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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Juvenile Delinquency

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AN OVERLOOKED DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
    Recent breaking up of a gang of youthful shoplifters here has brought to the attention of Ashland folks the problem of guiding youngsters along the straight and narrow path. In any community, a certain proportion of the boys are going to stray from the prescribed trail, and getting them back onto it is a delicate problem.
    Ashland, fortunately, has the advantage of a police force which understands this problem fully, and which attempts to apply remedies not only to protect the public, but also those which will work for the ultimate best interests of wayward boys. The record here, since Chief of Police C. P. Talent was appointed by Mayor Wiley about five years ago, is something of a surprise when analyzed.
    Of the 400 lads who have found themselves in the police station for one kind of mischief or another during Talent's term, but five of them have been "sent up." Four were sentenced to reform school and one to the state penitentiary. Of those feeling the brunt of the law, but one has chosen to become a law-abiding youth. Three of the others have been repeaters since their release from confinement.
    But of the other members of the 400, only 10 have ever been back into the police station for questioning or discipline. Which leaves about 390 lads who responded 100 per cent to the treatment received from Ashland police when they were caught on the wrong side of good citizenship. Of the 10 who have been in the station twice in the last five years, but two are figured to be "bad"--or repeaters. The cure has worked in all other cases.
    Perhaps a large proportion of the 400 cases handled by police could have been sent to reform school had the letter of the law been followed. But in Ashland, much thought has been given to the human values involved and a course has been followed which has produced the greatest good for the wrongdoers and which also has given society much better than average protection.
    Of course, Ashland police are not hampered in the performance of their job by a pack of hungry shysters, as are police in some other communities. Every time a culprit is rounded up here there are no hair-splitting barristers handcuffing justice--for a fee--and officers have been able to secure convictions in every case taken to court without exception in the last five years. It is this fatal effectiveness, together with an understanding of the problems of youth and of ways and means to meet them, that has helped the youngsters of Ashland keep out of serious trouble.
    Parents here should be thankful that Ashland has an understanding, intelligent police force. It is as important to the proper training of youth as public schools.
Southern Oregon Miner, Ashland, August 19, 1938, page 4


Four  Runaways in Juvenile Reports
    Four runaway children were reported to the county juvenile office last week, according to a weekly summary of cases reported to the office. Two of the runaways, ranging from 13 to 17 years of age, were reported missing from homes in Jackson County and the others from Portland and Oakland, Ore.
    Also reported were a 15-year-old incorrigible girl, an 11-year-old boy beyond parental control and two cases of neglected children.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 30, 1946, page 1


Truancies Lead Juvenile Report
    Seven truancies lead the number of juvenile cases reported to the county juvenile office last week, it was reported today. Other juveniles brought to the attention of the office included two boys, aged 16 and 17, game law violation; a 15-year-old girl, forgery; 14-year-old girl, beyond parental control; 17-year-old boy, theft, and two neglected children.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 4, 1946, page 3


Delinquent Children Cases Largely Reaction
to Home Conditions, Juvenile Officer Says

    Stressing the fact that a juvenile court is a court of law, and not a police court, John Richard, new juvenile officer for Jackson County, spoke at the meeting of the Medford League of Women Voters Saturday afternoon. The juvenile officer should not be expected to "act like a policeman" or to patrol dance halls or streets, he explained.
    Richards stated that 80 percent of the cases of delinquent children are the reaction of the children to bad conditions in the home and that it is really the parents who are "delinquent" rather than the children.
Concerned with 'Why'
    In dealing with children, a juvenile officer is primarily concerned with the "why," or the motive behind the action, rather than the guilt and punishment, he stressed. Depending upon the nature of the case, the child is placed either in a foster home, an institution or counseled and put on probation, the officer said.
    There is a need for a woman probation officer in this county, the speaker declared, pointing out that the law forbids a male juvenile officer to transfer delinquent girls to institutions. Also, in some instances, a woman may be better able to help a child, he said. Richard said he realized that this could not be accomplished here at this time, but that it was a goal toward which citizens could work.
    He further stressed the need of quarters in which to place children during detention periods, since those under 14 years of age cannot be kept in the juvenile ward of the county jail.
Bad Situation
    Cases involving juveniles may be brought to the officer either by petition from a private citizen or by the police, the officer said. In Jackson County the juvenile officer is also expected to be the truant officer, he added, and declared this to be a bad situation as each is a full-time job.
    The officer emphasized the need of recreational facilities and good supervision as well as the vital need of religious and moral education for all children.
    Concluding, the officer emphasized that a juvenile court is not primarily for prevention, but for rehabilitation and that prevention is the work of the parents and the citizens of a community.
    He outlined the history of juvenile courts as a preface to his talk and stated that it was only as a result of children inheriting property that they began to be treated as individuals with rights deserving of consideration. New York and Massachusetts both pioneered in the matter of probation for children, he said, and Oregon's system of handling juveniles dates back only to 1905.
County Fortunate
    Only 11 out of 35 counties in this state have full or part-time juvenile officers, he said, which he termed a "sad state of affairs."
    Judge H. K. Hanna introduced Mr. Richard, stating "we are very fortunate to have such a man." The judge briefly outlined the need of a trained man in juvenile court work and said Richard had been secured through cooperation of the advisory committee which has been formed from representatives of the various service groups of the community.
    Mrs. Stephen G. Nye presided and stated that no January meeting would be held by the league.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 9, 1947, page 1


Wild Parties by Juveniles Revealed in Report to Court
By Mrs. Edward C. Kelly
Member of County Juvenile Committee

    That the juvenile problems of Jackson County have reached serious proportions, with the worst cases of delinquency developing in the so-called "better homes" of Medford, was the highlight of a report made by Juvenile Officer John Richard in Judge Hanna's court Tuesday afternoon before the full county juvenile committee and members of the district attorney's office, state, county and city police.
    Mr. Richard cited as "just one problem" the current case of between 50 and 60 teenagers who, over a period of weeks, have been holding unchaperoned parties in homes where liquor flowed freely and repeated sex offenses have occurred, often after the girls have become intoxicated.
    The parents, the report stated, acceding to the wishes of the youngsters, had spent the evenings elsewhere, leaving the parties unrestricted. Because these children have been protected by parents and friends, reports of their misconduct have not reached police nearly so soon as had they occurred among children from poorer homes. It was only when some serious results developed that complaints were brought to the juvenile court and to the police. The solution of the case still awaits action by the juvenile court, the officer said.
    "The juvenile problems of Jackson County are on an upswing," declared Richard, "and are far more serious than most parents realize. They have become too big for any one man or for the juvenile court or the schools or officers to handle alone. Parents throughout this county must face facts realistically and share the responsibility for their own children, their whereabouts, the company and hours they keep and the trend of their behavior. It is only through individual responsibility and united cooperation that we may hope to cope with the present juvenile problem facing this county."
    During the past year, Richard reported there were 303 juvenile cases, involving 209 children, handled by the local office. Of these, 77 were formal cases tried before the judge, the remainder handled by the juvenile officer. Boys constituted 70 percent of the offenders and girls 30 percent, but there were four times as many girls as boys committed to institutions.
    The two most pressing needs here now, the officer stated, is a local juvenile detention home, where children could be held awaiting hearing of their cases; and the services of a trained woman probation officer to shoulder some of the load and to handle many of the cases involving girls. Mr. Richard pointed out that as many as 10 or 12 children are now held for weeks in the county jail before the court docket can be cleared sufficiently to hear their cases. While they are kept apart from older prisoners, the jail environment is not conducive to the best results in the later solution of child problems, he said.
    Mr. Richard expressed deep appreciation to city, county and state police officers, to school officials and the welfare and health agencies for their "invaluable cooperation" in dealing with the juvenile cases handled by the court since he took office here in November of last year.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 25, 1948, page 1


Youngsters Reply to Juvenile Committee;
Generalized Accusations Are Resented

By Monte J. Kounz
Medford High School Student

    Last week a spectacular article appeared in this paper describing the alleged conduct of some of our Medford young people. The inadequacy of the report is the concern of this article, prepared by a representative group of Medford youth.
    We are definitely concerned with the complexion the report has somehow given a major portion of the young people here. The article actually refers to excesses of a minority and certainly not of the majority.
Time To Speak
    It seems it is almost always the older folk who do the writing and talking about juveniles, and for that reason we believe it is time you hear the kids' viewpoint--kids who sincerely respect the opinions of their elders, yet wish to be heard. To a large extent we represent the youth of Medford, and we are proud of that representation.
    Certain of our young people have committed rather grave social errors; these are perhaps the fault of youth, but certainly they represent the conduct of the minority. We would even like to temper the criticism of that minority.
    Youth has lived through a war and pre-war period when moral precepts, even life itself, were of little value. We, like you, are largely the product of our environment, our heritage, and associations. Where, from what other source, are our personalities and character built other than from what we hear, see, and read? We shall even go so far as to say that our apparent laxities are perhaps the reaction of some of us to an unstable, and, dare we suggest it, a shifting morality in your adult world.
Very Practical
    We are young, and we are young in a world that is seemingly short of adult answers. Nevertheless, we are trying very seriously to determine the important things; what the worthy goals in life are. This is difficult, for great books tell us one thing; society and newsprint tell us another.
    Were the recent news story a measuring rod of our possibilities, we would not feel now called upon to write. We are not dreamy idealists; rather, we are very practical. We have a fairly good idea of what we would like to see and it is not a reproduction of what we find in this 1940-50 world, a world which, with impunity, you seem able to pass on to us.
    Youth is sinless when society needs it; at other times its weaknesses are dominant, and its abilities seemingly forgotten. The youth going to these parties are fundamentally decent. They are not delinquents; rather they are, for the greater part, youth who have found time heavy and unmanageable. Close family relationships are now exchanged by many adults for matters almost wholly concerned with the so-called "larger issues" of national and world interest.
Better Homes Blamed
    The recent story has another objectionable feature. It places blame directly on what it classifies as the "better homes" of Medford. The unfortunate result of this ill-chosen and slanderous phrase was that suspicion unjustly focused on completely innocent persons.
    Although we believe the young people who were the subject of that recently published article were wrong, we sincerely believe the symptoms are being futilely treated while the causes go unnoticed.
    The point to be emphasized, however, is that Medford can be proud if its youth, for we know that we can match our achievements and ideals with those of youth anywhere.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 3, 1948, page 1


Low Caseload Reported by Juvenile Office
    The Jackson County juvenile department report for the month of June shows one of the lightest case loads reported over a 30-day period in the past year. Only 23 new cases were assigned during the month.
    Six youths were held in jail and 15 were detained in their own homes. Two were placed in foster homes and one was placed in the Boys and Girls Aid Society in Portland for adoption. Two cases resulted in court hearings and the juvenile officer, John Richard, held 177 office interviews in connection with delinquency and dependency.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 1, 1949, page 7


Committee Hears Reports on Juvenile Court Work, Studies Agency's Work
    A discussion of the functions of a juvenile court, as distinct from a criminal court, followed reports covering the year's work of the Jackson County juvenile department last night, at a meeting of the circuit court's juvenile advisory committee. Representatives of more than a dozen organizations attended the meeting.
    Ray Harrison, Phoenix, chairman of the group, presided at the session, which approved the appointment of a committee to draw up a formal charter and by-laws. Named to this committee were Mrs. Marjorie Barnes, Mrs. Chester Guches and Major Jack Little, of the Salvation Army.
362 Cases
    John Richard, county juvenile officer, told members of the group that there have been 362 juvenile cases handled so far this year, as compared to a total of 468 last year, and that the total number will probably be about the same for the two years by December 31. Eighty-nine court hearings have been held so far this year, compared to only 60 for all of 1948, and he added that more children have been held in jail this year than last.
    Two Jackson County young people have been sent to the St. Rose Home, nine to Hillcrest School for Girls, one to the Louise Home for Girls, 10 to Woodburn School for Boys, five to Fairview Home, and five have been placed with the Boys and Girls Aid Society for adoption, while eight have been placed in foster homes, under public welfare, by court order and others have been placed in foster homes by mutual agreement, Richard said, and a search for an adequate emergency care home is being conducted.
Seek New Officer
    Mrs. Victor Birdseye reported on efforts being made to obtain a trained worker for the position of female juvenile officer. About 16 applications have been received, although many have been eliminated for lack of educational or other qualifications. One person is now under consideration, Mrs. Birdseye said, and will be interviewed by representatives of the advisory committee. Applications may still be submitted for the position, she said, and wide distribution was given to the information that such a job was open here.
    Mrs. Dunbar Carpenter led a discussion designed to familiarize members of the committee with the type of case handled by the juvenile court, and she gave several actual and hypothetical cases to illustrate her points. She also pointed out the difference between the criminal court, where emphasis is upon finding the guilty party in a crime, and the juvenile court, where emphasis is upon the individual youngster and his attitude and future possibilities.
    The difference between dependency and delinquency cases also was pointed out by Mrs. Carpenter.
    Next meeting of the group will be upon call of the chairman after the charter and by-laws committee has finished its task.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 6, 1949, page 15


Juvenile Committee To Meet Thursday Form Organization
    The Jackson County Juvenile Court Committee, called together on a temporary basis two years ago, has proved itself an indispensable aid in carrying out important parts of the juvenile court program, according to Judge Herbert K. Hanna.
    He is therefore asking the full committee to meet in the circuit court room Tuesday, November 15, and take steps to form a permanent organization.
    President Ray Harrison, who has called the meeting for 8 p.m., will appoint a committee to draw up by-laws governing the body. At present there is no provision for election or rotation of members on the advisory board or for electing officers of the main body.
All Urged to Attend
    Judge Hanna also has urged that all civic, educational, religious and patriotic groups in the county send representation so that a complete cross-section of the population be heard from on juvenile problems.
    Reports on the program up to date will be made by Juvenile Officer John Richard, Judge Hanna, President Harrison and Mrs. Victor Birdseye. Progress toward obtaining an emergency care home for juveniles whose cases are awaiting disposal by the court will be reported by members of the advisory committee.
    Members will also be advised of the applications received up to date for the office of woman probation officer needed by the court.
    The first demonstration in the juvenile court workshop program will be launched at this meeting, prefaced by an introductory talk by Mrs. Dunbar Carpenter.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 16, 1949, page 5


Juvenile Advisory Group Hears Report
    Extensive fact-finding surveys, reports and recommendations in all fields relating to children have been made during the past year by the governor's committee on children and youth, Michael Shapiro, executive secretary of the committee, told members of the advisory committee of the Jackson County juvenile court here this week.
    In explaining the purposes of the governor's committee, Shapiro stated it was organized by Gov. Douglas McKay in 1948 with the following objectives: To gather and study data relating to children, to evaluate existing services, to make recommendations, to act as a clearing house for material pertaining to children, to suggest and encourage local community services and to plan Oregon's participation in the White House conference.
To Recommend Services
    The White House Mid-Century Conference, he stated, has been called by President Truman to be held in Washington, D.C., next week and will be attended by more than 6000 delegates representing 48 states and five territories to study, evaluate and recommend services for children.
    He stated that the Oregon reports in such areas as education, mental and physical health, family life, recreation and delinquency are just now being made available. He explained they show some improvements in services for children but also point out unmet needs, chiefly in lack of public understanding of facilities now offered and in the need for additional trained personnel.
Services Explained
    During the business portion of the advisory committee meeting, Frank Sawacki, county juvenile officer, further explained services offered by his office and stated three of the most pressing needs at the present time are full and part-time jobs for older teen-agers who often need the psychological value as well as the financial value of work; homes where girls may work for room and board, and clothing for children in the shelter home. In telling of the need for clothing, Sawacki explained that neglected and abandoned children who are given care there often times do not have clothing of their own and everything from pajamas, underwear, jeans, dresses and sweaters are needed for both boys and girls between the ages of four and 14 years. Any one having used but good clothing for donation is asked to have it in the juvenile offices of the court house in Medford.
Boys' Club Formed
    Col. P. B. Waterbury, Ashland, chairman of the preventive recreation committee for the advisory board, stated a boy's club has been organized in Ashland with 50 boys enrolled for instruction in boxing, weight lifting and other sports. He stated he would be willing to assist in organization of similar clubs in other communities.
    Robert Duncan of the detention committee, stated plans are being drawn for a program to establish a detention home in the county so children will not have to be housed in the jail. He further stated it may be necessary to subsidize such a program on a temporary basis until such time as it can be assumed by the community as a whole.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 30, 1950, page B5


Juvenile Department Reports 102 Cases
    The Jackson County juvenile department of the circuit court last month handled a total of 102 cases, according to the November report of Frank Sawacki, probation officer.
    Sawacki said he and his deputy, Miss Helen Busenbark, conducted 193 office interviews and made 91 home visits. Two cases were taken to court. Seven juveniles were held in the county jail; one was placed in a foster home; one was cared for in the county's shelter home and one was committed to the state training school.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 6, 1950, page 9


Juvenile Officer Tells What ls Needed to Aid Youngsters; Assistance of Parents Vital
    The three teenage boys who were referred to county juvenile authorities last Saturday, after attempting to molest a young girl, are under strict supervision in the custody of their parents, County Juvenile Officer Frank Sawacki said today.
    Further investigation and action will be taken by the juvenile department, he said. Sawacki explained that one of the main duties of his department is to make inquiries into such matters to aid the court in determining what caused the youngsters to misbehave.
    It is on the basis of such investigation that the court will be better able to decide what needs to be done to solve the problem posed by the children's action, he said. Steps will be taken to make sure they can find it more worthwhile to behave in "socially acceptable ways" instead of getting into mischief, Sawacki added.
    The juvenile officer said that one of the first approaches which the juvenile court uses in protecting juveniles, for their own and the community's well-being, is to help parents discharge more effectively their responsibilities toward their offspring.
    It sometimes happens, he said, that parents are not aware of their children's whereabouts or activities when the youngsters are away from the house. Most of these parents desire to provide for the needs and problems of the children, he emphasized, and most of them, with the assistance of the court and its officers, are able to do so.
Social 'Disease'
    Sawacki explained delinquency as a behavior problem--a social "disease" whose roots and solutions are to be found in the home and community. Quite frequently, he said, such a deep-seated behavior problem may be colored with "unwholesome emotional factors" and strained relations between children and adults.
    Sawacki emphasized that parents play a vital role in the rehabilitation of children with such problems. He added that all persons and agencies coming into contact with a child influence him, one way or another, in shaping his attitudes.
    When it can be done, placing delinquent children with their parents while awaiting further court action is a significant step for the child, and for his parents and the community also, Sawacki said. He said that "concentration of parental attention is an important beginning which the court uses in mobilizing the human and other resources of the child, his parents and the community."
All Factors Needed
    All these factors are needed to aid the youngster to "get back on his feet," Sawacki said, so that more mischief, or outright antisocial behavior, can be avoided.
    In other instances and under different circumstances, the court may take different steps. Each child receives individualized consideration, he pointed out.
    "The real and lasting protection of our community lies in helping our errant children become well-adjusted and constructive citizens as quickly as possible," the juvenile officer said. The protective services and efforts of the juvenile court, as provided by law, are among the important aspects of protecting the community through attention to the young people, Sawacki concluded.

Medford Mail Tribune, January 9, 1951, page 2


19 New Juvenile Delinquency Cases Handled in Month
    The Jackson County juvenile department handled 19 new cases of delinquency and dependency during December, according to Chief Probation Officer Frank Sawacki's monthly report. The juvenile department placed five children in detention in the county jail, sent two to Woodburn training school, and provided substitute homes in the juvenile shelter home for three others, the report said.
    The report shows that 73 cases were carried over from November, one case was transferred from another court and 22 cases were closed during the month. There were 68 cases carried into January and three cases were transferred to other courts.
    Sawacki made 95 visits, held 239 office interviews and conducted two court hearings during the month.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 9, 1951, page 2


Service to Kids in Trouble Motivates
County's Juvenile Court; Methods Told

    Almost every day the news columns of this paper contain items about kids who are in trouble with the law--last year there were 251 of them. If they were under 18 their names were withheld and their cases given a minimum of publicity.
    Stories about juveniles picked up by police frequently close with the statement, "The youths were placed in the custody of county juvenile authorities." From there on, the public's idea of what happens is pretty hazy. That is because juvenile workers don't crave publicity. In fact, they shy away from it. The law requires records to be kept from reporters and from the just plain curious because juvenile delinquents need protection and help, not public censureship.
    Frank Sawacki, Jackson County's new juvenile officer, said this week, however, that he has decided to make the public an active partner in his job. Feeling that more public understanding of what juvenile work involves would help him accomplish more, Sawacki has released a report on his department that is the first of its kind seen here. Never before has a branch of the county government taken the public so fully into its confidence. No other department needs public help so much.
Process Explained
    The juvenile department first hears of its cases when they are referred to it. Juvenile officers don't go out looking for kids to haul before the judge. Most "referrals," of course, come from police departments--state, county and city. Other reports come from parents--"we just can't do anything with Johnny''--from relatives, schools, social agencies, and from other juvenile courts and probation officers. Before any action is taken, these reports are always investigated to determine if they are well-founded.
    If the juvenile office finds the reported cases serious and calling for action, the person making the referral is asked to sign a petition or complaint before the county clerk. This document states what the person making the report alleges to be true, according to his information and beliefs.
    This routine is simply to give the department a legal basis for action.
Prompt Action
    Sawacki emphasizes the need for prompt referrals whenever a juvenile problem comes to light. "Unduly delayed referrals tend to obstruct the real interests of the child, his parents, and society," he says.
    Cases that come within Sawacki's jurisdiction fall generally into two classes: delinquency and dependency, most of them the former. Dependency includes youngsters who are abandoned, abused, or neglected.
    Statistics included in Sawacki's report show that last year out of a total of 428 juveniles who received the service of the department, 251 were delinquents and 177 were dependency cases.
    How does the two-man staff of the juvenile department handle this crowd of kids and their parents? (Often the parents pose as difficult a problem as the children.) Sawacki has one assistant--Miss Helen Busenbark, who specializes in cases involving girls and very young children. The best answer to the question is that the scores of cases are not handled as effectively as Sawacki and Miss Busenbark would like to see then handled. The juvenile court, frankly, needs a larger staff and more funds at its disposal.
Needs Help
    In lieu of these, it is seeking to make more use of what sociologists call "social agencies." The court needs, and is developing, the cooperation and help of schools, health and welfare agencies, law enforcement agencies, recreational organizations, church groups and civic clubs.
    Sawacki explains: "All community youth-serving agencies and groups are in a strategic position to better meet the needs of children, both to prevent human distress and to alleviate or remedy it after it does occur."
    When the needs of a delinquent child prove too much for the resources of the community groups, the problem falls directly and exclusively on the shoulders of the juvenile department.
Study Needs
    From then on the machinery of rehabilitation goes to work, with the needs of the child always the criterion of action.
    (Sawacki's report speaks frequently of "the needs of the child." By this he means emotional security, affection, understanding, recognition, guidance and discipline, and material aspects of need.)
    The process begins with interviews--not hit or miss prying into a youngster's private feelings but a carefully planned search for understanding based on genuine interest. A juvenile worker's relations with his charges are delicate. If an interview becomes a lecture instead of a meeting of friends, the case may become a lost one and the number of rehabilitated delinquents is the measure of the worker's success in achieving this rapport.
Parents Interviewed
    First the child is sounded out. Then the parents, if there are any. On the basis of these discussions, a case history is drawn up. They are detailed, intimate and confidential. They give the caseworker the overall picture of the problem and point to a solution.
    Solutions can fall into several categories--a foster home, probation under the direction of the department or a court-appointed sponsor, or commitment to a training school. Solutions are put in the form of a court order pronounced at a juvenile court hearing presided over by Judge H. K. Hanna. The court's interest continues, of course, after the hearing, and more cases are continued each month than are closed.
    Last year this process was followed 428 times, with some variance in each case. Here is how some of the delinquency cases were disposed of: 93 continued for probationary supervision; 87 investigated and adjusted: 18 committed to public institutions (State School for Boys at Woodburn and the girls' school at Hillcrest; St. Rose Home in Portland for less seriously delinquent girls; and the Fairview Home for the Feeble-Minded); 35 referred to other courts; and two committed to private institutions.
    The most difficult aspect of the delinquency problem is that period between referral and final disposition. Many youths are in such serious trouble they cannot be released. In the meantime they have to have care that meets certain minimum standards.
    Here is how Sawacki describes the need: "Statistics show that each year about 90 to 100 juveniles are detained in the county jail. Two-thirds of them, in the past two years, were detained three to seven days or more. The majority, or better than 90 percent of them, were 15 years of age or over, with boys being detained in a ratio of 4 to 1 over girls. A jail is the poorest kind of care a juvenile in trouble can be given."
    He points out that "detention is emergency care given a delinquent youth who is beyond self-control, out of control of his parents and may repeat behavior which is harmful to himself or the community. When a child is at odds with himself and society to such an extent, he needs neither pity nor punishment. He does, however, need services and activities designed to meet his varied needs."
    In other words, Sawacki is campaigning for a detention program that would be a "service station" instead of a "cold storage locker," to use his own terms.
    Despite its shortcomings, Jackson County's juvenile program is one of the most progressive in the state. It is not the best. It is the court's hope that improved understanding of the need on the part of the public can help make it the best.
    (A second summary of other aspects of juvenile court work will be published in the Sunday edition of the Mail Tribune in the near future.)
Medford Mail Tribune, February 18, 1951, page 13


Detention Home, Jobs for Youngsters
Said Biggest Needs of Juvenile Court

    Juvenile Officer Frank Sawacki's report of his department's work in 1950 does not claim that "there is no such thing as a bad boy." But the report does show clearly that the juvenile court, supported by the public, is in a position to keep delinquent boys from becoming troublesome adults.
    Delinquency problems take up most of the court's time. They spring from both broken homes and from normal homes, from poverty-stricken families and from prosperous families. About the only thing the court's delinquents have in common is their emotional and social maladjustment. Sawacki calls this ailment a "social dis-ease."
Probe Backgrounds
    Delinquency cases, in most instances, are referred to the court by the police. Naturally, they involve misbehavior of varying degrees--petty thievery, vandalism, arson, sex offenses, drunkenness and grand larceny. The court's treatment of the youths in trouble begins with a thorough probe into home and family backgrounds.
    Working from the premise that the delinquent is suffering from a social "dis-ease," parents and teachers are usually the first ones contacted when the investigation begins. In the majority of cases, the source of the difficulty is found through these contacts.
    With that background knowledge, the juvenile caseworker is able to begin remedial action, and it is at this phase of the work that the Jackson County juvenile court is handicapped from the beginning, especially in regard to severely disturbed youngsters. Proper detention facilities are not provided.
    Sawacki declares: "Until Jackson County citizens meet this need, a great weakness will continue to exist in the protection of our children and our society."
    Juvenile delinquents here must share the county jail with adult felons and misdemeanants. Though the county jail here is considered one of the best institutions of its kind in the state, and juveniles are kept in a separate section, it still is no fit place for children.
    "Poor detention care, which jails and their iron bars represent, may well mean the loss of [a] potentially useful citizen," Sawacki points out. He claims that jailing children essentially defeats the ends of constructive juvenile justice and child protection to which society has dedicated itself. Jailing breeds further misunderstanding, resentment and hatred in the youngsters toward society; it can lead to bankruptcy of good citizenship in the child and add more costly burdens to the taxpayer by further pushing the youth on to a possible criminal career and imprisonment in a penitentiary.
100 Jailed
    Despite the obvious need for something better, some 100 juveniles, both boys and girls, are held in county and city jails here every year.
    The pressure for wiping out this initial handicap in juvenile work is increasing here. The court now has an active advisory committee made up of voluntary individuals appointed to assist the judge of the juvenile court. They are representatives of all kinds of organizations and civic groups in the county, together with private citizens interested in improving juvenile work. The group now claims nearly 200 members, and its effectiveness in promoting juvenile justice is already a matter of record. It has insisted that the county employ juvenile workers with training and experience in the field of social work and has even underwritten part of the juvenile officer's salary so that a competent specialist would be attracted to the job.
    An example of the cooperation between the committee and the court was the manner in which Frank Sawacki, the present juvenile officer, was chosen for his  job. Judge H. K. Hanna delegated to the committee the responsibility for screening and finally approving applicants. The committee's recommendation was accepted by the county court when it chose the new officer.
    Chiefly, though, the committee functions as a sort of liaison group between the public and the court, focusing attention on the needs of juveniles in the county and attempting to crystallize public approval of funds to support the court's work.
    Sawacki's report says that, generally, the need for service to juveniles in the county appears to be relatively static. During the 5-year period of 1946 to 1950, the annual caseload of the court varied from a low of 347 in 1947 to a high of 467 in 1948.
    It is the future that Sawacki views with concern. He asks, "What will the year 1951 and afterwards mean to the insecurities, deprivations and other disrupting influences, to which children will be exposed in the light of a war-bent world? What will this mean to homes and families of children if mobilization of armed forces continues to intensify; and what about children if Camp White should be reopened?" He said he anticipates an increased need for the "protective services" of the juvenile department in the future.
    While the total of juvenile cases remains fairly fixed from year to year, there is, for some reason, a wide range in the number of cases reported from different areas of the county. Medford, for example, ranks fifth among the county's school districts in the number of cases referred in 1950. Out of every 1,000 children in the district, 20.95 required the service of the court during the year. The heaviest concentration of juvenile cases in 1950 was in Jacksonville, where 33.90 children out of each 1,000 children in the school district were in juvenile court for either delinquency or dependency.
    Figures for other communities in the county were Trail, 32.96; Rogue River, 27.09; Eagle Point, 23.49; Ashland, 19.66; Central Point-Gold Hill (Consolidated District 6) 18.72; Sams Valley, 18.18; Prospect, 17.25; Butte Falls, 11.69; Phoenix, 10.25; Talent, 8.37.
    In addition to a detention home to handle juveniles after they have become "cases," Sawacki stresses the need for "preventive" services--jobs for older
juveniles served by the court and work homes for both older boys and girls. These are needed in rural and city areas alike. Constructive work as a substitute for idleness is one of the chief therapeutic methods for rehabilitation used by juvenile workers. It also removes the economic motive for mischief.
    Set against the national standard, Jackson County's juvenile delinquency problem should not be considered serious, at present. By and large, the kids in this area are a pretty decent bunch. But when a minority of them does get into trouble, the county's resources for dealing with them show a serious deficit. Only an expression of public support can wipe it out.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 25, 1951, page B1


Many Juvenile Cases Handled in March
    The Jackson County juvenile department carried a total of 152 cases during March, according to a monthly case report issued yesterday. The number included 105 cases carried forward from February and 45 new cases assigned during the month. Two cases were transferred from other courts.
    The juvenile department closed 29 cases during March and transferred 8 to other courts, leaving a total of 115 which were carried forward into April, the reports show. Juvenile Officer Frank Sawacki and his assistant, Miss Helen Busenbark, made 187 visits, held 356 office interviews and conducted 11 court hearings during the month.
    Six juveniles were detained in the county jail and two were cared for in the department's shelter home. One juvenile was sent to the Fairview home and two were returned to the Woodburn boys training school.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 10, 1951, page 12


5 of Each 100 Medford Youngsters Need Aid from Court
Troubles Classed as Delinquency and Dependency
1951 Annual Report Discusses Problems
    More than 50 children out of every 1,000 in Medford required the services of the Jackson County juvenile court in 1951. That was the highest rate of service in the county.
    These children, 259 of them in all, included 132 delinquents--those who for some reason had become involved in acts ranging from carelessness or mischief to auto theft.
    The remaining 127 children were dependents, who were brought to the attention of the court because they lacked adequate support or care, were abandoned or subjected to cruel treatment or for other similar reasons.
Report Gives Data
    These figures on local juvenile needs are revealed in a seven-page report of the juvenile court's activities in 1951. It was released recently by the court's advisory committee and was prepared by Frank Sawacki, juvenile officer, and by Miss Alice Grace, deputy.
    Just behind Medford was Jacksonville with a rate of service of 43.56 per 1,000; Rogue River, 39.44; Prospect, 27.70; Central Point and Gold Hill, 26.55; Ashland, 23.45; Eagle Point, 20.38; Talent, 18.97; Phoenix, 18.12; Shady Cove-Trail, 14.88, and Butte Falls, 12.33.
Rate of Service Up
    The rates of service rendered by the court in the 11 towns averaged 28.96 children per 1,000 of school census, compared with 19.80 in 1950.
    The report lists several reasons for the increase: Increasing population, greater awareness of problems and concern for them, and more familiarity with the services of the juvenile court. It adds that "it is apparent that Jackson County is a growing community, that there is increased demand for services of the juvenile court, and that adequate services require more staff."
    The children who needed the services of the court in increasing numbers last year fell into the two separate classes mentioned--those who were delinquent and those who [were] made dependent by their parents.
Stealing Most Frequent
    Of the delinquents, the most frequent cause of trouble among boys was stealing, usually petty thefts. There were 49 cases of that type, followed by carelessness or mischief, truancy, unlawful entry, running away, sex misconduct, auto theft, being ungovernable and injury to other persons, in that order.
    Among girl delinquents, the most frequent cause of trouble was truancy, followed by being ungovernable, carelessness or mischief, running away, stealing, sex misconduct and unlawful entry, in that order. They avoided auto thefts and injuries to other persons.
    Dependent children were, in most instances, referred to the court because they lacked adequate care or support. There were 130 cases of that type. Others were referred because they were placed in conditions injurious to their morals, because they received abusive and cruel treatment or were abandoned or deserted.
Disposals Told
    To dispose of the cases, the court placed 201 delinquents under continued supervision of the two trained workers in the court; 53 were investigated and "adjusted"; 15 were committed to public institutions; 49 were referred to other jurisdictions; 4 were referred to other public departments, and 5 were committed to private institutions. Of the dependents, 74 received continued supervision and 47 were investigated and "adjusted." Forty-nine dependents were referred to other public departments.
    The Jackson County jail was used as a place of detention for 68 boys and 8 girls during the year, pending a decision of the juvenile court on a solution for their problems. Thirteen were detained in the county shelter home.
    The foremost source of referrals of juveniles to the department last year was various police agencies. Police referred 168 delinquents and 29 cases of dependency to the department. Close behind were parents or relatives, who referred 99 dependency cases and 29 delinquencies to county officials.
Other Sources
    Other sources were schools, which reported 51 delinquencies and 10 dependencies; social agencies, 3 delinquencies and 19 dependencies; other jurisdictions, 15 and 7, and other sources, 27 and 71.
    The objective of the juvenile court and its staff, according to the report, is to help delinquent youngsters to stand on their own feet, as responsible, constructive citizens. To achieve these ends, the juvenile officers strive for "social investigation," or study, and "treatment," or rehabilitation of the youths.
    On the basis of social investigation, a plan of treatment is decided on. In some cases, institutionalization is recommended, but in most cases probationary supervision is suggested to the judge by the juvenile department. Youngsters are encouraged to help draw up probationary rules which will help to prevent repetition of misbehavior. These rules, or conditions, relate to such things as hours, companions, activities, making restitution for damages where practicable and other similar items.
Supervision Stressed
    The report states that supervision of the youngsters, which starts at this point, is the "biggest part of the job." The more intensive service can be given, the more effective results will be, Sawacki points out. In addition to the child, his parents, teachers, doctor or pastor and other interested persons are contacted in order to bring about better adjustment for the child and allow him to find acceptable behavior more natural.
    The success of probationary services depends on such things as early referral, adequate resources and juvenile department staff, and cooperative interest and understanding from persons directly concerned with a child in trouble, the report states. It adds that individualized help is a prime necessity for best results.
Lack Adequate Program
    Regarding dependent children, the report states that due to volume of referrals and limitations of the court, preventive services are not as extensive as they should be if an adequate program is to be maintained. It is essential to concentrate on meeting the needs of neglected and dependent children through a well-organized preventive service before they reach the court as delinquents.
    The report emphasizes the importance of sound family life for children. "Although many factors influence the formation of the personalities of children, the family is the most important single force," it states. The report points out, however, that some families need help to meet a crisis in family life.
    Worry and uncertainty of meeting basic needs because of such things as high cost of living are contributing factors which bring about a need for help. Others include separation of families by death, divorce or illness. The report states that it is the purpose of the juvenile court, and other community services, to help such families to do better jobs for themselves and their children in a practical way.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 23, 1952, page 13


Narcotics Sales to Medford Youths Charged by Judge
Supports Investigator for District Attorney
    Charges that "There hasn't been a year in the last 30 that narcotics haven't been sold to high school children in Medford," rose out of the Jackson County budget hearing here this morning.
    The charge was made by County Judge J. B. Coleman in defense of an item of $3,600 for an employee of District Attorney Walter Nunley's office to conduct special investigations in the county.
    It had previously been brought out that the leading duty of the investigator would be to study narcotic sales in this area. The investigator job was recommended for that purpose by the county grand jury, Judge Coleman said.
Three Object
    The item drew fire from Medford attorneys Hugh Collins and Joe Fliegel, and from West Side farmer Henry Conger. The three asked that it be stricken from the budget, but the motion was defeated by a 5 to 3 margin of the eight persons attending the hearing.
    Nunley said that "We have a local narcotics problem, particularly among the kids. We are having to work with what we have and it's not too satisfactory."
    He based this statement, he said, on reports from county juvenile authorities and from reports from two Medford doctors in the past two weeks.
Problem "Intangible"
    In answer to a question from Collins, Nunley said he had requested aid from state narcotics authorities, but not from the U.S. Treasury Department because the problem is "still too intangible."
    City police and school officials said this morning that they have no knowledge of sale of narcotics in Medford. "If we did we'd be making arrests," Police Chief Clatous McCredie said.
    City school officials said that they have no knowledge of narcotics sales to students, and requested that anyone having such information immediately turn it over to the proper authorities. They added that it has been the schools' policy immediately to investigate all such stories in the past.
Should Ask Aid
    During this morning's hearing, both Fliegel and Collins rapped the plan for a special investigator by stating that if the local and state law enforcement agencies have broken down to the point where the district attorney must take up crime prevention and apprehension of criminals, the county should appeal to the governor for aid.
    Both expressed doubts that this was the case, and voiced their confidence in local and state law enforcement agencies.
    Nunley told them that the state has been unable to step in and aid with the local narcotics "problem," and added that city and county officers are unable to handle the problem because they are well known as law enforcement officers.
    He pointed out that he had discussed the appointment of an investigator with the state attorney general, who had been in agreement with the plan. The idea is not new, but has not previously been tried in Oregon, Nunley said.
    Fliegel expressed the opinion that secret payments to a special investigator were "un-American," and added that the public would not approve of a "stool pigeon" form of investigation.
    The advantages of keeping the investigations undercover, as is done in other levels of law enforcement, was pointed out by the district attorney.
No Other Objections
    There were no objections to other portions of the budget, although Collins voiced the opinion that the duties of the county veterans' service officer are a "triplication of effort."
    Collins' motion that the county emergency fund be increased from $12,000 to $14,000 died for lack of a second.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 12, 1952, page 1  This budget item led to the notorious Jeffreys Report.


How To Attract, Hold Competent Juvenile Workers
Debated by Advisory Committee

    How adequate professional services in the county juvenile department can be maintained on present salary scales was discussed at a meeting of the Juvenile Court Advisory Committee last night.
    The group, which is composed of representatives of more than 30 county organizations, considered the fact that the salaries of the chief juvenile officer is $4,200 and of his deputy $3,300--both of them far below standards for trained and experienced workers in the field.
    Frank Sawacki, juvenile officer here, has already submitted his resignation, and Miss Alice Grace, the deputy, has indicated she is considering resigning soon. If both leave, the department would have no trained workers.
    The county budget this year was prepared on the basis of no pay increases for any county employees, it was pointed out at the meeting. There was no quarrel with this policy, but members also said that the juvenile officers have had no pay increases for two years, although the county last year did assume payment of a portion of the salary formerly paid by private organizations.
    John Schapps, director of the western office of the National Probation and Parole Association, who was present at the meeting, was asked what salary he would suggest as being adequate to attract and hold trained and competent personnel for juvenile work. He indicated that somewhere around the $5,000-per-year level would be necessary.
    The committee also voted to go on record as protesting the county budget committee's cut in various departmental budget requests, particularly for institutional care for children, and for mileage, which they said is below the amount allowed for other departments.
    Schapps, at the request of the committee, will keep an eye out for possible replacements for Sawacki and Miss Grace. Sawacki will be leaving probably about the middle of July.
    Schapps also reported on a preliminary survey of detention home needs he recently completed at the request of the committee.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 17, 1952, page 1


Juvenile Detention Home Seen Possible; Desirability Debated
    John Schapps, director of the western office of the National Probation and Parole Association, last night told the Jackson County Juvenile Court Advisory Committee that establishment of a juvenile detention home here is "feasible," but that a decision as to whether it should or should not be constructed is up to the community and its leaders.
    Schapps made a preliminary survey of detention needs at the request of the committee and of the groups which it represents--more than 30 organizations and agencies of the community. There was no charge for the survey, which is one of the "technical" services furnished by the NPPA, a non-profit group dedicated to the improvement of penal methods and rehabilitation.
Three Questions
    His survey was based on three questions--1. whether there is a need for special juvenile detention facilities separate from jails; 2. feasibility of such a project, and, 3. the possibility of collaboration in the job with Josephine County.
    His work included inspection of jails and "tanks" in Jackson and Josephine counties, discussions with police officers and inspection of their juvenile care statistics, and discussions with other community leaders, lay and professional.
    He recommended a "modest" start on the project with the erection of a "family-type"' detention home, and pointed that Josephine County needs some similar type of facility, and that a contractual agreement of some sort might be worked out.
    He recommended against an expensive "institutional" type of project.
Other Studies Seen
    Capacity of such a home would have to be worked out by a detailed study of needs, and plans and specifications also were not within the scope of his preliminary survey, he said. The needs of detained youngsters in health, education and recreation should also be taken into consideration.
    A discussion of his report followed, with several members of the committee bringing up various points of view. District Attorney Paul Haviland pointed out that under present costs, such a facility would probably cost a minimum of some $60,000, with probable operating costs of $25,000 or more yearly. He suggested that a more realistic approach would be to hire additional juvenile officers to work with parents, and to prevent situations from arising where detention is necessary.
    He also said that periods of detention for youngsters ordinarily are not more than a day or two, and that with a remodeling of a part of the jail, adequate facilities could be provided there. If such a proposed "family type" home were established, and were vacant many days each year (as Schapps figures indicated it might be), Haviland said it would be an unwarranted use of taxpayers money.
Comments "Heartening"
    Schapps commented that it was "heartening" to hear a prosecuting officer state that additional juvenile workers are needed, but said that he feels detention facilities can offer constructive solutions to juvenile problems which jails, by their very nature, cannot. He granted that per capita cost would be high, but also stated that it would be money spent in prevention of crime, and would pay for itself in the long run.
    The committee voted to accept Schapps' report, and to appoint a subcommittee to study it and recommend the next steps to be taken by the larger group.
    If additional studies are deemed necessary, the committee would conduct them with the assistance of the NPPA, which would offer its services on a less-than-cost basis.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 17, 1952, page 13

Probation Officer Issues 1st Report to Juvenile Court
    Mrs. Kay Kunkel, recently appointed chief probation officer for the Jackson County juvenile court, Saturday issued her first statistical report to the court since arriving in Medford in mid-August.
    There were a total of 54 active juvenile cases when she arrived, Mrs. Kunkel said. During the report period, which was from August 12 to October 1, complaints concerning 83 children were received by her office, 25 of them from Medford, 18 from Central Point and 9 from Ashland. Others were received from Rogue River, Jacksonville, Talent, Eagle Point, Prospect, and Table Rock. Eleven concerned transient children.
Referrals Made
    Police departments made the largest number of referrals, 34 with parents asking help in 11 cases. Neighbors, the sheriff's office, relatives, other agencies, the district attorney and the health department also made referrals.
    More than half of the new cases, 54, were for delinquency reasons, with the others for dependency or retardation reasons. Neglect by parents was cited as the offense in 26 cases, followed by malicious mischief on the part of the children in 20 cases, 16 runaways, and scattered cases of burglary, drinking, petty theft, sex offenses and truancy.
    Fifty-three of the youngsters referred were boys, 30 were girls.
    The probation officer dismissed 35 of the cases after one or more interviews. Eighteen were rejected and referred to other agencies. Other dispositions included returning the youngsters to their residence without cost to the county, a court petition was filed regarding eight of them, 17 are awaiting further action, and 22 cases were rejected as not being within the jurisdiction of the department.
Four into Court
    Of four cases which were brought into court, two subject children were returned home, one was placed in a foster home and one was placed in a private institution. One child was sent to the Fairview home in Salem.
    Of the 83 children seen during the month, only 28 were living with both parents. All the other 55 were in broken homes of one type or another.
    Children spent a total of 12 days in the county jail during the month, and a total of 35 days in the county shelter home.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 5, 1952, page 10


Detention Pays Off in Treatment of Kids, Juvenile Officer Says
    "Detention of youngsters who need help pays off," Mrs. Kay Kunkel, Jackson County juvenile officer, told a meeting of the Juvenile Court Advisory Committee last night.
    Mrs. Kunkel, formerly chief probation officer of San Joaquin County, California, who was also responsible for the detention facility there, spoke in response to a subcommittee's report which recommended that, as a stopgap measure, a portion of the county jail be renovated for care of young people in trouble.
Points to Damages
    Mrs. Kunkel pointed out that in one recent case, obviously unusual, an 11-year-old boy committed crimes which cost the community some $20,000 in actual monetary values, and an inestimable amount in other values.
    The boy had earlier been picked up on other charges. but was released for lack of care facilities, Mrs. Kunkel explained. Had there been a detention home, where he could have been restrained and given treatment, the community would have been saved the costs of the arson and burglaries he committed.
    Judge H. K. Hanna, who in addition to his circuit court duties is juvenile judge, pointed out that Oregon law specifically forbids the imprisonment of youngsters under 14 years of age. In this case, he said, he followed the law and turned the boy over to the custody of the sheriff, who had to place him in jail simply because there was nowhere else to confine him safely.
Can Not Afford?
    Mrs. Kunkel said it is not a case of whether the county can afford a detention facility--it is a case of whether it can afford not to have one. In addition to the destruction caused by this one case, not even figuring other similar cases, the boy will continue to cost the county a minimum of $60 monthly for care in Portland, and perhaps more, she pointed out.
    One phase of detention work with juveniles is the increased chance of returning a useful citizen to society. Mrs. Kunkel stated, thus converting a tax-using liability into a taxpaying asset.
    Judge Hanna said he is opposed to spending any money to "improve" the jail facilities for youngsters, for several reasons, chiefly because it is completely opposed to the philosophy of juvenile laws under which he must operate.
Tells of Jail Use
    Bob Duncan, chairman of the committee and a member of the subcommittee which reported on detention needs, presented the report. In it it was pointed out that in 1951, a total of 117 youngsters were placed in jail, or an estimated .7 of 1 percent of the 16,000 youngsters in the county.
    The report "deplores" the necessity of using jails, but under present circumstances members felt that expense of a juvenile detention facility could not be justified. It recommended:
    1. A continuing and cumulative study of juvenile detention needs.
    2. Minimization of the use of jail, through proper use of foster homes and other methods of care.
    3. As a short-range and partial solution, improvement of a portion of the county jail for use of youngsters, keeping in mind the hope that a real detention home can be acquired later.
    4. Establishment of a committee to aid in filling the time of imprisoned youngsters, and seeing to their education.
    5. Rejection of the offer of the National Parole and Probation Association's offer to conduct a comprehensive survey of detention needs.
Further Work
    The committee set aside the report without action, and asked the group's executive committee to do further work on the problem.
    Some 30 persons attended the meeting, representing a variety of organizations throughout the valley. Duncan explained the purpose of the committee as serving as a flexible assisting committee to Judge Hanna, advising him on the juvenile court's relationship to various community problems.
    One principal aim, he said, is for its members to gain knowledge of the problems of juvenile correction work. and to carry them back to their parent organizations so that the entire community may be advised of the situation. A continuity of membership will be necessary for the success of this aim, he pointed out.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 28, 1952, page 6


Juvenile Court Advisory Committee Discusses Site
    A report on efforts of the county court to secure a site for the juvenile detention home, voted by the county in 1952, was made last night to the advisory committee of the Jackson County juvenile court.
    Bill Abbott, chairman of the committee, said the court as yet has been unable to find a suitable site for the home, although several pieces of property have been considered.
Sites Impractical
    He reminded members that site requirements advised by the National Probation and Parole Association make many suggested sites impractical. A "sufficient property" should be available to ensure adequate outdoor areas, isolation from neighboring property, and reasonable room for future expansion, according to a survey report made of the county by NPPA.
    It would also be best to locate the home away from delinquency areas and the local jail. It should be set back from public streets and conveniently near main roads to enable easy access.
    Mrs. Kay Crowell, county juvenile officer, gave the annual report on juvenile department activities, which involved 428 children. A total of 119 were held in the county jail during 1955.
McLaren School Report
    Gleason Crowell, parole officer from McLaren School for Boys, reported that of the 207 boys allowed to spend Christmas with their families, 193 returned within the time allowed, 11 remained at home on parole, two were taken into custody, and one was returned to the school.
    Medford Police Chief Charles Champlin gave a summary of activities of the PAL club, which provides physical recreation for boys five nights each week.
    Miss Dana Platz, Dewey Wilson and Frank Durante were named to a budget committee by the executive committee. The three, with James Armson of the juvenile department and Abbott, will meet with the county court to discuss the department budget.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 24, 1956, page 13


Police Department Receives New Order on Juvenile Cases
    A new general order governing procedures involving juveniles has been issued to the Medford police department by chief Charles Champlin.
    The order is a revision of the previous order issued Oct. 7, 1955, and "brings things up to date," Champlin said. Most of the policies specified have been in practice for some time, and are merely formalized in the order.
    Champlin said the latest order was made up partly in anticipation of the increasing number of juvenile cases to be handled in municipal court, due to the recent city ordinance which gave a complete coverage of liquor law violations.
Policies Outlined
    Specific policies outlined in the order are:
    1. The term "juveniles" refers to persons up to and including 17 years of age.
    2. Persons 18 years of age and over will be considered as adults.
    3. No juvenile under the age of 14 will be placed in jail.
    4. No arrest report will be made on any juvenile under the age of 14.
    5. When any juvenile 14 years of age or over is arrested an arrest report will be made.
    6. If the platoon lieutenant or sergeant or other supervisory personnel believe that an arrested juvenile 14 years of age or over should not be held in detention, he is hereby authorized to release said juvenile to the parent, guardian or other responsible persons.
Release Procedure
    7. When a juvenile is released, the release should be accomplished by notifying the person who is to be responsible for the juvenile to take custody of the juvenile at the police department. If this cannot be done officers will transport the juvenile to the home of the person responsible.
    8. If it is believed necessary to detain the juvenile either in the county detention home or the county jail, the Jackson County juvenile department will be contacted for authorization to do so.
    9. When any juvenile is arrested or questioned his or her parent or guardian will be notified as soon as practicable.
    10. A copy of all case reports in which juveniles are involved will be furnished to the Jackson County juvenile department.
Reports to Schools
    11. A copy of all case reports in which juveniles are involved will be furnished to the superintendent of Medford public schools if the juvenile is currently a student in any of the Medford public schools.
    12. Persons responsible for a juvenile will be advised that reports will be furnished to the Jackson County juvenile department and that said department may or may not take further action in the case.
    13. Juveniles will be permitted the use of the telephone when they request it.
    14. Juveniles will not be handcuffed unless it is considered necessary by the officer for protective reasons.
    15. In cases in which juveniles are involved, officers' reports and statements will be prepared in five copies.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 23, 1957, page 14


Teen-Age Parties Occur in Homes, Chief Claims
    Many teenage parties involving liquor consumption and sexual promiscuity occur in private homes while parents are away, Charles P. Champlin, chief of Medford police, said today.
    City officials have received a number of inquiries over the the weekend referring to a statement made by a teenage girl that she and her friends would gather for their illicit parties on Saturday nights in "unpatrolled parts of town."
    The statement was in connection with reports of an outbreak of venereal disease in a local group composed largely of juveniles.
    "I would like to assure these people." Champlin said, "that the entire city is under patrol. Of course we cannot patrol all areas too frequently.
    "Many of these sex parties have occurred in private homes while the parents are away. Normally, our men on patrol do not look inside houses to see what is going on. We usually get reports of disturbances inside houses from neighbors.
    "A lot of this has been happening," Champlin said, "because of a lack of parental supervision."
    Dr. A. Erin Merkel, Jackson County health officer, said today that his office in the last few days has examined nine people possibly exposed to venereal disease, with negative results. He said others of the 29 now on his list have been to private physicians.
    Discovery last week of two positive cases of disease, coupled with reports of juvenile promiscuity at gatherings where it might have been spread, has resulted in attempts by Dr. Merkel's office and by police of Medford and other towns to find those who might have been exposed.
    Medford police and other officials are continuing their investigation of a steadily growing list of names. The investigation also includes possible sources of liquor consumed by youngsters.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 2, 1958, page 1


Detention Is Greatest Change in Juvenile Court's Report
    Greatest change in Jackson County juvenile court's annual report is the detention picture, according to Mrs. Kay Crowell, county juvenile department director.
    The year 1958 was the first year the detention home has been in operation. According to the official statistics, jail detention of juveniles in this county rose from 90 in 1954 to 152 in 1957 and 45 in 1958. Those held in the new detention home near the National Guard armory south of Medford numbered 209. The new home was opened Jan. 20, 1957.
    "Prior to the opening of the detention home, many minors really in need of detention were not detained," Mrs. Crowell said. "This was because all officials were reluctant to confine juveniles in a jail in close proximity with adult prisoners."
    Reasons for detaining the 45 minors in jail were that no space was available in the detention home, fugitives from corrective facilities, minors too difficult to handle in the family-type facilities as operated in the detention home.
Average Period
    Average detention period per child for the 209 children kept in the detention home during 1958 was 15 days. This is slightly above the recommended time set by the National Probation and Parole Association, Mrs. Crowell noted.
    However, inadequate staffing of the juvenile department is responsible, she added. Mrs. Crowell said she rigidly controlled the numbers and types of cases admitted despite predictions that once available the facility would be full all the time.
    The detention home operated at maximum capacity of 12 for 89 days during 1958, Mrs. Crowell reported. Only two days were noted when the detention home occupancy was as low as two children and no time when some minor wasn't lodged there.
    Ten children classified as "non-delinquents" were detained there during the year. Two other children were detained temporarily to protect them from an emotionally disturbed parent. The other eight were detained until [the] Jackson County welfare commission could provide shelter care for them.
Seven-Day Week
    The detention home operates on a seven-day service basis and the welfare department on a five-day week basis, Mrs. Crowell pointed out. Shelter care for older children is not always possible to obtain on weekends and holidays.
    Few incidents occurred in the detention home during its first year, the juvenile department director stated. One runaway was reported, one screen in detention quarters cut deliberately, and one pane of glass broken accidentally. No clogging of plumbing occurred, no assault or injury to staff, only one injury to a child through an accident, and only two illnesses requiring isolation and special medical care occurred.
    The balanced meals served averaged a cost of approximately 30 cents per meal, Mrs. Crowell noted.
    Summing up her statistical report, Mrs. Crowell noted three main factors prominent in the overall picture. This is the first full year of operation for the detention home, first full year of a regular juvenile court day each week and addition to the juvenile department staff of one counselor assigned full time to supervise boys on probation.
Department Members
    Two members of the department have been in the department since before 1958, Mrs. Crowell remarked. As director, Mrs. Crowell completed 6½ years in 1958 and the boys' counselor, assigned full time to pre-court investigation and court presentation, completed 1½ years.
    The girls' counselor position was vacated and replaced in September and the boys' supervising counselor joined the staff in August. Turnover in personnel slows down the processing of cases and decreases general departmental efficiency because of the need of training, the director pointed out.
    During the last five years the number of juvenile cases referred to the department has more than doubled with the total for 1958 slightly higher than those of 1957. In 1954 there were 382 cases and in 1958, 796 cases referred. The number of cases referred increased from 382 in 1954 to 688 in 1956 probably because of the large number of reports required by the armed forces for recruitment purposes, the director explained.
Below National Level
    Of the five years of 1954 through 1958 this county has remained a little below the national and state level in the number of children involved in delinquency. County ratio is approximately 3.5 boys to one girl involved in delinquency.
    The highest rate of delinquency in this county occurred with boys at 16 years of age and girls at 14 years, the director stated. Sixteen-year-old boys were involved in 77 delinquent acts and 14-year-old girls in 25. Three delinquency cases involved children of 10-11 years old and five of 18 years and older.
    Offenses most commonly repeated in Jackson County, according to official statistics in 1958, were running away, 78; theft, 57; beyond parental control, 48; burglary, 34; malicious mischief, 21; auto theft, 14; injury to person, 6; and sex offense, 3. Malicious mischief shows an increase of from eight cases in 1957 to 21 in 1958. Burglary shows a slight drop of 25 to 14 cases. All other cases show a slight increase or remain the same.
Car Theft Drop
    "Car theft has dropped this year, and it is notable that the preponderance of cars stolen in this county is from car lots where keys are left in the cars and privately owned cars with keys left in the lock," Mrs. Crowell said. "Incidents of cross-wiring, common in other areas, are unusual in Jackson County. There seems to be no need for ingenuity on the part of the offender, because the community is careless of its property."
    Medford had the highest number of cases referred to the court, 392 compared to 397 in 1957. Ashland had 90 referrals in 1958 and 75 in 1957. Central Point cases in 1958 numbered 55 and 62 in 1957.
    Since Jackson County is a border county it received a large number of children from other areas, 76 in 1958 compared to 83 in 1957.
    Runaways from five states were held here in 1958, Mrs. Crowell noted. They included Arizona, 1; California, 24; Montana, 1; New York, 1; Washington, 15. This also included four minors from foreign countries, three from British Columbia and one from Baja California, Mexico.
    Referrals to the juvenile court come mainly from law enforcement agencies with Medford police referring the most, 212. State police referred 97, sheriff's office, 71 and Ashland police, 27.
    In 1958, only 47 minors were referred more than one time, and in 1957, 103 minors were referred more than once, Mrs. Crowell said.
    The court still has an undesirably large number of referrals on both the official and unofficial level. "These are disposed of on the basis of dismissed at intake and held open without further action," Mrs. Crowell pointed out. "From these cases will come many of next year's referrals."
    Since the majority of all these classifications are boys' cases, they indicate a need for an additional boys' counselor, Mrs. Crowell recommended.
Case Load
    "The case load of the single supervising officer is too large already for efficient work and the additional counselor could take a portion of the official supervision load. It would decrease further referrals by giving counseling and supervision to the boys on unofficial probation," the juvenile director said.
    One of the bright spots in the overall picture is that adequate court time has resulted in felony offenses receiving the juvenile judge's attention instead of being handled by juvenile staff.
    Adequate staff for supervision of minors is showing a slight decrease in repeated referrals, Mrs. Crowell pointed out. Out of 18 commitments of boys and girls to state institutions, four of the 13 boys committed were recommitted for parole failure.
Year of Supervision
    "A full year of supervision would decrease commitments to state institutions for delinquent children and a lowering of the detention period," Mrs. Crowell pointed out.
    "Barring unforeseen events and if an adequate professional staff is granted the department, the present detention facility should be adequate for the community for the five years initially planned," Mrs. Crowell said.
    "Development of additional shelter homes for detention for non-delinquent children and development of foster homes of various types to care for adolescent minors, delinquent and dependent, are still needs of the community," Mrs. Crowell concluded in her report.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 25, 1959, page 5


Fewer Cases Are Reported to Juvenile Department Last Year
    Forty-seven fewer cases were referred to the Jackson County juvenile court in 1959 compared to 1958, according to the department's report made to the United States Children's Bureau.
    This is the only agency compiling statistics for the nation's juvenile courts, Mrs. Kay Crowell, county juvenile director, explained Friday.
    "This was pleasant, but surprising, news to the juvenile court and its staff," Mrs. Crowell remarked. "It's difficult to trace the cause for this drop. However, parents and their children who get into trouble are learning we are handling all cases promptly and few if any escape us. Problem children are being straightened out by parents before they get to us."
    Mrs. Crowell also credited the work of other public agencies with considerable preventative work. The Southern Oregon Child Guidance Clinic provides counseling and guidance for both parent and child before the case becomes one for the juvenile court.
Referred from Department
    Of course, some are referred from the juvenile department, Mrs. Crowell pointed out. Visiting public health nurses are able to help correct unhealthy home conditions which eventually contribute to delinquency. A family counseling program tied in with the child guidance clinic would also help considerably, she added.
    Coupled with the factor of a decrease in referrals is the fact that more cases are being handled officially and fewer unofficially. An official case is one for which a petition is filed in juvenile court. The unofficial case requires investigation and followup but is not necessarily brought to the juvenile court, Mrs. Crowell explained.
    In 1959, 379 cases were handled officially compared to 365 in 1958. Unofficial cases numbered 370 in 1959 compared to 431 in 1958.
Not Great Change
    "Although these changes are not great in numbers, and do not indicate a trend on the basis of a single year's count, the court is interested in analyzing possible factors which are accountable for them," the juvenile department director said.
    "Evaluation of these figures requires considerable resources available to the court and their use," the director continued. "Jackson County is one of three counties in the state with a juvenile detention home. In 1958, a total of 209 children were detained in the detention home. In 1959, 286 children were held there. However, the average detention period for a child in 1958 was 15 days and in 1959 average detention period per child was reduced to 11.2 days," she said.
    A counselor was added to the juvenile department in the 1959-60 budget year and two men counselors were assigned to full-time supervision of boys on probation, Mrs. Crowell pointed out. One woman counselor does part-time supervision of girls on probation. This made it possible for the court counselors to increase their supervision of minors from 127 in 1958 to 210 in 1959.
    "You can see from the 1959 statistical report that adequate staff has resulted in greater amount of juvenile court work being done at the official level," the juvenile department director pointed out.
Increased Use
    "This means increased use of the detention facility and regular court hearings (395 in 1959). Greater supervision has had a deterrent effect upon potential juvenile offenders and caused parents to assume more responsibility to avoid juvenile court contact. The court is not limited to soon-forgotten warnings without being able to back up these warnings. This is the theory of professionals in the field of probation and delinquency control. These current Jackson County statistics would bear out that theory."
    The juvenile court and department has received "excellent cooperation" from social service agencies and law enforcement officers, Mrs. Crowell noted. There is a determination in the community to provide the required resources for the court's work, she added.
    Statistics for 1959 show that the greatest number of referrals have come from Medford police, 176. Oregon state police rank second with 81 and the Jackson County sheriff's office was third highest in number of referrals made with 73. Ashland police referred 45 cases and other police departments from one to three each.
Growing Confidence
    Parents and relatives referred 60 cases to the court which indicates a growing confidence in the court and its personnel, by the public, it was pointed out. The Jackson County public welfare department referred 34.
    Other referral sources include Marion County, Coos County, Lane County, Benton County, Klamath County and Josephine County juvenile courts and juvenile courts from California and Idaho. Many of these cases, 100 a year, consist of runaways, Mrs. Crowell explained. Jackson County ranks third in the state in number of runaways handled. Multnomah County ranks first and Lane County second. These referrals from outside the county also come from children moving in or are home investigations requested.
    Public schools referred nine cases, probation officers 13, other social agencies 14 and all other sources 20.
    Cities and towns from which juveniles were referred were Medford, 337; Ashland, 90; Central Point, 43; Rogue River, 21; Eagle Point, 18; Talent, 15; Jacksonville, 12; Gold Hill, 11; Phoenix, 9; Trail, 6; Shady Cove and Prospect, 5 each; and one each from Butte Falls and Applegate.
Some Out of State
    A total of 100 members from outside Jackson County were processed by the juvenile court. Fifty-five of these came from Oregon, 37 from California, 6 from Washington and one each from Minnesota and Idaho.
    Of the children's cases disposed of during the year, the majority of delinquency cases were in the age range of 12 years to 17 years. Sixty-seven boys 16 years old were handled as delinquents, the largest number in any one age grouping. For the girls, ages 14 through 16 years old had from 16 to 17 cases each.
    Most of the dependency and neglect cases were in the 2 to 5 years old category--18. The same bulge occurred in the delinquency cases handled unofficially. Of the 379 official and unofficial cases disposed of, 182 cases were placed under probation officer's supervision.
    Most of the official cases involved running away, the major offense for both boys and girls, 49 for the boys and 25 for the girls.
    Other theft involved 44, 39 boys and 5 girls. Burglary or unlawful entry cases totaled 32, 31 for the boys and one for the girls.
    Being beyond parental control brought 40 cases to the attention of the juvenile court, 17 of these boys and 23 girls. Other delinquency behavior numbered 42 cases, 30 for the boys and 12 for the girls.
    In unofficial rankings, general theft cases had the highest numbers, 32 for the boys and 3 for the girls. Acts of carelessness and mischief totaled 41 for the boys and six for girls, to rank this problem second in number of cases handled unofficially. Other delinquency behavior totaled 52, 39 for the boys and 13 for the girls.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 3, 1960, page 6


Slight Drop Is Shown in Juvenile Delinquency
    For the first time in 13 years, the number of juvenile delinquency cases coming before juvenile courts has shown a slight drop, Mrs. Katherine B. Oettinger announced today.
    "Our figures for 1961," she said, "show a 1 percent drop, nationwide, in the number of these cases coming before the courts in a year when the child population was increasing by 3 percent."
    "This data certainly gives us no room for complacency. We can't by any means be sure that we have turned the corner so far as preventing and controlling juvenile delinquency is concerned. What we can hope is that data for next year, which will reflect the first full calendar year of the operation of the President's committee on juvenile delinquency and youth crime, will show a positive breakaway from past patterns."
    The Children's Bureau, which works closely with the President's committee, has for many years been collecting trend information about how the nation is meeting the problem of juvenile delinquency.
    The 1961 figures show an overall one percent drop, although there was a two percent increase in the number of juvenile delinquency cases coming before the urban juvenile courts. "This was offset by a four percent drop in the number of such cases before juvenile courts in semi-urban areas and an 18 percent drop in juvenile delinquency cases coming before the rural courts," Mrs. Oettinger said. In 1960, the number of juvenile delinquency cases increased 6 percent, while the child population went up two percent.
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation's uniform crime reports showed four and one-half percent increase in arrests of juveniles by city police and two and one-half percent increase in juvenile arrests by rural police for 1961. Up until now, the trend data reported by the FBI and the Children's Bureau reporting systems had followed the parallel lines.
    "We believe that the disparity indicates that the police are making more contacts with children, which accounts for this increase. We also believe that many of these children are first offenders, with their cases being handled by the police without court action, or that the acts of delinquency for which they were apprehended were not serious enough to warrant an appearance in the court," Mrs. Oettinger said.
    The Children's Bureau conducted a survey of more than a score of the juvenile courts serving the nation's largest cities during the last quarter of 1961 to show what kinds of offenses were being committed by juveniles. These showed that girls accounted for only one out of five of the offenses which brought juvenile court action. Half of the offenses committed by girls during this period were as runaways, for truancy and being ungovernable. Less than a fifth of the boys were involved in offenses of this nature.
    Almost 50 percent of the offenses for which boys were brought before the large city courts were larceny, unauthorized use of auto, vandalism, robbery or burglary. Offenses against public order and decency, including such offenses as carrying weapons, using narcotics, being drunk or disorderly, accounted for 10 percent of the cases for boys and seven percent of the girls' cases.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 12, 1962, page 7


Arrested Juveniles Admit Burglaries; Articles Recovered
    The arrest of three Medford juveniles, ages 13 and 14, yesterday may have stopped the beginnings of a teenage gang of burglars and shoplifters, Jackson County sheriff's deputies and Medford policemen said today.
    The three juveniles arrested for burglarizing the Pierson's Food Market last week end were questioned extensively at the Jackson County juvenile detention home yesterday.
    Questioning revealed they were involved in five cases of shoplifting in the Medford area, two home burglaries, one garage burglary and had attempted to remove items from airplanes at the Medford Municipal Airport.
    The three juveniles were reported to be planning a recruiting drive for gang members when arrested. Headquarters was the old Franklin Mayflower warehouse at Jackson St. and McAndrews Rd. Weapons there included chains, bars and a gun, police said, but were not used, the three juveniles told them.
    Investigations by Medford police and sheriff's deputies revealed a cache of stolen articles in a cave near Ruch and other loot in a brushy area nearby.
    The juveniles were identified through a shoe print and the fact that one juvenile was known to eat a certain candy bar--many bars of this type were stolen.
    The trio is still being held in the detention home and probably won't appear in juvenile court Friday due to a crowded docket, juvenile department officials said. Since the articles taken from Pierson's Market totaled more than $75 in value the juveniles may be accused of grand larceny, it was reported.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 15, 1962, page 1

  
Last revised June 9, 2022