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the last two counties the work was started during the past year, and has developed rapidly and successfully.
In Steuben county the county probation officer has secured the services of four active volunteers serving in as many villages. These volunteers appoint regular days for receiving reports from the probationers residing in their villages; they collect money and report at frequent intervals to the county probation officer, who keeps in close touch with their work at all times.
There is a large field for the development of this work in every rural county of the State. With the employment of increasingly more salaried county probation officers and the payment of better salaries, this work is bound to be extended and to improve in quality throughout the State.
PROBATION FOR DRUNKARDS AND DRUG ADDICTS The table on page 27 of this report, giving the charges against adults placed on probation during the past year shows 1,472 persons were last year placed on probation for public intoxication. This was 11.3 per cent. of all probation cases. During the preceding year 1,974 persons were placed on probation for public intoxication, or 15.4 per cent. of all cases. A decrease is therefore indicated in the use of probation for inebriates, although this still remains one of the leading charges.
It is now generally agreed that probation is nearly always ineffective as a treatment for habitual drunkards.. be hopefully applied to certain of the younger cases where habits of intemperance are not confirmed. For those repeatedly arrested, or who have been addicted for years to the use of alcohol until they are diseased, body and mind, the supervision of a probation officer can not be close enough, nor can his influence, no matter how helpful, be exerted constantly enough to cure the diseased condition. Hospital or institutional treatment is required in these cases.
The public is gradually beginning to realize that special institutions must be provided. They are as necessary in any locality whether it be urban or rural, as are hospitals for the tuberculous or the insane.
New York city has led the way by the establishment of its Inebriety Farm at Warwick. This institution has been successful in effecting cures and is receiving both alcoholics and drug users
from New York city. On this farm the men are kept under healthful conditions and are constantly employed in the open air, far removed from temptation. They are reconstructed in body while at the same time their wills are strengthened and temperate habits established.
The city of Rochester is about to establish a farm colony for inebriates. It would be well if all the larger cities in the State could have such institutions, where judges could send both those addicted to drink and to drugs. The courts would thus be rid of an intolerable burden.
Much that has been said above applies to the increasing evil of drug addiction. This evil has been growing enormously and the probation system has felt the strain. While not many drug users are placed on probation for that offense alone, the probation officers are constantly discovering the habit in cases which they are called upon to investigate, or which are placed on probation for other offenses. The treatment of drug users on probation is perhaps less hopeful than that of the confirmed drunkard. Hospital or institutional treatment is necessary. This is being realized by the judges in most of our cities, who are now sending many of these victims for short periods to hospitals where they receive special treatment. In general the treatment in these hospitals is for too brief a period. The farm for inebriates where these victims may be given healthful training for body and mind for a sufficiently long period is now generally agreed by all who are familiar with the problem to be the best solution. The probation system should no longer be loaded down with cases for which institutional treatment is alone effective.
UNOFFICIAL AND PREVENTIVE WORK OF PROBATION OFFICERS
Many probation officers do more or less work with cases which are brought to their attention directly or indirectly but which have not passed through court proceedings. The first duty of a probation officer is to care for the cases assigned by the court. This usually requires all of his time. In some localities, however, especially in rural districts and in smaller cities, the probation officer has time to make investigations at the request of parents or relatives and friends of children and sometimes adults inclined to go wrong.
In these cases it is sometimes well to place the delinquent on unofficial probation. This work, which is usually undertaken by other agencies, is neglected in the smaller cities and in the villages. It is, however, of great importance as it is often the means of preventing a court record and further delinquency.
One woman probation officer, in reporting upon her unofficial cases, says: “It seems impossible for anyone with a conscience, anyone with a bit of sympathy for frail humanity, or anyone with the conviction that ' an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' to turn a deaf ear to the pleadings of a heart-broken, respectable parent to save my boy before it is too late.'” This same officer reports gratifying results in some of these cases. The following are examples: Young girls have been escorted to their homes late at night by the probation officer; homes have been visited in the evening at the request of parents and young girls have been warned that complaints would be made to the court if they did not obey their parents and stay away from harmful company and keep better hours; cases where husbands and wives were about to separate were settled satisfactorily through the intervention of the probation officer; neighborhood quarrels have been adjusted and the disgrace of publicity in the court avoided.
The Commission believes it is necessary to warn the probation officers against attempting so much unofficial work as to interfere in any way with the officer's regular duties with court cases. The probation officer should not assume the functions of the police nor of the court. He should report all action taken by him to the judge under whom he serves. With these precautions, this work is to be commended as frequently of great value to the community.
PAROLE AND ITS RELATION TO PROBATION With the growing interest in prison reform, there is evidence of increasing interest in the parole work of the State. Nothing, however, has been done to increase the number of parole officers and extend this work except in the city of New York.
By the Act of 1915, a Parole Commission was created for New York city consisting of three salaried members, the Commissioner of Correction and the Police Commissioner as ex-officio members. The Commission has wide powers to decide the period of parole for practically all persons committed to the penitentiary and the New York City Reformatory and for a large number of those committed to the workhouse. The Commission also has authority to appoint parole officers so far as their compensation is allowed by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment and supervises their work. At the beginning of 1916, the Commission had appointed a secretary and seven parole officers and in addition was using the services of volunteers. There will be a great extension in this work shortly under the provision of the act prescribing indeterminate sentences for the majority of the offenders in these institutions. The Parol Commission is seeking the co-operation of the probation officers of the city and has arranged for the interchange of reports and records. The two sets of officers will deal with the same cases in very many instances, most frequently, of course, the parole officers getting the offenders after they have had a chance on probation. The work to be done by the two sets of officers is almost identical in the matter of investigations and constructive work with persons in their care. The objects of probation and parole are practically the same, and the closest co-operation should exist between the two sets of officers.
The situation in regard to parole work in the State at large remains practically the same. The following table shows the number of persons paroled from all State institutions during the year ending September 30, 1915:
33 161 450 203