Probation and ‘rescue of ‘fallen women’’
Looking over the twelve years during which I have been on the Bench I am sure that Probation is the most important factor in the work for which magistrates are responsible.
Many women probation officers are specially trained rescue workers, using the word “rescue” in a special sense.
This is all wrong in my opinion. No-one who has spent years of training in a “rescue” home, and spent time dealing exclusively with this kind of girl can fail to have a narrow and warped idea in the whole question of sexual morality. Nowadays, with its wider outlook these cases cannot be segregated and it is better for probation officers to deal with every kind of delinquency and take these cases as they occur in the ordinary course of work.
Girls are now so informed and instructed by School teachers and parents that there is not the same danger as there was thirty years ago. There are not the same dangers from ignorance and girls are not victims or trapped as they were. What is wanted is for a sane healthy outlook to be given to girls with perhaps a little severity and discipline and no sentimentality and rescuing. They must be taught not to fall and if they do, to rescue themselves. We cannot shut girls up to-day to do laundry work and live on a starvation diet because they have had a baby. The girl with a baby is sometimes more moral than the one without one.