The American Correctional Association has championed the cause of corrections and correctional effectiveness for over 140 years. Founded in 1870 as the National Prison Association, ACA is the oldest association developed specifically for practitioners in the correctional profession. During the first organizational meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, the assembly elected then-Ohio Governor and future President Rutherford B. Hayes as the first President of the Association.

Continue Reading

In 1953, the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago sponsored a symposium on “Pioneers and Professionals—Chicago’s Contribution to Social Service.” Tribute was paid to Jane Addams, Graham Taylor, Mary McDowell, Sophonisba Breckinridge, the Abbott sisters, and the judges of the Juvenile Court. One speaker, Marion Craine, singled out “that quality in the pioneers that I have come to regard as perhaps our greatest heritage—the ability to relate the individual case to basic problems and then to seek remedies to them.” “Social action was still a new idea,” the speaker continued, “and these early social workers may have become too enamored of it.” But “the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction,” and “today many of us have become so immersed in the individual that we neither see nor feel any particular responsibility for basic causes or their remedies.” She pleaded for “imaginative thinking and a willingness to experiment with ideas…[We] are much too timid about this sort of thing. We are forever fearful that someone will label us ‘unprofessional.”

Continue Reading

Hodder, Jessie Donaldson

On June 27, 2014 By

Jessie Donaldson Hodder had some of her early training in social work at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she worked (ca. 1907-1911) with Dr. Richard C. Cabot at the MGH’s recently established social service clinic. While at the MGH she provided much needed assistance to unwed mothers and women suffering from venereal diseases. After leaving the MGH she continued her pioneering efforts as Superintendent of the Massachusetts Prison and Reformatory for Women (1911-1931).

Continue Reading

During the tenures of Kate Waller Barrett and Robert Barrett, the Crittenton homes began to be influenced by the emerging profession of social work. The NFCM began to offer professional training to staff members and worked to make homes comply with new state standards for child welfare. This trend was to have a profound influence on Crittenton methods over the next two decades, even while some homes retained their religious evangelical character and remained true to their original policy of encouraging unwed mothers to raise their own children. Issues faced during these years included: professional training of social workers, changing attitudes towards adoption, and meeting standards set by state welfare agencies.

Continue Reading

If we had a real boom, and all our employable got jobs, that famous “one third” would no longer be ill-fed, or ill-clothed, but they would still be ill-housed. We must face this fact, says Mrs. Wood in an article which asks why public investment in human shelter should stagger a nation that builds roads, conserves forests and other natural resources.

Continue Reading

Inside my head was probably about let is inside the head of the ordinary general-public American, some vague, blurred, uncoordinated information about m, the dubious result of what is fled “general reading”—a little, that about the difficulties of getting decent using for people with small incomes, out modern methods of construction, out labor unions and Mr. Arnold’s goings-on, about streamlined plumbing and linoleum and so on. But no raw material from which to draw any answer to the crucial question: “If I lived one of those houses, would I like it?” And my father brought me up on the maxim, in regard to our public schools: “If it’s not good enough for me and my children, it’s not good enough for anybody’s.”

Continue Reading

Housing and Politics

On June 10, 2014 By

The future of the housing program and of other federal land activities depends largely on what happens during the coming year. Much will depend on whether the people as well as the administration assume responsibility for the program, lead the fight for its continuance, make it one of their “must” measures. The cooperation of local authorities and a real effort by unofficial groups would do much to bring that about. For among the many measures that come before Congress, with many new issues presented by the present war, with much opinion favoring the limitation of federal operations, the President cannot be expected to press most strongly for measures on which there is only public apathy.

Continue Reading

What to me was of outstanding interest here is the way the unemployed are behaving about relief. The workers on the whole are “hard babies,” the living conditions are bad, the struggle for existence has been terrible even before the depression, but the place is to a certain extent a yardstick of behavior in depressed, deflated conditions….I spent a day visiting homes with investigators. They tell me that relief is actually raising standards in some of these shack lives. One of the leading doctors told me that medical care in the City was now better than it had ever been before. In the homes that I visited less than 25 per cent were “unemployables.” All, except a very few, asked for clothing or other articles such as a new stove, that neighbors had received from relief. I certainly had a feeling that few would choose to stay on relief but there was little feeling that it was a painful process to ask for relief.

Continue Reading

As one investigator said, “The workers in Detroit used to run up debts between employment,–run a rent up for several months, owe a grocery bill for several months and borrow on the furniture. They don’t do that any more. When their money is exhausted they come to relief.” While several men said to me with evident satisfaction that they had no debts, others pointed out that the grocers and landlords no longer feeling so optimistic about the economic possibilities of their debtors will not extend credit as they used to.

An old Ford worker said, “I used to be able to pick up odd jobs such as washing cars. My wife did, too, then. We used to worry along.” A Chevrolet man said “Each year my savings grew lean and less until now I am at rock bottom.” These men are both applying for relief for the first time this Fall. They expect to get jobs by the first of the year if not before.

Continue Reading

Exploiting the Child: 1934

On May 30, 2014 By

It has been almost a century since the first child-labor legislation began to appear on the statute books. Throughout this very long period of time, in the enactments of all of the State legislatures dealing with the problem, no example of abuse of authority has been found…. In no State has the labor of children on their family farm been regulated. In none has the home been invaded under the guise of regulating child labor. In none has the regulation or prohibition of premature employment operated to destroy the republican form of government. In none has the State’s solicitude for the health of its youth been repaid by the automatic conversion of its wards to bolshevism. By what strange alchemy will the power to regulate child labor become so fraught with peril when entrusted to the national government? Are the men whom the States send to Congress possessed of some strange virus which makes it unsafe to give to them power exercised as a matter of course by the legislators who remain in the State capitols?

Continue Reading