Book Review: Child Care

DOI10.1177/000486586900200415
AuthorL. J. Tierney
Publication Date01 Dec 1969
SubjectBook Review
AUST. &N.Z. JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY (Dec., 1969): 2, 4 251
there is in Jail From Within adescription
of
the
meeting of Marshall and
Grant
in
Long Bay gaol. Grant, who
later
was
a
senator
for many years,
was
one of
the
12 I.W.W. men who
were
convicted and
given sentences up to 15
years'
penal
servitude for conspiracy to commit
arson-
aconspiracy which, according to the
Court of Criminal Appeal,
was
to subvert
all law and order and set up a
state
of
anarchy in
the
community.
A book like this ought to cause one to
think. How much
better
are prisons really
than they
were in Marshall's day? How
does one deal
with
political prisoners?
At
what
stage does a political offence
become criminal in the
true
sense? All
these and others can be agitated in one's
mind by
the
reading of this book.
J. H.
McCLEMENS,
Supreme Court,
Sydney, N.S.W.
The Delinquency Label: The Epidemiology
of Juvenile Delinquency, V. Eisner,
Random House, 1969, 177 pp, $5.95.
THIS book contains an uncomplicated
analysis of figures largely based on
the
1960 statistics of San Francisco, and
represents the
work
carried out by the
author
between 1963 and 1967 both indi-
vidually and as a member of a Committee
on Youth set up by
the
Mayor of San
Francisco. Particular attention is directed
to
the
high
rate
of Negro delinquency
together with a low rate,
but
high absolute
number, of middle class white adolescent
delinquents.
The analyses are adequate,
the
statistical
devices being described in a
manner
which
directs the book to
non
-professional
readers, although
there
is insightful
descriptions of a useful
nature
for junior
students. The epidemiological method was
used to trace
the
incidence of,
and
factors
involved in, delinquency such as race, age,
sex, residential area, etc., and
the
author
made serious attempts to tease
out
factors
thought to
stem
from absence of integrity
of the
parent
group or
their
instability,
level of family income, etc. The problems
associated
with
the
label of delinquent
are
proposed, for instance,
with
regard to
obtaining subsequent employment.
Eisner has attempted to cover both the
analysis of recorded
data
and also a dis-
cussion of solutions for
the
problems
disclosed. He discusses group alienation
and rebellion in
the
current
adolescent
cultural pattern, suggesting
the
presence
of conformity to an alternative social
system in place of the adult system, from
which
the
young have
tended
to
be
excluded. The conclusions of a Govemor-
sponsored conference of adolescents in
1965, called to combat middle class
delinquency, are quoted. These have a
familiar ring, and appear to have been
concentrated - in
the
current
mode -
upon the solutions for
student
unrest,
namely
student
participation in community
and in self-government. It is suggested
that
the absorption of
the
adolescent
culture into the adult culture might over-
come
the
problems arising from their
dislike of "delayed gratification", although
the reviewer finds no good
argument
for
the proposition
that
gratification should
not be delayed.
Some superficial discussion is introduced
of
the
possible implications of brain-
damage, neurosis, etc., for delinquent
behaviour, and solutions for improved
relations
with
the
adult group and society
generally
are
suggested, for example,
increased application of rehabilitation,
probation, counselling, and relaxation of
unnecessary restrictions - all reasonable
remedies for taking
the
sting
out
of a
de facto social situation,
and
logical
deductions from
the
epidemiological data.
The reader should
not
expect to find here
an enunciation of
the
principles of
prevention, which
are
outside
the
scope
of the study.
Appendices contain additional
tabular
information, and over 100 useful references
are
cited. E. HARWOOD,
Department of Psychology,
University of Queensland.
Child Care: Needs &Numbers, J. Packman,
Allen &Unwin, 1968, 247 pp., $6.30.
THIS
study
is number fifteen in the now
well-established series of the British
National Institute for Social
Work
Train-
ing. It is ostensibly an
attempt
to explain
why the
rates
of recorded admissions
vary
so much from one local authority area
to another.
What
can be inferred from
Home Office returns which reveal
that
two children per 1,000
are
placed in care
in BootIe while nearly 10 children per
1,000 are placed in care in Oxfordshire?
Miss Packman does
not
assume
that
any-
thing can be inferred. She carried out a
painstaking piece of research to see
what
was behind the figures and her
work
led
her into an examination of central ques-
tions in child care policy and practice.
The enquiry itself
was
focussed around
three sets of variables which account for
the variations in recorded rates. These
were
"need"
or real differences in the
life circumstances of children; "social
service provision" or real differences in
the
pattern
of welfare services, their

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