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Hearing on the Bill (H. R. 14798) To Establish a Laboratory for the Study of the Criminal, Pauper, and Defective Classes, With a Bibliography (Classic Reprint)

Hearing on the Bill (H. R. 14798) To Establish a Laboratory for the Study of the Criminal, Pauper, and Defective Classes, With a Bibliography (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Hearing on the Bill (H. R. 14798) To Establish a Laboratory for the Study of the Criminal, Pauper, and Defective Classes, With a Bibliography

Present: Hon. George W. Kay, chairman; Hon. John J. Jenkins, Hon. Richard Wayne Parker, Hon. D. S. Alexander, Hon. Vespasian Warner, Hon. Julius Kahn, Hon. Lot Thomas, Hon. S. L. Powers, Hon. David A. De Armond, Hon. S. W. T. Lanham, Hon. William Elliott, Hon. D. H. Smith, and Hon. H. D. Clayton.

The Chairman. Gentlemen, Mr. Arthur MacDonald, specialist in the United States Bureau of Education, is present and has been accorded a hearing on the following bill:

[H.R. 14798, Fifty-seventh Congress, first session.]

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be established in the Department of Justice a laboratory for the study of the abnormal classes. That such work shall include, not only laboratory investigations, but also the collection of jurisprudential, sociological, and pathological data, especially as found in institutions for the criminal, pauper, and defective classes and as may be observed in hospitals, schools, and other institutions; also investigation of anarchistic criminals, mob influence, and like phenomena. That especially the causes of social evils shall be sought out, with a view to lessening or preventing them. That these results and those of similar work shall be collected and published from time to time.

Sec. 2. That there shall be a director of the laboratory at an annual salary of three thousand five hundred dollars.

Sec. 3. That the director shall have power to employ specialists to assist him in his investigations and such other help as may be necessary to carry on the work; that for all the expenses thus involved, together with the equipment of the laboratory, hiring of rooms, purchasing of books and periodicals, and so forth, is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, twenty thousand dollars, ten thousand of which to be available on the passage of this Act. Mr. MacDonald said:

A Plan For The Study Of Man, Especially The Criminal, Pauper, And Defective CLASSES."

Three bills, introduced by Senators Nelson, Bacon, and McComas, and one as an amendment by Senator Hoar, and two House bills (all six bills of Fifty-seventh Congress, first session), introduced by Representatives Ray (New York) and Henry (Connecticut), have for their purpose to establish a laboratory for the study of the criminal, pauper, and defective classes. The word "laboratory" is here used in its broadest sense, including sociological data. Laboratory in its restricted meaning, referring to use of instruments of precision, is only one feature of these bills.

One of the most important objects contemplated is to take the data already gathered by the State institutions for the abnormal classes and combine and summarize them for more general use. This will encourage the States to gather further facts by more uniform methods.

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