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Delinquents and Criminals, Their Making and Unmaking: Studies in Two American Cities

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Abstract

Reviews the book, Delinquents and Criminals, Their Making and Unmaking: Studies in Two American Cities by William Healy and Augusta F. Bronner (1926). This timely work, dealing in considerable degree with the effects of the treatment of delinquents in Boston and Chicago, is the third treatise published by the Judge Baker Foundation of the former city. As the jacket advertisement of the book truthfully says, “the first step toward improvement in the treatment of delinquency is measurement of the effectiveness of present methods. Convinced of this, the authors began several years ago a special research to discover what happens to offenders dealt with by the courts and society. They studied four groups—two in Chicago and two in Boston—covering four thousand cases, to discover the nature and background of the human material coming as repeated offenders into the courts of the two cities. For two large groups they made an intensive investigation to determine how many were so helped that they did not appear before the court again, and how many continued on to a criminal record.” The book offers convincing evidence that the treatment of juvenile delinquents by some prevailing methods is followed by an amount and extremity of failure that is appalling. Retracing the lives of 675 boys and girls, repeated offenders, first studied long ago by the authors, 55% are classed as showing Failure on the part of present methods, 61% for the boys, 46% for the girls. This work is an important timely work and should have wide reading. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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