OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, January 03, 1914, NOON EDITION, Image 14

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-01-03/ed-1/seq-14/

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shadow of the city hall, where they could be lopked down on by Mayort
James Rolph and a committee of supervisors appointed to solve the problem
of caring for the city's unemployed..
"HUNGER MAKES CRIMINAL," SAYS EXPERT
BY JACK JUNGMEYER.
San Francisco, Jan. 3. Concur
rent with the present crime wave,
following the conjestion of unem
ployed thousands here and in other
cities, the most insidious attempt is
being made to discredit California's
probation policy for prisoners.
Public uneasiness has been taken
as their cue by the antagonists, who
have not hesitated at the most sen
sational means.
The police, nettled at swelling
criticism of incompetence, are de
clared to be aiding certain business
men in raising the old hue and cry
against the ex-convict and the pa
roled man.
A flagrant instance of this un
founded" attack, was a sign placed in
his shop window of a prominent San
Francisco merchant, following the
burglary of his store, which read:
"This noiseless glass job was done
by a parole from California's 'sum
mer resort.' "
Confronted by State Parole Offlcer
Edward H, Whyte, the merchant,
Samuel Spiro, admitted that his im
plied wholesale accusation was
founded on nothing more substantial
than "belief that no one else could
have done the job, because only guns
were taken."
"The incident is typical," asserts
Whyte. "A strong effort is being
made to arouse public prejudice
against the system which gives the
offender another chance.
"And some peace officers, as well
as citizens, have not scrupled to fur
ther their propaganda through meth
ods similar to that taken by this
merchant.
"It serves to distract attention
from the fundamentaf cause of crime
poverty and unemployment, and
the hounding of men trying to make
good. To this the ex-convict and pa
roled man has often been sacrificed.
"As a matter of cold figures, only
about two per cent of prisoners out
on honor-ever violate their trust by
committing new crimes.
"And at this time the per cent is
even smaller because these men, de
spite every harassment, realize that
this is the period of their extreme
test
"The success of the 98 per cent of
honor men, against all odds, in keeps
ing straight, is often nothing short
of heroic.
"Perhaps some of the critics'of the
parole system do not'realize the pure
ly material profits to the state-of this
policy.
. "In the past year, for instance, the
taxpayers of California saved' nearly
$172,000 as a result of putting' on
probation prisoners whose incarcera
tion would have cost $170 per head
annually for terms ranging from two
years to a lifthne."
In the 20 years of its operation
here, the parole system has saved the
state $1,500,000, according to official
figures. During that period 2,322
convicts have been Teleased on trust.
Of the 631 on. parole last month)
only three violated their order by
committing hew crimes.
"Anyone actuated by honest en
deavor to place responsibility for the
present crime wave will not attribute
it to the policy of paroling prisoners,
but where it belongs to" the fact
that a great mass of laboring people
are struggling in poyeYty, and that
the thousands of men out of work
and seeking employment turn to
crime against property, irrespective
of any punishment." California
State Probation Officer, Edward h.
Whyte

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