Relentless War Against Vice in Chicago
Chicago's Committee of Fifteen which for four years has been vigorously following up the investigational work of the official Vice Commission, is one of the social agencies that shows no signs of relaxed energies under war conditions. Its initial survey of the situation following the state's attorney's spectacular raids on the segregated districts, disclosed at least 2,000 inmates which managed to resume business after the districts were officially closed.
Publication of the names of the owners of these and other properties thus illicitly used led many of them to a thorough housecleaning. But when the injunction and abatement law was enacted two years ago, commercialized vice met what Chief Justice Olson, of the Municipal Court, declared to be its "Appomattox." Of 375 owners informally notified that their buildings were being used for immoral purposes, 310 took such action as to make it necessary to serve on only 65 others the legal notice of intention to apply for an injunction. Of the 65 thus notified, 50 acted so promptly that it was unnecessary to enjoin them. of the 10 against whom injunctions were issued, 2 furnished bond for their guarantee to keep their property free from immorality. 1 tore down the house in which one of the most notorious resorts had long been sheltered, leaving only 7 to be proceeded against. Buildings containing more than 100 apartments have been demolished by their owners to avoid renting them for immoral purposes.
During the past four years, 91 persons have been convicted of pandering on charges preferred by the committee. The fines imposed upon them aggregate to $32,492 and average more than $350 per person. The prison terms to which 77 persons were sentenced aggregate more than 60 years and average more than 9 months per person. Today a house of ill-fame with 2 inmates arouses more opposition than did a resort harboring from 40 to 90 inmates four years ago. The committee asserts that there is no more vice in the residential districts now than there was when the segregated districts were tolerated and that the public conscience is so much more alert that disorderly resorts are more aggressively attacked and more promptly and continuously driven out or finally suppressed.