Date of Award

Spring 1968

Document Type



Sociology & Anthropology

First Advisor

Rev. John Bauer

Second Advisor

Kenneth Calvin

Third Advisor

Gerry Leary


Judge Tester H. Loble of the First Judicial District of Helena, Montana makes the following statements on juvenile delinquency; they are all basic to his preventive theory:

1. The twin enemies of crime are fear of punishment and fear of publicity.

2. Discipline begins in the high chair, not in the electric chair.

3. 97% the youngsters today are as good as those of any generation, the 3% are worse.

4. Secrecy in the juvenile courts indicts the class and does not pinpoint the individual .

5. Open public hearings with the parents present and full newspaper coverage gets results. Our law authorizes this in juvenile felony cases.

6. If a youth is old enough and tough enough to topple a tombstone, wreck a church or a school house, hold up a service station, snatch a woman’s purse or beat up an old man, he is old enough and tough enough to have a public trail with his parents in the front row and full newspaper coverage.

7. It is outrageous, as in so many places, to find the law suddenly cringing before its hoodlum youngsters and going to absurd lengths to stay on the right side of them.

8. My experience shows the quickest way to break up a gang is a public hearing, naming names and the blame placed where it belongs, on the hoodlum and his parents.

9. I have in my District a 49% decrease in juvenile felony cases. The law has been in .effect three years. There is a continuing decrease in juvenile felony cases.

10. The woodshed is coming back, indifferent parents are diminishing, they don’t want the publicity or the heat.

11. It is a myth that publicity glamorizes the juvenile and makes him worse. Any juvenile who likes to see his name in the paper as a criminal is in a class with those who threaten witnesses, and is dangerous and should be so dealt with.

12. There Is no such word as juvenile any more. It is juvenile delinquent. This is not fair to the good kids about whom we don’t say enough.

13. Open courts establish public confidence. The public is entitled to know what happens to the juvenile hoodlum.

14. The so-called progressive thinkers, mollycoddlers, and dreamers got us into this and they can’t get us out.

15. Preventive and rehabilitation programs are not enough.

16. The juvenile problem can be solved.

17. Some think if you don't look it will go away. It won’t.

In order to put these principles in effect the following, the Loble Law, was developed:

Montana Law on Publicity of Juvenile Trails, Section 10-633 ...provided, however, that whenever , the hearing in the juvenile court is had on a written petition charging the commission of any felony, persons having a legitimate interest in the proceeding, including responsible representatives of public information media, shall not be excluded from such hearing...+ Section 10-633* .. .N6 publicity shall be given to the identity of an arrested juvenile or to any matter or proceeding in the juvenile court involving children proceeded against as, or found to be, delinquent children, except -where a hearing or proceeding is had in the juvenile court on a written petition charging , the commission of any felony.

The man who introduced this law into the Montana legislature is Judge Lester Loble of Helena, Judge Loble spent 40 years in civil practice before running for the judgeship in 1956, which he won by 36 votes. The next time he ran, he won by 5,000 votes; the next time he had no opposition as he says himself, "The people are for my program."