Editorial

Date01 April 1965
Published date01 April 1965
DOI10.1177/003288556504500101
Subject MatterArticles
5
EDITORIAL
The
current
upward
surge
of
concern
for the
poor
in
the
United
States
is
reflected
in
far-reaching
decisions
by
all
branches
of
govern-
ment.
Recent
wide-spread
publicizing
of
the
fact
that
a
large
portion
of
our
population,
in
this
land
of
plenty,
are
poverty
stricken,
has
been
met
by
some
new
constructive
action
on
the
one
hand,
and
by
dis-
belief
and
cynicism
on
the
other.
However,
to
the
practitioner
in
cor-
rections
and to
his
counterpart,
the
theoretician,
the
prevalence
of
Poverty
among
those
charged
with
crime
and
particularly
those
serving
sentences
is
well
known.
The
Pennsylvania
Prison
Society’s
social
casework
service
provides
first-hand
knowledge
of
the
dominance
of
poverty
in
the
lives
of
former
Prisoners.
A
random
sample
of
the
Society’s
clients,
covering
the
past
decade,
confirms
the
postulate
that
these
released
offenders
were
pov-
erty-stricken
in
a
broad
sense.
Not
only
were
they
economically
desti-
ttlte,
but
they
had
come
from
homes
where
54
per
cent
of
the
fathers
did
not
have
a
consistent
history
of
employment
and,
thus,
there
was
an
attendant
dependence
upon
social
agencies.
Fully
62
per
cent
of
the
fathers
were
represented
as
being
inadequate
or
bad
providers.
Only
2
per
cent
of
the
clients
themselves
were
skilled
workmen,
60
per
Cent
were
unskilled,
20
per
cent
were
capable
of
only
manual
labor,
and
18
per
cent
to
odd
jobs.
Intelligence
quotient
ratings
indicate
the
aver-
age
intelligence
as
normal,
yet
the
number
of
years
of
school
averaged
°nly
8.4.
The
disrupted
and
isolated
family
situation
of
most
of
the
clients
is
indicated
by
the
fact
that
80
per
cent
represented
themselves
as
separated,
6
per
cent
single,
and
only
14
per
cent
married
and
living
together.
What
has
not
been
generally
evident,
however,
is
the
quality
of
the
relationship
between
poverty
and
the
processes
whereby
the
person
Charged
with
crime,
and
the
convicted
offender,
are
dealt with.
This
issue
°f
The
Prison
Journal
was
designed
to
provide
in
certain
areas
some
Insight
into
this
relationship.
,
It
should
be
evident
that
most
significant
changes
are
taking
place
the
clarification
and
expansion
of
the
principle
of
equal
justice
under
laW.
&dquo;The
Supreme
Court and
the
Poor,&dquo;
by
Robert
Hadl,
and
&dquo;The
Indigent
Defendant
and
Defense
Counsel,&dquo;
by
Bernard
Segal
make
this
~n11listakable.
However,
as
Mr.
Segal
points
out,
the
admirable
growth
14
the
rules
of
law
is
all
too
frequently
being
met
by
haphazard
or
mere
t°ken
implementation.
In
view
of
this,
one
may
well
question
why
at
the
National
Conference
on
Law
and
Poverty,
held
in
June,
only
a
very
small
proportion
of
the
program
was
devoted
to
criminal
procedure.
s
Hadl,
after
tracing
the
momentous
decisions
of
the
United
States
upreme
Court
during
the
past
eight
years,
concludes
by
suggesting
seVeral
areas
subject
to
future
challenge
under
the
Equal
Protection
clause,
notably
monetary
bail
and
procedure
of
alternative
sentencing.

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