THE FUTURE OF THE JUVENILE COURT
TWENTY-EIGHT years of the juvenile-court movement afford us a retrospect of both its success and failure. It is inevitable that an institution as complex as the juvenile court should develop in various ways in different localities and should attain varying degrees of success. It cannot find its final form in a quarter-century and a little over. What form it will take in the distant future we do not venture to prophesy. However, one point is clear. By whatever name we may call it, and whatever may be its future functions, the "idea" of the juvenile court will be preserved in one form or another for years to come, because this institution is grounded upon a sound philosophy.
Nevertheless, if we can read the signs of the time, there are several significant tendencies in the juvenile-court movement which will eventually shape the future of the juvenile court. These tendencies are: (1) the extension of juvenile- court organization to rural communities, (2) the supervision and standardization of juvenile-court work, (3) the development of psychiatric clinics for children, and (4) the evolution of the family-court idea. An appraisal of the juvenile court, especially as to whether it should be merged into some public agency or whether it should remain a court of social justice for the care and protection of children, will conclude this book.
One of the significant tendencies of the juvenile-court movement is the extension of juvenile-court organization to small towns and rural communities. In the first decade of the movement, juvenile-court organization was mainly dedeloped in the larger cities. Its extension to small towns and rural communities is a recent development and largely a question for the future. In some states rural courts, dealing with children's cases, have been greatly improved within the last ten years. The recent development has been notable, especially in certain southern states, mostly rural, which have