Handwritten: _o News Jan 18 1912
DEGENERATE FAMILY COST STATE HEAVILY
In Seventy-Five Years Society Lost $1,250,000 Through Jukeses.
New York, Jan. 18.- A discovery declared to be of immense importance to criminologists has recently been made in the archives of the State Prison Association in the form of all the original charts made by R. L. Dugdale, one of the managers of the Prison Association 40 years ago, in preparation of his long-famous study of the Jukes family. Mr. Dugdale's study is known throughtout the world by criminologists and all others interested in the problems of feeble-mindedness, degeneracy and delinquency.
Though enough has been written about these charts to fill several libraries, the charts themselves have long been lost, or, rather, thought to be lost, together with the real name of the family. Their discovery came a few days ago, only after representatives of the Carnegie Institute at Cold Spring Harbor, L.I., wrote to Dr. O. F. Lewis, secretary of the Association, asking if the utmost search could not be made for the Dugdale charts, as the Institute was desirous of attempting the task of bringing them down to date-that is, through a period of nearly half a century. This could be done only with the possession of the names of the members of the family which the charts alone contained.
Undisturbed In Decades.
A thorough ransacking of the Prison Association's archives in the basement of 135 East Fifteenth street followed, the Association clerks turning up papers and dust which had remained undisturbed through many decades. The charts were among them.
Dr. Henry H. Goddard, a well-known student of feeble-mindedness, and Dr. C. B. Davenport, director of studies in feeble-mindedness and eugenics, carried on by the Carnegie Institute, were at once notified. Both declared the discovery of the utmost importance to them in their work, since in the charts the names of nearly 900(?) persons traced by Dugdale in the ramifications of 42 branches of a single original family were all recorded, as well as the interrelations of each individual to all the others mentioned in the charts.
The history of the Jukes family is cited, criminologists say, more frequently that that of any other similar family, either in the United States or abroad, and is regarded as an example of the enormous cost and widespread mental, moral and physical disaster resulting from feeble-mindedness and other forms of degeneracy. What Emile Zola traced with insight and popularity in France in his history of the Rougon-Maquart family, Mr. Dugdale in a modest, unassuming way did for this state as a manager of the Prison Association of New York.
How Inquiry Started.
When in 1875 as a member of a special committee he visited jails in New York State, Mr. Dugdale noticed that in several of the jails of a certain section of the State appeared persons with the same name. From this initial clue he proceeded with infinite pains to trace backward the histories of those persons and their families. The character of discovery he made is shown in the following quotation from a recent synopsis of his study:
Mr. Dugdale calculated the cost to society of the entire family in seventy-five years as nearly a million and a quarter paid for whisky of taking into account the entailment of pauperism and diseases in the survivors of succeeding generations. Pauperism is nearly eight times as common in the Jukes family as in the whole population.
The special significance of the discovery at this time of the original charts, with the real names of all the members of the family traced by Mr. Dugdale, until now unknown, is, however, that the trained investigators of the Carnegie Institute can at once begin to trace the history of this remarkable family during the many years that have elapsed since Mr. Dugdale ceased his investigations. This means that there are from one to two generations more of this family now to be traced, and the study will undoubtedly bring to light, Carnegie Institute investigators say, a further expense to this State in lives and money, in morals, in disease, in pauperism and crime that is likely to stagger the people of the State when the facts become known.
In Eighteenth Century.
Yet the significance from a social viewpoint of this extended study will be that this family, starting originally back in the eighteenth century from a man whom Dugdale called "Max," born between 1729 and 1740, is the history of a family whose crimes and debauchery, feeble-mindedness and pauperism have been conditioned largely by the mental and physical flaws in the original stock.
Agitation in this State in recent years has developed for the permanent care of as large a proportion of our feeble-minded population as possible. The Jukes family has been cited with great frequency as a most powerful argument for the permanent custodial care of those members of society who, with a lack of mental equipment, have an increased bent toward crime and imorality, and other practices dangerous to society.
The completion of the Jukes study by competent students will produce a work, according to criminologists, without equal in the statistical and sociological study of degeneracy.
In a recent study made by the Prison Association of feeble-mindedness in its relation to criminality, these facts relating to several concrete instances of the career of boys reported as imbecile by the physician of the Elmira Reformatory were brought to light. Of 17 such imbeciles paroled to the Prison Association in 1904, 12 had previously been arrested and 10 imprisoned. At least five of the 17 have been in prison since their release from the reformatory in 1904.
One Now A Fugitive.
One of the men reported as an imbecile had been six times arrested and three times imprisoned before his commitment to Elmira, and is now a fugitive from justice. Of the 60 men recorded as defective mentally in a group of 430 men paroled in 1904, 42 had been arrested prior to their commitment to Elmira, and 23, or more than 50 percent, have been arrested since their parole.
Criminologists say there are undoubtedly thousands of feeble-minded persons in correctional institutions. The presence of the feeble-minded is believed to be a detriment to many plans that have been adopte for the instruction and training of prisoners. The complete exclusion from the ordinary prison of persons afflicted with tuberculosis has improved the healthfulness of those prisons, and has also supplied a better and more hopeful means of treatment for the unfortunate sufferers, in the opinion of students of the subject. It is likewise held that similar segregation should be applied to all those to whom special treatment would be a benefit, of whose ailments are of such a nature as to endanger the welfare of others.