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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The teen-age gang and the community; a study and treatment of a teen-age delinquent gang with implications… Hamilton, Glen Francis 1949

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THE TEEN - AGE GANG AND THE COMMUNITY A Study and Treatment of a Teen-age Delinquent Gang with Implications for Community Services and .Recommendations for Social Action Ay GLEN FRANCIS HAMILTON Thesis Submitted in Par t ia l Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK in the Department of Social Work 1949 The University of B r i t i s h Columbia ABSTRACT THE TEEN - AGE GANG AND THE COMMUNITY This study deals with a six month experiment of group work with a delinquent adolescent gang, together with the more general implications of the teen-age gang problem for the community. Throughout the thesis extensive use has been made of the wri ter 's process records on this specific gang. Background information on sixteen of the gang members was obtained from a detailed study of case work, Juvenile Court and school records. The thesis begins with the sociological background of gang formation in disorganized areas. Special attention is given to the psychological needs of the individual which are sat isf ied through gang association. The process of encouraging a specific gang to become part of an agency progfam and the ac t iv i t i e s of this gang as a club within the agency are then discussed. The group work techniques employed and the various problems encountered are described in considerable de ta i l . An evaluation of the six months' contact with the gang is presented. In setting forth the implications of the study, emphasis is given to.the general philosophical requirements for the individual group work practit ioner, the p i t f a l l s which are to be avoided, and practical suggestions on such subjects as d i sc ip l ine , s k i l l s etc. The question of the responsibi l i ty of the private group work agency in the area of delinquent gangs is considered in detai l and attention is given to the implications of a policy of dealing with gangs upon agency program, house rules, membership etc. The need for community coordination and a variety of community resources is stressed. A part of the study is devoted to examples found in various c i t i es of community coordination to deal with delinquent gangs. A brief picture of the present stage of development in this regard in Vancouver is also given. The general principles of effective community organization in meeting the problem of gangs is set forth and the various alternatives in community-wide programs are discussed. A br ief outline of a suggested plan for a community-wide organization to coordinate the treatment of delinquent gangs in Vancouver concludes the thesis. TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter I . The Gang as the Vehicle of Delinquency The "dynamic triangle" of social work. The nature of gangs. The ganging process. The meaning of the gang for the individual . The significance of the gang in delinquency. Chapter I I . Finding the Gang General characteristics of the North End gang. The process of making contact with the Anderson faction. Chapter I I I . The F i r s t Phase - The Anderson Faction. The f i r s t meeting. Social and family backgrounds of the f i r s t sixteen boys of X club. The ac t iv i t i e s of the club. The role of the group worker. The problems encountered. Chapter IV. The Second Phase - The Murphy Gang The i n f i l t r a t i o n of the larger gang. The structure, ac t iv i t i es and objectives of the X club after Christmas. The problems encountered and progress made. An evalua-t ion of group work with the X club. Chapter V. The Individuals Representative social backgrounds. The behaviour of individuals in the group sett ing. Evidences of individual growth. Individual problems presented. Chapter V I . Implications of the Study The philosophy of the group worker. Techniques and practical suggestions. Implications for agency policy and program. The need for a variety of community resources and city-wide coordination in the treatment of delinquent gangs. Chapter VII . Approaches to the Gang Problem in Other Communities. Single agency experiments. Integrated services under public agencies. Examples of private agency coordination. The situation in Vancouver. Chapter VI I I . Coordination of Community Services to Meet  the Teen-age Gang Problem in Vancouver. Basic principles of community organization in this area. Various alternatives. A specific plan for community-wide coordination of services to deal with teen-age gangs in Vancouver. Appendices: A. B. C. Sociogram of X club. Slang of the Gang Boy. Bibliography. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to express my sincere appreciati for the wholehearted co-operation of the various social agencies in "Vancouver who aided me with information and valuable advice. I would l i k e especially to thank Dr. Leonard Marsh of the Department of Social Work, without whose help and encouragement this thesis would not have been writ ten. THE TEEN - AGE GANG . AND THE COMMUNITY A Study and Treatment of a Teen-age Delinquent Gang with Implications for Community Services and Recommendations for Social Action. 1 CHAPTER I THE GANG AS THE VEHICLE OF DELINQUENCY It is generally recognized that three basic environmental influences provide the nourishment from which each chi ld builds up his reactive patterns. These are his intimate family relationships, the physical environment of his early l i f e , and his social relationships with other children and other adults. They are, as i t were, the three sides of a "triangle of forces". Through them the chi ld forms his attitudes about l i f e which decide his personality and beha-viour. In relat ion to them everything that he does takes on meaning and purpose. Of course, this dynamic "triangle" is not the same for each chi ld at each moment. The relat ive importance of each "side" is l i k e l y to be weighted differently for different individuals at every step in their l i v e s . It must be emphasized that these three primary strengths are an integrated whole which frames the ch i ld ' s picture of l i f e . Each side of the triangle is inextricably connected with the others. Because of th i s , any treatment program in social work must consider a l l three forces at once or be largely nu l l i f i ed by the counter influence of the neglected ones. Thus, treatment must be planned in terms of a widening c i r c l e of dynamic interaction. For the so-called delinquent boy, this is part icular ly true. For him the whole process of interpreting l i f e has a 2 sp i ra l l ing effect. The chi ld who is l i k e l y to be delinquent is also l i k e l y to have a very inadequate family background and a deplorable physical environment. Because of this he enters the wider social sphere marked as "different" from ordinary children. This fact encourages isola t ion and rejec-t ion and leads him log i ca l l y to associate with other children l i k e himself. In this social group a set of values and attitudes are evolved that are at variance with those of society as a whole. The end result i s a distorted picture of l i f e that greatly injures both the Individual boy and a l l of society. In the effort to reverse this s p i r a l , the part of the situation which the social worker w i l l manipulate w i l l depend on which side of the "triangle of forces" is exerting the greatest amount of Influence at this stage of the ch i ld ' s development. At the age of six i t w i l l undoubtedly be the family. At the age of sixteen i t w i l l more than l i k e l y be the teen-age gang. Of course, this is a question of emphasis only, as a l l three sides of the triangle must always be given some consideration. Social work has long been concerned with the f i r s t two sides of this "triangle of forces". Much attention has been devoted to the emotional deprivations associated with inade-quate family relationships as a basic determinant of delinquent behaviour. At the same time there has been an awareness of the importance of the physical environment, especially inadequate housing, lack of playground space, etc. However, i t is only recently that sc ien t i f ic study has been directed toward the third side of the triangle - the delinquent c h i l d 1 social relationships. These include his status and role among his peers, his need to be identified with the thoughts and attitudes of his friends, and his desire for recognition as a like-minded member of a dis t inct group. Negatively i t involves his d i f f i cu l t i e s in adjusting to a normal group and his antagonism to a l l people who represent authority. This study w i l l attempt to discuss the dynamics of the group l i f e of a particular group of delinquent children and to consider the implications of this for community organization in meeting the problem of delinquent gangs in Vancouver. THE NATURE OF GANGS Because the gang is the chief avenue of social contact for the delinquent teen-ager, i t is necessary to understand i t s nature. A gang may be defined as a friendship group of three or more persons formed from the social in teract ion 1 arising out of the neighbourhood play-group. It is obvious that a gang of the type with which this study is concerned w i l l be understood to have some degree of soc ia l ly undesir-able attitudes and standards which would imply some form of ant i -socia l a c t i v i t y . A gang is characterized by some amount of group ident i f icat ion around a name, usually that of the neighbourhood or of the natural leader. It includes a high degree of social interaction within the group, "first-name" 1 "Give and take" among individuals in a group. 4 relationships, and an established hierarchy of status and "peck-rights". Often there is a feeling of group social status as "big-time operators", "ex-cons" etc. This feeling of separation from the mass of youth is often expressed in terms of dress, behaviour, relationships with g i r l s , and many other more intangible ways. Because they are in the main spontaneous social muta-tions, gangs may exhibit an inf in i te variety in organization, structure, purposes, standards, etc. As with people, there are no two gangs a l ike . For this reason any approach to gangs must be individualized and specif ic . However, i t is possible to group gangs according to degrees of organization into three broad c lass i f ica t ions : (a) loose (b) r i g i d , and 2 (c) conventionalized. Naturally these divisions are arbi-trary and have no definite dividing l ines . One type may shade imperceptibly into the next over a period of time. However, they offer the group worker or other practitioner some general standard by which he may assess treatment prognosis. A loose gang consists of a large group of twenty or over with no fixed membership, usually drawn together because of a vague neighbourhood ident i f ica t ion. Usually i t w i l l be found to contain several factions under sub-leaders which 2 Thrasher, F . M . , The Gang, University of Chicago Press, 1929-Mr. Thrasher makes the following c lass i f ica t ions : (a) diffused (b) r i g id (c) conventionalized (d) criminal . 5 may be lured away from the main group without too much d i f f i -culty to form separate ent i t ies . No formal executive organ-izat ion exists and the group is not l i k e l y to possess any special meeting place. It is characterized by shift ing allegiance and l i t t l e guarantee of consistent loya l ty . From a treatment viewpoint the loose type of gang offers a good opportunity for the application of group work techniques because of i t s extreme f l u i d i t y . In contrast to the "loose" type, a r i g id gang is characterized by a definite membership which does not change very rapidly. It is a small tight group, usually under a very strong leader. Often such a group w i l l evolve elaborate r i t u a l and secret codes. Members have associated together for some time and there is re la t ive ly l i t t l e change in i n d i -vidual status within the group or in their standards of behaviour. Usually a fanatical group loyalty and high morale is exhibited. Such a group is a serious potential danger to the community as i t is more l i k e l y than the other types to develop into an adult criminal gang, engaging in serious criminal a c t i v i t i e s . Because of i t s r i g i d i t y , i t s secrecy and Its closed membership, i t is very d i f f i c u l t for any group worker to establish contact with this type of gang. A gang may also form a conventionalized organization either spontaneously or as the result of the effort of an adult leader. Executive officers may be elected, a regular meeting place and meeting night established, and a program planned. Although this social hybrid may be a mere facade 6 behind which a delinquent gang continues to operate, i t may also become the symbol of a trend toward more soc ia l ly accep-table behaviour and standards. Any gang that moves to this point in organization is showing progress and should be given every encouragement. THE GANGING PROCESS Although there are many factors that promote ganging, most of these relate back to the need for mutual defence. Poor and vicious neighbourhood conditions make group associa-t ion almost a prerequisite of survival for children. The te r r ib le fear that isola t ion from the gang can give to the individual cannot be appreciated by anyone who has not l ived as a ch i ld in a gang-ridden area. The isolated youth is at the mercy of his environment. Other individuals may bully or take advantage of him. Roving gangs may make his l i f e a nightmare in which sudden attack or humiliation may be expected at any moment. His only escape is to attach himself to a powerful gang of his own that w i l l protect him, accept him within i t s play areas, and allow him to partake vicariously of the strength and courage of the group. Once in the gang he need fear no one - not even adults. He may even strike back at his enemies, secure in the knowledge that his comrades w i l l support him. In return for the protection of the gang, the individual must be prepared to defend i t s play area, s t ick by his fellow members, and accept the attitudes and ac t iv i t i e s of the group. No conformity is so great as that which the 7 gang mores impose upon i t s members. Boys who grow up in gangs l i v e in a society of their own which encourages primitive mutual aid within the group, but which regards a l l creatures outside of this group as legitimate prey. It is not' unlike a tr ibe of somewhat primitive Indians trying to l i v e in a modern metropolis. A more positive factor in promoting the gang pattern is the youngster's need for some effective social structure in which to satisfy the human hunger for gregarious associa-. t ion . In disorganized areas there are few legitimate social organizations. Too often the family does not function as an adequate social unit , part icularly i f It is broken by family discord, missing parents or working mothers. At the same time, the school, which has to some extent usurped some t radi t ional parental duties, s t i l l regards i t s responsibi l i ty as a "nine to three" proposition. Often there is l i t t l e indigenous leadership of a constructive character. The leadership that does attempt to build up some form of social organization in such areas usually springs from service groups and social agencies who have no real roots in the area. In such social chaos gangs represent "the spontaneous effort of boys to create a society for themselves where none adequate to their needs exists."^ Against this backdrop of general social causes there may be any number of specific factors that might precipitate gang formation. Boys may wish to venture into a new neigh-3 °P.. c i t . , p. 37. bourhood, an undertaking which might prove quite dangerous without the safety of numbers. On the other hand their a c t i -v i t i e s may be much more aimless. Often boys gather In groups to roam the streets in search of new experiences. Possibly they might require group participation for a c t i v i -t ies such as team competitions, raiding another neighbour-hood, destructive pranks etc. Or they may organize a gang for the definite purpose of breaking the law. In such a case the necessity would arise for some divis ion of labour In the form of "look-outs", "blinds", etc. Sometimes gangs are formed simply because the boys have read about them or seen them in the movies. F i n a l l y , in speculating upon the specific reasons behind the emergence of any particular gang, i t is essential not to forget the v i t a l role of strong natural leaders. They attract followers, set the tone and standards of the whole group, and themselves find in running a gang an outlet that is denied them in other areas. However, i t should not be inferred that a l l gangs merely revolve about a strong leader as the main cohesive force. Often there are a number of leaders within a group who come to the fore in connection with different types of ac t iv i t y . Indeed, there is nothing fixed or permanent about either leadership or membership in a gang. Sub-leaders of a disgruntled faction may break away from a large gang and form a new one with a group ident i f icat ion of i t s own to set i t apart. Shifts in allegiance may occur after some humiliating experience or as the result of a new interest or ac t iv i t y . 9 Thus gangs exhibit a sort of primitive democracy in which no leader can remain absolute without considering the wishes of the membership. In addition, membership in gangs is usually quite unstable and many factors may undermine group loya l ty . This does not mean, however, that the break-up of a gang means the end of the ganging phenomenon. Because of the underlying social pressures of l i f e in disorganized areas, new groupings are constantly emerging. A gang-boy who leaves one gang usually forms a new gang association, and the process con-tinues. Because of th i s , a policy on the part of authorities of breaking up gangs or separating a boy from his associates does not usually solve the problem except on a very temporary basis. Such action is merely treating a symptom: i t Ignores the basic causative factors and psychological satisfactions that make gang-life a practical necessity for many boys. THE MEANING OF THE GANG FOR THE INDIVIDUAL As no gang is a thing in i t s e l f but only exists because of the needs of i t s members, i t is essential that detailed attention be given to the meaning which the gang holds for the individual . Why does a boy join a gang, and what sat is-factions does he derive from his gang contacts? It should occasion no surprise that most normal adolescent boys gain a great deal from gang association at some stage in their development,. In fact, the boy who has never been a member of the Secret Six or the Rinky-dinks has missed something in l i v i n g . For adolescent children the gang performs 10 an important function for which there is no adequate substitute in other forms of social organization. Any boy, taking his f i r s t fal ter ing steps into a larger social world beyond the immediate family c i r c l e , feels indescribably ill-equipped and alone. He does not know how to handle himself in new situa-tions, how to regard a l l these new adults who are so different from his parents, or how to approach these contemptible yet fascinating creatures called g i r l s . He finds his answers to these problems within the friendship group. In fact, the fewer answers he is able to receive from his family, the more completely w i l l he rely upon the judgment of the gang. Thus, for the delinquent boy who comes from a weak or broken home, the dominance of the gang .in his l i f e is re la t ive ly more complete. In fact he may never emancipate himself from this dependent state. It would seem, then, that the gang becomes a kind of col lect ive parent substitute for i ts members. .It f u l f i l s both the role of teacher and protector. It is able to perform this function because of the boy's need for companion-ship and his extreme desire to maintain status in the group. As a teacher i t imposes rules of conduct which i t s mem-bers must obey i m p l i c i t l y . If i t is considered a good idea to steal cigarettes, then the individual must f a l l i n l ine or r i sk ostracism. It w i l l not do for him to reveal any secret doubts which he might hold on the subject. He is more l i k e l y to vie with the others in doing or saying the accepted things. If the gang says that a l l policemen are 11 "rats", then the gang boy must express this viewpoint as w e l l . These rules and attitudes extend over a wide range, including attitudes toward g i r l s , recreational preferences, attitudes - regarding work, etc. The gang may even give specific instructions in the s k i l l s involved in being a successful lawbreaker. Punishment for transgressing the gang laws is l i k e l y to be ruthless, and may take many forms. Besides physical beatings, the gang may heap r id icu le on him or register their dis-approval in various ways. The individual 's status in the group may go up or down in accordance with his acceptance of the mores of the gang. He may be ostracized or given a l l the distasteful tasks. As a protector the gang may play an even stronger ro le . If a member is In trouble, the gang w i l l come to his a id . He is provided with a l i b i s or offered hiding places. If he is out of a job, the other members w i l l lend him money and try to find him work. If he is attacked by other gangs, his gang w i l l take revenge. The gang may even protect him from his own parents or help him be successful in truancy from school. THE GANG AND DELINQUENCY The dominance of the gang over the Individual is a fact of extreme importance in studying delinquency. Over-sugges-4 t i b i l i t y is a marked characteristic of delinquent children. 4 Beckham, A . S . , "Over-suggestibility in Juvenile Delinquency", Journal of Abnormal & Social Psychology, 1 9 3 3 , 28: pp. 1 7 2 - 1 7 8 . 12 Thus, most delinquency Is inspired by group contagion.^ Only a small portion of delinquency is rea l ly committed by isolated individuals, even though perhaps only one chi ld could be charged with the offence. We cannot, therefore, separate the individual from his gang. Although the responsibi l i ty of the gang in delinquency is very rea l , this is not recognized l ega l ly . In fact any discussion Involving "juvenile delinquency" must be prefaced with a plea for perspective in using the term. It is obvious that almost every chi ld can be delinquent. To be so branded he need only do two things: commit an i l l e g a l act, and be caught by the police. L i t t l e consideration is given to the specific meaningfulness of the action to the boy, or to the circumstances and emotional pressures which precipitated the a rb i t r a r i l y designated act of delinquency. It is of course true that delinquency is understood generally as any form of behaviour which society pronounces intolerable, but the responsibi l i ty for defining specific delinquent acts rests with statutes and courts of law. Now the law's interpretation of delinquency in a complex modern society is necessarily f lex ib le and riddled with exceptions, but this very f l e x i b i l i t y makes the forming of acceptable standards of conduct a very d i f f i cu l t process for youth. 5 70% of 1000 boys committed offences with one or more accom-pl ices . See - Glueck, Sheldon & Eleanor T. , One Thousand  Juvenile Delinquents, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1934. 13. Considerable resentment was registered against Don for breaking into this particular coffee shop as the owner had always treated the gang we l l , often se l l ing them things after hours. (There did not seem to be any awareness that this was also breaking the law.)" There is no sharp dividing l ine between law-abiding and law-breaking, and children are not gifted with Innate powers of discrimination. Soon the boys noticed that the car ahead contained the detectives plus Don and Kerry. They were very amused when the detectives* car went through a school zone at th i r ty miles an hour and swerved to the wrong side of the yellow l ine several times. Of course, every chi ld breaks the law at some time or other, but before he can be given the stigma of "delinquent" he must be brought before the courts. This makes certain children extremely vulnerable. These are the children who have l i t t l e parental protection or supervision, and who l i v e in areas where past experience has taught authorities to watch almost every ac t iv i ty with alert suspicion. It must be constantly borne in mind, therefore, that "delinquency" is purely a socle-legal term. It has l i t t l e psychological significance. In fact the "good" chi ld often presents greater psychological d i f f i cu l t i e s than the rebel delinquent. Nevertheless, delinquency that is recurrent is almost always a symptom of serious gaps in personality development. In view of th is , "paddling." the delinquent, shutting him away from society for a few months, or any other 6 Note - Unless otherwise indicated, a l l single-spaced excerpts in this thesis are taken from the wri ter ' s process records. 14 type of treatment that relates only to the delinquency symptom, is of l i t t l e value. Effective treatment must be geared to the social and emotional vacuum in the chi ld ' s l i f e against which he Is protesting through his delinquent acts. The only constructive treatment is to f i l l this vacuum as adequately as possible for each individual delinquent ch i ld , recognizing that there is no complete substitute for a normal early childhood. 15 CHAPTER II FINDING THE GANG In September of 1948 a committee representing interested social agencies met under the auspices of H. Centre to discuss the problem presented by a group of teen-agers l i v i n g In one of the more deteriorated areas of Vancouver. This group, believed to include twenty or th i r ty youths between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, had been causing considerable damage at recreational agencies i n the d i s t r i c t . The boys were especially troublesome at H. Centre for several reasons. In the f i r s t place they did not belong to the immediate neighbourhood of the Centre. As a result they had no real sense of belonging to the agency and showed l i t t l e concern for i t s equipment. Moreover, the Centre teen-agers regarded them distasteful ly as unwelcome strangers. Formerly a loose membership policy had permitted these youngsters to become members of the Teen Dance Club of the Centre. However, they were now excluded because of a new policy which restricted service to residents south of B. Street. Although this d iv is ion might seem quite arbitrary, i t was necessary in order to discourage teen-agers from "shopping" from one agency program to another without ever forming a real ident i f icat ion with any one agency. Unfor-tunately, this area l imi ta t ion s p l i t this particular group of boys in half . Naturally those who l ived on the north side of 16 B. Street were s t i l l anxious to associate with their friends on the south side who were regularly attending the Centre Teen Dance Club. This resulted i n the staff having to cope with considerable "gate-crashing", antagonism, rowdyism, and equipment damage. In discussing the group the committee found that although these boys had sampled the program offered by most of the recreational agencies in the area, they had avoided any rea l ly close association with the staff or program of any specific agency. As a result , they were not gaining a very beneficial experience from group work services. Many of the Individuals were known to case work agencies and the Juvenile Court. Thus they presented a problem, not only for H. Centre, but for the total community. However, in the opinion of the committee the group was s t i l l "treatable", and could benefit from recreational services and personal counselling. Before a definite decision could be made to make contact with the group d i rec t ly , several Important questions had to be answered. What stage of gang organization did this group represent? What were the usual interests and ac t iv i t i e s of the boys? Was there a reasonable expectation of positive results from intensive group work with them as a friendship group? Observation of the gang's ac t iv i t i e s at recreational agencies and discussions with adults who knew the boys seemed to indicate that this was a rather loose organization with a shift ing membership grouped around a few key individuals . 17 However, there seemed to be a certain amount of group ident i -f ica t ion as the North End Gang, no doubt arising from a need to defend themselves against other gangs in other neighbour-hoods. The following incident, related by a former staff member at H. Centre, i l lus t ra tes their sense of defensive unity, and reveals the presence of other r i v a l gangs in the d i s t r i c t . On a previous occasion about half a dozen members of the North End gang had been annoying a couple of g i r l s who l ived up on C. Avenue. Evidently a father of one of the g i r l s had appeared on the scene and the boys were about to get rough with him. At that moment the g i r l ' s brother noticed what was going on and gave a special warning signal . Immediately burly members of the C. Avenue gang swarmed out of houses and gave chase to the outnumbered North End boys. The C. Avenue boys were unable to catch them and swore revenge. Several weeks later the W. noticed that twenty-three members of the North End gang were not leaving the Centre after the teen dance. When asked what was the matter, they pointed outside. Apparently several truckloads of C. Avenue youths had surrounded the agency armed with "brass knuckles", knives and lead pipes, and were wait-ing for the North End gang to come outside. The boys refused to leave the agency unless they were given police protection or else allowed to phone for "rein-forcements". The police were therefore called and two policemen arrived in a patrol car. S t i l l the boys refused to budge. F i n a l l y a squad car containing s ix policemen drove along the street in low gear while the North End gang in a sol id phalanx made i t s way to the safety of the street car. The male teen-age membership of H. Centre both dis l iked and feared the North End gang, as they soon learned to c a l l them. Besides resenting them as intruders, they were annoyed at the admiration with which some of the teen-age g i r l s of the Centre regarded these boys. In particular they feared the North End boys' practice of "ganging up" on one individual and attacking him with "brass knuckles" or with rings on 18 their fingers. To make matters worse, the North End boys usually came to H. Centre functions in a sol id group, kept together most of the evening, and lef t the agency in the same way. Needless to say, the mutual antagonism between the North End boys and the Centre teen-agers would accentuate the d i f f i cu l t i e s of group work treatment with the North End gang. Although there appeared to be no definite leader in the group, i t was suspected that different boys assumed leader-ship for special a c t i v i t i e s . The name of Jimmy Murphy was mentioned frequently as a key person. W. met a former gang associate named Johnny Williams. W. told him that people were concerned about the fact that the North End gang did not seem to have any place to "hang their hats". Johnny suggested that W. talk to Harry Robinson as Jimmy Murphy was out of town right now working on a barge. At no time was there evidence of any definite organiza-t ion such as meeting nights, clubhouses, "captains", or "bosses". The structure of the group did not seem to extend beyond a loose association based upon the fact that they belonged to the same general neighbourhood. Certainly they seemed to be a l l well enough acquainted to c a l l each other by f i r s t names. However, the worker noticed other less tangible factors which set them apart from the mass of teen-agers. Chief among these seemed to be a consciousness of themselves as an inferior social class which might be called the "other four hundred". This feeling of social status seemed to result not only from an attitude of rejection by other teen-agers, 1 9 but also from a definite ident i f icat ion on their part with the delinquent population of the c i t y . Their feeling of being "different" was expressed concretely in their choice of clothing. At dances most of them wore long coats, and expensive trousers called "strides" specially tai lored with extremely narrow cuffs. Some deliberately allowed their hair to grow long and unruly, a fad which resembles similar prac-tices by college students to c a l l attention to their i n d i v i -duality in comparison to the general population. More indefinite marks of social status were revealed In their alert manner of standing (with feet at attention and hands in coat pockets), their quick, purposeful way of walking, and their playful practice on the dance floor of the essen-t i a l s k i l l s of "street-fighting". These include lightening kicks (which just miss), feints of "kneeing", etc. The ac t iv i t i es and interests of the group seemed to be quite varied, embracing athlet ics , boy-gir l relationships, and destructive pranks. Their attitude toward g i r l s for the most part seemed to be s t i l l one of "treat 'em rough". None seemed to have "steady" g i r l friends. A few of the boys were quite adept at the intr icacies of " j ive" , others danced very l i t t l e , and several of the younger fry did not appear to have learned to dance at a l l . The following incident w i l l give some idea of the attitudes and reactions of the younger element in the group: 20 Soon after the dance began W. found Ken Robinson on the dance f loor . He had been le t in through the window by Kerry Hunter.. .It was agreed that the boys should be invited into the dance as W.'s guests as an experiment...Finally Ken returned with Jackie Anderson and Jimmy Murphy. Jackie went back outside and yelled,, " I t ' s O.K., Harry, we're invi ted!" He returned with a very suspicious Harry, who slunk Into the dance without a word to W. . . .During the dance the l i t t l e gang kept together as a group and their presence often obstructed the dancers. How-ever, no incidents occurred other than the usual horseplay. Jackie and Jimmy danced a great deal. Don Sawyer, Kerry Hunter and Harry Robinson did not seem to know how. Ken kept his big mackinaw on a l l even-ing and looked very much out of place on the dance f loor . At one point he snatched a purse from one of the g i r l s and kept up a game of passing i t from boy to boy. F i n a l l y , the g i r l was able to regain i t . Harry stayed out i# the games room for some time and then went outside un t i l the end of the dance. He would not respond to any of W.*s efforts at conver-sation. Evidently breaking in was much more fun for Harry than being i n ; W. had rea l ly spoiled his even-ing's entertainment. The lack of r i g i d i t y In gang organization, the relat ive unsophistlcation of many of the boys, and their dissat isf ied "shopping" for recreational services, a l l strengthened the poss ib i l i ty that the group work method might offer consider-able therapeutic value for this group. Although many of the boys were Juvenile Court contacts, their delinquencies were not generally of a very serious nature. In fact, one proba-t ion officer aptly termed the group mere "rumblers", i . e . not chronic delinquents. Contact was therefore sought f i r s t with the younger element In the group, on the assumption that these boys formed a natural sub-group within the larger gang. An opportunity would then be needed by which this sub-group of boys could be encouraged to form a club group within the Centre. 21 MAKING CONTACT. This opportunity was found when on one Teen Dance Club night the Director of the Centre was able to talk at some length with Jackie Anderson. This boy seemed to be the ring leader of the younger group of boys who were attempting to "crash" the dance on that particular night. When the idea of the boys forming a club In the Centre was suggested, Jackie showed considerable enthusiasm. He was even more interested In forming a soccer team to take part in the Sunday School soccer league. The Director explained that It would be necessary to l imi t membership in the club to f if teen boys. To ensure that the formation of the club would not be used solely as an excuse to attend the Teen dances, Jackie was told that at least for the present their forming a club would not mean any change in the present Teen dance policy of l imi t ing attendance to those south of B. Street. Jackie raised no objections to these conditions, and agreed to bring his friends over on the next Monday night to orga-nize the club and to plan i t s a c t i v i t i e s . Although the worker waited patiently for the boys to appear on Monday night, no boys arrived. Evidently gaining the confidence of these boys was not as easy as a l l that. After several days of waiting for the boys to make the next move, the worker f i n a l l y called at Jackie's home to find out why the boys had neglected to show up, and to assure them that the agency was rea l ly interested in them. On this occasion Jackie was located at another boy's house across the street, together with some seven or eight other youths. Again the boys appeared to be Interested in forming a team and asked many questions about equipment, practice f i e lds , etc. Jackie, however, seemed to make most of the decisions for the group. Once more the boys agreed to come over on Monday night to the Centre and make their plans in greater de t a i l . Yet they again fa i led to arr ive . Once more they were given several days in which to get in touch with the agency. Jackie was then v is i ted again, and told that i f the boys did not show sufficient interest to come over to the Centre on the next Monday, i t would have to be concluded that they did not rea l ly wish to make use of the services of the agency. Jackie explained that he had not been able to find enough boys to form a team. When i t was pointed out to him that they did not necessarily have to play soccer but could plan any type of club program that could be arranged, Jackie again became enthusiastic. He promised fa i th fu l ly to have the boys out on the next Monday. This time the promise was kept, and the X club was formed. Although i t might be assumed that the repeated fa i lure of the boys to keep their appointments showed a complete lack of interest, or at best grave suspicion of the worker's motives, subsequent interest and attendance indicated other-wise. The fact i s that youngsters with their defective family backgrounds are quite erratic about everything they do, and show l i t t l e sense of responsibi l i ty . Possibly the boys were unconsciously testing the worker to discover how much they could rely upon his consistent interest. In any event, those who would work with boys such as these must be prepared, i f necessary, to go many extra miles in gaining their" acceptance. 2 4 CHAPTER I I I THE FIRST PHASE - THE ANDERSON FACTION THE FIRST MEETING After two weeks of false starts the hoys arrived promptly at 7:30 for their f i r s t meeting. Before the evening was over seven boys had identified themselves as part of the group. These were Don Sawyer, Wally Demers, Kerry Hunter, Jimmy McKenzie, Jackie Anderson, Ken Robinson and Harry Robinson. The Director explained to them that the Centre had agreed to accept a group of not more than fifteen members from outside 1 of the area. However, i t had to be understood that this did not mean fifteen individuals from a l l over town. It meant a group of boys who knew each other would form .themselves Into a club. At least for the present they would s t i l l not be able to come to the Friday night teen dances un t i l they were accepted by the rest of the teen-age membership as a regular club within the Centre. After being sure that the boys understood the Centre policy regarding them, he le f t the club room to the boys and the worker. The early part of the meeting was characterized by long awkward pauses in which the boys watched the worker closely and suspiciously. Although he made several suggestions for a c t i v i t i e s , the boys showed l i t t l e enthusiasm and continued to observe the worker's every movement with sullen attention. F i n a l l y the spokesman of the l i t t l e group, Jackie Anderson, upbraided the boys severely, asking them i f the cat had got 25 their tongue. After this the air of tension lessened some-what and some interest was demonstrated. Before the meeting ended i t was agreed that they would play floor hockey un t i l they decided what they rea l ly wished to do. Throughout the meeting the worker was subjected to a series of tests to find out what kind of a person he was. For example, one of the boys would deliberately use an obscene word while the whole group eyed the worker to see i f he would show any reaction. Often a boy would go out of his way to create sufficient confusion to achieve a reprimand. Don Sawyer turned on the radio un t i l he nearly drowned out the conversation. Ken told him to get something decent on. Don f i n a l l y secured a jazz number. He looked at W. as i f he expected to be ordered to turn the radio off. Instead, W. beat time on the table with his f i n g e r s . . . . F i n a l l y Jackie Anderson told Don to turn off the radio un t i l the business was finished. Don obeyed and sat down beside the win-dow. He took a long knife from his pocket. Keeping his eye fixed on W. he pressed a button and the blade f l icked out of the end. Pointing the blade at W. he continued to stare. W. turned to Harry Robinson and laughingly asked i f that were Alan Ladd, Junior. Everyone laughed and Don put the knife away after scraping a l i t t l e old paint from the window s i l l . The worker was careful to ignore a l l of the various testing devices used. A considerable portion of the meeting was devoted to the problem of choosing a name for their new club. Names of animals were rejected as being too much l i k e the Boy Scouts. (There were many disparaging remarks about the Boy Scouts being a "sissy" organization). They decided that they were t i red of war names or the names of aeroplanes. After running through a long l i s t of poss ib i l i t i e s they f i n a l l y decided 26 upon the name BIsco Boys (formed from the f i r s t le t ters of the Boys Industrial School). It was d i f f i c u l t to decide whether this was intended as a joke or whether i t rea l ly involved a serious Ideal Image they held of themselves. Possibly i t was a l i t t l e of both. When the boys were asked i f they wished to elect a president now or wait un t i l a subsequent meeting, Jackie Anderson thought "they might as well hold elections right now", and nominated Ken Robinson. Ken insisted that he did not want to be president, and nominated Jackie. Jackie was elected unanimously. Of course, there had not been much question of who the real leader of the l i t t l e group was, so that this election was a mere formality. However, Jackie soon revealed that he had l i t t l e conception of how to conduct a meeting. When the group lef t at 9:30 after an unorganized program of tumbling and floor hockey, i t was impossible to judge whether or not they would ever return. This modest beginning at the i n i t i a l meeting began a pattern of contact with this gang of boys which was destined to continue. The or iginal group of seven gradually increased in size as more of the gang members saw positive values in associating themselves with the Centre and were permitted to join the club. 27 THE SOCIAL BACKGROUND OF THE BOYS. Some fluctuations in membership made i t impossible to make an equally detailed study of every boy's background. However, i t was possible to prepare a f a i r l y extensive social history for the f i r s t sixteen boys to join the club. Although the to ta l gang is between twenty-five and th i r ty , the sixteen boys selected present a more or less representative sampling of the whole group. A study of the entire group might i n d i -cate an older median age, more serious personality problems, and a greater proportion of Juvenile Court contacts. As would be expected, the family and social backgrounds of these youngsters were not encouraging. Family home owner-ship was n i l although a l l of the families had been in Vancouver before 1939. Since 1939 eight of the thir teen 1 families had changed their addresses, showing a f a i r l y high rate of social mobil i ty. Seven of the families had received socia l assis-tance, but only three had had social assistance since 1939. However, in general the families had experienced an excessive amount of contact with case work agencies. (See Table 1). Exactly half of the sixteen boys came from families broken by divorce, separation or desertion. One quarter of the boys had mothers who worked during the day-time. In comparison to the general population the families of the boys were large, the median number of children per family being four. There were no "only" children in the group. At least s ix of 1. The group of sixteen boys included three pairs of brothers, making thirteen families in a l l . 28 the boys had been born in Vancouver while only one was known to be foreign-born. Nine of the boys gave "English", " I r ish" , or "Scotch" as their parents' nationali ty, three l i s t ed their parents as "Canadian", two put down "French-Canadian", and only two boys stated that their parents were of continental European ancestry. Ten boys l i s t e d their r e l ig ion as Protes-tant, three as Roman Catholic, and three claimed no religious a f f i l i a t i o n . The boys themselves ranged in age from thirteen to eighteen, the median age being fifteen and a half . Their I .Q. 's as given in school records ranged from 72 to 126, with an average of 94.5 and a median of 95. Thus the greater proportion of them were in the normal strata of intel l igence. However, their academic achievement was deplorably low. Seven boys were s t i l l attending school but none had gone as far as Grade 9. Of the nine boys now out of school, four had been in "special classes", two had completed Grade 6, one had finished Grade 7, and only two had stayed in school un t i l the end of Grade 8. None had attended High School. The last recorded standing in class of a l l f if teen boys was as follows:. Special Class 5 Grading of "D" or"E' 8 Grading of "C" 1 Grading of "B" 2 Total 16 29 Only four of the boys showed no retardation in school, three were retarded one year, and nine (including those in "special classes") were retarded two years or more behind the grade level for their age. The employment history of the nine boys out of school showed an extremely erratic work record. Only two had held their present job more than two months, and several were unemployed. Exactly half of the sixteen boys were Juvenile Court contacts. In several characteristics the sixteen boys compared very closely with the findings made by the Gleuks in their painstaking study of one thousand juvenile 2 delinquents. TABLE 1 : A COMPARISON OF INFORMATION OBTAINED FOR 16 MEMBERS OF X CLUB WITH THE FINDINGS OF THE GLEUCK STUDY OF 1000 JUVENILE DELINQUENTS. 16 Members Gleuck Factors of X Club findings % % Intelligence Normal (91 and over) 5 3 . 3 41.6 Dull ( 8 1 - 9 0 ) 28.6 28.2 Borderline (71-80) 2 1 . 4 1 7 . 1 Defective (70 and under) 0 0 . 0 1 3 . 1 Family break-up Desertion, separation or 50'.0 1 8 . 8 divorce of parents. Working mothers 2 5 . 0 2 . 9 Family Contacts with Agencies 81 .25 . 8 7 . 5 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _____ ^ With one agency 1 8 . 7 5 17.1 with two agencies 1 2 . 5 1 5 . 2 With three agencies 0 0 . 0 9 . 8 With four agencies 0 0 . 0 9 .2 With f ive or more agen. 5 0 . 0 3 6 . 2 mmip.k, s. & E .T . . One Thousand Juvenile Delinquents. lgi|4; Cambridge, HajFv a r a una ye r s 11 y i-fress. 30 A l l in a l l , the sixteen youngsters who f i r s t joined the X club did not present a very promising picture of social competence. THE X CLUB - NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER During the next two months the boys bui l t up their club organization and planned a regular program. This resulted in a greater feeling of confidence in the worker and better relationships with the total membership of the agency. At the same time many specific problems arose. Right from the beginning, the group showed considerable cohesion around the person of Jackie Anderson. A group single-mindedness was revealed which expressed i t s e l f i n planning and in general conduct. The smooth efficiency with which the club operated in i t s f i r s t floor hockey game was in contrast to the bickering and arguing that went on within the other team. Probably this was because the gang had been together for some time and knew each other intimately. "Peck rights" were well established and everyone knew his status. One of the f i r s t actions of the club at i t s second meeting was to change i t s name to the X club, because the boys thought the f i r s t name, the Bisco Boys, would give them a bad reputation. At the fourth meeting of the club the boys elected a treasurer (Ken Robinson), a secretary (Tommy Torr-ence) and a vice-president (Wally Demers). The names of nine more boys were gradually added to the membership l i s t . This f i n a l l y resulted in fifteen members as one boy later lef t the d i s t r i c t . The structure and organization of the 31 X club remained substantially the same un t i l the New Year when new pressures altered the status quo. In working out a program the boys revealed their growing interest in the opposite sex. They soon abandoned floor hockey in favour of dancing lessons. This was arranged for the group by an agreement in which the club paid for the f i r s t lesson and the Centre financed four more. The boys insisted on starting immediately to learn " j ive" steps, in spite of the fact that about half a dozen of them did not even know the basic dance steps. However, considerable interest was shown and at least two of the boys benefited considerably from the instruction. No enthusiasm was registered for crafts and not much for a thlet ics , although one or two of the boys desired to join the Centre soccer team. Once they were permitted to participate, a l l of the boys came quite regularly to the Centre teen dances. These were a type of semi-mass program with dancing and parlour games. At a special Christmas party for a l l groups In the Centre, the X club members acted as waiters, a job which they performed with fa i r a b i l i t y in spite of the mi l l ing crowd which impeded their efforts. The major objective of the worker in these f i r s t two months was that of gaining their acceptance as a different kind of adult who did not in any way symbolize the authority against which they were rebel l ing. By not using physical force or displaying anger at their behaviour, the worker hoped to demonstrate that adults find no need to fight or become angry. At a l l times he refused to descend to their emotional l e v e l . Much to his surprise these boys responded to this approach and respected him for i t . He soon found that a sense of humour and an attitude of trust were more persuasive weapons than a display of strength. (To t e l l the truth, the worker was no physical match for some of these boys anyway.) Of course, the boys must have dimly realized that behind the worker stood a l l the authority of the agency and the police. However, this objective of gaining acceptance was made more d i f f i c u l t because of the necessity of protecting agency property. The worker had to be very clear in his own mind what he would consider unacceptable behaviour and what he could ignore as part of the testing process. A l l this was complicated by the fact that the larger gang was continually in the picture, breaking into dances and causing trouble. Because the worker did not know this larger group and the boys did not know him, they were a continual nuisance and interfered with the worker's efforts to build a strong relationship with the smaller Anderson sub-group. On one occasion at the Christmas party the to ta l gang caused so much trouble that i t almost ruined the entire evening for children and adults a l ike . Food and drink soon ran out and W. noticed the gang bunching to make a rush on the kitchen door which the ladies had bolted. He ran over from the other side of the room and just managed to get in front of the door as the f i r s t wave of boys got there. They jostled W. but stopped, faltered and then broke up. As the evening progressed the gang including the members 'of X club became more and more defiant and unruly. (Part of the trouble, of course, was that there was no program on 33 th is particular evening suitable to their needs.) F i n a l l y W. stated that as i t was now ten o'clock they would have to leave. No one wished to go and someone threw a pillow at W. -from behind. F ina l ly the g i r l s l e f t , but the whole gang retreated in a body into the dark sewing room. W. followed them and told them that they would have to go as the place was being closed. Someone cried "Let 's get him" and the group advanced on W. i n the darkness. W. managed l u c k i l y to find the l ights and turned them on. This caused the boys to turn and run out the back f i r e escape. W. quickly bolted the door. The boys evidently recovered their courage because they came back and pounded on the door. Later, W. heard that they had hurt a l i t t l e boy and jostled an old lady. Gradually a decided difference could be perceived between the attitudes of the X club members and the rest of the gang toward the worker and toward the agency. The X club boys often attempted to curb the rowdyism of the others. Fifteen other youths, most of them wearing "strides", slipped past the door posing as members of X club. Soon their behaviour became quite rowdy...It was obvious that both Jackie and Tommy were quite worried about the s i tuat ion. W. noticed that Jackie spent a lo t of time during the evening t e l l i n g the boys not to "jack around too much". At one point he attempted to pick up some pieces of fe l t (from a tumbling horse) which the boys were pushing into each other's faces. Once Tommy asked to see W. i n the office. He stated anxiously that some of the boys were breaking coke bottles and he feared that i t might be a preparation for a f ight . W. and the Director went quietly around and picked up a l l stray coke bott les. At a l l times the worker was made acutely aware of the influence of the gang in each individual gang boy's l i f e . The gang planned a breaking and entering Incident which resulted in four of the X club boys being placed in the Boys' Industrial School. When the day for the t r i a l of the four boys arrived, Jackie Anderson, the leader of the sub-group, and Jimmy Murphy, the suspected leader of the larger gang, were found s i t t i ng in the ante-room of the court anxiously 34 enqulring about the verdict . Even when the boys were committed to BISCO, the gang kept i t s contact with them. W. asked how the boys in BISCO were getting along. Tommy said that Jackie and he had been out to see them the other day. The s i l l y fools were planning a "break", but Tommy and Jackie had persuaded Harry not to take any part in i t . Tommy said that he could not understand why they would do anything l i k e that when they would get out anyway in a few months i f they toed the l i n e . (Later W. learned from a pro-bation officer that there had been a "break" but that Harry had not taken any part in i t . ) Another important objective in the f i r s t months of contact was to encourage the boys to feel free to talk about themselves. Only in this way could the worker gain some understanding of their d i f f i cu l t i e s and needs. At f i r s t he met with repeated rebuffs. The boys would answer his attempts at conversation in uncomfortable monosyllables or deliberately edge away. Gradually, however, as they became more secure, they learned to confide in him when they were in serious trouble: The boys and W. went quickly into the club room and sat down. The boys methodically took out cigarettes and took several long drags. F i n a l l y Jackie spoke: "Well, you know, Mr. H . , the reason the rest of the gang i sn ' t here to-night is because they're a l l i n the Detention Home." This caused uncertain giggles and swift looks at W. to see how he reacted. W. said that he was very sorry to hear that, and asked who were Involved. Jackie answered, "Don Sawyer, Kerry Hunter, Harry Robinson, Charlie Torrence, and Johnny Coten." W. asked them when i t had happened. This launched the boys into a long rambling account of the incident. One of their most pressing problems, and the one which they found easiest to talk about was the d i f f i c u l t y of finding jobs: 35 Jimmy Murphy said that i f he didn't find work soon he would get into trouble for sure. This hanging around with nothing to do was very bad. (He was placed on probation for theft just a few weeks la te r . ) He said that he used to quit every job he had after a few weeks when he t i red of i t . But i f he ever got another job in Vancouver he would hang on to i t , no matter what . . .Final ly Jimmy decided that he would phone a probation officer he knew f i r s t thing in the morning and explain his plight to him. W. agreed that this would be a very wise thing to do. Many of these talking "sessions" brought out a great deal of information about the habits and attitudes of the boys. Both Tommy and Jack Irving agreed that there was no percentage in fooling around with this small time stuff - stealing cigarettes etc. You always lost out in the end. The only way to make crime pay was to get into gambling and bootlegging. Such statements as the above were made in a matter-of-fact tone, somewhat on a par with conversation about the weather. To the gang boy such remarks were simple truisms which were not to be questioned. At that point any attempt by the worker to give his opinion would have resulted only in their rejecting both him and his attitude. Often the boys voiced their fears about other gangs and indirect ly revealed the underlying social insecurity which pervades their l i f e : Tommy Torrence said that Jimmy Murphy, Roy Murphy and he had gone to a show on Saturday night and had met Len Burman and his gang at the entrance to the theatre. They were a l l nineteen or twenty and "big-time operators". There were about ten of them, a l l wearing wide-brimmed "skimmers" and "strides". They a l l stood in a l ine without saying a word, just staring at the boys. Tommy said that he was so scared his hands were cold with sweat. Tommy then gave an imitation of the way these f e l -lows stood with their hands in their pockets "as i f they had a gat," and with their shoulders hunched over as i f they were about to lunge at you. (W. noted that Tommy was only giving an exaggerated imitation of the boy both he and the rest of the gang walked and stood themselves.) 36 During these kinds of conversations the worker avoided moralizing or giving direct advice. The important thing at this point was to win the boys' confidence rather than to give them insight into their behaviour. When several of the boys were placed in the Detention Home, the worker v i s i ted and talked with them. This action had the effect of re-assuring them that neither the worker nor the agency would reject them as persons no matter what they did . An attempt was also made to stimulate indirect ly a somewhat more positive attitude toward community services generally. For example, without appearing to be firmly entrenched in the enemy camp, the worker t r ied to indicate that a probation officer was not just "another policeman". Some fear was expressed that Harry might be sent to BISCO as he was already on probation. This started an argument as to whether i t was better to be on probation and have to report every few hours or to be sentenced to "Okey-dokey" (Oakalla) and be done with i t . Probation won the argument without much trouble. W. asked i f they knew R.K. , the probation officer who was at the dance Friday. They a l l had heard of him and Tommy stoutly defended him as having done a lot to straighten out his brother Charlie. W. said that he had known R.K. when the la t ter had worked at the Z Centre. He had impressed W. as being a "pretty good fellow". (W. deliberately attempted to encourage good feelings toward R.K. as he is expected to have Harry, Charlie and Kerry on probation.) Some of the boys registered a deep-seated hatred of police-men that was d i f f i c u l t to modify: W. walked up to the corner with Jimmy Murphy and Tommy Torrence. Jimmy asked W. i f he could borrow twenty-five cents un t i l Friday. W. agreed but did not have the change. He suggested that they ask a policeman who happened to be walking along behind them to see i f he could change a $5 b i l l . Jimmy's reaction was swift. "I wouldn't ask one of those guys for nothing." 37 Ignoring this W. turned and walked over to the policeman. Unfortunately the policeman was unable to-change the b i l l . When W. returned Jimmy said, "See, I told you. Those guys won't do nothing." W. laughed and remarked that perhaps the poor man wasn't making enough money a month to change $5 b i l l s . Jimmy retored, "Ah, they make a l l they're worth. What do they ever do except push people around?" Tommy remarked d r i l y that sometimes they get k i l l e d . Jimmy was again deris ive. W. asked him i f he remembered reading not long ago i n the paper about the policeman who was shot and k i l l e d in Vancouver. This man had a wife and children too. Jimmy was s t i l l unconvinced. He said that they shouldn't take on a job l i k e that i f they did not wish to accept the r isks Involved. W. asked i f he did not think that i t was only fa i r that any job with a high degree of r i sk should have higher wages? Tommy thought so, def in i te ly . Jimmy nodded reluc- ' tantly but did not say anything. (Possibly the idea of regarding a policeman as another human being working for a l i v i n g l i k e himself was entirely new to him.) The worker found that i t was necessary to keep such discussions i n terms of concrete personalities as the boys did not seem to be able to visual ize abstract concepts or ins t i tu t iona l l oya l t i e s . An important question in this early stage of the club's development was that of determining the position held by Jimmy Murphy in the group. As already indicated, Jimmy was thought to be a key figure in the larger gang because of his physical superiority, his strong personality and his boundless energy. However, i t was soon evident that Jackie Anderson entertained considerable antagonism toward Jimmy and was determined to block any attempts to bring him into the club. General discussion followed on who else should come to the club. Jimmy Murphy's name was mentioned but Jackie stated f l a t l y that they did not want him. No one defended Jimmy...W. asked Jackie suddenly and direct ly where Jimmy Murphy stood in the picture. 38 Jackie answered shortly, "He's a K i b i t s . The guys don't want him." W. explained that he knew that Jimmy often went around with the gang. Jackie said that they l iked him a l l right in some ways. It was evident that Jackie had ambitions to be a gang leader himself and wanted to break away from the larger gang i n which Jimmy Murphy was the dominant figure. However, because he was not very big physically and because the sub-group which he commanded was composed of younger boys, Jackie was not able to succeed ent i re ly. Someone asked why Jimmy and Roy Murphy were not in the club. Jackie said, "We don't want those guys." Someone suggested that they should be given a fa i r t r i a l . If they did not behave, then they could be kicked out. A more practical individual wanted to know, "Whose going to kick them out? They're kind of b ig . " Jackie said hopefully, "We'l l a l l kick them out." With regard to this problem, the worker attempted to maintain a r i g i d l y neutral position although i t was realized that l i t t l e could be done u n t i l the whole gang was included in the experiment. Meanwhile there were definite advantages in this being a gradual process so that the worker could at least have a firm bond established with a nucleus before being swamped by a mob of rowdy strangers. In trying to meet the various needs of the club members the lack of community resources was painfully apparent. It was impossible to find a gym in the neighbourhood available at a time when these boys, many of whom were working, could make use of i t . The general employment picture for juveniles was part icular ly black and i t was not possible to make a single referral that would result in a boy finding a job. Case work resources were also found to be l imited for this 39 type of boy. , The following excerpts from an interview with the working mother of one of the boys w i l l serve to i l l u s -trate this d i f f i c u l t y : Mrs. Hunter arrived promptly at 8 P.M... .She said that she real ly wanted to know how Kerry-got along with other children. W;-replied that he seemed to be accepted by the X club but he was not sure whether this was because of Don Sawyer. Mrs. H. said that Kerry had already lost the friendship of three nice boys because of Don. She stated that she had been to the B. agency for help in placing Kerry in a boarding school but this could not be arranged for some time. W. pointed out that i t was hard to place a ch i ld in a boarding school in the middle of the school year. Also, Kerry was at an awkward age for placement in a boarding school. He asked i f she had considered some form of social assistance so that she could stay home and look after her children. She smiled and said that the B. agency had talked of that too, but she fe l t that i t would not pay her to do so. In a couple of years Kerry would be working and possibly moving away, leaving her with less than a minimum under present r e l i e f rates to l i v e on and raise Mary (younger s i s te r ) . . . .W. asked about the poss ib i l i ty of foster home placement for Kerry. Of course this would be d i f f i c u l t because of his age. She again smiled and said that the B. agency had said the same thing. She thought that i f she could move over nearer to her work she could get home ear l ier and be with her children. W. supported her on this idea. She mentioned that the Family Court seemed very slow about getting money from her hus-band. W. remarked that this was one of the most d i f f i c u l t things to do, especially i f the man does not work steadily. She said that this was exactly the trouble, and went on to talk about her husband's f a u l t s . . . It should be mentioned that careful clearance with the agency in question had been effected prior to the interview. It is also interesting to note that when this family did move out of the area, Kerry immediately formed an association with a delinquent gang in the new area and the problem remained unchanged. It was soon disclosed that almost a l l of the boys 40 displayed either antagonism or complete contempt toward their fathers, and exhibited a certain cloying sentimentalism about their mothers. This is not surprising since in most cases the fathers had been weak and inadequate. Many deserted their family responsibi l i t ies and were poor providers. In contrast, the mothers stayed with the children, attempted to find extra work, and generally kept the home together. Thus the mother formed the only strong attachment In the l ives of these boys. But because the mothers believed that they had been badly used by their husbands, they often succeeded in poisoning their children's minds against a l l men, and indirect ly against a l l authority. This deep-rooted antagonism toward authority could only be overcome in the i n i t i a l stages of the experiment by avoiding in every way possible an authoritarian role . It was noticeable that the boys found It easier to talk in a friendly vein to the women staff members than they did to the men on the staff . It was also discovered that the boys were not in the main too anxious to permit the worker to have too much to do with their parents. W., mentioned that he was hoping to go around personally to v i s i t their parents and to invite them to the Christmas party. He hoped that he would be able to do this before Friday. Jackie said defini tely and c r i sp ly , "We' l l invite them." There were murmurs of agreement. W. asked what the rest of the group f e l t . The opinion was unanimous on this point so W. dropped the matter. Considering their home situations, their own feelings of rejec-t ion , and their attitude of rebel l ion against their parents, such a reaction is not surprising. Naturally they would be 41 rather afraid that the worker and their parents might work together against their interests. One of the most d i f f i c u l t problems which presented i t s e l f in bringing this group into the Centre was the mutual d i s l ike - « between the gang and the rest of the teen-age membership In the Centre. This expressed i t s e l f in many ways and had to be handled very carefully. On their very f i r s t meeting night the gang became involved in a fight with some of the boys of the Centre over a g i r l : The Director informed W. that-four members of the gang had beaten up W.S. His father phoned the police and the incident went down on the police blot ter . The next morning a reporter called and the Director had spent most of the day trying to keep the incident out of the papers...W. called upon Jackie. He told him that there had been considerable "fuss and feathers" about the fight Monday night and he would l i k e to know the real story. Jackie said that the fight was with a guy who had beat up one of the younger kids in the gang last winter.. .W. mentioned that- someone had said that there were four against one. Jackie said that this was not true. W. asked how the g i r l ' s wrist had been slashed. This was reported to have been done by Don Sawyer. Jackie disclaimed any knowledge of i t . W. said that in view of the fight i t would be better i f Jackie did not turn out for soccer for a few weeks. He pointed out that i f they wished to be accepted by the other kids in the Centre, i t was not a good idea to get into f ights . Several weeks later another incident of a similar nature occurred, but by this time the boys seemed to have reached some understanding that this type of thing was harmful to the club's reputation. The boy whom they blamed for the fight (Jack Irving) was expelled from the club. Of course there were other reasons for this boy's exclusion, but the fight incident was certainly a factor. In any case there were no more fights between the gang and the Centre teen-agers 42 from then on. On the other hand the attendance of Centre teen-age boys at the teen dances dwindled noticeably. It should be noted that a l l the blame could not be placed upon the gang. The Centre teen-agers were also actively antagonistic. The gang lef t a l i t t l e early and W. noticed a number of Centre boys preparing to follow them. W. followed this la t ter group u n t i l i t was about to cross H. Street. Then he stopped them and asked them where they were going. A number of innocent destinations tumbled put. W. suggested firmly that they go home to bed. After some hesitation they went back. W. waited for a few minutes to make sure. At one point W. overheard one of the boys, who seemed to be the tinder spark, t e l l i n g the group not to be "scared of them guys". Gradually the Centre teen-agers began to accept the right of the gang to come to the agency and f i n a l l y invited the club (with no staff influence) to send a delegate to the Teen Dance Committee. At the same time the worker used every opportunity to stimulate the members of X club to be more presentable. Someone "kidded" l i t t l e Jimmy McKenzie about his long hair , which is red and very unkempt. W. suggested that they get a Tonl home permanent. Jackie thought they should put a pot on Jimmy's head. Jimmy took a l l this ribbing good-naturedly, and promised to get his hair cut. W. said that he thought some of the boys real ly looked very "sharp" last Friday at the dance. They would have to watch this or they would have to bar the doors to keep the g i r l s away. This remark seemed to please them considerably, especially Ken.. .(A week later).. .Jimmy proudly showed W. his "tr im", a haircut that looked as i f a lawnmower had been used instead of cl ippers. Ken Robinson had bought a bfand new wine t ie which looked rather odd on a jet black sh i r t . Tommy Torrence was busy explaining to him how to t i e i t . Without heavy-handed moralizing, attempts were made to encourage "fair play" in games. 43 W. said that he hoped they were going to play a good, clean game, and not jump on a fellow's face without asking his permission f i r s t . This outlandish remark had the effect of gaining their attention, and they began to ask questions about checking etc. W. ex-plained the rules to best of his a b i l i t y and expressed the hope that everyone would have a lot of fun without getting "sore". They promised to be perfect gentlemen. The H. Club argued that the X Club had the best s t icks , and the gang good-naturedly exchanged s t icks . The game was played roughly but f a i r l y . The boys themselves seemed to be aware that they were "on t r i a l " , and often consciously t r ied to improve their behaviour. W. asked the boys what they thought of the dance on Friday. They were loud in their approval. Jackie stuck out his chest and said, "What did you think of us?" W. answered that he thought they should have a medal cast in their honour. "We didn't make no trouble," said Jackie proudly. W. agreed. He said that there was one thing that they might watch though. That was their habit of standing in a so l id bunch on the dance f loor . It made them appear set apart from the rest of the crowd. Jackie agreed and said that they would try to watch that in the future. W. said that they did not have to make an issue of i t , but i f they wanted to become accepted they should try to look as though they belonged here. An important technique in trying to solve this mutual d i s l ike on the part of the gang and the Centre teen-agers was a policy of careful clearance and frequent discussion among staff members. Even the smallest details of procedure had to be talked over carefully and interpreted fu l ly to other staff members. In this way the leaders of friendship groups were able to deal appropriately with a l l c r i t i c i sm and resentment which they encountered in their groups. 44 A conference was held with other Leaders of Boys' groups in the Centre. It was agreed that the main problem was that of the f r i c t i on between the gang and the Centre teen-agers. Mr. G. thought that the soccer team would now accept any X club boys who turned out for practice. W. agreed to pass this information along to Jackie. W. was informed that the club would be asked to send a delegate to the Teen-Dance Committee. Considerable c r i t i c i sm has been picked up:about the appearance of the gang, their tendency to stay in one group, etc. W. agreed to try to encourage them to dress better, cut their hair , and "mix" more. The way in which the presence of the gang adversely affected group work with other friendship clubs in the Centre is exem-p l i f i ed in the following excerpts from the process record of another staff member. W. then remarked that he had been talking to B i l l and John on the phone and they had said that they wouldn't be out. To this Jimmy added, "I don't think t h e y ' l l be out for quite a while." W. was surprised at this remark and asked, "Why not, Jimmy?" Jimmy repl ied, "Didn't you hear about last Friday night?" W. replied that he hadn't and Jimmy continued, "Some of the North End boys beat up B i l l and Johnny after the dance, and as a result they won't be coming around for a few weeks." Both Tom and B i l l discussed the incident quite freely. They said that this other group had been standing outside the door as they came out and that somebody (not of their party) had made some remark about the hats these North End boys were wearing. This la t te r group thought that i t was the H club boys and took after them The boys asked i f this gang was s t i l l coming to the Friday dances and W. said that they were, explaining that fifteen of them had formed themselves into the X club. In this way i t was hoped that they would gradually f i t into the Centre and not cause any more trouble as they had done in the past. W. also explained that this would take some l i t t l e time to work out, but that i t was very necessary in order that a satisfactory solution be reached for the problem that has been shadowing the Teen dance. The boys agreed that this would take quite some time. Possibly they have no real desire to come to the Centre in view of their t i f f with the X club boys. W. feels that the only poss ib i l i ty there is of getting B i l l , Frank, Tom and Jimmy and their crowd to re-form a club w i l l be away from the Centre set t ing. 45 Naturally i t would be fool ish to expect any major change in personality, attitudes, or behaviour after a br ief period of two months' contact. Sixteen or seventeen years of wrong habits are not wiped out in a month or two, especially i f the youngsters only frequent the agency two or three nights a week. However, the many small examples of improvement and the evident willingness of the gang to make adjustments i n i t s way of l i f e encouraged the continuance of the project into the new year. It was hoped that more intensive work might then be done and that the larger gang might be included. 46 CHAPTER IV THE SECOND PHASE - THE MURPHY GANG During November and December work with the Anderson faction was greatly hampered by the fact that four key members of the club were sent to the Boys' Industrial School for minor offences. This weakened the effectiveness of the whole group and made the planning of program d i f f i c u l t . It also posed the added problem for the worker of having to accept these, boys back into the club whenever they were discharged from the B . I . S . 1 In the interim they would have every opportunity to accumulate additional ant i -social habits and attitudes from the more serious delinquents in the ins t i tu t ion . On their return to the club they would be only too glad to pass on any newly acquired knowledge to the rest of the gang. In January the membership problem in the X club became further aggravated by a series of incidents very typical of the l i f e of these groups. In the f i r s t place, Jackie Ander-son, the leader of the sub-group, went to Vic tor ia to work and nobody knew when he would be back, i f indeed he was l i k e l y to return at a l l . In addition two boys from the larger gang (Jimmy and Roy Murphy) and one boy from the club (Tim Taylor) were placed on probation following petty thefts at an unsuper-vised house party which the gang had attended. Tim's father 1 The club refused to take the names of three of these boys off the r o l l , and looked upon them almost as honourary members. 47 thereupon imposed a nine o'clock curfew on the boy, which p made Tim's attendance at club, meetings impossible. Another boy (Kerry Hunter) moved from the neighbourhood. This can-celled him out as a member. Mother boy (Jimmy Jones) began working at nights. The effective club membership, therefore, was now down to eight, boys, too small a group to function adequately as a club without greater cohesion around a strong natural leader. Without Jackie the club was in grave danger of disintegrating unless Jimmy Murphy and the larger gang were to enter the picture. At the same time, i t was decided that, in view of the trouble which the larger gang had caused at the Centre Christ-mas party, the rule would be r i g i d l y enforced that only actual members of the X club would be allowed into the teen dances. This part icular ly affected Jimmy Murphy who had been sneaking into the teen dances as i f he were a member of the club. When Jimmy learned that only names on the l i s t of X club members would be allowed into the teen dances, he became quite concerned and almost lost his mask of politeness. He stated that he had told Tommy to put his name on the l i s t . The Director explained that Tommy could not do this without a club meeting where the other members of the club had their say. However, Jimmy repeated this state- . ment several times during the evening, l i k e a theme song. W. learned that Jimmy returned on Wednesday night and came close to being offensive. He vaguely ' threatened damage. At f i r s t Jimmy tr ied to wheedle his way into the teen dances without having to accept the responsibi l i ty of attending X club meetings. 2 It did not, however, break off his contact with the gang. 48 Jimmy Murphy and several of his friends spent the evening outside the door trying every argument and influence they could think of to enter the dance. Jimmy even attempted to bribe a staff member with a $2 b i l l . . . H e talked to Tommy several times at the door...Later Tommy asked the Director i f Jimmy Murphy could be allowed in but was informed that he would have to be voted in as a member of X club f i r s t . Tommy did not argue. Many of the g i r l s , especially those whose own status in the Centre was insecure, were angry over the exclusion of the North End gang,(as they called Jimmy and his friends). Because of Jimmy's attitude i t was decided that a s t r i c t membership policy for the club would have to be formulated so that individual members would not be subjected to "strong-arm" persuasion and threats. W. brought Tommy, Ken, Tim and Johnny into the office and carefully explained the policy of club members only at Centre functions. He strongly recommended that they work out some sort of system of voting in new members so that no one member could be "put on the spot". He mentioned that there was now a vacancy in the club membership of f if teen as Kerry had moved away. Tommy said that they wanted "fifteen real good guys" in the club, and then they would rea l ly have a "smooth organization". Tim asked to see the l i s t of names. On looking them over the boys agreed that Jack Irving should be "kicked out". "Let 's have the Murphy brothers instead of Kerry and Jack," said Tommy. The rest agreed, but W. insisted that the four bf them should not have the power to decide an important matter l i k e that. Ifcshould be brought up In a legal manner at their club meeting and decided by secret ba l lo t . Otherwise a lo t of tough guys would be putting pres-sure on individual members to have their names included on the l i s t . If i t was decided by secret ballot no one would know who voted for who, and no individual could be blamed. The boys agreed that this was the only fa i r way to do i t . At, the next meeting the question of new members was brought up but a definite decision was postponed because only four members attended. However, at the next meeting Jack Irving and Kerry Hunter were re l ig ious ly voted out of the club and 49 Jimmy and Roy Murphy voted i n . In the process Jimmy learned that strong-arm intimidation or other underhanded methods were ineffective against a democratic procedure properly enforced. This marked the beginning of the i n f i l t r a t i o n of the rest of the gang into the club, a movement which resulted in a series of changes in membership, organization and program. The new power within the club was immediately given recogni-t ion by the creation of a new executive office, that of program chairman. Roy Murphy was elected to this posit ion. It was now decided to commence a cautious policy of permitting the group to enlarge to include the troublesome element that made up the larger gang. Accordingly, the membership l imi ta t ion for the club of fifteen boys was widened to twenty. In the next few weeks the boys took advantage of this to vote in a number of new members, of whom a l l were Jimmy Murphy's friends. This was accomplished in spite of a sudden passive resistance on the part of Tommy Torrence who loya l ly supported the absent Jackie Anderson. W. informed the club that five more members could now be added. Jimmy Murphy immediately brought up the names of Tom Smith, B i l l y Johnson and Norm 'Spencer. Tommy fe l t that they should not vote on these un t i l there were more members out. He said that they should wait until) Jackie returned from V i c t o r i a . It wasn't very fa i r to bring in new members without Jackie's opinion as he had more or less started the club. Jimmy snorted, "That's too bad about Jackie." As a compromise W. suggested that as he was going out to BISCO the next day he could present these three names to the members out there and have their opinion. Jimmy was agreeable to th i s . . .Af te r they had gone out, Tommy stated that "we" would have to do something about the Murphy "steamroller". W. asked him what he would suggest. Tommy asked W. i f 50 he could get him some information on running a meeting and he would try to hold Jimmy t ight ly to the l ine on parliamentary procedure. W. agreed that this was a good idea and promised to do th i s . (Tommy was Acting President in the absence of the president and vice-president.) The shift in the balance of power became complete when a new election of officers was held late in January. This resulted in a complete victory for the larger gang under Jimmy Murphy over the Anderson faction. Not long after this two members, friends of Jackie Anderson, quit the club because they d is -l iked Jimmy Murphy. One subsequently returned when Jackie re-joined the club. The new executive consisted of B i l l y Johnson (President), W i l l i e Harylchuk (Vice President), Bob Simmons (Treasurer), Tommy Torrence (Secretary), and Roy Murphy (Program Chairman). It was rather a surprise to find that Jimmy Murphy was not placed in any executive office. However, this non-acceptance of o f f i c i a l responsibi l i ty by the natural leader may be some-thing of a pattern as the same phenomenon occurred in a comparable group with which June Wanden worked.;: On the other hand, B i l l Johnson showed considerable aptitude for the job of president. He was quite in te l l igen t , and seemed to be in many ways the best adjusted youngster emotionally in the whole group. In addition, he seemed to have had some experience in conducting meetings. The election of W i l l i e Harylchuck as vice-president was done as a joke because he is a very small boy and possesses an extremely low 3 Wanden, June, Working with the Delinquent, MSW Thesis, Vancouver, University of B . C . , 194-7. 51 intel l igence. The offices of secretary and program chairman remained unchanged. The discussion involved in the election of the treasurer revealed a new and interesting facet of the gang's collective character. Jimmy Murphy, Bob Simmons and Rob Burns were nominated to be treasurer but Jimmy withdrew. The two boys then lef t the room. Discussion followed on who would be most suitable. Someone remarked that they should not elect Bob Simmons because he was an "ex-con." Roy said, "Who i sn ' t ?" amid general laughter. Jimmy stated that this was just the point. If they elected Bob Simmons i t would show to him that they trusted him and had confidence in him. This decided the Issue and Bob Simmons was elected. One of the f i r s t actions of the "new order" in the club was the appointment of a committee which drew up stringent rules and regulations for the members. Each of the following rules was duly voted on and adopted by the club: 1. Stags w i l l be charged 25 cents each and couples 35 cents at club parties. 2 . No consuming of liquor on the premises. 3 . Anyone who f a i l s to give a good reason to the secretary why he was,unable to attend a meeting or dance w i l l be fined 25 cents. 4. No wearing of "hobes" (old clothes) at 'club parties. (Needless to say, the boys are having d i f f i cu l ty enforcing Rule #3 . ) Because Rule #3 requires the careful checking of attendance, the secretary dut i fu l ly ca l l s the r o l l at each 4 meeting. 4 This boy, Tommy Torrence, also fa i th fu l ly writes minutes for each meeting and reads them out. It should be pointed out that these "minutes" bear l i t t l e resemblance to what actually happens in the meetings but represents Tommy's own conception of the conduct of business. The "minutes" are veritable masterpieces of quaint spel l ing and peculiar English constructions. However, he gains considerable prestige and a sense of importance in performing his duties as secretary. 52 The club program in the New Year also changed rad ica l ly . Except for one or two boys who had been members before Christ-mas, no one exhibited any interest in any form of team games or competitive sports. The boys showed complete disinterest in a weekend camping expedition to Camp H. A good reason for this was that several of them were doing "shift" work which prevented them from getting away. This fact also stops them from playing soccer, baseball, etc. as these games usually take place during their working hours. The f i r s t program interest (a suggestion of the worker) was a ro l l e r skating party, but this turned out to be a dismal fa i lure . The boys then wanted to hold a dancing party: The new members were then invited in and sat down. There was an awkward pause in which everyone just sat there. The new members watched W. closely most of the time. F i n a l l y , W. suggested that they had better discuss what they wanted to do in the club. Immediately Roy spoke up: "We thought we would l i k e to have a party." Jimmy Murphy then took over. He said that he wanted to have a dance a week Saturday so that he could come to i t . W. said that there was no objection to a party provided that i t was clearly understood that i t would include club members and g i r l friends only. Jimmy said that this was f ine. Tommy ( s t i l l Acting-President) said that there wasn't rea l ly time to plan such a party so quickly. Jimmy cried, "I want a dance a week Saturday. Do you want one Tom? Do you Bob? Do you? etc. O.K. I t ' s decided. We have a dance." B i l l y Johnson remarked dryly that this was some way to conduct a meeting. The whole thing had been decided and no one had even made a motion. Tom Smith said that this was the Murphy procedure. Jimmy grinned and said, "O.K. I move we have a party, and I second i t and third i t too. A l l in favour?"....Roy asked how late they could have the dance. W. said f l a t l y 11 o'clock in spite of groans from Jimmy. W. suggested that they had better take a real vote on the idea before going any further. If they voted in favour of i t , then he would see i f a room was available for that night. Tommy seemed to come awake at this point and asked in a bored voice, " A l l in favour of a party here a week Saturday?" A l l were in favour. 53 Although a committee was formed to plan this party, l i t t l e was done and attendance was poor. However, the members who turned out seemed to have a good time. Two weeks later another party was held which was well planned and well attended under the threat of Rule #3. Roy Murphy and Art Masters came down three hours before the beginning of the dance to decorate with comic posters and to construct a miniature " j a i l 1 1 . This la t ter was part of a dance "ice-breaker" introduced by Roy which proved very successful with the group. Three "policemen" (complete with badges) were empowered to place anyone in j a i l who sat out more than one dance. The offender then had to pay a fine of f ive cents or to remain in j a i l un t i l the next record was played. As everyone received a chance to be policemen, this game was played with great h i l a r i t y and surprising good nature. One boy was allowed out of j a i l on "probation" as he had no money. The worker was informed that he had the choice of paying the fine or receiving ten minutes to leave town. He paid the f ine. A large sign over the ja. i l announced ominously, " I f you don't dance, 'you take a chance." It is not thought that any other type of "ice-breaker" would have "gone over" with this group. It so happened that, as this " j a i l " idea was connected with their day-to-day fantasies about the police, i t caught their fancy and e l i c i t ed their co-operation. For several weeks the boys repeatedly brought up the idea of doing weight- l i f t ing and other body-building a c t i v i -t i e s . At f i r s t the worker had doubts about the v a l i d i t y of this expressed interest, but once he fe l t assured of Jimmy 54 Murphy's wholehearted co-operation, an instructor and equip-ment was obtained through the generous co-operation of the Provincial Recreation office. W. said that because Jimmy "swung a lot of weight" in the club, he thought that he would get his reaction. He asked Jimmy how serious he was about this weight-l i f t i n g idea. Jimmy said that as far as he was con-cerned he was very anxious to build himself up, and that the club meant a great deal to him...Roy chimed in that he had done weight l i f t i n g a l i t t l e at G. Centre, but there was always such a lot of boys that you did not get much of a chance. Jimmy said that you did not feel l i k e trying things l i k e weight-l i f t i n g in front of strangers. He said, "You get the weights and w e ' l l do the rest ." This precipitated an argument between Jimmy and Roy about the desira-b i l i t y of having an instructor. Roy f i n a l l y won the argument and Jimmy gave his grudging support to an instructor. He seemed to be afraid that an instructor would take i t a l l too seriously l i k e a school teacher. In connection with their weight- l i f t ing the boys had great ambitions to acquire black shirts and club crests, to be obtained with the profits from their parties. Out of three parties the club accumulated about $12.00. The enlarging of this fund is now one of their main objectives. When they are able to secure their black shirts they hope to put on weight-l i f t i n g and tumbling exhibitions around the neighbourhood. At present they have tentative plans to put on a weight- l i f t ing exhibition as part of a Centre "Gay Nineties' Review" to be presented in a month's time. Meanwhile they have shown a f a i r l y consistent interest in weight- l i f t ing and have cooperated well with the instructor. On their third party an incident occurred which precipi-tated a dramatic change of attitude on the part of the whole group. One of the staff members found that $5.00 was missing from her purse. When the boys were told of th i s , there were 55 instantaneous reactions of anger^and consternation which culminated in a spontaneous group decision to give the staff member $5 from their precious club funds. When It was sug-gested that such action be held over un t i l their next club meeting, the boys insisted that the $5 be given right then and there so that she would not be "short" of funds because of the incident. In one dramatic moment the whole group changed from a col lec t ive attitude of admiration for anyone who could succeed at theft to that of a revulsion of feeling against the very idea. The individual boy or g i r l who took the money must have been painfully aware of this strong group feel ing. This sort of thing could not have occurred in case work interviews. It Is a therapeutic situation peculiar to groups. At the very next meeting of the club a new desire was manifested by the group to " f ix up" a room in the Centre in which the club members and g i r l friends could relax every Saturday night. An admission fee would be charged and the proceeds used to buy pictures, cushions etc. and to purchase, equipment such as a high bar for the gym. This marked a movement in attitude away from a program l i k e weight- l i f t ing , which is narc iss is t ic and self-centred in intent, to a program which includes the idea of service and constructive efforts to create a comfortable home-like atmosphere. Undoubtedly the new program interest is connected unconsciomsly with their extreme guil t feelings about the $5. Because of the influx of new members in the club after Christmas, the worker again had to submit to a testing process 56 and to considerable h o s t i l i t y of a generalized nature. How-ever the fact that he had already gained a l imited acceptance from some of the boys made this process shorter in duration. Quite probably his personality had come under discussion among the gang and the attitude of the or iginal members of the club would influence the rest. Various minor incidents indicated a growing acceptance of the worker as someone who did not f i t the gang's stereo-type of adults. Instead of adopting a sullen mask of pol i te-ness when he approached, individual boys would smile in greeting. The gang showed some sl ight indication of a desire to please and a growing concern for the worker's rights and needs. These small overtures, of course, must be seen in re la -t ion to the extreme narcissism and disregard of other people that is characteristic of gang boys. W. gave Tommy a l i s t of rules on conducting meetings and went over them carefully. When Tommy received them he carried out quite an exhibit ion, throwing his arms around W.'s neck and t e l l i n g him he was a l i fe-saver . Although he did this in an exaggerated manner as a joke, this represents the f i r s t time that he has taken a different attitude toward W. than he would toward a teacher or authority person. He remarked that Charlie told him that he thought W. was "a real ly swell guy" $ 0 come a l l the way out there (BIS) to see him. W. thanked him for this compliment and said that he would try to get out to see the boys again sometime. At a later date, an incident occurred which indicated a considerable improvement in the general attitude of some of the boys. 57 Roy said that Mr. H. was "mad at you guys for going away l i k e that." Jimmy apologized to W. but said that they had had to g o . . . A l l cooperated in putting the equipment away after only a casual suggestion from W. While the boys were drinking their coke they began to discuss when they would build their " j a i l " . Roy and Jimmy agreed to do the work. They asked W. i f they could come down on Saturday afternoon. W. pointed out that the Centre was closed on Saturday afternoon. Jimmy Murphy, who had been watching W. closely, suddenly said, "Ah, can't we le t the poor guy have one afternoon off a week. I l i k e not to work on Saturday afternoon too." It was f i n a l l y agreed that they would come down at 6:00 and do the work. W. asked the boys to carry their coke bottles back to the kitchen which they did good-naturedly. (This had never been done before.) Jimmy suddenly announced that from now on they would c a l l W. "Ham." This seemed to be a unanimous decision. While W. was putting on his coat the boys collected in the hallway and remained there. They said that they had to wait for B i l l y Johnson to come back with Tom Smith's car. W. told them that he had to go out for a few minutes and i t might not look good for them to be standing in the hallway with the big meeting going on upstairs. Jimmy said that on their word of honour they would stay right there and not bother anyone un t i l B i l l y arrived. W. could not think of a good reason why they should go outside without implying that he did not trust them. Consequently he accepted Jimmy's pledge and l e f t . When he returned the boys were s t i l l there, but had moved into the office where Tom was talking to B i l l y on the phone...This time the boys went outside saying that they had to walk as B i l l y had "got the car s tuck. n The boys' concern for the worker's holidays and their choice of a nickname would seem to Indicate a new conception of the worker as a human being almost l i k e themselves. At present this relationship appears to be a purely personal one with the worker, and the next task must be to transfer this positive attitude toward him over to society and adults In general. This attitude must also be used as a basis for making a series of graduating demands upon individual boys. These demands must be geared to what can be l og i ca l l y expected from the individual in re la t ion to his background and his present stage of development, and must disregard arbitrary-standards. How successful this could be while the poor en-vironment remains re la t ive ly constant, is an unsettled point on which the whole va l id i ty of the group work approach with delinquent gangs might hinge. Perhaps i t is only possible from within an ins t i tu t ional setting. There are some small indications as well of improving relationships between the gang and the Centre, and between the gang and the Centre teen-agers. The; gang has caused no more trouble around the agency than other children. Since the New Year no fights have been reported between the gang and Centre teen-agers although the gang is carrying on a bi t ter war with the 25th & Main gang. One individual from the gang, sent as delegate to the Teen Dance Committee, has played a very active part in i n i t i a t i n g new ideas for program at the dances. At present he is the Program Chairman of the Centre Teen dance. Tommy received considerable praise from the staff and Teen-agers generally for his idea of a "screen dance" where one danced at the same time that the orchestra was flashed on the screen. Another factor that is promoting better relations between the gang and the Centre teen-agers is the boys' growing interest in clothes. Most of the club were at the Teen dance and mixed quite amicably with the crowd. Jimmy Murphy arrived with a new pair of "strides" which he claimed cost him $ 2 1 . . . Roy appeared a l l dressed up in his eldest brother's sui t , topcoat and hat. He was very proud of his appearance and kept the top coat on for the f i r s t part of the evening. Most of the gang spoke admiringly of his clothes. One or two of the g i r l s also praised him about his appearance. 59 At their last party the boys insisted on everyone being dressed up, and sent one boy home to change his clothes. Several of the boys have also acquired more or less "steady" g i r l friends among the Centre teen-age g i r l s . This gives them a good reason for cul t ivat ing good relationships with the Centre boys and g i r l s . On the negative side there is s t i l l considerable fear of the gang on the part of the Centre teen-agers and few boys attend the Teen dances. The boy who had received the beating in December was very much afraid of the boys outside the door. He kept his coat on and his hand shook as he worked on a jig-saw puzzle. F i n a l l y , he le f t early, via ' the back door. The boys reveal an interesting behaviour pattern i n their relations with the g i r l friends they bring to their parties. In the f i r s t place they are not very sure of them-selves as " lady-k i l l e r s" although they manage to put up a brave front. Most of them fel t quite a sense of achievement in being able to bring a g i r l to the parties at a l l . As a result partly of the parties, Jimmy Murphy, Roy Murphy, and Art Masters have developed a "steady crush" on three young ladies . Unt i l this time the worker had not noticed them singling out any particular g i r l at Teen dances. Jimmy Murphy whispered in W.'s ear that he had got his job back...He asked W. not to t e l l anyone about his quitting because he did not want Rosie, his g i r l -friend, to know anything about i t . 5 5 Boli tho, "The Psychosis of the Gang", Survey. 1 9 3 0 : 3 : p. 506 . "The gang-boy, when he f a l l s in love, is' coerced to work, to quit his friends, and to set out soberly to get some of those shining things behind the plate glass for his wife and children." 60 At their parties couples engaged in "heavy necking" in dim corners of the room and embraced passionately to the accom-paniment of dreamy dance music. However, the gang seemed to have i t s own standards and techniques of social control. Ridicule and even more violent methods were used. If a couple "necked" in a corner for too long someone would go over and push the offender on the f loor . After a number of dreamy numbers the boys would suddenly play some very wild " j ive" music. This broke up quite effectively any prolonged cheek-to-cheek dancing. Once, when Tom Smith appeared from an obscure corner, his face covered with l i p s t i c k , the boys jeered at him saying, "Get back to your smudgepoti"... Although there was considerable heavy necking W. noticed that i t never reached a very dangerous stage. It must be remembered that the crowded homes of these young-sters are not part icular ly suited to experimental "petting" parties and the use of the Centre for this purpose would seem more preferable than parked cars or more dubious rendezvous. At the same time, the worker suspects that more i l l i c i t sexual experimentation is being undertaken by members of the gang in places other than the Centre. The boys are not averse to using extremely f i l t h y language in front of their g i r l friends or to adults. After the dance the boys and g i r l s went up to the K Coffee Shop. Tom Smith entertained the group by some mimicry that involved changing his voice and adopting different accents. Unfortunately his language became very obscene with frequent references of a sexual nature. The group, including the g i r l s , obviously enjoyed i t , but W. fe l t uncomfortable as there were other adults in the place. One or two boys in the gang showed symptoms of somewhat extreme emotional disturbance. For example, one boy put on an emotional exhibition on one occasion which can only be 61 described as a "tantrum", a mode of behaviour usually asso-ciated with very young children. Frank Meyers, who has so far avoided W. l i k e the plague, exhibited rather peculiar behaviour at the Teen dance. The gang were standing in their usual sol id group on the dance floor with W. leaning against a wall near them. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, Frank went white with rage and threw his half-f i l l e d coke bottle violent ly on the f loor . W. quickly picked i t up and thrust i t back into Frank's hands, saying quietly, "You'd better take your empty bottle back to the coke bar." (Now this is something that very few of the Centre Teen-agers bother to do.) However, Frank walked s t i f f l y out of the room.with-out a word and took the coke bottle to the coke bar. He returned and began to argue furiously with B i l l y Johnson. W. was forced to step between them f i n a l l y to t e l l them firmly that we wanted no fighting here. "O.K." said B i l l y , "We'l l go outside." W. had to lock the door to prevent the rest of the gang follow-ing them out. After arguing for a few minutes on the street corner, they both smoked a cigarette and came back i n , apparently the best of friends. W. asked B i l l y what i t was a l l about. B i l l y laughed and said that Frank was just "up in the a i r " . Actually, he l ived with B i l l y and could not afford to be l i k e that. The gang also exhibited typical gang mores which contact with the agency has not so far softened. Jimmy said that Danny Demers could be a wonderful boxer but he had done so much "street fighting" that he had got the two mixed up and would kick somebody when he was supposed to be boxing. Jimmy asked W. i f he had done any street f ight ing. W. admitted that this was not one of his main areas of s k i l l . They talked about what you could do in street fighting that you could not do In boxing. They seemed to feel that street fighting was a definite physical s k i l l with rules and degrees of excellence l i k e any other sport such as boxing or wrestling. Although the gang has not fought with any of the Centre teen-agers since Christmas, battles with other r i v a l gangs have, i f anything, increased rather than diminished. This may be a sort of compensation for having to l i v e "by the rules" 62 around the Centre. Tommy then went on to give a rambling account of last weekend's a c t i v i t i e s . He claimed that a couple of weeks ago a few of the boys had been over to the East End and met the gang from over there. They were cornered in an al ley and outnumbered. Because of this the East End boys generously allowed them to go and told them to bring their whole gang over the next Saturday and have a real f ight . They had gone back but had found only one boy whom they beat up. Now Tommy feared that the East End gang might seek revenge and come over to their ' neighbourhood some weekend. Tom Jones suddenly announced that i t was time to go and most of the gang f i l e d out. Jimmy said that they would be back by 8:30. Tommy, Roy and Art were lef t behind. After one or two leading questions Roy told W. the story i f he promised not to le t on that he knew anything. According to Roy, the boys were going to fight another gang and w u l d be back soon. He was not going because he was on probation. W. pointed out that Jimmy was on probation too. Roy answered that Jimmy was just going along for moral support and was not going to f ight . Roy said that several weeks ago they had got into trouble with the 18th & Cambie gang. This had been settled at a Teen dance by Jimmy Murphy beating up one of their gang. Now the two gangs were friends. The logic of a l l this escaped W. but he pointed out that fighting was a very dangerous prac-t ice for anyone on probation. Roy said that Jimmy could not get out of i t . He had not wanted to f ight . However, after Jimmy had defeated his opponent Roy "sure fe l t swell , having everyone move out of your way when you went near them. We sure had those guys scared." He indicated that the two gangs were on good terms and the fight tonight was with another gang. W. decided that i t would be indiscreet to ask any more questions. Not a l l of these gang patterns are undesirable. The boys also help each other in a number of ways. Clothing and shoes are freely loaned to other members. One boy who was ejected 6 F r i t z Redl describes this social mechanism as a "displacement" escape. See - Redl, F . , "Resistance in Therapy Groups", Human Relations, Vo l . 1, No. 3, 1948. 63 from his own home is now l i v i n g with another boy in the gang. When a boy finds a job he attempts to assist any of the other unemployed gang members to find work at the same place. If he leaves a job he t r ies to help another member of the gang to move into his position. For example, Jimmy Murphy found a job. A few weeks later he helped Roy to get a job at the same place. Roy in turn lef t the job which he had formerly held to Frank Meyers. When a boy is out of work the others lend him money and "treat" him to meals. Frank Meyers, who has been out of work for three months, how owes B i l l y Johnson eighty dol lars . It is suspected that a good deal of the motivation for weight- l i f t ing l i e s in the hope that i t w i l l make them stronger physically, and therefore better f ighters. Possibly the agency is merely helping the gang to become a more efficient fighting machine. On the other hand the gang is gaining some experience in democracy and democratic planning. It is to be hoped that the boys see constructive values i n the democratic technique and w i l l continue to use i t . They were able to see the usefulness of a secret ballot as a protection for the weak majority against the strong minority. Even the omnipotent Jimmy Murphy was forced to submit to this procedure. At present the boys take a vote on.new members as a matter of course. In fact no important decision is undertaken without a majority vote although the formal rules of making motions etc. are often ignored. A l l club rules and major program 64 plans must have majority approval. When a boy broke a window, he was sent out of the room while the club voted on whether he or the club should pay for i t . The worker takes l i t t l e part in club meetings except to answer questions or offer compromises. When new members enter the meetings they invariably cause a disturbance, expecting reprimands from the worker. When this Is not forthcoming they usually settle down of their own accord in the face of group disapproval and r i d i cu l e . (One boy, W i l l i e Craig, has kept up his attempts to annoy the worker for three meetings now, but this is unusual.) At f i r s t some of.the boys looked hopefully to the worker for his assistance in curbing unruly members, but they now attempt to solve their own disc ip l ine problems in their meetings. Of course, there is undoubtedly some behind-the-scenes pressure by the natural leaders of the group. I f Jimmy Murphy is in favour of any plan, i t is usually carried out. When Jimmy arrives at a meeting, a good turn-out of members is pract ical ly guaranteed. Jimmy holds tremendous power In the gang, not only because he is the strongest physically, but because he is a dynamic " l ive-wire" . At the same time i t is very d i f f i c u l t to persuade him to accept any direct responsibi l i ty . W. suggested that Jimmy bring the donuts as he had not undertaken any job as yet. Jimmy seemed rather surprised but grudgingly agreed to do th i s . (He did not bring them however.) Their need to raise money and experience a successful program has made them keenly aware of the detrimental effects 65 on these objectives of their own socially-unacceptable be-haviour. It is to be hoped that this awareness may influence them toward more socia l ly desirable behaviour at entertain-ments in which they participate that have been planned by others. Roy Murphy said in a very serious manner, "And every-body has got to promise not to le t anyone i n the back door, eh, you guys. We have to make a profit somehow and w e ' l l never do i t that way." W. agreed that such ac t iv i ty would only hurt their own club. When Jimmy arrived he took over the position of door-keeper and was very ef f ic ient . Later, when about half a dozen members arrived without g i r l friends, he refused indignantly to le t them i n , ca l l ing them cheap skates etc. They went away meekly. (If a staff member had ever spoken to them in that manner a large rock through the window would have been the immediate answer.)...The boys were very careful to keep the door locked a l l evening and held the l ine r i g id ly on unauthorized persons. Several incidents at the dance annoyed the boys: (1) Someone broke a window. Roy told W. about this and stated that they knew who did i t . If he did . not pay for i t on Monday they would "kick him out" of the club. It wasn't fa i r for the club to pay , for damages done by one boy. W. agreed. (2) One record was missing. "How do you l i k e that?" said Roy, "Our own friends, and look what they do to us. We ' l l never raise our shir t money this way." EVALUATION SUMMARY In evaluating the three and a half months of group work with this gang, i t should be noted that the boys are neither as old chronologically nor as r i g i d in their behaviour pat-terns as the gang with which June Wanden worked. Only half of them are Juvenile Court contacts. They are only beginning to become involved in heterosexual relationships. Although the idea of having g i r l s in the club has been discussed, 66 there has. been sufficient opposition to block such a development as yet. Also in contrast to Mrs. Wanden's experiment, there have been some definite l imitat ions placed upon membership which have made this club a controlled si tua-t ion to some extent. Any evaluation of group work should place emphasis upon qual i ta t ive, rather than quantitative, factors. Of course, some of the boys learned specific s k i l l s such as dancing and weight- l i f t ing. "Outlets1 1 were provided for their "excess energies", and at least for a few hours several nights each week, the gang was inside a building and not on the stfeet. There was also a noticeable improvement in dress and appear-ance. But such superficial factors have significance only in relat ion to deeper psychological issues involving better social relationships, emotional security, and emotional growth. GROWTH OF ACCEPTANCE AND SECURITY At a l l times the staff and agency have shown a consistent interest and concern about the welfare and problems of the boys. V i s i t s were made to the Detention Home, to the Juvenile Court, and to the Boys' Industrial School. Home v i s i t s were also attempted whenever i t was fe l t that such a v i s i t would be welcomed by the boys. Every effort was made to relieve as much as possible their feeling of being completely alone, facing a hosti le world. At f i r s t , an absolute minimum of 7 demands were made upon the group. Praise and censure were 7 These demands are now being increased both in number and in intensity and i t remains to be seen how they w i l l respond to this new state of af fa i rs . 67 levied in terms of a f lex ib le standard which an analysis of the boys' backgrounds would show to be attainable by them. In return the gang made a positive effort (for them) to become accepted as respectable members of the Centre. Their real izat ion of the advantages to be gained from soc ia l ly acceptable behaviour led to an Improvement in attitude toward agency staff and other Centre teen-agers. No fights occurred between members of the gang and Centre boys since Christmas. The boys showed a desire to dres.s better and to mix more readily with other children in the agency. One member of the X club in particular took an active part in the Teen Dance Committee. As each member of the gang began to come regularly to club meetings i t was interesting to observe "the chip" gradually f a l l i n g from his shoulder. From an attitude of sullen antagonism toward a l l adults, most of the boys achieved over a period of time a basis of friendly re la-tions with Centre staff members. They no longer sneaked in fur t ively to dances expecting to be ejected at any moment. One or two of the boys admitted having broken certain agency equipment and showed a willingness to make amends. A good measuring s t ick of a group's feeling of security and acceptance is found in the roles which i t w i l l allow the group worker to assume. At f i r s t the boys in X club saw the worker as another authority person which they must placate only as far as was necessary to gain their ends. Then he became a resource person who could help them in obtaining equipment, etc. Soon he was allowed to play the role of 68 father confessor as far as their delinquences were concerned. However, i t was not un t i l several months ago that the worker came to be regarded as a friend upon whom they could bestow a nickname. At present, he is permitted to talk over employ-ment and delinquency problems with them but they shy away from discussions on sex, morals or emotionally-charged family relationships. It is of course recognized that other roles for the worker can only be developed as the growing security of the group make i t ready to accept him in such roles. EMOTIONAL GROWTH Through their various experiences in democratic planning and participation the boys became more confident of their a b i l i t i e s to meet their own needs. In having to succeed or f a i l on their own i n i t i a t i v e and determination, they became aware that a satisfying social experience is not a simple thing handed to them by adults on a "s i lver platter". "Having a good time" required consistent work and responsi-b i l i t y on their part, a responsibi l i ty which could not he shifted onto an adult who would run their program for them. In such a si tuation their ant i -social and destructive habits hurt only their own plans, and had therefore to be curbed. Most of the members of the gang have moved toward a more mature sexual relationship involving "special" g i r l friends whom they cannot treat too harshly without the danger of losing them. Not long ago g i r l s were s i l l y creatures which the boys could take or leave without many qualms. Now the boys are w i l l i n g to go a long way to please the opposite sex 6 9 and win i t s approval. In the democratic processes of the X club many of the members of the gang achieved a new status which was denied them at other times. The "spark" type of leadership which Jimmy Murphy provided was superceded by more thoughtful plan-ning and organization undertaken by steadier and more re l iable individuals. THE GROUP IDEAL The col lect ive standards of acceptable conduct underwent considerable revis ion. It is not now considered ethical to steal from staff members. Fighting with Centre teen-agers is frowned upon. Deliberate breakage from vindictiveness rather than as the incidental result of "horse-play" is not usually practised. There is some concern for the "reputation" of the club and the boys do not wish their delinquencies mentioned around the Centre. FUTURE PLANS Group work contact should not end with this group at this point. These boys need plenty of information about sex, about getting along with people, and about where they may go for aid with specific problems. They need to be helped to develop steadier behaviour in place of their present erratic patterns. Gradually they need to increase their a b i l i t y to "follow through" on plans which they make. They need to stay with their jobs, and to face their problems instead of running away from them. But a l l this requires an extended period of 70 intensive contacts. Insight and demands cannot be pushed ahead of the hoys' emotional development and the decree of acceptance of the worker. The most promising and most natural place for a l l this to occur is in the social interaction within their own friendship group. However, group work techniques alone, in a specific agency, cannot begin to solve the problem of reestablishing these boys as useful ci t izens in a democracy. It is a job that requires the mobilization of a l l the present resources of our community in a coordinated manner, and the creation of a great variety of new resources. In this way referral for help might become a simple yet profitable experience for such boys. 71 CHAPTER V THE INDIVIDUALS Although two chapters have been devoted primarily to the group process, the strengthening of the group in i t s e l f was not of course the primary objective of the worker. The group is important only as i t f u l f i l s two important functions. It may act as a milieu in which certain needs of the individuals may be met; or i t may serve as a medium through which other social and emotional problems may be diagnosed for purposes of re fer ra l . For these reasons a few representative individual cases have been selected to i l lus t ra te four general areas: ( 1 ) i n -dividual backgrounds;1 ( 2 ) individual behaviour i n the group setting; ( 3 ) individual growth within the group setting; and (4) individual problems indicated. INDIVIDUAL BACKGROUNDS NAME: Johnny Coten. AGE: 13 FAMILY BACKGROUND: Roman Catholic, Russo-German. Father a t ravel l ing salesman at low wages. Family came to Vancouver in 1937 and have required assistance periodical ly ever since. Father has had syphi l i s , mother has had two miscarriages. Johnny is f i f t h in a family of eight children. Delinquency history among older s ib l ings . House an unpainted shack of seven rooms. 1 For individual social backgrounds, the worker was forced to rely upon case work and school records. Naturally i t was not possible to ask the boys or their families many direct questions. 72 EARLY CHILDHOOD: Natural b i r th , breast fed, walked & talked in one year. Bites his na i l s , no cenuresis, no discussion of sex. No respect for father, loves mother. HEALTH: Appears to be average. Hyper active and very aggres-sive. SCHOOL EXPERIENCES: Superior I.Q. No trouble in school, feared corporal punishment. Frequent truancy. Best subjects English and manual t ra ining. Leadership qual i t ies , good athlete. INTERESTS: Detective books, l i s tening to radio t h r i l l e r s , boxing, movies. No interest in hobbies. Has the fixed idea that a l l he needs is money to have a good time. EMPLOYMENT: S t i l l in school. AGENCY CONTACTS: Family and individual contacts with nine case work agencies. S t i l l an active case. DELINQUENCY: Truancy, breaking and entering - Juvenile Court contact since 1946. NAME: Jimmy Jones. AGE: 17 FAMILY BACKGROUND: Protestant r e l ig ion , Anglo-Saxon parentage. Parents in common law relationship. Mother married before, and divorced. Father does odd jobs, begs on the streets, has been ja i led for vagrancy. Relationship described as "strained". Father said to social worker of Jimmy, "That baby was a mistake, madam, and the confinement cost me over $100." Home is a d i r ty upstairs apartment reached by a very dark and dingy stairway leading from the a l ley . There is an older brother in addition to Jimmy. EARLY CHILDHOOD: No information. HEALTH: Jimmy is in good health now and is well b u i l t . Active and aggressive. SCHOOL EXPERIENCES: Average I .Q. , special class student un t i l 1948 when he le f t school. Described as a "very weak student, noisy, vocabulary vulgar, never exerts himself." Irregular attendance; spelling and arithmetic especially weak. INTERESTS: Anxious to learn to dance. Awakening interest in g i r l s . EMPLOYMENT: Not registered for employment. At present working as a swamper on a truck. 73 AGENCY CONTACTS: Family contact with eight agencies. No individual contact. No family contact (except VON) since 1937. DELINQUENCY: No contact with Juvenile Court. NAME: Jimmy Murphy AGE: 17 FAMILY BACKGROUND: Protestant re l ig ion , I r i sh . Parents separated. Jimmy l ives with mother, hates father. Mother a former creche worker, pleasant, but slovenly. She is depen-dent upon wages of two younger boys plus rent from older brother. Father claimed gas t r i t i s , though often suspected of malingering. Home is four roomed, unpainted shack, occupied by mother, Jimmy, Roy, plus older brother and his wife and baby. Jimmy is third of four brothers, a l l of whom have been delinquent. EARLY CHILDHOOD: Jimmy termed a "delicate baby". Continual family f r i c t i o n during his early years. Jimmy once kicked downstairs by father for discovering another woman in his mother's bedroom. Mother in 1940 stated that she was more fond of Roy than Jimmy as Jimmy was always in "hot water". Family evicted frequently during 3 0 ' s . Moved at least seven times since 1926. Emergency r e l i e f given several times. HEALTH: Had didtheria, whooping cough, pleurisy. Had rup-ture but corrected. Exercises for f l a t feet in 1945. Jimmy now in good health, strongest physically in the gang. Hyper active, and aggressive. SCHOOL EXPERIENCES: Above average in I.Q. Rank in grade: D. Best at manual arts, reading and drawing. Disl iked maths. Completed Grade 7. Left school three years ago. INTERESTS: Woodwork, sports. EMPLOYMENT: Placed eight times since 1946. Had two appren-ticeships. Held no job more than three months. Now working at 60 cents an hour at factory work. Talks of qui t t ing. AGENCY CONTACTS: Registered at s ix recreational agencies. Family registered with eight agencies, but no family contact since 1942. No contact with Jimmy individually un t i l 1948. DELINQUENCY: Now on probation for theft. 74 NAME: Tommy Torrence AGE: 18. FAMILY BACKGROUND: Protestant, Canadian. Father and mother came to Vancouver in 1934- leaving children in New Brunswick. Children brought out in 1939. Father ja i led several times for non-support, deserted mother in 1943. Father arrested in 1930's for assaulting r e l i e f off icer . Children with father a short time in 1944. Tommy, the eldest ch i ld , very bi t ter toward father. Younger brother and s i s te r . A l l l i v e with mother, plus a boarder. Tommy has room in a t t i c . Large old house. Younger brother, Charlie, has long delinquency history. Tommy's earnings, plus rent from boarder, the main source of support for the family. No money from father. EARLY CHILDHOOD: No information. Did not attend school un t i l age of nine. HEALTH: Had measles, scarlet fever, mumps, chicken pox, rubella. Tonsils out in 1939. Health now f a i r . SCHOOL EXPERIENCE: Below normal I.Q. Special class student. Best subjects, P .T. , woodwork, and English. Worst subject social studies. Class service award two years consecutively. Teacher's comment: "A good class president." Left school in 1945. INTERESTS: Boxing, weight- l i f t ing, dancing, l ikes to organize things. EMPLOYMENT: Has worked in several printing establishments but no apprenticeship papers. Steady worker. AGENCY CONTACTS: Family contact with four agencies but no contact since 1946. No individual contact. DELINQUENCY: No contact with juvenile court but suspected of being the "brains" behind several thefts by the gang. INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOUR IN THE GROUP SETTING Jackie Anderson (age 17) was careful about his appearance, dressing neatly in "strides" and lengthy coats. He seemed 2 to relate more easily to men and was quite anxious to please. In spite of his low intell igence, he showed considerable 2 He l ived with his father who was separated from his mother. 75 leadership quali t ies and frequently acted as spokesman for the gang. He appeared to be a leader of a sub-group within the gang and regarded Jimmy Murphy as an obstacle to his larger ambitions as a leader. He seemed to become involved in more than his share of f ights . Although he was certainly a party to many delinquent acts of the gang, he has never been caught as yet. In contrast to therother boys, Jackie showed interest in team games such as soccer and floor hockey. He was well l iked by Centre teen-agers and very popular with the g i r l s . In the group setting, Frank Meyers (age 17) showed con-siderable interest in the opposite sex, an interest that was not reciprocated except by rather "loose" types of g i r l s . Twice Frank has made what might be interpreted as homosexual advances toward the worker and has participated in homosexual "mimes" with other club members.. Although quite active, he t i res very quickly, especially in strenuous ac t iv i t i e s such as weight- l i f t ing . He seems to be accepted by the rest of the group. At one party he assumed responsibi l i ty for se l l ing cokes and did a good job. One Friday he and B i l l y Johnson turned up at the Teen dance, bruised and bloody, with their clothing torn. They told the worker that they had been set upon by the 2 5 t h & Main gang. Worker has seen Frank on one occasion carrying "brass knuckles". 76 INDIVIDUAL GROWTH WITHIN THE GROUP SETTING As secretary of the X club Tommy Torrence (age 18) gar-nered considerable prestige and status in the group. He became more sure of himself and able to talk to adults on equal terms. When the X club was gsked to send a representa-tive to the Teen Dance Committee, Tommy was chosen. In the committee he played a very active part as program chairman. He received a great deal of praise both from staff and teen-agers for his novel ideas for program. Although Tommy has for years hated his father b i t t e r ly for having deserted his mother, he gradually formed quite a friendly relationship with the worker and other staff members. Rob Burns began his association with the X club as a sullen, rebellious youngster who laughed cynical ly at the idea of club meetings. He saw the club meeting as a repeti t ion of the school classroom situation and did his utmost to annoy the "teacher" (the group worker) by verbal interruptions and "horse-play". When this behaviour did not achieve the expected results, he sat quietly through a few meetings, saying very l i t t l e . Gradually he began to become annoyed at new members who caused a disturbance in the meetings, t e l l i n g them in angry tones to "shut up and get on with the meeting". At the same time his attitude toward the worker changed so that he now smiles- in greeting instead of scowling uneasily and suspiciously. He l ikes to talk about himself and the misfortunes of his best pal , now in the Boys' Industrial School. 77 INDIVIDUAL PROBLEMS INDICATED At this point Frank Meyers is very anxious about employ-ment. Considering his poor health and evidences of emotional disturbance, he is not l i k e l y to hold a job without considerable change in his personality. In the meantime, he is running more and more into debt. He is s t i l l able to borrow money and clothing from the rest of the gang but this cannot last much longer. He now owes B i l l y Johnson's mother over $80. It is doubtful how much longer he w i l l be permitted to stay with B i l l y i f he does not pay some board. Jimmy and Roy Murphy with their mother, an older brother plus wife and baby (a to ta l of six people) l i v e in a small four room, unpainted shack in a very poor area. Neither Jimmy nor Roy has..ever held a job longer than two. or three months, and are at present unemployed. At the same time both have the physical stamina and intelligence to handle most types of labour. But their inadequate family background and their present unsatisfactory housing conditions combine to make them errat ic and undependable. THE NEED FOR "COMBINED OPERATIONS" In considering the background and present behaviour of the members of X club, i t is obvious that their problems are many and varied. No one agency could possibly meet their needs. Delinquency is multi-causal, and treatment for delinquent c h i l -dren must therefore be many-sided. This requires some over-all co-ordinating body on a community-wide basis that can smooth the way for effective inter-agency referrals and insure the delinquent youth a variety of treatment services. 78 CHAPTER VI IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY FOR THE GROUP WORK PRACTITIONER Besides the experience and f l e x i b i l i t y which comes from mixing with a l l kinds of people, the person who would work with delinquent gangs requires a sound general philosophy that w i l l make his approach consistent and effective.-. This philosophy must interpret a l l aspects of l i f e and existence as a dynamic process. In such a philosophy there can be no room for stat ic concepts of cause and effect, of conventional good and e v i l , or of any type of thinking that separates people or their behaviour into r i g i d compartments. Standards, objectives, and results must be weighed upon the scales of r e l a t i v i t y . It has long been a truism of social work that the person must be accepted even though his behaviour is unacceptable. Yet one often wonders whether such a separation is rea l ly possible. Certainly, without a l imited acceptance of his behaviour i t is almost impossible to come anywhere near the delinquent chi ld emotionally. The boys in X club showed acute sens i t iv i ty on this point. Whenever the worker reacted to a form of behaviour in terms of his own background, or of socia l ly acceptable standards, he immediately lost contact with the person. Because the behaviour and personality of these boys were inseparable, both had to be accepted before 79 any further progress could be made. For this reason a yardstick had to be used which stressed the acceptance or non-acceptance of behaviour in re la t ion to the strengths and background of the individual . This means that the worker's reaction to any behaviour must be closely oriented to the point at which that individual now stands in his growing-up process. This requires a keen awareness of what each boy's behaviour means to himself, and a sensitive appreciation of what may be expected of a boy at any stage in his development. Anger or disappointment can only be avoided by the worker i f he has some theory that explains the motiva-t ion of the gang's specific behaviour. This must be so much a part of him that i t controls his reactions at a l l times, especially in sudden, unexpected si tuations. Often i t is not the va l id i ty of the theory i t s e l f but the attitude in the worker which i t engenders, that is of supreme Importance. Such an attitude must be seen as an inseparable part of the worker's self-knowledge. Before he can achieve this essential control of his attitudes, he must have some insight into the springs of his own reactive patterns. Only thus can he avoid emotional responses which would have a detrimental effect upon his relationship with the gang. This self-awareness can rarely be attained without the se l f -d isc ip l ine and the body of knowledge that comes from professional social work t ra ining. In working with delinquent gangs the worker may f a l l into two p i t f a l l s , each of which w i l l invalidate his entire 80 work. He may assume a judgmental and authoritative attitude; or he may become too sympathetic and identify himself with the gang against society. Of the two, the second is possibly the more dangerous because i t is more d i f f i c u l t to detect. The sentimental worker at bottom is animated by ident i f icat ion of self with the delinquent... He is in revolt , more or less obscurely, against some real or Imagined tyranny in his own l i f e . . . It is in effect a personal satisfaction for him to work with the delinquent. The worker who feels a sentimental bond of sympathy toward the delinquent gang may constantly excuse i t s behaviour, not from an objective point of view based upon log ica l expecta-tions in relat ion to background, but from an emotional need arising within the worker himself. He may continually give, without ever making demands. He may become merely the friend who w i l l stand by the gang no matter what i t does. To sharpen his basic philosophy and general attitude, the worker must have the specific s k i l l s and techniques of both group work and case work. As a group worker he must understand the dynamics of the social process - the position of the worker in the group, the status of the individuals, the socia l interaction that results in col lect ive decisions and attitudes etc. Although program s k i l l s may be an asset they might also at times prove a l i a b i l i t y . Too much athlet ic a b i l i t y or physical prowess might s t i r up a feeling of competition that would place the natural leaders of the group against the worker. A person who has s k i l l s that appeal to these boys should be very careful how he uses them, or they may prove a 1 Van Waters, Miriam, Youth in Conflict., New York, New Republic Inc., 1932, p. 240. 81 boomerang rather than a basis for a good relationship. (The writer had absolutely no s k i l l s which might appeal to these boys.) 2 The importance of case work experience cannot be over-emphasized. A great deal of individual work and family v i s i t i n g is necessary in working with these boys. Some experience in the techniques of interviewing and their use in meeting the needs of the cl ient is absolutely essential . In addition, case work experience makes for greater fami l ia r i ty with a l l the variety of possible community services'available for individuals in need of assistance. To work successfully with delinquent gangs, the practitioner needs to be a generic social worker with some experience in many other areas. In considering the behaviour of delinquent gangs, several Important general characteristics stand out. These the worker must think through carefully and be prepared to meet. Careful assessment of these common reactive patterns among delinquent children to a great extent determine the worker's role with the group. F i r s t of a l l , the worker must accept the fact that de l in-quent gangs operate on an "immediate pleasure" pr inciple . They want their needs met, and met immediately. These boys give l i t t l e consideration to any person, any regulation, or any ins t i tu t ion which stands in the way of their immediate desires. They can only be helped to prolong the satisfaction 2 Rogers, K . E . , Street Gangs in Toronto, Toronto, Ryerson Press, 1945. P. 35 - "Friendship seemed more important than anything else I could give them." 82 of their wants slowly and gradually. The worker must recog-nize this and not expect too much. The gang boy, although a socialized individual within his own group, is completely narc iss is t ic in other respects. Other people's needs and rights mean very l i t t l e to him. The self-absorption of the gang in i t s own tight l i t t l e c i r c l e must be recognized in planning program. In large crowds the delinquent gang becomes exhibit ionist and ignores the fact that no one else is having fun. Boys of this type have l i t t l e in their early experience to cause them to see any benefit in thinking of others as an ultimately more satisfying way of f u l f i l l i n g their own needs. Therefore, un t i l the group worker can show them the truth of such a philosophy by his own treatment of them, he may expect to have l i t t l e consideration shown toward himself, toward the agency equip-ment, or toward the community at large. It is no use reacting angrily at their extreme self-centredness. Such self-centred-ness must be seen as an objective fact to be recognized in planning treatment. Delinquent children make the general assumption that a l l authority and a l l demands made upon them are unreasonable and therefore to be resisted. Most of their delinquencies are the symptoms of their resistance. They have already made their decision to fight rather than to escape or submit. Thus, greater severity adopted by authority can only result in the delinquent fighting more f ierce ly against i t , although he may appear to submit temporarily as a t ac t ica l manoeuvre. 83 This makes the question of authority a v i t a l problem for the social worker who hopes to work with delinquent gangs. It must be understood at the outset that the reaction of delinquent children to authority is bound up with their early experiences with their parents. A l l adults who wield authority become identified obscurely with the unreasonable parent who wielded a s t ick . Therefore, from their point of view, i t is a sound general principle to approach every adult with anta-gonism. Unfortunately this very attitude usually achieves the result which they have learned to expect. The adult becomes angry with them, shouts, commands, orders them to leave etc. Thus, the whole thing becomes a mounting cycle of antagonism which results in the children being removed from society. That i s , unless the cycle is broken. Breaking i t becomes one of the chief objectives of the social worker. The worker should expect to be regarded as one more adult to f ight . He must be prepared to ignore this and show these boys an authority of a different kind. He must, of course, see that certain reasonable rules and regulations are complied with. But he must accomplish this in such a way that their compliance does not involve a struggle for mastery between the worker and the gang. He must at a l l times represent an authority that is reasonable yet consistent, firm yet even-tempered. Only in this way can he hope to undermine the gang's stereotype of adults which they have bui l t up from their family experiences and their past strug-gles with authority. Once they have been confronted over a 84 period of time with a contrast to their generalizations, they are then ready to adopt a more adult attitude, segregating demands which they w i l l obey as reasonable, from demands which they w i l l resist as unreasonable. If i t is ever necessary to secure obedience from such a group, the worker w i l l be aided by a technique which might be termed the "positive expectancy" approach. Before making a demand he should persuade himself that there is every expec-tancy of i t being obeyed. Otherwise he would not make the demand. He must indicate this in his tone of voice and in the phraseology employed. Commands must be made in an un-emotional, matter-of-fact way as i f the worker had no-reason to suppose that anyone might object. Annoyed, angry, or pleading tones of voice immediately c a l l forth resistance. These boys are extremely sensitive to tone and w i l l detect the slightest degree of negative plaintiveness or indecisive-ness in a request. This offers them a loophole through which they w i l l escape If possible. Although this attitude of "positive expectancy" may seem a small point, i t may actually mean the difference between losing complete control of the group and dissolving a d isc ip l ine problem in i t s early stages. Of course many potentially dangerous situations can be transformed into constructive experiences i f they are caught in time. But i f the boys are to adopt them, they must offer substitute satisfactions. 85 The boys were awaiting their turn to perform as waiters. They proceeded to do aerial f l i p s and other dangerous acrobatics in the yellow room while waiting. W. thought that perhaps this was yet another testing device so stepped out of the room for a moment to see i f they would quieten down. When he returned they were busy dressing Roy Murphy i n a huge crepe paper bow t i e made from Christmas decorations which they had ripped from the wa l l . As W. entered they hast i ly began taking i t off. W. laughed and said that he thought that i t was a wonderful idea. If they a l l had a uniform everyone would know who the waiters were. "Get us the stuff and w e ' l l make the uniforms," cried Jimmy Murphy. W. rushed out and returned with red and green crepe paper. The boys spent the next f if teen minutes amid great h i l a r i t y making red bow ties and green aprons out of the paper. Related to the problem of d isc ip l ine is the necessity of knowing just what the group standards are and waiting for the group to discipl ine i t s own offenders. These children often go beyond even their own group standards of acceptable conduct merely to test the worker. If the worker knows what these standards are, he is not l i k e l y to f a l l into this trap, but w i l l wait patiently un t i l the annoyance of the group overtakes the individual . One should beware especially of moralizing about gang behaviour. If nothing more adequate can be brought out, i t is wiser to say nothing at a l l . In fact , in the uncharted seas of working with delinquent gangs, i t is better to do nothing in a doubtful si tuation than to commit an irretr ievable blunder. Delinquent gangs should be approached with a l igh t touch, not in a serious heavy-handed manner. A sense of humour is therefore one of the most dependable assets in the worker's possession. Used deftly i t can dispel the tenseness of a 86 c r i t i c a l s i tuat ion. Most of the hoys in the X club seemed to have a f a i r l y well developed sense of humour and could usually be helped to see the comical elements in their beha-viour. They also seemed to look hopefully for friendly smiles from adults. W. asked Jimmy Murphy what he thought of the new instructor. Jimmy answered, "He's O.K. He laughs. We l i k e guys that laugh and don't take themselves too seriously." F i n a l l y , in dealing with delinquent gangs, i t is extremely important not to disrupt accidentally the group cohesion or integr i ty .of the gang. This can only be avoided by a cautious policy of interfering as l i t t l e as possible with the group pattern. In addition i t involves a careful assessment of the status of the different individuals in the group, a status which is constantly changing in the dynamic process of social interaction. One's basic philosophy and attitudes, one's general personality pattern, and one's grasp of specific techniques and s k i l l s are a l l involved in an approach to delinquent gangs. Careful forethought and a thoroughgoing personal stock-taking should precede any decision to plunge into the work. FOR LEISURE-TIME AGENCIES Delinquent gangs f i r s t make their problems known through their efforts to satisfy their recreational wants. Indeed a good deal of their petty dellnquences are recreative in 3 Sometimes i t may be unavoidably necessary to go against i t deliberately for specific therapeutic objectives. 87 intent. They come voluntari ly to leisure-time agencies seek-ing fulfilment of a legitimate desire. Because of this fact the leisure-time agency is in the strategic position of being able to form posit ive, meaningful relationships with these boys which may form a concrete opening through which social work may meet their more fundamental emotional needs. In contrast the case work agencies often contact the delinquent only when he is brought to them under duress. Thus delinquent gangs become the responsibi l i ty , at least i n i t i a l l y , of the leisure-time agency, i f only because i t is here that they make their f i r s t appeal for help. The recreational agency has no excuse to reject this appeal merely because i t is expressed antagonistically in the form of rowdyism, destruction and insubordination. The fact that specific agencies are not at present equipped to handle the social treatment of delinquent gangs should only serve as a stimulus to greater preparatory effort . If i t is agreed that delinquent gangs are not beyond treatment and that such treat-ment is ultimately less costly to the community than greater repressive measures, then the log ica l place to begin is at the point where they make known their immediate needs - on the doorstep of the leisure-time agency. No private recrea-t ional agency that purports to be serving areas of special need on a neighbourhood basis can with a clear conscience dodge i t s -responsibilit ies towards delinquent gangs. It might be argued that ins t i tu t ional treatment is the only real solution to the problems of delinquent children. Although this might to a large extent be true, the fact remains that few gang boys w i l l ever reach the ins t i tu t ion . They do not ask for such treatment. They are often s k i l f u l enough to escape legal sentence. There is then no other legitimate reasons in a democracy for committing them, even though the ins t i tu t ion may by some miracle have ideal equip-ment, well-trained staff, and sound techniques of practice. However, a more reasonable objection to the treatment of delinquent gangs within a group work agency is the fact that the meeting of their needs might confl ict with an equally va l id program of meeting other areas of special need. This is par t icular ly a problem in the family-centred as opposed to the child-centred agency. An elderly lady angrily demanded i f W. was in charge here. She said that there was a no smoking rule in the Centre and a l l those boys (the gang) were smoking. W. spent about ten minutes persuading the boys to put out their cigarettes, with l i t t l e success... Later W. heard that the gang had hurt a l i t t l e boy and had jostled an old lady who gave them a tremen-dous tongue lashing. These boys do not wish to operate in the same building as their own parents and are not too keen about brushing with anyone else's parents as w e l l . A part of the same general problem is the poss ib i l i ty of confl ict between a delinquent gang and other less-disturbed youngsters in an agency. The si tuation is something l i k e planning a balanced aquarium. The stronger f i sh must be prevented from eliminating the weaker ones. It can be done, but i t takes careful handling. Accordingly, the decision to undertake the treatment of delinquent gangs is a very serious one that requires careful 8 9 consideration of the probable repercussions and a r e a l i s t i c assessment of agency resources. It should not he made in a sudden f l ight of idea l i s t i c fancy. The whole agency, staff, and board, should be convinced completely of the necessity of such treatment, not as a hazy ideal , but as a r e a l i s t i c answer to an ever-present problem. Preliminary discussion and explanatory sessions are indicated. Many factors must be taken into consideration. In choos-ing the group, the prognosis of success must be analyzed carefully in terms of age, behaviour, stage of organization, interests etc. It must be recognized that some gangs are beyond help and would only destroy the agency program. Every small detai l of technique, timing and planning, must be thought-out minutely with an eye to future effects. Careful clearance is required at every point with other group leaders and with community social services which are also serving these boys. At every step of the way there must be careful interpretation to the staff, the board and the membership. Agency policy and house ru}.es and regulations must be streamlined to f a c i l i t a t e a treatment program with gangs. A l l eventualities possible oshould be anticipated in policy and rules. Petty restrict ions that serve no real purpose should be eliminated before the gang enters the agency. Special attention should be paid to house policy on smoking, staff pol ic ing, and admission regulations for different functions. It is essential that a l l reasonable safeguards be taken beforehand. It is no use wringing one's hands after 90 the damage has been done. This helps neither the agency nor the gang which i t accepts as i t s responsibi l i ty . However, the most important factor in determining the success of an agency in dealing with the delinquent gang problem w i l l undoubtedly be i ts choice of leadership. Upon the individual worker w i l l rest the large responsibi l i ty for helping the gang to move into the agency, dispel the anta-gonism of the teen-age membership, and assist the individual boys toward a more mature social adjustment. As has been emphasized previously in this chapter, this requires a high degree of s k i l l , t raining and experience. In addition, the agency would be wise to free the worker from as much administrative responsibi l i ty as possible. There is a place in a recreational agency for special group work practitioners who are able to do a specialized job with d i f f i cu l t groups. Such workers should have a low group load of not over three groups so that they may undertake intensive treatment. Although this may appear an expensive " f r i l l " at f i r s t glance, i t Is a l l i e d to a growing trend In case work agencies toward low case loads and intensive service. At some point an agency must decide whether i t i s a sounder investment to give real assistance to a few groups than to provide a shelter for a mob of children to come in out of the ra in . The key l i e s in the training and duties of agency staff. The choice of program for boys of this type must be considered carefully. It Is a fa l lacy to assume that they 91 are seeking primarily a recreational experience merely because they show an interest in such a c t i v i t i e s . Behind the pa r t i c i -pation in fun and games l i e s a deeper desire for a meaningful social relationship in an atmosphere of security, acceptance and friendship. One must constantly work toward the meeting of this need. There seems to be a tendency for a gang participating in a mass ac t iv i ty program to seek to draw attention to them-selves by rowdyism and troublemaking. At a l l costs they must show that they are different from the rest of the crowd. If they have no constructive s k i l l s to display, they can at least become the centre of things by a rowdy exhibi t ion. On the other hand, the writer found that within their own friend-ship group, where there were no outsiders to impress, the boys in X club were no more boisterous than the average teen-ager. There needs to be some careful thought given by le isure-time agencies to the policies of admission to mass a c t i v i t i e s . Because a dance night or party is good recruit ing ground for new members, agencies have In the past attempted to avoid any restr ict ions regarding admissions. Following repeated » depredations by roving gangs in the past year or two, there has been a gradual tightening up by agencies i n Vancouver un t i l most Teen dances require membership cards which are issued only after a careful screening process. This policy tends to exclude delinquent gangs from agencies. Such a policy also points tp the necessity of defining the purpose and area of service of the agency. 92 Another problem where delinquent gangs are concerned is that of planning program for the employed ch i ld . Program in agencies is usually bui l t on the assumption that the chi ld is going to school. A healthy young seventeen-year old who works in a store is not ready to go home at 9 O 0 to study or go to bed. Often he remains on the streets and finds plenty of trouble. There is a responsibi l i ty to provide program some-where that is geared to the needs of the working boyr This involves both hours of agency operation and type of ac t i v i t y . The f a c i l i t i e s of the agency should provide a minimum of avenues of trouble. Fixtures should be immovable and sturdy. Sound-proofing for wal ls , key switches for l igh t ing , and strong locks should be sought. Provision should be made for a variety of resources in equipment, playing f i e ld s , weekend cabins for ski ing, etc. Glub rooms, especially, should be made as homey and comfortable as possible. A radio and a fireplace can do more to settle these boys down than a harsh command. (Mrs. Wanden found that a large fireplace was one of the agency's most attractive assets.) The acceptance of the responsibi l i ty of working with the delinquent gangs of i t s neighbourhood provides an exacting test of the agency's resources. It offers a supreme challenge to the purpose of the agency and i t s a b i l i t y to provide satisfactory service. 93 GENERAL IMPLICATIONS FOR THE COMMUNITY A part of the problem of doing intensive group work with delinquent gangs is the lack of recognition by the community of group work as an important therapeutic device. There is s t i l l a vestige of the idea that a leisure-time agency is a place to send children when nothing else in the form of treat-ment can be found. The agency is looked upon merely as a "stop-gap" where children may be kept "out of mischief" un t i l a treatment plan can be formulated. With delinquent gangs, however, group work becomes the focal point of the treatment plan, not the incidental junior partner. The group worker working with a delinquent gang must be recognized as the social worker who is carrying the case. This means careful clearance of a l l relevant data on individuals in the gang, and mutual consultation between group worker and case worker before any case work plan is made which might jeopardize the effectiveness of the group therapeutic treatment. The Juvenile Court and the police are part icularly v i t a l i n th i s . The following is an example of what can happen when this principle is unintentionally ignored: The Director had requested a conference with the 0 magistrate on the case...On Thursday morning a phone message was-sent (which Director did not re-ceive) stating that the boys were remanded one week and that i t was not necessary for Director or W. to attend court . . .Later Director protested his i nab i l i t y to see the judge and asked i f he had been at fault in working through the probation off icer . He was told that he had followed the correct procedure. Later i t was found that four of the boys were sentenced to Boys' Industrial School that same Thursday. These four boys were key members of the group and their 94 removal hindered effective group work with the rest of the group. If consultation could have been arranged beforehand, an alternative plan might have been worked out which would not only have co-operated with the group worker's efforts, but which might have offered a more effective solution to the boys' problems. Not only is there anneed for clearance but there i s also the necessity for some cooperative coordination of agencies and f a c i l i t i e s within a neighbourhood with the focus on the delinquent gang. The delinquent gang is an extremely mobile group and affects more than one agency. Providing services and planning treatment for a specific delinquent gang should involve the cooperative efforts of a l l available resources and leadership in the neighbourhood. This cooperative plan-ning can best be achieved by informal committees representing agencies and interested cit izens in the neighbourhood. Such a committee should meet regularly with the worker who carries the responsibil i ty for the treatment program with the gang. To deal effectively with the gang problem, a community must provide for a large variety of community resources and services. If the private agency is to undertake the respon-s i b i l i t y for much specialized service to delinquent gangs, a basic floor of public recreation, for example, is essential to meet the general needs of the population. Such a program is only i n i t s infancy' in Vancouver. Because so many del in-quents are f i r s t of a l l truants at school, there is a tremen-dous need within the educational system for an adequate school 95 social worker service that goes far beyond the present counselling and guidance services. With closer supervision of truants coupled with extensive home v i s i t i n g , many del in-quent gangs could be identified and referred in the pre-delinquent stage when the treatment prognosis would be much 4 more hopeful. For those delinquents committed to inst i tut ions such as the Boys' Industrial School, a thoroughgoing program of group therapy is most necessary. At present the Boys' Industrial School is too much a place with the impersonality of a hospital where children are removed from society for a few. months without any real effective treatment being accom-plished. There is a need for a variety of inst i tut ions with a variety of treatment approaches to meet a variety of needs presented by children committed to them. Possibly there is also a place for a "step before probation" type of supervision for pre-delinquents either as a new agency (e.g. Big Brothers) or as a part of the services of an agency already set up, such as the Juvenile Court or the Children's Aid Society. In addition, there may be a need for a special case work service agency for teen-agers, stressing emotional problems, vocational counselling etc. Teen-agers object to being classed as "children" when a referral is attempted. Possibly a special agency to help them with their own d i f f i cu l t i e s might be especially welcomed by them. 4 See - Myer, G.G., Delinquency: Its Recognition in the  School, Master of Social Work Thesis, Vancouver, U. of B . C . , 1949. 96 However, one of the most d i f f i c u l t problems which the community faces in helping delinquent gangs is that of provid-ing them with employment. The employment hazards of juveniles and especially delinquent youth are extreme. They and the over-age workers are the f i r s t casualties of an employment slump. Because of the erratic work record of delinquents and their general antagonistic attitude, employers are loath to hire them, a fact which makes them part icularly vulnerable on the labour market. Another d i f f i cu l t y at the present time is that many of these boys were able to command men's wages immediately after the war when workmen were scarce. Now these same boys are offered delivery boys jobs etc . , a status of in fer ior i ty which they resent and find d i f f i c u l t to accept. Mr. M. phoned W. to say that Harry Robinson was in his office arguing with him about a job. Harry would take nothing under 90 cents an hour or more and Mr. M. had no jobs l i k e that available for sixteen year o lds . . . W. said that he hoped Mr. M. could talk some sense into Harry as the boy was a good steady worker i f he could be placed in employment. Mr. M. agreed to do his best but he was not very optimist ic . . .Harry took a lot of ribbing from the boys because he had been down to the National Employment Service and had been offered only delivery boy work. A l l the boys seemed to feel that such work was beneath them. W. pointed out that i t would be d i f f i c u l t for them to find any-thing else because so many men were out of work. Johnny supported W. on this as^had already experienced considerable d i f f i c u l t y , being out of work for over two months at this time. One o f f i c i a l in the National Employment Service asserted that there was a close correlation between the present wave of juvenile crime and the poor job outlook at present for juveniles. 97 Jimmy said that i f he did not get a job soon he would get into trouble for sure...He stated that he used to quit every job he got after a few weeks as soon as he t i red of i t . . . H e said that Harry Robinson had been l a i d off from his job too. In discussing the juvenile employment problem with various o f f i c i a l s , the need for a more adequate scheme of vocational training and counselling was stressed. Delinquent children do not respond to the idea of apprenticeship because of -the long training period and extremely low wages. In addition, many so-called apprenticeships in industries not covered by government regulations or s t r i c t union supervision are used flagrantly to exploit juveniles. A position l i g h t l y termed an apprenticeship (but with no papers signed) i s offered to juveniles at extremely low rates of pay. The youth accepts the "apprenticeship" in good fa i th and then is surprised to find himself discharged at the end of a few months. A complete overhaul of the apprenticeship system in B r i t i s h Columbia is long overdue. Delinquent children do not f i t into most vocational training programs at present offered. A l l of the boys in the X club have less than a grade 9 education, but most vocational courses now offered in night schools etc. require a grade 10 education to cope with the course. This would indicate the need for a training program in the semi-skilled trades (painting, bricklaying, plumbing etc.) i n cooperation with the labour unions involved. It is to be hoped that Vancouver's new vocational training school w i l l include some less highly technical courses in i t s curriculum when i t begins operations. IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH The study and treatment of delinquent gangs is s t i l l almost an uncharted sea. Not much has been written and l i t t l e competent research has been attempted. Only patient and s k i l f u l research can ascertain the poss ib i l i t i e s and l imitat ions of group work treatment applied to delinquent • gangs. But before research projects can be developed, f inancial assistance must be provided. 99 CHAPTER VII APPROACHES TO THE GANG PROBLEM IN OTHER COMMUNITIES The presence of destructive, rebellious juvenile gangs in i t s midst is not something which most communities can afford to ignore. Consequently there have been numerous attempts made by private and public group work agencies to cope with the problem. Many of these social mutations have proven quite successful over a period of years, while others have been discarded as inadequate. In the f i r s t place i t should be noted that individual group work agencies have been struggling val iant ly for many years with the juvenile gangs of their neighbourhoods. This has been especially true in the larger c i t i e s of the United States where delinquent gangs f i r s t became prevalent. How-ever, most of these agencies have come to real ize that one worker in one agency working with one gang can do very l i t t l e . The treatment of delinquent gangs involves a mul t ip l i c i t y of resources and s k i l l s , and is beyond the scope of any one recreational agency. Possibly the most unique of the experiments made by individual agencies has been the so-called "block unit" plan which has been attempted in Chicago, New York and other c i t i e s . For example, Greenwich House, a famous New York social settlement, placed a group worker in a small office in each block of a selected area. His job was to s i f t out 100 the potential delinquents in the block and to make use of a l l f a c i l i t i e s available in meeting their d i f f i c u l t i e s . Although the "block unit" plan represents a more through system of dealing with juvenile gangs, i t has been largely abandoned because of the expense. More successful approaches to the problem have been evolved by public agencies with city-wide coverage. The agencies involved have usually been community recreational commissions, police departments, or school boards. With a larger area, more resources, and leadership di rec t ly under their administration, the public agencies with a community-wide function have been able to plan a much more comprehensive program. The San Francisco Recreation Commission adopted a "director at-large" program which provides special workers with a "roving commission", so that they are not t ied to any particular recreational centre or d i s t r i c t . Their job is to give direct leadership in bringing delinquent gangs to the resources of the community, and to make referrals to public and private agencies. The Bureau of Crime Prevention of the New York Ci ty Police Department maintains a staff of specially trained officers who work closely with a l l agencies and clubs. Referral and direct treatment services are included. More-over, the Bureau operates a large recreational program direct ly under i t s own administration. Boston has created a similar type of service in i t s Citizenship Training Program. 1 0 1 Probably the most comprehensive plan undertaken by a public agency is that of the Bureau of Special Service of the Jersey City Board of Education. The Bureau represents a high point in community-wide integrated services to combat delinquency. It has been described as "an administrative device through which the f a c i l i t i e s of the school system and law-enforcement agencies for diagnosing and treating atypical children are linked together in a cohesive unit instead of being scattered through a half-a-dozen different departments.""1" Since i t s inception in 1 9 3 1 the Bureau of Special Services has steadily widened i ts scope. Its executive head is an Assistant Superintendent of Schools. Within the administrative framework of the Bureau are integrated a number of special services for disturbed and delinquent children. On i t s pay r o l l are case workers, group workers, psychologists, recrea-t ional workers, teachers etc. The attendance department provides specially trained attendance officers to investigate a l l truancy cases, an investigation that is followed up with family case work by school social workers. This department also issues working papers for children leaving school and operates an employment service. The extra-mural and social supervision services include the work of school social workers, home instruction teachers and special hospital classes. Over one hundred and f i f t y special classes meet 1 Justice and the Child in New Jersey, Report of the New Jersey Juvenile Delinquency Commission, 1 9 3 9 ? Trenton, N . J . , p. 1 9 8 . 102 the educational needs of the handicapped, the subnormal, and children with reading, speech, and behaviour d i f f i c u l t i e s . C l i n i c a l services include a medical c l i n i c , dental c l i n i c , psychiatric c l i n i c , psychological c l i n i c , and a special sensory perception c l i n i c . In addition the Bureau operates eleven recreational centres on school property. This part of the program was at f i r s t interlocked to a large extent with WPA recreational and adult education a c t i v i t i e s . A unique feature of the Bureau's approach to juvenile de l in-quency is i t s specially trained police detai l assigned to the bureau. Unless i t is a serious offence, a chi ld who commits a delinquent act is escorted to his home by the police officer and turned over to the parents who are notified to appear at the office of the Bureau of Special Service for a conference. If the offence is very serious or i f home conditions make i t impossible for the chi ld to remain in his own home, he is taken direct ly to the office of the Bureau where beds are kept available. In any event the investigation of delinquencies include complete social h is tor ies , c l i n i c a l examinations when necessary, and follow-up v i s i t s by members of the special police unit or by v i s i t i n g teachers. Only ten per cent of the cashes which come to the attention of the Bureau are referred for legal adjudication in the juvenile court. In every court hearing involving a Jersey City ch i ld , a Bureau representative who is a lawyer attends in order to . protect the ch i ld ' s interests. The following are some of the advantages which have been attributed to the Jersey City Plan: 103 1. Parents cooperate more readily with school repre-sentatives than with officers of the juvenile court. Because problem children and delinquent children are handled in a similar manner by the same agency, there is not such a criminal stigma on delinquency. 2. The Bureau has at i t s disposal a l l the sc ien t i f i c resources of the school system. 3. The plan has resulted in few commitments to i n s t i -tutions and to the juvenile court, a factor that not only avoids giving the chi ld a criminal stigma, but also is less expensive. 4. The plan insures an integrated preventive program that reaches the chi ld in his pre-delinquent stage. COORDINATED COUNCIL PLANS Where there has not been a public agency with a city-wide coverage and a philosophy of service which would embrace the social treatment of delinquent gangs, private agencies have often resorted to a variety of plans to coordinate their efforts for more effective work in this f i e l d . The type of organization has depended largely upon the size of the com-munity and the extent of the service contemplated. The Madison (New Jersey) Social Planning Council, for example, is a delegate body representing a l l agencies which might conceivably have contact with delinquent children. It meets four times a year and maintains regular standing commit-tees. The council is set. up for consultation, advice and 2 O'Shea, V . J . , Jersey City Prevents Delinquency, reprint of the September 1947 issue of The Welfare Reporter, New Jersey State Department of Institutions and Agencies -p. 14 - In 1930, 325 children were committed to inst i tut ions for truancy. In 1946 no children were committed to ins t i tu t ions , and the attendance record is better than ever before. 104 refer ra l . It employs no full- t ime professional staff . The P la inf ie ld Delinquency Council is a committee representing agencies and interested c i t izens . - This Council employs a full- t ime social worker to recruit volunteer "big brothers" and "big s is ters" , and to deal with referrals from the schools. Perhaps one of the best examples of a coordinated service Is the Los Angeles Youth Project. This Project is actually a standing committee of the Group- Work Division of the Los Angeles Welfare Council. At the same time, because i t acts autonomously to a great extent, i t is governed by a strong board composed of the Executive Director and one lay member from each a f f i l i a t ed agency together with members represent-ing the community at large. Board meetings occur once a month, and decisions that require immediate action between meetings may be made by the Executive Committee. Thirteen agencies, both private and public, are now o f f i c i a l members of the pro-ject, but almost a l l other social agencies in Los Angeles cooperate actively in the program. The work of the project covers ten specified d i s t r i c t s of the c i ty with a total area roughly f i f t y miles square. As a part of the Welfare Council the Youth Project is unable, because of the constitution of the Welfare Council, to render direct services. For this reason a l l staff members, apart from the administration, are hired and supervised direct ly by the member agencies. By February 1947, a total of 64 f u l l - or half-time workers had been employed by member agencies through Youth Project funds. io5 The administrative staff includes a director and f ive highly-trained social workers with community organization and group work backgrounds. These five workers or area coordinators attempt to "unite community-wide groups, individuals, and agencies in their efforts to solve common problems".^ in addition, the Special Service Unit of the project f u l f i l s the functions of locating troublesome gangs and ca l l ing agencies together for a case conference to discuss them. Wherever i t is possible, a neighbourhood agency assumes responsibi l i ty immediately for a specific gang. If this is not possible, a Special Service Unit worker is assigned to the gang to orient the boys to an agency program un t i l the responsibil i ty can be transferred to the agency. The general principle of area coordination emphasized' by the Youth Project is that of loca l responsibil i ty for planning and implementing programs for delinquent gangs, with lay as well as professional part icipation. Canada, of course, has been influenced by U.S. experi-ments in agency coordination. In a booklet enti t led Boys Are 4 Worth I t , Dr. K. H. Rogers has recommended a comprehensive type of coordinated service for the c i ty of Toronto. This plan envisaged a new department of the Toronto Welfare Council 3 From a pamphlet entit led Los Angeles Youth Project, p. 2. 4 Rogers, K. H . , Boys Are Worth I t , Toronto, Ryerson Press, 1944. 106 to administer a gang treatment program. In addition to a ful l- t ime Director, a supervisor, and stenographic workers, the basic organization would include a staff of twelve neighbourhood group workers who would each be responsible for meeting the needs of the boys of his neighbourhood. Besides direct services the department would be responsible for "the informal coordination of existing community services." An Advisory Committee of interested ci t izens would guide and advise the Director. THE SITUATION IN VANCOUVER In contrast to some of the programs which have just been br ief ly outlined, the achievements of Vancouver, may seem quite inadequate. However, some important efforts have been made, such as the pioneer experimental work accomplished with a delinquent gang by Mrs. June Wanden at the YWCA. At the present time, several group work agencies are doing intensive work with specific delinquent gangs in their neighbourhoods. In North Vancouver, for example, two gangs, one an older group including both sexes, and the other a young but extremely destructive group, have been encouraged to form clubs within the agency structure under the leader-ship of group work students from the University Department of Social Work. Similar efforts are being made in other agencies in the c i t y . 5 Off, cl.tj p. 36. 107 However, the gang problem in Vancouver goes much beyond these attempts to cope with i t . As an incidental part of the present study, the Juvenile Court probation officers were able to supply names and addresses of boys from over twenty different delinquent juvenile gangs; yet these groups represent only a small portion of the actual number of gangs in Vancouver. Almost none of these gangs mentioned by the probation officers were recognized as such by recreational agencies. Undoubtedly, with the increase of juvenile unemployment, Vancouver's gang problem w i l l increase in magnitude and intensity. Both in immediate practical terms and by f u l f i l l i n g deeper psychological needs, the gang performs a very impor-tant function for the delinquent boy. The gang is his pro-tection against an unfavourable environment and a col lect ive substitute for inadequate parents. Gangs cannot therefore be broken up simply by building a gym suitable for mass recreation, and handing the boys a basketball. Much more intensive work must be done in small groups with sk i l l ed leaders qualified to make use of the group interaction and the relationship of the chi ld to the worker in a d e l i -berately planned program of social rehabi l i ta t ion. In the main, the gang boy is a ch i ld with extreme behaviour handi-caps, l i v i n g in a home that is a chronic social problem. To meet effectively the growing menace of destructive juvenile gangs, Vancouver requires a coordinated approach involving inter-agency cooperation, an abundance of recreational and 108 other community resources, and (most especially) profession-a l l y trained leadership. These cannot he secured without sustained effort and public encouragement behind a plan' more comprehensive than anything yet attempted or contemplated i n Vancouver. Only then w i l l i t be possible to make a suc-cessful attack on the problem of delinquent teen-age gangs. 109 CHAPTER VIII  COORDINATION OF COMMUNITY SERVICES TO MEET THE TEEN - AGE GANG PROBLEM IN VANCOUVER ' The experience of other communities and the complexities of the problem underline the need for coordination of com-munity services as the only effective way to deal with delinquent gangs. The prevention of delinquency is a struggle that demands the co-operative efforts of teachers, police, probation officers, case workers, group workers and recrea-t ional workers. Within the recreational f i e l d i t means the coordination of effort so that the delinquent areas of the c i ty are fu l ly covered. It means also the establishment of channels of communication so that the individual worker handling a delinquent gang may work closely with other workers doing the same thing. It is no use asking one particular teen-age gang to put away i t s "brass knuckles" i f there are twenty or th i r ty other r i v a l gangs wandering the streets spoil ing for a f ight . Each gang, in such a si tuat ion, depends for i t s survival upon a strong status in the hierarchy of juvenile gangs. To recruit new members and to hold i t s present members, i t must be able to offer protection. The only way that i t can do this in a "jungle" environment is to inspire so much fear that i n d i -viduals and other gangs w i l l not molest i t s members. This is 110 a practical problem of much greater concern to the gang boy than any incidental 4 property damage, or any offence to the social mores of Vancouver's c i t izens . The gang must either fight to hold i t s own, or else capitulate to a more warlike group. The only way in which the intensity of juvenile gang wars can be rea l ly decreased is by a group work treatment program with a l l the key groups in the c i ty simultaneously. Without this many-sided attack, any one group worker's effec-_ tiveness with a gang In persuading i t to adopt more peaceful pursuits w i l l be much curtai led, i f not annulled. For example, the boys of X club are carrying on a continual feud with the C. & Y. Street gang. An agency or worker cannot ask the X club to stop this as long as no other worker is doing the same with their arch-r ivals . The boys would only "lose face" and become the laughing stock for their cowardice. However, i f another worker had the confidence of the other gang, then the two workers could co-operate together. They could probably encourage less dangerous forms of r i va l ry , or at least work out plans to keep the two groups apart. Co-operation and coordination are indicated. One of the most dangerous problems involved In teen-age ac t iv i t i e s in Vancouver is the tendency of delinquent gangs to "shop" from agency to agency without ever identifying very closely with any one agency. Consequently there is no regard 0 for the agency and no reason for controll ing destructive behaviour. The general attitude becomes, "If they kick us out of here, w e ' l l go somewhere else." Many of the X club boys I l l held memberships in several agencies at once. In their "shopping" ac t i v i t i e s , gangs meet gangs, fights occur, and the agency program is disrupted. Consequently, every attempt should be made to "ground" groups as much as possible in their own neighbourhood centres - not by a policy of exclusion -but by giving them every encouragement to develop-a strong relationship with one worker and one agency. This process can be aided by close co-operation between agencies working with delinquent gangs in keeping each other informed about membership, a c t i v i t i e s , inter-gang relationships etc. The need for this occurred more than once in the wr i te r ' s own experience: W. phoned Mr. D. at L . agency to inform him that the gang had just le f t the Centre to fight the M. gang which was reported to be at the L . agency teen dance. Mr. D. thanked W. for his warning. He said that' everything was peaceful so far but that he would watch doors and windows and check any hoys at the door for membership cards. Delinquent gangs cross agency boundaries without any qualms; treatment services must do the same, in a sp i r i t of inter-agency co-operation. Any plan to coordinate community services in a Canadian c i ty must recognize the principle of loca l agency responsibi l i ty where ever an agency exists in a neighbourhood. Thus every effort should be made to encourage each group work agency to u t i l i z e i ts own resources and staff to plan services for delinquent gangs within i t s own neighbourhood. The worker In contact with the gang should be paid and supervised by the loca l group work agency, and the agency's part icipation 112 In a city-wide plan should be completely on a basis of voluntary co-operation. Moreover, the co-ordinating plan must possess a maximum of f l e x i b i l i t y to allow for future expansion. The group work treatment of delinquent gangs is s t i l l largely an un-explored area and requires much experimentation and research. It is to be expected that methods of approach may undergo considerable change, a fact which might necessitate adjust-ments in the overall administration of the project. A co-ordinating plan must therefore proceed slowly, on a small scale at f i r s t , un t i l methods are jus t i f i ed , or rejected as impractical. Of course It may be argued that Vancouver is not yet ready for co-ordination un t i l some sort of a basic minimum of essential social services is provided to meet teen-age problems. Therefore, present services should f i r s t be strengthened - more probation officers added, a school social worker system inaugurated, more trained group work prac-t i t ioners made available in agencies to work with gangs, etc. Certainly i t is t_-ue that community social services are never complete in the ideal sense. At the same time, i t should be recognized that progress in social work does not advance in a smooth curve. A.step forward in one area may stimulate an advance at other points along the l i n e . Thus, some degree of co-ordination could easily act as a lever to implement other improvements in specific services to teen-agers. Moreover, the expense of co-ordination is not so great that i t would cancel out other necessary social services. 113 In formulating a plan to deal with teen-age gangs on a community-wide basis, a number of alternatives are possible. Some of these may be rejected at once as being premature or inadequate. Others must he analyzed more carefully. One of the most frequent suggestions to meet the problem is that of a new agency set up exclusively for the purpose. Such a plan immediately raises the danger of ignoring the loca l group work agency and creating the poss ib i l i ty of inter-agency r iva l ry at the expense of the c h i l d . Certainly, unless the new agency is provided with premises and equipment (an expensive proposition!), i t must depend upon using the f a c i l i t i e s of already existing recreational agencies. This would give r ise to the confusing situation of workers dealing with groups in an agency without any direct re lat ion to the agency's administrative framework - house rules, supervision, salary, etc. Moreover, an agency which worked only with delinquent gangs would give both i t s e l f and i t s c l ients a stigma in the eyes of the teen-age population at large. Rather than a new agency, what is needed is greater consolidation and co-operation among existing agencies. Another suggestion is that a co-ordinating plan should be organized within the administration of the Vancouver school system. It might be hoped that in time the project might grow to something of the magnitude and comprehensiveness of the Jersey City Bureau of Special Services. However, while the idea of the school entering such a f i e l d needs to be encouraged, i t must be recognized that Vancouver's educators are not yet prepared to assume such a responsibi l i ty . At present there are no social workers in the schools 1; nor is there any extensive use of the school plant for leisure-time a c t i v i t i e s . Unt i l these two basic services are developed, i t is inconceivable that the school system would undertake any more radical plan of community service. Although the Provincial Recreation department would undoubtedly co-operate generously with any co-ordinating program, there is at present no public recreation authority on a municipal leve l prepared to administer such a scheme. At the same time, i t might be a desirable eventuality to place the responsibi l i ty for gang treatment within the framework of a broad program of public municipal recreation administered by the Parks Board, or preferably by an inde-pendent Recreation Commission. The i n i t i a t i v e , then, must rest with private social work for beginning such an experimental project. This con-clusion is backed by a long t radi t ion .regarding the role of the private agency, as well as by the practical r ea l i t i e s of the s i tuat ion. Now the obvious place from which to launch a city-wide program to deal with delinquent gangs is the Group Work Division of the Community Chest and Council. By placing responsibil i ty here, a city-wide coverage would be insured through an organization which carries respect from agencies and community groups. The project would be part of 1 See Thompson, Mary, The Social Worker in the School, MSW Thesis, 1 9 4 7 , University of Br i t i sh Columbia, Vancouver. 115 the Council function of co-ordinating community services. The fact that the constitution of the Community Chest and Council prevents this body from giving direct service would place the onus for the actual treatment program squarely with the neighbourhood agency. Such a compromise would accord with the principle of loca l responsibil i ty and at the same time provide for over-al l co-ordination and research. A TENTATIVE PLAN (as a two year experiment) NAME: The Youth Services Bureau. PURPOSE: 1. To coordinate community efforts to meet the teen-age gang problem. 2. To carry out research on the general problem of delinquency, with special emphasis upon group methods of treatment. ADMINISTRATION: 1. Policy to be determined by a standing committee of the Group Work Division of the Community Chest and Council to be known as the Youth Services Committee. Representation on the Committee should consist of the Executive Director plus one hoard or staff member from each co-operating agency, together with representation from interested ci t izens-at- large. 2. A full- t ime Director. He should have experience in working with delinquent gangs and be qualified to supervise group work students from the Social Work Department of the University of B r i t i s h Columbia. 3. A f u l l or part-time secretary to keep records, assist with research work, handle communications, etc. 4. An approximate budget of $4500 - $4800. 116 FUNCTION OF THE YOUTH SERVICES COMMITTEE: 1. To formulate policy and supervise the Director. 2. To report regularly to the Group Work Division of the Community Chest and Council. FUNCTION OF THE DIRECTOR: 2 # To maintain a close l i a i s o n with the Juvenile Court, schools, case work and group work agencies in identifying delinquent and pre-delinquent gangs. 2. To bring this information to the attention of neighbourhood agencies or neighbourhood committees. 3. To organize wherever possible local neighbourhood committees representing agencies, churches, schools and interested ci t izens which would assist i n planning treatment for specific gangs in their area. 4. To assist the Department of Social Work of the University of B r i t i s h Columbia and other interested departments engaged in research projects on del in-quency treatment. 5. To provide advice, information0and other practical assistance to students or staff specialists working with delinquent gangs. 6. To assume responsibil i ty for the orientation of d i f f i c u l t groups to an agency program or un t i l leadership is available. FUNCTION OF NEIGHBOURHOOD COMMITTEES: 1. To give advice and pract ical assistance to p specialists or Master of Social Work students working with a gang In their neighbourhood. 2. To suggest f a c i l i t i e s and other services. 2 Because of the shortage of specially trained group workers for such jobs, i t may not be possible at f i r s t to employ full- t ime qualified practitioners to work with gangs. However, the use of students on an interneship basis for the f i r s t few years of the project would not only t ra in future paid personnel for the job but also provide students with excellent professional training for other areas of group work practice. 117 PERSONNEL: 1. The actual work with delinquent gangs would be done at least i n i t i a l l y by MSW group work students, administered and supervised by individual agencies in co-operation with the Department of Social Work. 2. Research students in such fields as sociology or psychology might also be invited to undertake special projects. FUTURE POSSIBILITIES Some proviso should be made for the gradual replacement of students by paid staff special is ts within agency budgets. Possibly the Community Chest might delegate funds to agencies for the specific purpose of hir ing well-trained staff for working with delinquent gangs. This, of course, would depend upon the success of the two year experiment. Sufficient f l e x i b i l i t y should be provided to permit eventual incorporation under some public authority such as the school system or public recreation. This might result in special direct services such as summer camps, counselling services etc. ORGANIZATION CHART YOUTH SERVICES BUREAU Community Chest and Council Group Work Division operating Private Agencies Youth Services Committee Student Supervisors MSW Students Director 1 ^ Secretary 1 Co-operating Public Agencies — Student Supervisors M^SW Students Gangs Gangs SLANG OF THE GANG BOY "Beef" - a "street fight" between r i v a l gangs. "Bisco" - The Boys* Industrial School "Drape" -. a term used to Indicate the circumference of the pant leg at the knee. A "drape" may also be a person who wears "drapes". "Dutch drape" - A style of pant with an extremely wide circumference at the knee, giving the appearance of Dutch pantaloons. "Kicks" - shoes. "Okeydokey" - Oakalla prison. "Put the boots to him" - Kick him and jump on him when he is down, a common practice in "street f ight ing". "Skimmer" - hat. "Strides" - a type of pant style with extremely narrow cuffs, especially ta i lored. "Streetfighting" - a type of rough-house fighting in which almost anything goes. Extras such as "brass knuckles" or rings with cutting edges are also used. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY A. GENERAL REFERENCES: 1. Biddle, S. , "The Use of Transference in Dealing with Delinquents", American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, January, 1933. 2. Brown, F . , "Social Maturity and S tab i l i ty of Non-delinquents, Proto-delinquents, and Delinquents," American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, A p r i l , 1938. 3. Close, 0. H . , "California Camps for Delinquents," Social Correctives for Delinquency. 1945 yearbook of National Probation Association, New York. 4. Delinquency Prevention, published by the Divis ion for Delinquency Prevention, State of I l l i n o i s , 1941. 5. Glueck, S. & E .T . , Juvenile Delinquents Grown Up, New York, Commonwealth Fund, 1940. 6. Glueck, S. & E .T . , One Thousand Juvenile Delinquents, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1934. 7. Grant, Glen 0 . , "Recreation as Crime Prevention," The Offender in the Community, (1938 Yearbook of the National Probation Association, New York.) 8. Harris, D.B. , "Play Ac t iv i t i e s Blank as a Measure of Delinquency in Boys," Journal of Abnormal Psychology, October, 1942. 9. Hart, H.H. , "Multiple Factor Analysis of Traits of Delinquent Boys," Journal of Social Psychology, May, 1943. 10. Healy, W. & Bronner, A . F . , New Light on Delinquency and i t s Treatment, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1936. 11. Houtz, F . & Kostick, E . , "Preparation of Juvenile Delin-quents for Treatment," American Journal of Ortho-psychiatry, January, 1947. 12. "Justice and the Child in New Jersey," Report of the New Jersey Juvenile Delinquency Commission, Trenton, 1939. 13. Kvaraceuis, W.C., "Delinquent Behaviour and Church Attendance," Sociology and Social Research, March, 1944. (to 14. Lander, B . , The Prevention of Delinquency, from a report of the Maryland Commission on Juvenile Delinquency, distributed by the Baltimore Youth Commission, Baltimore, January, 1943. 15. Middleton, W.C. & Fay, P . J . , "Comparison of Delinquent and Non-delinquent Boys with Respect to Certain Attitudes," Journal of Social Psychology. August, 1943. ~ 16. Report of the Joint Legislat ive Committee to Investigate Jur isdic t ion of the Children's Courts. known as Children's Court Jur isdic t ion and  Juvenile Delinquency Committee. March 20, 1939. State of New York, Legislat ive Document (19395 #75, Albany, J .B . Lyon Co., 1939. 17. Rogers, K . E . , "A Camp for Emotionally Disturbed Boys," Canadian Welfare. December, 1948. 18. Springer, N .N . , "Social Competence of Adolescent Delinquents", Journal of Social Psychology, November, 1941. 19. Sullenger, T . E . , Social Determinants in Juvenile Delinquency. New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1936. 20. Survey of F a c i l i t i e s Exist ing in the City of Vancouver in the F ie ld of Child Welfare, published jo in t ly by the Kiwanis Club and the Vancouver Council of Social Agencies, Vancouver, 1936. 21. The Governor's Conference on Youth Welfare, preliminary r e p o r t , Sacramento, January 30, 1948. 22. Thrasher, F . M . , "The Problem of Crime Prevention," 1934 Yearbook of the National Probation Association, New York, 1934. 23. Tulchin, S .H. , Intelligence and Crime, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1939. 24. Van Waters, M . , Youth in Confl ic t , New York, New Republic Inc., 1932. ( B. SPEC IF IG REFERENCES: 1. 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Thrasher, F . M . , The Gang,' Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1929. 11. Wanden, June, Working with the Delinquent, Master of Social Work Thesis, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1947. 12. Wollan, K . I . , "The Use of Group Act iv i ty in Probation Work," The Offender in the Community, 1938 Year Book of National Probation Association, New York. 

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