Survey responses to Juvenile Court questionnaire, 1875

Massachusetts Board of State Charities Visiting Agency


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Seeking to reevaluate this function in preparation for an annual report, Visiting Agent Gardiner Tufts sent a questionnaire to a variety of parties involved in this process (e.g., judges, trial justices, lawyers) inquiring as to whether court attendance continued to be a useful mandate of the agency. Series consists of responses to the questionnaire as written letters giving opinions on the issue. Includes copy of the original Tufts printed letter.
The Board of State Charities and its successors from 1863 onward oversaw the Massachusetts state immigration and pauper relief functions, as well as the state's charitable and correctional institutions. In 1866 the board appointed a visiting agent, under its secretary, to track and visit state wards sent out to indenture. The Visiting Agency was made a separate department within the board in 1869 to investigate applicants wanting to adopt or indenture children, approve placements, conduct visits of children that were adopted, indentured, or otherwise placed out, and provide ongoing follow-up. One of the charges of the state visiting agency from its establishment per St 1869, c 453 was that it was to be notified when state-supported children were to be committed to any state reform institution. Agents were to attend trials and were allowed to recommend juvenile offenders be placed with a family if more suitable.
Agency history record (OCoLC)313450455 describes the history and functions of the Visiting Agency.

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