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An early study re: Scouts from a California paper 1927

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Healdsburg Enterprise 6 October 1927
Healdsburg Enterprise, Volume L, Number 15, 6 October 1927
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MAJORITY OF CRIMES COMMUTED OY YOUNG MEN
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Contributors: Wes Keat
MAJORITY OF CRIMES COMMUTED OY YOUNG MEN

"Three-fourths of the crimes committed today are by young boys between the ages of 17 and 24,"* said Captain Duncan Mathewson, chief of the detective bureau of San Francisco, in his address before the Kiwanis Club Tuesday. A remarkable feature, he stated, was that in all the penal institutions of the state, not a Boy Scout is to be found. He lauded the work of this organization and pointed out that along the lines, of the work and teachings of the scouts, if expanded further, great good will result. He stated that the cost of crime in the United Slates In 1926 has been estimated at four billion dollars. There have been 12,000 murders committed within the last five years. There are 137,000 living murderers in this country. There are 200,000 Inmates of states prisons. From 1919 to 1925 the Increase in crime in California was 57 per cent; in Illinois 74 per cent, and in Michigan, duo to the rapidly increasing automobile Industry and consequent flocking in of men, the Increase in crime has been 828 per cent. The quarterly report of the Department of Institutions of California for July Ist shows 326 girls In the Ventura detention home; Preston School for boys 1241 inmates; Whittier school, 502 hoys. Folsom state prison 2C84 inmates, and Sian Quentin 5157. Thorn are 28,551 wards of tip* state. i In San Francisco last year there wore 60,778 arrests made, 11,000 of which were for drunkenness, 300 for driving automobiles while drunk, ami more than an average of one a day for robbery. ' • “We need no now prisons in California sudh as are now under contemplation,'' said Captain Mathewson, “but What we should have isan Institution tq house the professional reformers, molly-coddles, upr lifters and psychologists on crime, who are the primary cause of the present crime wave in the United States. ” i Harold Rosenberg was chairman of the day and he had as his guest his. father-in-law. Max Goldberg, at one time a member of the Sun Francisco police commission. A number of townspeople were invited to attend the meeting and also Santa, Rosa Klwanians were present. The meeting was undoubtedly tha best ever hold by the club. Captain. Mathewson is an earnest and interesting talker and his remarks wera based on more than thirty years’ experience In handling criminals. Uet has a wide reputation as a criminologist, and altogether ills remarks made a telling impressson on his hearers. i

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Well, he never met some of my scouts! But his point still resonates.

The movement is a net good for this country.

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3 hours ago, qwazse said:

Well, he never met some of my scouts! But his point still resonates.

The movement is a net good for this country.

Same. I have known a few people engaging and getting convicted for criminal behavior who have been Boy Scouts. My ex husband was a Boy Scout and has been in the local jail at least twice not including his stint in a federal penitentiary (there's a reason he's my ex).  Some of these boys even in units I've been directly involved in (peers of my older kids). Even an Eagle Scout. 

But OVERALL I think it has a positive influence. The kid I'm thinking of specifically probably would have gotten in a lot more trouble than a DUI and minor in possession if it weren't for the positive impact of Scouting. He had a lot of cards stacked against him, and most of the time he has made more good choices than bad ones. 

Can we send the Dictionary Police after whomever proof-read this article though? There's kind of a big difference between Commuted and Committed. 

Edited by Liz
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I think this make a great point that seems to be lost: Scouting will make you a better person, not a saint. Sure, we aim for sainthood but we wouldn't need all the g2ss and ypt rules if we realized those goals. Not even eagle confers anything absolute. We claim greatness but when we can't deliver, whether it be a scout that ends up in the legal system or a sexual abuse case, I can see parents that know nothing of scouting asking themselves why they should put their kids in this program.

 

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