UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An evaluation of the facilities and services of the Vancouver, B.C., Juvenile Detention Home Mozzanini, John Seraphine 1950

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An Evaluation of the Facilities, and Services of the Vancouver, E.G. Juvenile Detention Home.  Submitted in partial fulfillment of the Master of Social Work Degree School of Social Work • University of British Golumbia  by John. S. Moz;zanini  October 1950  John S. Mozzanini:  An Evaluation of the Facilities and Services of the  Vancouver, B.Si. Detention Home.  Abstract This study surveys the' f a c i l i t i e s and services for the children admitted to the Vancouver Detention Home. A comparison of this detention home and that of Frazer Detention Home, Portland, Oregon, has been made in certain instances. The Historical development of the Vancouver Home has been briefly covered, also probable'future suggestions for improvements in treatment, in the Home and personnel have been discussed. One chapter i s devoted entirely to case studies which were considered a "cross-section" of the kind of child admitted. Strengths and weaknesses in the treatment are noted. Emphasis is given to the professional requirements of personnel within the Home. Administration, Intake, Recreational Program, Work Program and School Program are reviewed. An Evaluation of the usefulness of the building is also made. The importance of understanding the needs for a specific child are discussed in some detail. The role of the social worker is emphasized.  Acknowledgment s I would like to convey my sincere appreciation to the many people who have been so helpful in accumulating the information necessary to complete this study. In particular, I would like to express my appreciation of the assistance given to me by Mr. Harlan 6 . Pendleton, Superintendent of the Frazer Detention Home; my wife, Margaret A. for her many helpful suggestions and who so generously gave a great deal of time. My sincere thanks also to Mr. W. Dixon and Dr. Leonard Marsh of the Department of Social Work, University of British Columbia for the valuable help that they gave.  Table of Contents  Chapter 1. The Historical Development of the Vancouver Juvenile ' ~ " Detention Home.  page 1  Juvenile, Delinquents Act of 1910; Services in the Detention Home until 1931; The new Home; Administration in the new Home. Chapter 2, An Evaluation of the Procedures and Facilities of the Home.  7  Intake Procedure; The Staff in, Relat ion to Intake; Staff The Building and Physical Plant; Suggested Improvements of Staff and Services. Chapter 3. An Evaluation of the Educational, Recreational and Religious Services.  - 3 2  The School Situation: Recreational Services; Religious Observance. Chapter 4.  Social Work Application - Analysis of Cases 44  Intensive study of nine cases and comments. Chapter 5.. Conclusions. Administration; Intake; Recreational Program; Work program; School Program; The Buildings; General Summary.  Appendix A.  54  An Evaluation of the F a c i l i t i e s and Services of the Vancouver, B.C. Juvenile Detention Hone.  Chapter 1. THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE VANCOUVER JUVENILE DETENTION HOME. The Vancouver Juvenile Detention Home was o f f i c i a l l y opened on June 23rd, 1910.  It has i t s legal basis in the Juvenile Delinquents Act, 1910  which superseded the procedure of the Criminal Code as i t related to offences committed by children. Due to the fact that a l l the principals therein involved are now deceased, i t has been necessary to depend on the few written sources on the inception and operation of the Home. The f i r s t annual report is the natural starting point of this historical development.  Judge A.E. Bull and one probation officer, H.E. Collier, made  up the staff in 1910.  Weekly sittings of the court were held and the pro-  bation officer worked closely with the delinquent child and his parents. Evidently both these men, i f their written words speak them true, were genuinely concerned with the problem of the wayward child and the application of rehabilitation rather than punishment.  Also, they proceeded on  the modern theory that delinquency nearly always springs from an unhealthy home situation. Judge Bull says: "Avery considerable part of the juvenile delinquency, but not by any means a l l of i t , i s due to the want of proper home influence and training. Drunkenness and loose living on the part of the father are sometimes the weakness in the home, and contribute to the delinquency of the children, but in addition to these extreme cases there is frequently a want of proper care or supervision on the part of the parents, and especially the father over the child, a lack of knowledge or thought on the part of the parent as to how his boy spends his evenings, his spare time and as to who are his companions, and a lack of direction and advice to the young l i f e that i s maturing. Parents, should make better companions of their children, interest themselves in their doings, enter into their joys and sorrows, then the children w i l l consult their fathers and mothers more freely about their work and their play, their hopes and their fears..."! I.  First Year-End Report of the Juvenile Court and Detention Home, 1916. Vancouver, B.C. Printed by A.H. Timms, 14th Ave., East, 1911. pp 7-8.  - 2 Forty years later, much of this could well be said with advantage. The principle that parents should make good companions of their children is as sound today, i f not more so, than it was at that early date. In 1910, 139- individuals were dealt with, of whom 63 appeared before the court. The words of H.E. Collier, the probation officer at that time: Many of the cases brought before the court seemed to be almost hopeless at f i r s t , and yet some of these have turned out the best, but not without a great deal of anxious care, and many v i s i t s at a l l hours of the day, and in some cases far into the night, for the ever watchful eye of the officers of the court, like the wise mother of a family, can nearly always t e l l when trouble i s approaching, or when their charge i s likely to f a l l upon temptation. Some have fallen twice and one four times, but such a one must be l i f t e d up once more. Then there i s the wise arrangement for the child who i s on probation to v i s i t the Probation Officer weekly, and to report upon his own conduct, as well as the weekly v i s i t of the Probation Officer to the home of the child, not only to see how his charge is doing but also to advise with the parents as to the best method of regulating their home affairs so as to produce the very best results, not only with the one who has made a mistake, but to prevent the other members of the family, i f such there be, from going astray. This has had a wonderful effect in some families. The Probation Officer has since the court was established made 436 such v i s i t s , while he has had 296 v i s i t s from the children to him. These latter soon become a source of pleasure to both the child and the officer. Quite a number of boys have been placed in situations, and their employers make report on their conduct, and by that means a double check i s kept on them."2 It would seem from the conclusions of both Judge Bull and Mr. Collier that their methods were eminently satisfactory and productive of almost universally good results.  It seems fair to wonder a l i t t l e i f these good results  were not hypothecated for the benefit of the taxpayers reading the reports. The follow-up remarks of the chart appended to the back page of the report suggests that the assumption that a l l these boys (and the nine girls who presumably were kept also at the Home) trod the straight and narrow path i s somewhat illusory.  Twenty-eight cases are dismissed with the statement:  "No need of further supervision."  Since the longest period i n which any boy  was under supervision was five months and i n most cases one or two months, 2.  Ibid, p. 13.  - 3 their rehabilitation to a point where the probation officer felt i t was perfectly safe to leave them to their own resources, i s remarkable indeed. Moreover, thirteen children "left the city", either voluntarily or with parents, which apparently closes the record.  In fourteen cases involving  theft or damage, either the child or his or her parents paid damages or returned stolen money, which again apparently was sufficient for the Juvenile Court to close the case without any further follow-up.  In the  remainder of cases the child wrote to the probation officer that he was doing well, or was s t i l l reporting to him. Naturally i t must be considered that in 1910 conditions were s t i l l pretty much in the "dark ages" of social work, insofar as any modern concepts or applications were concerned.  It can be surmised that in spite of  the efforts which went on in early Vancouver, f a c i l i t i e s and treatment left a great deal to be desired. No mention i s made of any recreational, sports or handicraft activities, although the establishment of a school in the Home by Easter of 1911 i s spoken of as a strong probability.  The  report of the matron, Mrs. Collier, as to the "activities" pursued, i s as dreary as the printed diet l i s t .  She says:  "After the morning meal i s overaall gather in the office, including the superintendent, helpers, my own family and the inmates. A portion i s read from a daily textbook which includes Scripture, verse and comments from notable men and women, after which follows prayer and the repeating of the Lord''s Prayer together. The several duties of the morning are attended to under the supervision of Mr. Heater, male helper, and the matron. Dinner and supper and other duties of the day follow in their turn, after which the inmates take their library books and read t i l l bed-time, which is 7:30 in winter and 8:00 P.M. in the summer. My observation i s that most of the inmates, the boys especially, are great readers, and some of them have got their wrong ideas of l i f e from reading bad books, and our friends would do well to send us books suitable for boys I have too been somewhat surprised at how readily most of the children have grasped the new ideas of l i f e which I have tried to teach them both by example and precept. I am satisfied that a great work has been done which w i l l in most cases t e l l on the whole of their future lives Every second Sunday evening the inmates are a l l taken to my  -4 own private sitting room and entertained with music and singing for half and hour before retiring."3 It i s to be hoped that the "inmates" were allowed some form of recreation and exercise other than the performance of household duties; i t is d i f f i c u l t to conceive of adolescent boys sitting quietly over books day after day, singing hymns and attending church in a manner more reminiscent of "Little Lord Fauntleroy" than "Peck's Bad Boy." For nearly twenty_rone years the building at Pine St. and 10th Ave. was used for detention. Finally on Hay 23, 1930, a brief notice appeared in the Yancouver Province that a permit had been issued for the building of a new Detention Home at 2625- to 2:645 Yale St., the building to be two stories high, built of concrete at a cost of $120,000. This achievement was largely due to the efforts of a member of the "Amalgamation" City Council and chairman of the Civic Police and Traffic Committee, whose name was Harry Deffraves. Defiraves had been much interested in the problem of housing for Vancouver's delinquent boys and girls and he made i t a point to read reports of the Grand Juries on the inadequacy of the Pine Street building and the danger of a tragic holocaust taking place there at any time.  Armed with these adverse reports Deffraves forced the  issue before a Council most unwilling to consider i t , but his enthusiams, his eloquency and sincerity, coupled with the pleas of Vancouver's i n fluential service clubs and public and semi-public bodies, changed the  ,-'  attitude of the Council. A by-law was submitted to the city's voters calling for an expenditure of §200,000 for the proposed new home and court. With the endorsement of the by-law by the voters, a site was chosen on Yifall Street, between Clinton and Yale Street, Nearly a year later, in April of 1931, the Vancouver Province devoted a column to a description of 4 of the site and building plans. 3. First Year End Report of the Juvenile Court and Detention Home, supra, pp. 17 and 18. 4. Vancouver Province, April 19, 1931.  - 5 The article described the new Home as the finest in the Dominion, surrounded by a setting of sea and panoramic mountains. Part of the reconstruction included the remodeling of the small permanent building of the Children's Aid Society for use as administration offices, a Juvenile Court and private room for the judges connected by a corridor to the Detention Home proper.  The article went on to say that in  designing the new building, an effort had been made to make i t bear some family resemblance to the existing one. Georgian.  The style was called early  It is reinforced concrete construction with concrete outer  walls veneered with masonry, part of which is stuccoed and part of face brick. The segregation of the boys and girls was noted. The fact that a whole section could be isolated from the rest of the unit was emphasized. The most positive feature mentioned was that the building was fireproof and had plenty of f i r e escapes. This description f i t s the structure as i t now exists.  A fuller de-  scription w i l l be given in the, following chapter. The chief probation officer and superintendent through the war years was a retired army man.  of the Home from 1935  He carried much of his  military training into the management of the court and Home. His problems were many, as during the f i r s t part of his regime the depression was in f u l l swing with finances and personnel at a low ebb.. During the war the transient juvenile problem became acute in Vancouver and again personnel was not adequate because of higher wages elsewhere. Despite these shortcomings he was able to administer the court and Home in a fairly adequate fashion. In contrast Mr. Gordon Stevens, the present Chief Probation Officer, has, in the last few years, strengthened the services of the Family Court  _ 6 -  and Juvenile Court through reorganization.  This is reflected in part by  the excellent recording of cases noted by the author in connection with this thesis.  Mr. Stevens has recognized the weaknesses of the Home and  already, since this project began, has undertaken the f i r s t step forward by obtaining a capable  superintendent.  The development of the f a c i l i t i e s and services of the Vancouver Juvenile Detention Home w i l l be fully discussed in the following chapters. Along with this material w i l l be integrated as a parallel comparison the f a c i l i t i e s and services of the Frazer Detention Home in Portland, Oregon. It is believed such comparison w i l l throw a clearer light on the needs and future program of the Vancouver Detention Home and serve perhaps as a guidepost in certain phases of this study.  It is to be hoped this study  w i l l be of some assistance in helping Mr. Stevens to obtain his objectives.  Chapter 2. AN EVALUATION OF THE  PROCEDURES  AND FJ&ILiriES OF THE HOME. The apprehension of juveniles who are held in the Home i s normally done by the Police Department, parents, complainants, or the Attendance Department of the schools. the Police.  A majority of the children are brought in by  In some cases an officer delivers the child directly to the  home; in other instances he may be turned over to the detectives for further questioning and then brought to the Home. In no cases are children held in the city j a i l overnight for additional questioning.  Further inter-  rogation is made at the Home. If parents feel that their children are beyond parental control they may sign an "incorrigibility" petition at the Juvenile Court.  This em-  powers the agency to apprehend the children and hold them pending a disposition either by the judge, the chief probation officer or the assistant chief probation officer, each of whom has the powers of the justice of the peace.  The same procedure is followed in cases where citizens have a bona  fide complaint  against a juvenile. This method is used in cases of such  violent crime as assault and battery. Where a child has been truant for a considerable period of time and the truant officer has been unsuccessful in returning him to school, the officer may sign a petition to that effect and be issued a summons which allows him to apprehend the delinquent. When the child is brought to the Home, an attendant or social worker makes out a "complaint  sheet" listing name and address, telephone number,  delinquency alleged and i t s date, time of apprehension, and particulars about the delinquency.  At the point of intake the boys are taken charge  of by male attendants while the girls are registered by women.  The next step i s the taking of personal possessions from the child. These are held in safekeeping pending release. physical examination and a bath.  Then follows a cursory  The examination of the girls is more  complete because a registered nurse i s usually in attendance.  Any child  with a contagious disease may be placed in the hospital pending a complete physical checkup by the doctor. Upon completion of the examination, the children join the rest of the group. Intake Procedure The intake procedure, as now practiced at the Home, does not seem to be uniform.  The method of intake i s left largely to the individual worker,  who handles the child in the manner that he sees f i t . the attendant does an excellent job of intake.  In some instances  In others, because of lack  of s k i l l and natural warmth, the attendants are not fitted to undertake this most important function of a Home. At this point where the child's fear of the unknown, and of persons who may be hostile to him i s at i t s height, a method of intake, based on kindliness and understanding, i s v i t a l l y important.  In most instances, he  is not oriented as to what i s ahead for himj particularly for the child held for the f i r s t time, the experience is a traumatic one.  His anxiety  may be acutely aroused by the fanciful tales of other detained children. This state of anxiety, i f not allayed, may well be the precipitating factor in further delinquencies, such as running away and stealing. A social worker should study, a l l admissions to determine i f entrance to the institution is the best possible plan for the child.  After i t has  been decided that a child i s to be admitted, i t is the responsibility of the social worker to prepare him for admission and to interpret his particular needs to the staff members who w i l l be dealing with him. Th  e  institution should formulate a well-defined, yet flexible plan for the  - 9 manner of receiving a child.  Every effort should be made to bridge the  gap between the child's previous home and the institution with as l i t t l e distress and emotional anguish to the child as possible."'" It was noted particularly in the boys' section that, after 3:00  P.M.,  the male attendant had to divide his time between intake, supervision of the boys, and taking care of the furnace. Naturally the worker cannot do a good intake job and handle such other diversified tasks.  The result i s  that the child must be rushed through these preliminary steps, and is understandably bewildered and antagonistic by the time he i s placed with other boys in the Home. Another serious defect in the intake procedure is that no attempt i s made to segregate the delinquent from the dependent child.  It is true the  latter i s rarely held, but he should under no circumstances be mixed with children who are here because they have broken the law. The intake procedure at Frazer Detention Home i s based on the premise that the child's introduction to the Home i s extremely important psychologically.  Brusqueness and roughness in superintendent and attendants w i l l  only accelerate the child's natural feeling of fright, strangeness and rebellion against a setting into which he has been forcibly brought.  On the  other hand, the atmosphere of kindness and understanding;which always surrounds a new boy brought to Frazer lessens his antagonism to the point where, in the future, his problems can be much more easily handled. As the child comes up on the front porch of the Home he observes play equipment in the back yard such as a mechanical bucking bronco, a sky-ride, a putting green for golf practice, horse-shoe pits, a softball diamond, a 1.  "Standards for Children*s Institutions," Division of Social Welfare, State of Minnesota, March, 1945, p. 32.  - 10 basketball court and a sand box. The superintendent makes a point of handling intake whenever i t i s possible for him to do so.  He meets the boy at the door, extends his hand  in greeting, and introduces himself.  In the entrance h a l l and in the  adjoining office where the interview takes place the boy is introduced to any other boys who may be in these places.  The superintendent's office i s  gaily decorated with humorous murals painted by some of the boys who have stayed at the Home. They depict many of the activities carried on such as doing dishes, scrubbing floors, boxing, playing games, swimming scenes from the local YMCA, making model airplanes, etc. This in itself helps break down the barrier between erring child and authoritative adult. remark on the murals; the superintendent  The boy may  is glad of such a conversational  opening to explain the activities of the Home. Also in this room there are on exhibit model airplanes and toy cars which w i l l usually awaken the interest of any child. The superintendent  or whoever i s responsible for intake allows plenty  of time for the interview.  He purposely uses a .leisurely approach to  allay the child's fears. The interviewer explains that rules in a Home where many people live together are necessary, but at.Frazer they are made as simple as possible. The rules he must follow are explained and interpreted. Part of the intake process is to f i l l out the detention data card, weigh the child, measure his height, and place all.his own valuables in an envelope.  He is allowed to carry his own b i l l f o l d and for the money left  in the office he is given a script car-which enables him to spend i t at the commissary.  There are certain regulations followed insofar as his  spending of "money" is concerned and provision is made for the child who does not have money for candy, pop or other small pleasures.  The boy is then introduced to another boy staying at the Home who i s assigned the role of "big brother" to the newcomer for the day.  The "big  brother" explains that running away from the Home is easy and eveni ells him the best methods of doing so — an ingenious piece of psychology that often undermines the new boy*s daring and adventurous plans for leaving the detention home as soon as he possibly can.  "Adventure" proffered to  him in this manner i s likely to seem very commonplace indeed.  The "big  brother" does suggest that i f the newcomerfeels as though he must run away he should go to the superintendent, or supervisor and talk over with them this compulsion to escape as they w i l l try to help him in every way possible. .The interviewer has attempted to find out the child*s interests and the "big brother" is chosen as much as-possible on the basis of similar interest age. and progressive adjustment.  One of the basic rules explained to the  boy is that under no circumstances does one child carry gossip or complaint about another to the supervisor or superintendent, neither does he act as a supervisor in disciplining another child.  It is felt that the insecure  child needs attachment to other persons and other children within the Home who are the natural individuals with whom he can form such attachments. However, these attachments cannot be whole-hearted i f a child disobeys the above rule and i s consequently rejected by the other children. Friendship within the Home is encouraged. The Staff in Relation to Intake Intake in most child caring institutions can be somewhat selective as far as admissions are concerned because of overcrowded conditions. However, in a juvenile detention setting this is not always true because of the position i t holds in relation to the Police Department and other re-  - 12 ferral agencies.  This does not imply, however, that a l l apprehended children  must be held in detention. There should be clear understanding about which children should be detained and which should be released to their parents, i f detention i s to be kept at a minimum.  3h most instances there are three distinguishable  groups who need be detained: (1)  Children so beyond control that parents or guardians may not be  able to prevent a repetition of behavior which i s menacing to themselves or the community, such as ..armed robbery, assault and battery, rape or sadistic sexual crimes. (2)  Children whose presence in court, return to another jurisdiction  or community, longer time placement or uninfluenced testimony in another court, can only be assured by detention. (3') Children whose home situation i s so unsavory, immorai or neglectful of the child, that he should not be returned to i t without investigation and, i f possible, amelioration of the situation.  It follows that, who  would not otherwise require detention should, wherever possible, be held elsewhere than in a detention home for delinquent children. To insure that only those children are detained for whom detention i s a necessity, effective controls must be established. According to the National Probation and Parole Association i f more than f i f t y percent of a court's total delinquency cases are detained, intake controls and probation service to children awaiting hearing in their own homes should be examined. Some courts have managed to detain as few as twelve percent of their total number of delinquency cases.  The act of authoritatively removing a child  from his home is a serious one, and no child should be detained even for a  2 few hours i f i t can be avoided. 2. See Sherwood and Helen Norman, Detention for the Juvenile Court, National Probation and Parole Association, New York, N.Y. p.8.  The f u l l responsibility for detaining children should reside in the juvenile court and not. be divided among, detention home, police and other agencies, although i t i s extremely important that the court secure the cooperation of other agencies in carrying out i t s intake policy.  More than  this, i t is necessary that the schools, the press and the general public should be so well informed that they can offer the court substantial backing. Ho child, should be detained except by the authority of the juvenile court judge or his representative. No child should be detained without court order longer than is actually required to obtain such an order.  Some courts  rely on a routine preliminary hearing to decide whether to detain a child o f f i c i a l l y ; but unless there has been careful screening by the probation department with service provided after court hours, reliance on the preliminary hearing usually means that many children are detained overnight or on week-ends unnecessarily. This practice should be discouraged.  If infor-  mation i s desired regarding other offenses which may have been committed by the child the probation officer i s in the best position to secure i t 3  because of the continuing case-work relationship which he maintains. In Vancouver court hearings before the judge should be on a daily rather than a weekly basis. It is true that i t would put an additional burden on the probation officer who in many cases would have to prepare his material for the case hurriedly.  If a child i s brought into detention the  previous night he should have the benefit of a preliminary hearing merely to determine whether or not he should be held.  In most progressive areas  in the United States the holding or releasing of a child is determined by the Juvenile Court Judge rather than by the chief probation officer. The writer has worked in a juvenile Court setting for five years and has ob3. Ibid, p. 8.  - 14served this system in operation.  It has.been his experience that through  rapid court hearings better casework relationships have,existed between the worker and the client. The complaint sheet now used in intake should be supplemented by a "detention data card" including such information as race, religion, height, weight,- and personal identification details.  This would be important as  it i s a rapid means of determining whether the child has been held previously.  Furthermore on week-ends when the court is closed case records  are not available. On this data card a space should be reserved to include any notes or comments by supervisors regarding, the child's behavior and reaction to the group. This would be invaluable to the probation officer in making a rapid daily evaluation of his charges in a group setting. The intake worker should have some casework s k i l l s in order to know the type of child he i s observing.  For instance a very disturbed child  might be threatened by a group. What better place to detect this problem • than at intake?  The caseworker has a knowledge of the dynamics of behavior,  he can t e l l whether or not he is dealing with a passive, or an aggressive, emotionally disturbed child.  This information could be -passed on to the  individual who w i l l have direct contact with the delinquent.  Thus he i s  in a better position to cope with the strengths and weaknesses of the newcomer. This system of integration which begins at intake cannot help but have an effect on the child as he .begins to sense that the various workers have an interest in his particular problem. " Staff  .  An examination .of the qualifications of the staff shows that one of the male attendants has a 6th grade education and was with the Imperial Armyj he obtained his position on the basis of being a returned soldier. He has had no experience with children but does possess some warmth in his  - 15 relationship to them. His knowledge of behavior is limited.  The Chief  Probation Officer describes him as being conscientious, loyal and willing to cooperate but with l i t t l e initiative.  He i s 52 years of age, married,  and has children of his own. His service with the detention home extends over several years.^ The next male attendant is 47 years of age.  He has been with the  Provincial Police Department and has an army background. He also has taken on a "returned soldier" basis. He has a fair knowledge of behavior but does not have the appreciation or understanding of child psychiatry he should have.  It i s just a job to/him and he is not even particularly interested  in i t . One of the best attendants on the boys' side i s 35 years of age. has had a short period of police officer training.  He  For four years he was  in the Provincial Welfare Field Service, and acquired some in-service training.  This man possesses some knowledge of behavior patterns in children  and i s desirous of becoming a probation officer.  He enjoys a warm and  friendly relationship with the children and has considerable knowledge of what is to be expected of a person working in a detention home setting. One of the younger attendants is 25 years of age.  He has had a public  school education and is now attending night school to obtain senior matriculation.  His experience includes group work through recreation. The Chief  Probation Officer feels that he has understanding and warmth.  It is possible  that he may go to the University of British Columbia and take the course in social work. His personality appeals to the boys and he has been with the detention home for a period of three years. 4.  In some instances the writer has had the opportunity of interviewing the detention personnel. In others the information was an evaluation by Mr. Stevens.  - 16 A recreation worker comes to the Home several evenings a week. He is completing the graduate course in education at the University of B r i tish Columbia.  Furthermore, he possesses experience -in both group work and  recreational programs. In the school situation, the male teacher i s 47 years of age and has his B.A.  He is hired by the Vancouver School Board and i s a rigid d i -  sciplinarian.  The relationship between himself and the children is f a i r l y  good. On the g i r l s ' side of the detention home there are two registered nurses.  They are taking night courses in psychology, seem to have warmth,  and are accepted by the g i r l s . One of the other women attendants is 50 years of age and has a public school education.  She does not appear to have understanding of child be-  havior and problems. The relief worker is a practical nurse, with a public school education. She i s deemed to be a person who tries hard but does not appeal to the children. As for salary, the workers are paid from #182 to $218 per month. There is a yearly increase until the maximum is obtained.  They work on a 40-hour  a week basis. The following l i s t of qualifications demanded of a children's supervisor for the B'razer Detention Home provides a rather interesting contrast to the above: "Children's Supervisor Han or woman Age 22 to 55 (but preferably not over 40, as i t is found a younger person is better able to cope with and understand the aggressiveness of the children under his or her care). Salary: $215-225-235 48 hour week  Duties of Position Under direction, during an assigned shift, is responsible for the care, custody and welfare of children detained, or sheltered at the detention home; guides and supervises children; maintains proper living standards and health habits; instructs in methods and supervises' performance of children assigned to tasks; maintains discipline; observes and records conduct; exercises influence in counteracting anti-social action and behavior; teaches and encourages good manners, sportsmanship and proper attitudes toward work, play and citizenship; supervises leisure time activities and performance in related duties as assigned. Education end Experience 1.  Successful completion of a four-year college or university course, or  2.  Successful completion of two years of college and two years of f u l l time successful paid experience in education, social service, recreational or health-building activities.  General Requirements A general knowledge of causes of juvenile delinquency and methods of rehabilitation; of the principles and techniques of group work, particularly as applied to adolescents; a good knowledge of standard hygiene, health practice, and f i r s t aid; a good working knowledge of housekeeping activities and constructive recreational activities; physical education and games; and of routines i n volved in the care, safety and custody of children; ability to command respect and confidence of children and older adolescents; to maintain firm discipline in a fair and tactful manner; to aid in the development of a well rounded personality and character; and to give comfort and encouragement to" children; willingness to work evening or night shifts, Sundays and holidays as assigned; ability to get along well with others; initiative, integrity, resourcefulness, neat appearance; high standard of morals and speech, patience, firmness, r e l i a b i l i t y , good judgment; good health, and freedom from disabling physical impairment." 5  Vancouver needs by way of staff younger men and women of college age who are emotionally mature yet able to "pal" with the children on their interest levels.  They should be emotionally and physically adaptable to  play with the -children in sports, games and work and be able to give and take on their mental level.  They should participate as one of them in work and  play and yet be an example of the best in both, thus deriving their authority from good example. 5.  Mimeographed.copy of the qualifications of personnel to be hired by the Fraz-er Detention Home, Portland, Oregon.  - 18 The Building and Physical Plant The physical plant of the Vancouver Detention Home i s a two-story structure of Georgian architecture, pleasantly situated on a high knoll overlooking Burrard Inlet.  It is located in an area of workingmen's homes  fringing the heavy industries concentrated along the-waterfront.  It i s  96 f t . by 89 f t . , the area comprising a 250-foot frontage and 254 foot depth.  The exterior of the building is weathered gray stone with red brick  trimming;, ivy trimmed walls, windows of the "shutter" type with small, wood latticed panes.  In a smaller structure adjoining the main building i s the  Juvenile and Family Court.  There i s a sweeping "half moon" driveway up to  the entrance, the grounds and shrubbery are neatly kept.  Although the  place would be immediately recognized by even the casual observer as an. institution, i t s appearance from the outside is a great deal more pleasing than i t s interior, as w i l l be seen in further discussion. Upon entering the Home one is confronted by an elongated desk which is used for both boys' and g i r l s ' intake. As mentioned before, the right side of the building serves as the housing unit for the g i r l s and the left side is used for the boys.  On each side of the desk are benches, where parents  and children v i s i t on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons. Privacy in visiting is, of course, non-existent in this setting. On the f i r s t floor, next to the intake quarters, there is a physical examination and f i r s t aid room, 9 f t . by 15 f t . in size. immaculately clean, and appears to be adequately equipped.  This room i s Directly above  this room on the second floor i s the g i r l s ' hospital where girls are treated for venereal infection as well as other ailments. fortable with snow-white sheets and spreads.  The beds look quite com-  On the same floor in the  opposite wing there is also a boys' hospital. Both wings on the f i r s t and second floors of the building are of similar  - 19 design, each with two dormitories 15 f t . by 18 f t . , and four or five single rooms. The boys' single rooms and the g i r l s ' single rooms face each other across the entrance and driveway - an architectural "faux pas" much regretted by the present supervisor because of considerable communication between the boys and girls. beds of army cot design.  The dormitories and rooms are furnished with  Some of the rooms have steel double lockers where  the children can hang their clothes and keep other personal possessions. Rickety wooden tables comprise the only other furnishing.  The g i r l s ' beds  are in general provided with sheets and pillow cases, but many of the boys have only a blanket and soiled pillows. The single rooms are very small - 7 f t . by 9 f t .  The walls are of  badly chipped plaster, the woodwork is a dirty scratched-up brown.  The  doors are of dark wood also, with a small movable panel at eye level whereby the attendant can look in at the child or children with a minimum of effort.  One of the dormitories on the f i r s t floor on the girls' side has  been converted into something of a hobby room where a few games are in evidence.  There are two large rooms on the boys' side provided with a  table and benches.  They have a few dog-eared magazines and some very  soiled playing cards. On each floor there are three hand basins and two toilets which seem to be in f a i r l y good condition. Recently the handles of water taps and the upper supporting railings between the toilets and walls have been soldered, as in the past they were used as weapons when the boys could pull them free. Baths are in a separate part of the building. It was quite noticeable that window breakage, particularly on the boys' side of the Home, presents quite a problem.  The windows are 30 inches  wide by 45 inches in height and include small panes 5-|- inches by 7-g- inches. Several of these small window panes had been knocked out and, in the  author's f i r s t v i s i t s to the Home, rags and papers were stuffed in the holes.  This meant that some of these rooms were very cold, with the tem-  perature below the minimum required for the welfare of children.  Recently,  however, new panes have been installed to remedy this situation. A detained child w i l l respect property only i f staff go " a l l the  way"  in respecting, the child's personality and making available to him a living situation where he knows he is wanted and loved and accepting him as he i s , disturbed, deliquent and anti-social. The child w i l l respect property i f detention is in a home where there is an atmosphere of love, where staff care, where there are privileges, equipment and program suitable to his needs and interests.  Also, i f he is given a true share in i t s government  and planning he w i l l care for the property i f the home which in his mind no longer belongs to the court alone but to him and his family of friends of which he feels a true part.  Why then should he want to destroy that  which belongs to him, that which makes his l i f e happier —  a home which is  pleasant - where I am wanted and where my friends and I life? Nowhere in the building are any attempts made to give the interior a more "homey" atmosphere. Every room and dormitory is barren of the slightest  attempt at decoration and from them a l l , even the gloomy corridors,  emanates the damp, sour, musty smell of "institutionalism".  A few rooms  recently have been painted the same drab tan color as before. The objection raised to furnishing boys' and g i r l s ' quarters with pictures, curtains, plants, lamps, or other items is that there would be just so many more objects to break.  This might be true under the present  regime, where destructiveness, particularly on the boys' part, seems an accepted channel (by them) for pent-up energy.  But i t would not be true i f  a f u l l treatment program was developed. Particularly should some attempt be made to brighten the g i r l s ' quarter  - 21 by furnishing' them with vanity dressers, lamps, gay bedspreads and curtains. The cost of many such items,, would be negligible and the girls themselves could make bedspreads, curtains, and chair coverings. would destroy things they produced.  It is unlikely they  The therapeutic effects of such ar-  t i s t i c endeavors, pride of accomplishment, and outlet for creativity, have been too successful in many other types of institutions to be' flatly turned down as of no consequence in this Home. The schoolroom is located on the second' floor. 15 and younger attend. larger ones.  Both boys and girls  There are 11 desks of the small variety plus 4  This room, with i t s blackboards, book-case on the back wall,  world globe, a few drawings said "cut-outs" by the pupils, i s much more cheerful than any other room in the Home. In between the girls' and boys' dining-room i s the kitchen. fairly adequate from the standpoint of room and equipment.  It seems  The stove i s  enormous with space for many pot:sr; and pans, thus presumably insuring warm meals.  There i s ample cupboard space.  The refrigerator is of the extra  large type commonly seen in institutions.  The space between stove and  sink is big enough t o facilitate washing of pots and pans.  The dishes are  sturdy and apparently can stand quite a lot of banging around.  The location  of the kitchen is such that food can be brought to both units quickly enough to s t i l l be hot when the children get i t . The g i r l s ' dining room i s large enough for the number usually there. As a rule the staff do eat with the children, in the same room but at a different table.  They occupy a separate table and on the authors' one v i s i t ,  it was.noted that their food m s better than that of the children. The chief criticism is again that of drabness and dark walls.  Much.  could be done to enliven both the g i r l s ' and boys' dining-rooms by allowing children with some artistic talent to paint the walls, or use friezes  - 22 in gay colors, by painting the tables and chairs red, yellow,, blue, or anything to relieve the monotony of dull tan and muddy brown.  It is a well,  known fact that attractive surroundings have a definite effect on appetite and certainly emotionally upset children should be in a setting conducive to relaxation and improvement of their morale. Between the girls* dining room and the laundry room l i e s t h e engine room.  The maintenance man explained that the furnace not only heats the  Home but also the adjacent Family Court building.  It has an automatic coal  feeder and is sufficient to heat both units comfortably.  The various rooms  throughout the Home seem warm enough except, as mentioned before, those in which windows had been broken. The laundry room i s adjacent to the g i r l s ' dining room and for the most part the equipment i s quite obsolete. Under both wings, at the back end of the building, l i e the bull pens which are concrete areas, 16 x 18 f t .  One enters them from the basement  and they are closed in by large iron grillwork gates.  During inclement  weather the pens are used for volley b a l l and other games. The enclosure serves as a restraint unit to further guarantee that the children won't run. The pens are too small and with heavy iron work enclosures, the children quite often bang against them sustaining needless injury. The boys' dining room is quite similar to the girls' and is on the right side of the building.  It i s also devoid of decoration although the  walls are lighter than those in the g i r l s ' dining room. The staff table is equipped with linen but the boys' tables are bare.  The room actually  serves a double purpose in that in the late afternoon the tables are put 1  together and used for ping-pong games during the recreation hour. Next to the boys' dining room there is a staff dining room that is only  - 23 -  occasionally used.  It would seem that this room could well he used for  indoor recreation as space for this purpose is definitely limited. In one corner of the basement, reached through two locked doors, are the cells. They are 6-g-ft. by 5§ f t . , built together in one unit, separated by walls, with barred doors.  The sole and complete furnishing of each c e l l  is a bunk which protrudes from the wall.  The light is poor, the j a i l -  like appearance complete, and nothing could be imagined more conducive to complete deterioration of an already disturbed boy than incarceration here. There i s nothing to read, nothing to do except pace up and down and try to escape.  It is l i t t l e wonder that there are many evidences of saw markings  on the exterior of the c e l l blocks, indicative of the extent to which some of these juveniles would go in order to secure their freedom.  One of the  boys who had been cooped up in this anachronistic "dungeon" said that the bunks were so narrow that boys often tumbled to the concrete floor. The storage room i s next to the j a i l unit and seems quite large enough for the many articles stored there. The institutional atmosphere i s based on maximum security - ie., every door locked and every precaution taken to prevent escape.  Male attendants  and matrons carry a veritable hardware store of keys, and a tour through the building is- punctuated by the constant unlocking and locking of doors. Actually "maximum security" is a medieval concept to be applied to a modern detention home, as the important consideration is not whether the child escapes or not but whether he'can be helped and rehabilitated.  A Home with  a good, active program, with a humane and understanding supervisor and competent staff, can keep every door, including the front door, unlocked, and lose only two or three children a month through running away. The present striving of the staff of the Yancouver Detention Home toward "maximum security" is another phase of punishment and the punishing of an  - 24 already emotionally upset child increases his tensions and anti-social behavior. The grounds directly behind and to one side of the detention home are on an angle and this sort of terrain .does not lend itself to playing games such as softball and baseball. Therefore i t is of limited value at present for any form of diversion.  In contrast to the neat front lawn the grounds  at the rear are scraggy and untidy. Suggested Improvements of Staff and Services The s t a f f of a detention home i s more important than any other factor in the total operation. The superintendent or director of a large detention program or i n stitution should be a college graduate with executive ability and training in social work. Every director should have had at least two years of i n tensive successful experience in direct contact with children.  He should  be familiar with and know how to use effectively group, case work and the guidance c l i n i c .  Smaller detention homes may not be able to demand such  specialized training and experience.  However, creativeness, imagination and  f l e x i b i l i t y in working with people are essential qualifications for a l l detention staff by a person of high calibre, capable of understanding the needs of maladjusted children and the role of detention in the work of the juvenile court.^ Above a l l the director or superintendent should have outstanding ability in working with people.  He should understand the principles of social con-  t r o l which operate within the group' and be able to use techniques of group quidance both with his staff and with the children.  As coordinator of the  entire-program he is responsible for the kind of social "climate" in which 5.  See Sherwood and Helen Norman, Detention for the Juvenile Court. National Probation and Parole Association, New York, p. 24.  -.25' -  ...  .. :.  c h i l d r e n and adults p u l l t o g e t h e r i n making d e t e n t i o n a c o n s t r u c t i v e  perience,  It is the superintendent  ex-  and the type of program and in-service  training he provides that determines the type of staff employed and their 6  effectiveness in working with children. Good children's supervisors are hard to find in most areas and i t is difficult to state their qualifications, but certainly warmth, slncerety, and a stable personality are among them.  It must be remembered that such  supervisors have a continual teaching job of the most d i f f i c u l t kind with-a constantly changing population of emotionally unstable children. The. best group supervisor w i l l have a strongly developed "feel" for both.the group and the individual.  He w i l l guide group activities without the repression  and regimentation which breed hostility in children. He must protect the individuals from the destructive effects of group l i f e and at the same time foster a mentally healthy group "climate". ;  To redirect activities before  behavior becomes anti-social he must be alert without being suspicious. He should be able, at appropriate moments, to handle group discussions on a level which has meaning for the children under his care.  Primarily he  must have a genuine respect for the personality of each child and be sufficiently objective to take aggression without retaliation. Give Mr. Stevens an assistant who  is a group worker'and who has had  considerable, experience in boys camps and group work agencies and who also has a deep interest in problem boys.  Let him administer the detention pro-  gram, with a free hand at recruiting, selecting the training staff and the qualified volunteer leaders.  Let him draw in from the community the in-  terest of service clubs and group work agencies.  The interest of the  service club members should be recruited through talks to these groups and 6.  Ibid., p. 25.  v i s i t s from these groups to the detention home. The YMCA should make available their swimming and gym f a c i l i t i e s to the detention boys.  A Boy Scout  troop should be organized within the Home with.volunteer qualified scout leaders and a sponsoring scout committee made up of service club members on other interested groups.  If the detention home problems are opened up  to the community and their interests encouraged, guided and into mature channels of help and service to the boys, the possibilities for improvement, -are unlimited. In a small institution, group work and physical care, are sometimes necessarily inter-related but ideally the responsibilities of group work should be clearly s eparated from the more practical aspects of cleaning, bedmaking, table setting and keeping order in general.  A single recreation  director-cannot provide a satisfactory activities program for the large or even medium sized institution.  Group vrorkers are needed who have a l l of  the qualifications of children's supervisors and in addition experience and training in the f i e l d of recreation. Group work in a detention home i s far more d i f f i c u l t than on the average public school playground.  It calls  for men and women who can use their skills as therapeutic tools. Since there are no special schools for training in detention or temporary care for children, an on-the-job training program is essential.  Some i n -  stitutions for temporary care have givenv aluabletraining to supervisors by setting up school and activity groups under, social workers and having the regular teachers act as apprentice-teachers for training periods.  Other  institutions have made sporadic use of lecture and discussion periods- with doctors, psychiatrists and social workers who understand the demands of temporary care.  S t i l l others have, used regular staff discussions under pro-  fessional leadership, leaning heavily on specific case material to illustrate basic principles and techniques of dealing with disturbed children. A l l of  - 27 these techniques are useful.  However, a well established in-service train-  ing program would attract to detention hom9jobs many students of education, psychology and social work because the detention home would provide a laboratory for the observation and study of human behavior.  A well organized  and continuing in-service training program is essential to good detention 7 home administration. The Vancouver detention home has a distinct advantage over many areas in that i t has the University of British Columbia from which social workers can be drawn.  If the Home has professional leadership i t would seem logical  that students, especially those interested in group work, could be. placed in this setting for field work. From this group any vacancies in supervisors and recreational workers could be f i l l e d without spending the necessary time orienting them since they would already be familiar with practices as they exist in that particular Home. This sort of program would lend i t s e l f to continuity and keep the personnel on a high professional level  , Outline of' Staff Plan for the Detention Home  1.  Detention Superintendent - qualifications should not be less than a master degree in group work.  2.  Supervision on afternoon shift from 3:00 to 10:00 P.M. should be done by group work students doing supervised field work at the detention home.  3.  The superintendent should set up a regular orientation program for group work students.  4. Selected from this group should be persons who could be hired on"a parttime basis. An intensive in-service program would be desirable. 5.  Full time supervision to be selected from the best qualified part-time men.  7.  Sherwood and Helen Norman, "Detention for the Juvenile Court", supra, pp. 25 and 26. :  -  28  -  6. The professional group workers should set up weekly conferences with the field work students. 7.  The detention home superintendent should have weekly conferences with students for evaluation purposes and for reporting in writing the students progress. In reviewing the background of the detention home staff i t becomes  apparent that a portion of them have not the skills nor personalities necessary to cope with this highly challenging work. The majority of delinquents are aggressive individuals who are constantly testing the workers. It is necessary that these supervisors recognize the dynamics of group and individual behavior.  In order to meet the needs of these youngsters the  attendants should be people who w i l l not become frustrated by the hostile acts of these children.  In regard to the present personnel those who can  be oriented to this highly skilled program should be retained; others who are not amenable to i t ought to be transferred to some other branch of the service. One of the weaknesses noticed in the Vancouver detention home is a common ailment amongst others. That i s the relationship between the probation staff and the detention workers.  It seems for some reason that the  probation staff hold themselves on a higher plane than the detention home  i workers.  This i s in part due to the fact that normally higher grade per-  sonnel is recruited for the probation staff than in the detention setting. Another reason for this i s the fact that one gets the feeling the probation staff has l i t t l e confidence in the ability of some of the detention workers. This grievance was mentioned by one of the female attendants who said one of the g i r l s had been sent to a psychiatrist and then returned to the Home but no attempt was made to inform her as to the findings and recommendations. She felt definitely left out of the picture.  If the administration feels  that any. particular person i s not capable of handling matters of this type on a professional .basis it seems though transfering to some other branch of  - 29 the city service would be in order. Insofar as the building itself is concerned, i t is questionable how much planning was done in 1931 when the Home was built.  The entire structure,  as previously indicated, has too much emphasis on security.  Practically  every single room and dormitory is under lock and key and this condition has reduced the status of the attendants to that of a mere turnkey. The greater the degree of security the greater the challenge to the individual to escape that type of setting. Do runaways cause such a disturbance or is i t that the administration is concerned about possible newspaper or police ridicule?  If the latter i s correct i t behooves the administration  to do a good interpretive job to the community about the dynamics of aggressive behavior in children.  Surely the prime factor i s that children  adjust-prior to their becoming of age rather than that possibly they w i l l run away. A.well integrated program throughout the institution should alleviate the necessity for so much restraint and such a plethora of keys. It is questionable i f the premises could be greatly improved by alterations since such changes would be very expensive and the building s t i l l deficient after they were made. As i t now stands there is too much unused space and thus too many unnecessary steps by the attendants in order to give supervision.  To cite an example:  As previously indicated the boys'  dining-room is used as an improvised playroom where two tables are pushed together for ping-pong.  This would only allow a few boys to play at a time  and the rest would have to play in the bullpen.  It i s physically impossible  for the recreation worker to be at both places at one time. or the other group gets out of hand.  Therefore one  If this portion of the building were  so constructed that the supervisor could keep his eye on both groups i t would be of great help.  This would necessitate tearing down the wall  separating the kitchen from the bullpen and relocating the boys' diningroom.  - 30 The cells in the basement should be removed as there is plenty of maximum security in the building as i t now exists. seems strong enough to secure a child i f need be.  Each room in the unit The chief probation  officer indicated to the writer that plans are being made to remove the c e l l blocks. The bullpens should be eliminated as not only do they add to the j a i l like appearance of the premises but they are a serious threat to the welfare of the children. Children in aggressive play can bang up against these iron bars and i n f l i c t injury upon themselves.  This has happened in the  past according to one attendant. Boys' intake and g i r l s ' intake should be separated, with separate office space where children can be interrogated in privacy without being annoyed by the comings and goings of various staff members. This could probably be arranged by converting some of the single dormitories or possibly using some of the space now used by the probation officers in the detention setting. A visiting room on each side of the detention home should be arranged to that parents can v i s i t children in privacy or semi-privacy.  Again this  would be a matter of reorganizing or remodeling some of the already existing space. Tn the attic a large space exists and i t has been the thinking of the administration that this space might be converted into a hobby room. This could be done with very l i t t l e remodeling, i f any.  However, i t does seem 1  a bit incongruous to have a hobby activities room so far removed from the rest of the recreational setup which would probably be localized in the basement area or on the playground.  t  As mentioned' before, the furnishings and equipment are of the barest ;  minimum, the only items noticeable are straight chairs, tables, and lockers.  - 31 Not one davenport or overstuffed chair was to be found in either the boys' or g i r l s ' quarters.  As indicated earlier in this chapter, there has not  been the slightest attempt to brighten any of the surroundings, the schoolroom desks are sadly in need of reconditioning or brand new ones should be put in, and the g i r l s ' laundry equipment i s so obsolete that new washers and dryers should be installed. The grounds surrounding the Home should be leveled off so that b a l l games may be played.  Parallel bars, handball court and small basketball  court should be erected.  Chapter, 3. AN EVALUATION OF THE EDUCATIONAL, RECREATIONAL AND RELIGIOUS SERVICES.  The School Situation At present there i s but one schoolroom which accommodates both boys, and g i r l s .  Tn general, children up to their 15th birthday are expected  to attend, although children beyond this age are sometimes enrolled. The schoolteacher states that his problems multiply when the attendance is large. The majority of these disturbed children have reading difficulties which naturally limit their ability to learn. Thus i t is quite difficult to hold their attention to any subject.  They are aggressive,  hostile and show l i t t l e aptitude towards school work. Friedlander discusses these problems as follows: "The majority of anti-social children like to show off. They are usually, on account of their lack of interest, unable to shine in ordinary school subjects. Ways and means should be found for such children to excel in some way, perhaps in games or drawing. These children would need special tuition in those subjects in which they were bad, in order to avoid setting up a vicious circle."-'It is a known fact that during the early part of a children's program the children are continuously identifying with their teacher.  For that  reason i t seems a paramount necessity to have a schoolteacher who is warm and understanding of the dynamics of aggressive children.  Therefore i t is  imperative that outstanding teaching personnel be available for the education of disturbed children.  One of the tests of a good teacher i s the  ability to control the non-conformists as well as the conformists. The teacher at the Vancouver Detention Home is a man close to f i f t y , with a liberal arts degree. He is a rigid disciplinarian, with no special s k i l l s but, according to the superintendent, he establishes a f a i r degree  1.  Friedlander, Kate., The Psycho-analytical Approach to Juvenile Delinquency. New York, International universities Press. 1947.  of rapport with the children.  His appointment is through the Vancouver  School Board and he is responsible to the principal of Hastings School. In general, the number of pupils is too large to give any one child i n dividual attention. This i s attempted i f there are only a few students at a time in the school, but since intake is usually heavy, the child with reading disability, difficulty in arithmetic, or other special problems can not be given the attention he needs. There is no attempt to use visual education, records for music appreciation, clay modeling, or the like. Brief periods of time during the school week are devoted to drawing pictures. No punishment is meted out to the children.  Severe behavior problems are  turned over to the attention of the superintendent. In view of the fact that the length of time in which these upset children can concentrate i s quite limited, plus the fact that there is only one schoolroom, i t is suggested that the school day be divided into two sessions, the girls possibly attending in the morning and the boys in the afternoon.  The possibility of introducing visual education into the curric-  ulum should be explored since good films devoted to travel, science, art, etc., are most fascinating to children of a l l age groups and provide a . welcome change from the usual routine of the "three R's." Referring; to the Frazer Detention Home school, the head teacher, who" is responsible for grades 5 through to 8, has had 25 years of experience teaching within a detention setting.  The f i r s t step taken ?lien a child is  brought into the school is the giving of the Binet' (mental development) test, social adjustment test and grade placement test.  In this way con-  siderable knowledge of the child's personality, ability and special i n terests can be secured before he is ever formally introduced to the schoolroom setting. This teacher is very successful with children, "speaking their language", able to gain their confidence and using many special techniques to interest them in the school program.  For instance she often uses type-  writers to teach spelling, the typewriter mechanism being quite fascinating to most children and inciting them to take more interest in spelling. She uses visual education to considerable extent and gives the children complete freedom in decorating the room in any way they like.  In addition the  boys make and play with miniature "hot rods" and airplanes which they can crash or destroy as much as they like, this in i t s e l f being highly therapeutic in working off hostile .emotions.  There is also a punching bag in an  adjoining room where a. boy can take out his anger or thwarted feelings and there are. also two or three other small rooms where children can work alone, at their own request. An example of the teacher's s k i l l in handling a rather delicate problem is that of placing a 16-year old boy who tested for a fifth-grade placement but, of course, was much older than the other boys in that grade. The problem was to transfer the boy from the older age group into the younger without his losing status. The teacher asked the older children, amongst whom, of course, was this 16-year old boy, who would be willing to help prepare a work book of answers for the younger children.  Six or seven volun^  tsered, among them the 16-year old boy, who was, of course chosen. Many of the children who come to the Home have reading disabilities and these are given special attention. Those stories which are most interesting to a child are chosen, such as "Elicka", "Lassie," adventures of American heroes, etc. As far as punishment i s concerned, the school staff meet with the detention home staff weekly, in order that methods of discipline of both school and Home staff w i l l be identical and consistent. The child i s never punished in anger nor deprived of privileges to the point that he is rejected by the group. Children are not sent to the superintendent because to do so lessens the authority of the teacher.  The staff presents a solid  - 35 front in disciplinary matters so the child is not confused by differences of opinion between teacher, supervisor and superintendent.  Punishment is  almost entirely based on withdrawal of privileges, of which there are 32. When a child comes into the Home he is allowed a l l privileges such as playing games, outdoor trips, baseball games, going to the circus or livestock exposition, swimming at the Y, movies, roller-skating, spending of money, etc.  If necessary some of these privileges are temporarily withdrawn but  as stated before never to the point where the boy is isolated and unable to mix with the group. It should be mentioned that the f i r s t through fourth grades are taught by another teacher uho has a l l the necessary qualifications for this work, but she has been in the setting such a short time that i t is impossible at this point to clearly evaluate her work. Recreational Services At present the recreational program is quite limited. The usual hours are from 4:00 to 8:00 P.M.  Wednesday through Saturday.  gram is held from 10:00 A;M. to 2:00  On Sunday the pro-  P.M.  During the f i r s t part of the session, the worker takes the boys into the yard or allows them to play in the bullpen.  This creates a problem as  many of the boys do not have jackets either of their own or furnished by the institution.  Therefore, the program is extra hazardous in cold weather.  The dining-room can not be used for the setting up of ping-pong tables as the evening meal is being prepared and it. becomes necessary to set the tables.  The bullpen can handle a maximum of eight boys playing volley b a l l .  This practice is dangerous since quite often the boys bang up against the iron gates and i n f l i c t injuries upon themselves. boxing purposes is the bullpen t o i l e t .  The area now used for  - 36 Many of the children do not know how to play in games of group participation.  It is in this area that the recreational program could be  quite meaningful to the neophyte.  In this i t becomes necessary to break  the group down into smaller elements.  The children with a greater know-  ledge of a given sport are too threatening to the youngster who has limited or no knowledge of a given activity.  The slower group could be oriented  and, when its members have sufficient s k i l l , they could be moved into the more advanced group.  If this type of program is not followed, i t may cause  certain children to withdraw completely from the group setting and become very dissatisfied. Some children's tastes are more individualistic than others and they enjoy sports which do not come in the teamwork category.  Such sports as  boxing, wrestling, workouts on parallel bars and "horses," pole-vaulting, horse shoe or discus throwing, swimming, etc., might be more meaningful to these children and provide them the necessary outlet for bottled-up energy. Even fishing expeditions of a few boys at a time might be invaluable in breaking through the reserves and inhibitions of maladjusted children. The normal routine of the detention home program should be broken by outside activities. possibility.  The weekly swim at the YMCA is within the realm of  The local boxing, wrestling, hockey and baseball promotors,  to mention a few, would be more than willing to issue passes that in some measure might help in the rehabilitation of these emotionally i l l children. At present there are no volunteers undertaking such projects although their use would be valuable in the Home. However, volunteers should work under supervisors, try to know each boy individually, and achieve some psychological understanding of child behavior problems.  Most volunteers,  not trained in this f i e l d , w i l l judge children superficially by their actions and behavior rather than trying to interpret those actions and behavior.  - 37 In talking to some of the personnel of the detention home about proposed better recreational equipment the writer was told that the city does not have enough money for these necessary improvements.  This problem can  be circumvented by making the community aware of i t s duty to the children held in i t s detention home. The detention home i s not operating in a vacuum; i t is operating in the heart of a great city and i f people could be made aware of the serious need for better equipment and f a c i l i t i e s , public inertia-would be considerably eliminated.  There are many fraternal  organizations which, i f properly approached, would be willing to underwrite the athletic equipment so v i t a l l y needed. pool table.  One thing badly needed is a  No doubt there would be many organizations willing to donate  a used table i f the necessity for i t was brought to their attention. As to outdoor play activity, this feature of the Home's operation could be greatly improved by adding parallel bars, swings, handball courts - located away from the softball diamond and the grounds in general - tennis courts, etc. Other communities have been aroused to take an interest in the f a c i l i t ies provided for their delinquent and dependent boys and girls - Vancouver can, too.  If the administration and personnel of the Home are mute about  Its needs, the citizens and city fathers w i l l let well enough alone in the comfortable assumption that these-underprivileged children are receiving adequate care.  After a l l , in the f i n a l analysis these children belong to  a l l Vancouverites - they should not shrug off the,responsibility on a few social workers or city budgeters - nor-will they i f the problem is forcefully presented and assistance asked for. The program for g i r l s is even more inadequate than that for boys.  One  of the women attendants indicated that the g i r l s were not interested in such creative endeavors as knitting, crocheting or other types of handiwork. they not?  Are  If the g i r l s were allowed to f i x up their rooms and dormitories '  -  3 8  -  with table-scarves, bedspreads, lamps, pictures, they would be interested in making these things.  This is a phase of the detention home program  wherein volunteers could be of great help - that i s , a group of women who would donate knitting needles, wool in bright shades, cretonne for curtains, etc.,  and furthermore who would come to the Home a few times during the week  to instruct the g i r l s .  Inexpensive cotton in gay prints, rick-rack, buttons  and a l i t t l e ingenuity can make attractive dresses.  The older g i r l s could  be allowed some experimenting with hair-dos,, cosmetics, etc., as do their teen-age "sisters" in real homes. The therapeutic value of such measures in. building up ego, increasing cooperation between inmates and staff, and breaking down to some degree personality characteristics, such as sullenness, melancholia, anger and rebellion, has been recognized in many state institutions. Unfortunately the Vane ouver YW3A does not have a swimming pool but volley-ball and softball are two sports girls can participate in with considerable s k i l l .  . ..  Another excellent untapped source of recreation is that of "playacting." , Psychologically i t is a well-known outlet for repressions and even a small part, well done, can be an enormous source of pride and satisfaction to a child.  It i s often the introvert child who "takes" to acting, singing  or dancing, more than the extrovert for he is able thus to release some of the shyness and maladjustment which makes him miserable.  One of the most  revealing methods of uncovering a child's conflicts is by the use of puppets. These dolls, manipulated by the child, are given the names and characteristics of members of the child's own family.  The buried hostility toward  father, mother or sibling, which the child dare not show normally, wreaks i t s e l f upon the dolls, and the trained psychiatrist is able to interpret the drama thus worked out and to eventually guide the child into an understand-  - 39 ing of his own problems and how they may be solved.2-' The recreational.program could well be integrated with the rest of the daily routine in the Home. The children rise at 7:00 A.M., wash. Breakfast is served between 7:30 and 8:00 A.M.  dress and  At the conclusion  of the meal each child does his or her own dishes, special precaution being taken that each is free from infectious disease. 9:00 A.M.,  Until school begins at  the rest of the time i s spent in tidying the rooms, sweeping  and scrubbing.  The children over 15 may or may not attend school.  For  these children there seems to be no program that meets their needs. Some of the boys may be delegated to help the maintenance man or do some other perfunctory job.  This type of work does not have much emotional appeal  for the average child and could be interpreted as another demand from a punishing: society. Not that work per se i s to be scorned; on the contrary, it can be very valuable i f geared to the child's interest.  Outdoor work,  such as mowing the lawn, planting and tending vegetable and flower gardens, usually appeals to children and such indoor projects as painting walls, making and painting furniture, creating murals and friezes, such as has been so successfully done at Frazer Detention Home, helping in the kitchen, riggirgup a loud-speaker system for radio programs - these and many other tasks can give a child enjoyment as well as improving the appearance and smooth functioning of the Home. Another endeavor closely related to recreation is that of hobbies. A hobby is especially meaningful to a child who likes working on a project by himself.  It may also be the means of developing a manual dexterity  that w i l l prove very valuable in adult l i f e .  There are countless instances  of people who have taken up a hobby and become so interested in' i t that they turned i t into a worth-while occupation. In developing a hobbies program two things should be kept in mind. 2.  Wilson and Ryland, Social Group Work Practice. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1949, pp. 294 - 302  - 40 First, the hobby should not be too d i f f i c u l t for the child.  The hobby  suitable to a fifteen-year old boy certainly would not be suitable to a seven-year old and certain boys' hobbies would not interest g i r l s . Second, the activity should relate to the length of time the child w i l l probably spend in the Home or should at least be of a type that, i f he cannot finish the project at the Home, he can successfully complete i t after release.  Simple hobbies which generally appeal to boys and g i r l s are soap  carving and clay modeling. to have endless fascination.  For boys model airplane and boat building seem Making purses, and belts out of beads, simple  weaving outfits, dress-designing, would undoubtedly prove interesting to the g i r l s .  Actually the l i s t is inexhaustible.  An old lathe, a table, a  saw and a-few tools donated by some group might be the beginning- of a woodworking outfit in the basement. Leather-tooling, copper work, vase-pairiting, the laying out of miniature geographical units in clay, a newspaper which the children would write and make up completely by themselves, instruction in cooking and nutrition - a l l these are fascinating hobbies and some might prove of inestimable value to the children later in l i f e , besides giving them a valuable outlet for surplus energy and real creativeness. At Frazer Detention Home many of the above suggestions have been put into effect.  There i s considerable outdoor activity in that the boys take  care of a garden which is theirs and they can use the produce as they see fit.  They have a "bucking bronco" and a sky-ride, play softball, miniature  golf, baseball and croquet.  Indoors they have two pool tables and there are  occasional boxing matches between the boys. The boys are allowed many special treats, such as going to the movies, the circus, the annual Livestock Exposition, and Rose Festival events; swimming at the YMCA, going on picnics, visiting- parents or friends for an evening or week-end i f this  - 41 is thought advisable.  There is a Boy Scout troop organized within the Home,  with a l l the privileges and program of any other troop, including overnight hikes and camping trips. The hobby program has not been developed to the extent the superintendent would like to have i t , but there is considerable activity in the making of model aircraft, with a special volunteer instructor coming out once a week for this purpose. Clay-modeling and painting are also active hobbies. One of the most interesting and valuable aspects of the recreational program is the B:oys Council, which is a group organized and run entirely by the boys themselves, holding meetings once a week. The agenda is composed of such topics as the inability of one certain boy to get along with others and how he may be helped, more efficient operation of the kitchen and serving meals, new projects which may be undertaken.  The superin-  tendent has nothing t o do with these meetings although he often may be asked for advice.  For instance, the Boys Council bought a candy commissary,  the contents of which are available to a l l boys, that i s , i f a boy does not have money of his own, a certain amount is supplied to him for buying candy so he need not feel different from the others.  The Boys Council was  :  also responsible for obtaining one of the pool tables, this being donated directly to the Council by the Lions G'lub.  .  .  For about the past year the boys have been writing and mimeographing their own newspaper, this too being entirely their project, with no assistance from superintendent or supervisors. They are allowed to print exactly what they please, the results often Being highly anusing. in which the boys take considerable pride and enjoyment.  This i s a project  - 42  -  Religious Observance The religious program in the detention home is practically non-existent.  In some instances arrangements are made for Catholic children to  attend mass. However, as far as the other faiths are concerned, no attempt is made to take them to churches or Sunday-schools or to give religious instruction at the Home. Ideally Catholic priests and Protestant clergymen should be given an opportunity to come into the Home, to talk to small groups of children of the respective faiths, and to see them individually i f the child so desires or i f the sympathy and understanding of such a person could possibly help a badly disturbed child.  Naturally such religious  instructors would have to be men keenly concerned with the,problems of these children.  Anyone with a "punishing" attitude, with a penchant for con-  demnation rather than rehabilitation, would of course do more harm than good to a. child. Another alternative might be that of having sponsors take a child to his or her respective church and, upon the completion of services, return the child to the Home. This would be another means of allowing the public to become acquainted with the program and needs of the Home. At Frazer Detention Home the Catholic children are allowed to attend mass Sunday mornings, and Protestant children can of course go to church also i f they desire.  However, most of these children attend services in  the chapel at the Home, a chapel which was painted and decorated entirely by the boys themselves. nominational.  The services held here are, of course, non-de-  Naturally there i s no pressure put oh any child to go to  church or to tho chapel services.  The chapel is also open during the week  to any boy who feels the need of quiet and contemplation.  The Boys Council  appoints a chaplain each week from amongst i t s own members, who handles the blessing and prepares the church services and participates in the devotions.  - 43 The educational program should meet the needs of the children through a varied program which should strengthen their weaknesses.  This needs  a highly skilled instructor who should keep apace with new developments in teaching disturbed children. The recreational program should meet the needs of the children on a group or individual basis.  If the children are too threatened by the  group approach, they should be helped on an individual basis. The religious needs of each child should be met individually.  This  is an important phase in anyones l i f e which seems to have been overlooked in the Home.  Chapter 4. SOCIAL WORK APPLICATION ANALYSIS OF CASES . In order to study the type of juvenile held in the detention home, an analysis was made of the nine cases held in detention oh November 10, 1949. These particular cases were suggested by Chief Probation Officer Stevens as being a good "cross-section" of cases handled throughout the year.  The  purpose of the analysis w i l l be to indicate whether or not the detention home afforded the best means of meeting the needs of the child at that time. Joe "A., 16 years of age, has been involved in numerous delinquencies since 1947. . Among them have been breaking and entering, running sway, carnal knowledge of a four-year old g i r l , living with a man- of questionable reputation, and drunkenness. He was committed to the Boys Industrial School at Coquitlam, hereafter known as Biscog, in August, 1948, and released on parole a year later.  On November 9, 1949, he was brought to the Vancouver  Detention Home for alleged breaking and entering.  It was felt that, be-  cause of his age and poor adjustment at Biscog, he should be transferred to the adult court as a possible candidate for New Haven. He was held at the detention home for two weeks. John'B., 15 years of age,, had been committed to Biscog on two previous occasions.^ The first time was in July, 1946, and the second in ;  January, 1948. commitments.  :  The social history did not give reasons for. the previous Prior to going to Biscog, John had been placed in several  foster homes but was soon removed because of stealing.  In December, 1948,  he was released from Biscog under the supervision of the Juvenile Court. In May of 1949 there was continuation of John's anti-social behavior in that he ran away from home because he claimed he had received a number of complaints from his paper route.  In September of 1949 he stole money from ;  some stores and spent the money quite freely until his apprehension.'  On  - 45 September 15, 1949, he appeared in court and was continued on probation. Again, on November 6th, he stole money from a home and took a car. He was placed in the detention home on November 6, 1949.  The probation worker  indicated that the parents felt that the best plan for the boy was to return him to Biscog'. In the cases of Joe A. and John B. there i s a long history of delinquent behavior.  These boys failed tomake an adjustment either through  the efforts of several social agencies or committal to Biscog.  It i s  rather naive to believe that a sojourn in the detention home pending the working out of a plan w i l l be of benefit to these boys.  Furthermore the  influence of these advanced delinquents upon the younger children in the Home is bad.  I f i t is necessary to hold boys like Joe A. and John B. at  the Home, they should be segregated from the other inmates under a supervisor especially delegated to be with them at a l l times.  On one v i s i t to  the detention home the writer noticed that there were five boys out of thirteen who were former Biscog inmates.  There was no attempt at segre-  gation as the boys were allowed to m i l l together without benefit of supervision.  The attendant was busy with other duties while several of the boys  grouped together.  At the time of this aforementioned v i s i t , three of the  Biscog boys were isolated in c e l l blocks. However, prior to lunch the group on the upstairs floor was allowed to mingle with the boys in the c e l l block. Some of the younger children looked at these older boys in a hero worship fashion.  They went so far as to climb the c e l l doors and point out the  hacksaw marks in the doors to the writer. The detention home should not operate as a secondary reformatory.  In a  a good progressive court setting, a child should not be held more than 24 hours without the benefit of a preliminary hearing to determine whether he should be held or not.  The holding of court once a week i s too infrequent.  - 46 In most'areas where a boy has made a satisfactory adjustment at an industrial school, he is placed on parole u n t i l he reaches his majority. If a new offense is committed and the parole officer considers i t to be serious, he is returned to the institution.  However, i f the parole officer  feels that the boy. w i l l not benefit by the training school and can not profit by an additional stay at the school, he may the boy to the adult court.  ask that the judge remand  Whatever form of detention is followed in such  cases, the hearing should be held as quickly as possible, preferably within a week. Donald C., 14 appeared in the Juvenile Court on October 27, 1949, on a complaint of incorrigibility laid by his mother. He was remanded in custody to permit a psychiatric examination. Donald had a long history of truancy, petty thievery-and lying, although he did not come to the attention of the court until July, 1947/, at the age of 12, when apprehended in a stolen car with a 15-year old boy. In 1947 a psychiatric examination diagnosed his problem as delayed emotional development due to insecurity.  Donald's father seemed to feel  that the care of the child was a l i t t l e beyond him, although he was willing to spend more time with him.  The boy was placed on probation u n t i l the  father and boy left Vancouver. area with his mother in 1949.  Subsequently he returned to the Vancouver The mother stated that the reluctance of  neighbors to place charges"against the child led her to sign a complaint incorrigibility.  of  The psychiatric c l i n i c was asked .-whether this child would  respond to foster home placement or profit more by a commitment to Biscog. In this case i t seems as though the primary reason for holding the boy was to permit a psychiatric examination.  By virtue of the fact that Donald  was held in detention his case was given priority by the Child Guidance Clinic.  Donald, as the record shows, experienced rejection by his mother.  - 47 It seems an unusual situation that the neighbors were not willing to sign a complaint in regard to Donald's anti-social behavior but his mother was willing to do so.  The better plan in this case would have been to have the  boy seen at the Child Guidance Clinic without being held and then, i f detention was necessary, i t would have been with a view to foster home placement. In a situation such as this where a child i s completely rejected by his own family and the home situation apparently intolerable, acceptance in a good foster home' where there are strong father and mother personalities, warmth and sympathy, may have been a solution.  Since a foster  home placement had not been tried- for Donald, i t would seem feasible to follow this plan before commitment to Bascog'. Robert D., 17, was held in detention on a charge of wounding another youth.  According to Robert, the stabbing was accidental and without pre-  meditation which was substantiated to some degree by the victim.  Robert  was an unwanted child and at two years of age his parents separated and were later divorced.  Although the mother remarried, she would not allow  the step-father to assume the father role.  This was probably due to her  need to over-protect the child because of her guilt feelings towards him. Robert i s f u l l of deep-seated feelings of inferiority because of his mother's rejection and his unprepossessing physical appearance. He i s quick to resent what he construes as- staring' at him or any criticism of his actions, no matter how mild.  Robert masks his anxieties and fears under an attitude  of cooperation and respect to the staff at the detention home, but his egoistic needs are apparent in his somewhat intolerant attitude toward the other boys in the Home. Moreover, he has a curious obsession with weapons. He discusses the subject a great deal with other boys and, in doing so, assumes an attitude of great superiority in his knowledge of knives, guns, and other weapons. The fact that he finds i t hard to believe he was i n -  -  4 8  -  volved in the stabbing incident related above is extremely serious in a boyf.of Robert's age.  A child of seven may not differentiate between reality  and fantasy but a child ten years older should know the difference. Robert's case is obviously one needing skilled handling by. a psychiatric social worker since he may be in the f i r s t stages of schizophrenia and the schism between reality and fantasy w i l l widen i f there is no attempt made to "dig up" from the unconscious the serious conflict which Robert, at that time, was resolving by flight into fantasy. Charles E., 17, was held in detention for the theft of money.  Charles  explained that he and his friends "cased" a business establishment with each of the group having a part in the theft.  Apparently Charles was one of the  ringleaders and evidently was the only one of the group held.  In the rather  limited social history the following information .was: obtained:  Charles had  quit school and, although he secured employment, he was released after being i l l for a day.  Vocational analysis showed that the boy was. interested in  truck driving.  However, Charles belongs to the Naval Reserves and expects  to join the Navy within a few years.  His chief recreational interest seemed  to be bowling and hanging around with the gang'. This was Charles' f i r s t offense.  He was apprehended on a Thursday  night and stayed in the detention home a f u l l week without the benefit of a hearing.  Hearings are held but once a week, on Thursday afternoons, and so,  because Charles had just missed out, he was forced to wait until the following' Thursday.  3h this case the best procedure would have been to release  the boy into the custody of his parents pending a hearing before the judge. If, as i s possible, Charles was held at the home until the police could • round up the rest of the gang involved with him, then the holding or releasing' of the child should have devolved on the Juvenile Court, The writer does not intend to imply that the Juvenile Gourt should not  - 49 cooperate with law enforcing agencies.  However, once the child is turned  over to the court he is their problem and the question of holding or releasing  i s the function of the court alone.  To operate otherwise leaves the  impression with the delinquent that the Juvenile Court i s in reality an extension of the police department. Under the best of circumstances i t i s d i f f i c u l t to point out to the detained child that, while the function of the police is to arrest wrongdoers and to maintain la?/ and order the Juveni l e Court i s concerned with treatment and rehabilitation. Kenneth. F., 15, was in the detention home for the third time for breaking and entering. The boy was re-admitted to the Children's Aid Society a few years; ago.  This agency was responsible for his placement in  various foster homes because of the inadequacy of his own home. Kenneth made a poor adjustment, in part due to his anti-social conduct, laziness and moodiness. However, in one foster home, because of a minor incident, he was completely rejected by both foster parents, something vhich came as quite a surprise to him.  Between foster home placements he was occasionally  allowed to-return to his own home, but his aggressive anti-social conduct continued. The first psychiatric examination indicated that Kenneth was in the slow normal group with a chronological and mental age of 13.8.  Because of  a reading disability he was attending a special class when tested and his reading rate and comprehension were shovai to be only at grade 3 level. This was low considering his intelligence. Subsequent psychiatric examination pointed up the fact that he might profit by attending a country school where his reading disability would be brought to the attention of the teacher. continue school for only one more year.  It was felt that he would likely He showed s k i l l in woodworking  and i t was hoped that he might have an opportunity to take up this type of work.  - 50 In view of the fact that Kenneth had met with l i t t l e success in the foster home, he was released to his own home. Both the boy and his probation officer were active in trying to find Kenneth a work placement. This i s the type of case that confronts: juvenile authorities quite ' often; an aggressive delinquent rebelling against his environment.  The de-  tention home certainly afforded a resource for Kenneth while the caseworker at the Children's Aid Society located new homes for him.  The finding of  foster homes for the delinquent is much more d i f f i c u l t than locating such for the dependent.  It i s during the transition period between one foster  home and another that the detention home affords a much needed haven for the holding of disturbed children'.  It can be explained to them that every-  'thing possible is being done to find them a proper foster home but that such investigation is sometimes slow. Janet G., 18, was in the detention home for a third time.  She was  first picked up for truancy and returned to another province where she was a ward. ~ The following year she was admitted to the Home because of sexual immorality; she was found guilty and committed to the Girls Industrial School at Vancouver.  Her adjustment there was poor and she excaped twice.  She was subsequently returned to her home province under escort.  In the  f a l l of 1949 she again returned to Vancouver and was again admitted to the detention home because of sexual misbehavior.  Janet had no visible means  of support and i t was suspected that she was soliciting.  She maintained a  hard, reserved manner while in detention and v/as found to have a hacksaw blade in her possession.  Janet remained in detention four days and'again  was returned to her home province. Unfortunately, the pattern of prostitution in this case seemed rather fixed and undoubtedly the g i r l needed intensive psychiatric treatment to get at the basic reasons for her behavior.  At 18 years of age this g i r l ,  operating for a l l intents and purposes as an adult, might have been better  - 51 held at Oakalla pending her return.  This type of g i r l certainly .would be a  detrimental influence on the younger and more impressionable  girls.  true .that many of the g i r l s who are held are sex delinquents. their pattern of sexual immorality  It is  However,  is not necessarily as well fixed as in  Janet's case and many are amenable to treatment. Ruth H., 15 years of a<re, was admitted to the Home on a complaint of sexual immorality.  The complaint stated she had been involved with an  adult held on contributoy charges.  The main reason for holding the g i r l  was that she might be used as a material witness. Ruth had lived with her mother and three older brothers in an outlying area a short distance from Vancouver. Her parents were separated about eight years ago.  About a month prior to her being apprehended, the mother  left the home to take employment as a domestic in Vancouver and left a hired g i r l in charge of the home. Ruth came t o Vancouver to spend a few days with her mother but met a g i r l of questionable character who suggested that they take a hotel room. The other g i r l had a boy friend who was accompanied by an adult and this latter individual forced himself upon Ruth despite her objections.  She maintained that this was the f i r s t time she had  had intercourse. In Ruth's case one can not but think that environmental and economic conditions played an important part in her becoming delinquent.  It is  rather significant that a month after the mother left the home that the g i r l -got into trouble.  In view of the fact that this was her f i r s t offense,  it might have been better to place her in a receiving home pending the t r i a l of the person responsible for her d i f f i c u l t y .  As i t was,  she was  held in detention from November 6th to November 14th, 1949, at which time the adult had his case remanded for another week. The court allowed her to be released to the custody of her mother but she s t i l l had been held  eight days primarily to insure the fact that she would be present at the court t r i a l .  This eight day period may have been damaging, as Ruth un-  doubtedly was subjected to some of Janet's bizarre tales. June I., 15 years of age, came to the attention of the detention home on a complaint  of sexual immorality.  Prior to this she had been picked  up> by the police for vagrancy and lied about her age and name, representing herself as 19 years of age.  She was held as an adult prior to divulging .  her real age. June admitted breaking out of a convent and a home in another province. She spoke of her friendship; with Janet (J. and how she and Janet had been prostituting.  She also admitted smoking marijuana cigarettes, taking heroin  and being familiar with addicts. Her father and mother were divorced and the mother was given June's custody.  June resented her mother and felt  closer to her father. While in detention she wrote a pleading letter soliciting his support.  However, the letter v/as never answered.  June's adjustment at the Home was very satisfactory and she was a model inmate.  She seemed to relate to one worker in particular and showed  considerable affection toward her. returned to her home province.  After a stay of three weeks June was  She wrote the worker a letter stating that  she hoped to be allowed two weeks to find a job. The problem of transients in the Vancouver area is particularly acute in reference to delinquent juveniles. Making financial arrangements for their return home takes considerable time and planning.  In the case of  June the detention home, as i t now operates, afforded her straight custodial care,  There were no attempts at treatment and i t i s questionable how far  a detention home could go in rehabilitating a g i r l of this type who i s fixated in such an infantile period that she i s only interested in the pursuit of pleasure and nothing else.  However, an attempt could have been made to do some individualized casework,  A referral to the Shild Guidance Glinic would have been mean-  ingful in helping to make a plan for her at home. June asked that she be given an' opportunity of going to work.  It i s unrealistic to believe that  this w i l l solve her problem as really she i s in acute need of both casework services and psychiatric help for a long period of time.  The behavior  patterns of individuals are not turned off and on like a light switch.  One  can not help but think that June might be helped, as she has certain positive characteristics, such as relating well to people and showing some concern for others.  This shows some degree of maturity.  June's ego strength  i s weak and through a supportive casework relationship this could be built up, after which she could move into a real psychiatric treatment-relationship in order to remove her deep-seated conflicts. In general these cases show a need of better segregation of the more advanced delinquent from the first offender.  This certainly can not be done  when, in the past, one attendant Is expected to handle intake and supervision of the children. There is a greater need of better coverage of the delinquents. They further point out that the s k i l l s of the present staff are grossly inadequate to handle the behavior problems manifested by these children. It is incongruous to believe that people with limited education are in a position to interpret gross behavior problems as shown by most of these 1  youngsters.  Skilled training is needed in this field as In few', others, for  we are here dealing with the shaping of human minds and temperaments and, conceivably, there can be few other endeavors more important than this. It is recommended that the services of a psychiatric social worker be available at a l l times to the detention home in addition to- the part-time services of a psychiatrist.  Chapter 5. CONCLUSIONS In the preceding chapters an attempt has been made to suggest some practical changes in the t o t a l detention picture of the Vancouver Home. It i s the purpose, of this chapter to summarize these recommendations. Aomin i st rat i on The administrative structure in order to be effective must be strong. Recently the Chief Probation Officer has appointed a superintendent of the Home. Ideally the superintendent of a detention home should be a trained social worker with emphasis in the group work field as a good share of a detention home program is centered in this area.  However administrative  consideration may make this d i f f i c u l t . The recently appointed superintendent has been associated with the court in the capacity of a probation officer. He has a good overall knowledge of the court and Home services.  Furthermore,  he has a unique knowledge of the community resources which are so necessary in operating this type of a venture.  He has: capacity for growth and his  new position should lend itself toward this.  Since his duties f a l l within  the realm of casework, group work and administration, he should avail himself of some of these courses offered by the University.  He.is the key  focal figure of the Home and his understanding of juvenile problems, recreation and administration w i l l have an impact on his subordinates. It is imperative that he have a free hand in the choice of personnel in order to strengthen his staff.  For supervisors the minimum requirements should  be four years of college or two years of college plus some experience in dealing with children. An in-service training program can be undertaken by bringing in students on a field work basis.  Through this means, personnel can be recruited and  the program at the Home w i l l have people who w i l l be familiar with i t and  therefore eliminate the necessity of breaking in new personnel when vacancies occur.  The personnel should consist of people vho are of the younger age  group. This applies more to supervisors who handle aggressive boys than to girls.  The practice of using only one supervisor on the boys' side on  Sundays should be dispensed with as i t i s impossible for one attendent to handle intake, supervise the boys at the same time. be with a group of children at a l l times.  A supervisor should  In regard to recreation i t i s  not f e l t that a recreational director as such need be hired at present as it seems thatthe average younger supervisor should have enough fundamental knowledge of sports in general to carry on a program to meet the needs of the youngsters. Volunteers could add immeasurably to the strengthening of the services within the unit.  These volunteers should be in a position to spend several  hours weekly with the children as i t i s only through this means that they are able to become acquainted with the individual child.  These volunteers  should be under the supervision of paid personnel who would be in a key position to interpret behavior whenever some crisis arises.  A corp of  volunteers can bring their respective s k i l l s to the Home and interpret i t s work to the public. It would be advisable, i f possible, to obtain the part-time services of a psychiatrist.  Practically a l l of the children who come to the Home  need psychiatric treatment.  In most modern court settings funds have been  set aside for this purpose.  Moreover because of pressures in most Child  Guidance Clinics they are not able to devote as much time as they should with these disturbed youngsters.  However, for the completely disturbed  child who can not f i t into my of the Home's program or who can not be "reached" by the sympathy and understanding extended by superintendent and supervisors, psychiatric treatment is a necessity.  -  56  -  Intake The child's first few minutes in the detention home are apt to be the most important of his stay/. Coming into the h a l l , i f he is met by someone with a brusque, rough attitude, a l l the fears of "prison" and harsh treatment he imagined on the my to the Home, seem to him realized and, according to his temperament, he w i l l revert to sullenness, aggressiveness or outright rebellion. However, i f he i s met, not by an attendant or caretaker, but by the superintendent or supervisor, i f he is welcomed at the door in a friendly, unhurried manner, in many cases his antagonism w i l l be dissipated.  Of course some children are too deeply disturbed to be amen-  able under any situation but the majority of those who come in, especially i f this is their f i r s t experience at the detention home, w i l l respond to a kindly attitude. The superintendent should interview the child in his own private office and not at the desk in the main hall.  The interview should be conducted  in as leisurely a manner as possible with a view to finding out the boy's or g i r l " s interests.  Exhibits in this room of model aircraft, boats,  drawings and other objects created by the children in the Home w i l l usually prompt the child to ask questions and the superintendent can then t e l l him something about the recreational program at the Home. He should be told there are certain rules to be followed and many privileges granted i f he i s deserving of them, but infractions of the rules or troublesome behavior w i l l naturally lead to curtailment of these privileges. At the end of the interview, the introduction to an older boy at the Home, who i s called the newcomer's "big brother" for the day, is very sound procedure.  The "big brother" i s chosen, insofar as possible, on the basis  of the new boy's interests, age and temperament.  The older boy' s task i s to :  - 57 -  -  initiate his charge into the routine and program of the Home,, to show him around the premises, pointing out recreational f a c i l i t i e s , and to introduce him to the other boys. This same procedure can naturally be followed with g i r l s , substituting a "big sister" for the "big: brother." The last step in the intake procedure i s asking the boy or g i r l for ' i for money and valuables, as naturally these can not be kept on their persons.- HoY/ever, the child should certainly feel that he has a small "bank account" with the office,- and the use- of script ishich he can keep with him and use for buying candy, pop, gum and other small articles, seems to work well at Frazer Detention Home. I f the child has no money with him he is given script anyway from a fund kept on hand in the office for such purpose and i s thus able to become a "purchase" with other members of the group. Recreational Program • A good recreational program is an exceedingly important phase of detention home l i f e , as with enough interesting activity going on outside of school hours and mealtimes, children get along better together and do not have long spaces of time to f i l l i n , these periods'of boredom usually resulting in fights or attempts to escape. Outdoor activities should be engaged in when possible since they are healthier and require greater expenditure of energy. played by both boys and g i r l s .  Softball can be  A "bucking bronco" can be very easily made  by driving four poles into the ground, suspending an o i l drum or barrel by ropee^ covering i t with a gunny-sack and then pulling or shaking the ropes' so as to create constant movement of the o i l drum to the'hilarity of the boy "riding" the "bronco! and the boys manipulating the ropes. 1  A "sky ride" can  be made with two posts several feet apart, one much taller than the other, a wooden seat suspended on a cable running between the two.  This is the  - 58 same theory as that of a " ski l i f t " and can afford much amusement. A :  miniature golf course would be equally enjoyed by both boys and girls. One of the best, outdoor activities is that of gardening and the possibility of putting in vegetable and flower gardens on the Vancouver Detention Home property should be investigated. Sports which can be engaged in indoors are playing pool, shuffleboard, roller skating, exercise on parallel bars or "horses", tumbling and boxing* Indoor recreational activities can include checkers, card playing, crossword puzzles, reading of books and magazines, listening to-the radio. If i t can be managed an occasional treat should be allowed of cookies and fruit juice before bed-time, or the making of popcorn or candy in the kitchen, providing the kitchen is cleaned up afterwards. One excellent method of gaining a c h i l i ' s confidence and increasing his sense of "belonging" i s to allow him to have an occasional guest to dinner or to be responsible for the greeting and entertainment of certain people in the community who have expressed an interest in the Home-. The superintendent can invite these people to dinner, achieving a dual purpose in publicizing the program' of the Home, and in allowing certain children the privilege of "playing host." Another entertainment feature, instituted at Fraz.er Detention Home and highly successful, i s the birthday party for each and every child when his birthday occurs during his stay at the' Home. A cake with candles i s always set before the particular boy whose birthday i t i s , songs sung, and any . other, addition allowed to the festivity which is not too time-consuming. In connection with the recreational program at Vancouver Detention Home, special outings should be arranged as often as i s feasible.  It is in  this field that volunteers, business men, and women's clubs could do a great  - 59 -  deal of useful work, arranging and chaperoning small groups of boys and girls to go on excursions, v i s i t a newspaper plant, attend the circus or livestock exposition, baseball and boxing matches. Frazer Detention Home has i t s own station wagon in which a certain number of boys are transported to go berry-picking, on picnics and scenic excursions.  The present custom  of allowing boys to go to the YHEA for swimming certain times during the week is of course to be commended, and i t is hoped some way may be found in which the g i r l s also could enjoy this privilege. There are two rather unique activities engaged in at Frazer Detention Home - one is the Boys Council and the other the newspaper. Both are handled entirely by the boys, with no outside suggestions or advice, unless asked for. A supervisor is usually present at the meetings of the Boys Council in an advisory capacity but he takes no active part in the proceedings unless requested to do so. the B oys Council. !  A l l inmates automatically belong to  A new president and secretary are elected each week.  At the weekly meetings problems of specific behavior on the part of one member, work projects or recreational activities are brought before the president in as close an approximation to parliamentary law as the boys- can 1  manage. The therapeutic value of allowing children to thresh out their own problems in this manner i s very valuable. The newspaper is also a therapeutic outlet since the boys write and mimeograph i t and' its contents are purely their own with no influence on the part of any of the staff.  The newspaper at. Frazer is not printed regular-  ly but whenever the editor and his staff can gather together enough material • and mimeograph i t . or three weeks.  On the average this house organ appears once every two  -  60  -  Work Program Work meted out to boys and g i r l s in a detention home i s often one of the most unsatisfactory phases of i t s program.  It can not be emphasized  too strongly that a detention home should not require i t s inmates to do a l l the work necessary to its. upkeep, thereby saving the expense of a maintenance man and cleaning woman. There is no reason why boys and g i r l s can not 1  help with.necessary tasks, but they should not feel driven and under pressure in doing them.  After a l l , they are in the Home for observation and  rehabilitation pending the working out of plans for their future, and the work they do should certainly be secondary to this basic need.  Boys and  girls should be allowed some latitude of choice in what they do - some w i l l prefer outdoor work to indoor, some w i l l prefer helping in the kitchen to' waiting on table or vice versa.  They can also engage in considerable  creative work, in such projects as have proven so successful at Frazer Detention Home in painting friezes on the \ra.lls of work and play projects, painting furniture in gay colors, and building their own chapel. The School Program The. school program is always a most d i f f i c u l t feature of a detention home, since necessarily i t must take into consideration a wide variety of. age groups, and yet normally there i s only one room set. aside for teaching.. The success or failure of the entire school program rests, of course, with the teacher, who must not only be skilled in the usual teaching requirements, but must have considerable knowledge.of child behavior and some understanding of the deeper personality conflicts.  The" school program at Van-  couver Detention Home would be i n f i n i t e l y improved by having two teachers rather than one. Since i t has been observed by the writer that there are usually too many students in the room at one time, i t is suggested that some  - 61 segregation be attempted in morning and afternoon sessions - girls in the morning, boys in the afternoon or vice versa. In the normal school situation the teacher w i l l always have some pupils struggling with reading or arithmetic d i f f i c u l t i e s , with inability to hear clearly, with what seems stupidity and. lack of attention. In a school composed of children as disturbed as those in a detention home, these personality disturbances are more frequent.  The teacher must therefore be  aware of the underlying causes for such behavior and not pass judgment on a child because of external actions. There are too many cases on record of the hopelessly backward child who was so, simply because he had retreated into extreme introversion from a too painful home situation t.o say that a child with a low I.Q". rating is retarded at that level.  Because the teacher  may not always be able to cope with children under his or her care,-the services of a psychiatric social worker and / or psychiatrist should be available, as only such skilled attention can help an acutely disturbed child. If possible, the teacher might undertake special classes such as in art instruction,  ¥ihere two teachers are available and the burden thus not  too great on one, there might be educational outings planned such as birdfindings, botanical excursions, trips to the z:oo, the Historical Museum and • points of historical interest. It would be wise to give some attention to the field of visual education, allowing certain periods for the showing of films on science, travel, i n dustry and the many other subjects that would appeal to children.  There  might be some value in having occasional plays and in a music appreciation course.  The Buildings As has been stated in some detail in a. previous chapter, the Vancouver Detention Home could be greatly improved by painting and decoration, since at present most of i t s rooms, with the exception of the entrance h a l l and the superintendent's office, are cheerless, dull  and bare.  The system of  locks and keys should in large measure be dispensed with as security can not be gained in this manner.  If a child wants to escape he w i l l find some  means; of doing so, no;, matter how many locked doors there sare.  If, because  of the program and general atmosphere, he is reasonably satisfied, he w i l l not try to run away. This has been proven by actual figures at Frazer Detention Home, where no attempt i s made to restrain the children, and where escapes have dropped from thirty to forty a month before the present superintendent took over, to three or four. The dungeon-like c e l l blocks must be done away with.  It i s the under-  standing of the writer that the superintendent intends to remove these as soon as possible.  The bull. - pens should also be removed, space in the  basement made for indoor games, and a few showers installed. It would be advisable eventually to get rid of a l l the cots and substitute beds of sturdy framework and some degree of comfort..  The cots are  not suitable for children and not conducive to restful sleep. The g i r l s ' dormitories should be improved with curtains, bedspreads and lamps. General Summary Members of the staff of a detention home should never become static, so imbued with the "good old way" of doing things that they refuse to try the new.  They should be continually learning, taking'night courses, attend-  ing' special conferences in their own or allied fields, and when possible,summer courses.  Particularly i t i s important that the superintendent be  - 63 -  allowed to attend social work conferences whenever possible. Members of the staff of a detention home should never consider detention as simply a "stop-gap" before placement of .a troublesome child. It is a period which can be of great value to the child in his social relationships, in the efforts of superintendent and supervisors to understand his problems and, as much as.possible during the usually brief stay, in some attempt at solving those problems.  I f the recreational program i s broad  enough and interesting enough the boy may find within i t an interest  iThich  will turn his energies from destructive into constructive channels. The child should be made to feel comfortable and "at home" with punishment and talcing away of privileges only a last resorb.  Appendix A..  Books and Pamphlets 1,  Abbott•,' Grace.. The Child and the States Chicago, University of Chicago Press. 1947 Vol.. Land 11.  2«  C2arke, Helen 1. Social Lefeielation» New York and London, D. Applet on-Century Company, Inc.1940. .  3.  Friedlahder, Kate., The Psycho-analytical approaoh to Juvenile Delinquency. New York«. International-Universities Press. 1947,  4.  9  • Lundberg, Emma Octaviai, » Unto the Least of Thege New York and London, D,- Appletoni-Century Company Inc., 1947. • 9  9j  5„  MacGillj Helen Gregory, The Story of Vancouver's Social Servicese City Archives, Vancouver, 1934«  6i»  Mimeographed copy of the qualifications of personnel t o be hired by the Fraser Detention Home, Portland, Oregon*  7i  Province of British Columbia', Revised Statutes. 191i 1924. 1943 and 1948.  8.  Sherwood and Helen Norman, "Detention £or the Juvenile Court", supra, •pp. 25 and 26.  tt  a  9.  Standards for Children's Institutions, Division of Social Welfarej State of Minnesota.  10.  Wilson and Ryland, Sooial Group 'Work Practices Houghton M i f f l i n Co., 1949, pp. 294 - 302b 1  


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