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STANLEY K. HORNBECK
COMPARATIVE LEGISLATION BULLETIN No 15 AUGUST, 1908
Prepared with the co-operation of the Political Science
Department of the University of Wisconsin
WISCONSIN LIBKABY COMMISSION
LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE DEP'T
Evolution of Juvenile Court Principles in Legisla-
Development in the United States 8
United States 19
Analysis of Statutes 19
Laws by States 24
JUDICIAL DECISIONS (UNITED STATES) 30
Constitutionality of Statutes 30
Decisions which Affect Various Principles Em-
bodied in Juvenile Court Legislation or Admin-
ESSENTIALS OF A GOOD LAW. . 38
BAERNREITHER, J. M. Jugendfursorge und Strafrecht in den
Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika. Leipzig, 1905.
BATES, HELEN PAGE. Digest of statutes relating to juvenile
courts and probation systems. Charities, 1905, vol. 13, p.
A digest with three tables of state laws, to 1905, on probation, ju-
venile courts, and provisions for dependent, neglected and wayward
Report of the Probation Commission of State of
New York. Albany, 1906.
A comprehensive study of the probation laws and systems as ex
isting and practiced in various states and cities, with a recom
mended bill, and with a collection of the legislation of the variou
states, up to 1905. Also contains a very complete bibliography o
juvenile court literature, p. 291-300.
BERENGER, SEN., and JULHIET, Ed. Les tribunaux speciaux
pour enfants aux Etats Unis, en France, Angleterre, et
Allemagne. Administration de la Revue 1' Enfant, Paris,
CHARITIES. A weeky review of local and general philan-
thropy, 1898-19. New York.
FOLKS, H. The care of destitute, neglected and dependent
children. New York, 1902.
HAHN, E. Die Strafrechtsreform und die jugendlichen Ver-
brecher. Jahrbuch der Gehestiftung, 9-10, Dresden, 1904.
HURD, H. B. Juvenile court law, Charities, vol. 13, 1905, p.
HURLEY, T. D. History of the Illinois Juvenile Court. Juve-
nile Court Record, May, 1907.
INTERNATIONAL PRISON COMMISSION. ^Reports prepared by
S. J. Barrows, Washington, 1904.
THE JUVENILE COURT RECORD. Published monthly, 79 Dear-
born St., Chicago 1900,-19 .
4 JUVENILE COURTS
KUN, BELA, and LADAY, ETIENNE. La Lutte contra la Crim-
inalite des Mineurs en Hongrie. Budapest, 1905.
Legislation in Regard to Children. Report of Conference at
London, 1906. Published by P. S. King & Son, West-
LINDSEY, JUDGE B. B. The Juvenile Court Laws of the State
of Colorado. Denver, 1905.
An explanation of the purpose of the laws as in force and as pro-
MORRISON, W. D. Juvenile Offenders. New York, 1897.
The problem of the children and how the state of Colorado
cares for them. Report of the juvenile court of Denver.
: See especially ch. II, The Law and the Court; and ch. Ill, Ad-
RUSSELL, C. E. B., and RIGBY, L. M. (The) Making of the
Criminal. London, 1906.
Statutes of every State in the United States concerning de-
pendent, neglected, and delinquent children. Committee
of New Century Club, Philadelphia, 1900.
STEPHENS, G. A. The Juvenile Court System of Kansas.
UNITED STATES HOUSE OP REPRESENTATIVES. Children's
Courts in the United States. 58th Cong. 2nd Sess.
House of Representatives, doc. no. 701. Washington, 1904.
WINES, DR. E. C. The state of Prisons and Child-saving In-
stitutions. Cambridge, 1886.
A number of fundamental principles underlie juve-
nile court legislation and the decisions of the courts
upon which juvenile court and probation systems now
rest : ( 1 ) Children should not be considered as crimi-
nals but as victims of circumstance. Distinction must
be made between neglected, dependent, and wayward
children and delinquents and incorrigibles. (2) Chil-
dren should not bfe thrown into association before, dur-
ing, or after trial, with criminals or adults under ac-
cusation. (3) All the resources of the community
should be used by the court to promote the welfare of
the child and to protect him. (4) Children should be
tried by special courts in special rooms with the least
possible publicity or display of legal machinery, and
the whole process dissociated from criminal procedure.
The judges should, as far as possible, be "child ex-
perts." (5) Probation officers, competent, in adequate
number, and paid, should be at the disposal of the
court. (6) Parents, guardians, etc., are in many cases
to be held responsible for the offense of the child.
1 See Lindsey : Juvenile Court Laws of Colorado.
Berenger: op. cit., p. 1-60.
Barrows; In International Prison Commission Report. 1904. p.
Evolution of Juvenile Court Principles in Legis-
The juvenile court, under that name, is of recent
growth, but the principles which underlie it are to be
found far back in English Law in the right and duty
of the state as parens patriae . x Turning to modern
legislation we find in the law of 1840 (3 and 4 Vic.
c. 90), "For the Care and Education of Infants who
may be convicted of Felony," provision that the High
Court of Chancery may, upon application, place any
persons under 21 years of age who may be convicted
of felony in care of persons or associations that
agree to teach and train them during minority. Laws,
1866 (29 and 30 Vic. c. 118) and 1894 (57 and 58 Vic.
c. 33 provide that morally imperiled children may
be sent by the court to certified industrial schools, or
lodged at home or with a respectable person and there
be trained, clothed, and fed. The Law of 1847 (10
and 11 Vic. c. 82) provides for summary conviction
of children not over fourteen, and allows the justices
to excuse convicted offenders from punishment at their
New South Wales in 1857 (20 Vic. no. 19) and 1864
1 Compare Blackstone III, 426-428.
JUVENILE COURTS 7
(27 Vic. no. 16) passed laws for state protection of
destitute children up to the age of nineteen, with con-
tribution by the parents. The English "Industrial
Schools Act," of 1866, (29 and 30 Vic. c. 118), con-
tains several of the principles, especially the definition
of neglected and dependent children (sec. 14), and
provisions for the relation between parent and court,
which are prominent in almost every modern Juvenile
Court Act. The English "Summary Jurisdiction Act"
of 1870 (42 and 43 Vic. c. 49), and its amending Act,
1899 (02 and 63 Vic. c. 22), provide for summary
jurisdiction when the right of trial by jury is waived
by the parent or the juvenile offender (age 12 to 16). 1
The principle of probation is recognized in the "Pro-
bation Act" of Queensland, 1886 (50 Vic. no. 14).
The English "Probation of First Offender's Act" of
1887 (50 and 51 Vic. c. 25) gives the court the power
to release upon probation instead of sentencing to
In 1890 New Zealand adopted a "Children's Protec-
tion Act" (1890 no. 21), whereby punishment is pre-
scribed for ill treatment, neglect, abandonment, or ex-
posure of children ; and restrictions are placed on em-
ployment of children, the court in both cases being
given discretionary powers and being allowed to place
the child in a suitable home or institution, and to com-
pel the parents to contribute to the support ; while pro-
vision is also made for appeal from decisions of the
court. In 1896 Queensland passed a "Children's Pro-
1 Compare also New Zealand Act, 1882, no. 15.
8 JUVENILE COURTS
tection Act" (60 Vic. 26) similar to the New Zealand
Act. In 1899 an English Act (62 and 63 Vic. c. 22)
gave summary jurisdiction over "all offenses of young
persons other than homicide."
In 1901 the English "Youthful Offender's Act" (64
Vic. I Ed. VII, c. 20) removed disqualifications at-
taching to conviction of felony of a child or young
person; emphasized parent liability; and gave the
court the power to remand or commit, pending trial,
to some place other than a prison. In 1902 New
South Wales passed an act (1902, no. 47) for "Pro-
tection of Children." In 1906 Victoria passed a
"Children's Court Act" (1906, no. 2058) which is a
model of completeness. New legislation is at present
pending in England. (Cf. infra, p. 14).
Development in the United States
The most rapid, tangible, and systematic develop-
ment of the principles has been in the United States.
In 1863 Massachusetts passed a law separating chil-
dren in court from adults charged with offense. In
1877 New York passed a similar and more concise
law, which provides that no child under sixteen "shall
be placed in any prison or place of confinement . . .
or in any vehicle in company with adults charged or
convicted with crime, except in the presence of proper
officers." Michigan, in 1873, established a State Agency
for the Care of Juvenile Offenders, which has per-
formed functions similar to those of probation officers.
Massachusetts passed Probation Laws in 1878 and
1880. In 1891 Massachusetts summarized a number
JUVENILE COURTS 9
of statutory provisions concerning the treatment of
children, which had been enacted in her previous legis-
lation, (May 28, 1891, c. 356). New York, in 1892,
added a new section to the Penal Code allowing sepa-
rate trial, special docket, and separate record for cases
of children under sixteen. It has been affirmed that
the basis of the Juvenile Court Law is the Board of
Guardians Law, passed by the Indiana Legislature,
March 9, 1891, (c. 151) and amend. March 3, 1893,
The Colorado School Law, April 12, 1899, c. 136,
provided special treatment for "juvenile disorderly
persons," and contained many of the principles which
have been embodied in subsequent juvenile court laws.
The law which really created the juvenile court was
that passed by the Illinois Legislature, 1 April 21, 1899,
p. 131. Its provisions have constituted the frame work
of many of the laws passed in other states.
Since 1899, the growth and development of the
juvenile court system has been rapid and extensive.
Many states had previously passed probation laws,
and it is noticeable that the probation system has
usually preceded the juvenile court. 2 In 1899, Michi-
gan and Rhode Island passed "Juvenile Probation"
laws. In 1901, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri,
and Wisconsin passed juvenile court or juvenile pro-
bation laws, or both. In 1902, Ohio and New York
passed laws concerning children's courts. In 1903,
1 Cf . : History of the Illinois Juvenile Court Law, T. D. Hurley, Juve-
nile Court Record, May, 1907. u. 6 ff .
*Cf:l Statutes, compiled [by Nt \v Century Club, Philadelphia, 18CO.
10 JUVENILE COURTS
no less than nine states legislated on these subjects.
In that year Colorado passed the original "Adult De-
linquency" Law. In 1904, five states; and in 1905,
no less than twenty, legislated on these three subjects,
in most cases on all three. In 1906, four states
enacted new, or revised old, statutes affecting juvenile
courts. In 1907, no less than eighteen states, enacted
new statutes or added to or revised old statutes. By
the end of 1907, thirty-two states and the District of
Columbia had probation laws, and twenty-seven and
the District of Columbia had juvenile court laws.
Few states have been satisfied with their original laws.
Some changes have been necessary on account of de-
cisions of the courts ; some have been made for the
purpose of simplicity ; but most of them represent ex-
tensions which have been found practicable as the
work of the court has expanded and its value has been
appreciated. The Alabama, Colorado, District of
Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Massachusetts,
Oregon, and Utah laws furnish an especially interest-
ing field for study. The Michigan law of 1907 is very
carefully drawn. The Colorado law of 1907 is repre-
sentative of the most advanced juvenile court legisla-
tion. The latest, and a very complete, law is that
passed in Ohio in April, 1908.
After the legislative development, and largely in-
fluencing it, the detailed study of the juvenile court
system is to be sought in the development of city
courts under the provisions of the state statutes. Es-
pecially interesting are those of Boston, Buffalo, Chi-
JUVENILE COURTS 11
cago, Denver, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis,
New York, Rochester, and San Francisco.
The scientific development of the system in the
United States has caused wide study, both interstate
and by commissions from abroad, especially from Eng-
land, France, Germany, and Sweden. The Howard
Association of London, M. Ed. Julhiet from France,
Dr. J. M. Baernreither from Germany, and Judge
Harald Salomon from Sweden have within the last
four years made special studies of the American Sys-
tem with a view to bettering Juvenile Legislation.
Their countries and others are passing laws which em-
body in concrete form many of the features which
characterize the American Juvenile Court.
12 JUVENILE COURTS
England. 1 The English tribunals are well prepared
to deal with children under twelve, and with youthful
offenders under sixteen, because of the wide discre-
tionary powers which the English criminal law, as re-
formed during the nineteenth century, confers upon
judges and magistrates. 2 Control of the court over
persons as juveniles ceases at the age of sixteen. 3 The
English statutes provide for summary judgment where
jury is not especially demanded by parent or guardian
or by the "child or the youthful offender." 4 Justices
may excuse convicted offender from punishment where
expedient. 5 Dependent or neglected children, under
fourteen, found begging, .wandering, homeless, without
proper guardian or visible means of support, associat-
ing with criminals, etc., may be brought by any one
before two justices or a magistrate and may be sent
to a certified industrial school or to a home with re-
sponsible parents, due regard being given to the re-
1 For account of English Juvenile Court, see Seeking 1 and Saving 1 ,
Oct., 1906. Cf. Berenger, op. cit. and Russell and Rigby, op. ctt.
' W. D. Morrison, op. ctt.. p. 187.
* Statutes 1866 (29 and 30 Vic. 118) and 1901 (64 Vic. and I Ed. VII, c. 20).
4 1879 (42 and 43 Vic. c. 49. sec. 10-11).
1847 (10 and 11 Vic. c. 82).
JUVENILE COURTS 13
ligious persuasion of the child, and to the requests and
rights of the parents. 1 Parents may be forced to con-
tribute to the child's maintenance. 2
Parents or guardian may be summoned as contribut-
ing to the offense of the child, or for neglect, and may
be tried with the child and may be fined and ordered
to pay security for its good behavior and may be
made to pay toward its support if committed to a
state institution or home. The court may release the
offender on probation or for good conduct. 3 A sepa-
rate register for convicted youthful offenders shall be
kept. 4 Appeal may be made to the High Court of
Justice. 5 The child committed may be discharged by
the Secretary of State. 6 Most of these principles ap-
ply to Ireland and Scotland as well.
England is establishing short Detention Schools on
the model of Truant Schools. The English system
especially emphasises the co-operation of the courts
with the educational authorities and insists upon par-
The juvenile court idea has progressed rapidly in
the English cities. 7 One of the most successful has
been that instituted at Birmingham, April 13, 1905.
The working of this court resulted in the issuing 1 of a
government circular which pointed out the necessity
1 1866 (29 and 30 Vic. c. 118).
1901 (64 Vic. and I Ed. VII, c. 20, sec. 4).
1 1887 (50 and 51 Vic. c. 25).
* 1901 (64 Vic. and I Ed. VII, c. 20, sec. 13).
1879 (42 and 43 Vic. c. 49, sec. 33).
1866 (29 and 30 Vic. c. 118, sec. 14).
* It is claimed that Dublin first adopted the American idea.
14 JUVENILE COURTS
of creating such courts generally ; and many cities have
followed the example of Birmingham. 1
The London County Council prepared a reform
based upon the principles of (1) special magistrates
for children, (2) special courts, (3) special detention
homes, (4) nomination of probation officers. 2 Especi-
ally noticeable among the courts of the United King-
dom are those of Bury, Bolton, Manchester, Birming-
ham, Liverpool, Nottingham, Tunbridge- Wells, Swan-
sea, Stockton, Hull, Coventry, York, Southport, Bev-
erly, Scarborough, Greenock, Glasgow, Dundee, Dub-
lin, and Cork.
In Scotland, special arrangements have been intro-
duced for the treatment of juvenile offenders at Glas-
gow and Greenock: (1) Trial does not take place at
ordinary sittings of the courts; (2) children under
sixteen may not be confined in ordinary police cells;
(3) probation officers are in daily attendance.
At present (July 1908) a "Bill to Consolidate and
Amend Laws Relating to Children and Young Per-
sons" is pending in the British Parliament. This bill,
introduced Feb. 10, 1908, provides for separation of
juvenile offenders from adult criminals ; special treat-
ment; separate courts; separate detention; parent re-
sponsibility; entire abolishing of imprisonment for
children, and of penal servitude for young persons.
The bill has been favorably received by the country.
1 See London Times. May 31. 1906.
4 Compare BSrenger. op. ctt. p. 9, note 2.
JUVENILE COURTS 15
Canada. The Canadian Statute, R. S. 1906, c. 146,
sec. 644, (57-58 Vic. c. 29) provides for trial of per-
sons under sixteen without publicity, apart, and at
suitable times, and for separation from other offen-
Manitoba. Children's Probation Act, R. S., 1902,
c. 22, (61 Vic. 1899, c. 651) provides for the care
of neglected children by a salaried superintendent ; for
their examination by a judge ; for placing them in in-
dustrial schools and schools of refuge under state
authority until the age of twenty-one; for payment by
municipalities for the maintenance of certain neglected
children ; for separate detention ; for attempt to secure
foster homes; and for penalty for ill treatment.
Ontario. The Ontario Children's Protection Act
(R. S. Ontario 1897, c. 259) contains extensive pro-
visions, which, although not as complete, are very sug-
gestive of the Victoria act of 1906; cited infra.
New Zealand. The Justices of the Peace Act, 1882,
no. 15 (sec. 176), provides for summary trial unless
objected to by parent or guardian, of children under
twelve, and (sec. 177), with consent, of young persons
(between ages of twelve and sixteen). The Chil T
dren's Protection Act, 1890, no. 21, provides especf-
ally for jurisdiction over all ill-treated, neglected, de-
pendent, or exposed children.
Victoria. Children's Court Act, 1906, no. 2058,
provides a "children's court," to have jurisdiction
over children under seventeen ; gives wide definition
of "parents" and "juvenile offenders ;" specifies that
children's court shall be held at every place within
1C JUVENILE COURTS
the state, where a court of petty sessions is appointed
to be held ; that the governor may appoint, for any
locality, any person or police magistrate, or any one
or more justices of the peace within the place, to
exercise jurisdiction of the children's court : and that
the governor may appoint probation officers of either
sex who shall be subject to orders of the court ; speci-
fies the duties of probation officer; gives the juvenile
court exclusive jurisdiction over all charges against
children for felonies and misdemeanors, and allows
it to hear and determine all information for offenses
against any act punishable on summary conviction ;
provides for exclusion of persons unnecessary to trial,
for an independent register, trial within tw r enty-four
hours of apprehension, detention where possible in
one of the "special receiving depots ;" and provides
for giving bail. The parent may be convicted of de-
linquency and may be compelled to contribute toward
support. This law leaves a very wide discretion with
the judge. ''The court shall be guided by the real
justice of the case without regard to legal forms and
solemnities, and shall direct itself by the best evi-
dence it can procure." The Governor in Council is
also given wide powers for arranging for detention
homes, forms of procedure, appointment of probation
officer, and "prescribing in all matters necessary for
carrying out this act." 1
France. The law of June 5, 1850, provides for a
separation of adults from juveniles in both prison
1 For other British Colonies see #;>' under "History."
JUVENILE COURTS 17
and court, 1 and for education (industrial) of all
minors imprisoned. Paris police stations have sepa-
rate waiting rooms and there is a separate ''remand
house" for temporary detention after judgment. Chil-
dren may not ride in patrol wagons nor be escorted
by "gardes" in uniform. 2
The Committee of the Patronage de 1'Enfance pro-
vides for legal defense of children brought before
criminal courts. 3
Laws, April 19, 1898, and April .12, 190(5, leave con-
siderable discretionary power with the judges in deal-
ing with juvenile cases. The probation system is
being tried under the care of the Patronage de 1' En-
fan c'e. An active committee is working for the per-
fecting of a juvenile court system.
Germany. The Law of July 2, 1900, for the Fiir-
sorgeerziehung Minder jahriger (Guardianship of
Minors) an extension of the Law of March 13,
1878, includes a court of guardianship and provides
elaborately for probation. 4 Any one may bring a
neglected or offending child under eighteen to this
court and such child may be removed entirely from
parental care and into a state institution, or into a
family, under care of a probation officer. Even of-
fenders over eighteen may be sent to reformatories.
The relation of the probation officer to his charge is
more intimate than under the American system, for
1 Russell and Rteby. oi>. cit. p. 239.
2 Russell and Rigrby, on. cit. p. 171-2.
3 Morrison, vp. cit. p. 183.
4 Russell and Righy , oj>. cit. p. 250-64.
18 JUVENILE COURTS
the Fiirsorger has, as a rule, but one protege. Such
protection may continue until the child reaches the
age of twenty-one. Detailed reports and records are
Holland. Holland has special statutes providing
for substituting state guardianship and maintenance
for parental control; providing for reprimand and
conditional condemnation before sentencing delin-
quents to reformatory; and private court proceedings.
The age of juvenile jurisdiction has been raised to
Hungary. Children between twelve and sixteen
cannot be punished. They may be confined in houses
of correction to which also may be admitted minors
and destitue children not over eighteen. Special care
ceases at the age of twenty. Hungary has especially
developed its system of homes for dependent and
neglected children. 3
Sweden. Children under fifteen are not brought
before the ordinary courts, but before a commission
whose chairman is a clergyman, the other members
being school teachers, legal men, etc. Certain men do
work approximating that of the probation officer, be-
ing paid for each special case.
1 Russell and Rigby, op. eft. p. 141-142.
2 ib.. 279-286.
s lb., 30.
JUVENILE COURTS 19
ANALYSIS OF STATUTES
Purpose. An excellent enunciation of the princi-
ples underlying juvenile court legislation appears in
the following, the preamble to the Louisiana Law of
1906 (c. 82, p. 134): "Whereas the welfare of the
State demands that children should be guarded from
association and contact with crime and criminals and
the ordinary process of the criminal law does not pro-
vide such treatment and care and moral encourage-
ment as are essential to all children in the formative
period of life, but endangers the whole future of the
child ; and,
"Whereas, experience has shown that children lack-
ing proper parental care or guardianship, are led into
courses of life which may render them liable to the
pains and penalties of the criminal law of the State,
although the real interests of such child or children re-
quire that they be not incarcerated in penitentiaries
and jails as members of the criminal class, but be
subjected to a wise care, treatment, and control, that
their evil tendencies may be checked and their better
instincts may be strengthened; and,
"Whereas, to that end it is important that the
powers of the courts, in respect to the care, treatment
and control over dependent, neglected, delinquent, and
incorrigible children should be clearly distinguished
from the powers exercised in the administration of
the criminal law :
"Be it enacted .
20 JUVENILE COURTS
Title. Certain statutes have been declared by the
courts to have insufficient and inadequate titles.
For :ood examples of Titles, see California, 11)05, c. 610;
Colorado, 11)07, c. 140: Michigan, 1!)07, no. 325: Oregon. 1907,
c. HI: and Utah. 1007, c. 139.
Definitions. Most statutes provide for three classes
of children dependent, neglected, and delinquent.
Especially "rood definitions of these are found in Colorado,
1903, c. 85 and 1907, c. 168: Illinois, 1905. May 16, p. 152:
Ohio, 1908, Apr. 21, sees. 5, (i: Oregon, 1907, c. H4, sec. 1;
I'tah, 1903, c. 124, sec. 2, and 1907, c. 139, sec. 1H: Arizona,
1907, c. 78, sec. 1. Louisiana,. 1906, c. 82, sec. 1, mentions also
"incorrigibles". Massachusetts, 1906. c. 413, sec. 1, includes
"\vay\vard children." 1 .
Courts. Statutes provide that jurisdiction in juve-
nile cases shall lie as follows : Arizona, Iowa, Min-
nesota. Montana, Nebraska District Courts ; Illi-
nois Circuit and County Courts ; Missouri Circuit
Court ; Louisiana and Texas District and County
Courts ; Michigan Circuit and Probate Courts ; Kan-
sas -and Oregon County Court; New Jersey Court
of Common Pleas ; Idaho and Kansas Probate Court ;
Wisconsin Courts of Record in the several Coun-
ties ; Washington Superior Courts in Special Ses-
sion ; New York Court of Special Sessions ; Pennsyl-
vania Quarter Sessions of the Peace ; California-
Superior Court or Justices Court or Police Court in
Special Sessions; Ohio Courts of Common Pleas,
Probate Courts, Insolvency Courts and Superior
Courts ; New Hampshire Police Court and Justices
Courts ; Alabama" Chancery Court or any Court hav-
ing equal powers and jurisdiction ; Colorado, District
1 Cf. Report of the Probation Commission of New York. p. SIT).
JCVEXILE COURTS 21
of Columbia, Indiana, Maryland, Utah special Juve-
Aye limits. The tendency in recent legislation has
been to raise the limit of age tinder which cases shall
be subject, in the first instance, to juvenile jurisdic-
tion. Present statutes set the limit as follows : Ala-
bama fourteen; Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho,
Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana,
New Jersey, New York. Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
Tennessee, Texas. Wisconsin sixteen ; District of
Columbia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Wash-
ington seventeen ; Indiana males sixteen, females
seventeen ; Illinois and Kentucky males' ^seventeen,
females eighteen; Nebraska (1907), Oregon (1907),
and Utah (190?) eighteen. In many cases the juris-
diction of the court continues to twenty-one. 1
Trial. Most of the statutes allow summary juris-
diction except where the pfea "not guilty" or demand
for trial by jury is made.- In general the effort is
made to have a juvenile court room separate from any
other court room. In several cities the court has a
separate building with both court and detention facili-
ties. \Vhere a special room is impossible most stat-
utes provide that the juvenile court shall not be held
within two hours of the holding of any other court
in the same room. Sessions shall be made as private
as possible, only persons necessary to the trial or to
the interests of the child being admitted. Some courts
'Seee. >.'.. statutes of Colorado. Illinois. Ohio. Kansas and Tennes-
"See ... jr.. statutes of A ri/ona. !!;>:. c. 78, sec. :?: MirhUran. 1!W. c. 314,
see. 3: Texas. I'.tor. c. H. sec-. -2.
22 JUVENILE COURTS
are in session daily; others, one, two, or more, days
Appeal. 1 The right of appeal is as a rule expressly
provided for. Some statutes however omit this pro-
Probation officers. The principle of probation has
been even more widely accepted than that of juvenile
courts. Probation officers are appointed as follows :
By the Court in Alabama, Arizona, District of Co-
lumbia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Ken-
tucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Ten-
nessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wiscon-
sin ; by the Court, subject to the approval of the State
Board of Charities in Colorado ; by a probation Com-
mission, on approval of the court in California. The
Governor in Michigan appoints "County Agents" who
act under the supervision of the State Board of Cor-
rections and Charities. The State Board of Correc-
tions and Charities appoints in Rhode Island. Wis-
consin has a special procedure. 2
Provision for the compensation of probation officers
is made in the statutes of Alabama, Colorado. District
of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,
Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mis-
Colorado, 1907. e. 149. sec. 15: Indiana. 1907. c. 13*5. sec. 1:
Utah. 1907, c. 139. sec. 7: Wisconsin Sess. Laws. 1907. sec. 573-4i. sub. sec.
3. Kansas, 1905, c. 190. sec. 12. For judicial decisions, see p. 30ff .
"See Sess. Laws, 1907. Sec. 573-2, sub-sec. 4.
JUVENILE COURTS 23
souri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio,
Utah, Wisconsin. 1
Procedure. The rules laid down in different stat-
utes vary widely. 2 Generally, however, they follow
somewhat the line indicated in the Colorado Statutes.
In some cases a complaint and information by the
prosecuting attorney is required for cases of delin-
quency. 3 In most States emphasis is laid on the fact
that the procedure is not a trial. 4
Disposition of Children. In cases of dependent and
neglected children, the laws allow the judge to use
wide discretion in leaving children with parents or
guardians one or the other, or both, being on proba-
tion or placing them with families or in private or
public institutions. 5
Parent Contribution. Most states allow the judge
when placing the child in an institution or home, to
assess the parent of the child a reasonable sum (usu-
ally with a maximum prescribed) monthly, for its
Adult Delinquency oJ- Responsibility. Parents, etc.
whom the judge considers responsible for the condi-
tion or action of the child may be fined in sums rang-
ing from $100 to $1,000, or imprisonment from six
compare Tables in Helen Page Rates' Digest, Charities. 1904-5.
vol. 13. p. 32J1-39.
s Compare Michigan. 15107. no. 125, sees. 5-8: and Texas. 1!07. no. 45. sees.
4, 5. 9.
'Compare U. S. Statutes (D. C.) 1907. e. 9SO. sees. 12-23.
4 Compare Michigan, 1907. c. 325, sec. 2.
Compare Michigan. 1907, c. 325. sec. 7: Texas. 1907. c. 45, sec. 7: Ohio.
1908, Apr. 24, sees. 12-13.
Compare Arizona. H107. c. 78. sec. 5: Kentucky. 190t>. c. (54, sec. 9:
Michigan, 1907. no. 325. sec. !>: Washington. 1907. c. 110, sec. 15.
24 JUVENILE COURTS
months to one year, or both. The following states
have special provisions : Alabama, Colorado, District
of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Mas-
sachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Montana, Nebraska,.
New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Oregon. 1
Detention Homes. Many states have authorized or
ordered the building of special detention homes where
children may be kept both while awaiting and after
trial, also for short periods of confinement.
Religious Faith and Family Care. As a rule there
is added to the provisions for disposing of cases of
neglected and dependent children where placed in pri-
vate homes or institutions, that attention be given to
the religion of the parents, or of the child. 2
Educational Clauses. Some states especially in-
clude in juvenile -court law provisions for the educa-
tion of the child."
LAWS BY STATES
Fourteen States have no juvenile court or proba-
tion laws. Of these, several have institutions which
approximate juvenile court work. Many of the stat-
utes of others have been cited above. It will be suffi-
cient here, avoiding repetition, to mention certain
features of various statutes and to quote extensively
from the statutes of one or two states.
1 Compare Colorado. 1903. c. 94. sec. 1 : and 1905. c. 81 : District of Co-
lumbia, I). S. Stat. 1906. c. 9(50. sec. 24: Illinois. 1905. May 13. p. 189: In-
diana. 1905. c. 145. and 1907. c. 169: Minnesota. 1907, c. 92: Michigan,
1907, no. 314: Ohio. 1908. April 24, sees. 11, 14-19.
2 Compare Ari/ona. 1907. c. 78. sec. 10: California. 1905, c. 610. sec. 20:
Colorado. 1907. c. 168. sec. 8: Iowa. 1904, c. 11. sec. 15.
'Compare Idaho. 1905. Mar. 2. p. 106. sec. 9: Illinois. 1907, Apr. 19, p. 69 r
JUVENILE COURTS 25
Alabama. 190?, no. :UO, Mar. 12. "Trial shall be
so conducted as to disarm the child's fears and win
its respect and confidence, (sec. 15). A penalty is
provided for interfering with or opposing the work of
the probation officer or making false statement con-
cerning that which he has the right to know.
Arizona. 190?. c. 78, is a brief, clearly written stat-
ute, without cumbersome phraseology, and establish-
ing a simple system.
California. Good laws, as amended, 1905, c. 579
and c. 610.
Colorado. 1907, c. 149, 1 contains a complete title
"An act establishing juvenile court in each county,
and in each municipality known and designated as a
city or county, within this state, in which there are .
one hundred thousand or more inhabitants, and to
prescribe the jurisdiction, powers, rights, proceedings
and practice of such courts, and to define the rights,
powers, duties, and qualifications of the judges and
other officers connected therewith, and to provide for
the maintenance thereof. . . ."
The Colorado statutes, collectively, provide that the
juvenile court shall have original jurisdiction in all
criminal cases in which the disposition of any child
or minor or other person under the acts concerning
dependent, neglected, or delinquent children is in ques-
tion ; it shall be a court of record with the powers
and manner of procedure of other courts of record;
1 "Judge Lindsey's ambition to create a juvenile court in this city
[Denver], which will be the model for the world, has long been known,
and it is believed that his opportunity has arrived." Juvenile Court
Record. May. W>". p. 4.
26 JUVENILE COURTS
shall sit for three terms per year; the judge shall be
elected and shall have a salary of $4,000 per annum,
and shall receive no other salary, neither shall he act
as attorney or counsellor at law; the judge shall ap-
point all officers of the court and fix their salaries;
there shall be probation officers in counties of more
than 100,000, not more than three of whom shall be
under the public pay; and there shall be as many as-
sistants as the judge and county commissioners shall
think necessary; the chief probation officers to re-
ceive $1,500 per annum, and two others $1,200 ;
appointments made by the judge shall be approved
by the State Board of Charities and Corrections;
in all counties with a population exceeding 15,000
there shall be not less than one probation officer,
who shall receive a salary fixed, by the board of
county commissioners ; paid probation officers are
vested with the powers of sheriff; the county com-
missioner shall provide the sum necessary for the
maintenance of the court officers and the detention
home, and shall provide court room and supplies ; trial
by jury may be demanded by the parties entitled to
it; the right of appeal shall be the same as in civil
cases ; the child may have the right of bond ; no child
under fourteen shall be placed in jail; and counties
of the first class shall provide, at the public expense,
a detention room or house, separate from the jail. 1
Connecticut has Probation Officers (1905, c. 142).
'For the Colorado Laws (except 1907 Law) see Lindsey: Juvenile
Court Law of Colorado, p. 18-59. On the 1907 law. see Charities. 1907,
April 13. p. 71-72.
JUVENILE COURTS 27
District of Columbia. U. S. Stat. 1885, c. 58, Act
for the Protection of Children; U. S. Stat. 1892, c.
250, Act to Provide for the Care of Dependent Chil-
dren in the District of Columbia and to Create a Board
of Guardians; and U. S. Stat. 1901, c. 847, provide
for probation officers, adult delinquency, contribution
by the parent, and suspended sentence and bond. U. S.
Stat. 1906, c. 960, creates a Juvenile Court in and for
the District of Columbia ; provides for probation offi-
cers, prosecution on information by the corporation
counsel or his assistant ; and is especially good on pro-
cedure (sees. 17-23).
Idaho. A feature common in the working of the
system in several states, but especially provided for
by statute appears in Idaho, 1907, Mar. 12, p. 231,
sec. 3, providing that the probate judge and the school
superintendent shall work in conjunction.
Illinois. The Illinois statutes contain a full state-
ment of the powers of the judge, procedure, disposal
of the child, and the duties of the probation officers.
(See especially 1905, p. 152, p. 189, and 1907, p. 69, p. 70.)
Indiana. A complete adult delinquency law, 1905,
c. 145, and 1907, c. 169.
Iowa. The Law of 1907, c. 7, sec. 3, provides for
the levying of a special tax for the support of a de-
tention home and probation officers.
Kentucky and Louisiana passed comprehensive and
well worded Juvenile Court Laws in 1906.
Kansas. The Law of 1901, c. 106, combines the
action of the Humane Society with the work of pro-
28 JUVENILE COURTS
Maine has a Probation Law.
Maryland has Juvenile Court Laws for the city of
Massachusetts. Massachusetts' legislation forms
an epitome of the development of juvenile courts.
Michigan. The law of 1907, no. 325, is especially
well worth study. It was carefully drawn, avoiding
the features which caused the 1905 law to be declared
Minnesota ajid Missouri have good laws on both
Juvenile Courts and Probation.
Montana. 1907, c. 92, a complete law, well stated,
contemplates placing children in state homes.
Nebraska. The 1907 legislation (c. 45 & 46) is
XCK Hamshire. 1907, c. 125, sec. 3 : "It shall be
unlawful for any newspaper to publish any of the
proceedings of any juvenile court."
AYw Jersey has both Probation and Juvenile Court
A>a ? York. Has good laws on both Probation and
See legislation recommended by the New York Probation
Commission Report, 1905 (not passed).
Ohio. 1908, Apr. 24, contains an especially wide
and complete definition of delinquent, and of depend-
ent and neglected children. A carefully drawn law.
Oklahoma has special legislation concerning juve-
1 ''This statute is already being found fault with, however, as provid-
ing no method for caring for any child between the age of seven and
twelve having pronounced criminal tendencies." Judge Konhert,
quoted in Charities. November hi. 11K>7, p. 1071.
JUVENILE COURTS 29
Oregon. 190?, c. 34. Complete, concise, well ar-
Pennsylvania has both Juvenile Court and Proba-
Rhode Island has a Juvenile Probation System.
Tennessee has Juvenile Courts and Juvenile Proba-
Texas. 1907, c. 44-45, good on hearing, procedure,
and disposal of the child.
Utah. 1907, c. 139, a comprehensive title; good on
compensation, power and extent of jurisdiction of the
court and selection of the judge; provides for a Juve-
nile Court Commission consisting of the Governor,
Attorney General and State Superintendent of Public
Instruction. Contains (sec. 5) a statement of alter-
native decrees and judgments, and (sec. 11) the duties
of the probation officers. Adds to the Ohio defini-
tions. May be read profitably in connection with the
decision of the Utah Supreme Court in 1907, Mill
y. Brown, 31 Utah 473 (see infra, p. 32).
Vermont has county Probation Officers.
Washington. Washington legislation provides also
for the jurisdiction of the judge of the Juvenile Court
over the employment of child labor (1907, c. 128).
Wisconsin. Wisconsin Juvenile Court Laws pro-
vide a special method for the appointment and em-
ployment of probation officers. (Sess. Laws, 1907.
Sec. 573-2, Sub-sec. 4.) 1
'Compare methods suggested by the New York Probation Commis-
sion Report, 1905. Appendix A. p. 101-10t>.
30 JUV EXILE COURTS
Constitutionality of Statutes
The constitutionality of statutes establishing juve-
nile courts as such, has been brought into question in
the following cases:
Mansfield's Case. In Mansfield's Case, 22 Pa. Su-
perior Court 224, (1903) the Pennsylvania Law of
1901, c. 185, (P. L. 279) establishing juvenile courts
and the probation system, was declared unconstitu-
tional. It was held that the legislature could not
legislate the judge of an old court onto the bench of
a new court which it was creating; that the title of
the act was insufficient to allow the wide interpreta-
tion given it, that the act was special legislation inas-
much as it classified children and discriminated be-
tween classes ; that requiring a child to make a formal
affidavit in order to secure trial by jury violates the
constitutional guarantee of that right. The legisla-
ture of Pennsylvania subsequently reenacted the stat-
ute as five separate Acts, changing some parts and
leaving to the Juvenile Court and Probation Act,
1903, c. 205, (P. L. 274), such provisions only as
have reference to the care, treatment, and control of
dependent, 'neglected, incorrigible, and delinquent chil-
JUVENILE COURTS 31
dren under the age of sixteen years, and providing
for the means by which special power may be exer-
Ex parte Loving. In ex parte Loving, 178 Mis-
souri 194, (Dec. 9, 1903) the Missouri Law, Mar. 23,
1903, p. 213, was held constitutional. It was held
that the terms "neglected" and "delinquent" children
do not refer to different subjects, but only to differ-
ent classes, the title being "children"; that the limita-
tion of the application of the law to counties having
150,000 or more population does not make it a special
or local law ; that it is within the competence of the
legislature to make certain provisions for densely
populated districts which it cannot for rural districts,
and to make special provisions for children whose
surroundings are disadvantageous, which it does not
make for those under other conditions; that failure
to provide for separation of neglected and delinquent
children does not render the statute unconstitutional;
that the provisions of such a statute render void such
provisions of a city charter as conflict with them.
Commonwealth v. Fisher. 2 In Commonwealth v.
Fisher, 213 Pa. State 48, 5 A. & E. Ann. Cas. 92,
(Oct. 9, 1905), an appeal from the decisions of the
Superior Court of Pa., the Pennsylvania Statute, J.903,
c. 205, (P. L. 274), was declared valid. It was held
that the title of the act is sufficient (not containing
more than one subject) ; that the act does not create
a new court; that the act does not deprive juveniles
1 See Commonwealth v. Fisher, infra.
2 See Mansfield's Case, supra.
32 JUVENILE COURTS
charged with crime, of their constitutional right of
trial by jury as the proceeding of the juvenile court
is not a trial for offense such as requires a jury ; that
it is not class legislation, all children under sixteen
being included in its operation; that the purpose of
the act is not trial nor punishment, but to prevent trial
and to prevent the necessity for punishment. 1
Hunt v. Wayne Circuit Judges. In Hunt v. Wayne
Circuit Judges, 142 Michigan 93, 7 A. & E. Ann. Cas.
821, (Dec. 4, 1905), the Michigan Statute, 1905, no.
312, was declared unconstitutional. It was held that
the act conferred powers on the circuit court com-
missioners of certain counties beyond their constitu-
tional rights ; that it failed in those counties, and con-
sequently throughout the whole State, because it failed
to establish a uniform method. 2
Mill v. Brown. 5 In Mill v. Brown, 31 Utah 473,
88 Pac. Rep. 609, (Jan. 17, 1907), the Utah Supreme
Court declared the Utah Statute, 1905, c. 117, estab-
lishing the juvenile court and probation system, valid,
with the exception of sec. 7. It was held that sec.
7, providing that the parent of a child adjudged a de r
linquent may be brought before the court, and, if
found guilty of contributing to the delinquency, be
condemned to certain penalties, was unconstitutional
inion in this case contains an excellent review of opinions and
cases bearing upon the principles involved in the juvenile court system.
Compare 5 A. & E. Ann. Cas. 92 fl, and especially note on p. 96.
a The opinions of five judges of the circuit court auoted in this case
are interesting. On pages 155 of 142 Mich., and 829 of 7 A. & E. Ann.
Cas. appears a bibliography of cases. See also 7 A. & E. Ann. Cas. p.
3 "The clearest ana most lucid announcement of the law which has
ever been written on that subject." Juvenile Court Record. May. 1907,
JUVENILE COURTS 33
as denying such parent the right of trial by jury as
for any other crime ; but that the statute is not other-
wise affected by the invalidity of sec. 7, which was
not connected with its principal provisions; that the
question of the right of the judge to hold office can-
not be considered, although the constitutionality of
the statute on which his acts depend may be; that it
is within the power of the legislature to create juve-
nile courts, conferring upon them jurisdiction and
powers previously exercised by the District Court,
(Utah Const., art. 8, sec. 1) ; that creating juvenile
courts in cities of the first and second class is not
special legislation; that the statute in question is not
an amending act though it incidentally affects some
older laws; that the creating of juvenile courts hav-
ing for object the surrounding of the children with
proper environment is not criminal law and violates
no constitutional provisions because not providing for
trial by jury, for arraignment and plea, for notice to
parents, or because of the manner of the trial, or be-
cause of the child's being required to be a witness;
that even though the express provisions of the statute
do not require the court in removing the child from
the custody of parents and placing it under other
custody, to find in addition to delinquency of the
child, parental incompetency or neglect, yet, there, be-
ing no provisions to the contrary, the act will be con-
structed to require it in view of Utah R. S. 1898, sec.
82, which provides that the parent cannot be deprived
of the custody of the child unless he is adjudged in-
competent to have such custody.
34 JUVENILE COURTS
Decisions which affect various principles em-
bodied in juvenile court legislation or ad-
The power of the legislature. As to the state
guardianship of children generally, see Whalen v.
Ohmstead, (Conn.) 15 L. R. A. 593, note, "State
Guardianship of Children."
The State has the power to detain and educate
minor offenders. Ex parte Nichols, 110 Cal. 651 ;
Jarrard v. State, 116 Ind. 98.
On the duty of the state to protect dependent and
unfortunate infants : McLean Co. v. Humphreys, 104
111. 378. "The duty of the legislature to determine by
rules and definitions the class or classes requiring it
and to impose state supervision, is no longer open to
question. 1 ' Hunt v. Wayne Circuit Judges. For bib-
liography of cases on this point, see 7 A. & E. Ann.
On the constitutionality of the statutes providing
for commitment of wayward children to institutions
or to proper guardianship without jury trial, see 5
A. & E. Ann. Cas. 96, note.
The employment of private institutions for the care
of the child is an appropriate means to performing
the duties of the state, and is, therefore, constitutional.
See Wis. Industrial School v. Clark County, 103 Wis.
The statute authorizing the commitment to the State
Industrial School of children who for want of proper
parental care are growing up in mendicancy and crime,
under sixteen, is valid, but is not valid as to children
JUVENILE COURTS 35
over that age who have not been duly convicted of
crime. Scott v. Flowers, 61 Neb. 620, and 85 N. W.
The court: character and extent of its jurisdiction.
Chancery-power. The power conferred on the county
court by this act is of the same character as the juris-
diction exercised by the court of chancery over in-
fants, having its foundation in the jurisdiction of the
crown as parens patriae to protect that which has no
lawful protector. In re Ferrier, 103 111. 367; Dinson
v. Drosta, Appellate Court of Indiana, Div. no. 2,
Jan. 1907 ; 80 N. E. Rep. 32. Cf Cent. Dig., vol. 31,
The power conferred by statute on Circuit Courts
to appoint guardians is merely declaratory of the
chancery powers which they already possessed. See
Board of Guardians v. Shutter, 139 Ind. 268;
also People v. Mercein, 25 Wendell 64, 35 Am.
Dec. 653; Richards v. Collins, 45 N. J. Eq. 283, 14
Am. Rep. 726; Industrial School v. Clark County,
103 Wis. 651.
All courts having power to issue writs of habeas
corpus to hear and determine cases arising under them
may control under certain circumstances the custody,
education and management of minor children. Com-
monwealth v. Barney, 29 Leg. Int. 317. See also ex
parte Nicholl, 110 Cal. 651 ; Roth v. House of Refuge,
31 Md. 329; ex parte Crouse, 4 Wharton (Pa.) 9.
Decrees of the juvenile court are not for punish-
ment, but for reformation. Ex parte Nicholl; in re
Ferrier; and Mill v. Brown.
36 JUVENILE COURTS
Jury Trial. "In by far the greater number of cases
which have passed upon this question it has been held
that a statute which authorizes the commitment, with-
out jury trial to a reformatory, house of correction,
or refuge, of children who are incorrigible or lack
proper parental care, is constitutional." See 5 A. & E.
Ann. Cas. 92, p. 96.
Appeal. It has in several instances been decided
that in the absence of statutory provisions, there is
no appeal from the judgment of the judge of the juve-
nile court. Dinson v. Drosta, Appellate Court Ind.,
Div. no. 2, Jan. 1907; 80 N. E. Rep. 32. See Elliot:
Appellate Procedure, 75.
Legal rights of the parent. In some cases it has
been held that the parent has a right to notice of
proceedings, and in others that the parent has no such
right. See Cincinnati House of Refuge v. Ryan, 37
Ohio State 197; in re Kelly, 152 Mass. 432; In re
Wares, 161 Mass. 70.
The child cannot be taken from the parent or
guardian unless the parent or guardian is shown to
be an unfit person to have the custody of the child,
or has been convicted of neglect. Cf . Milwaukee In-
dustrial School v. Supervisors, 40 Wis. 328; People
ex rel McEntee v. Lynch, 223 111. 346 ; Mill v. Brown,
31 Utah 473.
Custody of the parents or. guardian will not pre-
vail if it imperils the personal safety, morals, or
health of the child, and the court will scrutinize the
conditions and circumstances in determining the dis-
JUVENILE COURTS 37
position of the child. Cf. Richards v. Collins, 45
N. J. Eq. 283.
Custody and Disposition of the Child. See Cin-
cinnati House of Refuge v. Ryan, 37 Ohio State,
197 ; Farnham v. Pierce, 141 Mass. 203 ; In re Wares,
161 Mass. 70; In re Kelley, 152 Mass. 433; In re
Ferrier, 103 111. 367 ; 27 Cent. Dig. "Infants," sees. 13,
18, 19. Cf. supra; "Powers of the Legislature and
Reformatories etc.: Legal status of, and character
cf commitment to. The view taken in the majority
of cases is that the institutions and reformatories to
which children are committed are not prisons or peni-
tentiaries, but schools "where children who may
be exposed by conditions of misfortune, or who may
perversely expose themselves to immoral surround-
ings and influences, may be kept under reasonable re-
straint during their minority, not as punishment for
crime, but for their moral and physical well being."
5 A. & E. Ann. Cas. 96, note. Cf. Olson v. Brown,
50 Minn. 353 ; McLean County v. Humphreys, 104 111.
378; In re Ferrier, 103 111. 367; Scott v. Flowers,
61 Neb. 620.
Habeas Corpus: Children taken from the custody
of the parents, etc. See ex parte Grouse, 4 Wharton
9; Farnham v. Pierce, 141 Mass. 203, 55 Am. Rep.
452, note p. 456; ex parte Nicholl, 110 Cal. 651;
People ex rel McEntee v. Lynch, 223 111. 346.
38 JUVENILE COURTS
ESSENTIALS OF A GOOD JUVENILE
COURT LAW 1
From the preceding pages it will be seen that two-
thirds of the states have already passed special juvenile
court or probation laws, or both, and with few ex-
ceptions, laws concerning adult delinquincy. There
exist in many of the other states statutes embody-
ing some of the underlying principles of juvenile
court legislation. Juvenile court laws as they exist
to-day are the result of experiment, and, in those
states which lead in juvenile court legislation, repre-
sent constant effort to profit by and embody the results
of experience in new and improved legislation. It
has apparently been found possible in some states to
approximate the work of the juvenile court without
special legislation, but as a rule separate laws uniting
the features essential to the effective application of
those principles, have greatly facilitated the work.
Experience, both of the actual working and of the
legality of juvenile court legislation has now been
1 See Lindsey : The Juvenile Court Laws of Colorado, especially p. 8 ff .
What is Necessary; and p. 59 ff, A Word as to the Preparation of Juve-
nile Laws for Other States.
See H. B. Hurd: Minimum Principles Which Should be Stood for,
Charities, 1905, p. 325.
See recommendation of the New York Probation Commission. Re-
port, p. 93 ff., App. A.
JUVENILE COURTS 39
sufficient to make it possible to suggest certain fea-
tures upon which emphasis is to be laid.
In general, it may be said that the code should
not be hard and fast. It should be elastic. "Where
juvenile court law covers a whole state, a uniform
system should be adopted for practicability." "Due
regard should be had for the statutes already on the
books." "The institutions and methods in vogue within
the state in dealing with children and the relations of
parent and child, parent and state, and state and child,
should be carefully studied and new legislation
adapted to local conditions and resources."
The title should be clear, comprehensive, and suffi-
cient. It has been held advisable in several cases
to enact laws in several different acts in order to
avoid difficulties with title.
The definition of neglected, dependent, and espe-
cially of delinquent, children should be made broad,
and the age limit for juvenile jurisdiction should be
made as high as consistent with the general laws.
Jurisdiction should be given to courts with chan-
cery power. 1 It is not necessary that new courts be
established, though it has been found in some places
the most satisfactory method. It is generally agreed
that there should be one judge rather than several
1 "We consider it a step backward to provide for a special court lim-
ited to children's cases only, unless it is given general unlimited crim-
inal and chancery court jurisdiction in order that it may successfully
handle all cases against or concerning adults where a child is involved."
Lindsey. in International Prison Committee report. 1904. p. 64.
40 JUVENILE COURTS
in rotation who shall be (exclusively, if possible)
a juvenile court judge. 1
Provision should be made for separate room, if
possible, in a special building devoted to the needs of
the juvenile court. There should be a waiting room
so that cases may be dealt with one at a time.
The trial should be private, informal, and con-
ducted on the principle of "the saving, not the punish-
ment or restraint of the child." Proceedings etc.
must be left largely to be determined by local needs
and conditions. 2 .
To avoid constitutional difficulties, the statutes should
provide for jury and counsel where demanded, and
should provide for prosecution by the state's attorney
where demanded. 3
Judge Williams, Justice Ohmstead, Miss Julia
Lathrop, Judge Lindsey, and many other writers upon
juvenile courts insist upon the detention home as
one of the most important aids in the work of dealing
with delinquent children.
The statutes should provide for paid probation of-
ficers having the power of sheriffs. It is generally
agreed that probation officers should receive public
compensation and that the paid probation system is
more effective than the unpaid. 4 The choice of pro-
1 " not one who merely takes his turn after adult cases." "The con-
stant rotation is destructive of real success." The judge should be "in-
timately acquainted with child nature and with various institutions
and methods that may he employed to help the child."
* Cf. Lindsey, in International Prison Report. 1904, p. 64.
3 Cf. Lindsey, Juvenile Court Law of Colorado, p. 26.
4 S. J. Barrows, in International Prison Report. 1904.. p. XII. cf. Mrs.
D. Sheffield, in Legislation in Regard to Children, p. 35-6.
JUVENILE COURTS 41
bation officers should be left to the Court, 1 or the
Court subject to the approval of special Commissions,
Boards of Charities, Probation Commissions etc. Ju-
venile Court Commissions are gaining in favor. 2
Examinations of the nature of civil service examina-
tions for preliminary qualifications, have been tried
in some states. 3
The principle of adult ("contributory") delinquency
is recognized in nearly all recent legislation. 4
The judge should be given power to suspend sen-
tences, that is, to put the responsible party upon pro-
A feature new to legislation, though not to practice,
is that of forbidding all newspaper and other pub-
licity to cases which come before the juvenile court.
Juvenile court workers are emphasizing the neces-
sity for wise child labor laws, compulsory school laws,
and general provision for the cooperation of the
home, the school, and the employer, both preliminary
and supplementary to juvenile court legislation. 8
1 Charities, 1905-6, vol. 15, p. 758.
* "The most notable recommendation of this [the New York Proba-
tion] Commission is that of unpaid municipal probation commissions
for cities of the first and second class. These commissions are proposed
to be under the supervision of the State Board of Charities. . . ."
Mrs. D. Sheffield, in Legislation in Regard to Children, p. 35-36.
3 S. J. Barrows, In International Prison Report, 1904, p. XII. Lind-
sey. Juvenile Court Law of Colorado. 1905, p. 8.
4 "The most practicable and important new feature [of juvenile court
legislation] is the enforcement of the legal responsibility upon the par-
ents and the home for the moral and physical welfare of the child and
the establishment of a practical and effectual system of probation in
order to carry out these principles generally recognized in every state."
Llndsey, Juvenile Court Law of Colorado, p. 159.
8 See also Lindsey, in International Prison Report, 1904,p. 122-5. and
Charities. 1904-5. vol. 13, p. 357.
For blank forms etc., in use by juvenile courts, see Juvenile Court
Laws of Colorado, p. 05-80 and B6renger, op. cit. p. 145-227.