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Why Not Delinquents Anonymous?
by Ruth Latimer
reveal today's tragic destruction of tomorrow's citizens.
Society must rescue these young people now from perils described
in these headlines.
a staggering total of youthful lives wasted, one young man
emerges to tell us how his own life was salvaged. At the
age of 17, John was a chronic alcoholic and a delinquent
discouraging to professional workers with youth. He seemed
destined for the drastic –and by no means 100 per
cent successful - therapy of a correctional institution.
Then he joined Alcoholics Anonymous.
a short time he was telling his friends, "I'm through
with the habit and everything that goes with it."
is only one of more than 100,000 to whom Alcoholics Anonymous
has given a wholesome new outlook on life. Many more thousands
have found freedom from other problems through such groups
as Addicts Anonymous.
a Delinquents Anonymous group do for juvenile delinquency
what these groups have done for other social problems?
Anonymous proposes fellowship, faith and action. It seems,
then, that this basic program for self-help is ideally suited
for a new group, Delinquents Anonymous.
programs to combat juvenile delinquency have focused on
doing something for the delinquent, ignoring youth's eagerness
for independence from adult interference. A Delinquents
Anonymous program would encourage the young person's self-reliance
and capacity for self-help. It would provide incentive to
reform, rather than coercion; It would, nevertheless, benefit
from the sponsorship of adult "honorary members,"
experienced in youth's problems.
Anonymous was founded by two men getting together. Who will
be the first successful ex-delinquents to found Delinquents
American Mercury, March 1955)