The Carmen Combs papers contains reports, conference proceedings, committee minutes, studies, seminar and institute materials,
pamphlets, analyses of problems and topics, legislation, speech transcripts, and memoranda to Court Referees, and personal
notes. The documents generally focus on the welfare of children. There is much attention given to the juvenile court system.
Carmen Combs was a 1927 graduate of Yale Law School who began her career in Los Angeles by combining practice with a small
firm and volunteer work as chief of the Domestic Relations Department of the city's Legal Aid Clinic. In 1937 she was appointed
as Referee in Los Angeles Juvenile Court, where she served both regularly and on an "as needed" basis for the next 35 years.
Meanwhile she worked on a variety of committees, commissions, and research projects devoted to the improvement of juvenile
justice and the treatment of troubled or neglected children. Earl Warren first appointed Combs to his Governor's Advisory
Committee on Children and Youth in 1947, a position which she retained through the governorships of Goodwin Knight and Pat
Brown. As Chair of the Special Study Commission on Juvenile Crime, sponsored in 1957 by the Governor's Advisory Committee,
she wrote a report on "California Children in Detention and Shelter Care" (3.7, 3.10, 7.2, 7.6, 8.2) and worked for its implementation
on the "Subcommittee on Structure and Organization". On the Special Study Commission, Combs directed a survey of the administration
of juvenile justice, which led to the repeal of California's existing juvenile court law, much of which had been in place
since 1913, and the passage of a new law, effective on September 15, 1961, substantially embodying the recommendations of
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