Juvenile Probation: An Analysis of the Case Records of Five Hundred Children Studied at the Judge Baker Guidance Clinic and Placed on Probation in the Juvenile Court of Boston

By Belle Boone Beard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
PROBATION AND COMPANIONSHIP

"Juvenile delinquency" usually connotes group activity and not lone individuals secretly (or even openly) engaging in anti-social behavior. When a rock crashes through a window, the owner of the building starts in pursuit of "some little devils." When a fruit vender finds his wagon overturned, he says, "I'll get the rascals." In general, certainly, this is true. Because of the tendency for evil doers to work in pairs or groups it is extremely important to analyze, first, the part companions play in the motivation or expression of behavior; second, the work of the probation officer in handling companionship problems; and third, the relative efficacy of various methods of treatment.


EXTENT OF DELINQUENT COMPANIONSHIP

Fortunately the number of sources through which both subjective and objective data regarding companionship could be gathered was very great; and each provided unusual opportunity to secure abundant material. Chief among the sources of information are the child's own accounts of his companions: first, as given at the time of his arrest to the police officer, the judge, the probation officer, the complainant, and his parents; later, as told during his examination and treatment at the Clinic to psychologist, psychiatrist, and social worker; and finally, the child's evaluations of his past experiences as confided in retrospect to the probation officer, the Judge Baker Foundation follow-up visitor, and the psychiatrists or headmasters at state training schools.

The opinions of parents and other members of the family

-75-

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