probation o f f i c e r s must attend to 3 p r a c t i c a l organizational contingencies as well as the problematic, or non- 3. That such or g a n i z a t i n a l contingencies are invariant features of l e g a l systems which shape 'decision' making at various l e v e l s i s evidenced by Wiseman's remarks about the dependency of p o l i c e action on the ' a v a i l - able space' or lack thereof ' i n j a i l ' : Policemen somewhat n a t u r a l l y l i k e to see t h e i r arrest decisions receive the o f f i c i a l seal of j u d i c i a l approval by being translated into j a i l sentences, since i t i s f r u s t r a t i n g and discouraging to arrest men who are released s h o r t l y afterwards. This i s why the current occupancy rate of the j a i l and the general ideology of the judges enters consciously or unconsciously into every d e f i n - ing d ecision between p o l i c e and the Skid Row drunk. There i s a d e f i n i t e r e l a t i o n s h i p between the number of men the p o l i c e arrest and the l e v e l of occupancy of the j a i l . . . ( Q u o t i n g an o f f i c e r ) "We used to handle 300 to 400 drunk cases Monday morning. Now we only have about 50. The sergeant of the c i t y j a i l l e t s 'em out. They have i t (the j a i l ) f u l l of hippies and c i v i l r i g h t s demonstrators right now." (Wiseman, 1970: 71-72). Continued . . . . 115 cooperative behaviour of t h e i r probationers. Competent caseload management produces only a manageable number of probationers e i t h e r 'in detention' or 'in court' at any given time. Members of the court bureaucracy, (proba- t i o n o f f i c e r s , judges, c u s t o d i a l personnel, and supervisors), informally and formally monitor the cases which probation o f f i c e r s 'take to court', or 'lock up'. Probation o f f i c e r s may be seen as 'incompetent', 'sloppy', 'lazy', etc., for ' c l u t t e r i n g up' the calendar or the detention center with probationers at inappropriate times and f o r what are taken to be i n - adequate reasons. Competent probation work, therefore, involves proper scheduling of (as well as producing organizationally-adequate-and-documen- ted reasons for) 'custody' and/or court reappearance recommendations. A judge, supervisor, or fellow probation o f f i c e r may ask a probation o f f i c e r to 'explain' why he decided to 'breach' a p a r t i c u l a r j u v e n i l e i f the matter seems to be one which could have been dealt with by the probation o f f i c e r 3. (Continued....) Another study has located s i m i l a r 'pressures' i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p between judges and c u s t o d i a l personnel as well as between judges and lawyers. The researcher quotes a judge: "When the number of prisoners gets to the ' r i o t point,' the war- den puts pressure on us to slow down the flow. This often means that men are l e t out on parole and the number of people given probation and suspended sentences increases." (Cole, 1970: 337) "Lawyers are h e l p f u l to the system. They are able to p u l l things together, work out a deal, keep the system moving." (Cole, 1970: 340) F i n a l l y , the following quote from Claude Brown's s e n s i t i v e autobiography displays for us the unintended e f f e c t a probationer's informed under- standing of such organizational 'facts of l i f e ' may have upon h i s 'hearing' of court-probation r h e t o r i c : The judge kept t a l k i n g to us about how we had risked our l i v e s and how we were lucky not to get hurt. He said he was going to give us v. another chance. We'd expected t h i s ; we'd heard that every place they could have sent us was f i l l e d up — Warwick and Wiltwyck and L i n c o l n H a l l . (Brown, 1966: 123) 116 without going to court. Thus, competent caseload management d i c t a t e s that custody and breach decisions should be made only when they may be shown to be 'necessary'; a l t e r n a t i v e l y , cases may be managed i n order to j u s t i f y the decisions when made. Barring some kind of physical assault by the probationer on the probation o f f i c e r , however, i t appears that probation o f f i c e r s w i l l not attempt to return a j u v e n i l e to court during the early probationary period. The above discussion indicates that the reluctance i s well-founded. Moreover, PO's who do remploy the 'threat' of immediate j u d i c i a l action i n an attempt to a t t a i n 'cooperation' are vulnerable when faced with an outright challenge by a ' h o s t i l e ' probationer. On one oc- casion, f o r example, I observed a probationer i n s t r u c t a PO to "shove the judge up your ass", when informed that he would be returned to court immediately i f he f a i l e d to cooperate. The probation o f f i c e r did not immediately rush the probationer to the judge's o f f i c e . The probation of- f i c e r did not 'schedule' a court appearance at the e a r l i e s t possible time so that the judge could take further action against the j u v e n i l e . The probation o f f i c e r d i d , however, make a rather elaborate display of the 'fact' that he was duly recording the incident 'in the f i l e 1 , s t a t i n g : PO: OK. Uh, hare i t your way - smart guy. I f that's the way you want i t . We'll j u s t see. Now get your fanny out of here. YOU - You want to play i t that way, go ahead - get out of here. Course, you have to report again next Friday. And j u s t t r y to step out of l i n e . We'll see. ((waves f i l e ) ) Judge Brown i s going to be very interested i n t h i s . Here, the strategy has not 'worked' i n s o f a r as the probationer has challenged the PO to follow through on the 'threat' rather than 'back- 117 ing o f f . Note, however, that even i n a case such as t h i s , the t a c t i c has produced recordable documentation of 'non-cooperation' and a 'bad a t t i t u d e ' which may be used at a l a t e r time both during subsequent supervisory i n t e r a c t i o n , and i n the event that he _is_ returned to the court on a subsequent offense or f o r a breach of probation, be employed as a resource with which to provide the judge with a practically-adequate i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the offense or breach. Thus, the probation o f f i c e r i s i n a p o s i t i o n to 'make sense' of subsequent 'problems' encountered i n dealing with the j u v e n i l e in terms of h i s never having given the probation o f f i c e r a chance to 'help' him, or as having 'resisted from the very be- ginning'. Note, however, that the strategy has m i s f i r e d here and now i n - asmuch as the probation o f f i c e r ' s straightforward control over the s i t u a - t i o n (and the probationer) has been c a l l e d into question. The probation o f f i c e r , i n e f f e c t , 'backs o f f from h i s threat j u s t as the probationer on the e a r l i e r occasion had 'backed o f f from h i s s u l l e n non-cooperation. The PO said that he would 'get the judge' and he d i d not, even though the j u v e n i l e ' s response to the threat had been i n even more open and f l a g - rant defiance of the probation o f f i c e r . Probation o f f i c e r s attend to the p o s s i b i l i t y of such challenges and, as a r e s u l t , t y p i c a l l y attempt to avoid them by organizing t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n s i n ways which minimize the p r o b a b i l i t y of such 'confrontations' unless they are sought by the probation o f f i c e r . I want to now turn to an a l t e r n a t i v e strategy with which I observed probation o f f i c e r s seek to obtain cooperation and adequate probation report- ing on the part of new probationers. The probationer p a r t i c i p a t e d minimally during h i s f i r s t two probation supervisory interviews. His p a r t i c i p a t i o n 118 throughout those occasions consisted t o t a l l y of monosyllabic utterances, barely audible 'grunts', and movements of h i s head. The probation o f f i c e r treated h i s performance as adequate, engaged i n no probing or challenging, and terminated the interviews by remarking, to the e f f e c t that ' i f that's a l l ' the j u v e n i l e had to say, then he was free to go, adding only that he should 'stay out of trouble'. On the t h i r d meeting, the i n t e r a c t i o n i s almost i d e n t i c a l u n t i l the probation o f f i c e r 'dismisses' the j u v e n i l e : PO: How'r things John? Juv: ((Shrugs s i l e n t l y ) ) PO: How's your mom? Juv: OK. PO: What about school, everything ok there? Juv: ((nods s i l e n t l y ) ) PO: Any thing you want to t a l k about? Juv: ((shakes h i s head negatively)) PO: Well ok, you're so t a l k a t i v e I think I ' l l l e t you bugger o f f . Maybe next week you can think of something to t a l k about. Stay out of trouble, ok? Juv: Sure. ((stands)) Oh, I want to go to a, uh party tomorrow night. PO: Remember, you didn't have anything to t a l k about. Juv: But I didn't/ PO: /So that's f i n e with me. Fine, I mean you're on probation to me and you don't want to f i l l me i n on anything, won't give me the time of day. But then you turn around and want me to l e t you go to a party. Well I'm sorry, but u n t i l I get a l i t t l e cooperation I think you'd better stay i n over the week-end. 119 Juv: Big deal, I j u s t want to go to a party! You'd think I was ten or something. ((leaves o f f i c e ) ) An analysis of the above t r a n s c r i p t w i l l carry us further i n my attempt to explicate and describe the mundane accomplishment of probation 'help and guidance and proper supervision'. The i n t e r a c t i o n i n i t i a l l y i s s u b s t a n t i a l l y i d e n t i c a l to the early supervisory i n t e r a c t i o n with which we have been concerned. Again, at l e a s t i n i t i a l l y , the probation o f f i c e r i s dealing with a j u v e n i l e who 'has nothing to say'. We have already seen that 'having nothing to say' l i m i t s the probation o f f i c e r ' s d i r e c t , unpro- blematic access to 'probation relevant t o p i c s ' . While the probation o f f i - cer takes i t that he i s involved in the business of 'locating problems', ' s p e l l i n g out consequences', and 'reaching understandings', i n order to ensure adequate performance on the part of the j u v e n i l e qua probationer, juveniles may seek to l i m i t the impact of probationary status on t h e i r everyday a c t i v i t i e s by not ' f r e e l y ' discussing them with t h e i r probation o f f i c e r s during probation i n t e r a c t i o n . We have seen that probation o f f i - cers may employ various s t r a t e g i e s to constrain the probationer to 'coop- erate' by engaging i n probation-adequate reporting, s t r a t e g i e s which range from 'merely' informing the j u v e n i l e that non-participation (as defined by the probation o f f i c e r ) may be treated as 'non-cooperation' to 'threat- ening' the probationer with an immediate return 'to court'. We have also seen that the kind of 'confrontation' involved i n 'threats' of that type made during early probation supervisory i n t e r a c t i o n may 'misfire' with rather devastating consequences for the 'control' that the PO may then be able to exercise e i t h e r during the immediately ensuing i n t e r a c t i o n or l a t e r supervision. The probation o f f i c e r who had been instructed to 'shove the 120 judge up h i s ass' subsequently t o l d the researcher that he thought he had probably 'blown i t ' with the probationer and that 'probably the only thing' that he could do now, was wait f o r the kid to 'fuck up' so that he could take him back to court. Probation o f f i c e r s frequently express con- cern over kids who 'blew up' during interviews. Other probation o f f i c e r s suggested that they were extremely c a r e f u l about 'threatening' probationers when they were not prepared to follow through, i . e . : PO: Shit no, I t r y not to say something l i k e that unless I'm ready to back i t up. You t e l l em "say that again and I ' l l x", then they say i t , or do i t , and you s i t back, I mean, i f you're not ready to act, what do you do, t e l l em to say i t again and so on? They're going to lose . a l l respect f o r what you say. When I t e l l a k i d I'm going to do i t , i t usually means that I'm ready to go to court, got i t a l l ready, and I'm just waiting f o r him to give me the oppor- tunit y to go back to court. I t e l l him not to say "boo" again, he says "boo" and I jerk him i n . Of course, then I can go to court and t e l l the judge a l l sorts of s t u f f , the "boo" i s ju s t part of the pattern and blah blah. But I've got i t a l l down there and ready to do. I'm the one who decides. You go around giving kids ultimatums before you're ready and then they're going to c a l l you on i t . Another PO voiced a s i m i l a r opinion: PO: It's easy to t e l l a k i d that i f he doesn't behave, the judge w i l l spank. But then i f the judge doesn't spank, that's i t , the kid thinks that he can get away with anything. A l o t of times that's the kind of thing that got a k i d here i n the f i r s t place uh, parents who t e l l them that they're gonna get into trouble i f they don't straighten out, but then don't care enough to d i s c i p l i n e the k i d . I t r y not to f a l l into that trap, when I t e l l a kid I'm going to come down on him, i t ' s only a f t e r I'm uh, I'm sure, 100% that he knows where I'm coming from. He knows I don't t a l k j u s t to hear myself t a l k . I f and when i t gets to that point, my probationers know what's going to happen and why I'm doing i t , uh, I make very sure of that. Uh, usually we've gone over and over i t so that they know how and i n what uh, way they're not making i t , you know, the terms and so f o r t h . And the judge w i l l know exactly what's going on and why I'm recommending what I am. I, ah, think that i t ' s only f a i r to everybody concerned. 121 How do probation o f f i c e r s attempt to pursue t h e i r short and long- term 'goals' during e a r l y probation i n t e r a c t i o n with 'reluctant' or 'non- cooperative' probationers without resorting to 'threats' which may under- cut probation work? The t r a n s c r i p t on page 118 provides us with a t y p i c a l example of one strategy which was seen to be r o u t i n e l y employed by proba- t i o n o f f i c e r s during supervisory i n t e r a c t i o n s . I suggest that the strategy has a general u t i l i t y i n the accomplishment of probation tasks. I would l i k e to begin by b r i e f l y contrasting i t with the 'threat' strategy which was j u s t examined. F i r s t , notice that the i n i t i a l exchange i s i d e n t i c a l to that which has already been examined. The probation o f f i c e r methodically employs the terms to generate a ser i e s of probation-relevant questions. The j u v e n i l e , i n turn, produces minimal responses to those questions, but does not pro- vide the probation o f f i c e r with d i r e c t access to any probation-relevant 'topics'. R e c a l l that t h i s i s the t h i r d supervisory interview, that the PO has allowed the j u v e n i l e ' s i n t e r a c t i o n a l performances to pass without addressing h i s 'lack of cooperation' or 'threatening' to take him to court i f the required 'cooperation' i s not forthcoming. Indeed, j u s t as the probationer seemed to have ' l i t t l e to say', so the probation o f f i c e r ap- peared to have l i t t l e to say or do throughout such i n t e r a c t i o n a l exchanges. Note, however, how the exchange a l t e r s markedly with the probationer's utterance: 122 PO: Well,ok, you're so t a l k a t i v e I think I ' l l l e t you bugger o f f . Maybe next week you can think of something to t a l k about. Stay out of trouble, ok? Juv: Sure. ((stands)) Oh, I want to go to a, uh, party tomorrow night. PO: Remember, you didn't have anything to t a l k about. Juv: But I didn't/ PO: /So that's f i n e with me. Fine, I mean you're on probation to me and you don't want to f i l l me i n on anything, won't give me the time of day. But then you turn around and want me to l e t you go to a party. Well I'm sorry, but u n t i l I get a l i t t l e cooperation I think you'd bet t e r stay i n over the weekend. I w i l l have a good deal to say about t h i s b i t of i n t e r a c t i o n , but f i r s t would l i k e to note that the probation o f f i c e r here does not 'threaten' to draw the judge into the i n t e r a c t i o n . The matter i s treated as something between the probation o f f i c e r and probationer and, therefore, resolvable at that l e v e l . Thus, the probation o f f i c e r does not respond to the juv e n i l e ' s 'lack of cooperation' with a 'threat' which may m i s f i r e . Indeed, f o r the f i r s t two and one-half supervisory meetings with the juven- i l e , the probation o f f i c e r did not say anything about the juve n i l e ' s per- formance. In t h i s way, I would l i k e to suggest, the p o s s i b i l i t y of a 'confrontation' was minimized. Of i n t e r e s t here, however, i s the way i n which a 'confrontation' f i n a l l y occurs. F i r s t , note that the PO i s not the interactant who a l t e r s the pattern which has characterized t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n s . Rather, the proba- tioner's utterance 10 i s the f i r s t change. I take i t that we may account for the exchange as r e f l e c t i n g competitive strategies v i a an examination of the relevance of the terms for t h i s on-going i n t e r a c t i o n . We have already 123 seen that juveniles on probation frequently 'have nothing to say 1, a ' f a c t ' which l i m i t s the probation o f f i c e r ' s d i r e c t and straightforward access to probation-relevant information. We have seen that the proba- t i o n o f f i c e r may i n i t i a t e ' c r i t i c i s m s ' of such a performance by the proba- ti o n e r , and so i n s t r u c t the j u v e n i l e that such performance i s inadequate i n s o f a r as i t may be treated as 'uncooperative' behaviour, a ' f a c t ' which may then be shown to be p o t e n t i a l l y consequential for the j u v e n i l e ' s fate as a 'probationer'. Note that the terms 'as usual', are employed by the probation o f f i c e r as a resource with which to accomplish such 'proper understandings' of the j u v e n i l e ' s status as a 'probationer'. The present strategy i s also constructed i n a way which constrains the j u v e n i l e to en- gage i n probation-adequate reporting. The terms here, however, are not activated by the probation o f f i c e r . The 'use' of the terms i n t h i s i n t e r - action i s much more subtle. I would l i k e to note that the utterance 10 should be treated as the j u v e n i l e ' s attempt to 'comply' with h i s terms of probation without r a i s i n g the issue of the terms. The term which I suggest i s relevant i s the following: 3. CURFEW: Probationer must be o f f the streets and in h i s home as follows: 9:00 P.M. - week nights 10:00 P.M. - weekends (Friday and Saturday only) Probationer must obey t h i s curfew unless granted an extension by h i s probation o f f i c e r . The terms e x p l i c i t l y state that the probationer w i l l 'obey' a 'curfew' and that 'an extension' of that curfew may only be 'granted' by 124 the probation o f f i c e r . This feature of the terms places a mechanism in the hands of the probation with which he may extend the influence he exercises on the everyday a c t i v i t i e s of h i s probationers. The e a r l i e r s t r a t e g i e s involved the use of the terms and the notion of 'cooperation' or 'non- cooperation' and the consequentiality of each i n terms of the ultimate 'fate of the probationer as probationer. Thus, the 'cooperative' probationer would 'get o f f probation when the probation o f f i c e r went back to court i n 'a few months' while the 'uncooperative' probationer would be 'taken back to court' or at l e a s t , remain on probation as a j u v e n i l e i n need of 'help and supervision and proper guidance'. The existence of the curfew clause, as included i n the terms of probation, on the other hand, enables the probation o f f i c e r to 'reward' and 'punish' week to week 'compliance' or 'non-compliance' without resorting to 'threats' or himself ' r a i s i n g ' the issue of the terms and probation-adequate behaviour and/or reporting. Thus, whether or not the probation o f f i c e r w i l l 'grant permission' f o r the j u v e n i l to 'attend a party 1 (an a c t i v i t y which most l i k e l y necessitates the ju v e n i l e staying out 'after curfew') i s here displayed to depend upon the ju v e n i l e ' s adequate probation reporting. Now the j u v e n i l e i s instructed to 'see' h i s past and present performance as inadequate i n a p r a c t i c a l sense and terms of h i s goals, i . e . , he has not provided the probation o f f i c e r with the i n - formation which the probation o f f i c e r now informs him i s a necessary pre- r e q u i s i t e for the granting of permission. In t h i s way, the probation of- f i c e r i s able to di s p l a y f o r the j u v e n i l e the consequentiality of the i n - adequate performance and at the same time 'depersonalize' the decision to not 'grant' an extension on the curfew. That i s to say, the probation 125 o f f i c e r ' s utterance i s constructed i n a way which provides for the proba- tioner's proper 'understanding' of h i s a c t i o n as a natural and taken-for- granted 'outcome' of the juvenile's inadequate performance as a probationer, rather than an action i n i t i a t e d by the probation o f f i c e r . Rather than di s p l a y i n g the 'consequence' of non-cooperation as the dramatic 'immediate' return to court for another appearance before the judge, the present strategy displays one mundane, routine 'cost' of inadequate performance or non-cooperation, i . e . , non-cooperation by the probation o f f i c e r 'whenever' the probationer 'wants' something that the pro- bation o f f i c e r i s i n a p o s i t i o n to 'grant' or 'withhold'. The strategy enables the probation o f f i c e r to 'deal with' non-cooperation i n a way which does not r e l y upon the hollow 'threat' to c a l l the judge or point up the adv e r s a r i a l or antagonistic aspects of the probation r e l a t i o n s h i p . The probation o f f i c e r here, as i n e a r l i e r i n t e r a c t i o n s , i s involved i n the mundane a c t i v i t y of e x p l i c a t i n g for the j u v e n i l e the costs and benefits of the various s t r a t e g i e s of cooperation and non-cooperation which are av a i l a b l e to him as a probationer. Thus, the probation o f f i c e r displays for the j u v e n i l e a cost of h i s 'inadequate' probation reporting, i . e . , he w i l l not be granted an extension. At the same time, the probation o f f i c e r i s providing the juvenile with the recipe for obtaining the cooperation of the PO, i . e . , an extension of the curfew, etc., ' i n the future', as well as the conceptual machinery with which to make 'proper' or probation- adequate sense of the probation o f f i c e r ' s ' s t r i c t ' a p p l i c a t i o n of the terms of probation, e.g., to locate the 'reason' f o r the probation o f f i c e r ' s r e f u s a l to grant probation i n h i s own performance, to 'see' the probation 126 o f f i c e r as 'merely' mechanically making the decision to not grant an ex- tension because he has not provided the probation o f f i c e r with the i n f o r - mation necessary and to make sense of future 'tightening' of probationary co n t r o l as an expectable and routine outcome of continued inadequate per- formance. Again, the terms are employed i n the mundane and on-going accomplishment of an 'understanding' of the meaning of probation both within t h i s and future probation o f f i c e r - p r o b a t i o n e r i n t e r a c t i o n . I would now l i k e to return to something which I mentioned i n passing e a r l i e r , that utterance 10 should be treated as the probationer's attempt to 'comply' with h i s terms of probation without r a i s i n g the issue of the terms. What i s the basis f o r such a claim? F i r s t , l e t us note the po s i t i o n i n g of t h i s utterance. It comes a f t e r the probation o f f i c e r has, i n e f f e c t , dismissed the probationer: PO: Well ok, you're so t a l k a t i v e I think I ' l l l e t you bugger o f f . Maybe next week you can think of something to t a l k about. Stay out of trouble, ok? Juv: Sure. ((stands)) Oh, I wanted to go to a, uh, party tomor- row night. I take i t that the utterance did not 'just happen' to come when i t did although I w i l l argue that i t was probably intended to be so treated by the probation o f f i c e r . In other words, the probationer constructed the utterance i n a way which was designed to accomplish h i s 'goals' within t h i s i n t e r a c t i o n . Let us take, as a contrast, the following almost p r o t o t y p i c a l 'extension-granting' exchange between a 'cooperative' probationer, i . e . , one who 'asked' i f he could attend a party, and a probation o f f i c e r : 127 PO: Anything e l s e you want to t a l k about? Juv: Yeah, I was wondering i f I could go to a party on Saturday night. PO: Well uh, l e t ' s see. How l a t e would you be out? Juv: Probably twelve or so. PO: Well that's a f t e r the curfew as you know. Well now, who's giving i t - where i s i t - and who's going to be there? ((A f a i r l y lengthy exchange ensues during which the PO 'probes' for information about 'the party' as a probation-relevant event. The discussion ' s p i l l s over' into a discussion of how the proba- tioner's parents ' f e e l about i t ' . The probation o f f i c e r looks at the probation f i l e which i s open on h i s desk. He then speaks to the probationer.)) PO: OK, I don't see why uh, you can't go to the party. I mean the f i l e ' s good and i t sounds l i k e you're doing ok at home. Uh, course - when I say to the party that's exactly what I mean. I want you to go stra i g h t home afterwards, uh, no running around with the gang, s t r a i g h t home by 12:30 sharp ok? Juv: Um, yeah. Thanks! PO: Don't thank me, you've earned i t . Just keep up the good work. The s i t u a t i o n here strongly resembles the former one insofar as both probationers are faced with the ' problem of being a juvenile 'on pro- bation' and, consequently, subject to a curfew which l i m i t s t h e i r a b i l i t y to 'attend a party'. They d i f f e r i n the way i n which they seek to comply with the term of probation which requires them to obtain the probation o f f i c e r ' s approval of an extension on the curfew. The 'cooperative' pro- bationer brings up the topic at what, f o r the probation o f f i c e r , i s an appropriate place during t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n , i . e . , i n response to the PO's e x p l i c i t question about whether there was anything else that the proba- tio n e r wanted to t a l k about . By doing t h i s , the probationer displays 128 to the probation o f f i c e r the 'fact' that betakes i t that the matter i s probation-relevant, that i t i s something which i s properly and expectably a matter of concern to the l a t t e r , and, therefore, something which should be dealt with during a probation interview'. The probationer who i s treated as 'uncooperative', on the other hand, introduces the matter at a time and i n a way which shields i t from being r e a d i l y treated as probation- relevant. He 'mentions' the subject i n a 'casual or 'absent-minded' man- ner a f t e r the probation o f f i c e r has s i g n a l l e d the end of the interview. In so doing, the probationer appears to have 'just thought of 'something' which i s not r e a l l y 'relevant' for ' o f f i c i a l ' recognition and treatment by the probation o f f i c e r . Also, the uncooperative probationer's u t t e r - ance i s , both grammatically, and i n t o n a t i o n a l l y a statement, i . e . , that he 'wants' to go to a party, while the 'cooperative' probationer's remark i s a question about i f ' i t ' s ok' for him to attend a party. The 'cooper- a t i v e ' probationer in t h i s way e x p l i c i t l y displays to the probation o f f i c e r an acceptance of the l a t t e r ' s 'authority' to decide the issue while the other j u v e n i l e merely informs him. Notice the i n t e r a c t i o n which the probation o f f i c e r b u i l d s from the 'cooperative' probationer's request. I would l i k e to point to t h i s as an i l l u s t r a t i o n of the cooperative probationer granting the probation o f f i c e r an i d e a l occasion f o r engaging in warranted probing. In other words, the 'cooperative' probationer presents the probation o f f i c e r with the opportunity to gather information about probation- relevant matters 'in order to' determine whether or not h i s performance warrants the granting of permission. By providing the opportunity and then 129 cooperating• • i n the subsequent questioning, the cooperative probationer displays h i s understanding of the .authority of the probation o f f i c e r to make such decisions and of the function of such proper and adequate reporting i n the displayed decision making process. The elegance of the mundane competitive i n t e r a c t i o n a l strategies under consideration i s n i c e l y i l l u s t r a t e d by the following piece of data: Routine Friday afternoon meeting with probationer Mark Smith, a 14-year-old who was brought before the court on numerous charges of 'breaking and entering'. Mark was charged along with two s l i g h t l y older boys, Tom and Jim. His terms of probation specify that he i s not to associate with them. Mrs. Smith had phoned the previous morning to ask the probation o f f i c e r i f he had given Mark permission to go to a party and stay out u n t i l midnight the following Saturday. The probation o f f i c e r r e p l i e d that he had not and that, i n any event, he would have t o l d the probationer to discuss the matter with h i s mother and obtain her permission before he would have granted permission. The f i n a l decision was 'up to' the mother. Mrs. Smith then informed the PO that Mark had t o l d her that h i s PO had t o l d him that he could go to the party and that he would go whether she l i k e d i t or not. The PO t o l d Mrs. Smith that he would c a l l her as soon as he had talked to the youth. I assumed that the probation o f f i c e r was going to 'confront' the juv e n i l e with the information provided by the mother. During the interview Mark f a i l e d to mention a party and was ret i c e n t 'as usual'. The PO asked the standard questions about h i s performance, i . e . , how things were going i n school, how he was getting along with h i s mother, etc. Mark claimed that 'everything' was ok. A f t e r a few minutes, the probation o f f i c e r appeared to move to close the interview with the following re- marks : PO: Well um, so I ' l l see you next Friday, OK? And um, I'm glad everything's ok at home. Say h e l l o to your mum f o r me. Juv: OK. PO: and t e l l her I ' l l drop by during the week, maybe uh (checks appointment calendar) Wednesday. I f she's not going to be at home would you ask her to give me a c a l l on Monday? 130 Juv: Yeah, sure. (begins to leave) Oh, Mr. Jones, a g i r l asked me to come over Saturday night, that'd be OK wouldn't i t ? PO: Ah, well i t sounds ok. What does your mum say about i t ? Here the probation o f f i c e r deals with a probationer's deception without d i r e c t l y confronting him with h i s knowledge of that deception. By managing the i n t e r a c t i o n i n the way he does, the probation o f f i c e r i s able to ' s h i e l d ' the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the probationer and h i s mother from the p o s s i b i l i t y that he w i l l attend to her disc l o s u r e as, for example, a 'betrayal'. The utterance with which the PO appears to i n i t i a t e the 'closing' of the interview i s constructed i n a way which powerfully constrains (and 4 at the same time enables) the j u v e n i l e to engage i n further i n t e r a c t i o n . He does t h i s by 'summing up' the probation-relevant content of the i n t e r - view, i . e . , that 'everything's ok', and then d i s p l a y i n g f o r the j u v e n i l e features of 'normal probation work' which w i l l provide him with information which w i l l d i s c r e d i t the c a r e f u l l y managed impression ' l a t e r ' . Thus, the ju v e n i l e i s shown that the probation o f f i c e r ' s normal round of a c t i v i t i e s w i l l uncover the fac t that he has engaged i n deception and that 'next Friday' such information w i l l become the probation relevant topic f o r discussion and warrant for action on the part of the probation o f f i c e r and mother. Equipped with t h i s probation-adequate understanding of the s i t u a - t i o n , the probationer subsequently engaged i n a great deal of 'negotia- t i o n ' here and now over whether or not he should be allowed to go to 4. For a us e f u l discussion of the i n t e r a c t i o n a l accomplishment of 'opening up c l o s i n g s ' and s o c i o l i n g u i s t i c features of conversation which are of d i r e c t relevance to an analysis of t h i s exchange, see Schegloff and Sacks (1974). 131 the party, the role of h i s mother and PO i n such decision making, etc. In addition, probationers would frequently attempt to avoid pro- bation-adequate reporting altogether by 'not showing up' for t h e i r sche- duled interviews, a strategy which made them unavailable to the 'probing' which they otherwise experienced during face-to-face i n t e r a c t i o n with super- visroy probation o f f i c e r s . Instead, they would telephone the PO with what they took to be an acceptable 'reason' f o r not being present. On occasion, they would attempt to 'get permission' v i a such phone c a l l s . The following data represents one such occasion and the probation o f f i c e r ' s competent management thereof: I was discussing an interview which had j u s t ended. The phone rang and the probation o f f i c e r answered: PO: Hello (pause) Yes, t h i s i s Mr. Jackson. (pause) Oh, h i Ted. (pause) Yeah, ok. That's ok, long as you c a l l me. (pause) Umhum, and how l a t e did you want to stay out? (pause) Is i t ok with your mother and father? (pause) OK, hang on a minute, I ' l l check the f i l e . (The PO covered the phone with h i s hand and continued t a l k i n g to me about the e a r l i e r interview. A f t e r about two minutes, he re- sumed his phone conversation:) Well everything looks ok. But you be i n by 12 and don't get into anything, ok. And be here next week. See you l a t e r . Even i n exchanges such as the one above, the adequate and proper understanding of 'probation' by the probationer i s scrupulously c u l t i v a t e d . He i s shown, for example, that he i s being 'granted permission' because h i s performance i s deemed adequate. The notion that contents of 'the f i l e ' produce the standard by which the probation o f f i c e r 'decides' such matters i s impressed upon the probationer at t h i s moment. 'Permission' i s shown to 132 be contingent upon a 'good f i l e ' and the c o n s e q u e n t i a l l y of a 'bad f i l e ' displayed by implication. The everyday accomplishment of such adequate and proper understandings enables the PO to manage his d a i l y supervisory a c t i v i - t i e s i n a competent, accountable manner. Note that by managing cases i n t h i s manner, he renders the 'consequences' of inadequate probation perfor- mance expectable, reasonable, and understandable for the probationers, parents, and others who may be involved i n subsequent court processing. 133 CHAPTER FIVE COOLING A PROBATIONER OUT: THE INTERACTIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT OF A PROBATION-ADEQUATE UNDERSTANDING OF AND COOPERATION IN 'PLACEMENT' (PART ONE: THE PARENTS) In Chapters Five and Six I w i l l examine a p r a c t i c a l concern of probation o f f i c e r s which pervades probation work from i n i t i a l contact through supervision and placement or termination of probation. S p e c i f i - c a l l y , I intend to show that a great deal of probation i n t e r a c t i o n can be most adequately characterized as the means by which a probation o f f i c e r 'prepares' j u v e n i l e s , t h e i r parents, and court personnel themselves f o r subsequent court action and f o r t h e i r necessary p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n that ac- t i o n . I w i l l present data to i l l u s t r a t e that the consequences of inade- quate or incompetent preparation may be serious and dramatic 'disruptions' of court routines. I w i l l then show that the apparent routine, mundane and e f f i c i e n t processing of j u v e n i l e s by the court rests upon competent 'programming' of the relevant actors by the probation o f f i c e r . The competent probation o f f i c e r i s responsible f o r producing competent probationers, ones who know, understand, expect, and accept the actions of the court. Juveniles who 'make trou b l e ' f o r court personnel by asking too many questions, challenging a recommendation, arguing over ' d e t a i l s ' , i n s u l t i n g the judge, etc., are seen as beyond the control of the probation o f f i c e r . A competent PO an t i c i p a t e s such problems and takes 134 action to eliminate or minimize th e i r d i s r u p t i v e impact on court routine. A competent PO then prepares the court to deal with 'probable' outbursts e f f i c i e n t l y : A probation o f f i c e r informed the judge that a p a r t i c u l a r juven- i l e had been i n s u l t i n g l y abusive, and that, he had been v i o l e n t with custodial personnel i n the j u v e n i l e detention centre. Before the youth was brought into the court from the holding room, the judge instructed the researcher to remain calm i f there was any trouble. An 'extra' probation o f f i c e r , the l a r - gest one a v a i l a b l e , was asked to s i t next to the j u v e n i l e through- out the hearing, 'just i n case'. The j u v e n i l e was ushered into the courtroom and set between the two probation o f f i c e r s . The j u v e n i l e remained quiet throughout the hearing, only answering d i r e c t questions which were necessary for a j u d i c a t i o n . After the j u v e n i l e had been taken out, the judge thanked the PO for the 'warning' and suggested that the j u v e n i l e had probably 'be- haved' because of the extra probation o f f i c e r . The probation o f f i c e r on t h i s occasion anticipated possible 'trouble' based upon i s pre-court i n t e r a c t i o n with the j u v e n i l e and alerted the judge who took a c t i o n to prevent a d i s r u p t i o n of the proceedings. The PO had prepared the j u v e n i l e for the hearing by c a r e f u l l y discussing the sequence of events which would take place, as well as what would be r e - quired of him i n terms of responses to the judge's questions. The recommen- dation that the PO was intending to make was revealed to the j u v e n i l e before the hearing to minimize the 'shock' the j u v e n i l e might express 'in court'. Thus, the probation o f f i c e r took steps which increased the p r o b a b i l i t y of a non-problematic, smooth hearing v i a det a i l e d preparation of both judge and j u v e n i l e . Shortly we w i l l examine the i n t e r a c t i o n a l preparation of juveniles and t h e i r parents for court hearings. F i r s t , however, I would l i k e to present data which indicates what may happen when the PO has not adequately 135 prepared the p r i n c i p a l s . The occasion also demonstrates the f r a g i l i t y of the court routine. A 16 year old j u v e n i l e was before the court on a charge of rape. He had been on probation when he allegedly committed the new o f - fense. He 'had a h i s t o r y ' of drug use and supportive t h e f t . The charge was considered serious enough to warrant considera- t i o n of the severe measure of ' r a i s i n g ' the ju v e n i l e to adult court,-'- a p o s s i b i l i t y which was evidently viewed by the ju v e n i l e with at le a s t some pride. During the hearing, the PO stated that he was recommending placement i n a r e s i d e n t i a l treatment programme f o r disturbed c h i l d r e n . When the judge accepted the recommendation, the ju v e n i l e attempted to get over the table to approach the judge. The PO intercepted him and extremely loud struggle ensued. Court personnel rushed to control the j u v e n i l e whose screams were audible throughout the court b u i l d i n g . Pro- ceedings i n the other court were halted while the c l e r k was sent to check on the disturbance. Probation o f f i c e r s l e f t t h e i r o f f i c e s to see what was happening, as did the s e c r e t a r i e s . The doors leading from the waiting room corrido r to the court area were closed and the holding room was locked. The ju v e n i l e was then c a r r i e d out, k i c k i n g , screaming and b i t i n g , .by probation o f f i c e r s , a clerk and a representative of the h o s p i t a l . He was rushed to a car where he was restrained u n t i l he stopped struggling, then driven to the treatment centre. There was a delay while the court personnel 'recovered' from the incident, but for the r e s t of the day persons at a l l l e v e l s remarked upon and talked about the 'blow-up'. There was a good deal of joking about how the PO had l e t the judge get 'caught with h i s robes down'. A consideration of the above d i s r u p t i o n of the court routine can t e l l us a good deal about that routine and the competent accomplishment of probation tasks upon which i t i s based. The data indicates that PO's must attend to how a j u v e n i l e ' f e e l s ' about a recommendation to be made i n court for p r a c t i c a l as w e l l as 'therapeutic' reasons. Indeed, he may ignore those f e e l i n g s only at his own p e r i l . In th i s case, the probation o f f i c e r 1. 'Raising' a ju v e n i l e i s the most d r a s t i c d i s p o s i t i o n a v a i l a b l e to the ju v e n i l e court judge. The r a t i o n a l e i s that the j u v e n i l e i s too 'sophisticated' to be dealt with through the resources of the ju v e n i l e court and that the holding f a c i l i t i e s , drug programmes, etc., a v a i l a b l e to the adult courts are necessary. 136 did not a n t i c i p a t e the 'blow-up' because he assumed that the j u v e n i l e would be r e l i e v e d to escape the more 'serious' d i s p o s i t i o n . He did not discuss the matter with the j u v e n i l e during t h e i r pre-court contacts and did not r e a l i z e that the j u v e n i l e would react as he did to the court's c a t e g o r i - zation of him as 'a disturbed c h i l d ' . As a r e s u l t , neither the j u v e n i l e nor the court personnel were 'properly prepared' for the hearing. Preparation for acceptance of and cooperation i n the course of action the probation o f f i c e r intends to recommend i s a basic task of PO's during probation i n t e r a c t i o n . In a very r e a l sense, the routine 'remind- ing' of 'what w i l l happen' i f , for example, terms are v i o l a t e d and the j u - v e n i l e i s returned to court i s a common t a c t i c which renders subsequent action expectable and understandable for probationers and t h e i r parents. I w i l l now examine the i n t e r a c t i o n a l accomplishment of 'acceptance' and 'understanding' of a recommendation which i s viewed with 'apprehension' by a mother and her adopted son. The case i s of a n a l y t i c i n t e r e s t insofar as i t n i c e l y i l l u s t r a t e s the lengths to which PO's may be forced to go during the processing of cases i f and when they are dealing with cases that they have reason to believe may 'cause trouble' during court processing. The PO's apprehensions about this p a r t i c u l a r case are based on h i s recent experiences with i t ' i n court', experiences which may bring h i s competence into serious question i f they are 'allowed' to recur. I say allowed because that i s how the judge would be expected to orient to further problems which resemble the l a s t one. The p a r t i c u l a r circumstances of that case were as follows: weeks e a r l i e r , the parents had 'agreed' (on the basis of t h e i r adopted son's f a i l u r e to 137 adjust i n the home, attend school, and h i s involvement i n further d e l i n - quent a c t i v i t y ) , that he should be returned to court and that a recommen- dation for 'placement' be . f i l e d . The PO so recommended. During the hear- ing, however, the adoptive parents and t h e i r counsel strenuously and s u c c e s s f u l l y 'objected' to the recommendation, and the judge dropped i t . Their move had been unanticipated by the probation o f f i c e r . When the PO sought to explain t h e i r 'change of heart' subsequently, he pointed to the father's 'ambivalence' and the mother's 'fears'. He assumed that the mother had convinced the father to give the j u v e n i l e another chance. His p r a c t i c a l concern i n accounting f o r t h e i r behaviour was occasioned by the f a c t that they had c a l l e d him s h o r t l y a f t e r taking the probationer home to report that he had s t o l e n a f a i r l y s i g n i f i c a n t amount of t h e i r 'house money' and seemed to be 'involved' i n the 'wrong gang again'. The PO i s planning to recommend that he be removed from h i s adop- t i v e home and placed at an i n s t i t u t i o n for boys run by a large p r i v a t e c h a r i t y organization. The PO had e a r l i e r t o l d the r e - searcher that the father wouldn't 'make any trouble' that he would support the action, but that the mother might 'not go for i t ' . During the evening, the PO f i r s t discussed the case for almost an hour with the parents, then for about ha l f an hour with ?| the j u v e n i l e and father. The parents ask about the timing of the proceedings. PO: There w i l l be a judgement tomorrow but the f i n a l d i s p o s i - t i o n w i l l come a week l a t e r a f t e r I've had a chance to work on the findings and come up with a recommendation for the court to consider. And i t ' s a case of working out as a team, the four of us, what i s you know, i n the best i n t e r - ests of the boy. ((The PO then goes on to suggest that he i s "of the opinion myself" that because of the o r i g i n a l offense and "what has happened since", he i s thinking of recommending placement i n the i n s t i t u t i o n . He then states that the j u v e n i l e i s now behaving well 'because' he's f a c - ing court. He f i n i s h e s by saying that the would "very much l i k e to hear your opinions".)) 138 Fa: Yes, we l l my wife has reservations. Mo: Well I have mixed f e e l i n g s Mr. Smith. I, I f e e l from what George ( ( t h e i r lawyer)) t o l d me about the Dr.'s report that, uh, I'd l i k e to read that report, PO: I wish I had i t with me. Mo: that he has - from a l l people around him, he has a great sense of i n s e c u r i t y and he's not matured as most boys do eventually. But I f e e l that h i s main se c u r i t y i s his home and his mother and father, and that we're the only security he has. The PO enters this p a r t i c u l a r interview with the knowledge that the adoptive father wants the boy 'sent away' but that the adoptive mother i s a f r a i d that such an act i o n would be harmful, i . e . , that the j u v e n i l e i s lonely and insecure and would i n t e r p r e t placement out of the home as 'rej e c t i o n ' by the 'parents' who had adopted him. Her concern with being a 'good parent' and with the 'meaning' of court action as perceived by the probationer were, therefore, seen by the probation o f f i c e r as c r i t i c a l factors to be dealt with on t h i s occasion. The o f f i c e r has j u s t f i n i s h e d reading a p s y c h i a t r i c report on the family which he has received. The report described the father as "a r i g i d and harsh d i s c i p l i n a r i a n " and stated that the r e l a t i o n s h i p between him and the probationer was generally poor. For the PO, the report along with hi s past experience with the fam- i l y indicated that the father didn't " r e a l l y give a damn about the boy" and, therefore, "wants him out of the house". The p r a c t i c a l problem during the present i n t e r a c t i o n , as the PO outlined i t to the researcher, " i s to convince the boy and h i s Mom that ithis placement i s the only reasonable option open to us at this time". I c a l l i t a ' p r a c t i c a l problem' insofar 139 as the PO i s preparing the family for the appearance i n court during which the judge w i l l ask them to 'agree' to the d i s p o s i t i o n . Dispositions which run o f f smoothly do not take a great deal of court-time and are seen as being produced by competent probation work. The probation o f f i c e r immediately summarizes the business at hand for the present occasion but does so by providing the parents with a d e f i n i t i o n of the occasion which w i l l be shown to provide for the accom- plishment of the p r a c t i c a l purposes c i t e d above. Thus, the goal of the present i n t e r a c t i o n i s presented as the development of a recommendation for court which i s i n the best i n t e r e s t s of the probationer. Furthermore, the recommendation i s to be the product of 'teamwork' between 'parents', the probation o f f i c e r , a n d the judge a l l of whom are assumed to be seeking to act i n 'the best i n t e r e s t s of the c h i l d ' . This d e s c r i p t i o n of the oc- casion provides the p a r t i c i p a n t s with the 'sense' of being involved i n the decision-making. I t also n i c e l y undercuts any adversarial elements of the coming hearing. In so describing himself, the PO memberships himself as one who i s i n the business of 'helping' the j u v e n i l e and, thereby, a person who can define 'help' and the 'best i n t e r e s t s ' of the j u v e n i l e i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r case. As we s h a l l see, the PO makes a good deal of h i s background, experience, etc., i n c r e d e n t i a l i n g himself as 'an expert' i n matters of this kind, a ' f a c t ' which places the mother and probationer at a d i s t i n c t disadvantage during the interviews. For the present, however, I merely wish to point to the f a c t that the notion of c o l l a b o r a t i v e team- work i n the best i n t e r e s t of the probationer i s employed to provide the parents with the 'proper understanding' of the immediately following i n f o r - 140 mation, i . e . , that because of the juvenile's performance, the PO i s con- s i d e r i n g placement i n an i n s t i t u t i o n run by a large c h a r i t y organization. Thus the parents are encouraged to 'understand' the PO's recommendation as i n the best i n t e r e s t s of the j u v e n i l e rather than as an attack on the ju v e n i l e and/or themselves and t h e i r competence as parents. Note that the PO also employs a d d i t i o n a l information to bol s t e r h i s recommendation, one which i s based on a 'serious' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the fact s at hand, by r e f e r r i n g to the o r i g i n a l offense and the subsequent delinquent actions of the j u v e n i l e while on probation. His opening remarks are also designed to deal with any attempt the mother may make to undercut the 'seriousness' of the present charges by reference to the f a c t that he 'is behaving now'. That i s to say, the probation o f f i c e r suggests that the j u v e n i l e i s 'be- having' only because he i s facing court and that, therefore, present be- haviour i s not merely an imperfect i n d i c a t o r of moral character, but an a r t f u l l y and i n t e n t i o n a l l y managed production with which the j u v e n i l e i s attempting to avoid severe court intervention. In passing, I wish to c a l l a t t e n t i o n to the f a c t that the PO deceives the mother by s t a t i n g that he wishes he had a copy of the psy- c h i a t r i c report when, i n fact,, he had a copy i n his b r i e f c a s e . By doing t h i s , he was able to avoid the introduction Of material into the discus- sion which would have changed i t s course. The material i n the case may have occasioned, for example, the mother's attempt to make sense of the facts by reference to the juve n i l e ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p with the adoptive parent, an issue which could have resulted i n a r e d e f i n i t i o n of the 'problem' and 141 i n t e r f e r e d with the desired objective, 'agreement' by a l l p a r t i e s who would be present i n court when the recommendation was made. The PO's utterance i s so structured that he ends by asking f o r the parents' opinions about the proposed recommendation i n the context of the juvenile's best i n t e r e s t s . The parents are constrained to speak to the recommendation as defined and shaped by the PO. The mother's utterance treats the PO's professed i n t e r e s t i n the juvenile's welfare s e r i o u s l y , but arranges the data i n such a way as to a r r i v e at a d i f f e r e n t conclusion. Her account trades on what her lawyer told her about the p s y c h i a t r i s t ' s report, that the j u v e n i l e was described as 'insecure and immature'. "The delinquent's acts, i n the mother's ac- count, should be understood as r e f l e c t i o n s of that i n s e c u r i t y and immaturity. There i s also reference to the 'fact' that boys eventually mature. The mother i s suggesting that her adopted son i s i n trouble because he i s immature and insecure, but argues that he w i l l 'mature' i f given extra time and se c u r i t y . Her l o c a t i o n of 'in s e c u r i t y ' as a major problem pro- vides the grounds for objecting to thePO's proposed recommendation. Re- moval from the home and placement i n the i n s t i t u t i o n i s seen as taking him from 'his main s e c u r i t y ' , 'the only s e c u r i t y he has', a mo\e which be- comes an obstacle to his maturational process rather than one designed to accelerate i t . I w i l l now turn to the i n t e r a c t i o n a l work of the father and pro- bation o f f i c e r as they methodically and quite a r t f u l l y attack the mother's 'understanding' of the s i t u a t i o n and the i m p l i c i t s o l u t i o n , i . e . , that the juv e n i l e should be worked with by h i s parents i n the home. 142 PO: Now I agree with you Mrs. Jones, but by the same token this can't be j u s t sort of a passing phase. The boy - you know, instead of looking at h i s a t t i t u d e , he said "Well, I guess i t cost mother and dad a l i t t l e more money again". And everything's righ t back to where i t was. Fa: Yes. PO: I mean the boy i s A. not going to school. Fa: No. PO: He's not working. Fa: No. PO: He's not motivated towards anything along those l i n e s . Fa: No. PO: I mean, i f we had something else Fa: I f he, for instance, had a job Mo: Which he has t r i e d . He has. I know t h i s . PO: Yeah, but I mean you see, I don't doubt that he has, but look at i t from the standpoint of - what has he got to o f f e r the employer? ((both parents nod)) You have got him into two or three schools, so he's not even e l i g i b l e f o r vocational t r a i n i n g , can't go back to school. Mo : Umhum, he's not. PO: No. So then t h i s i s why I've f e l t a l l along that the Boy's House, or a reasonable type of resource where he w i l l have an opportunity to improve himself The probation o f f i c e r begins an attack upon the mother's 'under- standing' of the case. The attack i s designed to accomplish the 'reason- ableness' of the PO's intended recommendation by undercutting and question- ing the mother's implied recommendation. The attack opens with the remark that he agrees with the mother, a useful frame insofar as i t i n s t r u c t s her to read what follows as not i n 143 c o n f l i c t with her remarks. By opening his utterance i n this way, the PO moves to minimize the appearance of ' c o n f l i c t ' between h i s remarks and those of the mother, a t a c t i c which may reduce the p r o b a b i l i t y that h i s remarks w i l l be perceived and reacted to as an 'attack' on the mother's p o s i t i o n . The probation o f f i c e r then addresses her argument. F i r s t , he f l a t l y states that " t h i s can't be j u s t sort of a passing phase". The PO then documents this analysis by reference to the boy's a t t i t u d e toward the offense. His analysis i m p l i c i t l y addressed the mother's t h e o r e t i c a l p o s i t i o n by provid- ing an a l t e r n a t i v e understanding. Rather than 'a stage' which the j u v e n i l e w i l l grow out of i f given 'adequate' secu r i t y , the PO suggests that the 'pro- blem' i s the juvenile's a t t i t u d e which i s then linked to an a c t i v e l y harmful sense of s e c u r i t y . Thus, the PO states, the j u v e n i l e himself has made no attempt to examine his improper a t t i t u d e as the 'cause' of the delinquent acts. Rather, he i s viewed as escaping r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for those acts v i a the assumption that h i s parents would pay for money 'stolen' from others and j u s t 'be out' money taken from them. In other words, the sense of 'security', i . e . , the 'support' provided by the parents i s located i n the probation o f f i c e r ' s account as the means by which the j u v e n i l e was able to avoid 'facing up' to what he had done. Under this explanatory model, the parents' pr o v i s i o n of 'security' i s viewed as i n s u l a t i n g the probationer from what i s seen as an e s s e n t i a l part of the 'solution' to the problem, the acceptance of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and the change of a t t i t u d e . Allowing the j u v e n i l e to remain i n the home at this point i s seen as putting everything back 'where i t was' rather than adopting the preferred course, i . e . , constructively 144 using the offense i n promoting 'needed change'. A 'proper' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the 'facts' warrants placement rather than continued probation supervi- sion i n the home. Notice the s e r i e s of c o l l a b o r a t i v e utterances produced by the PO and father. The father i s providing the mother with a model of a good parent. Demonstrating that he 'understands' and shares the probation o f f i - cer's concerns i n the c r i t i c a l matter of what i s i n the juvenile's 'best i n t e r e s t ' . The PO i s able to introduce supportive 'evidence' i n t o the conversation. The father's quick and routine agreement places him 'with' the probation o f f i c e r , a 'fact' which puts the mother i n the p o s i t i o n of having to challenge PO and husband i f she wishes to take issue with the evidence. The PO substantiates h i s d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the home s i t u a t i o n by reference to the probationer's performance i n other c r i t i c a l probation- relevant areas, i . e . , school and work. I m p l i c i t here i s the shared know- ledge that performance as described i s part of the general categorization of the j u v e n i l e as one on whom probation has not worked, a 'fact' which be- comes the warrant for more serious and d r a s t i c court i n t e r v e n t i o n . Thus, the probation terms require the j u v e n i l e to be eit h e r ' i n school' or 'on a job'. I f the ju v e n i l e i s not 'at work' or preparing for work by attending school, he may be held to be 'in v i o l a t i o n ' . The PO and father are showing that 'probation' i n the home has f a i l e d i n sofar as the j u v e n i l e has not com- p l i e d with the terms, not 'merely' because of the present:^' offense. The PO and father locate the reason for the youth's poor probation-relevant per- formance i n his lack of motivation, a p o s i t i o n which implies that a probation 145 goal should be to 'motivate' the probationer. The mother disputes t h e i r c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n by saying that although he admittedly does not have a job, he has attempted to obtain one. The way i n which she makes sense of h i s non-compliance undercuts h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r i t . The probation o f f i c e r addresses t h i s issue i n a way which once again points up the inadequacy of the mother's 'solution' and prepares the way for her acceptance of and-cooperation i n placement. Thus, the probation o f f i c e r declares that he does not doubt that the j u v e n i l e has attempted to locate a job, but then trades on the very f a c t that he has been unable to locate one to 'show' the mother that the present s i t u a t i o n as i t stands i n the home i s inadequate and unacceptable. The mother i s asked to assess the j u v e n i l e i n terms of what he has to o f f e r a p o t e n t i a l employer. The suggested reason for the juv e n i l e ' s f a i l u r e i s h i s inadequate education, a fa c t which i s portrayed as being beyond the co n t r o l of the parents due to the f a c t that he has been 'kicked out' of two or three schools and i s , therefore, i n e l i g i b l e f o r l o c a l educational programmes. The 'fact' that the ju v e n i l e has 'gotten himself kicked out' undercuts the mother's attempt to mitigate the juvenile's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r not being able to locate a job. At the same time, the s i t u a t i o n as constructed provides for the acceptance of placement as the 'only way' of ensuring adequate job t r a i n i n g for the youth. The PO does not inform the parents that he i s i n the business of lo c a t i n g such projects i n the community for probationers he deems 'appro- p r i a t e ' , a possible 'solution' which would undercut the status of h i s own recommendation as the 'only reasonable a l t e r n a t i v e ' . 146 As well as accomplishing the acceptance of 'placement' as a needed s o l u t i o n to the problem of t r a i n i n g the j u v e n i l e for a job, the probation o f f i c e r and father attempt to provide a generally 'p o s i t i v e ' t y p i f i c a t i o n of the phenomenon i t s e l f . Their descriptions address the multitude of common-sense notions which i n t e r p r e t 'placement i n an i n s t i t u t i o n ' i n terms of physical and psychological r e j e c t i o n , as punitive, as movement from freedom to r i g i d c o n t r o l , from a s e t t i n g of love and understanding care to a cold a u t h o r i t a r i a n regimen. Note that at l e a s t some of these features of i n s t i t u t i o n a l placement have been provided to the youth and parents during e a r l i e r court-probation i n t e r a c t i o n . As Emerson has suggested: P r i o r to h i s actual commitment the delinquent has undoubtedly been threatened with the specter of detention center and reform school. Court l e c t u r i n g r e l i e s heavily on t h i s threat, p i c t u r - ing such an eventuality as the worst imaginable fate (Emerson, 1969: 211). In the court under consideration one of the judges would almost i n v a r i a b l y 'lecture' juveniles going home on probation i n the following manner, regardless of the charge and independent of any knowledge of the 'home l i f e ' of the p a r t i c u l a r youth and his ' r e l a t i o n s h i p ' with his parents: Judge: Well, how do you l i k e i t i n juvie? ((Juvenile detention center. Receiving no answer, the judge continues)) Do you think i t ' s better than home. ((no response)) How about i t , i s the food better?((Juvenile shakes h i s head negatively)) You know, your;parents do a h e l l of a l o t for you, good food, warm bed, clothes. They must think an awful l o t of you to go to a l l that trouble. But you l i k e i t better i n a place l i k e j u v i e . Well, i f you want to stay I might be able to arrange i t . Juv: No. I don't l i k e i t here. I want to go home. 147 Judge: Oh, now you want to go home. Well Bub, you should have thought of that. You've got i t pretty easy at home and I think you're crazy to r i s k i t . Your parents do every- thing f o r you and then you go out and do something stupid l i k e t h i s . OK,' I'm going to l e t you go home now. Maybe y o u ' l l appreciate i t more now that you've seen t h i s place. I t ' s better than being locked up and marched around. Your parents want what's best for you so you cooperate with them and Mr. Jones (PO) and you won't have to come back. Much court l e c t u r i n g consists of threats and warnings that the juv e n i l e w i l l be removed from home and 'committed' i f he does not straighten out. The strategy i s intended to provide juveniles and parents with ap- prehensions about what w i l l happen i f things don't change. When and i f the probationeoffice'redeeidesmtoeremoveutheijuvenile from the home, however, the terms i n which i n c a r c e r a t i o n or i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n are couched are altered r a d i c a l l y . Emerson has written about the process by which d e l i n - quents are "cooled out": With commitment the delinquent suddenly finds himself a member of what has been described to him as a despicable population of a d e f i l i n g i n s t i t u t i o n . R o u t i n e court procedures, therefore, en- dow commitment with extremely destructive and mortifying mean- ings for s e l f . Problems of simple physical c o n t r o l often make "cooling out" an expedient measure at th i s point. On an i n s t i t u t i o n a l l e v e l , the court's major sanction has a c t u a l l y been invoked; there i s thus a moment stretching from the formal sentence u n t i l the actual transfer of custody to the detention center when the delinquent i s between control structures. More personally, i n c a r c e r a t i o n may w e l l lead the iTSlinquent to f e e l that he has f a l l e n as low as possible and increase the l i k e l i h o o d of h i s "flooding out"... (Emerson, 1969: 211). My analysis of the "cooling out" process d i f f e r s from Emerson's i n s o f a r as I w i l l focus on the methods by which a probation o f f i c e r deals with the "extremely destructive and mortifying meanings" of i n s t i t u t i o n a l 148 commitment. Thus, I w i l l be interested here i n d i s p l a y i n g and analyzing yet another occasioned i n t e r a c t i o n a l accomplishment of 'cooperation'. According to Emerson, "cooling out" i n the court he studied began with the delinquent's e x i t from the courtroom following sentencing. In the court under present consideration, however, the process i s usually engaged i n before the hearing and i s viewed by probation o f f i c e r s as an eseential part of t h e i r pre-court task. Descriptions of i n s t i t u t i o n s , at t h i s stage of the probation process are t y p i c a l l y constructed so as to a l l a y the fear j u v e n i l e s and th e i r parents may f e e l . They also are formulated i n a way which undercuts any sense of ' g u i l t ' that the parent may have over 'cooperating' i n the placement. As Emerson has pointed out: ...cooling out involves redefining the commitment i n neutral terms. The court o f f i c i a l presents i n c a r c e r a t i o n as something that can be accepted and l i v e d with. The delinquent i s t o l d that things are not r e a l l y that bad i n the reform school: i t i s out i n the country, he w i l l l e a r n a trade, the s t a f f w i l l give him a f a i r shake, he can get along i f he behaves himself. He i s shown that h i s future i s not completely hopeless, for with good behaviour he w i l l be out i n a matter of months. In t h i s way the p r i o r d e f i n i t i o n of incarceration as a t o t a l l y degrading and despairing event i s denied, as the delinquent i s offered a conception of s e l f other than the anticipated complete s o c i a l outcast. Basic to the n e u t r a l i z a t i o n of the immediately d e s t r u c t i v e e f f e c t s of i n c a r c e r a t i o n on the delinquent's s e l f i s the pre- sentation of the i n s t i t u t i o n involved i n favorable terms (Emer- son, 1969: 213). What Emerson glosses as 'redefining the commitment' i s a c t u a l l y a complicated i n t e r a c t i o n a l accomplishment which may involve, as we have seen, parents and c h i l d . On the occasion under present consideration, the probation o f f i c e r has e n l i s t e d the help of the father i n providing the \ 149 mother with the 'proper' understanding of placement, one which w i l l enable her to 'cooperate' i n the placement process. Note that her 'cooperation', or at l e a s t lack of 'resistance' becomes a resource with which the juven- i l e 's cooperation may then be sought. 'Placement' under the probation o f f i c e r ' s formulation i s pre- sented as the 'only way' to provide the necessary t r a i n i n g the j u v e n i l e needs to enable himself to obtain a job. The moral meaning of 'placement' from the mother's point of view, e.g., that i t is_ e s s e n t i a l l y 'punishment', and that i t implies ' f a i l u r e ' of the family and h e r s e l f as a mother, are matters to which the father now attends. Note how the father's ' d i s c i - p l i n a r i a n ' a t t i t u d e i s r e f l e c t e d i n a rather confused and s e l f - c o n t r a d i c t - ing attempt to portray 'placement' i n terms more acceptable to h i s wife: Fa: I am i n c l i n e d to agree with that. As I said to John to- night. Naturally, I don't want him to go away to a - what- ever i t i s - i f i t ' s not necessary. But b a s i c a l l y what I want i s what's going to be good f o r John i n the long run. Now I have t r i e d to explain to him that, you know, he's not going to, you know, a prison or anything l i k e that. He's going to be placed on the honour system. And I f e e l that i f they can take him and put him i n with t h i s d i s c i p l i n e which you get, get him away from home which I think i s an important thing - I think he's had too much of mom and dad, and I think now he's got to have - be somewhere where they crack the whip i n a benevolent way - i f we can have i t - nevertheless even i f they can't, he's got to be somewhere where they crack the whip. He's got to develop a new standard of behaviour and a new standard of ideas. Now he i s a f r a i d of, and I can see t h i s , "I don't want to be,locked up again." You know, this business of being locked up i s stuck i n h i s mind. You know, you don't go to the bathroom unless you go i n t r i p l i c a t e without about three keys - or whatever the system i s . I don't know, but you know what I mean. PO: We'll get him i n and explain i t to him that i t ' s not l i k e that. 150 Fa: And t h i s , of course, i s what he's a f r a i d of. This i s what he says he's a f r a i d of. And, uh, apart from that I think that i t w i l l be a good idea, i f the place i s as I see i t . I don't know. Mo: I'd l i k e to know what i t ' s l i k e . The father expresses agreement with the PO's suggestion that Boy's Home i s a 'reasonable placement' i n which the j u v e n i l e w i l l have a chance 'to prove h i m s e l f . He then reveals that he has 'discussed' and 'explained' the placement to the j u v e n i l e and that h i s son i s ' a f r a i d ' of being locked up. The father's d e s c r i p t i o n of relevant aspects of 'place- ment' on the present occasion i s not couched i n what Emerson has c a l l e d 'neutral terms', a l b e i t they are c e r t a i n l y 'matter-of-fact'. Note that the de s c r i p t i o n provided by the father i s not designed to accomplish 'coopera- t i o n ' i n the manner c i t e d by Emerson. Rather, the t y p i f i c a t i o n of the i n - s t i t u t i o n i s a place where 'the whip w i l l be cracked', a l b e i t benevolently, i f p o s s i b l e . He suggests that the boy must le a r n new r u l e s , and that d i s c i p l i n e i s the only way to change him i n the desired d i r e c t i o n s . Note that the father also argues that an 'important thing' i s to get the j u v e n i l e away from home, insofar as he has had 'too much' mom and dad. This r e f e r - ence, l i k e the PO's, e x p l i c i t l y c o n f l i c t s with the mother's d e f i n i t i o n of the problem and s o l u t i o n . The father's d e s c r i p t i o n of placement i s one which i s not constructed so as to maximize the p r o b a b i l i t y that the mother and son w i l l 'accept' and/or cooperate i n placement. I suggest that the probation o f f i c e r recognizes t h i s f a c t , and moves to provide the 'proper' r e d e f i n i t i o n i n the ensuing i n t e r a c t i o n . Notice that as the PO subsequently discusses the offense, placement, etc., he i s providing the parents with 151 the 'proper' understanding which i s then used by both the father and PO during l a t e r 'convincing' i n t e r a c t i o n with the j u v e n i l e himself. The father states that he has attempted to 'explain' the placement to the j u - v e n i l e , but has no personal knowledge of the place and i s , therefore, not i n a p o s i t i o n to argue e f f e c t i v e l y . The mother then picks up on this par- t i c u l a r l i n e of reasoning, and says that she would l i k e 'to know what i t ' s l i k e ' . The PO then provides them with the adequate-for-his-practical- purposes-description of the i n s t i t u t i o n being recommended f o r placement: PO: Well, the Home, i t ' s b a s i c a l l y a b i g farm. I t ' s about s i x t y acres. They have chores to do there. They work, they earn free time....There's no fences, no b a r r i e r s , he can walk away from there. But of course they'd put out a warrant. ((The account continues by emphasizing the a v a i l a b i l i t y of vocational t r a i n i n g , and the 'fact' that 'psychologists' w i l l be present to counsel and 'motivate' the j u v e n i l e . The probation o f f i c e r emphasizes the 'fact' that the j u v e n i l e w i l l be i n a p o s i t i o n to 'earn home v i s i t s ' 'almost as soon as he gets there'.)) F i r s t , l e t us b r i e f l y contrast the descriptions produced by the father and probation o f f i c e r of the ' i n s t i t u t i o n ' . As I have pointed out e a r l i e r , the father's i n s t i t u t i o n i s one i n which the 'whip i s cracked' and ' d i s c i p l i n e ' i s dispensed by the persons i n authority. Such a s e t t i n g i s viewed as a c o r r e c t i v e f o r h i s behaviour which i s viewed as uncontrollable i n the present context. The probation o f f i c e r ' s account makes absolutely no reference to whip-cracking and no e x p l i c i t reference to the exercise of ' d i s c i p l i n e ' w i t h i n the i n s t i t u t i o n . Rather than 'whip-cracking' s t a f f , an image which i s almost c e r t a i n to exacerbate any reservations the mother and j u v e n i l e have about placement, the j u v e n i l e w i l l be 'motivated' and 152 'counseled' by 'trained p s y c h i a t r i s t s ' . The image i s one which would per- haps be much more comforting to most mothers, i f not delinquents, an i n - s t i t u t i o n which i s 'therapeutic' and ' r e h a b i l i t a t i v e ' rather than one which i s 'run' on 'brute force' and 'fear'. As far as the fear supposedly ex- pressed by the j u v e n i l e over 'being locked up', the probation o f f i c e r pre- sents a rather i d y l l i c scene, open f i e l d s , no fences, no r e s t r a i n t s . He adds, however, that though the juve n i l e s may walk away from the i n s t i t u - t i o n , there w i l l be further court a c t i o n , the im p l i c a t i o n being that i f the j u v e n i l e does walk away from the s e t t i n g , the court may f i n d one which does have 'locks. Again, i n other words, this d i s p o s i t i o n a l recommendation i s shown to be p r o v i s i o n a l , to depend upon the juv e n i l e ' s performance i n roughly the same way that 'probation' during e a r l i e r i n t e r a c t i o n was i n i - t i a l l y shown to be p r o v i s i o n a l . A great deal i s made here by the probation o f f i c e r of the 'chance' for the j u v e n i l e 'inside' the i n s t i t u t i o n to 'prove h i m s e l f . Thus, how he i s treated and what w i l l happen,i.e., how long he w i l l be i n the i n s t i t u t i o n , how much 'freedom' he w i l l be allowed while there, etc., are a l l t i e d by the probation o f f i c e r to h i s performance. The parents are instructed to see the s e t t i n g as one. i n which there i s s u f f i c i e n t 'roomfor development','maturation', etc., rather than a 'closed', 'confining', and 'oppressive' environment. The probation o f f i c e r also stresses the p o s s i b i l i t y of 'earned home v i s i t s ' , a feature which undercuts the sense of 'removal' from the home, while at the same time d i s p l a y i n g i t as a device for 'motivating adjustment' and 'cooperation' within the i n - s t i t u t i o n . In other words, i t i s suggested that the greater the juvenile's 153 'real desire to return home', the 'better' his expectable 'adjustment' and 'behaviour'. During the ensuing exchange, the father ( i n what seemed l i k e a co l l a b o r a t i v e attempt to i n t e r a c t i o n a l l y 'persuade' the mother) asks a se r i e s of questions about the i n s t i t u t i o n and i s methodically 'convinced' by the probation o f f i c e r that the Home would be a 'good place' for h i s son. He asks about the t r a i n i n g of the s t a f f , whether they 'assume' that a boy i s 'a c r i m i n a l ' or l e t him 'prove h i m s e l f . The PO r e p l i e s with a se r i e s of answers which point up the 'benevolent', 'humane', 'warm', and 'pro- f e s s i o n a l ' character of the i n s t i t u t i o n and i t s s t a f f . The 'co l l a b o r a t i v e ' i n t e r a c t i o n a l 'convincing' i s staged i n a way which ensures that the mother w i l l see the father asking the 'proper' questions and r e f l e c t i n g the 'proper' concerns of a parent who wants to make sure that the 'placement' i s i n the best i n t e r e s t of the c h i l d . Note that the mother's s i l e n c e may be taken as evidence that the placement i s s a t i s f a c t o r y ! The mother d i d not p a r t i c i p a t e i n the i n t e r a c t i o n , however, and f i n a l l y the PO d i r e c t l y addresses what he takes to be the grounds for her concerns: PO: B a s i c a l l y , from your standpoint Mrs. Jones I appreciate your feelings and I think I know what's bothering you. You don't want to f e e l that you're sort of throwing John to the wolves. Fa: Right. Right. PO: But i t ' s not l i k e that at a l l . Fa: No. No. PO: I t ' l l be no d i f f e r e n t .than sending him away to camp. Only the f a c t that he's going there under court order. He must go there. And he would s t i l l be on probation and part of 154 the terms of probation would be that he would conform with the rules and regulations of Boy's Home. Mo: Yes. Fa: Well as I said to my wife tonight, "Well, you know we may not think that this i s the answer - but what i s the a l t e r n a - t i v e ? " And the a l t e r n a t i v e i s c e r t a i n l y not to go along as we have been going along. PO: I've thought a l o t about i t and I don't know of any a l t e r - native myself. Again, what i s taken to be the mother's d e f i n i t i o n of the meaning of placement i s addressed i n terms which are intended to provide her with the a l t e r n a t i v e way of understanding i t . .Rather than 'throwing her son to the wolves', the mother i s instructed to ' f e e l ' that she i s , rather, sending him to a 'camp with r u l e s ' . The change of status i s de-emphasized by the PO's remark that the j u v e n i l e w i l l s t i l l be on probation, a 'fact' which c o n f l i c t s with what the mother may assume to be a necessarily-associated feature of i n s t i t u t i o n a l placement, revocation of probation, which i n turn may be seen as ' f a i l u r e ' i n a f i n a l sense. The perceived magnitude of the change i n status i s also undercut by the probation o f f i c e r when he states that the j u v e n i l e may 'earn' home v i s i t s . As I have already sa i d , such a feature of placement blurs the per- ceived d i f f e r e n c e between probation ' i n the home' and 'in an i n s t i t u t i o n ' . Because of t h i s , much i s made of this 'option',in undercutting 'severe and f i n a l ' characterizations of placement. , Placement at Boy's Home here and now i s presented and character- ized as a 'minor' change i n c e r t a i n non-threatening respects while being a 'major' change i n c e r t a i n respects which are seen to be mutually desired by the probation o f f i c e r and both parents. 155 Along with the changed 'meaning' of placement i n an i n s t i t u t i o n v i a the generally benevolent t y p i f i c a t i o n of the i n s t i t u t i o n and i t s s t a f f , an attempt i s made to provide the mother with the sense that the recommended placement i s the only 'reasonable' a l t e r n a t i v e . F i r s t I want to c a l l a t t e n t i o n to the way the PO moves to i d e n t i f y h i s recommended placement as the only a l t e r n a t i v e . In e f f e c t , he:is support- ing the father's utterance, but I would l i k e to suggest that, by v i r t u e of h i s i d e n t i t y as a probation o f f i c e r , as an 'expert' i n 'these matters', h i s utterance may be assigned s p e c i a l weight by the mother. He does not say the words i n a casual or off-hand manner, and the construction of the utterance e x p l i c i t l y labels the recommendation as the r e s u l t of 'a l o t of thinking' by a probation o f f i c e r . Thus, the probation o f f i c e r i n s t r u c t s the mother to treat h i s recommendation as the end r e s u l t of a process by which ' a l l ' reasonable a l t e r n a t i v e s were considered and rejected for one reason or another, save the offered recommendation. By opening t h i s way, the PO lessens the p r o b a b i l i t y of having the recommendation treated as 'just a suggestion' offered as the i n i t i a l gambit i n a neogitating session. The i n t e r a c t i o n which follows the probation o f f i c e r ' s remark about 'no a l t e r n a t i v e s ' focuses upon the delinquent act and i t s p r a c t i c a l import for the interactants. What the family had done about the a c t / discussions that they have had with the youth regarding the act and 'why' he di d i t are matters which are discussed i n depth. Competing i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the act and i t s meaning are offered and assessed. Throughout such i n t e r - action, the PO may be seen attempting to accomplish the 'reasonableness' of his recommendation and the 'unreasonableness' of a l t e r n a t i v e s . Such 156 exchanges are e s s e n t i a l to the apparently 'smooth', 'non-problematic', or 'e f f i c i e n t ' accomplishment of various probation tasks. How parents and juveniles i n t e r p r e t , account f o r , excuse, punish, etc., delinquent be- haviour of probationers are matters which may be seen to underlie and account for cooperation or c o n f l i c t , and the probation o f f i c e r i s interested i n maximizing cooperation wherever p r a c t i c a l . The data gathered during i n t e r - actions with parents may be used to ensure t h e i r cooperation both here, during the coming i n t e r a c t i o n with the son when they w i l l be c a l l e d upon to 'help explain' the recommendation to him, and during court when the judge must be provided with an adequate-for-all-practical-purposes 'under- standing' of the offense and i t s p r a c t i c a l import, i . e . , the s p e c i f i c d i s - p o s i t i o n recommendation. Aft e r e l i c i t i n g the information that the j u v e n i l e has 'only made a token e f f o r t ' to pay h i s parents back for the stolen money, the PO raises a question which i s extremely relevant f o r constructing a probation-adequate 'understanding' of the offense: PO: Have you had to remind him about the f a c t that he was r e - leased to you pending his t r i a l under c e r t a i n conditions? In other words has he been coming i n on time? Fa: Oh yeah. Well, I told you th i s the other day. Mo: Yes, oh yes he's been very good. The probation o f f i c e r here c a l l s on the parents to 'remember' the conditions of probation and the f a c t that the j u v e n i l e was released to them under those conditions. The 'sense' of prob a t i o n - v i o l a t i o n i s thus ex- pressly nurtured, the parents are encouraged to view the offense as well as any other 'problem' behaviour as probation relevant, as part of the 'reason' 157 for placement. Here the terms are employed with l i m i t e d 'success' i n the l o c a t i o n of v i o l a t i o n s with which to bolster the recommendation. Note how general 'good behaviour' may not bring the recommendation into question insofar as the probation o f f i c e r opened the interview by suggesting that juveniles 'facing court' may behave i n order to e f f e c t the court's d e c i - sion, but then get into trouble as soon as the hearing i s over. The probation o f f i c e r then d i r e c t s h i s att e n t i o n to the juvenile's fear of 'being locked up', asking i f they have discussed i t with the j u - v e n i l e . The mother says that she has talked with him about i t . John t o l d her that the father wanted him to go, but that he wanted her to ask him not to do i t . He said that he would 'do anything' rather than be removed from the home. She also stated that he wanted to wrok, and that he didn't think that he could i f he was 'locked up'. The mother then announces that she must leave for a class immediately and w i l l , therefore, not be present during the interview with the j u v e n i l e . The mother would not be a member of the 'team' which would now attempt to 'convince' the j u v e n i l e that 'placement' would be the only reasonable d i s p o s i t i o n , but she would not be i n a p o s i t i o n to a c t i v e l y support the j u v e n i l e i f he objected. A f t e r the interview, the probation o f f i c e r expressed r e l i e f over the f a c t that she had not been present. He suggested that 'the kid never would have gone along' i f the mother had been present to give him any support. The pro- bation o f f i c e r ' s strategy had worked insofar as he had been able to e f f e c - t i v e l y counter the mother's resistance at l e a s t f o r the moment. Before she leaves, however, the probation o f f i c e r engages her and the father i n 158 ad d i t i o n a l i n t e r a c t i o n about the case, focusing increasingly on the o f - fense and the juvenile's motivation. In so doing, he gathers useful information about these relevant matters while, once again, providing the parents i n a col l a b o r a t i v e production of the 'proper' understanding of the phenomena discussed. In an important sense, t h i s i n t e r a c t i o n may be viewed as a 'dress rehearsal' f o r the immediately ensuing i n t e r a c t i o n with the j u v e n i l e , 'talks' the juv e n i l e may have with h i s parents before 'place- ment', and court i n t e r a c t i o n . When we turn to an examination of the subsequent interview with the j u v e n i l e , we w i l l see how PO and father trade on the 'understandings' developed during t h i s i n t e r a c t i o n i n t h e i r construction of l a t e r utterances. The probation o f f i c e r asks i f the parents have discussed the case with the j u v e n i l e . The mother answers: MO: We've brought i t up and reminded him, but we r e a l l y haven't discussed i t much. PO: Well has he gotten into why he did i t ? Whether or not the parents 'discussed i t ' with the j u v e n i l e and what they 'did about i t ' have been shown to be omnirelevant concerns of 2 probation o f f i c e r s during t h e i r everyday a c t i v i t i e s . whether or not the parents 'discussed' the i n f r a c t i o n with the j u v e n i l e may be treated as an i n d i c a t i o n of whether or not they treated i t as a matter of concern. The f a c t that they ' r e a l l y haven't discussed i t ' may be used by the probation o f f i c e r to document the 'need' for e x t r a - f a m i l i a l methods i n dealing with the matter. This 'fact' becomes ava i l a b l e f o r use i n 'convincing' the 2. See, f o r example, the discu s s i o n of i n i t i a l pre-court contacts i n Chapter Two. 1 5 9 parents and the judge that placement i s warranted. By t h i s , I mean that the parents are encouraged to 'see' t h e i r f a i l u r e to 'discuss the matter' as something which undercuts any claim they may make to having provided the court prescribed 'supervision and guidance'. I have already mentioned other p r a c t i c a l grounds f o r the PO's in t e r e s t i n parent-child discussions. Paramount among these i s the fac t that the PO w i l l be 'discussing' the matter with the j u v e n i l e and parents i n the immediate future and needs the information i n order to develop h i s i n t e r a c t i o n a l s t r a t e g i e s and to prepare the parents for t h e i r 'parts'. Thus, the manner i n which the matter was discussed with the j u v e n i l e and the information which they are able to provide now may be traded upon as a r e - source for the PO i n t h i s , and subsequent i n t e r a c t i o n s . He i s also now able to 'repair' understandings and int e r p r e t a t i o n s of the meaning of the offense, etc., which are, from his point of view, improper or inadequate. Both parents respond to the PO's probe about whether the j u v e n i l e had t o l d them 'why he did i t ' . The father says that the j u v e n i l e had wanted money but then says that he can't understand why he 'needs so much money': "You see I can understand him needing ten, twenty d o l l a r s . I mean th i s l a s t episode was f i f t y bucks off my wife's housekeeping money". The mother then moves to provide an 'explanation' f o r the need, i . e . : "But he l i k e s nice things." This remark points up the 'normal' even 'desir- able' motivational base for the delinquent act. The 'problem' under t h i s formulation i s the methods by which money for 'nice' things i s obtained, but the 'things' per se are not part of the 'problem'. The formulation provides for a possible 'solution' to the problem i n terms of allowing the 160 j u v e n i l e to 'have' more money, i . e . , a bigger allowance, or helping him to obtain a job. The mother has already r a i s e d the issue of the j u v e n i l e ' s fear of being incarcerated along with hi s strongly professed desire to 'work', a legitimate and probation-adequate method of obtaining funds f o r 'nice things'. Although the mother w i l l not be present during the ensuing discussion, she has once again presented an 'explanation' of the offense and now the motivation of the j u v e n i l e i n terms which undercuts placement as the only s o l u t i o n . Also, the mother's p a r t i c u l a r understanding of the offense and the juvenile's motivation, her concerns and fears, etc., seem to correspond to the j u v e n i l e ' s . By c o l l a b o r a t i v e l y dealing with the mo- ther's account the PO and father can be seen as preparing to deal with the j u v e n i l e . I t i s i n t h i s sense that the present discussion of the case and development of i n t e r p r e t i v e machinery with which to accomplish the probation- adequate understanding must be seen. When the mother says that the j u v e n i l e ' l i k e s nice things', the father turns to the researcher and says that he 'thinks' that the j u v e n i l e may be buying drugs with 'some' of the money. He then turns to the mother and probation o f f i c e r and continues: Fa: But you see, what does he do with a hundred bucks? And this made me very thoughtful because I j u s t wondered whe- ther or not that he was using this to buy drugs. So I asked quite frankly, and he said d e f i n i t e l y no. And we've no evidence that he i s . PO: Ah, but the l a s t time the one instance he was high. I waited here with (the lawyer) and he was high that night, when we went for the walk. He told you he had a couple of beers, but then he t o l d me that he smoked a few j o i n t s . 161 Fa: I mean I wouldn't be surprised i f , i f at this time - you see he's worried, and I know he's worried, and h i s beha- viour i s such that he's worried, i n f a c t he's very despon- dent and we've f e l t extremely sorry for him. Maybe espe- c i a l l y l a s t night, you know, i t ' s preying on his mind. And you know he was down, depressed and bored and so f o r t h and so on, so I f e l t sorry for him, you know. The father opens t h i s exchange by again r e f e r r i n g to the scale of the money involved and then suggests that he 'wondered' whether the juv e n i l e was buying drugs. The offered formulation of the offense d i f f e r s markedly from the one offered by the mother. Rather than 'needing money f o r nice things' the j u v e n i l e i s portrayed as 'perhaps' being involved with drugs, the status of the deviant behaviour becomes t i e d to a delinquent behaviour which would be expectably of concern to the parents. Notice how 'more money' under t h i s explanation i s d e f i n i t e l y not a 'reasonable' s o l u t i o n . Even the taken-for-granted value of the juve n i l e ' s l o c a t i o n of a job i s c a l l e d into question i f the wages are to be used to obtain drugs. The father then immediately q u a l i f i e s h i s utterance by saying that he has ' d e f i n i t e l y ' denied the a l l e g a t i o n and that the parents have no 'evidence' that the ju v e n i l e i s buying drugs. The PO then introduces 'evidence'. Note the s i m i l a r i t i e s between the present on-going i n t e r a c t i o n and court proceedings. The PO and parents are involved i n determinations of f a c t , weighing of evidence, s i f t i n g of accounts, etc. The probation o f f i c e r ' s 'evidence' i s that the j u v e n i l e t o l d him that he had smoked marijuana before one of h i s v i s i t s to the home. The parents are being instru c t e d that the j u v e n i l e has smoked marijuana while 'on probation', a behaviour which i s s p e c i f i c a l l y proscribed i n the juvenile's terms of probation. Further, the juvenile's 'denial' may now be 162 treated as a ' l i e ' , a sign of non-cooperation which may underpin the sense that he i s ' f a i l i n g ' on probation i n the home. I t should be pointed out that the j u v e n i l e may have denied using 'stolen money' to buy drugs, or that he was 'stealing i n order to buy drugs'. These possible in t e r p r e t a t i o n s are not pursued, however, and the general impression developed by the father and probation o f f i c e r was that the j u v e n i l e was s t e a l i n g large amounts of money to use for the purchase of 'drugs' and that he had ' l i e d ' to h i s father i n order to conceal the f a c t . Thus, the theft i s 'explained' v i a the introduction of 'drug buying'. Lacking i n the account, however, i s any attempt to locate a 'cause' for the purchase of drugs. I suggest that i n t h i s respect, the i n t e r a c t i o n thus far has not provided a probation-adequate 'explanation' of the be- haviour. 'Drug use' can be taken as evidence of a wide-ranging v a r i e t y of 'problems', i . e . , as an a c t i v i t y which 'loosens' s e l f - c o n t r o l and promotes h o s t i l e or aggressive behaviour, or one which r e f l e c t s s o c i a l - p s y c h o l o g i c a l withdrawal. Thus, 'mere' drug use i s not an adequate i n d i c a t o r of 'essen- t i a l moral character', to use Werthman's term, and court personnel are involved i n adequate-for-practical-purposes determinations of e s s e n t i a l moral character. The father's utterance shields the juvenile's character from the strong negative inferences which could be drawn from the 'fact' that his son has 'stolen money fran h i s own parents i n order to buy drugs 163 3 and then l i e d to his father i n denying i t . ' I r o n i c a l l y , the father's utterance shddds the son by trading on h i s status as 'probationer'. His 'drug use' i s seen as a response to h i s s i t u a t i o n , i . e . , a probationer who i s facing further court action as one who has ' f a i l e d ' on probation. His behaviour, i n order words, i s seen as being produced by h i s 'worried', 'despondent', 'depressed' mental condition, which i n turn i s seen as being produced by concern over the p o s s i b i l i t y of being removed from h i s home and 'locked up'. The father's account thus warrants his ' f e e l i n g sorry for the j u v e n i l e . The 'drug use' engaged i n by t h i s j u v e n i l e i s depicted i n terms which undercut any attempt to i n f e r an e s s e n t i a l l y 'bad' moral character. In p r a c t i c a l terms, such a c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n might be traded upon by a parent to accomplish the 'unreasonableness' or 'unfairness' of placement i f placement i s viewed as 'punishment'. Again, the issue which may be raised i s i f 'placement' as a response to this p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n as described by the parent i s going to do more fharm ; than "good , i . e . , i f the juvenile i s taking drugs because he i s 'depressed' over the p o s s i - b i l i t y of being removed from the home, then he might become more de- pressed', 'desperate 1, etc. when, i n f a c t , he i s removed. The s o l u t i o n once again can be construed, when so conceived, as causing more serious problems. Here the probation o f f i c e r i s confronted with an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the 'meaning' of the probationer's behaviour, 'attitude', etc., which may be expected to generate 'problems' i n the future. The father w i l l be 3. This account of the son's actions forms a t y p i f i c a t i o n which contains "destructive and mortifying meanings f o r s e l f " , i n Emerson's terms. 164 i n a p o s i t i o n to 'object to' or ' r e s i s t ' the recommendation of the proba- t i o n o f f i c e r and provide 'support' for the son both during the impending attempt to 'convince' him that placement i s the 'only reasonable s o l u t i o n ' to the ' s i t u a t i o n as i t stands, and later i n court'. E a r l i e r , the probation o f f i c e r attempted to redefine the concept of 'placement' i n terms which would render i t acceptable to the parents. Now the probation o f f i c e r en- gages i n further attempts to accomplish the singular 'reasonableness' of his planned recommendation: PO: Well yeah, but you know we're getting into the climax. Uh, this has been going on for a length of time and i t ' s hard on everybody. You know, I f e e l that we're not going to get another chance with John i f we don't come up with something. Fa: Yes. Yes. PO: This i s i t . Fa: As you say, I mean t h i s can eit h e r make him or break him. And I f e e l that we've got to take that chance. PO: That's about i t . ' You know i t would be very easy to walk into court and to say "I recommend that he go on probation, go back home and have done with i t . " ((pause)) Now I mean John - from my point of view - John has never r e a l l y had to answer f o r - look - for anything because you've always pro- tected him. Now he's f i n a l l y gotten into something where he couldn't, and as f a r as staying home, John was only here i n body. Fa: Yes, but Mr. Smith, just a minute Mr. Smith, PO: He was a c t u a l l y l i v i n g i n that other place. The matter of f a c t way i n which the probation o f f i c e r speaks of 'the climax' contrasts markedly with the father's emotion-charged desc r i p - t i o n of the 'desperate' mood of h i s son. The probation o f f i c e r speaks as 'an expert' who has had a great deal of experience working with juveniles and f a m i l i e s ' i n trouble'. "Now we're getting into the climax" suggests 165 that there i s nothing exceptional about t h i s p a r t i c u l a r case, that i t con- forms to a t y p i c a l pattern the PO has 'seen' i n the past, i . e . , the PO knows and can recognize a 'pattern'. The use of 'climax' i n t h i s way im- p l i e s that the 'worry', etc., w i l l soon be over. The parents, of course, have more or le s s l i m i t e d 'experience' with juveniles who are i n trouble and are, i n this respect, at an i n t e r a c t i o n a l disadvantage. They are merely instructed to 'see' the 'climax' i n the recommended d i s p o s i t i o n and to see i t as 'the end' of a d i f f i c u l t period which was 'hard on every- body'. The PO's 'expertise' also lends ominous import to the remark that 'we're not going to get another chance'. In other words, the PO implies that he recognizes the pattern and can t e l l here and now that, 'this i s i t ' , that i f the recommended action i s not taken, i t w i l l be 'too l a t e ' to save the j u v e n i l e . The impression offered to the parents i s that, as the father quickly states "we've got to take that chance". I t should be noted that the way i n which 'placement' i s being characterized by probation o f f i c e r and father has undergone a s i g n i f i c a n t change during this stage i n the probation i n t e r a c t i o n s . One way of t a l k - ing about 'placement' i n l i e u of continued probation i n the home would be to say that the j u v e n i l e had already been given a ' l a s t chance' by the judge and had f a i l e d . As we have seen, descriptions of 'probation' as 'one l a s t chance' are frequently made when a j u v e n i l e i s placed on probation. Indeed, providing the juvenile with the sense of having been granted a chance to 'prove h i m s e l f i s a fundamental, e x p l i c i t l y addressed goal of 166 much court-probation i n t e r a c t i o n from the point of view of court personnel. Take, for example, the following t y p i c a l admonition of a judge addressing a 'new' probationer: Judge: A l l r i g h t young man. You're going to go home. I'm going to l e t you go home on probation, but i f you come back, i f Mr. Brown (PO) t e l l s me that you're not obeying him and your parents or v i o l a t i n g your terms, well I'm not going to l e t you off again. This i s your l a s t chance, do you understand that? Juv: Yes s i r . We have also seen that many probationers do not, i n f a c t , cooper- ate p e r f e c t l y with parents and probation o f f i c e r s and that they v i o l a t e their terms of probation on occasion without being returned to court. The threat of return to court with the concomitant recommendation of a more 'd r a s t i c ' recommendation, i . e . , 'placement' i s quite frequently employed by probation o f f i c e r s i n attempts to 'shake up' a probationer i n order to 'straighten him out' or at least d i splay the consequences of continued inadequate performance. Negative, forboding t y p i f i c a t i o n s of 'placement', 'ra i s i n g to adult court', etc., are constructed and employed i n the i n t e r - a c t i o n a l p r o vision of the probationer with a sense of apprehension over the consequences he may face. One of the more subtle ways i n which 'placement' i s being 're- defined' during the present exchange i s that 'placement' i t s e l f i s being talked about as 'a l a s t chance' i t s e l f rather than the f i n a l consequence of f a i l i n g to take advantage of 'the l a s t chance', e.g., 'probation i n the home'. 'Placement' as a chance for the j u v e i l e to prove himself i s a topic which was e a r l i e r raised by the father and probation o f f i c e r during t h e i r collaboratively-generated benign depiction of the i n s t i t u t i o n . 167 The probation o f f i c e r then, however, begins to develop a r a t i o n - ale f o r the necessity of removing the j u v e n i l e from the home i n terms which, for the f i r s t time, seem to be e x p l i c i t l y c r i t i c a l of the j u v e n i l e ' s parents. The PO i s moving to e s t a b l i s h the 'inadequacy' of the 'super- v i s i o n and guidance' provided the youth which establishes the l e g a l war- rant for 'placement'. For the f i r s t time the father i s confronted with the claim that, at l e a s t from the probation o f f i c e r ' s point of view: John has never r e a l l y had to answer for - look - for anything because you've always protected him. Now he's f i n a l l y gotten i n t o something where he couldn't, Here i s a more e x p l i c i t and, therefore, more threatening version of the PO's e a r l i e r remark that the j u v e n i l e has been able to escape f e e l - ing 'responsible' for h i s actions because h i s parents 'pay' f o r him. I t also resembles the father's e a r l i e r remark that the j u v e n i l e has had "too 4 much mom and dad" . Now he suggests that 'too much mom and dad' and the 5 'negative sense of s e c u r i t y ' a c t u a l l y c o n s t i t u t e 'over-protection' by_ the the parents, a feature of the home which i s portrayed as undercutting the impact of probation because, e.g., "John has never r e a l l y had to answer for anything because you've always protected him". The probation o f f i c e r also describes the 'present s i t u a t i o n ' i n a way which once more minimizes the perceived negative moral meaning of 'placement outside the home', e s p e c i a l l y the notions which have been shown 6 to be held by the mother. I am r e f e r r i n g to the probation o f f i c e r ' s remark 4. See p. 149. 5. See p. 142 6. On pp. 110-118 I discussed these notions and analyzed the work done by PO and father i n attempting to provide her with 'probation-adequate' notions. 168 that: "...and as far as staying home, John was only here i n body....He was a c t u a l l y l i v i n g i n that other place". E a r l i e r , the PO had employed the notion of 'earned home v i s i t ' to undercut the appearance of placement as a d r a s t i c and complete removal of the j u v e n i l e from the home. Now he trades on the common-sense psychological notion that a person can be one place ' i n mind' and another 'in body' to argue that the j u v e n i l e ' s mind i s not ' r e a l l y ' i n the home at present and that that i n i t s e l f i s a large part of the 'problem'. The account informs the parents that they would not be removing him from the house, rather, he has already done that himself, 'at l e a s t mentally'. The parents are i n v i t e d to see 'placement' as a r e i n t e - gration of mind and body. The PO's Cartesian d e s c r i p t i o n of the j u v e n i l e also quite powerfully points up the parent's lack of 'control' over the youth ' i n the home'. In perhaps an even more subtle way, i t suggests that i n some respects, the j u v e n i l e i s i n some so r t of 'cognitive' v i o l a t i o n of probation insofar as 'his mind' i s not i n compliance with the 'reasonable requests of h i s parents'. 'The other place' referred to i s a community center where juveniles i n the neighbourhood meet and where, evidently, some of them d i s t r i b u t e and take drugs. The parents are provided with the i n t e r - p r e t i v e machinery with which to 'explain', ' j u s t i f y ' , etc., placement of the j u v e n i l e to themselves, the boy himself, r e l a t i v e s , f r i e n d s , and anyone else who may have an i n t e r e s t i n the phenomenon. The father, however, gains the f l o o r to challenge the probation o f f i c e r ' s remarks about the 'protective' nature of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r parent- c h i l d r e l a t i o n s h i p : 169 Fa: But I - I would say no more than normal c h i l d r e n . C h i l - dren are protected merely by the f a c t of l i v i n g at home. A l l c h i l d r e n are. The father reacts to the probation o f f i c e r ' s claim that the 'pro- blem' i s at l e a s t p a r t i a l l y a t t r i b u t a b l e to 'overly-protective' parents by arguing that 'normal c h i l d r e n ' by v i r t u e of the f a c t that they l i v e at home are 'protected by t h e i r parents'. 'Parents' are i n the routine, everyday business of protecting t h e i r c h i l d r e n . The probation o f f i c e r then c i t e s 'probation-relevant' data to substantiate h i s account. The j u v e n i l e was being detained at the j u v e i l e h a l l when the probation had contacted the father, who at that time did not wish to have the j u v e n i l e released into his custody. The probation o f f i c e r had then planned h i s court appearance accordingly. The probation o f f i c e r ' s schedule, etc., had been complicated when the father had changed h i s mind and decided that he d i d want the juve n i l e released. The probation o f f i c e r ' s voice r a i s e s a b i t a n g r i l y as he 'reminds' the father: PO: Now he was released to your custody, which you didn't want i n the f i r s t instance. You refused to get involved. You know, you sai d : "I can't get involved". Yet then you went ahead and went through the lawyer thing and everything. He was released and you were instructed by the court - and you were standing there - as to the terms he was released under. I t was that same night that he saw the Barker boy, and he admitted s t e a l i n g your hosue money - denying i t f i r s t - and then gave i t to the Hopkins boy. In other words h i s asso- c i a t i o n with h i s peer group was so great that i t was grea- ter than h i s love f o r you - and he l i e d to you. It would seem that 'over-protection' i n this case i s used by the probation o f f i c e r to r e f e r to the father's inconsistent court-related be- haviour. The father i s being sanctioned at l e a s t p a r t i a l l y f o r 'fouling up' the probation o f f i c e r ' s accomplishment of his probation tasks. The meti- 170 culous care with which the probation o f f i c e r i s dealing with these i n t e r - actants r e f l e c t s the 'fact' that t h e i r past behaviour has indicated that they may 'cause trouble' f o r court personnel as well as ensuring t h e i r 'help' i n convincing the probationer to accept placement without r e s i s - tence. The probation o f f i c e r i s undercutting the father's 'credentials' for analyzing the case by describing h i s 'inconsistent' involvement and almost immediate 'ineffectiveness' during the e a r l i e r 'problem'. Note how the 'terms' of probation are employed on th i s occasion. E a r l i e r the PO had traded upon them to f i n d out'.'whether the parents had discussed the juvenile's behaviour with him i n the context of ' v i o l a t i o n s ' of h i s terms of probation. Information was gathered which i s then a v a i l a b l e during the coming probation-relevant interactions with the j u v e n i l e . Now, however, the probation o f f i c e r i s using the machinery of the terms, and their ear- l i e r i n t e r a c t i o n a l 'laying down' to accomplish the 'proper' understanding of probation 'here and now' by the father. Not only were the terms 'layed down' for the probationer, but the father i s also 'reminded' that "you were standing there" and that not only the juvenile,but the father himself was instructed "as to the terms he was released under". The father i s pro- vided with grounds for tre a t i n g the v i o l a t i o n as an i n d i c a t o r of a basic problem, as a r e f l e c t i o n of the 'fa c t ' that the problem here i s at l e a s t p a r t i a l l y a t t r i b u t a b l e to his defective performance as the father of a probationer. Thus, the father learns that future manifestations of his past performance 'in court' may be d i f f e r e n t l y interpreted by the judge and other court personnel. The probation o f f i c e r ' s causal account of the o f - fense i s formulated i n a way which 'explains' i t i n a way which may be seen to be threatening to the parents' ' d e f i n i t i o n of the s i t u a t i o n ' : 171 In other words h i s association with h i s peer group was so great that i t was greater than h i s love f o r you and he l i e d to you. The PO here activates the a s s o c i a t i o n clause of the probationer's 'terms' i n a way which e x p l i c i t l y displays i t s relevance for a probation- adequate understanding or i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the offense, one which, 'as usual' trades upon a p a r t i c u l a r v e r s i o n of the events which provides for the reasonableness of placement as a 'solution'. Note that the probation o f f i c e r employs the language of s o c i a l science i n h i s account, the behaviour i s seen to be produced by the juvenile's i n t e r a c t i o n with a 'peer group', i n t e r a c t i o n which i s seen to be 'more important', or 'greater' than h i s love f o r his parents. The routine and mundane appearance of such references i n probation t a l k was i n i t i a l l y accounted for by the researcher with the assump- t i o n that 'most' probation o f f i c e r s had at l e a s t heard of Sutherland, Cohen, Cloward and Ohlin, Matza, etc. The common-sense theories of delinquent behaviour which underlie the terms of probation and the i n t e r a c t i o n a l con- s t r u c t i o n of probation adequate meanings of probationers' behaviour are e s s e n t i a l l y i d e n t i c a l to s o c i o l o g i c a l notions of, e . g . , ' d i f f e r e n t i a l association', ' d i f f e r e n t i a l opportunity', ' d r i f t ' , 'subculture', etc. Few of the court personnel, however, had been formally, or even informally exposed to such l i t e r a t u r e . Rather, t h e i r routine use must be accounted for by the f a c t that they may be traded upon i n the e f f i c i e n t and unpro- blematic production of 'explanations' adequate for the p r a c t i c a l accomplish- ment of e s s e n t i a l probation tasks. On the present occasion, the probation o f f i c e r has traded upon the juvenile's performance as documenting ' f a i l u r e ' on probation i n the home. His d e s c r i p t i o n may also be seen as an attack upon the j u v e n i l e ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p with his parents, a suggestion that he does } 172 not ' r e a l l y ' love them. Note how such a reading of the ' f a c t s ' of t h i s case can be used to construct an understanding of placement as ' r e j e c t i o n ' a l b e i t i n i t i a l and u n i l a t e r a l ' r e j e c t i o n ' by the c h i l d of the parents which may be interpreted so as to warrant 'formal r e j e c t i o n ' by the parents, i . e . , placement. I have e a r l i e r discussed ways i n which such an understanding of 'placement' may be inadequate insofar as i t may generate 'resistance' on the part of parents and/or probationers before, during and a f t e r court appearances during which juveniles who have ' f a i l e d ' on probation are 'placed'. T y p i f i c a t i o n s of placement and i t s e x p l i c i t or i m p l i c i t moral meanings are matters to which the probation o f f i c e r must attend. On the present occasion, the probation o f f i c e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n and motivational explanation are attacked by the father, who argues for an a l t e r n a t i v e explanation which does not contain the negative assessment of his r e l a t i o n - ship with the j u v e n i l e and h i s f a i l u r e to provide 'adequate and proper' supervision and control for the j u v e n i l e : Fa: Don't t e l l me that - you see - because I don't know what goes on with these kids now - and i n the f i r s t place I don't know why he owed money to sombedoy. Let's presume that he owed money to Barker which I don't know - Let's presume he did, PO: He d i d . Fa: But I imagine that they've got ways and meansiof putting the screws on him to get i t back. Now he did - I think it.was a question of Hobson's choice. I don't be l i e v e that John wanted to do i t because i t was done i n such a way that i t was obvious who did i t . PO: No, but you see what - this i s the point, Fa: So he knew that he was going to get found out. But the point was that the fear was l e s s than the fear of h i s - people he owed money to. I suppose I can see t h i s . I 173 don't think i t ' s a question of whether, you know, he does l i k e us or not l i k e us. I think he was a f r a i d of owing money. PO: Yes, but i s t h i s a case of him being uh, i f i t was as you say, would he not have gone home and said "look Dad, I'm i n a bind. This i s what's happened...." The father f i r s t states that he i s not 'an expert' i n these matters, an opening which i n s t r u c t s the hearer to t r e a t the ensuing r e - marks as 'mere speculations' rather than as firm convictions based upon c a r e f u l analysis and extensive 'experience'. In t h i s way he undercuts the adversarial nature of h i s remarks, a strategy which enables the probation o f f i c e r to read them as i n v i t a t i o n s to 'correction' and 'convincing' rather than as 'argumentative' or 'wrong-headed and stubborn', i . e . , as indicators that the father i s challenging h i s 'expertise' and/or 'auth- o r i t y ' or that he i s 'making trouble'. The probation o f f i c e r i s , i n other words, asked to speak about the case as an expert. By doing t h i s , the father e l i c i t s yet another 'runthrough' of the 'proper' understanding of the s i t u a t i o n which he may then trade upon i n the immediately ensuing i n t e r a c t i o n with h i s son and the probation o f f i c e r . The father's remarks take issue with the probation o f f i c e r ' s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the juvenile's motivation, e s p e c i a l l y the a l l e g a t i o n that the juvenile's behaviour indicated that the a s s o c i a t i o n with hi s peer group was 'greater' than the j u v e n i l e ' s 'love' for his parents. He denies thatt the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i s accurate, o f f e r i n g an a l t e r n a t i v e i n t e r p r e - t a t i o n of the facts which shields the parents and j u v e n i l e from basic c u l p a b i l i t y for the offense and, thusly, t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p from the pro- 174 posed negative assessment. The father's account s h i f t s the focus of i n t e r e s t from the comparative importance of a s s o c i a t i o n of probation with peer group as opposed to 'love' for parents, to an exclusive concern with a more acceptable d e s c r i p t i o n of the former a s s o c i a t i o n . Rather than 'caring' more about his peer group than h i s parents, the j u v e n i l e i s claimed to be more a f r a i d of them than of his parents. Thus, the parents' methods of 'control' are portrayed as being at a competitive disadvantage. Their e f f o r t s at c o n t r o l l i n g t h e i r son are unsuccessful because the peer group possesses the 'ways and means' of coercing him to 'steal from hi s parents and then l i e to them', a d e s c r i p t i o n of the offense which r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r s from the probation o f f i c e r ' s account i n important respects. Most important i s the f a c t that the new depiction absolves the j u v e n i l e of r e s - p o n s i b i l i t y for h i s action i n a way which has been described by Sykes and Matza (1957) as being a 'victim' of forces beyond his c o n t r o l , a b i l l i a r d b a l l which i s pushed around the table by other b a l l s . He did not s t e a l and l i e because he wanted to, but because he was forced to. The father goes no further, merely vaguely a l l u d i n g to 'the f a c t ' that he 'is sure' that the peer group possesses such methods. In so c h a r a c t e r i z i n g the o f - fense and h i s son's r o l e therein, the father provides the probation o f f i - cer with the opportunity to ' f i l l i n ' what i s only a vague reference to methods of coercion, again, of course, as an 'expert' i n 'matters such as these'. R e c a l l that the mother who may s t i l l be ambivalent to 'placement' i s s t i l l present. Under the formulation of the s i t u a t i o n as presented by the father, again, 'placement' i s seen to be motivated to 'protect' the j u v e n i l e from the peer group. 175 Notice that the 'challenge' of the father does not question the d i s p o s i t i o n , a f a c t which means that, at l e a s t i n that respect, i t does not represent a p r a c t i c a l problem for the PO's accomplishment of the rea- sonableness of the d i s p o s i t i o n . Indeed, the father's reformulation i s couched i n terms which should make i t more l i k e l y to e f f e c t i v e l y achieve the 'cooperation' of mother and son to the extent that they accept the d e s c r i p t i o n as how ' i t r e a l l y i s ' . The accomplished acceptance of the father's account jLs, therefore, i n the i n t e r e s t of the probation o f f i c e r . In the following pages we w i l l be examining i t s negotiated acceptance by the j u v e n i l e . Now, however, we s h a l l b r i e f l y discuss the way i n which the PO ' f i l l s i n ' the father's account i n a way that ensures the mother's 'cooperation' while providing the father with resources to draw upon.in the impending exchange with h i s son. A f t e r going over some of the r e l e - vant p a r t i c u l a r s with which he thinks the parents 'should' be concerned, the probation o f f i c e r turns to the methods of coercion: PO: ...now he doesn't want to be locked up yet he risked being locked up again, by doing that. ( s t e a l i n g and lying) Now there's f a r more easier ways u h , i f he owed i t to him for pushing, there's far more easier ways to get money out of an i n d i v i d u a l than to t e l l him to s t e a l from his mother, because them guys, a l l they've got to do i s take him down to the middle of the (large department store) and set em i n the appliance f l o o r and say "Boost something for us or w e ' l l break your legs". And they do i t , everyday i n t h i s town. You know. I mean there's f a r more easier ways to do i t than - than to draw heat on themselves that way and I think t h i s i s the r e a l i t y of the s i t u a t i o n , that uh, that I think r e a l l y i n my view I think John i s f a r more committed than you want to f e e l . Fa: Yeah 176 PO: I can understand your fee l i n g s but I also f e e l that i t ' s v i t a l that John be removed from i t for a period of time. Now what they do on t h i s kind of thing at Boy's Home i s that gradually he's brought back, he's gradually brought back into the family. I mean he s t a r t s out coming back on weekends and then h e ' l l come back for two or three days and this type of thing. And any time he i s genuinely i n t e r - ested to learning a trade t h e y ' l l teach him one. One that he's interested i n and that he's adaptable to. Fa: Yes. PO: Well, s h a l l we bring him in? The probation o f f i c e r here summarizes a probation-adequate understanding of the phenomenon of 'placement' i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r case. He systematically reviews the t y p i f i c a t i o n which has been constructed by the interactants during the preceding i n t e r a c t i o n while, at the same time, introduces new material which further accomplishes the s p e c i f i c reasonable- ness of the d i s p o s i t i o n which he. plans to recommend. The new information which i s introduced concerns the 'methods' possessed by the peer group which have been traded upon to 'explain' the probationer's behaviour. The parents have expressed concern over the qual- i t y of the l i f e that the j u v e n i l e w i l l l i v e i f he i s removed from the home. The PO now moves to provide them with a dramatic and f r i g h t e n i n g portrayal of the kind of l i f e which the j u v e n i l e i s now l i v i n g while supposedly under the i r guidance and supervision. In doing t h i s , the probation o f f i c e r draws upon h i s knowledge of the world of the narcotics user, s p e c i f i c a l l y using i n - formation from a case of a young heroin user who had recently 'explained' his s h o p l i f t i n g to the probation o f f i c e r . This j u v e n i l e had been using heroin as well as s e l l i n g i t to support h i s habit. The young addict had 177 been threatened several times and claimed that he had had himself arrested on purpose, i n order to escape from the 'pushers'. He asked, the PO to protect him and the probation o f f i c e r did have him raised to adult court so that he would have access to the adult drug programmes. In the case under present consideration, however, the p a r t i c u - l a r s d i f f e r r a d i c a l l y . The researcher, who had not been acquainted with the facts of this case, assumed that the j u v e n i l e was involved i n heroin t r a f f i c . This assumption was based upon the numerous references made to 'pushers', the f a c t that the probation o f f i c e r drew his example from a 'heroin case', and the amount of money which was being discussed as having been used to buy drugs. I t was only a f t e r the interviews were over and the probation o f f i c e r and I were d r i v i n g away that the PO i n response to a d i r e c t question of mine as to the s i z e of the juvenile's 'habit' revealed that the juvenile's 'habit' seemed to be confined to marijuana and that, furthermore, he seemed to be doing no more than purchasing r e l a t i v e l y small amounts from a close f r i e n d . The probation o f f i c e r had drawn upon the parents' common-sense notions of the hazards of drug use and the drug- subculture to underpin the sense i n which placement was going to 'protect' t h e i r son from a very r e a l and present danger. The vague reference to 'ways and means' by the father has been transformed into the routine breaking of legs. To the extent that 'buying a few j o i n t s ' of marijuana 'from a f r i e n d ' d i f f e r s from the a c t i v i t y described by the probation o f f i - cer, the probationer may be expected to question a . d i s p o s i t i o n grounded therein. In other words, i f the j u v e n i l e i s presented with the t y p i f i c a - t i o n of the offense which i s being employed to gain his parents' cooperation, 178 he may be expected to take issue with i t . We s h a l l see that the ensuing i n t e r a c t i o n i s quite c a r e f u l l y managed i n order to minimize the p o s s i b i l - i t y of such an eventuality. In t h i s manner the probation o f f i c e r renders, f o r the parents, increasingly 'dangerous' and 'frightening' behaviour as 'expectable', indeed, 'i n e v i t a b l e ' , i f the j u v e n i l e i s allowed to remain i n the home. These predicted events are seen to be beyond the control of parents, pro- bationer and probation o f f i c e r . Notice that the e a r l i e r statement by the PO that t h i s would be t h e i r ' l a s t chance' with the j u v e n i l e i s now followed with the statement that i t i s v i t a l that he be removed from the home. Again, I would l i k e to point to the f a c t that, to the parents, these r e - marks a re not read as the ta l k of 'just anyone'• Rather, they are the remarks of one who i s 'an expert', who 'knows' about j u v e n i l e drug use, patterns of delinquent involvement, arid the prognosis of i n d i v i d u a l cases which he seems to recognize as ' t y p i c a l ' examples of types of cases with which he has had a great deal of experience. He then enters into a b r i e f summary of the 'proper' understanding of 'placement' adequate for h i s p r a c t i c a l purposes. Again, the 'fact' that 'placement' at l e a s t i n t h i s case and with regard to th i s p a r t i c u l a r agency, i s to be seen as a process by which the j u v e n i l e may be brought back into the home rather than a process of removal and r e j e c t i o n , i s pre- sented. The j u v e n i l e , remember, has been characterized as not ' r e a l l y ' being i n the home. Now placement i s characterized as ' e s s e n t i a l l y ' a method by which the probationer may be ' r e a l l y ' integrated into the home. The b r i e f summary of the probation-adequate understanding of 'placement' i s 179 concluded with a review of 'placement' as an opportunity for the j u v e n i l e to obtain some occupational t r a i n i n g . The way i n which the issue i s r e - introduced points up the importance of his 'attitude' i n the process., i . e . , he w i l l only benefit by the programme to the extent that he 'co- operates' with the s t a f f . The ' f a c t ' that placement i s an opportunity and that he must have the 'proper a t t i t u d e ' i n the i n s t i t u t i o n i f he i s to benefit f u l l y from the programme are important features of the proffered probation-adequate understanding of the d i s p o s i t i o n with which the proba- t i o n o f f i c e r w i l l seek to equip the probationer. 180 CHAPTER SIX COOLING A PROBATIONER OUT: THE INTERACTIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT OF A PROBATION-ADEQUATE UNDERSTANDING OF AND COOPERATION IN 'PLACEMENT' (PART TWO: THE PROBATIONER) In this chapter we w i l l see the previously negotiated proper understanding of the s i t u a t i o n i n use as i t i s explicated and elaborated by PO and father i n subsequent face-to-face i n t e r a c t i o n with the proba- tioner. We w i l l also note the i n t e r a c t i o n a l methods and devices with which the j u v e n i l e attempts to present and j u s t i f y h i s own account and d i s p o s i ^ t i o n . Once the probationer has seated himself, the probation o f f i c e r launches into yet another r e n d i t i o n of the proper understanding of place- ment, e x p l i c i t l y addressing the reservations which the parents have stated he has expressed. As the j u v e n i l e i s brought into the room, the PO launches into a statement about what ' w i l l happen' i n court on the following day. I w i l l not analyze the statement, insofar as i t i s drawn from the accounts pre- vi o u s l y constructed during the i n t e r a c t i o n with the parents. The 'proper understanding' of placement i s presented by the probation o f f i c e r i n d e t a i l . The account emphasizes the 'fact' that the parents have informed the PO that he 'feels bad' about Boy's Home and suggests that: PO: ...I think you have the wrong concept of the Home. Boy's Home i s not a j a i l . Matter of f a c t i t ' s a b i g farm. There's no locks or doors - sure there's regulations the same as anywhere - there's curfews. There's a school there, there's a vocational school, t h e y ' l l have chores to do, uh, you can be taught trades, you can upgrade yo u r s e l f . A l o t of i t depends on you. 181 The f i r s t order of business i n the probation o f f i c e r ' s i n t e r a c - t i o n with the juvenile i s to 'repair' h i s 'misunderstanding of the nature of the placement being discussed. The remedial information offered i s drawn from the p r i o r i n t e r a c t i o n , i . e . , ' j a i l ' becomes 'farm', no locks, 'regu- l a t i o n s ' are i n force, but t h i s i s true 'anyplace', a 'fact' which blurs the d i s t i n c t i o n between 'placement' i n the Home and l i f e 'anyplace'. The op- portunity f o r 'job t r a i n i n g ' i s e x p l i c i t l y invoked and the probation o f f i c e r opens a r e l a t i v e l y extended exortation of the 'fact' that what, exactly 'placement' w i l l be i s something which w i l l 'depend' upon the j u v e n i l e him- s e l f . The notion that placement per se, r e f l e c t s a ' f a i l u r e ' of the proba- tioner i s replaced by one which underlines the sense i n which an improper understanding and/or a t t i t u d e 'here and now' and ' i n the future' cause the ju v e n i l e to ' f a i l ' i n the placement. Just as the probationer was e a r l i e r instructed to 'behave at home' while on probation, the probation o f f i c e r now i n s t r u c t s him to 'behave' while i n placement and displays for him the advantages to be gained v i a 'good behaviour', e.g., 'free time', home v i s i t s , etc. Just as good behaviour 'on probation' was sought v i a promises that i t w i l l r e s u l t i n 'shorter' probation, now good behaviour i n placement i s linked to a shorter period i n placement. The probation o f f i c e r c i t e s an 'average' stay of nine months, but suggests that the amount of time w i l l depend upon h i s performance, that " i t can be longer or i t can be l e s s " . He also displays f o r the j u v e n i l e h i s r o l e i n the determination of the amount of time, etc., by s t a t i n g that the j u v e n i l e w i l l " s t i l l be on probation". By pointing to the f a c t that the j u v e n i l e w i l l ' s t i l l be on pro- bation', the probation o f f i c e r undercuts what Emerson referred to as the 182 'mortifying' meanings for s e l f which 'placement' may represent to the juven- i l e while, at the same time, a c t i v a t i n g the probationary-control machinery which has been deployed during the juvenile's p r i o r experience as_ a pro- bationer . The probationer's father now e x p l i c i t l y addresses the reservations that he had e a r l i e r claimed that the j u v e n i l e had about 'placement'. This opens an exchange during which the father and probation o f f i c e r c o l l a b o r a - t i v e l y seek to 'repair' the juve n i l e ' s 'misunderstanding' of the meaning of placement. Fa: ...Sure, uh, you've made your mistakes. Now, normally, when people make mistakes i n any organized form of society, they have got to be prepared to pay for those mistakes. But I don't think i n the case of juveniles that t h i s i s quite the same way. This i s not the question, that because you did something,, therefore you have to spend two, three, s i x months, or whatever i t i s , i n j a i l . The thing i s uh, I f e e l and I think Mr. Smith f e e l s , that this would be i n your best i n t e r e s t s . So th i s i s what we are concerned about. See, uh, sure, you don't want to go away to th i s because - I don't think you know what's involved there. I think you've got to take Mr. Smith's word on t h i s . It's not, you know, you're .not locked up. You have to be i n at a c e r t a i n time, but you have to be i n at a c e r t a i n time here, but you know, there's no locks on the doors.... F i r s t , I want to point to the f a c t that the father here ref e r s to the juvenile's actions as 'mistakes', a reference which distinguishes the juvenile's behaviour from i n t e n t i o n a l l y committed 'delinquent acts'. The d i s t i n c t i o n i s not t r i v i a l , and i s traded upon by the father i n h i s attempt to portray the proposed method of dealing with them i n benign terms. The father i s seeking to convince the j u v e n i l e that he i s not being 'punished', that the motive f o r placement i s not 'revenge'. The use of the notion 'mistake' undercuts the sense i n which a response may be treated as 'punish- 183 ment', i . e . , people may have to pay for their 'mistakes' but they are not punished' f o r them. Then, as he had during the i n t e r a c t i o n with the mother, the father trades upon the notion of probation o f f i c e r as expert about the placement to encourage the j u v e n i l e to discuss h i s 'misunder- standing' of the placement here and now. The father suggests that both he and the probation o f f i c e r support 'placement' as ' i n your best i n t e r e s t s ' . The j u v e n i l e i s placed i n the p o s i t i o n of either 'accepting' or 'disputing' the d e f i n i t i o n of placement which i s being o f f e r e d . The father and proba- t i o n o f f i c e r are portrayed as operating ' i n good f a i t h ' and the j u v e n i l e i s being asked to 'take' the placement 'on' that f a i t h . The father does not, however, r e l i n q u i s h the f l o o r to the proba- ti o n o f f i c e r . Rather, he goes on to describe the suggested i n s t i t u t i o n i n terms which w i l l accomplish the juvenile's 'cooperation'. The d e s c r i p t i o n , i n e f f e c t , consists of a 'contrast' between ' l i f e at home' and ' l i f e i n placement'. The probationer has already been asked to treat the Home as ••'a b i g farm' rather than ' j a i l : . The father now employs features of the l i f e of a j u v e n i l e l i v i n g at home under parental supervision to display for the j u v e n i l e the 'fact' that h i s l i f e 'in placement' w i l l not r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r , at l e a s t i n some respects, from his l i f e 'at home'. The father i n - forms the j u v e n i l e that he w i l l not be 'locked up 1 at the Home. He then states that the 'curfew' i n force at the Home i s no d i f f e r e n t from the one which i s supposedly i n force i n h i s own home, one which i s formally recog- nized and enforceable under the terms of probation. The father then trades upon the juvenile's ambivalent fee l i n g s toward the father's e f f o r t s at con- t r o l "...plus the fac t i t ' l l give you - i t ' l l get you away from a nagging 184 father...." Placement, then, i s offered as a way of getting away from a s i t u a t i o n which the j u v e n i l e has frequently complained about during the probation period. That i s the j u v e n i l e has stated to the parents and the probation o f f i c e r that h i s father i s "always picking on him," and that he " i s s i c k and t i r e d " of the "nagging". Now the father uses t h i s complaint to his own i n t e r a c t i o n a l advantage. The youth's own complaint i s employed as another 'fact' which b o l s t e r s the placement as a reasonable 'solution'. The fa c t that the juvenile's e a r l i e r utterances themselves are used i n th i s strategy makes i t more d i f f i c u l t f o r him to attack the r a t i o n a l e . He does not. The father continues with the suggestion that the youth i s i n need of add i t i o n a l d i r e c t i o n and that the Home i s an i n s t i t u t i o n which can provide i t . The d e s c r i p t i o n of the juvenile's everyday l i f e i s one which renders 'placement' understandable: Fa: You see, John, as far as I can say, there's a - that i s , the main .mad!nb.t#ouble^.iinkthink you know there's a l i t t l e saying that the d e v i l finds something for i d l e hands. And you know you haven't been to school and you haven't had a job. So you've been, you know, frankly, bumming around, i s that right? With this crowd. And you've got into bad ways'with a l i t t l e encouragement from them and a l i t t l e lack of s e l f - determination on your own part. Now, i f you don't do some- thing l i k e t h i s , or i f you don't get a job and go away from - somewhere from this environment. You know, I don't see an answer to i t . PO: Don't you - how do you f e e l about i t ? Don't you - as an i n d i v i d u a l - now, see t h i s as sort of constructive? Juv: ( ( a f t e r a pause)) Yeah. PO: Be honest about i t . Cause I'm going to ask you - a l l I'm going to ask you i s the same questions the judge i s going to ask you. You know. As I said to your mother and father, I'm not sure what else we can present to the judge. Now, what else can we present? You - you haven't got the edu- cation. .. . 185 Having moved to undercut the youth's alleged i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of 'placement' as r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t from and much 'worse' than ' l i f e at home', the father now brings into play more e x p l i c i t l y the r a t i o n a l e for 'placement' which has been negotiated, and c o l l a b o r a t i v e l y constructed during the p r i o r i n t e r a c t i o n . During this exchange the father and probation o f f i c e r 'team up' to gain the juvenile's cooperation during t h i s i n t e r a c t i o n a l occasion. The f a c t that such cooperation, i . e . , 'acceptance' - f o r - a l l - p r a c t i c a l - court-purposes of the 'proper' understanding of the meaning of and necessity for placement i s not 'merely' of i n t e r e s t to the probation o f f i c e r i s d i s - played for the j u v e n i l e by the probation o f f i c e r ' s invocation of the judge, a matter to which I s h a l l return s h o r t l y . F i r s t , I wish to examine the c o l l a b o r a t i v e production of the 'proper' understanding of the juvenile's 'problem' by the father and pro- bation o f f i c e r and t h e i r methodical e l i c i t a t i o n of the ju v e n i l e ' s 'coopera- t i o n ' . My task w i l l be to explicate and analyze the work involved. The father rather than the probation o f f i c e r opens the topic of the juv e n i l e ' s probation-relevant behaviour. Note that he does not openly r a i s e the topics of 'theft from parents' or 'use of drugs'. Rather, he begins to con- str u c t an i n t e r p r e t i v e context with wi.ch a p a r t i c u l a r 'understanding of those events may be displayed. Thus, the 'fa c t s ' which had been worked up during the p r i o r i n t e r a c t i o n , i . e . , that he i s neither i n school' nor has a job', are 'probation relevant' facts i nsofar as they c o n s t i t u t e technical v i o l a t i o n s of the rules of probation, a f a c t to which the probationer qua probationer i s constrained to attend. Further, the homily about the d e v i l 186 and i d l e hands i n s t r u c t s the j u v e n i l e to 'see' non-working and non-school attending as being causally related to his present s i t u a t i o n . 'Non- working' and 'non-school attending' are then glossed as 'bumming around', a negative c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n with which the probationer i s immediately i n v i - ted to take issue. Note that such e l i c i t a t i o n s serve as devices with which the father and probation o f f i c e r may locate and deal with 'reservations', 'objections', etc., which may disrupt family l i f e and smooth court process- ing during the pre-placement and placement stages of the juvenile's proba- t i o n experience. To the extent; that such phenomena are located and dealt with, or at l e a s t prepared f o r , the probation o f f i c e r a s s i s t e d by the father, i s engaging i n the adequate-for-his-practical-purposes-accomplishment of 'probation'. Note that such e l i c i t a t i o n s pass as ' i n v i t a t i o n s ' to discuss the proffered accounts. In e f f e c t , therefore, when they are not 'picked up' by the j u v e n i l e , he i s placed i n the p o s i t i o n of having, a l b e i t t a c i t l y , agreed with the account, a 'fact' which may be l a t e r invoked to sanction subsequent challenges. The father then explicates f or the j u v e n i l e the two 'direct causes' of h i s a c t i v i t i e s which are glossed as 'bad ways': 'encour- agement from the crowd' with which he associates i n combination with 'lack of self-determination' on the part of the j u v e n i l e himself. Again, note that the father i s employing the i n t e r p r e t i v e machinery which was e a r l i e r discussed and negotiated. Here, he 'explains' the j u v e n i l e ' s actions i n terms which had been mutually acceptable to him and the probation o f f i c e r . Features of the s i t u a t i o n which had been traded upon by the PO to overcome parental opposition, or interference, but which may be seen to r e f l e c t nega- t i v e l y on the juvenile's r e l a t i o n s h i p with h i s parents and t h e i r ' f a i l u r e ' 187 to exercise probation-adequate supervision over the j u v e n i l e are not i n - cluded i n the account presented to the j u v e n i l e . As I have pointed out e a r l i e r , the p r i o r agreed-upon-probation- adequate-proper-understanding of the s i t u a t i o n which i s being presented to the j u v e n i l e shields the j u v e n i l e , h i s parents, and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p from f i n a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f or the development of_ that s i t u a t i o n . The father's remark about 'lack of self-determination' notwithstanding, the account provides for the l o c a t i o n of at l e a s t a s u b s t a n t i a l part of the cause of the 'bad ways' as outside the juvenile's moral character and beyond the 'control' of the parents. Again, as I have said e a r l i e r , such an under- standing provides for the sense that 'placement' i s not to be seen, under- stood, or reacted to as 'punishment' or ' r e j e c t i o n ' by the parents. Ra- ther, (and the father once again u t i l i z e s the ' f i n a l hope' which had been introduced by the probation o f f i c e r during the 'convincing' of the mother) the father suggests that he sees no 'answer' i f the j u v e n i l e does not get a job or go away 'somewhere from t h i s environment'. Now the probation o f f i c e r engages i n a more elaborate attempt to e l i c i t 'agreement' from the j u v e n i l e , asking how he ' f e e l s ' about i t , whether or not he does 'see t h i s as sort of constructive'. When the pro- bationer h a l t i n g l y assents, the PO asks him to "be honest about i t . Cause I'm going to ask you - a l l I'm going to ask you i s theasame questions the 11 judge i s going to ask you." Here the probation o f f i c e r a l l but e x p l i c i t l y 1. Elsewhere I have discussed the strategy by which probation o f f i c e r s trade upon juvenile's p r a c t i c a l i n t e r e s t i n 'what w i l l happen i n court' to gain t h e i r cooperation with the probation o f f i c e r i n the pre-court i n v e s t i g a - tions during which the j u v e n i l e i s 'prepared' f o r the court appearance while being asked for facts relevant to the court decision-making process. Again we see how the probation o f f i c e r uses h i s i d e n t i t y as an 'expert' i n 'how the judge operates' to accomplish the juvenile's 'cooperation' during probation-interactions. 188 i n s t r u c t s the j u v e n i l e that h i s concerns w i l l be the judge's concerns, a fa c t which may serve to encourage the j u v e n i l e to take the 'questions' ser- iously and to, i n e f f e c t , treat the present occasion as an opportunity to 'express any f e e l i n g s he may have', or even to 'try out' any strategy he may be contemplating employing during h i s court appearance or during his placement, e.g., 'running away', objecting to the placement, questioning the r a t i o n a l e , suggesting an a l t e r n a t i v e , escaping from the i n s t i t u t i o n , etc. Again, adequate preparation by the probation o f f i c e r of the j u v e n i l e for the subsequent court processing ensures that such processing w i l l come off smoothly and e f f i c i e n t l y . To the extent tHat such work i s not properly accomplished, the judge may be forced to engage i n at best time-consuming and at worst t o t a l l y d i s r u p t i v e exchanges with parents and c h i l d r e n who, for example, don't 'understand' what the court i s doing or 'why' i t i s tak- ing a s p e c i f i c action. Thus, whether the j u v e n i l e w i l l openly state that he 'knows why' he i s being placed and i s able to provide a proper 'reason' when asked by the judge, i s a matter to which the probation o f f i c e r i s constrained to attend. I t i s to the situated and on-going accomplishment of t h i s 'understanding that we now return. The probation o f f i c e r asks the j u v e n i l e , as he had e a r l i e r asked the mother when she was questioning the proposed d i s p o s i t i o n , what else can "we present to the judge". Again, we see a rather powerful i n t e r a c t i o n a l device employed to gain the juvenile's a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the i n t e r a c - t i o n . I have referred to the juvenile's ' t a c i t agreement' with the utterances of the father and probation o f f i c e r which i s accomplished when he did not respond to i n v i t a t i o n s to disagree. I suggest that he i s quite a r t f u l l y con- 189 strained by the st r a t e g i e s , along with the i n t e r a c t i o n a l and s i t u a t i o n a l contingencies discussed above, to enter into the i n t e r a c t i o n more a c t i v e l y , to provide a l t e r n a t i v e s to the suggested plan i f he can, for the probation o f f i c e r has now e x p l i c i t l y asked i f the probationer knows "anything else we can present" to the judge. Before the j u v e n i l e can speak i f , indeed, he was, the probation o f f i c e r provides some material i n a taken-for-granted manner which suggests that they w i l l be employed by the judge i n weighing any proposed d i s p o s i t i o n . The information deployed by the probation o f f i c e r at t h i s point i s derived from that introduced by the father e a r l i e r , that the j u v e n i l e hasn't 'got the education', a 'fa c t ' which i s now connected to the 'job' issue i n the way discussed by parents and probation o f f i c e r . The probation o f f i c e r states that the ju v e n i l e cannot get into vocational school as the s i t u a t i o n stands, that he'd have to work extremely hard to even get into one. The probation o f f i c e r then discusses the Home i n terms which n i c e l y ' f i t ' the various problematic features of the s i t u a t i o n as i t stands at present, (and, i t should be remembered, as he implied, as the judge w i l l see i t ) : PO: ...Well, out there I mean they have teams of people who s p e c i a l i z e i n helping you do j u s t that (bringing up his educational l e v e l so that he i s e l i g i b l e to enter vocational school) ... .And r e a l l y their, main objective i s to give you a chance to stand on your own two f e e t . And l e t bygones by bygones. You can't t e l l me that uh, i n the time you've been waiting for this - (the court hearing) that you haven't had opportunities come your way. Right? As had been done e a r l i e r during the c o l l a b o r a t i v e 'convincing' of the mother, the Home i s depicted as being s t a f f e d by persons whose primary concern i s 'helping', 'educating', 'giving the probationer a chance to stand 190 on h i s own two feet', t y p i f i c a t i o n s which c o n f l i c t with expectable, and as we have seen, often court-provided notions which the j u v e n i l e may hold about the Home, notions which have been under constant, subtle and not so subtle attack along various dimensions throughout the occasion. Within the present i n t e r a c t i o n the focus of attention has not been on the 'defective moral character' of the probationer. Instead, the concerns of the probation o f f i c e r i n the orchestration of the i n t e r a c t i o n i s most d i r e c t l y and openly addressed to the formal requirements of the juv e n i l e delinquency l e g i s l a t i o n , e.g., the determination and pursuit of what he takes to be the 'best i n t e r e s t s ' of the c h i l d v i a the l e g a l l y required p rovision of 'adequate supervision and guidance'. The 'l e c t u r i n g ' and 'moralizing' which t y p i f y e a r l i e r probation i n t e r a c t i o n are not featured here. S i m i l a r l y , the ju v e n i l e i s instructed here that the l i f e at the Home w i l l not be such that he i s constantly 'reminded'of his 'bad ways' or 'punished' for them. On the contrary, the main objective of the s t a f f i s portrayedd as helping the j u v e n i l e to get "a chance to stand on (his) own two fee t . And l e t bygones be bygones." What the probation o f f i c e r s intends by the probationer standing on his own two feet and the r e l a t i o n s h i p between that concept-as-used and the probationer's 'bad ways' are matters which can reveal a good deal about the i n t e r a c t i o n a l accomplishment of 'cooperation' or, more p r e c i s e l y , the i n t e r a c t i o n a l cooptation of the probationer. We have already seen the notion of the probationer's 'crowd' 'en- couraging' the probationer into 'bad ways' being offered as a p a r t i a l 'explanation' for h i s problematic behaviour. The probation o f f i c e r now engages i n an ex tended,1 at tempt to display for the probationer his need f o r 191 exactly the type of 'help' he i s suggesting the Home i s i n a p o s i t i o n to o f f e r . He has suggested that the juvenile has "had opportunities come (his) way" while 'waiting for the court hearing about placement'. The reference i s apparently to opportunities to purchase drugs or engage i n other pros- cribed behaviour. The j u v e n i l e claims that he's "had a few" and then ap- parently begins to st a t e that he did not take the opportunities with which he was confronted, a 'fa c t ' which he may use to underpin a claim that he has been able to su c c e s s f u l l y deal with both crowd encouragement and h i s alleged lack of self-determination. Such a claim represents the juv e n i l e ' s f i r s t a c t i v e attempt to challenge the 'proper understanding' which he i s being encouraged to adopt to explain his problems. The probation o f f i c e r counters the juv e n i l e ' s suggestion that he has, i n f a c t , been standing on his own two feet with the same argument which he had used e a r l i e r with the mother: PO: So I mean you've been playing i t cool because t h i s has been - you know you'd be a f o o l not to - i t ' s hanging over your head. Hanging over your head, right? Juv: Yeah, but I t e l l you I r e a l l y don't want to do anything i l l e g a l anymore. The j u v e n i l e ' s explanation i s faulted for not recognizing the 'fact' that he was facing a court hearing. The probation o f f i c e r r e l i e s on another 'external' f a c t o r , arguing that 'a court appearance', l i k e 'his crowd' had caused his i n a c t i o n . 'Good behaviour' while waiting f o r a court hearing i s portrayed as expectable and understandably a product of 'fear' or as being motivated by the wish to 'get o f f easy'. During most probation i n t e r a c t i o n , such behaviour i s treated as one i n d i c a t o r of 'moral character' which i s used i n d i s p o s i t i o n recommendations, et c . In th i s case, 192 however, the d e c i s i o n to 'place' has been made and, therefore, a 'good' pre-court performance i s not treated as an ind i c a t o r of fundamental change. The probationer, however, p e r s i s t s , claiming that there has been a change which renders 'placement' unnecessary, he no longer 'wants' to do anything i l l e g a l . With the father nodding vigorously i n agreement, the probation o f f i c e r attacks the probationer's claim that the mere exer c i s i n g of h i s w i l l , or self-determination would be s u f f i c i e n t when faced with a s i t u a t i o n of "choice": PO: Well t h i s i s t e r r i f i c . You know. I mean that's f i n e . But, John, I'm glad to hear i t . But by the same token, nobody, you know, everybody needs somebody and nobody can do i t alone. Juv: Umhum PO: You know. I t ' s impossible for anybody to t e l l you they can do i t alone i n this world. They're either a l i a r or a f o o l . . . . The probation o f f i c e r has repeatedly described the Home i n terms of the 'help' offered by the s t a f f . I have already contrasted this benign de s c r i p t i o n with common-sense, often court-supported 'punitive' t y p i f i c a - tions. The fa c t that a person i s 'placed' i n such an i n s t i t u t i o n , whether to be 'punished' or 'helped' can be seen as informative, i . e . , i t ' t e l l s ' something about such a person, i . e . , that they are 'in need' of punishment 2 or help. The probation o f f i c e r here invokes a set of homilies which state that 'everyone' needs somebody. Note that such an account of 'help-giving and r e c e i v i n g ' makes i t possible for the probationer to trea t 'help-accepting' 2. R e c a l l , for example, the ju v e n i l e who 'blew up' i n court when he learned that he was being placed i n a r e s i d e n t i a l programme for 'disturbed c h i l d r e n ' , p. 135. 193 as something which does not r e f l e c t a negative assessment of h i s moral character or competence. U n t i l now, the probation o f f i c e r has been attempting to draw out objections to placement i n order to counter them with the 'proper' under- standing. Here, however, he moves to close o f f the ju v e n i l e ' s 'resistance' v i a a short d e s c r i p t i o n of the present occasion as i t r e l a t e s to past and future court proceedings. The probationer i s instruc t e d that h i s 'f e e l i n g s ' notwithstanding, as a consequence of h i s probationary status, he must comply with orders from the probation o f f i c e r . Note that the j u v e n i l e has not been a c t i v e l y r e s i s t i n g or challenging the father and probation o f f i c e r ' s e x p l i c a t i o n of the 'proper understanding' of the meaning of placement. He has not been t e l l i n g them, for example, to 'shove t h e i r help up t h e i r ass', as some probationers do. Like his mother, his objections have been con- structed out of the 'proper understanding' i t s e l f . Both of them took the ta l k of 'best i n t e r e s t s ' s e r i o u s l y insofar as t h e i r counter-proposals have adopted the same language, turning i t back upon the father and probation o f f i c e r . R e c a l l , f o r example, the mother's use of the notion of 'security' and the necessity of providing i t i n the home, h i s job-hunting, etc. The ju v e n i l e employs the same job-hunting r a t i o n a l e to counter the charge that he i s not i n school or at work. In doing t h i s , he i s able to claim that he i s i n compliance with the ' s p i r i t ' of the probation plan. The probation o f f i c e r r e p l i e s , j u s t as he had with the mother that the crux of the juve- n i l e ' s job-hunting f a i l u r e i s h i s lack of marketable s k i l l s . The 'solution' i s , expectably, placement i n a s e t t i n g which w i l l provide the j u v e n i l e with the s k i l l s necessary for success on the job market. 194 The mother accepted the r a t i o n a l e . The j u v e n i l e does, on the surface. He does not challenge the notion that he needs s k i l l s to get a job or that the Home i s a place which helps j u v e n i l e s l e a r n necessary s k i l l s . He 'merely' asks a technical question about the a v a i l a b i l i t y of s p e c i f i c s k i l l s he i s 'interested' i n acquiring: Juv: Just one thing that's bothering me i f I went there. I've had v i s i o n s for this l a s t l i t t l e while of t r y i n g - taking the test to become a s k i i n s t r u c t o r . And would that i n t e r - fere i n any way? ((The j u v e n i l e goes on to ask i f he can take a course through a s p e c i f i c s k i school with which he has been corresponding.)) The probation o f f i c e r and father have been suggesting that the juve n i l e develop s k i l l s at the Home, that he prepare himself to 'stand on his own two feet', etc. The juv e n i l e now asks a s p e c i f i c job-relevant question which may be seen as a 'serious' attempt to discover i f the i n s t i - tution, i n f a c t , can o f f e r the kind of 'help' t h i s j u v e n i l e f e e l s he needs to be able to obtain the kind of job he wants. Note how the juvenile's utterance quite a r t f u l l y renders the notion of s u i t a b l e and reasonable placement problematic i n the very terms c a r e f u l l y established and systematically l a i d down by the probation o f f i c e r and father. He does t h i s without v i o l a t i n g the t o p i c a l i t y of the exchange, i . e . , he, too,speaks to the question of getting himself on his own two feet, he 'merely' wants s k i s on those feet. The probation o f f i c e r i n i t i a l l y attempts to deal with the juvenile's utterance as presented by the j u v e n i l e . That i s to say, he attempts to maintain the singular appropriateness of the proposed placement by sta t i n g that the Home could, i n f a c t , provide the requested program: 195 PO: Well yeah, while you're out there I know you can be able to do i t . I mean whether they have a conditioning course of that or, I mean maybe they have a night school precondition- ing course out there. Now I honestly don't know. But i s this something that you're thinking of i n regards to make your l i v i n g on? Or just f or your own pleasure? Juv: I want to - I'd l i k e to do i t for experience, and to learn to work with other people. PO: Well, a l r i g h t - th i s i s a good thing - but don't you think, I mean, f i r s t and formost you've got to be able to make your own l i v i n g . You know, I mean l e t ' s put i t another way. Uh, God fo r b i d but suppose Mother and Dad were to drop dead tomorrow. You know, Fa: Yes. PO: you have to be to - what plans have you given any thinking i n depth to as how you would look a f t e r yourself and your s i s t e r ? I have stated that the probation o f f i c e r here i n i t i a l l y attempts to deal with 'skiing' i n the terms i n which the probationer has formulated i t , i . e . , as a candidate 'career' for which a s u i t a b l e 'placement' must be able to prepare him. The probation o f f i c e r appeared a b i t awkward as he attempted to state that the Home was j u s t such a place. Faced with the task of ' s e l l i n g ' the j u v e n i l e on the Home, the PO attempts with d i f f i c u l t y i n other words, to deal with the probationer's formulation as a 'serious' and ' r e a l i s t i c ' question about a p a r t i c u l a r career. Note the s h i f t which the probation o f f i c e r makes towards the end of the f i r s t utterance i n the above exchange: ...But i s th i s something that you're thinking of i n regards to make your l i v i n g on? Or j u s t for your own pleasure? The s h i f t i s from the use of the notion of 'ski t r a i n i n g ' as a v a l i d and accepted c r i t e r i a with which to undercut the Home as a s u i t a b l e placement to 196 an evaluation of 'skiing-as-career'. The s h i f t i n focus enables the PO and father, I s h a l l argue to maintain the s u i t a b i l i t y of the proposed placement, undercut the notion of s k i i n g as a r e a l i s t i c career-objective (at l e a s t as conceived and presented by the j u v e n i l e ) , and to engage i n rather extended e x p l i c a t i o n and negotiation of the 'proper' understanding of 'jobs' v i s - a - v i s 'placement'. The probation o f f i c e r could have said that the Home i s not 'the best' place to l e a r n how to become a s k i - i n s t r u c t o r and begin a search for a placement which was 'closer' to a s k i area. He does not, but rather i n t r o - duces a competing t y p i f i c a t i o n of the phenomenon of 's k i i n g ' , i . e . , an a c t i - v i t y engaged i n 'for the actor's own pleasure'. In doing so, he i s able to verbally share the ju v e n i l e ' s enthusiasm for the a c t i v i t y while, at the same time, undercut i t s career-appropriateness: " t h i s i s a good thing - but don't you think I mean, f i r s t and formost you've got to be able to make your own l i v i n g " . Note how the youth has attempted to maintain h i s d e f i n i t i o n of the a c t i v i t y as career-appropriate by suggesting that he wants the experience, and to learn to work with other people rather than 'mere' pleasure. During the ensuing exchange, the father and probation o f f i c e r por- tray s k i - i n s t r u c t i n g as a method by which the j u v e n i l e may eventually be able to 'earn a few bucks', or 'pick up some extra money', but attack the notion that i t would be a v i a b l e , ' r e a l i s t i c ' way for the j u v e n i l e to 'make a l i v i n g ' . Furthermore, the father declares that the cost of developing the s k i l l s v i a lessons i s far too expensive, that he i s not i n a p o s i t i o n to pay for them. This remark e f f e c t i v e l y rules out the p o s s i b i l i t y of the j u v e n i l e pursuing the proposed career 'at home', a 'fact' which displays for the youth the d i f f i c u l t y of obtaining the s k i l l s i n either the Home or home. The com- 197 peting d e f i n i t i o n of 'skiing' i s underpinned by the PO who refer s to s k i i n g as an 'expensive hobby'. The probation o f f i c e r and father, i n e f f e c t , employ the juve n i l e ' s own 'topic' as an i l l u s t r a t i v e resource for t h e i r own purposes. Thus, s k i i n g i s transformed from a career into an expensive hobby, i . e . , an a c t i v i t y which requires money which the ju v e n i l e , given h i s present lack of employment, i s unable to 'afford'. If the ju v e n i l e i s , indeed 'serious' about s k i i n g as a career, the PO and father suggest, he must develop the s k i l l s to obtain the money with which to pay for s k i lessons. Of course, the Home under t h i s model becomes the resource v i a which the ju v e n i l e may pursue a vocation, whether his eventual goal i s 'skiing' or one which i s d i r e c t l y obtainable at the Home. As I have s a i d , the father and PO not only trade upon the juve n i l e ' s own proposed topic to accomplish the proper understanding of placement as necessary and h e l p f u l , but they also trade upon i t to d i s p l a y c e r t a i n pro- bation-relevant ' f a c t s ' about 'jobs', 'money', and the 'real world'. The father questions the seriousness with which the probationer has approached 'skiing', s t a t i n g that he purchased equipment f or the j u v e n i l e who l o s t i t . The son, i n turn states that the equipment was stolen, a ' f a c t ' which places i t s disappearance beyond h i s con t r o l . The father then renders the subject accountable again by suggesting that: Fa: Yes. Yes, well now ok, so other people have things s t o l e n so, therefore, you could have gone out and shoveled snow or mowed the lawns, cut the grass and done some trimming or done whatever i t i s - i n order to get the bucks to go sk i i n g , but I can't afford to send you there now. 198 The reader should note that one p o t e n t i a l 'topic' which i s ob- viously relevant to the present occasion i s not e x p l i c i t l y addressed. The juvenile's need for money i s being discussed, along with 'proper' methods by which the money can be obtained. At no point, however, i s the juvenile's 'stealing money from h i s parents' r a i s e d here and now. In t h i s way the 'proper', l e s s threatening d e f i n i t i o n of the s i t u a t i o n i s maintained. What I gloss as the 'proper' d e f i n i t i o n of the s i t u a t i o n or under- standing i s a complex i n t e r p r e t i v e machinery with which the probation o f f i - cer (aided by the father) attempt to i n t e r a c t i o n a l l y accomplish 'coopera- t i o n ' by the probationer. Much of the i n t e r a c t i o n a l e x p l i c a t i o n of the machinery may be seen as programming, or ' s o c i a l i z i n g ' the probationer into a new phase of the probation process, rendering p o t e n t i a l l y threatening, humiliating, etc., experiences expectable, and, more or l e s s 'acceptable'. Seen thusly, the f i n a l several minutes of the interview under consideration may be seen as summarizing the 'proper understanding' as w e l l as moving to 'test f o r ' , locate, and 'repair' any 'problems' which remain which may 'surface' during court. The summary, or review begins with the by now perhaps f a m i l i a r claim that the present order of business i s not punishment-detention, but rather something which should be anticipated with eagerness: Fa: I f you can regard i t as maybe going away to a camp. This i s what I_ see i t as, i t ' s an organized boy's youth camp. But i t ' s organized, and I think that i s important. You need i t and I think that i f you don't have i t you're going to j u s t d r i f t further and further into trouble.... 199 The probation o f f i c e r then b o l s t e r s the analogy by s t a t i n g that f a m i l i e s who can afford paying for c h i l d r e n committed to the Home have to pay about $750 per month, that the probationer may l a t e r discover that the PO did him a 'favour' by recommending placement i n the Home, and that, f i n a l l y , 'many kids' have said "What do I have to do wrong to get to a place l i k e that". Probationary Status and Performance i n the Construction of Proper Understandings We have examined interactions during which the probation o f f i c e r sought to produce a 'cooperative' probationer during a s p e c i f i c stage of that juvenile's probation career. By so doing, the probationer would then be prepared to 'accept' the d i s p o s i t i o n of the court without resistance either during the hearing or l a t e r . In the past sections we have been examining the complex i n t e r a c t i o n a l process which Emerson glosses as " c o o l - ing out" a j u v e n i l e who has " f a i l e d " on probation i n the home and i s being "placed" i n an i n s t i t u t i o n . We have seen that parents' ' f e e l i n g s ' may be c r i t i c a l i n the accomplishment of such situated r e d e f i n i t i o n s of the moral meaning of 'placement'. Parents can 'make trouble' by r e s i s t i n g a placement recommendation or help the probation o f f i c e r 'convince' the probationer that such a d i s p o s i t i o n i s 'necessary', ' i n h i s best i n t e r e s t s ' , or at l e a s t ' i n e v i t a b l e ' i n a p a r t i c u l a r case. In t h i s regard, i t should be noted that parents who came to court and asked for yet 'another chance' to work with t h e i r c h i l d were frequently granted that chance even i f the probation o f f i c e r had asked to remove the 200 c h i l d from the home. The data I have presented suggests that probation o f f i c e r s may attend to such matters i n the p r a c t i c a l accomplishment of preparing probationers and t h e i r parents for court. We have examined an attempt by the probation o f f i c e r to i n t e r a c t i o n a l l y achieve a shared ' d e f i n i t i o n of the s i t u a t i o n ' which i s adequate for h i s p r a c t i c a l purposes. Such a probation-adequate ' d e f i n i t i o n of the s i t u a t i o n ' enables parents and probationers to i n t e r p r e t , account f o r , explain, etc., 'place- ment' as 'the only thing that could have been done' given 'the s i t u a t i o n as i t has been shown to stand here and now'. What, exactly, 'the s i t u a t i o n i s ' has been negotiated, discussed, argued about, agreed upon, etc., by the various p a r t i c i p a n t s i n these i n t e r a c t i o n s . A l t e r n a t i v e 'explanations', 'causes', 'solutions', etc., have been introduced, a l t e r e d , and dealt with by the interactants. A p a r t i c u l a r version of the events and t h e i r meaning, or what I have re f e r r e d to as the 'probation adequate' or 'proper' under- standing of the s i t u a t i o n has been c a r e f u l l y and methodically explicated and elaborated during the interactions by the probation o f f i c e r . More important for our a n a l y t i c understanding of 'probation' - as i n t e r a c t i o n a l accomplishment, however, i s my display and examination of the notion of 'proper understanding' i n use as a resource for the achievement of a sense of understanding which w i l l be adequate-for-the-practical-purposes of the probation o f f i c e r as an o f f i c e r of the court. The notion of 'the proper understanding of the s i t u a t i o n ' must be seen, then as a complex set of i n t e r a c t i o n a l devices, s t r a t e g i e s and methods with which the probation o f f i c e r 'attacks','works up', 'interprets', etc., a l t e r n a t i v e explanations 201 which may bring h i s disposition-recommendation i n t o question by the parents, probation o f f i c e r , judge, or other relevant p a r t i e s . 'Proper understandings' of the meaning of the proposed d i s p o s i t i o n are c r i t i c a l p r e r e q u i s i t e s f o r the smooth and e f f i c i e n t processing of cases, a fa c t which makes i t to the PO's advantage to ensure t h e i r existence. Keeping t h i s i n mind, the father's question may be seen as a r e f l e c t i o n of the i n t e r e s t he shares with the probation o f f i c e r , i . e . , that the d i s p o s i - t i o n hearing come off without any problems or challenges from the j u v e n i l e or the mother. The 'question' immediately follows the probation o f f i c e r ' s summary of selected features of the Home, features which portray the i n - s t i t u t i o n i n extremely 'attra±ive' terms: Fa: You f e e l better about the idea? Juv: ( ( a f t e r a short pause)) I r e a l l y don't. The father's question may be seen as a probe which serves to determine the extent to which the programming of the proper understanding has functioned to enable the probationer to 'accept' the placement, or 'fe e l b e t t e r ' about i t . The probationer's response may be read by the father and probation o f f i c e r as an i n d i c a t i o n that the probationer has r e - tained h i s reservations about the plan and that those reservations, the 'bad f e e l i n g s ' may lead to 'problems' i n court, a p o s s i b i l i t y which i s a n t i - cipated and dealt with i n a way which d i f f e r s from the strategy which has been employed heretofore: Juv: ( ( a f t e r a short pause)) I r e a l l y don't. PO: I t ' s a, I can understand you - nobody l i k e s the idea of being t o l d what to do. To be t o l d that you have to go away 202 or you have to do t h i s . But, I mean there's a consequence to everything we do i n l i f e . Part of your consequence i s having a fellow l i k e me t e l l i n g you what to do. Fa: Yes PO: T e l l i n g that t h i s i s , you know, I mean i n the f i n a l a n a l y s i s I'm not the fellow because the fellow s i t t i n g up there on the bench i s that, and he's go under that he doesn't l i k e i t , but that's part of my function as an o f f i c e r of the court i s to come up with what I consider i s to be i n your best i n - ter e s t and uh, I told both your Mother and Father the l a s t thing I want to do i s to see the status quo here, because I would be w i l l i n g to bet you that you, you know, i t would be a matter of time before, you know, you'd be up i n back up to your head. Maybe not because of your own doing, but how long can a guy f i g h t when he's got no bucks i n h i s pockets I want to suggest that there i s a d e f i n i t e s h i f t i n the strategy employed by the probation o f f i c e r to accomplish 'cooperation' on the part of the probationer. Perhaps the best way to characterize the s h i f t for our purposes would be as a move to 'activate' the conventional probation machinery which we saw c a r e f u l l y developed during early p r o b a t i o n - i n t e r a c t i o n when the j u v e n i l e became 'a probationer', i . e . , was provided by the judge and probation o f f i c e r with the raw materials and i n t e r a c t i o n a l aid with which to construct h i s i d e n t i t y qua 'probationer'. During such i n t e r - actions and subsequent 'supervisory' i n t e r a c t i o n , the j u v e n i l e was contin- u a l l y and ro u t i n e l y encouraged to think, see, act, etc., as_ 'a probationer', to r o u t i n e l y view p o t e n t i a l courses of action , f r i e n d s , utterances, etc., i n terms of t h e i r relevance to h i s probationary f a t e . He was encouraged to see the probation-relevance of his waking l i f e , and to organize i t accordingly. He was also t y p i c a l l y provided with expectations of 'what would happen' i f he ' f a i l e d ' probation. My point i s that, during the i n t e r a c t i o n which we have been examining, the probation o f f i c e r has not focussed upon the common- 203 s e n s i c a l l y expectable attempts to trade upon those background expectancies which provide the formal-legal context within which the i n t e r a c t i o n has un- folded. I have suggested, with Emerson, that such a strategy n i c e l y f i t s the peculiar p o t e n t i a l l y 'mortifying' contingencies of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r stage of the probation process with this p a r t i c u l a r j u v e n i l e i n this par- t i c u l a r family s i t u a t i o n . I suggest that the i n t e r a c t i o n would have un- folded quite d i f f e r e n t l y had the mother viewed her adopted son as e s s e n t i a l l y a 'lying, thieving l i t t l e b rat' and had the son ' t o l d o f f ' the probation o f f i c e r . Indeed, i n many such cases, the 'proper understanding' which i s sought by the probation o f f i c e r i s , p r e c i s e l y that 'placement is_ punish- ment', that i t ls_ to be seen as a d i r e c t and expectable consequence of the ' f a i l u r e ' of the probationer qua probationer. I want to argue that the probation o f f i c e r on t h i s occasion has now ' f a l l e n back' at l e a s t p a r t i a l l y upon an a c t i v a t i o n of these more or les s conventional probation 'understandings' for which the j u v e n i l e ' s experience as a probationer has prepared him. The e a r l i e r strategy sought 'cooperation' through what I have termed 'repairing' the j u v e n i l e ' s alleged 'misconceptions' about 'placement'. Now the probation o f f i c e r acts to repair what he takes to be another misconception about the s i t u a t i o n , one which may have been produced by his strategy. This misconception i s that the probationer may take i t that h i s 'bad f e e l i n g s ' about the proposed 'placement' w i l l produce a changed d i s p o s i t i o n recommendation. The remedial action taken by the probation o f f i c e r takes the form of a review of the status of 'probationer' and selected features of the structure of t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p as i t r e l a t e s to 'the Court'. 204 F i r s t , the probationer i s tol d that 'nobody l i k e s ' to be t o l d what to do, but the f a c t that he i s i n such a p o s i t i o n i s a b s t r a c t l y and vaguely i d e n t i f i e d as the probationer's 'consequence'. Like any other pro- bationer, he i s being reminded that what i s being done 'to' him i s essen- t i a l l y a natural and expectable product of his actions which have been ' i n v i o l a t i o n ' of the general agreement, or understanding that has been made with the Court. The d i s p o s i t i o n i s presented as 'merely' a rea c t i o n by the Court to actions f o r which the probationer himself i s f i n a l l y responsible. Next, the probationer i s reminded that although i t may appear that the probation o f f i c e r i s ' t e l l i n g him what to do', the judge i s the one who i s ac t u a l l y e xercising the authority through the probation o f f i c e r as an o f f i c e r of the Court. By doing t h i s , the probation o f f i c e r draws the 'authority' of the Court into t h i s i n t e r a c t i o n here-and-now. Thus deployed, i t shields him and the father from face-to-face a c c o u n t a b i l i t y for the ' f i n a l d e c i s i o n ' . Again, the notion of probation as an i m p a r t i a l , p r o f e s s i o n a l i z e d l o c a t i o n and implementation of a plan which i s o b j e c t i v e l y ' i n the best i n t e r e s t ' of the probationer i s activated by the PO. The PO, now c a r e f u l l y underscoring the 'fa c t ' that he i s speaking as a probation o f f i c e r , that i s , as a Court o f f i c e r f u l l y cognizant of his duties and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and s p e c i a l l y qualifed by t r a i n i n g and experience, to reach decisions about cases ' l i k e t h i s one'. In the f a c t of such c r e d e n t i a l l i n g , the j u v e n i l e i s at an even greater disadvantage than had been h i s mother. The 'status quo', or probation i n the home i s ruled out with f i n a l i t y , and t h i s time a version 205 3 of the l o g i c employed i s displayed to the j u v e n i l e . In order to do t h i s , the probation o f f i c e r employs an i n t e r a c t i o n a l device which i s frequently used during probation-interaction, he constructs a scenario which 'shows' the probationer what ' w i l l happen' i f he does not remove him from the home Note how the juvenile's attempts to re-write the s c r i p t to h i s own advanta are handled: PO: ...I would be w i l l i n g to bet you that you, you know, i t would be a matter of time before, you know, you'd be up i n back up to your head. Maybe not because of your own doing, but how long can a guy f i g h t when he's got no bucks i n h i s pockets and argue and you get with some guy that gives you a pretty good ratio n a l e and then you say "Ah!" ((delivered as an elaborate display of d i s i n t e r e s t ) ) Right? Juv: Yeah - but I don't think I'm gonna do i t . PO: Maybe you wouldn't, but can you afford to take that chance? Juv: I, I think so. PO: Well we're saying you can't afford to take the chance and you're not too sure you wouldn't say no, y'know. Juv: Well I mean I - I'm f a i r l y sure I would say no. PO: A l r i g h t , but even being f a i r l y sure,you know, there i s s t i l l that danger and I don't think - and I know your mother and dad f e e l the same way - that there're more to you than j u s t taking the chance and then f i n d i n g out that we're wrong. Fa: Yes. Juv: Umhum. 3. Recall that the father has j u s t said of the recommended placement: "You need i t and I think that i f you don't have i t you're going to jus t d r i f t further and further into trouble". E a r l i e r , the father had also a t t r i b u t e d the cause of the probationer's a c t i v i t i e s to "a l i t t l e encouragement" from the boy's 'crowd' and h i s own 'lack of self-determination'. The reader should also r e c a l l that such explana tory models had been 'worked up' during the e a r l i e r interview with th mother present. 206 PO: You see what I mean? I mean when you happen to care enough about you to - what happens to you - to don't want to - don't want to take a chance, we discussed those things.... PO: You know, and so you say "I'm not interested i n that". Fine. And the pressures you get leaned on by - and the names you get c a l l e d and uh, you know uh, this type of deal. Eh? You know. I know a l l t h i s happens. And i t ' s - i t ' s p r e t t y hard to be - uh, to walk away from. And a guy - as I say - "Nobody can do i t alone. Everybody needs somebody". Juv: I think I'm pretty successful when I walked away from that place. PO: Umhum, sure. But how long? Fa: Yes, for how long? PO: You know, now how many times did you say "no" before you did - made the f i r s t one? ((short pause)) Hum? ((pause)) See what I mean? ((pause)) OK? Juv: Yeah. PO: Well, I think we're - you have any more questions? Juv: Not at the moment I guess. 207 CHAPTER SEVEN CONCLUSION This thesis has examined j u v e n i l e probation i n a family court bureaucracy as a fundamentally p r a c t i c a l and in t e r a c t i o n a l l y - b a s e d enter- p r i s e . The i d e o l o g i c a l schema of the j u v e n i l e court movement has not been used as an explanatory resource, i . e . , one a v a i l a b l e to the r e - searcher a p r i o r i f o r use i n the recognition of 'good or bad', 'competent or incompetent', p r o f e s s i o n a l l y preferred or proscribed probation work. In Cicourel's terms, research which so proceeds imposes order rather than "seek- ing to discover the nature of s o c i a l l y organized a c t i v i t i e s " ( C i c o u r e l , 1968: 169). Rather, the report has turned to the data of performance to examine i d e o l o g i c a l notions, e s p e c i a l l y notions of 'help and supervision and proper guidance','cooperation', and the 'meaning' of behaviour as procedural matters of pervasive and p r a c t i c a l concern to probation o f f i c e r s doing pro- bation. Thus, whether or not a j u v e n i l e was 'cooperating' or whether he 'properly understood' the s i t u a t i o n at hand were matters to which probation o f f i c e r s were seen to continually orient t h e i r a t t e n t i o n and i n t e r a c t i o n s . Competent probation work was shown to involve the continual and accountable accomplishing of cooperation and understandings-adequate-for-the-practical- purposes of the probation o f f i c e r . Such work was shown to underpin and make possible the apparently routine, mundane, and unproblematic processing of cases by the court. The thesis also demonstrated the c r i t i c a l status of the 'terms of probation' as a device par excellence, with which 'coopera- 208 t i o n ' , or the lack thereof and 'proper understanding' or i t s absence were at the same time pursued and displayed during i n t e r a c t i o n s at various stages of probation-court processing, from pre-court i n v e s t i g a t i o n s , through court hearings, the granting of probation, supervision, and termination. The omnirelevant or pervasive nature of such concerns throughout these various 'stages' of probation work was demonstrated. As a f i n a l way of d i s p l a y i n g the c r i t i c a l importance of the above features and/or resources which this report has suggested underlie routine probation i n t e r a c t i o n , I w i l l turn to an analysis of data gathered on an occasion upon which a probation o f f i c e r , i n e f f e c t , attempted to engage i n probation-like i n t e r a c t i o n i n the absence of these features and resources. In this instance i t i s important to recognize how the described i n t e r a c t i o n d i f f e r s from the normal probation i n t e r a c t i o n with which t h i s thesis has been heretofore concerned. I want to suggest that the u n a v a i l a b i l i t y of what may be termed the r e f e r e n t i a l context of normal probation i n t e r a c t i o n r e s u l t s i n the more or l e s s systematic m i s f i r i n g of the probation o f f i c e r ' s attempts to accomplish the goals he sets up for the present occasion: Mr. and Mrs. Brown walked into the b u i l d i n g one Monday morning and asked to speak to PO George Smith. When they entered h i s o f f i c e they introduced themselves as friends of the parents of one of the boys on h i s caseload, s t a t i n g that they needed some help with t h e i r own son and didn't know anyone with whom they could discuss the matter. The mother than pulled a white enve- lope out of her handbag and dramatically handed i t to the PO. I t contained what appeared to be a small amount of marijuana. Mrs. Brown t e a r f u l l y repeated that she wanted help f o r her son, not trouble with the p o l i c e . The PO attempted to calm her by saying that he was there to 'help' kids and f a m i l i e s with problems and promised to 'drop by' to discuss the matter with them and t h e i r son Henry the following Thursday. As she l e f t , Mrs. Brown said that her son had never been i n any trouble before. 209 That afternoon PO Smith said that he wasn't p r i m a r i l y interested i n the case as a l e g a l matter on the grounds that, (1) he had no way of knowing i f , i n f a c t , the substance was marijuana. He said that such matters were for the p o l i c e , not probation o f f i c e r s to determine unless, of course, the j u v e n i l e involved was on pro- bation. (2) Even i f the substance were marijuana, the amount involved was ' i n s i g n i f i c a n t ' . At the same time, the PO stated that as a caseworker he found the case quite i n t e r e s t i n g . More s p e c i f i c a l l y , he expressed i n t e r e s t i n a family s i t u a t i o n where parents look for a probation o f f i c e r rather than 'confront t h e i r kid with a l i t t l e grass'. He thought that the matter could be handled by a l i t t l e 'simple' family counselling: I ' l l j u s t throw a l i t t l e fear of the weed into the k i d . God, his mother was s_o_ upset! I mean the kid's never gotten i n t o trouble before. She's going to jump o f f the deep end. I wonder how the father f i t s i nto t h i s . Y'know, i t could be i n t e r e s t i n g . The 'dynamics' of this p a r t i c u l a r family proved even more i n t e r - esting than the PO expected, a f a c t which became evident when the PO, accom- panied by the researcher, entered the house three days l a t e r and were i n - formed that the parents had not informed th e i r son that the PO was coming. The PO was v i s i b l y upset when the father merely ushered him into the l i v i n g room, turned o f f the TV which the yough was watching i n t e n t l y , and looked expectantly at the probation o f f i c e r : PO: You didn't have any opportunity to t a l k to your son at a l l Mr. Brown? Fa: No. I figured well i t ' s uh, i t seemed to me that a l l I could do i s t a l k but you could/ PO: /That's a l l I'm going to do, you know, he should have some warning. I mean, I think that's part of your r e s p o n s i b i l i t y eh? Fa: Yeah PO: Really. ((Turns from father to j u v e n i l e ) ) Anyway, my name i s Smith. George Smith. You're Henry are you? Juv: Yeah. 210 PO: This i s B i l l Darrough. I am from j u v e n i l e court down the road. Probation o f f i c e r down there. Ominous as h e l l , huh? And your parents were down this Monday morning, about 11 A.M., and presented me with ((Pause while he p u l l s the envelope and a w r i t i n g pad out of his pocket. He holds the envelope up and reads slowly from pad.)) "A green p l a n t - l i k e substance" to coin a phrase, or use the vernacular of most p o l i c e r e - ports, "which resembles marijuana". And your parents i n - dicate that they found i t i n your desk drawer on Saturday, November 27th, at approximately 9A.M. ((The PO stops reading from h i s notes and looks at the j u v e n i l e who stares frown- ing at the f l o o r , clenching and unclenching h i s f i s t s . There i s an extremely long silence before the PO resumes.)) Your fo l k s also - when they asked me, that I would not lay a charge, which I have not done. Because they didn't want to do that - a l l they wanted was somebody to come and t a l k with you that's pr i m a r i l y why we're here. The PO i n i t i a l l y assumes that the parents have 'at l e a s t ' informed the j u v e n i l e about t h e i r contact with him and, therefore, minimally pre- pared him for the v i s i t . When he discovers that t h i s has not been done he rebukes the father v i a a b r i e f reference to h i s ' r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ' and then turns to the business at hand. Note that because of the father's f a i l u r e to n o t i f y the j u v e n i l e that they have i n v i t e d the probation o f f i c e r to ' v i s i t ' , the 'business' i t s e l f i s transformed, i . e . , not only must the PO discuss the matters with the ju v e n i l e , he must also inform the j u v e n i l e that his parents discovered the substance i n h i s desk and contacted the probation o f f i c e r . As a r e s u l t , not only did the PO have to provide the j u v e n i l e with information with which he could 'understand' h i s sudden appearance, but he was also forced to attend to the explosive nature of the s i t u a t i o n , and to take steps to defuse i t i n h i s opening remarks. The PO shapes the juvenile's 'understanding' of what i s happen- ing i n a v a r i e t y of ways. In the f i r s t part of h i s extended utterance, he displays the l e g a l and serious nature of the v i s i t through h i s introduction 211 as 'a probation o f f i c e r from j u v e n i l e court' (the seriousness of which he subsequently undercuts, however, by his e x p l i c i t reference to i t s 'omi- nousness') and by the content of his utterance and the i n t e r a c t i o n a l s t y l e with which i t i s delivered. He borrows the grammar of p o l i c e and court reports and adopts the formal monotone of a court o f f i c e r as he 'reads the charge'. In doing t h i s , he not only marks the ' l e g a l ' nature of the occa- sion but moves to program ensuing i n t e r a c t i o n , i . e . , a 'charge' having been read, the n a t u r a l l y occurring next order of business i n such settings would be the 'plea'. The probation o f f i c e r then pauses for several seconds, looking at the j u v e n i l e while the j u v e n i l e 'frowns' s i l e n t l y at the f l o o r . With- out speaking, the j u v e n i l e makes the f a c t that he i s 'emotionally upset' apparent to a l l present. When the PO resumes speaking, I suggest that h i s remarks can best be understood as an attempt to deal with c e r t a i n f e e l i n g s he takes i t the j u v e n i l e might 'naturally' be experiencing, f e e l i n g s which might ' i n t e r f e r e ' with ensuing i n t e r a c t i o n . F i r s t , the PO takes steps to deal with the f a c t that the j u v e n i l e may be thinking that h i s parents 'be- trayed' him by going to the l e g a l a u t h o r i t i e s rather thai; f i r s t discussing the matter with him. The PO's remark a f t e r the pause can best be seen as an attempt to provide the youth with an a l t e r n a t i v e way of 'understanding' what his parents were up to, an understanding which i s offered v i a the f i l l i n g i n of the e a r l i e r truncated version of what transpired between the parents and the probation o f f i c e r . S p e c i f i c a l l y , the parents, or ' f o l k s ' as they now become, e x p l i c i t l y asked the PO not to 'lay a charge'. Note that t h i s not only transforms the parents' r o l e i n the past, but the nature of the 212 present occasion, i . e . , a transformation from what had been c a r e f u l l y displayed i n 'charge-laying' format to j u s t t a l k . The l e g a l features of st y l e as well as substance are dropped under t h i s revised formulation. The notes and forensic monotone are replaced by what i s e x p l i c i t l y l a b e l l e d 'talk'. In doing t h i s , the PO i s undercutting the forboding machinery which i s t y p i c a l l y a v a i l a b l e to him i n 'normal' probation i n t e r a c t i o n but which i s used with at best mixed r e s u l t s on the present occasion. The leg a l t y p i f i c a t i o n of the s i t u a t i o n which encouraged the j u v e n i l e to i n t e r - act as a 'defendant' has now t a c t i c a l l y been replaced by a less powerful i m p l i c i t 'suggestion' that the ju v e n i l e 'talk about i t ' . The ensuing t a l k resembles i n many respects, the 'normal' proba- tion i n t e r a c t i o n which we have examined. There are, however, c r i t i c a l , and for the probation o f f i c e r , p a i n f u l l y f r u s t r a t i n g and embarassing exchanges during which he sorely misses the resources upon which he i s dependent for the routine i n t e r a c t i o n a l handling of j u v e n i l e s . Take, f o r example, the following exchange: Henry has stated that he 'did not know' what was i n the envelope, that i t had been given to him 'by a f r i e n d to give to another f r i e n d ' . He spoke with unconcealed anger, y e l l i n g at times. When he paused, h i s mother began crying, and attempted to 'ex- p l a i n ' : Mo: Henry I wish you would r e a l i z e we're not/ Juv: ((Screams loudly)) AW QUIT - I wish you'd q u i t your damn cry- ing! Look, I've done nothing! Mo: OK Henry, so you've done nothing. I f you could only r e a l i z e we're tr y i n g to help you. Juv: You're t r y i n g to help me? Huh! HOW? 213 Mo: Well we want to help you. A l l this arguing i n the house and we planned on getting i t to stop. I know everytime you and I look at one another, we argue, and I know that's been wrong. And Dad and I are blaming ou r s e l f for t h i s . We're not blaming you for i t . We know i t can happen/ PO: Why-why-why are you blaming yourself? With the mouth he's giv i n g o f f why should you blame yourself? The mother's opening utterances may be seen as an attempt to provide her son with the benevolent, i d e o l o g i c a l l y prescribed t y p i f i c a t i o n of 'probation as help' which we have seen a r t f u l l y traded upon throughout the various stages of probation-interaction. Its use here i s expectable insofar as we have seen i t c o l l a b o r a t i v e l y 'worked up' as the proper under- standing during the e a r l i e r meeting i n a way s i m i l a r to the normal probation i n t e r a c t i o n with which t h i s study has been concerned. The ju v e n i l e ' s r e - j e c t i o n of the proffered understanding of the s i t u a t i o n i s both immediate, vehement and accompanied by an attack on the f a c t that h i s mother i s cry- ing. I take i t that i f such a performance had occurred during the occa- sions examined e a r l i e r , we would expect the probation o f f i c e r to take immed- ia t e steps to achieve 'cooperation' on the part of the j u v e n i l e by d i s p l a y - ing the probation-relevant meaning of the youth's performance and the con- s e q u e n t i a l i t y of such displays of 'disrespect', ' h o s t i l i t y ' and the inade- quate understanding of the s i t u a t i o n at hand. On the present occasion, however, the probation o f f i c e r does not have unproblematic access to, for example, the notion that an on-going record of the present exchange i s being kept for present and/or l a t e r use or that the present i n t e r a c t i o n may only be adequately 'understood' i n the r e f e r e n t i a l context of 'probation'. Note that the j u v e n i l e i s not constrained to 'make sense' of the unfolding 214 i n t e r a c t i o n as l e g a l , serious, consequential, etc., p r e c i s e l y because the mother and probation o f f i c e r are scrupulously attempting to provide him with an understanding of the probation o f f i c e r ' s presence as ' h e l p f u l ' , a t y p i f i c a t i o n which shields the parents' contact with the probation o f f i c e r from negative assessment by the son. This i s done i n a way which precludes the subsequent invocation of strategies r e l i a n t upon threats of the use of escalating p u n i t i v e measures. Rather than engaging i n the t y p i c a l s t r a t e g i e s which I have shown to be employed by probation o f f i c e r s during normal probation i n t e r a c t i o n , the probation o f f i c e r attempts to deal with the s i t u a t i o n at hand by coun- s e l l i n g the mother on how to go about dealing with the j u v e n i l e ' s p e r f o r - mance. I suggest that he r e a l i z e s that h i s r o l e w i t h i n a s i t u a t i o n that he has prematurely chosen to enter i s ambiguous at best. Rather than attempting to speak as a probation o f f i c e r with a j u v e n i l e , he chooses to trade on the mother's unproblematic status as a parent i n t e r a c t i n g with her son to deal with the s i t u a t i o n . The strategy m i s f i r e s badly when the son e x p l o i t s p r e c i s e l y the same t y p i f i c a t i o n of the on-going i n t e r a c t i o n to strongly suggest that the probation o f f i c e r i s only a 'meddler' with no v a l i d and accepted 'business' i n the s e t t i n g : Juv: ( ( y e l l i n g ) ) You should mind your own business! Mo: Henry please! Juv: W i l l you t e l l him to mind h i s own business, OK? Fa: That i s h i s business. Juv: What's his business? 215 PO: Hey wait a minute, i n that tone of voice, Juv: You c a l l i n g me down? Fa: He was here at our request. Mo: The reason I blame myself i s that, Juv: Well he i s n ' t here at my request. Fa: You haven't got any say i n the matter at a l l , you're a ju v e n i l e and y o u ' l l do exactly what you're t o l d . Juv: He thinks I'm a j u v e n i l e ! In t his exchange the probation o f f i c e r attempts to employ a common device which i s ro u t i n e l y used during 'normal' probation i n t e r a c - t i o n , i . e . , turning the on-going performance of a j u v e n i l e into a topic for discussion and l e c t u r i n g . The device m i s f i r e s and the attempt f a i l s completely. The irony i s that at l e a s t i n c e r t a i n consequential respects, the j u v e n i l e i s r i g h t , i n s o f a r as ' i t ' here and now is_ 'none of h i s (the PO's) business'. There i s no 'court' or 'judge' to invoke i n the routine ways which characterize normal probation. I n t e r a c t i o n does continue, but the PO never r e a l l y 'owns' i t i n the same way that he i s accustomed to i n his c h a r a c t e r i s t i c control over t y p i c a l probation i n t e r a c t i o n . Later, he merely attempts to discuss the juvenile's job with him and to 'mention' the f a c t that marijuana use can r e s u l t i n the lo s s of h i s job. Through- out the i n t e r a c t i o n , the j u v e n i l e t e l l s the PO to 'shut up', 'get out of here', 'lay o f f ' . When challenged, i n s u l t e d , etc., the probation o f f i c e r would 'back o f f ' , and calmly attempt to 'reason' with the j u v e n i l e . After the v i s i t , however, the probation o f f i c e r explodes with f r u s t r a t e d anger which he had attempted to concealduring the encounter: 216 I'm surprised someone hasn't thumped him out at work. Like i f I - If I could have, I might have charged him. Maybe. I'm not even sure i t ' s marijuana myself. Kind of looks l i k e i t . It's awfully seedy, you know....If I was sure that I could have charged him, and he'd said that, that's i t ! I would have walked out and hauled him into court, you know. I'd say "OK, l e t ' s go prove i t . " He'd lose his job. Note that the probation o f f i c e r does not n e c e s s a r i l y f e e l that further i n t e r a c t i o n would be 'a waste of time' due to the f a c t that the youth i s a 'hopeless' case. Rather, the PO merely wants to meet with him under the conditions which I have t r i e d to i d e n t i f y as c o n s t i t u t i n g the r e f e r e n t i a l context of normal probation i n t e r a c t i o n . The nature of that r e f e r e n t i a l context, i . e . , i d e o l o g i c a l notions and their i n t e r a c t i o n a l uses, organiza- t i o n a l contingencies and p r a c t i c a l concerns of probation o f f i c e r s doing probation, and i t s status i n the setting have been the primary topics of inquiry i n t h i s study. In my attempt to describe probation work and to e x p l i c a t e and analyze i t s mundane accomplishment, I have n e c e s s a r i l y l e f t much ethno- graphic and a n a l y t i c work undone. My focus of i n t e r e s t and res ul ta nt strategy for obtaining access l i m i t e d the data by precluding any systematic placing of such i n t e r a c t i o n s i n t h e i r administrative context. A d d i t i o n a l research i s needed to i d e n t i f y other organizational c o n s t r a i n t s operative i n such s e t t i n g s . This study i s intended as a much-needed ethnography of probation work and, more generally, as a further i n v e s t i g a t i o n into the p r a c t i c a l r e a l i t i e s of the j u v e n i l e j u s t i c e system. 217 BIBLIOGRAPHY Barrett, David R., William J.T. Brown and John M. Cramer 1966 "Juvenile Delinquents: The P o l i c e , State Courts, and I n d i v i d u a l - ized J u s t i c e , " Harvard Law Review, 79, pp. 775-810. Bates, Sanford 1960 "When i s Probation Not Probation," Federal Probation, 24, pp. 13- 20. Brennan, Marion M. and John A. Wallace 1963 "Intake and the Family Court," Buffalo Law Review, 12, pp. 442- 451. Brown, Claude. 1965 Manchild i n the Promised Land. New York: Signet Books. Cavenagh, W.E. 1967 Juvenile Courts, the C h i l d and the Law. London: Penguin Books. Cico u r e l , Aaron V. 1964 Method and Measurement i n Sociology. New York: Free Press. 1968 The So c i a l Organization of Juvenile J u s t i c e . New York: John Wiley and Sons. Cole, George F. 1970 "The Decision to Prosecute," Law and Society Review, 4, pp. 331- 343. Dalton, M e l v i l l e 1959 Men Who Manage. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Diana, Lewis 1960 "What i s Probation," Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology and P o l i c e Science, 51, pp. 189-204. Douglas, Jack (ed.) 1970 Understanding Everyday L i f e . Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company. Emerson, Robert M. 1969 Judging Delinquents. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company. Ford, James Ellsworth 1974 Doing O b s t e t r i c s : The Organization of Work Routines i n a Mater- n i t y Service. Unpublished Ph.D. D i s s e r t a t i o n , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia. 218 Fox, Sanford J . 1970 "Juvenile J u s t i c e Reform: An H i s t o r i c a l Perspective," Stanford Law Review, 22, pp. 1187-1239. Garfinkel, Harold 1967 Studies i n Ethnomethodology, Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: Prentice H a l l . Ives, Jane K. 1965 "The Learner i n Probation Work," Crime and Delinquency, 2, pp. 239-248. "Juvenile Delinquents Act" 1969 The Criminal Code 1954-1969. Toronto: The Carswell Company Limited. Kitsuse, I. and Aaron Cicourel 1963 "A Note on the Use of O f f i c i a l S t a t i s t i c s , " S o c i a l Problems, 11, pp. 131-139. Kogon, Bernard 1956 "Some Experiences i n Training i n a County Probation Department," National Probation and Parole Association Journal, 2, pp. 255-259. Lernert, Edwin M. 1969 "Records i n the Juvenile Court," Staton Wheeler (ed.), On Record: F i l e s and Dossiers i n American L i f e , New York: Ru s s e l l Sage Foundation. Mack, J u l i a n W. 1909 "The Juvenile Court," Harvard Law Review, 23, pp. 104-122. Mackay, Robert W. 1967 The Acquisiton of Membership. Unpublished M.A. Thesis, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia. Merton, Robert K. 1957 S o c i a l Theory and S o c i a l Structures. Rev. ed. New York: Free Press. Ohlin, Lloyd E., Herman Piven and Donnell M. Pappenfort 1956 "Major Dilemmas of the S o c i a l Worker i n Probation and Parole," National Probation and Parole A s s o c i a t i o n Journal, 3, pp. 211- 225. P i l i a v i n , I rving and Scott B r i a r 1964 "Police Encounters With Juveniles," American Journal of Sociology, 70, pp. 206-214. 219 P i a t t , Anthony M. 1969 The C h i l d Savers: The Invention of Delinquency. Chicago: Uni- v e r s i t y of Chicago Press. Report of the Department of J u s t i c e Committee on Juvenile Delinquency 1967 Ottawa: Queen's P r i n t e r . Sacks, H. 1966 The Search for Help: No One to Turn To. Unpublished Ph.D. D i s s e r t a t i o n , University of C a l i f o r n i a Berkeley. Schegloff, Emmanual and Harvey Sacks 1974 "Opening Up Closings," Roy Turner (ed.), Ethnomethodology. Lon- don: Penguin Books, 1974. Schultz, J . Lawrence 1973 "The Cycle of Juvenile Court H i s t o r y , " Crime and Delinquency,19, pp. 457-576. Sedio, Edward, Gordon Nelson and Beulah Compton 1956 " S o c i a l Work Student Placement i n a Probation S e t t i n g , " National Probation and Parole Association Journal, 2, pp. 233-238. Stoddart, Kenneth Wayne 1968 Drug Transactions: The S o c i a l Organization of a Deviant A c t i v i t y . Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of B r i t i s h Columbia. Sudnow, David (ed.) 1972 Studies i n Interaction. New York: Free Press. Sykes, Gresham M. and David Matza 1957 "Technqiues of N e u t r a l i z a t i o n : A Theory of Delinquency," American S o c i o l o g i c a l Review, 22 (1957), pp. 664-670. Tappan, Paul W. 1949 Juvenile Delinquency. New York: McGraw-Hill. Turner, Roy 1968 Talk and Troubles: Contact Problems of Former Mental Patients. Unpublished Ph.D. D i s s e r t a t i o n , U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Berkeley. 1970 "Words, Utterances, and A c t i v i t i e s , " Jack D. Douglas (ed.), Understanding Everyday L i f e , Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company. 1974 (Ed.) Ethnomethodology. London: Penguin Books. Werthman, C a r l 1964 Delinquency and Authority. Unpublished M.A. Thesis, U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a , Berkeley. 220 Wieder, Donald Lawrence 1969 The Convict Code: A Study of a Moral Order as a Persuasive A c t i v i t y . Ph.D. D i s s e r t a t i o n , U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Los Angeles. Revised version i n press as: Language and S o c i a l R e a l i t y : The Case of T e l l i n g the Convict Code. The Hague: Mouton. Wiseman, Jacqueline P. 1970 Stations of the Lost: The Treatment of Skid Row A l c o h o l i c s . Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: P r e n t i c e - H a l l . Young, Pauline 1937 S o c i a l Treatment i n Probation and Delinquency. New York: McGraw-Hill. Zimmerman, D.H. 1966 Paper Work and People Work: A Study of a Public Assistance Agency. Unpublished Ph.D. D i s s e r t a t i o n , U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r - nia Los Angeles. Zimmerman, D.H. and Lawrence Wieder 1970 "Ethnomethodology and the Problem of Order: Comment on Denzin," Jack D. Douglas (ed.), Understanding Everyday L i f e . Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company. 221 APPENDIX INTAKE PROCEDURE IN THE MEDIUM CITY JUVENILE COURT As soon as a complaint i s made or information l a i d against a j u v e n i l e , and before the case comes before the presiding judge, the Pro- bation O f f i c e r immediately goes into a c t i o n . He gains f i r s t hand knowledge of the offense, i n c l u d i n g a l l material contained i n the P o l i c e or complainants' report. The Probation O f f i c e r i s the f i r s t person to have possession of the report. The next step i s to interview the j u v e n i l e and his parents or guardians who are advised of the a l l e g a t i o n s . They are b r i e f e d as to t h e i r r i g h t s , and what to expect and meet when they appear i n court. I t i s established as soon as possible whether a plea of g u i l t y or not g u i l t y w i l l be entered. If i n the negative, no further a c t i o n or i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s c a r r i e d out by the Probation O f f i c e r assigned to the case u n t i l a f t e r the necessary t r i a l and a f i n d i n g of delinquency i s made. I f , as i s usually the case, the c h i l d , with the agreement of his parents or "guardians" wishes to "own" up to the a l l e g a t i o n s , a f u l l length interview i s conducted and an "intake" prepared. The intake consists of a summarized p i c t u r e of the c h i l d , covered by the following headings: (a) General information such as birthday, n a t i o n a l i t y , school, mental status, occupation,etc., of parents together with names and ages of s i b l i n g s . Other s p e c i a l information included here such as previous 222 records, drinks, smokes, mother works, p s y c h i a t r i c examination, ward- ship, s p e c i a l c l a s s i n school, exposure to n a r c o t i c s , etc. (b) Complaint and c h i l d ' s story. (c) Home and family. (d) School. (e) Work. (f) Interests and r e c r e a t i o n . (g) Health and p e r s o n a l i t y . (h) Other agencies. ( i ) Observations, (j) Suggested Plan. As the above intake o u t l i n e suggests, quite a l o t of informa- t i o n must be e l i c i t e d from other sources. There are many agencies to draw on, such as the school system, other courts, h o s p i t a l s , C i t y S o c i a l Assistance Department ( r e l i e f ) , p s y c h i a t r i c c l i n i c s and i n s t i t u t i o n s ; i n fact the whole gamut of public and governmental organizations are used to provide background information, not only about the c h i l d i n question, but the t o t a l family c o n s t e l l a t i o n . This looks l i k e a gigantic task, but i n f a c t i t i s r e l a t i v e l y easy i n our C i t y because of a high degree of i n t e r - agency cooperation that presently e x i s t s . A trained Probation O f f i c e r can, from his interview, obtain or pinpoint other agencies that have been or are s t i l l a c t i v e with the p a r t i c u l a r family and i n some cases, r e l a t i v e s , Furthermore, the S o c i a l Service Index, gives us a l i s t of agencies having knowledge of "problem" f a m i l i e s , or "multi-problem f a m i l i e s " as we now c a l l them, and other types of f a m i l i e s too. A l l this can be started by one telephone c a l l to the Index. 223 With a f u l l intake, using the sources l i s t e d above, the pre-court intake becomes a concise s o c i a l h i s t o r y from which the Probation O f f i c e r can make a tentative assessment of the t o t a l s i t u a t i o n . He i s then i n a good p o s i t i o n to o f f e r suggestions, provide information, or even make a recommendation for d i s p o s i t i o n of the case, i f and when the Judge requests such. In this manner, the long delays with subsequent trauma or indecisions are, for the most part, obviated. In the "average" case, an undelayed d i s p o s i t i o n can be made and j u s t i c e c a r r i e d out. I f probation i s merited or required, casework can be started o f f i c i a l l y . In f a c t , a c e r t a i n s t a r t i s made on therapy from the i n i t i a l v i s i t of the Probation O f f i c e r . I t i s psychologically important to "attack" the problem while i t i s s t i l l "hot" or the psychological climate i s most favourable.

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