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Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and Parole Board

In 1946, Charlottesville’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge Phil Grove, assisted by a probation officer, held court in a room on 5th St. NE, next to
City Hall. The need for professionally trained social workers to help juvenile offenders was recognized, but before the funding for their services was available, the city used the staff of the Welfare Dept. to assist parolees and probationers.

Public Health Nurse, Anna Decker, shown here consulting the wife of a parolee, was noted for her advocacy of humane treatment of parolees and their families. She and other local social workers believed that a parole board that advised, protected and provided a nurturing environment could replace the unwholesome influences from which most parolees suffered, and, thereby, rehabilitation could be achieved. She and the City Welfare Board advocated some kind of boarding houses where juvenile offenders could be cared for in small groups, to replace the jails and their punitive treatment.


Phil Grove, judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Court, according to his eulogy, “was hardly a judge at all in the commonly accepted meaning of the word, but rather a partisan advocate of the men and women and especially of the boys and girls whose troubles brought them before him. It was his job to help them if he could find a way, and only to apply the penalties of the law when no alternative could be found.” Grove was a leader in the Lions Club, the city recreation department, the Salvation Army, Workshop for the Blind, and the Albemarle Council of Social Agencies.

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