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June 8, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(23):1628-1629. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470230030006

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The trustees of a Chicago juvenile reformatory institution refused to permit the boys under their care to be examined with reference to their physical and mental peculiarities, etc., on the ground that it was, as a local newspaper expresses it, "a sort of psychologic vivisection with incidental publicity." It was held, apparently, that it would be cruelty to subject youthful criminals to any examinations for the purpose of testing for the signs of degeneracy. Nothing should be done to make them feel their degradation, and such procedures as were proposed were considered, in the language of the editorial commending the course of the trustees, as "unwarranted intrusion and gratuitous insult." The consideration for juvenile criminals is in line with that for older ones, which seems at times to become a dominating idea of certain sentimental reformers. It should be remembered that the public-school children of Chicago had been put through

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