Teaching Case - Jerome Miller and the Department of Youth Services (A)

Jerome Miller and the Department of Youth Services (A)


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  • Product Description

    In his first two years as Massachusetts Commissioner of Youth Services, Jerome Miller initiated a number of reform measures in an effort to provide more humane treatment for the young persons in his department's care, but he became increasingly frustrated by the difficulty of developing therapeutic treatment alternatives in an institutionalized setting. The (A) case provides background and also highlights how Miller dealt with internal administrative problems, as well as with external forces, such as the press and the state legislature. Part B describes Miller's unilateral strategy to replace most of the department's training schools with community-based treatment programs managed by private organizations under contract. The case details the impact of deinstitutionalization on the department's operations and on its political base. The sequel summarizes the reaction to Miller's resignation and later developments in the department.

    Learning Objective:
    This case raises issues of managerial authority in the context of organizational change. What are Miller's sources of authority and influence? What are his goals, and what resources can he tap to achieve them? It also raises evaluative questions about Miller's strategy in fundamentally altering an institution. What served his clients best: the fluid, some would say non-existent structures of privatized care or the highly structured settings of institutionalized treatment?

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 1976
    HKS Case Number: 101.0
    Case Author: Stephanie Gould
    Faculty Lead: Philip Heymann
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 31
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    Funding Source: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
    _year: Older than 2000
    _pages: 25+
    _geography: US & Canada
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