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decided: September 15, 1967.


Appeals from orders of County Court of Philadelphia, Nos. 135483 and 136162, in the matters of John Williams and Ardry Jones.


Vincent J. Ziccardi, Assistant Defender, with him Melvin Dildine, Assistant Defender, and Herman I. Pollock, Defender, for appellants.

Alan J. Davis, Assistant District Attorney, with him Edwin D. Wolf, Assistant District Attorney, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for appellee.

Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, and Spaulding, JJ. (Hoffman, J., absent). Opinion by Watkins, J.

Author: Watkins

[ 210 Pa. Super. Page 390]

This opinion is written to determine two appeals which were taken by John Williams and Ardry Jones from separate orders of the County Court of Philadelphia, committing appellants as defective delinquent juveniles to the State Correctional Institution at Dallas. Both appeals were argued together and raise the same issues and shall be disposed of by this one opinion.

The resume of the record of the two boys and the proceedings in these matters from the opinion of the court below clearly sets forth the facts as follows:

"John Williams was born November 23, 1950. His first contact with this Court was on June 11, 1956. The Pennsylvania Society to Protect Children From Cruelty filed a dependency petition on that date. It charged that John, together with his younger sister and brothers, were neglected; that their mother was an alcoholic and indifferent to the welfare of her children. John was returned to his mother on probation on November 19, 1957. Subsequently he was placed in the custody of foster parents, and of the Catholic Children's Bureau. He continued to be a problem and was finally excused from attendance at school because of his behavior problems.

[ 210 Pa. Super. Page 391]

"On August 30, 1960, Judge Brown ordered him committed to a suitable State institution. On June 8, 1962, he was arrested on a charge of larceny, receiving stolen goods and incorrigibility. He was adjudged a delinquent by Judge Hoffman on June 15, 1962 and he was committed to the Youth Study Center pending acceptance by Pennhurst. He continued to present a behavioral problem and could not be handled by the Youth Study Center. He was accepted by St. Gabriel's Hall, Phoenixville, on November 14, 1962. On January 14, 1963, St. Gabriel's urgently requested his removal because he was emotionally disturbed and uncontrollable.

"On February 8, 1963, Judge Hoffman again ordered him committed to a suitable State Institution and on April 11, 1963 he was admitted to Pennhurst.

"On April 7, 1966 the Superintendent of Pennhurst requested that he be removed from Pennhurst. In support of this request, a total of 56 instances of misconduct were cited. These ranged from simple disciplinary violations to aggravated assault and battery and larceny. A delinquency petition was filed based on these charges.

"At the hearing on June 16, 1966, Dr. James C. Hirst, Chief Psychologist at Pennhurst, testified that continued custody at Pennhurst would aggravate the problems of the juvenile, who was completely uncooperative and who had a record of many serious infractions.

"Mrs. Anne Boyle, a registered nurse, testified that she was familiar with the infractions appearing in the report which was read into evidence. She identified the individuals who made the reports.

"A report by Dr. M. H. Robinson, a neuropsychiatrist who examined John Williams on July 12, 1962, was read into the record, as was a psychological report

[ 210 Pa. Super. Page 392]

    on July 7, 1962 by Joseph F. O'Connor, psychologist for the County Court.

"There was also a psychiatric report by Dr. Salvatore Lombardi, which states that the boy's judgment, reasoning, discrimination and comprehension are all grossly impaired. He functions intellectually at a mental defective level.

"Martin H. Robinson, M.D., a qualified neuropsychiatrist, testified that he examined John on July 12, 1962 and May 12, 1966. The boy is obviously defective mentally. He has poor social sense, poor self-control and has hostile and aggressive impulses. He has need of long term custodial care in the hope that some semblance of control will develop. He is of the type classified as ...

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