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His education informs the common mind. Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined. To get. This serious the tender twigs proposes to bring together those best able to address themselves to the individual and social problems of youth in the twentieth century. It proposes to discuss a few of the most clearly recognized problems of our time. Mental health. Delinquency crime social pressures and human growth. And the practical steps that parents school community and church may take. In order to ensure youth development. That is safe. Sane and straight.
The tender twigs is produced and recorded by W. K R radio at Michigan State University under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. The tender twigs are you a task to help them grow say sane and straight. The title of this program what we can do. This program features a single guest. Each week we present a distinguished person who we feel has left a mark on our time by his thought and by his work. As it relates to our youth. Our guest Dr. James J. Brennan professor in the school of police administration and public safety at Michigan State University for 21 years a member of the New York City police force a director of training for the New York youth bureau and former administrative director
of The New York City Youth Commission. Our interviewer for the series is Ben Thompson Research sociologist with the Michigan Department of Corrections. Dr. Brennan in a pamphlet which you've written titled juvenile delinquency a radical approach you have said this and I quote one must give every credit to those who plan organize or attend the many and varied conferences on delinquency such people have a concern for you. But what are their accomplishments. A conference is held to prove that youth delinquency is due to the existence of slums. Occasionally slum clearance results does delinquency disappear. It does not. Another conference. Another thing more school facilities are needed and acquired. Does delinquency disappear. It does not churchmen meet and talk and plan a religious revival is proposed does delinquency disappear. It does not. Mental Hygiene us meat pronouncements are
made. Clinics appear does delinquency disappear. It does not. A conference is held recreation is to be the answer. More clubs and playgrounds appear does delinquency disappear. It does not. All too often it occurs in the very shadows of the recreation hall. Police had to meet more men are put on patrol curfews are enforced. Does delinquency disappear. Two delinquents reform. They do not. Instead they become dormant for a while or change their haunts. Delinquency still survives and flourishes pre-knowledge just meet. Plans are discussed for new institutions more probation more detailed pre-sentence investigations more vocational training more parole does delinquency disappear. It does not and few of these exist in fact Dr Brannon. What do you. State as a new approach to our problem.
I miss the times in these comments of mine that you read it quite seriously read. I have attended these variety of conferences. I have watched this problem of delinquency and Griese. I read when I cite an amount of dread the increase in numbers but more particularly am I impressed with the character of the acts that are being committed. When I see young boys stands on a hill in a park and aims a rifle at the head of a man passing by and kills a visiting rabbi from London England one question simply says he wanted to have some fun. When three other boys go into a park of an evening they be killed a tramp raped a girl. Meet another boy and when questioned when they answer that simply it was a matter of having fun. They didn't like tramps. They felt like doing it. It's my feeling that we can Same here with a problem that is
indicative of the fact that we are dealing with a now moral situation. Our youth are partially the product of a culture that operates in a moral vacuum. Our youth lived these youth anyway live without purpose without direction without my restraint. In short there and with all due respects to those who planned and worked. I feel that we will never approach this problem until we do so with people who possess personal moral responsibility a sense of place in him are responsible. You cannot give you what you don't have yourself personally. I've heard you express this idea before and I'd like to re-emphasize it as you've said it's not the things that we're doing are not good and that they are not worthwhile in and of themselves but essentially the thing that we must get from people is a moral dedication to working with youth whether
this be the parent or the churchmen or the school man. Oh my favorite might be is this the general idea this is this the important idea that we're trying to say in this few minutes that we have to say that this is exactly what's in my mind was the times. I don't think we'll ever solve this problem with free milk free eyeglasses playgrounds. I've been called to too many communities with little or no slum problem but a delinquency problem I've been called a while those with plenty of recreational facilities and a delinquency bribe. Let's take a look at the face. And to me the most important institution of society as far as the training and social training and mild training of a youngster is concerned. And by that I mean the family while we don't find too much agreement among sociologists there is agreement that the family is the primary source of socialization. The Marist as he enters this picture stresses the responsibility of the family as it were the God given
job of inculpate him called gating concepts of right and wrong in the youngster. Psychologists agreed that a well-adjusted neurotic free individual is one whose early home life is surrounded or is carried out in an atmosphere of love security discipline. What we find all too frequently I go with the league with youngsters who are nothing but biological accidents. They were never meant to be. We have various categories I presume of so-called bad in Mario stupid visions. The one I find most in dealing with delinquent youngsters are the so-called inadequate parent who doesn't want to be a parent doesn't know how to be a parent doesn't appreciate the extent the completeness of this job it's a 24 hour a day job.
Some of these parents actually are exposing their youngsters to watch Oprah. We find parents making decisions in times of what's right and wrong. I don't walk around like when what the neighbors are doing. For example take this matter of going steady girl 14 15 wanting to go steady all of the dangers incumbent upon us. I dismissed it in preference to a decision as to what the people down the street are doing with their daughter. While training is supposedly a function of the family supported by the church age is certainly missed completely in times of the delay. Parents send kids to change while they kind of are and sleep off the effects of the night before. Unless the kid is a moral imbecile an idiot isn't going to be long before he's going to wonder what's the value of all this but then do I feel awfully sorry for the youngster who listens to the minister
tell him that lying is wrong. He gets home and within an hour he's getting a neck overlying for mom and getting his rear end and for lying for himself. I wonder would you focus on a second and to my mind at least one of the major institutions in our society equipped in the sense that they have a youngster six or seven hours a day for 10 months out of the year five days a week kind of thing with train people college trained individuals for working with youth namely the teacher. And this institution the school. What can we do. What should we do what are we not doing. I should like to preface my remarks about the school and its contribution to the problem or its lack of contribution toward solution. By saying that these are not directed at individual school people but
more of a system. I feel that the school cannot be blamed for the complete deficiency of the youngster who arrives in their carriage six or seven years away but I wonder what the school could do if they took a look at our problem. I deficiencies in the home in terms of giving us better homes of tomorrow. It seems to me that the deficiency there in the home is supported and encouraged by many of our attitudes and philosophies of education today. Delinquent youth are on discipline you. Discipline is something that is become a bad way. We find it completely absent in many homes. It's not advocated by the popularize condensed psychology courses in one book with out as a buy seller and then we move over into the school system. We find
that in philosophies of pragmatism non-directed learning learning by experience. Tend to support and advance their situation. I've always found it difficult to understand how a kid in school allowed to do pretty much what he wants on the basis that this is the best way of grading how he's going to adjust to the traffic signal when he comes out of school at 3 o'clock which distinctly definitely enviro he says stop and it doesn't say you can debate this and it doesn't say that you can learn from experience the experience incidentally might be quite final. We might be burying him the next day. One is amazed to read of curricula changes in schools is determined not by the need for the mental MRO to view my students likes and dislikes. I feel bad and yet content to a certain extent that it took Sputnik to get us to take a new look. And I'm hoping the new look will go further than merely a
matter of whether we should teach sciences and whether into our educational system should come some degree of training that trains one in restraint. I am all for the idea of separating church and school. I don't want any of the judges running the public school system. But I'm afraid that what has really happened is that we have separated Maro training from education. You know it's too bad when we throw out the water the baby's bad that we threw out the baby with. Our educational philosophy doesn't come out to us from out of the air. And here I would like to revert again to my concept that what we need and must have are people with a sense of personal moral responsibility toward you. Parents like you.
Again I say education doesn't come from the air. It's philosophy. It's designed and implemented by men and women. Now if they don't appreciate the dignity the weight and the value of youth then I suppose we will go on with these experimentations that are to be done not with individuals possessed of souls and bodies. That too precious. We can afford it. We shouldn't do it because we look at another major institution which you mentioned a moment ago namely the church in our society this is the time I think when we think of religious revival we hear of the Billy Grahams we hear of conversions we hear more church attendance than ever before. What does this have to do with this question of delinquency. Well of course again we're in the all vicious cycle provocation we say the kids should be given as Marlen social training at home and should be supported by the church and should be further developed through other avenues of approach by the school. If the kid never
reaches the church age then the answer is Well what are we going to do about it. Let me say at the outset we should pay public homage to the dedicated men and women who give their lives to God for the salvation of souls. If we didn't have our judges in synagogues we'd said to be in a state of confusion and yet one is slightly disturbed at finding so many delinquent youth in or out of institutions with no concept of religion that is applicable to their daily lives. We too many you have not been reached but you have just challenges out there. The mission quo is not only for a far off land. We could use these measures on every corner of our cities and on the byways highways of our countryside.
These ten commandments that are being taught by our various faith must be learned not only in words but in their application. We must get people to understand I shalt not steal. As an application to everyday living means you can cheat on your expense account your income. And here again I find difficulty of resolution of what's happening to our youngster. He hears this dictum in change and he hears his father talking about how he beat the traffic light how he put it all run a custom. Again I go back to the need for people with personal moral responsibility to deal with you. Now shalt not kill involves much more than killing a brazen out in cold blood. It forbids anger taking another's reputation. Kayla's use of cars with a disregard for law and the potential they get away
with. Judge leaders despite their accomplishments despite the tough day they now have must take a new look at that place still by responsible. Sure they'll have to sacrifice will be mad to spend those hours of the last ounce of Lestrade these Ten Commandments was become rules of living every minute of the day and every day we must use reach the young reached the judgement must no longer be content with saving the saved. Do you think that we have arrived at what might be called a year or day or era of decision with reference to the juvenile delinquent or more particularly youth in general. Well if we're to go by the statistical figures being given doors and these are disputed from time to time no doubt about it contradict
Let's assume for a moment that they drew the Uniform Crime Reports indicate that many of our major crime crimes of rape robbery larceny almost been committed by youth Under-19 many white youth under 50 United States Children's Bureau figures indicate that now we are dealing with over a million you who have difficulty with the law e.g. by 1960 aware Telis might reach a million eight hundred not one so I think this is an air of decision. AP boat people American people are so concerned about so many other things but to take a new look at an important thing a youth. Where do we start looking Dr. Bannon. We start looking at the age of one or two or before they're
born or 3 or 5 or 15 or 17 or when they come before the court or when. Well let's start from the beginning again. People who want to marry or to realize what marriage is as a society we haven't done too much to encourage them and you know it's interesting we have all sorts of criteria for competency for various jobs. The Thompson you have to demonstrate many of yours to get your job. I had a study 15 years to get a doctor's degree. There's a lot of examination. You know the license plumber wants to put that word licensed in front of his name has data types. The most important job in society parenthood requires no preparation to box and visit the city hall when you're in business. Now I am not looking for rules and regulations which we as Americans resent. But I do think that those of us who claim to
educate those of us who claim that we it's our responsibility to transmit culture values but to take a new look at this responsibility. Some years ago I had a visitor from Sweden who when I finished telling her about Africans and their feeble in my opinion in Delinquency Prevention and Control and correction when I finished discussing this whether a comment was rather telling. I haven't forgotten the doctor Browning You Americans amaze me. You like people sticking your fingers in holes in a dike. So when you're going to run out of fingers and you haven't fixed the day you'll never go back to the source. We actually encourage disregard on the part of parents for this problem. This responsibility to their own you know what we have in educational systems in some communities. We have grammar schools kindergartens preschools pre preschool and I would be a bit surprised
someday to have some Board of Education proposing parents accept a division of that board to meet the mothers at maternity wards take over the responsibility right there. We have parents would love it. The minor climate of black community is something that's going to have to take a complete change. Dr. Brennan you have talked about the home by parents by the school. And you just now mentioned the community where must we go as community members and as a community as if we if we can think of this is a closed unit kind of thing what must you do. Well let's start with the type of communities whether they be local or state or national level have government and officials of government responsible for the promotion of the common good moral principles of binding in all
of these instances. An administration must be conducted within the framework of morality or government of the general government is in the possession of man. If they cheat connive compromise that the fact that when they give you that example government must be consigned about you and signed with his education his health his courts probation. Is that too should I when for example institutions for wayward you know if I were inferior to those provided for cats and dogs it's difficult to believe government is in the hands of men with plays no moral responsibility. I must think about beliefs. We must have police to enforce law or protect life and property apprehend violence prevent crime. Police wait is conducted by individuals. If there's prejudice in law enforcement there is violence tomorrow. When a policeman for the sake of a freeway or dollar allowed a tavern this argument
not only is the stage of being violated but the macho degradation of you know there's advanced we cannot discipline others without disciplining ourselves. We can't regulate the social conduct of others without regulating our role. We cannot build a model vacuum in which our youth perish if we remark police must be mob responsible people how the agencies of save us deal help mental social recreational. They can't be successful in favoring the welfare of you if their primary concern is with their own selfish interests. Already about boundary lines and delineating services is alright and saves in cats and dogs but is no part of the thinking of Miley responsible people who have one goal. The present eternal salvation of you. I'm a DJ and some operators of commercial recreational facilities who deal in pornographic literature or expose you with other model has it can be regulated to a Satan extent by law but
definitely these people can lay no claim to being personally Marly responsible interview. The press and other media of communication are vital institutions many free societies they inform they educate their powerful God is unlimited they must be diligent to promote the good and condemn wrong regardless of where the cause of my home is committed. I would like to think of them as the watchdogs for the good of you. We talk about this problem. We meet we discuss it. We provide proposed panaceas and my frank opinion is we will not even dent the problem until we restore things to the prop us perspective. Homes that are homes. Recently a student of mine in writing a paper on the home and like Wizard made a very pertinent observation. He said We can destroy a home while building a house. I
don't care what side of the tracks it's give me a home with love affection security in this and I will find a place where the likelihood of the doing would you be bi racial. Our guest has been Dr. James J. Brennan professor in the school of police administration and public safety at Michigan State University. Next week the style of life makes the man our guest will be Dr. Albert Cowen professor of sociology Indiana University. You have been listening to the tender twigs a series devoted to ensuring youth development but this tape sane and straight.
Tender twigs
Juvenile delinquency
Producing Organization
Michigan State University
WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Dr. James J. Brennan, Michigan State University, traces the trends of police and community programs in their effectiveness in the prevention of delinquency.
Series Description
This series discusses problems affecting today's youth, such as mental health, delinquency, crime, social pressures. It also considers solutions for parents and youths to employ.
Broadcast Date
Social Issues
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: Brennan, James J.
Interviewer: Thompson, Ben
Producer: Wayne, Wayne C.
Producing Organization: Michigan State University
Producing Organization: WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 58-43-7 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:27:15
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Chicago: “Tender twigs; Juvenile delinquency,” 1958-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 5, 2022,
MLA: “Tender twigs; Juvenile delinquency.” 1958-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 5, 2022. <>.
APA: Tender twigs; Juvenile delinquency. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from