Prediction Methods in Relation to Borstal Training

Prediction Methods in Relation to Borstal Training

Prediction Methods in Relation to Borstal Training

Prediction Methods in Relation to Borstal Training

Excerpt

The preparation and writing of this report have, in many ways, been a remarkable experience to the authors. It has been a great privilege to be accorded the opportunity of conducting the first piece of criminological research to be published under the auspices of the Home Office in accordance with the powers given by the Criminal Justice Act, 1948, and we are much indebted to Sir Frank Newsam, Permanent Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, for doing us the honour of contributing the Foreword. Moreover, we wish to place on record our appreciation of the generous assistance received in the course of our work from the Home Office and in particular from the Steering Committee and its Chairman, Sir Lionel Fox, Chairman of the Prison Commission for England and Wales. To him and to the other members, Mr. P. Allen, then Deputy Chairman of the Prison Commission, Mr. George Benson, M.P., Mr. R. L. Bradley, Director of Borstal Administration, Mr. Frank Foster, Director of the Borstal Division of the Central After- Care Association, Mr. C. P. Hill, Assistant Secretary, Children's Department, Home Office, Mr. T. S. Lodge, Statistical Adviser, Home Office, Mr. F. J. MacRae, Principal Probation Inspector, Home Office we are sincerely grateful. We also express our thanks to Mr. H. C. P. McGregor, Secretary of the Committee, to Miss G. M. K. Beck, B.A., F.L.A., who assisted with the indexes to this book, and to the staffs of the Prison Commission and of the Government Social Survey for their unstinting co-operation, without which our research could not have been completed.

The close co-operation in this research of a criminologist and a social statistician, working as a team and constantly exchanging views on the details of the project, has been of the greatest value to both of us. Although co-operation between the two disciplines has been easy, it would be untrue to allow it to be thought that an integration of case study methods with the statistical approach has been completely worked out in this project. We feel, however, that we may now see the way towards such an integration, and have allowed ourselves to theorise at times about this.

No references have been made in the text of this book to Mr. A. G. Rose's work "Five Hundred Borstal Boys", which appeared only when our work was in galley. Mr. Rose's work was not, of course, a prediction study, although it contains much data comparable with that in our Chapter V. Our own printing was held back after the original study was completely written up so that a validation study could be carried out and included before SYSTEMation (see Chapter VII). We have, however, been able to insert an Appendix commenting upon the findings of Mr. Rose in relation with our own work and from this it will be clear that the two methods of approach, indeed the two ways of thinking about the same problem, are completely different. We have preferred objective and repeatable methods whilst Mr. Rose followed the Gluecks more closely and utilized subjective judgments. It is, however, in the method of analysis of the data that the main difference between Mr. Rose's work and ours will be found.

One thing clearly emerges, whether the subjective or the objective approach is preferred, little is known about optimum methods of treatment for offenders.

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