The actual date of this episode is 1946-11-05. For technical reasons, it shows up incorrectly above.
This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
WNYC's public service series with NYC Department of Correction. A man moves to New York City, after being released from the reformatory and leaving his sister's house, and steals a coat because he can't afford to buy one. After dramatization, Classification Board reviews his case.
Bill stays with his sister and brother-in-law after being released from the reformatory, which he misses and wishes to return to. They reminisce about their mother, who died early and may have caused trouble for the children under their father's care. Bill is missing many of his front teeth and can't afford to replace them, which makes finding work he tries to steal a coat and is caught.
Classification Board (Warden Edward F. Johnson, of Riker's Island Penitentiary; Dr. Bertram Pollens, Executive Secretary, New York Consultation Center; Dr. Harold R. Fox, Psychiatrist, Riker's Island Penitentiary; Captain Jerome Adler, Captain in charge of classification and assignment at Riker's Island; George E. Mears, Probation Officer, Kings County; Milton B. Lewis, Assistant Director of Education, Riker's Island; Norman M. Stone, Correction Department Executive Secretary) reviews his case.
Mears: 21 year old man whose mother died when he was 15. Youngest of 4 children. He lived with various relatives. Sent to industrial school after first arrest. In NYC 3 weeks before being arrested. Socially and personally self conscious. Tested dull-normal intelligence and superior intelligence, high in mechanical aptitude. Lonesome since mother's death.
Fox: Severe behavior disorder type of case. Considerable emotional insecurity. Needs psychotherapy.
Pollens: Contradictory intelligence tests caused by low education level (6th grade); scores higher on performance tests.
Mears: Lost teeth during a fight and hasn't had them replaced. Sensitiveness of his lips are due to them being rather thick. Pronounced nose, joke of neighborhood kids. Plastic surgery might be the thing for him.
Pollens: Inferiority complex.
Stone?: Physical inferiority cause inmates to compensate elsewhere.
Lewis: Only went as far as 6th grade. Shows a need for further schooling in spelling, math, and English. Necessary that he is firmly schooled. High mechanical score. Superior individual. Basic need is in the line of tool subjects.
Adler: No custodial or disciplinary problem.
Johnson: No problem at all.
Mears: As long as we handle him properly in the institution, his past experience won't be a liability.
Pollens: Penal institution can substitute for a mother or father by assigning him to a program with an instructor who will replace that need. Tests indicate that he has never accomplished up to the maximum of his ability, which leads to a feeling of frustration.
Lewis: Indicated an interest in learning a trade in the machine shop. No reason why he shouldn't succeed.
Mears: Must be taught a new trade. Find the thing he's really interested in doing and build his ego up.
Fox: Made to know the reasons for his conflict. When he understands, he will be able to adjust himself to life with other people.
Adler: Required to be in the institution 3 months to receive plastic surgery.
Johnson: That's how long it takes to arrange the facilities.
Unidentified: When psychological services were first instituted, inmates were suspicious, but now they see them as helping with problems.
Unidentified: Will the plastic surgery really help?
Fox: Before we consider it, he should be made to realize the causes of his conflicts, then he should be referred to the surgeon who has to decide if he will benefit from the operation.
Unidentified: Learning to spend time in a gameful manner would have a definite value for him.
Mears: The father is willing to go alone as far as necessary. The boy has no ties in the city, which he'll need if he stays after his release.
Johnson: We try to do as much as we can. Perhaps correction to the physical problems would be a big help.
Pollens: Post parole program. We should not release him until a real program is worked out to supervise him properly and provide a home for him. Come to classification board then.
Johnson: Trade training for sure, preferably in the machine shop.
Pollens: He has enough intelligence to be a skilled tradesman.
Adler: Has the desire and ability to work in the machine shop.
Lewis: At this time, the recreational activities are indoor: ping pong, shuffleboard, checkers.
Pollens: How about learning an instrument to counter present inferiority?
Needs an entire reeducation. Seen regularly and observed, reports to classification board. Perhaps a plastic operation. Teeth can be taken care of by medical service. Continue elementary school education. Placed in machine shop. Recommended to Chaplain to observe religious activities. Not a maximum security type, not an escape risk, free to take part in prison activities. Recreationally weak, encouraged to take part in leisure activities. Placed with placement board and parole board to receive worthwhile position in trade. Reclassification in 2 months.
Closing credits list actors and panelists.
[Note: this information does not match information in the Muni catalog.]
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 8610