From Ken Ditkowsky — his experience with Juvenile justice decades ago

To: Glenda Martinez <>, Patty Reid <>, Robert Sarhan <>, Kevin Pizzarello <>, “JoAnne M. Denison” <>, Teresa Lyles <>, Kathleen Dunn <>, Nancy Vallone <>, Ginny Johnson <>, RosANNa Miller <>
Subject: Re: Planned Parenthood, Child Trafficking, children being raised by single parents. What’s in common?
Date: Aug 26, 2015 4:34 PM
In my early years in the practice of law I was drawn to the issue of abuse of children.   I thus did some work for the Juvenile Protective league and joined Kiwanis.   What I ran into was absolutely shocking.   Juveniles were housed with delinquents and the charities would not accept parens patrie jurisdiction without a court order.   Thus, a child in need of help was turned away by the faith based institutions.
One of early cases involved an Evanston, Illinois policeman who saw a five year child late a night wandering the streets.   His parents had tossed him out of the home.   He knew from experience that the children would be a burden on any police station that he brought him, and would probably not even receive a meal.   Thus, he took the child home with him where they clothe, bathe, and gave the children a clean place to sleep.   Yes, he violated regulations, but he did what any human being would do.   The next morning he brought the child into the station and turned him over the DCFS.    (It was also against regulations for a white policeman to become a foster parent for a child of some other race).   He was given a 30 day suspension without pay.
The Lerner Newspaper editor called me and asked me if there was anything I could and/or would do.   Within the hour I was standing before the Chief of the Evanston Police Department confronting the Police Union representative and the Police command.   Within minutes of my arrival my anger was demonstrated by a deep voice and clenched fist.   The suspension was reduced to a week with pay, and finally when the policeman’s wife stated that she wished to adopt the boy – zero, provided that gambit was never mentioned again.
The frustration that I endured was incredible and I went from playing basketball once a week to twice.   The social workers I dealt with cried when they told me NO.  I read the riot act so often that it lost it actually lost its effectiveness; however, Mary Audy (Wife of the man they named the juvenile facility after) provided me with credibility and enhanced my effectiveness.   She also gave me courage to go nose to nose with the charities.    
The problem that we faced in 1962 etc was parents who could care less about their children and found that they were an unwanted burden.   Many were surprised that their sexual activities produced a product.  Contraception was frowned on by the orthodox Catholics and Jews, and **** (you know the drill).   The pre-school children were literally growing up on their own, and when they reached school age everyone expected the teachers to be teacher and parent.   Responsibility was non-existent in many homes.
there were also poor families that barely had survival money.   The newspapers and the media made it worse when they highlighted welfare cheaters, some who literally had children so that they could collect Aid for Dependent Children handouts.   Some woman had large numbers of children all by different fathers.
social workers had a short lifespan before they burned out, and case loads that were intolerable.   700 active cases was an average load for a beginning worker.   The traffic court was more efficient than the juvenile court.
Diligence cases were also assigned to the depend children social workers and many were even more heart rendering.   Beautiful children were placed in institutions where they trained to become hardened criminals.   The sheer volume was staggering.
As an attorney for the Chinese American community I was asked by one of the patriarchs of the community to appear in a juvenile proceeding involving a young man who became a bit friendly with his girl friend and her father – a local political figure *****.    While I was waiting for my case to be called, I wandered into the courtroom.   The ‘defendant’ was a nice looking 9 year old.   The Judge asked the States Attorney: “can I see his rap sheet?”   I snickered and every eye turned to me.   The States Attorney handed a copy of the rap sheet to the Judge and one to me.   It contained multi pages and listed his arrest and convictions  – juveniles do not have convictions – but I cannot recall at this time what they were called.   The one that stuck out in my mind was a ‘rape’ charge.   I did not know that a 9 year old knew the difference between boys and girls.
Elder Cleansing cases are easy pickings compared to these juvenile proceedings.   The sheer volume of matters so so obscene that Solomon would tear his hair out by the roots.   A judge who tried to do his job properly would be more abused at the end of day that Mary Sykes was after a year.   A judge would did not care would do irreparable damage which would haunt him/her forever.    The task is impossible – but it has to be done.
I hope that you all can work out a solution for this problem – One full day in juvenile court and the “Chinese” limitations on pregnancy start to look attractive.   How does society protect itself from irresponsible people who bring unwanted children into this world to be abused, exploited and isolated in juvenile facilities and/or jail.    
I burned out after a couple of years.   I continued to work at Kiwanis until I had a CEO of a charity tell me that the reason that he had such a large salary was “without him” the charity would collect no money.   therefore 80% of the collections went into administrative costs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s