Delinquency is a big subject, but the time available now is limited, so I shall be able to put only a few facts and a few ideas before you.
First I ought to direct your attention to the Birmingham scheme for dealing with abnormal cases before the courts. This was inaugurated in 1919, thanks to the energy and intuition of Mr. Gerald Beasley. The principle established was that there should be a whole-time medical officer at the prison specially experienced in insanity and mental defect, who could, when called upon by the justices, examine persons remanded in custody, who might be not fully responsible, either through mental defect, or some other mental abnormality. At the same time there should be available a part-time psychological expert to examine similar cases remanded out of custody. This makes expert investigation possible in every case of doubtful responsibility. In the opinion of some a weak point is that the decision as to which cases should be examined rests with the justices. It is a question, however, whether the decision ought to rest with anyone else in the present state of public opinion.
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