Page 1


, 1..t. ,46 Orocs.:-nke .o4m4teA\(rrom,rcts-r-ica+7″-..? Our Poor Lyndon HELP FOR DELINQUENTS `I Thought You Said We Had Him Blocked’ DALLAS Material progress is being made in Texas in the development of an enlightened program for handling juvenile delinquents. Until 1856 under the common law retribution and punishment were the law’s objectives, and even a child of seven was an adult in the eyes of the law if he had sufficient intelligence to distinguish between right and wrong and to recognize the nature and consequences of his offenses. Gradually a more enlightened attitude has developed. In 1856 the death penalty was abolished for an offense committed before the age of 17, and the age at which a child could be punished as an adult was raised to nine. In 1887 the House of Correction and Reformatory was established at Gatesville for boys receiving a sentence of five years or less. The first Juvenile Court Act was passed in 1907, the Girls’ Training School was established at Gainesville in 1913, and in 1918 confinement in the penitentiary for boys under 17 and girls under 18 was abolished. The present Juvenile Court Act was passed in 1943, its purpose being “to secure for each child under its jurisdiction such care, guidance and control, as will serve the child’s welfare and best interest of the state.” Management of the state institutions for juvenile delinquents has been placed in the Texas Youth Council by the legislature. LAWS ALONE, however, are not sufficient. An examination of the directory of the Texas Youth Council reveals that 20 percent of Texas counties have failed to designate a juvenile court, as required by the Juvenile Court Act of 1943, and only 47 counties list probation officers. Answers to questionnaires sent probation officers are revealing in pointing up limitations in handling youth problems. The chief need is for officers to supervise boys and girls placed on probation and those released from training schools. Small counties would be aided by legislation to authorize About the Author Our guest columnist this week, Sarah Hughes, is district judge in Dallas County. AUSTIN The United Press International radio wire the other day carried this short item in a series of quotes for broadcast : Biloxi, Miss.Stanford Morse, attorney who advised suspects who appeared before a grand jury which refused to indict anyone in the lynching of Negro Mack Charles Parker: “Southern, justice has triumphed.” If the ability to think were a characteristic of some human regions and not others we could give credence to the Southern stereotype which such moronic proclamations bring to mind ; but the ability to think is personal, and occurs wherever people are. True, the Greeks thought they were benign inhabitants of a nearly perfect world, hardly noticing that it was based on the backs of their human slaves ; as, for a time, the South. True, there are yet the rednecks, the blind-minded, who will not think. They occur everywhere, with specialties that vary with the weaknesses of their cultures or their personal lives. In the South, the specialty is the rights of Negroes. But everywhere also occur those who can think ; those who would understand why the poet Yeats identified objectivity with comedy. Surely thinking Southerners, thinking East Texans, have been deeply concerned since 1954. There was much to be worried about before that year, but from that year on, the nation’s attention was riveted on the two or more to join together in hiring a qualified officer. An appropriation for state juvenile parole officers, recommended by Governor Daniel to the last legislature, is urgently needed. Guidance and supervision by probation and parole officers would materially assist in keeping boys and girls out of institutions, and in helping those released from such institutions to make a place for themselves in the community. More adequate facilities before trial, and for placement after trial, were likewise stressed by probation officers. A few of the larger counties have temporary , detention homes, but more should have, and in the case of smaller counties, two or more could be authorized to join together in such a project. .Fortunately, the last legislature appropriated sufficient money to add new buildings at Gatesville and Gainesville to relieve the present serious overcrowding, particularly at Gatesville. These will take care of the present population and the anticipated increase during this fiscal year, but will not permit an appreciably longer stay required in many cases for rehabilitation. No funds were provided for an additional dormitory for the Negro girls’ school at Crockett, although the present average population now exceeds maximum capacity. Retarded delinquent children, who have need of special training, are not provided for except inadequately at the training schools. Probation officers likewise mentioned the need of local facilities foster homes, ranches, and county institutions to supplement the state institutions. While probation officers had no criticism of court hearings, it appeared that more general use could be made of the informal hearings, authorized by the Juvenile Court Act. THE PRESENT method of handling juvenile delinquency in Texas reveals that a new philosophy has evolved over the years : The individual child is considered and the offense is not the determining factor. The objective for the child is rehabilitation through diagnosis, treatment, training, and supervision. The need now in Texas is the implementation of the new philosophy by providing adequate facilities to achieve rehabilitation. SARAH T. HUGHES rights of Negroes in the South, and no twisting of the mirror toward the urban centers of the North can distract. Southerners from their own guilt: None but the blind-minded can have failed to realize that though prejudice is national and exists in housing and employment in the North, East, and West as it also exists in schools and public facilities in the South, the opinions of Americans outside of the South condemn Southerners for their official doctrines of white supremacy and Negro subjugation. The oppressed people of Asia, Africa, the Far East, and Latin-America are colored, and they are watching to see whether their Negro brethren in the South will be treated as equals or whether Americans are as hypocritical as they are, relatively, rich. The burdens of these hostilities the .hostility of one’s fellow countrymen and the hostility of almost inconceivable masses of rising humanity are terrible for the Southern mind to bear. Change occurs within a person when emotions give in to ideas, or ideas to emotions. In the South, the emotion of guilt is growing, and the idea of segregation is giving in. When the Southern mind will have absorbed all the guilt it can bear and turn to the reform of the Southern way of life, one cannot say. But Barrister Stanford Morse did not speak the last word, he spoke the dying word. Intelligent Southerners know it. R.D. WASHINGTON Liberals, with their penchant for the underdog, may eventually be asking for a “Be Kind to Lyndon Day” if the Texas senator’s public relations ef forts do not begin to bear more fruit. For Washington just hasn’t been too kind to Johnson since his return from the land of the “LBJ-for-President” clubs. At times one would think the Washingtonians weren’t even reading the Dallas Morning News. Last week Johnson found himself assaulted by everybody from the conservative Wall Street Journal to the liberal Americans for Democratic Action. And the New York Times’s James Reston had the temerity to suggest that Johnson’s speech at the $100a-plate Democratic dinner in Washington was “undistinguished.” It was enough to make Johnson pull out his old press clippings about his heroic 51-to-12 victory over the liberals. But there were those who would even take away this little bit of consolation. The Washington correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, a publication not known for its love . of liberals, suggested that the liberals might be winning the battle against Johnson. The liberal revolt, the Journal’s correspondent said, was chopping away at Johnson’s stature as a presidential dark horse choice. He indicated that these tussles with liberal leaders didn’t help Johnson’s image regardless of how many times he might win by a 51 to-12 vote. Another Washington columnist described the revolt as “the beginning of the end” for Johnson’s reign. MEANWHILE, back .in the Senate, Johnson was finding out that his victory was somewhat lacking in sticking power. Those liberals, whom the headlines proclaimed were crushed in the 51 to 12 landslide, were still making rather bold suggestions that Johnson’s leadership wasn’t all that it might be. And then there was that junior senator, Ralph Yarborough. Oh, now it’s so hard to tell the boys in Washington that “they’re all behind me back home.” Few will forget the night Johnson found himself back in bed with the Talmadges, the Russells, and the Byrds. That night he joined up with these 1960 Democrats in an .ef fort to exclude the primaries from federal election laws. When the vote was counted, Lyndon and his Southern friends had lost ; the liberals had won and the Southern primaries were in the bill. This vote undoubtedly set back a few years Lyndon’s Madison Avenue style move to establish himself as a ‘Westerner. But LBJ was undaunted. He was off to Chicago and New York to tell the good Northern Democrats that he was against bigotry of race, religion, or section. \(Emphasis on that “secNew York to announce that Congress would pass a “good” civil rights bill this session. He neglected to give many details. There are those who also suggest that Jim Eastland wants a “good” civil rights bill. Johnson returned to Washington in time to parade before 2,500 Democrats at the fund-raising-‘ dinner last Saturday. Here, again, our Lyndon seemed to go unappreciated. His remarks about “responsibility” in Congress didnot wring any great applause from the Washington audience. Columnist William Shannon of the New York Post said that Johnson’s performance “was no match for Humphrey’s eloquence or Kennedy’s stylish delivery” and claimed that Lyndon’s address “suffered from a total distortion of history.” F THIS wasn’t enough, Americans for Democratic Action announced Monday that Johnson did not measure up as a liberal and that the Democratic Party should not nominate him for president. If the election this November were to come to a choice between Mr. Nixon and Senator Johnson, “the Democratic Party would be failing its responsibility to the nation,” the ADA said. All in all it just goes to show that 1960 isn’t 1959. A year ago LBJ rode into town in command of the biggest Democratic majority since New Deal days, and there were ringing cries of what Congress was ,going to do. The Johnson of 1959 was the toast of Washington. He even gave his own “state of the union” message. But this is January, 1960, and the compromises and the inaction of 1959 are coming home to roost on the Johnson doorstep. Ways We Change ANNE AND JAKE LEWIS