Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

on probation for a year or more and each had received thorough supervision and assistance by the probation officers during this period.

In all cases placed on probation during the given month which had completed their probation satisfactorily and had been regularly discharged from probation, 21 in number, the following results were shown: Classification

Number Percentage Permanent improvement indicated....

17 81 Fair improvement indicated...

2 9.5 Rearrested and committed...

1 4.75 Died

1 4.75

Total...

21 100. Of the total number (28) placed on probation during the given month results could not be judged in three cases. Of the remaining 25, 17, or 68 per cent. were found permanently improved and re-established in society. Two others, or 8 per cent., showed fair improvement. Four were rearrested and committed during the probation period and only one after discharge from probation; one had absconded during the probation period.

In this investigation, probation was subjected to a severe and critical test. The cases were difficult, but had received thorough supervision. The probation period in most cases was adequate and the final investigation was made long enough after the discharge from probation to show real results.

A history of each case and a full report of the investigation is given in Appendix F.

THE COLLECTION OF MONEY BY PROBATION OFFICERS The collection and disbursement of money has become one of the most important features of the work of nearly all probation officers handling adults. The mis-use of money and time is one causative factor of a great deal of crime and delinquency. It is the probation officer's task to correct this, so far as possible, through helpful advice, securing of employment, and when the court so orders, by requiring regular payments for family support, fines or restitution.

A total of $149,403.09 passed through the hands of probation officers in the State last year. This amount has increased rapidly each year due to the employment of more salaried officers. Obviously, the responsibility of handling this money should be entrusted only to regular salaried officers of the court. Probation officers of the State have generally adopted the thorough-going system of books and records recommended by the Commission for keeping accurate and detailed accounts of moneys handled. In most courts the accounts of probation officers are subject to audit. Both features are essential to guard the system from critic and abuse.

The probation office should not be made a collection agency. The mere collection of money for fines, restitution and family support without the necessity for helpful oversight of the offender or of his family should not be imposed upon the probation officer, as is done in some courts. This should be done by a clerk of the court, leaving the probation officer free for his more important duties. In most cases, however, where the court orders the payment of regular instalments for any of the above purposes, it is done, in part, for its disciplinary value to the offender, or, in the case of fines and restitution, to satisfy the ends of justice. In that case it has a very real disciplinary and educational value which a tactful probation officer finds not only not inconsistent with his friendly and helpful relations with the offender under his care, but finds of assistance to him in his work by making probation a serious and practical matter.

During the past year the collection of money for restitution to complainants or others who had been injured or who had suffered loss through the act of the probationer increased 44 per cent. and was considerably larger than in any previous year. The Commission has always recommended this form of doing justice. It teaches the probationer a lesson while at the same time it offers some degree of reparation to the complainant. Probation has some times been criticised as satisfying all parties except the complainant. Very naturally, he feels the smart of a defendant's wrongful act. Rightly or not, he seeks reparation. Under the system of restitution or reparation for actual loss or damages on the part of the probationer, the complainant is almost always better pleased than by the imposition of the maximum penalty. Restitution, however, should be ordered with a view chiefly to teach the offender a lesson rather than to satisfy the complainant in order to make

probation effective as a deterrent from further crime. In most instances the judges of the State seem to be so using the system.

The collection of fines on the instalment plan avoids imprisonment for non-ability to pay which in effect is in no substantial way different from imprisonment for debt. It increases the revenues of the city or the .county. and what is more important, gives the probation officer an opportunity to influence and direct the offender

ile paying his fine. The amounts collected for fines have increased each year and the practice should be still further extended

The collection of money for family support overshadows the other collections in importance and is perhaps the most essential feature in the solution of domestic relations cases. Thousands of families are each year supported without recourse to public or private charity through the operations of the probation system. Its work has assumed tremendous proportions in the larger cities. In the city of Buffalo all family support money is handled directly by the probation officers. In the Domestic Relations Courts of New York City moneys are collected and paid out at the offices of the department of charities, the probation officers visiting the c2209, and co-operating with the department of charities in the investigations and in securing the prompt enforcement of the court orders. In addition to the $102,988.85 actually handled by probation officers last year and paid over to the support of the wives and children of probationers, very much larger sums, as are shown in the table below, were collected by the department of charities in cases under the supervision of probation officers. A still larger sum was paid by probationers directly to their wives under the orders of the court and the supervision of the probation offiLOCAL DEVELOPMENTS THROUGHOUT THE STATE Important developments affecting the probation work have occurred in many courts throughout the State. A brief account of the more important is here given:

These amounts are shown in the table which follows:

MONEY PAID BY PROBATIONERS FOR FAMILY SUPPORT UNDER

COURT ORDERS

$102,988 85

Collected from probationers and paid to bene ciaries by proba‘ion officers.,
Collected from probationes and paid to beneficiaries by the Department of

Charities, Ne* York City Mgist ates' Cors, First Division.
Collected from probationers and paid to beneficiaries by the Department of

Charities, New Yo-k City Magistrates' Courts, Second Division.
Paid by probationers direct to beneaciaries under court orders..

To al..

50, 435 71 112,095 84 157,340 69

$422,862 09

*Not complete. No record of th 23e payments is kept in certain courts.

NEW YORK CITY The probation work of all the courts has been increasing and better standards are being established. The effort to standardize the salaries of all probation officers in the city has been largely successful. A minimum salary of $1,200 has been fixed for both men and women probation officers starting work. Approximately two-thirds of the officers after passing a promotion examination have had their salaries increased to $1,500 and all who have passed the examination are granted an increase by the city budget for 1916. Additional officers have been provided in several courts to meet urgent needs.

The work of the New York City Parole Commission established last year to have jurisdiction over all persons paroled from the Penitentiary, Reformatory and Work-house, will have an important relation to probation work. At the close of the year the commission was employing seven parol officers. Close co-operation should exist between these officers and the probation officers. The State Probation Commission has been represented at conferences called by the mayor to propose plans for bringing about closer co-ordination between the probation and the parole work. We believe that everything possible should be done to bring about some degree of co-ordination without in any way handicapping either branch of work.

Magistrates Courts The bringing of all the Magistrates Courts of the city under one board of magistrates under the direction of Chief City Magistrate McAdoo, doing away with the two divisions, will bring about among other gains a unification and standardization of the probation work. The budget for 1916 provides for a chief probation officer for the entire city, with two positions of deputy chief probation officer. With an experienced and able chief probation officer in charge of the entire work, great improvements may be expected next year.

« EdellinenJatka »