INCREASINGLY, in recent years, pediatricians have been called on to work with the problem of juvenile delinquency. Published statistics on crimes and antisocial activities by children have sometimes been frightening, and loose remarks are often made about drastic remedies being needed to "curb" modern youth. In such a situation, parents naturally turn to their physicians for advice and counsel.
Within the community pattern of the attack on juvenile delinquency, the "juvenile court" has a central role. If the ignorance of this editor is any index, pediatricians, in general, know little of the structure, responsibilities, jurisdiction, community relationships, and standards of juvenile courts. It is, for example, both revealing and reassuring to learn that ". . . the court stands in the position of a `protecting parent' rather than a prosecutor. . . ."
The National Probation and Parole Association, a nonprofit citizen and professional organization with professional and technical staff, seeks to extend and improve probation and parole services for both children and adults throughout the country, to promote juvenile and domestic relations courts and to develop specialized facilities and programs for the detention of children. At the request of the editor, Mr. Will C. Turnbladh, Executive Director of the Association, has prepared the following interesting and informative article on the background and some of the problems of juvenile courts.