12 Fed. Probation 11 (1948)
Probation: What It Can Do and What It Takes

handle is hein.journals/fedpro12 and id is 13 raw text is: Probation: What It Can Do and What It Takes

Director, Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Washington, D. C.

AM     GLAD to join with you in your consider-
ation of ways to help youth. The developments
of the last few years, particularly the atomic bomb,
have brought home to us that no matter what
material conveniences we have, however much
wealth the country may amass, they count for little
unless we have a strong and virtuous people. The
psalmist was right when he said, Except the Lord
build the house, they labor in vain that build it.
Throughout the civilized world men have been
able to utilize natural forces to a degree that is un-
paralleled. The telephone and the radio transmit
sound around the globe; the automobile, the rail-
road, and now the airplane, span distances at ever
increasing speed. The possibilities of atomic fission
for peace as well as for war are almost beyond
thought. Life on the material side is varied and
interesting to a degree that would have been in-
conceivable even as late as a half century ago.
But with all this richness of the physical environ-
ment, there is a fear gnawing at our hearts, and not
only at ours but at the hearts of men everywhere.
Over us hangs the dread that the machines which
we have devised will get out of control, and in the
hands of enemies will be turned to our destruction.
So a great desire for security is arising. We would
give much of our luxury and many of our thrills to
know that we are safe. We realize that this can only
be when men and nations are willing to live accord-
ing to what is right, in fairness one to another. This
is the truth expressed by Isaiah in the 17th and 18th
verses of the 32d chapter of his prophecy, as
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and
the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance
for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable
habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet rest-
ing places.
The problem of establishing a stable order in the
world is so large that it seems altogether beyond us
and we are tempted- to throw up our hands in futil-
ity. The conference which you are holding here on
youth, how to help it grow up soundly, is evidence
that you do not yield to any such attitude. You
recognize that the world is made up of myriad cells;
that although we do not touch many, we can do
something in the one in which we live, and that
*An address by Mr. Chandler before the Conference on American
Youth, Huntsville, Alabama, October 16, 1947.

making that what it ought to be is the best contri-
bution that we can offer toward a better world. You
also recognize that what the world will be in 10, 20,
30 years depends upon what becomes of the youth of
today. You are marshalling your abilities and patri-
otism for a concerted effort to help it in your area.
There is little that I can do to aid you. But I
can and do express my conviction that what you
are undertaking is in many ways the most impor-
tant task before the country. Nothing else would so
strengthen the influence of the United States in
fostering freedom in the world, as to present in
countless communities like this, the picture of
youth growing up to useful and generous living, and
people, all races and all classes, dwelling together
in justice and friendship.
I have chosen to speak of probation as one of the
means toward such an end because it happens to be
the one with- which I am most familiar. When I
was practicing law in Illinois 20 years ago, I became
interested as a citizen in improving the adminis-
tration of juvenile probation in that state. In my
present office I am responsible for the financial
support of the system of probation in the federal
courts. I have been unable to view this as a mere
business matter. Seeing the value of probation in
the treatment of many types of offenders, I have
been impelled to learn all I could about it, and to
do my utmost to help the judges and the probation
officers make the most of it. Now I present it to you
as something to consider in setting up means of
crime prevention in your communities and state.
Community's Responsibility for Growing Youth
I admit and emphasize at the outset that pro-
bation alone will by no means solve the problem of
crime. Probation belongs with imprisonment as a
correctional process for individuals whose delin-
quency is so far advanced that they have violated,
the criminal laws. A program of crime prevention
must begin much farther back, and surround young
people with influences that will keep them from
ever getting to that point. Homes in which fathers.
and mothers set a right example in their own con-
duct and there is thought and love for their chil-
dren; effective schools fostering sound bodies and
sound minds; churches in whose programs there is

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