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PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA DEPARTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL Report of the Director of New Haven For… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly [1952]

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Report of the
Director of New Haven
For the Year Ended December 31st
Printed by Don McDiarmid, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
1952  To Colonel the Honourable Clarence Wallace, C.B.E.,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour:
The undersigned has the honour to submit the Report of the Director of New Haven
for the year ended December 31st, 1951.
A ttorney-General.
A ttorney-General's Department,
Victoria, B.C., February 13th, 1952. New Haven, South Burnaby, B.C., February 13th, 1952.
The Honourable G. S. Wismer, Q.C.,
A ttorney-General, Province of British Columbia,
Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—In accordance with section 13 of the "New Haven Act," 1949, I have the
honour to submit my annual report, setting forth a record of the work of the institution
during the year ended December 31st, 1951.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
Director. Annual Report of the Director of New Haven
For the Year Ended December 31st, 1951
During the year 1951 there were no changes in legislation affecting New Haven.
It has been mainly a period of consolidation. All those committed to the institution,
with the exception of two transferred from the Provincial Gaol, came by direct committal
from the Courts for definite plus indeterminate terms. The British Columbia Board of
Parole, which met each month throughout the year, approved all releases on licence
and handed over the supervision of those serving their licences to the British Columbia
Borstal Association.
At the beginning of the year the Borstal Association had twenty-nine on licence
to supervise; this number was increased to fifty-seven by the end of the year. The
majority of these licensees returned to their homes in the Greater Vancouver area or on
Vancouver Island, but a percentage extended as far as Nova Scotia in the East and the
Yukon in the North. Supervising such a straggling army was no mean feat for a voluntary association, but under the able chairmanship of R. J. Lecky, backed by an enthusiastic and vigorous board of directors, the association was able to report at its November
annual meeting that out of 117 who had passed through the association's hands since
October, 1948, only thirteen had lapsed into further crime. This record was. in no small
way due to the untiring efforts of J. D. Rickaby, the association's first full-time secretary.
Mr. Rickaby, a social-work graduate with field experience, was appointed secretary in
May. His advent marks a milestone in the progress of the association. Through his
energy a group of " sponsors " came into being—men specially selected for the difficult
task of supervising and offering a friendly hand to those released from the institution on
licence. Each youth on discharge from New Haven now has a " sponsor " to supervise
and assist him in the difficult transition period which lies between institutional life and
normal community living. Working from an office in the down-town section of Vancouver, provided by association funds, Mr. Rickaby interviews all lads many times prior
to their release, and is able to counsel and assist those on the outside who call to see him
for advice at his office. Through the assistance of the association, many dischargees
have been provided with necessary clothing on release, as well as financial aid to purchase
tools and equipment required for their employment.
I am very happy to be able to report that the finest co-operation exists between the
Borstal Association and New Haven, and I am deeply indebted to the chairman, the
secretary, and the officers and members of the association at large for the always ready
assistance that they have so willingly given me and my staff throughout the year.
The roll on January 1st, 1951, was thirty-six. The roll on December 31st, 1951,
was twenty-four.
Forty-six were received during the year—forty-three direct committals from the
Courts, one on revocation of licence, and two transfers from Oakalla Prison Farm.
Forty-six were discharged during the year, all of them on licence granted by the
Board of Parole.
During the course of the year six licences were revoked by the Board of Parole.
One of these was returned to New Haven for further training, three were committed to
Oakalla Prison Farm, and two were held in abeyance pending disposition.
It is encouraging to be able to report that over fifty visits were received from
" graduates " during the course of the year, and over eighty letters and cards. OO 6 BRITISH COLUMBIA
There were no changes in the staff of the institution during the year.
Voluntary staff-training discussions were held each week during the months of
November and December under the capable guidance of Hugh Christie, Lecturer in
Criminology at the University of British Columbia. These seminars were well attended
and much appreciated.
I cannot report too highly on the morale of the New Haven staff. They have worked
together as a team in the best interests of the institution, and their co-operation has gone
a long way toward developing a healthy atmosphere amongst our lads. All members of
the staff have given their time and talent in off-duty periods to assist in one institution
project or another: taking charge of camps; coaching teams; assisting with hobbies,
dramatics, and public-speaking groups; making toys for distribution to needy families
at Christmas time; visiting lads' homes; seeking out job opportunities; sponsoring a
youth on licence; and many others. Such a spirit is only found among those who believe
in what they are doing and look upon their work as a vocation.
Once again the only major offence against the discipline of the institution was
absconding. Thirteen absconded during the course of the year—one more than in 1950.
It is perhaps significant that seven of the thirteen absconded within their first ten days
at the institution and a further three within their first month.
Every effort is. made toward assimilating new-comers as quickly as possible in the
New Haven community and facilitating their adjustment to institutional life. Committal
to an " open " institution nevertheless presents a very real temptation to the immature,
unstable youth who is perhaps still fretting over his sentence and wondering how much
of it he will have to serve within the institution. No amount of careful screening will
entirely prevent absconding, nor will severe punishment deter those who have no thought
but for the moment. The establishment of a selection and observation centre where
youths could be interviewed, tested, and observed by competent workers, for a period
of time prior to committal or transfer to an " open " institution, would go a long way
toward cutting down the incidence of absconding.
(1) Vocational Training
During the course of the year fourteen received training in woodworking and sixteen
in metalwork.
The woodworking-shop, equipped with modern equipment and machinery, affords
a splendid opportunity for those who wish to go in for carpentry, furniture or cabinet
making. New-comers to the trade were given basic instruction in the use of hand-tools
and, as their efficiency increased, progressed to the use of power-machinery. More
advanced students were given instruction in the theory of building-construction and
gained valuable practical experience constructing a garage and a large dairy-house on
the property. Those interested in furniture and cabinet making took part in a variety of
projects, including upholstered chairs, a complete kitchen-cabinet unit, beds, an altar
for the chapel, and a large assortment of end, coffee, and bedside tables. Maintenance
of buildings and general carpentry repairs were also carried out by those in the
Students in the metal-shop received initial training in the fundamentals of filing and
bench work, and progressed to instruction on lathes, drill-press, and shaper. Those
requesting it were given an introduction to welding and sheet-metal work.    Projects REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR OF NEW HAVEN OO 7
were designed to develop specific skills and cover basic operations on machines as well
as hand skills. The more senior within the shop, were almost wholly employed on shop
and institutional maintenance.
Nine completed their training on the farm during the year. Here a diversified
course of instruction in the care, feeding, and handling of live stock—dairy cattle, swine,
and poultry—was given. Experience was gained in the use of power-machinery, market-
gardening, and orchard work. During the winter months, lectures were held four hours
weekly by the Farm Instructor covering the more theoretical aspects of breeding, feeding,
and management of live stock, and the more general features of farm practice—types of
soils, use of fertilizers, crop-rotation, etc. As a means of illustrating these lectures,
a number of outside trips were taken by those on the farm to view such large-scale
operations as Pacific Meat Co., Dairyland, and Frasea and Colony Farms.
Perhaps the most popular of the four trades taught at New Haven is cooking and
baking. Those learning this trade receive their instruction in the institution kitchen
under a Cook-instructor. During 1951 nine completed a course in cooking and baking.
Unfortunately, due to the smallness of the kitchen, which was never intended for instructional purposes, it has not been possible to train more. An institution kitchen affords
a fine opportunity for training on the job in both cooking and baking. Besides taking
part in the actual day-to-day preparation of meals, baking bread, and making pastry,
instruction was received in menu preparation, dietetic standards, and the nutritional
contents of various foods. On completion of their training, very few have had any
difficulty in obtaining employment in kitchen work as cooks in camps, on ships, or in
institutions or hotels.
In general, it has been gratifying to note the increasing interest being taken in
vocational training within the institution. Much of the credit for this is due to the
instructors and the high standard of achievement they have set. It is to be hoped that
the day may not be far away when such training will receive official recognition from
the trade unions and Apprenticeship Boards, and that trade training received at a correctional institution will count toward apprenticeship. I am happy to be able to report
in this connection that for the first time this year one of our graduates who passed through
the metal-shop was officially granted six months off his apprenticeship time by the
Apprenticeship Board.
(2) Educational Training
The evening educational programme is compulsory for all at New Haven, and
every lad is enrolled in a correspondence course. The object of the programme is
primarily to stimulate intelligence, broaden horizons, increase interests, and, if possible,
to get the individual thinking outside himself. J. P. Davies, Housemaster, is in charge
of education at New Haven, and has done a most commendable job in maintaining a
healthy interest in this particular aspect of the training.    Mr. Davies reports:—■
"During 1951 seventy-four received courses from the Correspondence Division
of the Department of Education. Of these, forty-five took senior courses and twenty-
nine elementary ones.
" Those of high-school standing are allowed a wide range of choice in selecting their
courses. The courses finally decided upon must, however, fit in with the future occupational plans of the individual concerned. If the student plans to return to school after
his release, he is encouraged to do so, and he enrols in those subjects in which he is
deficient. If successful, he receives full Department of Education credit for these
" Elementary students are not permitted to choose their own correspondence course.
They present a more difficult problem. Many left school in the lower grades and never
learned how to study, and those who advanced further before quitting school to go to
work have often forgotten what little they did learn.   They consequently find themselves 00 8 BRITISH COLUMBIA
badly handicapped in securing jobs in a highly competitive employment field, due to
their lack of a working knowledge of the two basic subjects—English and arithmetic—
and are fit only for casual unskilled labour offering neither permanency nor security.
On entering New Haven, these lads are given grade-level tests by the Department of
Education and receive courses accordingly in either arithmetic, English, spelling, or
a combination of the three. Of the twenty-nine elementary students mentioned above,
over 90 per cent were found, on testing, to be below Grade VII level.
" The following table shows a list of the wide variety of subjects taken in 1951 by
those of high-school standing:—
Literature XI, XII.
Mathematics IX, X, XI, XII.
Social Studies XI, XII.
General Science XI, XII.
Grammar and Composition XI, XII.
Health and Physical Education IX.
Junior Business.
Elementary Mineralogy and Geology.
Air Navigation.
Homemaking-Cooking I, II, III.
House Painting and Decorating.
Diesel Engineering.
Automotive Engineering.
Practical Electricity.
Frame-house Construction.
Effective Living.
Industrial Mathematics.
" Fourteen successfully completed high-school correspondence courses during the
year. Three of these received over 97 per cent in their final examinations, and a fourth
was just over 90 per cent. In the elementary group, ten successfully passed their courses,
and some who were released before they had completed them took their courses home
with them.
"An integral part of the educational programme is a library of some 900 books.
It is widely used, not only for reference in connection with school work, but by all in
their spare time. A wide selection of reading material is available, and includes history,
biography, religion, science, social studies, philosophy, as well as books on vocational
subjects, hobbies, and a generous section of popular fiction.
" Wide use has been made of visual aids in connection with the educational programme. Instructional films embracing a broad selection of topics—history, travel,
industrial development, nature study, human reproduction, music, sport, etc.—have been
shown throughout the year with encouraging results."
Religious training has been continuous throughout the year under the guidance of
our two honorary chaplains, Rev. Harold Berry and Rev. Father McGuire. Regular
Sunday morning worship in our two chapels and a weekly class of instruction for those
of both Protestant and Roman Catholic faiths have played a very definite part in the life
of the institution.
The Anglican Bishop of New Westminster paid New Haven a visit during the early
part of the year and chatted informally with the lads.   This visit was much appreciated. REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR OF NEW HAVEN 00 9
An occasion of note took place in early November, when an altar, constructed at
New Haven, was dedicated at All Saints' Church, Mission City, in memory of those who
gave their lives in the last war. A party of staff and lads and the chairman and secretary
of the Borstal Association drove to Mission to be present at this most impressive ceremony, which was attended by representatives of the armed forces, the Canadian Legion,
Air Cadets, and Boy Scouts.
The sincerity and devotion of both our chaplains have not passed unnoticed.
The general health has been very good, and again we have been most fortunate in
avoiding any epidemics.
All receptions were checked on arrival by the Medical Officer, as a matter of routine,
and any special restrictions noted. Twenty-nine were admitted to our own infirmary
during the course of the year for minor ailments, and eight were admitted to city hospitals for surgery. Three were fitted with glasses and two were provided with dentures.
Seventeen were taken to the T.B. clinic for X-rays. The Medical Officer, Dr. J. C.
Becher, visited the institution weekly and answered a number of emergency calls.
Through the generous co-operation of the Provincial psychiatric clinic we have had
the services of Dr. R. G. E. Richmond, psychiatrist, and R. McAllister, psychologist.
Both Dr. Richmond and Mr. McAllister have visited the institution each week to interview and test all receptions during their first month, as well as those who have been
referred to them at a later stage in their training. Their reports have been of the greatest
value in planning the treatment and training of individual lads.
On the recommendation of Dr. Richmond and by arrangement with the Department,
two youths were paroled on special licence granted by the Board of Parole to receive
treatment at the Crease Clinic of Psychological Medicine at Essondale. Following their
treatment they were both released on normal licence and have to date been adjusting very
satisfactorily in their own communities.   This experiment proved to be very worth while.
An analysis of the average daily food consumption per person at New Haven was
made by Miss Yvonne Love, Nutrition Consultant, Department of Health and Welfare,
during the year. The analysis showed that the New Haven diet, expressed in terms of
nutrients, compared most favourably with the Canadian dietary standard recommended
for men doing heavy work and the United States National Research Council recommended allowances for very active men. Miss Love, in the final paragraph of her report,
states: " The excellent co-operation of the staff has made it possible to develop a most
effective system of food service and food-cost accounting."
It is one of the rules of the institution that all those physically fit are expected to
take part in the brief daily physical-training period as well as in the weekly gymnasium
class conducted by Pro-Rec instructors. Stress is laid in these classes on developing
co-ordination of mind and body, agility, precision, and the building-up of confidence
within the individual.
Team sport has been encouraged as a medium of instilling good sportsmanship and
co-operation as much as for its value in releasing a superabundance of youthful energy.
During the winter an energetic basketball season was brought to a close with a closely
contested game with the R.C.A.F. team at Sea Island. The enjoyment of the game was
greatly enhanced by refreshments afterwards in the sergeants' mess, followed by a conducted tour of the aeroplane hangars. Softball, always a popular sport, commenced in
the spring and continued through to the late fall with a number of week-end games. Five
fixtures were arranged with outside teams, including one " away " game on the Central
Park playing-grounds. 00 10 BRITISH COLUMBIA
An annual sports day was held on Dominion Day, to which parents were invited.
This was the first time that parents had been invited to such an event. It proved highly
successful. The participants were divided into groups, coached by individual staff members, and a trophy was presented to the best all-round athlete. At the conclusion of the
day's events, lads and parents sat down on the lawn to a picnic supper. The enthusiastic
expressions of appreciation, often coming from the most unexpected quarters, amply
repaid those who had worked hard to make the day a success. There is little doubt that
sports day will become an annual traditional event.
Again this year we were offered the facilities of Camp Artaban on Gambier Island
for a week's camp. Ten of our number, chosen for the progress they had made in their
training, and a supervisor went up by boat in the late spring. As in former years, the
mornings were spent preparing the camp-site for the summer season, cutting cordwood,
painting buildings, and doing general repair work. The afternoons and evenings were
free for supervised expeditions, boating, and fishing. The supervisor in charge reported
very favourably on the fine spirit of co-operation of those attending the camp. Unfortunately, we were not able to continue the week-end camps, so successfully started last
year, due to the fire-hazard and closure of the woods. It is to be hoped that it will be
possible to develop this experiment more extensively next year. Small informal camps
fill a great need and have a definite place in the general training programme.
Interest in hobbies has, if anything, increased over the past year. All are encouraged
to take part in the hobby programme, and one night a week is reserved entirely for
creative hobbies. On this evening the trade shops are kept open and instruction is available. The quality of the work done and the interest shown has been most encouraging.
Once again this year a group exhibit was entered in the International Hobby Show at the
Pacific National Exhibition, and New Haven had the distinction of winning not only the
Grand Silver Award for the most outstanding group exhibit, but also the Canadian
Hobbycraft Trophy awarded the best entry in the whole show. By special arrangement
with the manager of the exhibition, all our number were taken in three groups to see the
In the fall a group of volunteers, along with members of the staff, offered to make
toys in their spare time for distribution to needy families in the community at Christmas
time. Lumber was donated by local firms for this project, and over 400 well-constructed,
attractive toys were handed over to the Burnaby Christmas Cheer Fund for inclusion in
their Christmas hampers.
The Vancouver Junior Chamber of Commerce again sponsored a public-speaking
course at New Haven. A large number enrolled, and classes were held each week for
four months. At the conclusion of the course a public-speaking contest was held, at
which the Reeve of Burnaby, the president of the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, and
many interested friends were present. The poise and confidence shown by the contestants and the able manner in which they expressed themselves was remarked on by the
visitors and was ample evidence of the hard work put into the course both by the students
and their instructors. The winner, who had chosen as his topic "World Peace," was
presented with the Mayor Thompson Challenge Trophy, and the most improved speaker
throughout the course received a trophy presented by the Junior Chamber.
In January a debating team from New Haven took part in a friendly debate against
a team from the South Burnaby Junior Chamber of Commerce at the South Burnaby
Junior High School. The topic for debate was " Should lotteries be legalized? " Both
members of the team presented their material very creditably, and the judges awarded
the decision in their favour. REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR OF NEW HAVEN OO 11
A musical-appreciation group formed a year ago continued to function periodically
throughout the year, meeting on Sunday afternoons. Due to the generosity of the ladies
of the Vancouver Centre Liberal Forum, we have been able to build up a small collection
of semi-classical recordings. Those who are interested in listening to this type of music
are often the most difficult to reach through normal activities, being, in many cases, less
robust and more introverted by nature. Music for them fills a definite need. Through
the kindness of Mrs. E. E. Buckerfield, vice-president of the Vancouver Symphony
Society, tickets were made available for the Sunday symphony concerts at the Orpheum
Theatre, and groups of lads were taken to six concerts during the year.
A number of entertainments were held at New Haven sponsored by various societies
and organizations. Notable amongst these were the Burrard Male Chorus, the A.O.T.S.
who put on three entertaining programmes, and Pete Cowan and his " Westerners." The
West Vancouver Table Tennis Club on two occasions gave exhibition games and followed
this up with a special film on table-tennis. We are most grateful to all these organizations
for their kindness. A number of full-length feature pictures was shown during the year
as well as some very informative commercial films loaned by commercial and industrial
firms. All these entertainments were much appreciated and brought home to the lads in
a forcible manner the fact that people on the outside are interested in their welfare.
I cannot conclude this section without expressing our appreciation once again to
Mrs. A. E. Hunt and the ladies of the Forum who so very generously contributed to our
Christmas fare by providing large hampers for those who had no families to remember
them over the Christmas season, and knitted numberless pairs of socks for distribution
to those about to be released.
Since the beginning of the year there have been many changes in the correctional
field. The new Young Offenders' Unit at Oakalla has been opened as a training unit for
those youths in need of closer custody than New Haven can provide. The emergence
of this unit should afford a much needed extension of the work already being carried out
with youthful offenders. It is to be hoped that the indeterminate sentence and release
on licence will shortly be extended to this new institution, and that it will then be possible
to effect a closer co-operation between the two establishments than has existed hitherto.
In conclusion, I should like to acknowledge with gratitude the guidance and assistance I have received from Colonel Pepler, Deputy Attorney-General; Mr. Selkirk,
Departmental Comptroller; and members of the head office staff of the Attorney-
General's Department; for the helpful co-operation and backing afforded me by the
Chairman and members of the Board of Parole; and to those numerous organizations,
both public and private, which have assisted us in so many ways—the Provincial Probation Branch, the Provincial psychiatric clinic, the John Howard Society, the National
Employment Service, and the many friends who have taken an active interest in our work.
Printed by Don McDiarmid, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty


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