B-91477, JANUARY 5, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 291

B-91477: Jan 5, 1950

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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ALCOHOLIC CLINIC - COMPENSATION OF PROBATION OFFICERS THE COMPENSATION OF A PROBATION OFFICER WHO IS TO BE APPOINTED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO SERVE THE CLINIC FOR THE REHABILITATION OF ALCOHOLICS ESTABLISHED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 4. WHO IS TO BE RESPONSIBLE TO AND PERFORM HIS DUTIES UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE CHIEF PROBATION OFFICER OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. 1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 21. REQUESTING MY DECISION UPON THE PROPRIETY OF AN ACTION CONTEMPLATED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AS HEREINAFTER SET OUT REGARDING PROBATION OFFICERS WHOM THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE AUTHORIZED TO APPOINT UNDER AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 12 OF PUBLIC LAW 347.

B-91477, JANUARY 5, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 291

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ALCOHOLIC CLINIC - COMPENSATION OF PROBATION OFFICERS THE COMPENSATION OF A PROBATION OFFICER WHO IS TO BE APPOINTED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO SERVE THE CLINIC FOR THE REHABILITATION OF ALCOHOLICS ESTABLISHED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 4, 1947, BUT WHO IS TO BE RESPONSIBLE TO AND PERFORM HIS DUTIES UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE CHIEF PROBATION OFFICER OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MAY BE PAID FROM FUNDS DERIVED FROM THE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LICENSE TAX IMPOSED BY SECTION 14 OF THE ACT, AS AMENDED, AND APPROPRIATED FOR THE CLINIC, AND NEED NOT BE CHARGED AGAINST APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE COURT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, JANUARY 5, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 21, 1949, REQUESTING MY DECISION UPON THE PROPRIETY OF AN ACTION CONTEMPLATED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AS HEREINAFTER SET OUT REGARDING PROBATION OFFICERS WHOM THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE AUTHORIZED TO APPOINT UNDER AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 12 OF PUBLIC LAW 347, APPROVED AUGUST 4, 1947, 61 STAT. 746, TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSE OF THE SAID ACT STATED IN SECTION 1 THEREOF, 61 STAT. 744, AS FOLLOWS:

THE PURPOSE OF THIS ACT IS TO ESTABLISH A PROGRAM FOR THE REHABILITATION OF ALCOHOLICS, PROMOTE TEMPERANCE, AND PROVIDE FOR THE MEDICAL, PSYCHIATRIC, AND OTHER SCIENTIFIC TREATMENT OF CHRONIC ALCOHOLICS; TO MINIMIZE THE DELETERIOUS EFFECTS OF EXCESSIVE DRINKING ON THOSE WHO PASS THROUGH THE COURTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; TO REDUCE THE FINANCIAL BURDEN IMPOSED UPON THE PEOPLE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BY THE ABUSIVE USE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, AS IS REFLECTED IN MOUNTING ACCIDENT RATES, DECREASED PERSONAL EFFICIENCY, GROWING ABSENTEEISM, AND A GENERAL INCREASE IN THE AMOUNT AND SERIOUSNESS OF CRIME IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND TO SUBSTITUTE FOR JAIL SENTENCES FOR DRUNKENNESS MEDICAL AND OTHER SCIENTIFIC METHODS OF TREATMENT WHICH WILL BENEFIT THE INDIVIDUAL INVOLVED AND MORE FULLY PROTECT THE PUBLIC. IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH THIS PURPOSE AND ALLEVIATE THE PROBLEM OF CHRONIC ALCOHOLISM, THE COURTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO TAKE JUDICIAL NOTICE OF THE FACT THAT A CHRONIC ALCOHOLIC IS A SICK PERSON AND IN NEED OF PROPER MEDICAL, INSTITUTIONAL, ADVISORY, AND REHABILITATIVE TREATMENT, AND THE COURT IS AUTHORIZED TO DIRECT THAT HE RECEIVE APPROPRIATE MEDICAL, PSYCHIATRIC, OR OTHER TREATMENT AS PROVIDED UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS ACT.

THAT ACT PROVIDES, INTER ALIA, BY SECTION 3 (A) AND (B), 61 STAT. 744, FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND EQUIPMENT OF A CLINIC "FOR THE DIAGNOSIS, CLASSIFICATION, HOSPITALIZATION, CONFINEMENT, TREATMENT, AND STUDY OF PERSONS WHO ARE FOUND TO BE CHRONIC ALCOHOLICS, AS DEFINED HEREIN, BY THE MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA," AND DIRECTS THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO UTILIZE THE SERVICES OF SUCH CLINIC "FOR THE TREATMENT OF THE CHRONIC ALCOHOLIC AS AUTHORIZED BY THIS ACT AND FOR THE PURPOSE OF PREPARING AND ADMINISTERING A PROGRAM FOR THE REHABILITATION OF ALCOHOLICS AND THE PROMOTION OF TEMPERANCE THROUGH TEACHING AND TRAINING OF PROFESSIONAL PERSONNEL AND USE THROUGH COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION.'

IT APPEARS FROM YOUR LETTER THAT AT THE PRESENT TIME THE CLINIC, WHILE TREATING CERTAIN PERSONS UPON A VOLUNTARY BASIS, IS NOT YET TREATING PERSONS REFERRED TO IT BY THE MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN FOUND BY THE COURT TO BE CHRONIC ALCOHOLICS. IT IS IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROPOSED TREATMENT BY THE CLINIC OF PERSONS REFERRED TO IT BY THE SAID MUNICIPAL COURT THAT YOUR QUESTION REGARDING THE JURISDICTION OVER PROBATION OFFICERS APPOINTED UNDER THE ACT, SUPRA, ARISES. THAT QUESTION ARISES BECAUSE OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 8 AND 12 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 4, 1947, 61 STAT. 745, 746, AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 8. A CHRONIC ALCOHOLIC COMMITTED TO THE CLINIC AND WHO IS PERMITTED TO REMAIN AT LIBERTY OR CONDITIONALLY RELEASED SHALL BE UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE PROBATION OFFICE OF THE COURT IN WHICH HE WAS COMMITTED, OR THE CLINIC, OR SUCH OTHER AGENCY, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE, AS THE COURT MAY DETERMINE.

SEC. 12. THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO APPOINT A DIRECTOR OF THE CLINIC, WHO SHALL BE A QUALIFIED PHYSICIAN WITH SUCH TRAINING IN PSYCHIATRY AS THEY MAY PRESCRIBE, THE NECESSARY MEDICAL OFFICERS, PSYCHIATRISTS, PROBATION OFFICERS, SOCIAL-CASE WORKERS, AND OTHER PERSONNEL NEEDED TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT. (ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

IN CONNECTION WITH THE OPERATION OF THE CLINIC, AND WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THE SECTIONS JUST QUOTED, THE COMMISSIONERS, FOR THE REASONS SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER AND SUBJECT TO A FAVORABLE DECISION BY THIS OFFICE, CONTEMPLATE TAKING THE FOLLOWING ACTION WITH RESPECT TO THE APPOINTMENT AND COMPENSATION OF A PROBATION OFFICER TO OPERATE IN CONNECTION WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF SUCH LINIC:

THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WILL APPOINT, AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WILL COMPENSATE, A PROBATION OFFICER TO BE RECOMMENDED BY THE MUNICIPAL COURT. SUCH PROBATION OFFICER, UPON HIS APPOINTMENT, WILL BE ASSIGNED TO THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PROBATION OFFICER OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT, TO BE SUPERVISED AND DIRECTED BY THE SAID CHIEF PROBATION OFFICER, TO WHOM HE SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTIES DIRECTLY CONNECTED WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF THE ALCOHOLIC CLINIC.

IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE FUNDS TO DEFRAY THE COST OF OPERATING THE CLINIC, INCLUDING THE SALARIES OF PERSONS PERFORMING DUTIES IN CONNECTION WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF THE CLINIC, ARE DERIVED FROM THE TAX IMPOSED BY SECTION 504 OF PUBLIC LAW 76, APPROVED MAY 27, 1949, 63 STAT. 135, WHICH AMENDS SECTION 14 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 4, 1947, TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

SIX PERCENTUM OF THE ANNUAL FEES FOR LICENSES FOR THE MANUFACTURE OR SALE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, EXCEPT FOR RETAILER'S LICENSE, CLASS E, IMPOSED BY SECTION 11 OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL ACT, AS AMENDED, IS HEREBY PERMANENTLY APPROPRIATED TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT. THE COMPENSATION OF THE PROBATION OFFICER WOULD BE PAID FROM THE MONEY SO APPROPRIATED RATHER THAN FROM THE APPROPRIATION MADE FOR THE COURT.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THERE APPEARS NO REASON WHY THIS OFFICE SHOULD OBJECT TO THE ACTION CONTEMPLATED BY THE COMMISSIONERS, I.E., THE APPOINTMENT OF A PROBATION OFFICER UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, SUCH PROBATION OFFICER TO BE COMPENSATED BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNDER THE APPROPRIATION SUPRA, BUT TO ACT UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE CHIEF PROBATION OFFICER OF THE SAID MUNICIPAL COURT TO WHOM HE WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR DUTIES DIRECTLY CONNECTED WITH THE CLINIC TO BE OPERATED IN FURTHERANCE OF THE ALCOHOLIC REHABILITATION PROGRAM.