April 19, 1947
Myron E. Gurnea, the F.B.I.'s Washington expert on matters of juvenile delinquency, released a statement today describing it as the nation's biggest criminal problem.
Gurnea blames the rise in delinquency during the war years, when the stabilizing influence of fathers, mothers and older siblings was lost, as the former went to war and the latter into the factories. Those bad kids are now aged 17-21, and are being arrested in droves.
Pointing a finger at neglectful families who shirk their disciplinary responsibilities and expect government agencies to control their children, Gurnea notes that very few parents accompany their brats into traffic court. The answer may be to hold more parents financially responsible for their children’s crimes, a tact that is stymied by the growing number of broken homes.
Additionally, Gurnea sniffs at fears that returning soldiers are monsters “trained for crime,” stating that it was a big army, with criminals and ordinary people, but the criminals were already so disposed.