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The Duquesne University Alumni Association presents. Exploring child. That child is father to the man. And as we hope for a world of men of good will Remus took to the conditions of the child's world to achieve it. So we search for the laws ways and means the sources of the capable spontaneously hole of doubt. It is not strange that the world of the disturbed child throws light on childhood in general. Although Father Francis Duffy Professor of Sociology at Duquesne University was not at first
looking for this light when he started working with a disturbed child. He found however that it is not that the disturbed or delinquent child is completely removed from society rather that his position is more extreme and so its obviousness offers us a sharper clearer insight into the world of children to share the fruit of his research. Father Duffy and the Duquesne University Alumni Association present a series of recorded interviews with delinquent children followed by a short discussion with Father Duffy's guest in which the child and his problems are explored for insight. And now here is Father Duffy. We cannot easily exaggerate the influence of companions on the growing child. Place a good child into a situation in which he repeatedly interacts with band children and you will notice a change in the level of his thinking his feelings he's attitudes he's conference it conversation and overt action. Either the child gets worse or the bad children improve.
I would point to the old adage about the bad apple it's commonly believed that one bad apple can spoil the whole barrel and its contents. In dealing with delinquent children the tendency is to sort out the apples and to segregate all the bad ones and then group them together. Many child placement agencies fight this tendency to place so-called bad child where he will meet only other bad children. It is like lashing together sinking boats. It guarantees that all of them will be sunk. If a delinquent child behaves badly in the normal mixture of good and bad companions we can anticipate that he will get progressively worse if he is segregated and surrounded by nothing but delinquent companions. If to this we were to add untrained staff who are gruff ignorant unfeeling unsympathetic. The injury to the personality of a child is magnified and compounded. This is part of the reasoning behind the tendency of compassionate experienced and child centered
juvenile authorities to let children return to their homes after a delinquent charge pending the trial at the juvenile court. Judges know that best results can be anticipated from the child on released to his parents and under supervision of a court probation worker. The absolute worst results are anticipated for those children who have been detained repeatedly or for long periods of time in institutions in the US in the next interview is on the brink of institutional placement. I get a strong positive feeling this boy is going to turn out fine. What did you say your name is now Thomas. How would you Times 15. Would you mind telling me why you're in detention or would you rather not. Well I'm here because I was with a boy who had a stone gun. Where was this new gun stolen from do you know. Yeah it was stolen from this gun shop in Bridgeton. You knew this other boy had the gun. Yeah I knew he had a gun. Were the two of you in a car at this time.
No we hitchhiked a ride and that's all he had in his pocket the whole time. But you did know that this is a violation of law though do you. Yeah I knew he had to have a permit to carry a gun with. See I wasn't carrying a gun. I was I was with and that makes me excess you know I know that. Have you ever been in trouble before this time. Yeah I was inchoate for that because I stole a car. You say one car you know it was more than one. It was three or four. Was the same boy with you on those occasions too. We was together then we got in trouble with the cars. Where's this boy the one that had the gun. He's in Navy now. Pretty thing for him too. How old do you think you were when you got in trouble the first time I was 14 almost 14 I'd been 14 by four weeks and that was car theft time.
Yet that I was for car theft. And what did happen then. Well we were sent up to Thornhill for three weeks for the trial so they sent us home and after that this here boy it was a Christmas year ago he ran away from home or something. We stole a car. Well I guess it was two or three all together and I got I got sent to the U.S. I was up for 10 months. I went after Christmas and I got out in time for school next year. When when did you get into trouble again after you came back now from the Youth Center Development Center. I guess it was about the first we got October it was real long we stole mother car you stole it not how we get on September. What do you do about stealing a car once what's the method of operation there you case here what you usually see Usually we don't we don't plan but when we get together we just say there's nothing to do in Britain so we figured let's let's go out and get a car so we went on. We looked just looked at this one car and we went up to this beer garden see and
know the key was in and it was it was on off so we got in and we drove off. We didn't get caught we told about that. Just to clear it up get off the records. But then we did get caught I want to see that they caught us and they was or some statement to the effect that you or the other boy or both and you. Threatened to shoot a policeman. They asked us if we made a statement that the reason one of the guns was for the job to use them to do away with the officers I think you realise it's pretty serious business this time. Yeah I know it's pretty serious. I know the cars and when I get in trouble for cars is nothing they just say let them go and that but I mean a gun when a judge sees that I had a gun you know with a kid that had a gun. He's not going to be too easy on me you know. What about your home Thomas. You've always had the same father and mother. You know step parents and the kind not yet well I have a
stepfather but well look the way my father's been to me I think he's been better than any real father I would have ever had. I see because he always helped you know he always come down here to court and stood up for me when I got in trouble and that you can see my father. He ran off when I was only about a year and a half old and then my father while I call him my real father because it's the only father I ever knew. Is there any drinking going on in the house. He'll drink to be sociable. But actually Jason usually gets sick and throws it up so he's not while there's no drinking going on the house. And does this include you too are you a drinker or none drinker. Well I'm not an alcoholic. If there's some in the house and somebody says you want to drink or volunteers someone they usually don't offer it to me but I don't want to turn it down but I am an alcoholic who drinks 24 hours a day or nothing like that. Well. I guess I started when I was eight and when I really started I was 12
and I was a lot when I was 14. See my mother and dad in law me till I was 14. Would you say your home is a peaceful home. They never fight. Now let me ask you another thing have you ever been able to discuss any of these things with your father or your mother. Oh yes they listen. Yet they listen. But it doesn't seem to help them as well. They talk to me a lot in couple hours at a time sometimes but I still get back into it. I'm not blaming them I'm just playing myself. It's not their fault. I don't want to get in trouble but it just happens and I guess I don't know how to explain it really is some of that explainable by the company that you keep these boys. Yeah well if I didn't hang around with the other boys that do the do the thing I wouldn't do it by myself. I never did anything bad by myself. You're not the type of boy then who takes over leadership and starts in trouble like this.
NOT SEE THIS BOY I'M WITH he. Well they always say he's a born leader. I don't really understand what they mean when they say he's a born leader. It's best to stay away from because he's not the best company you keep. He leads you to funny places in other words funny things. Yeah he's he's just a leader to trouble. And I guess that's the way to put it. What do you think you can do to change any of this or all of it. You mean about keeping away from staying out of trouble. Yes I don't want one. One way they said was if we move to different places maybe that be good but I don't want to have my mother and father just move in economy because I moved out of there meet another kid just like him. What would happen then. I hope it don't happen again but if it would everything be lost because we have pretty nice home on Britain and I feel that I could straighten myself out. I said it before but see since I got in trouble my dad lost over 15 pounds since I got into trouble. Just just over two weeks
and one of the times he got also was a doctor said I'm sure you don't want this to happen to him. I don't want to have it at all. He you know he just gets awful hurt after somebody keeps dawn. Do you ever feel nervous or tight tense. Yeah I feel nervous all the time. How about tell me about that. I don't know I was just like I can't sit still or something. I like to do things. You know I have my own car. I think it would help me out a good bit if I could have something to do to keep me busy most of the time and I'd have money to spend. Maybe that would help. Well your worker and your parents are pretty confused as to as to what to do with your recommended be done with you. Some people feel that you're going to get into trouble again. You might as well stay until the list fine I'll pay the penalty. I know I said that before but I'll say it again I will be back in here again if I go home. I know this I don't want to come back here ever again.
You see you live in a small town and you already have a reputation from what you said of stealing cars. So the next time you do go home even though you try to be good every time a car disappears you know whose door they're going to knock on. The yeah I know my house that they'll be down there again. How long can you put up with that kind of thing. Well I think in a way it would be good for me because if they come down and if I can prove maybe one time that I'm not in on it and maybe there's they'll figure out at least trying to be good. It would be more than I ever did before. I try to be good before but it never lasted for a long time. In other words you find that you can operate the way you're supposed to her short periods of time. Yes. And see I don't even understand. I guess I understand why I took the car I wanted to have fun with it. You understand the whole week maybe then you didn't. Sometimes upstairs you don't have nothing to do. You just think and well I did need the car for anyways for two hours and maybe I'm going to go to jail for two years.
It's not really worth it. I know that. And to steal a car for an hour to go out and join right now and get picked up and spend the month down here in juvenile court waiting for a hearing and then get sent away and maybe even go out and you can take a job for half a year. You can buy yourself a car and you can drive it and stop and talk to the police and anything he won't even pick you up because it's your own car. Well I think that's right. It's a lot better to feel happy to have something that your own and not to worry every time you see somebody that they're going to stop you and question just a better feeling to have your own car. Well it's a pretty solid line of reasoning I think you know it's the way business men works isn't it. To business men buy shirts for $4 he sells them for 50 cents. He pretty soon sees that he's engaged in a losing business. And also I think you realize you didn't get to keep the car either nine. It cost me 10 months in jail. Maybe if I worked 10 months I'd have one mound just just
as good or maybe better. I think that's right. Maybe next time I think any Akari if I sit down and think it is maybe I won't steal it next time. This is the kind of thing I think it's good to have someone to talk over with. I know just to be able to talk about it I think helps. Yet you see what I go to church in Bridgeton You see I was going to be a sponsor for my nephew. I had to get a statement saying I was you know not not a perfect Catholic but just a Catholic who goes to church so they'd know they was gettin somebody they didn't stay home all the time and I don't go to church every Sunday and I was home. Well see I don't know if it would do any good if if I just went on as the priest you know to make it a point to see I got to church or or have my mother do it if I could have somebody to make me. You know I go to church. Maybe you talk to me and maybe it would work out. I don't know. You know asking for someone to be your keeper are you.
Not just not asking somebody to every time they catch you doing something wrong to to slap my face or something and tell me not to do it because I shouldn't know not to do it myself. But I like you know to talk to the priest just like to be able to talk to him about things you know. Sometimes you want to talk to somebody you don't know what you talk to who you're talking to sometimes. Maybe I'd like to talk you know my mother my father too. But sometimes you want to talk to somebody different. When you can't talk to anybody do you ever feel that you're going to explode. Sometimes I feel like you know I want to cooped up here even on the outside when when things get all to tighten up inside. You don't know exactly what you're going to do. Does that frighten you. Well sometimes I get all tighten up inside and I'm not allowed to go out in. I go out anyways and sometimes I do some I shouldn't when I go out like that. So I don't know and I
don't mean Davey that boys shouldn't be of so not together. I guess that would be the best thing in the world. Put us back in the same street again. You might tell him that why you do like him that he's been poisoned do you want to know. Yeah. You aren't afraid of baby are you. Not. I'm afraid I'm if I want to stay away from I can stay away from he's not like that. How old is Dave. 16 and you're 15. Yeah I don't think you see dating as some wrong ideas. I'm not criticizing him but some of his ideas his and mine are a little bit different. He always thinks one when I come down here I always say when I go on I'm not coming back. But when he was home he said I'm not going to get caught again. Well this is a pretty wise observation on your part you do see the difference when he talks like I get. I don't know why I think I figured this way. If I don't do nothing I won't get caught in a fight and get caught I won't be done here again.
Oh I thought that way too I figured that if I do something I'll be pretty smart and I won't get caught. But I think I'm proving just the opposite. I've been caught in everything I did. Have you been to a doctor in the past couple years. Yeah I've been to the doctor. I mean what kind Doc you meet any kind whatever kind you usually go to. Yeah you know the doc examination sees what's wrong with you you bleedin or something. Just regular physical doctors. I never went to no metal mental doctor. I go though I mean I wouldn't be be a little bit ashamed of it I guess. Going to a psychologist but it's not the worst thing in the world either. Will there be a special reason why you would you'd want to go to psychiatry's or need one. Is there anything when your mind that you feel annoys you or worries you or in needles you. Well anything that you did that you feel you'd rather you hadn't done. I'd rather not.
Did anything that I would rather not have broken any laws that I broke too many of them. But young people usually don't feel too terribly guilty over breaking civil laws. I think they feel guilt more guilty about personal things. Like what. Well whatever's personal to a person. Oh well I never felt I want to kill anybody especially not my mother or my father especially anybody at all. Again people are afraid of different things like dying or getting hurt or getting sick or failing. You've been pretty much afraid of failing all along haven't you. I know that's why. Yeah. Failing in some things like sometimes I like to you know be the same as everybody else and it's it's pretty hard to say I guess it's it's hard to know how I feel sometimes and in what way would you be different from other people. Well. I don't. I don't think too much different. I hope not anyways. I don't think
I'm no Clark Gable or nothing but. I don't think I'm ugly guy either. You're either except the way you look then yeah I'm satisfied. I'd like to win it depends when I'm 17 I'm going into the well I want to I want to go into the service and stay there for a while. It might do some good in there. That's what a lot of people told me and my parents just just keep me straight until the 17th and I'm going to service and it'll be a pretty good thing for me. People don't get you into trouble and they can't get ya either. Yes see I was up at Morganza and they said go to bed and you go to bed and there's no second choice apart. When they tell you to do something you do it. And they can't you know show partiality for for somebody else. I wouldn't say that the place is so bad I just didn't like the people in it. Not the officers. The other kids it's just how they make it for you don't they. I don't like to point out special Goo but I don't like the colored people.
Really I don't because they seem a lot different than I ever was. They're always hidden on somebody's You or some from your field or the colored people in the sense that you don't like them. Yes and they can sense it too and that's that's why they bought even more you know that they figured that guy over there he don't like it so if we mess him up he'll get mad. So when I was up there I stay mostly to myself. I don't think I had any friends up there at all. And you think that you're pretty much of a loner and you know. Even when I'm home you know. I don't I don't think so. I have some friends at school and around the house. I like friends you know that there's something like I am but I don't want them colored guys. And I just one never want to be friends with them. I don't like any of them. Do you think the talking this thing through has helped you any. Yeah. You see more clearly than you did before some of these things. Yeah I think it's helped me you know in talking over and he buddy ever talked to you like this
before. Yeah but not on tape before. No I didn't mean what I always say it was the truth and it don't hurt me any and I did a lot of thinkin since I've been in here. I'll be in your three weeks tomorrow and I've been in the coop about seven days altogether. I notice when you come in you don't have the shoes off and why is that. See I was I was up there talking about running away but I know that's not the answer to anything. Sometimes it it seems like a good answer whenever whenever things are pretty bad for you all you think of is getting away and maybe start and somewhere else. But they found out and I think somebody told the office up there and they found out and they they put us up in the coop with a little left us out about three or four days ago and they don't last to have any shoes on or anything like that. Oh in case you're unaware you have to go in your stocking. Yeah. It would take off is going to be hard enough for me anyways. How do you see yourself Tommy. What would you call yourself. Well. I'm not. I
know I know I guess yeah I'm a delinquent. How does it feel to be that way. It doesn't. I'd rather be I don't know I don't know exactly like I've been delinquent. I think I'd rather be out in the street right now or else at home watching television. You can be like everybody else you know. Yeah I know. I've been like everybody else only on certain times when I had a fool around and get in trouble. But. I don't think I'm different from anybody else physically. I think it's about time for us to go back you have to go to bed not on you. Yet on the clock. And they said I'm going to be all right. And now joining father Duffy to discuss the features of this child's world is his guest Paul Sullivan Duquesne alumnus who is now athletic commissioner of the state of Pennsylvania and in private law practice. Here are Father Duffy And Mr. Sullivan. Today we welcome Mr. Sullivan a graduate of our law school and also the College of Arts.
Mr. Sullivan you've just heard this boy Thomas a 15 year old white Catholic boy. I get the feeling of kind of being sorry for him he he seemed to have good insights. Is conduct I thought was pretty ominous. And to me the future seemed to forecast tragedy. What was your impression of the Tommy. I think that you summed it up very well father Duffy. On the other hand I don't know that the future would necessarily forecast tragedy for a boy of this type. He does appear to have a fatal tendency to get into trouble. If you take him at face value or take his statements at their face value he's led into that trouble. I've course done to figure that this business of he wants to do something all the time is necessarily a breeder of trouble I think every boy wants to do something all the time and most boys are healthy want to and I don't necessarily get into trouble. This boy
has probably had bad companionship but he also has shown a rather singular lack of resistance to the influence of the companionship. Yes I got the impression that he was weak and he is a follower type. Another That's another way of saying he depended. He insisted he wants to be good. Also you know who said he wanted to be punished and it's hard to know for him I guess how he does feel about things. Well that boy would seem to me he has this one source of considerable hope and that is that he seems to recognize his guilt. The recognition of guilt and the ready admission of guilt. At least the beginning of wisdom with the boy and it may very well be that he future. Circumstances will guide him better than past circumstances have. On the other hand I don't think people can rely entirely on extrinsic influences
to guide their morals because that makes them pretty much of a vacillating quantity. It does I think you struck a very interesting point there. I think guilt is a very important factor in many lives but I think it's more important to be because some people don't. They are not able to identify what they are guilty about and I think that's psychological or if a person can or cannot identify what he's guilty about when he cannot find a solution for the guiltless he can't find a solvent for it. I think this bully has suggested several solvents for his. I would say without a great familiarity with the boys around the callee of this nature I'd say this but I would be rather a cut above most of them and that he recognizes as delinquency and he seems to have an interest in correcting it. He hasn't accomplished much along that line up to date but that doesn't mean that he won't do in the future. Well I think you're right to say that if you're going to do something about anything of
delinquency or getting a house built I think you have to start the interview thinking about it first. Staying with it you can't correct evil without recognizing evil except by chance. And I don't think we're interested in simply reducing us to a matter of chance and that of course would be a tremendous risk to the community too because this bully could get involved in some pretty dangerous things. The next few years will probably be very critical for this ketamine. He's talking about getting into the service and I'm always interested in that Hagel as a person and closely identified with the armed services as you have I believe you'll realize that they armed services are not supposed to be a correctional are his age and her delinquents. I think it's a shall we say. Not fair to the I'm services to to imply that they're supposed to be a sort of a catch all for the bad boys of this country.
No I think that's right that there are standards this need trying to get reports from juvenile court authorities when a boy applies for any of the services and the thinking there is that while these records are closed except to interested people and I would regard the armed services as interested and the reason they want to know is that they say that whatever abilities give the community trouble are the ones who give us trouble. If we take them in it's very evident. I don't know whether you are aware of it father but I happen to be commanding officer of the Navy a law company here and I've had a considerable amount of experience in the last 12 or 14 years with Navy law problems and course a part of that is the study of court martial reports and what goes into them and it's very all it's almost appalling to think of the number of boys who go into the service but only when I'm at that directly but keep the bad records up at their end there and I don't think that any one of those services would encourage the idea of making themselves receptacle for bad eggs. That's true especially if you want to win a war that we're engaged in with using this kind of material.
I'd like to thank Mr Paul Sullivan for being here and we're going to have him back next week for another interesting case of insight into another child in exploring the child's world. You have been listening to exploring the child's world. The program in which the child speaks. Father Francis Duffy Professor of Sociology at Duquesne University has conducted the interview with the child and to find the outlines of this world in the discussion with his guest Mr. Paul Sullivan. This is been a presentation of the radio service of Duquesne University in preparation with DuQuesne's alumni association and. Technical director Fred McWilliams program director and announcer Harold A may listen again next week or another in the series exploring the child's world.
The interview heard on this program was a recreation exploring the child's world is distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the end E.B. Radio Network.
Exploring the child's world II
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Producing Organization
Duquesne University
WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on the reasons a specific child winds up in the juvenile delinquent system.
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Interviews with delinquent and disturbed young people who are encouraged to discuss their experiences and express feelings. To protect individuals, each program is a re-creation of an actual interview using different names and places.
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Interviewee: Sullivan, Paul
Producing Organization: Duquesne University
Producing Organization: WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Speaker: Duffy, Francis
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 63-26-11 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:34
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Chicago: “Exploring the child's world II; 11,” 1963-08-21, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 25, 2024,
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APA: Exploring the child's world II; 11. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from