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November 1926


Author Affiliations

Director, Division on Prevention of Delinquency (Division II of the Commonwealth Fund Program), National Committee for Mental Hygiene NEW YORK

Arch NeurPsych. 1926;16(5):613-619. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1926.02200290076006

All of us, I think, will agree that most of the existing machinery dealing with delinquency and crime is set up to handle end-results and that there is little of a preventive nature in it. Public interest is largely centered about these old and tried methods and society as a whole is apparently satisfied with conditions as they are. From time to time so-called "crime waves" bring forth enthusiastic reformers and amateur criminologists who point out failures in the prevailing methods and offer new remedies for handling and preventing crime by the same antiquated machinery. Occasionally an ambitious psychiatrist suggests a method of dealing with the situation and recommends that the whole procedure should be turned over to his specialty. As a rule, however, these critics make little impression on politically minded laymen in whose hands the whole matter rests.

Perhaps when we think in fundamental terms of actually preventing