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of the officers of the city once a year has served to unify the different plans of work and improve the general standard. The plan of placing responsibility for conducting meetings more largely in the hands of the probation officers themselves proved successful. The proceedings, in part, will be found in Appendix C.
THE CONFERENCE OF THE STATE ASSOCIATION OF MAGISTRATES
The State Association of Magistrates was organized independently in 1909 as a result of an invitation extended by the Commission to city judges to meet in an informal conference at Albany in that year. The Commission has always co-operated very closely with the Association, its secretary acting as secretary of the Association. The President, Hon. George C. Appell, City Judge of Mount Vernon, the Vice-President, Hon. Edward J. Dooley, City Magistrate of Brooklyn, the other members of the Executive Committee and special committees, co-operating with the Secretary, have been active during the past year in efforts to improve and standardize the magistrates courts of the State. Efforts have been chiefly directed toward securing legislation and constitutional amendments and toward increasing interest in the Association. In this connection, the Commission printed a brief prepared by a Committee of the judges on the “ Reorganization of the Courts of Limited Jurisdiction” and sent out letters to all judges and to many others in regard to needed Constitutional amendments indorsed by the Association.
The sixth annual conference of the Association was held in Albany on January 19 and 20, 1915. The proceedings of the meeting were published in the last report of the Commission. The seventh annual conference was the most successful and best attended of any yet conducted by the Association. It was held in the Hotel Astor, New York city, on January 21 and 22, 1916, and was attended by 53 judges from all over the State. The proceedings of the meetings are given in Appendix E.
CIVIL SERVICE EXAMINATIONS The success and permanence of the probation system depends increasingly upon securing and retaining efficient and experienced officers in the service. Nothing can be more important than the selection of men and women with the requisite adaptability, tact, knowledge of human nature, character, and interest, and the other qualities which go to make up a good probation officer. Five years' experience in selecting probation officers entirely through civil service examinations in this State has more than justified the system. During the past two years it has been especially evident that the very qualities most essential in probation officers can be ascertained through the right kind of civil service examinations. In every civil service examination held in the State during the past year, two features for which the Commission has long contended have been incorporated: (1) The holding of a practical oral examination; (2) The use of expert examiners familiar with probation work, in the oral part and, in some instances, in all parts of the examination.
All examinations conducted by the State Civil Service Commission for county positions during the past year have consisted of two parts :- a practical written examination for which 50 per cent. credit is allowed, and an oral examination, given the same weight, in every case conducted with the assistance of a representative of this Commission. The results of these examinations have been remarkably good. We do not hesitate to state that in every examination held last year, the men or women who were best qualified by personality and experience attained the head of the list. In all except two cases, the appointing magistrate, although having free choice among the first three names, selected the candidate who stood first on the list. On account of these civil service eaxminations, very noticeable improvement in the quality of the probation officers and in the effectiveness of the work done has occurred during the past few years. The Commission appreciates the cordial co-operation of the present State Civil Service Commission in requesting our assistance in all such examinations.
A representative of the Commission also assisted in examinations conducted by two Municipal Civil Service Commissions during the past year, in one case preparing and conducting the entire examination.
Following is a list of the examinations in which the Commission has assisted at the request of the civil service commissions during 1915:
Steuben county, January 7th: Examination for two county probation officers, conducted by the State Civil Service Commission, fourteen candidates, the secretary, Mr. Chute, assisting.
Niagara county, January 23d: Examination for county probation officer, conducted by State Civil Service Commission, ten candidates, Commissioner Wade assisting.
St. Lawrence county, January 23d: Examination for county probation officer, conducted by the State Civil Service Commission, fourteen candidates, the secretary, Mr. Chute, assisting.
Erie county, April 24th: Examination for Polish county probation officer, conducted by the State Civil Service Commission, ten candidates, Commissioner Wade assisting.
Orange county, April 17th: Examination for county probation officer, conducted by the State Civil Service Commission, seventeen candidates, the secretary, Mr. Chute, assisting.
Westchester county, June 5th: Examination by the State Civil Service Commission for county probation officer, forty-two candidates, the secretary, Mr. Chute, assisting.
Buffalo, August 12th: Examination for Polish city probation officer, conducted by the municipal civil service commission, ten candidates, Commissioner Wade assisting.
Bronx county, September 3 and 4: Examination for county probation officer, conducted by the State Civil Service Commission, 105 candidates, the secretary, Mr. Chute, assisting.
Albany, October 29th: Examination for woman probation officer, conducted by the municipal civil service commission, twenty candidates, the secretary, Mr. Chute, assisting.
DEVELOPMENTS OF THE YEAR RELATING TO PROBATION The year 1915 was one of progress in the development of a successful probation system in the courts of the State. Progress is shown in the number of persons cared for on probation which exceeds that of any previous year by 159, in the number of cities, counties, towns and villages using probation, and especially in the increased number of salaried probation officers.
The general figures showing the use of probation during the past fiscal year compared with those of the preceding year are shown in the table which follows:
GENERAL STATISTICAL SUMMARY
Year ending September 30, 1915
Persons continued on probation from previous year.
were reported, who completed their terms and were discharged
ment of fnes.
Total collected by probation officers.
37 45 35 164
46 36 174
8 236 26,843
88,336 $102,988 85
24,903 $96,768 95
18,598 50 27,815 74
* Including eight ca es continued on probation from the preceding year, but not reported until after September 30, 1914.
The number of boys under sixteen, girls under sixteen, men and women who received the benefits of probation during the year is shown in the next table.
Chart I shows the proportion of boys, girls, men and women in the entire State and in the different groups of courts in the State.
GAINS DURING THE PAST YEAR It is interesting to note that every figure in the general statistical table shows an increase over the preceding year, except in the number of volunteer and detailed probation officers serving in the