Editorials -- By: Anonymous
BSac 93:371 (Jul 36) p. 257
Dealing with Crime
All thinkers, profound and otherwise, now acknowledge that crime is rampant in the United States of America. It is also being recognized that conditions here are worse than in the rest of the English-speaking world. The present wave of crime is a glaring fact, and no good purpose is served by an attempt to minimize it. The questions, “What has cause the great increase in crime in our day?” and “What shall be done about it?” bring forth widely differing answers. Because of the variety of opinions concerning the first question, the answers to the second question must necessarily be diverse. However, there is an increasing number amongst our citizens that are really concerned over the crime conditions who recognize the fact that mere repressive methods against the seasoned criminal and even the younger entrants upon a career of crime are not stemming the tide. Radio broadcasts depicting the experiences of government officials hunting down public enemies, signed on and off by sirens and machine gun fire, may be entertaining to interested listeners, and as a means to arouse the public to a recognition of actual conditions may have some value; but these stories related to prove that crime does not pay in the long run have little effect upon the breeding places and conditions which are producing new criminals much faster than the public enemy headliners are being caught and eliminated. Justice does indeed demand that criminals be apprehended and punished, but until the crime question is attacked at its source and the contributing causes reduced there can be little hope of substantial improvement.
Former Federal Judge, George E. Q. Johnson, prosecutor of Al Capone, makes this statement:1 “Swarms of young criminals are breeding in every large city, and if they are not checked they will overwhelm any protective system that is
BSac 93:371 (Jul 36) p. 258
set up.” After quoting statistics from several states, he says that three out of four boys sent to the reformatories return to a life of crime after their release. He pleads for the universal introduction of plans which have proven successful in reducing crime amongst underprivileged boys and girls, namely, the organization of community clubs, “Friends of Youth” groups of law-abiding citizens, who will gather potential criminals in organizations which will provide wholesome recreation and the development of responsibility amongst the members in carrying out the organization’s ideals and program. His conclusion is that “Only the citizens, law-abiding themselves, and willing to work for a law-abiding community can beat crime. They are the ones who must get to the boy before he gets to the reformatory.” That these p...
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