Introduction to The Child, the Clinic and the Court, January 1925



THE following papers were given at a joint commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first Juvenile Court and of the fifteenth anniversary of the first Psychopathic Institute, which was held in Chicago in early January, 1925. The program was planned in the hope that some of the serious problems which have arisen during the initial years of each of these social institutions might be resolved or at least forwarded by intelligent conference.

The speakers were not confined to judges and probation officers, nor to psychiatrists and students of psychology, but included men and women whose scientific research or empirical knowledge might well prove of value in the immediate developments so ardently hoped for by thousands of people.

It seemed to the committee that the needs of the moment were so pressing that three days might well be given to that mutual approach to a common problem which so often miraculously frees the mind and suddenly suggests new and fruitful activities to the participants.

In the eagerness to render this service, too little time, perhaps, was given to the historic beginnings of the court. To those interested in the very first documents connected with its foundation, it may be well to state that the original minutes of the first meeting of the committee which framed the Juvenile Court law of Illinois are in the Russell Sage Foundation library in New York and other original material [page 2] may be found in the archives of the Juvenile Court of Cook County in Chicago.

The history most germane to the purposes of the commemoration is the description which is found later in this volume, of the mounting sense of compunction and the increasing consciousness of the need of such a court, which led to the calling of that first committee.

It is hoped that the printed page may convey to the reading public something of the cumulative devotion and sense of purpose which characterized the sessions. There was a determination to understand the growing child and a sincere effort to find ways for securing his orderly development in normal society. The volume certainly affords a cross-section of the present widespread study of youthful behavior under a great variety of social stimuli and of its biological and cultural sources.

Chairman, Anniversary Committee.
Hull House,

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