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“Five sergeants of police have been assigned to parole work in Chicago. Their headquarters are in the Chicago office of the State Parole Department. These officers have full and complete access, just as the state parole agents, to all the office records pertaining to persons upon parole in Chicago and Cook County. These five police sergeants, working with the various police sergeants assigned to the different police stations in Chicago, have full and complete knowledge as to where each person upon parole works in the daytime and sleeps at night. Full authority has been delegated to the police sergeants to require any person upon parole to change his residence when, in the opinion of the police, the living place is not conducive to right living and good conduct. Under close supervision of this character persons upon parole will be unable to commit crime without being caught.
"While the plan for co-operation between the state paroling authorities and the Chicago police is something new in Chicago, it is not new in several of the larger cities down-state. For more than a year the present Division of Pardons and Paroles has been working in harmony and complete accord with the police departments in several cities with most satisfactory results."
ROBERT H. Gault.
THE LOAN SHARK EVIL
In our section on NoTES AND ABSTRACTS in the present number we publish at length a model anti-loan shark law which has been drawn by the Legal Reform Bureau. It will be remembered by readers of this JOURNAL that we published an article by E. E. Eubank on "The Loan Shark Evil in Chicago" (VIII, 1, 69 ff). It was based upon an investigation made by Professor Eubank while he was acting temporarily as Director of the Welfare Commission of the City of Chicago. Like other studies of the sort, it demonstrated the utterly inhuman methods prevalent nowadays of handling what should be a legitimate business. As long as hosts of men and women are living upon small wages or small salaries upon the mere edge of competency, a slight disturbance in the normal course of affairs, such as prolonged illness necessitating hospital and medical care, or death in the family, or other accidents, the necessity for making small loans from time to time, even for the purpose of meeting household expenses temporarily, will exist. It is all very well for those who are firmly situated from the financial point of view to say that every person must live within his income. Inevitably situations arise in which it is utterly impos
sible to do so from week to week. This must be recognized and conditions must be made favorable for persons who find themselves under the necessity of borrowing in such circumstances. It is a disgrace upon us in our civilized communities that we tolerate a group of loan sharks who extort from their unhappy victims as much as 50, 100, 500, or even in rare instances 1,400% a year from the poor, who are driven to the necessity now and again of contracting for small loans.
Another point must be taken into consideration in this matter of remedial loans. The business should not be placed upon a charity basis. A survey of the character of people who, on occasion, ask for such loans shows that they are of an eminently respectable class on the whole, proud, and normally self-sustaining. They demand the privilege of carrying their own burdens. They are not asking for charity. They pay for what they get. The psychological effect of placing the business upon a charity basis is bad and to do so is unfair. The question then naturally arises, what is a fair interest rate? Mr. Clarence Hodson, Director of the Legal Reform Bureau referred to above, after an exhaustive study of the whole subject matter in various parts of the country has reached the conclusion that 32% a month is sufficient and not too much. This, says Mr. Hodson, will enable the lender to do an honest business at a reasonable but not extortionate profit. It must be remembered, of course, that the risks to the lender who specializes in this sort of loan are greater than those in many other relations.
No merely restrictive legislation will stand effectively in the way of heartless exploitation. It must be constructive. We need remedial loan institutions such as can stand upon their own feet.
ROBERT H. Gault.
COURT-MARTIAL SENTENCES DURING.
ENOCH H. CROWDER
[A study of sentence-periods for the several criminal offenses is one of the rarest things to be found in the annals of penology. The most extensive one available, for recent years, is that presented in Table 42 of the 1910 Census volume “Prisoners and Juvenile Delinquents in the United States” (published in 1918); but even that one is not sufficiently detailed for certain important purposes.
All the more valuable scientifically, therefore, are the data of courtmartial sentences presented in two recent letters of the Judge Advocate General of the Army, on the subject of “Military Justice During the War.” The first letter was published in the U. S. Official Bulletin for March 10, 1919; the second letter was published as a pamphlet, by the War Department, on March 29, 1919. Both letters cover substantially the same ground, as to sentences of courts-martial; but each contains important data and comments not given in the other. Moreover, the two may not be readily accessible to all students of this subject. For this reason it has been deemed worth while to reproduce here, for permanent enbodiment among the records of criminal science, those parts of the two letters, placed consecutively, which deal with court-martial sentences.
The letters refer, once or twice, to a more extensive tabulation forming the basis of the statistics here abstracted in summary. This tạbulation remains as yet in manuscript, in the office of the Secretary of War, to whom the letters were addressed.
It will be understood that the letters from which these passages are reprinted were written to the Secretary of War, presenting data upon topics of military justice which had been the subject of public criticism in Congress and elsewhere.-J. H. W.]
I. SEVERITY OF SENTENCES In considering the severity of sentences (and this topic has been the main theme of the criticisms uttered on the floor of Congress) I must make my comments in the following order:
(a) The sentences as they have actually been imposed;
remission of sentences. (a) The Sentences Actually Imposed—In considering the severity of sentences, it is, of course, necessary to examine separately the
1 Major General, U. S. A.; Judge Advocate General of the Army.
different offenses, since obviously the appropriate punishment varies widely for offenses of different moral culpability and different danger to military discipline. Space does not permit me here to set forth the facts for all of the offenses and sentences covered by the general courts-martial since April 6.
I handed to you on February 12, a complete table of data as to the length of sentences, for the period October, 1917, to September, 1918, covering the nine principal military offenses of desertion, absence without leave, sleeping on post, assaulting an officer or noncommissioned officer, disobeying an officer or a non-commissioned officer, mutiny, and disobeying a general order or regulation.?
TABLE I-SENTENCE PERIODS FOR THE NINE PRINCIPAL MILITARY OFFENSES,
OCTOBER, 1917, SEPTEMBER, 1918
N. C. 0.
loyalty Regulations Orders
N. C. 0.
2[As this table is too lengthy for inclusion here, the national summaries for the year are alone given; omitting the part showing distribution by months and by jurisdictions.-ED.)
TABLE I-(Continued in Detail)
Below 2 yrs. 482
Assaulting Assaulting Superior Officer | Non-Commis
Disobeying Non-Commissioned Officer
Disobedience of Standing
51 100.00 208 100.00 785 100.00
2 to 3 yrs
3 to 5 yrs
5 to 10 yrs..
10 to 15 yrs.. | 343 16.94
15 to 25 yrs..