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L EXCESSIVE USE of tranquilizing drugs to control behavior is a current concern of the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency. Chairman Birch mentation of the use of what he called “chemical straightjackets” from the Texas Youth Council suit, in which evidence was presented that large doses of phenothiazoles were administered to disobedient children in the state training schools. 16 The Texas Observer r Whip Inflation Now Special Offer From HTEL ADLPHUS Dallas The Hotel People Always Want to Come Back to * discount on any bedroom 15 \(370 day, Tuesday, Wedany Sunday, Monnesday, or Thursday *discount on any bedroom 50 0 Friday or Saturday Elsewhere in Congress, Sen. Walter on Children and Youth, is studying the extent and quality of institutionalized services to children, and the practice of sending children outside their home states. The Senate Committee on Health, chaired investigating the experimental use of drugs in public institutions, including those for of the House Committee on Education initiated a series of meetings in 1975 to determine how to involve departments of education in the lives of institutionalized children in or from their districts. The cause of children has also been championed in the private sector where a new phenomenon has appeared: the child advocate. A decade ago it was the rare law school which included courses in juvenile law in its curriculum, the rare attorney who appeared to defend a child in juvenile court. Today there are individual attorneys and legal organizations whose primary work is the defense and protection of children from abuse and neglect. One advocate, attorney William Rittenberg observed, “In 1975 children are literally our only disenfranchised citizens. Because they cannot vote, our moral obligation not to neglect them is particularly acute.” It is perhaps a sign of the times that such a statement is made in negative terms. In 1973, the Children’s Defense Fund was established by a group led by Judge Justine Poller who retired, disillusioned; from a New York Family Court. \(That year, these courts were ordered by a New York Appeals Court to desist from sending non-delinquent children to state training schools. The previous year 400 such announced its intention to investigate and to litigate conditions harmful to children. A high priority was given to the transfer of large, numbers of children across state lines. The following year, the Fund joined Rittenberg’s suit in Louisiana, and in 1975 began a national study of the extent of the “banishment” of children, since there are presently no data available except that gathered by reporters on Illinois and Louisiana children in Texas. Another ‘group in the child advocate role is the Mental Health Law Project which joined the New York Civil Liberties Union in its successful suit against the Willowbrook School for the Mentally Retarded, the subject of a widely publicized scandal in 1973. Even the venerable American Civil Liberties Union is a latecomer to the juvenile field, its first important venture being in the late 1950s. AS A CONSEQUENCE of the new legal interest in children’s rights, the mid-1974 docket of the U.S. Supreme Court included an unprecedented six cases dealing with the rights of children. Legal spokesmen acknowledged that it was a new field with few guideposts. On another legal front, the National Council on Juvenile Court Judges has been undergoing much soul-searching about its members’ responsibilities when they grant the custody of a child to a social agency. At their 1975 annual meeting, Judge Enrique H. Pena of the Domestic Relations Court of El Paso, told the assembled judges, “Children are victims of bungling bureaucracy. Many are forgotten in state institutions long after the original reason for their placement has passed. It is time we judges get involved because we are accountable to the public as to what we do with their children.” The Council is now pre-testing a program in three states in which every child placed outside the home is subject to a regular review by a citizen board, to assure that children are not forgotten in placement, that potential adoptive chilren are not left to spend their youth in legal limbo,, or that services necessary to return a child to the family have not been bypassed. Two other judicial bodies, the Institute of Judicial Administration and the American Bar Association jointly established a Commission on Juvenile Justice Standards in 1974, to develop guidelines to assure justice to children in the courts. The Commission’s objective is “substantial reform of the system which is plagued by failures and inefficiencies.” Solutions to the problem of institutionalized children are not limited to improving the quality of care or assuring that children are institutionalized following due process. Institutionalization itself is an issue. Most authorities agree that as much as 90 percent of the population of children’s institutions should not be there. The following lines open a poem of unknown origin which regularly? makes its appearance among long-term institutionalized children: “I live in a house called torture and pain It’s made of materials called sorrow and shame.” For at leist two decades child welfare authorities have insisted that prolonged COUPON GOOD ‘TIL 12/31/75 CALL TOLL FREE In Texas 1-800-792-8922 In Continental U.S. 1-800-433-8858 or write Grant Beere, Gen. Mgr. HOTEL ADOLPHUS 1321 Commerce Street Dallas, Texas 75221 ‘Sorry. but discount is not valid it you are attending a convention or meeting in the Hotel. PLEASE BRING THIS AD WITH YOU TO RECEIVE DISCOUNT Democratic National Committeewoman BILLIE CARR REPORTS . Due to conflicts with other meetings and events, the Texas Democrats Operation 76 meeting has been changed from the weekend of December 6 -7 to Saturday December 13 in San Antonio. Watch this ad space for complete details in the next issue. For information call Paid Pol. Adv. by Billie Carr Expense Fund, 2418 Travis, Houston, Texas. ,.