JOHN EDGAR HOOVER
Xfeberal reau of nbestiati n
AL JS. Pepnrhment of )usfitce
OR-6pinsotn, PE- (9
April 14, 1936.
Judge Walter H. Beckham,
c/o Prince George Hotel,
Daytona Beach, Florida.
My dear Judge Beckham:-
I have been advised of the annual meeting on Friday, April
17th of the Florida Probation Association at Daytona Beach, Florida.
I would esteem it a favor if you would convey to the members
of the Association present my congratulations at the opportunity afforded
of meeting together for the purpose of discussing the vitally important
subject of probation as it affects not only adult criminals but our young
people and children. I know of no more important subject, none that so
gravely affects the law-abiding men, women, and children of the country
today as that involved in the intelligent handling of these problems.
We law-enforcement officers have been accused of a lack of sympathy with
the fundamental principles and underlying motives of probation. This
accusation is unfounded. We have attacked and will continue to attack
the causes and delinquencies of the probation system which have tended
to discredit the system itself and to nullify and render abortive the work
of those who truly understand the essential principles of probation and
desire to apply them scientifically to the crime problem. I have always
held that the motivating factor in probation as well as in applying par-
dons and paroles is the protection of society. I feel that when those
who are in a position to bestow pardon, parole, or probation clemency
fully realize that their first duty is to society rather than to the
individual concerned, there will be a material decline in the grave
abuses which law-enforcement has suffered in the past few years through
the negligent misapplication of the underlying principles of probation
and kindred policies. Those who are engaged in this great work should,
I believe, desire to be delivered primarily from their so-called friends,
who have, in many instances, permitted a vague unscientific sentimentality
to mislead and misguide them.
Will you please convey to your associates and accept for
yourself my best wishes for continued success in your highly important
approach to the solution of the crime problem.
With kind regards, I am
John ar Hoover,
AIR MAIL. Dictor.