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Superintendent Shallenberger, of the District of Columbia: We have never contracted the labor of our boys, much preferring piecework at a fixed rate. This gives the school authorities entire control of both the work and the discipline. The trustees have repeatedly urged the propriety of establishing workshops under skilled foremen in order to teach useful trades and thus fit the boys to take their places when discharged as first-class mechanics. Every reformatory institution or industrial school should be provided with means to such an end, whether remunerative or not. Our boys are all committed during minority, unless sooner discharged by the board of trustees; hence they could regulate the time required for any boy to remain at his trade. No boy should be forced to learn any special trade, and there would be no necessity for so forcing him, as a large number are always anxious to acquire some handicrafts and would undergo any ordinary discipline to secure the means of becoming first-class mechanics.
Superintendent Scouller, of Illinois: The contract system is supplanted here by State-account plan. Have made no effort until recently to introduce technological instruction. It may not be feasible with State legislatures, in view of its nonrenumerative character, but we believe that it is a move in the right direction, though it must be borne in mind that such training will never make a mechanic; it can only develop a taste for some industry. Sentences are fixed by law.
Superintendent Sarah F. Keely, of Indiana: Our manual labor is simply to teach the girls the common industries of life, thus fitting them for lives of usefulness. We do not aim to make money, but work for the reformatory power there is in work. Under our old law girls were committed until 18, while under the new law of 1888 they are committed until 21.
Superintendent Charlton, of Indiana: Our trustees ten years ago abandoned the idea of making money out of the labor of the boys. They are now working to instruct boys and not to make them a source of revenue. I most certainly regard technical instruction as feasible. We have detained boys on an average about twenty months. I think that two years would be better.
Superintendent Cory, of Iowa: As yet we have no productive industry. Only domestic economy and common school work receives attention in the instruction of the girls.
Superintendent Buck, of Kansas: We have never had the contract system. All are committed during minority.
Superintendent Farrington, of Maine: I think such technical instruction is feasible, notwithstanding its nonremunerative character. We have established a mechanical school, where the elements of carpentry are taught. Boys are sentenced during minority, and trustees may discharge boys whenever they believe them to be reformed.
Brother Dominic, Carroll Station, Md.: Though we have eight or nine indusries or trades-printing, shoemaking, tailoring, floriculture-we find that our boys do not and can not remain long enough in the institution to teach them the trades thoroughly. One advantage, however, is that they learn habits of industry and how to work. I think, so far as remuneration in shops in reformatory institutions is concerned, it is a failure. Nothing of the kind ever undertaken by us has paid. The board, or rather the committee having the matter of supervision of the shops, have established this rule within the last year, that any boy entering a shop for the purpose of learning a trade must remain there four years. This supposes him to enter at 13 and upwards. ·
Superintendent Johnson, of Massachusetts: No effort has been made except to give instruction in carpentry. I think boys should be placed out to get special instruction and should not remain in an institution more than two years. Truant boys are now committed for two years instead of one year as formerly.
Superintendent Chapin, of Massachusetts: Last year the Swedish system (Sloyd) was introduced, and during the last year all pupils have been instructed in it. Growing boys can not be used to carry on a profitable contract system without defeating the ends for which a reform school is established. Boys are sent here during their minority. Formerly the practice was to release boys after fifteen months' stay on good behavior, i. e., as long as good conduct continued. This time has been found insufficient, and the shortest period will probably be hereafter two years.
Superintendent Margaret Scott, of Michigan: We have no contract labor that interferes or retards in any way the plan of the institution, which is to teach every girl domestic work, including sewing, and the half-day's training in day school. No change in the way of lengthening the time the pupil is consigned to the school is required.
Superintendent Brown, of Minnesota: Have always managed our manufacturing on the State-account plan and with special reference to the benefit of the children. I believe purely technical instruction to be feasible. We have not been able to lengthen the time, because of limited accommodations, but believe the time of detention should be increased when accommodations will permit.
Superintendent Shaffer, of Missouri: No change during the last ten years. Teaching habits of industry simply is not of so much importance as teaching them a trade by which they can earn their living after leaving institutions.
Superintendent Otterson, of New Jersey: A printing office has been established, where 8 to 12 boys are taught all parts of the work. We issue a paper to enable them to have regular work. We also printed our last annual report and do all our job printing. Boys are taught in all trades that can be made useful to the institution, though none are purely technological. To be of value there should always be a purpose. All boys committed were committed during minority, but by good conduct could earn their release in 14 months. The trustees have just had an act passed which requires that all boys should remain not less than three years. This to the end that we may do more trade-teaching as well as school work.
Superintendent Mrs. McFadden, of New Jersey: Shirt work was carried on to some extent, but we give our girls instruction in all branches of housework. They are also advantageously employed on the farm in weeding, harvesting, etc. The time of maximum detention has been changed from 18 years of age to 21.
Director Round, of New York: We pay each boy 1 cent each day, providing he earns his 3 mills for education work, 3 mills for morals, 2 for deportment, 1 for care of person, and 1 for care of clothing. His failure to earn 70 per cent of his mills for any month puts him down one month. He is compelled to go through three grades of six months each before being released. The boy really controls the time that he remains at the institution after eighteen months.
Superintendent Carpenter, of New York: Our older children make all the shoes and clothing of the inmates and do all house and farm work. Nothing is sold. Much like a boarding school, where the children work for their board and clothing and go to school. Thirty years' experience has taught us that children should seldom be discharged in less than one year or be retained longer than about two years; hence children are retained here from one to two years. Superintendent Jones, of New York: They have established all the industries on State account. The object of labor in the institution is regarded for its disciplinary power rather than for profit in money values. No change in length of commitment. All commitments are during minority, though at the discretion of the managers the pupil may be discharged before he has reached his majority.
Brother Leontine, of New York: We have no contract system here, We manufacture the material for the employés, and are the sole masters of the labor of our inmates, which labor is more for the benefit accruing to them than for the gain to the institution. Rather than deprive a girl or boy of learning a trade or business that will be of use to him after leaving the institution, we make it a rule to retain such inmates at our own cost. In addition, we pay or put by for them a sum each month, so that on leaving they will have something to rely on for support. Within the last five years many have had as much as $50, $75, or $100 to their credit on leaving.
Superintendent Hite, of Ohio: Since 1884 a polytechnic building has been erected and has shown that it would be better to discontinue such industries as brush-making, knitting by machinery, cane-seating chairs, etc., and adopt manual training instead, even in view of its unproductiveness. There has been no law compelling an inmate to remain a definite length of time. The rule adopted at this institution is that no inmate will be sent home under one year from the time he enters. All the courts commit during minority or until reformed.
Superintendent Laverty, of Pennsylvania: Technological instruction has not been adopted to any extent. When we have reëstablished ourselves at the new location in Delaware County rudimentary instruction in standard trades will be introduced. We believe a more lengthened period of detention is important. The managers have been unable to adopt it, owing to the overcrowded condition of the boys' departments.
Superintendent Nibecker, of Rhode Island: In 1885 printing was introduced and has been successfully prosecuted. Many competent printers have been turned out, who have always found good places. In May, 1890, $25,000 was appropriated for the introduction of other trades in the school. Technological instruction is feasible. It is improper to consider that children should be made a source of revenue.
Superintendent C. W. Ainsworth, of South Dakota: The contract system is a political move more than anything else. Our time is mostly spent on the farm and in the garden, aside from the three and one-half hours a day in the schoolroom. We have a small printing office, in which are nine boys. Boys take care of stock and assist in the household duties, etc. No child should be released until the rudiments of a good education have been obtained and a knowledge of some kind of industry that will enable him to obtain an honest livelihood.
Superintendent McCulloch, of Texas: Only have the farm.
Superintendent Andrews, of Vermont: Yes; I do consider purely technical instruction feasible.
Superintendent Sleep, of Wisconsin: I think that we never have had the contract system. Ten years ago this winter the law changed the system of releasing from 21 to 18 years of age, but after 6 years it was restored to 21 years. pervisors have authority to remove at any time.
TABLE 1.-Summary of statistics of reform schools for 1889–90.
Number of institutions.
North Central division. 18
Number of assistants.
54 1,113 11, 668 3,066 14,734 12, 283 1, 404 6,911 7,660 $369, 013 $2,322,498
577 5,729 1,656 7,385 6,665
658 4,712 4,683 178,833
41 406 198
4,683 1, 286
124 1,012 421 1,433
137 301 263
43 219 188
4 172 176 111 98
554 1,678 2,587
213 345 568
Buildings and im-
9,967 10,659 17.838
TABLE 2.-Statistics of reform schools for 1889-90, or thereabout-Continued.
a For 1888-89.
Elisha M. Carpenter
S. A. Andrews.
Sixty-nine of these were former inmates recommitted.
Mrs. M. A. McFadden.