Quarterly Meeting Summary
February 3, 1998
The Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
held its quarterly meeting on February 3, 1998. In attendance were
representatives from Federal agencies and community programs. The
Council considered a number of agenda items and their relation to
the area of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention. Specifically,
the Council focused on the incidence of child maltreatment and its
link to the occurrence of juvenile delinquency. The Council also
heard a number of presentations concerning the problem of youth substance
Mr. Shay Bilchik, Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), and Vice Chair, Coordinating Council,
called the meeting to order at 2 p.m. at the White House Conference
Center, Truman Room. A list of those who attended the meeting is
included at the end of this summary.
Mr. Bilchik welcomed the participants and asked that the members
seated at the head table introduce themselves. He also welcomed Mr.
Raymond Fisher, the newly appointed Associate Attorney General. Mr.
Fisher served as the chair for the meeting, due to the absence of
Attorney General Janet Reno, who was attending the funeral of an
Immigration and Naturalization Services agent killed in the line
of duty. Mr. Bilchik noted Mr. Fisher's previous work as a trial
lawyer in private practice in Los Angeles and his participation in
that community's activities. Mr. Fisher's extensive public service
work included serving as president of the Los Angeles Police Commission
of the Los Angeles Police Department. He was instrumental in the
formation of the Greater Los Angeles Youth Initiative. Mr. Fisher
is especially interested in Los Angeles' youth-focused community
Mr. Fisher stated the goal of the Coordinating Council is to bring
the Federal agencies and practitioner members together to reduce
juvenile delinquency and victimization. The National Juvenile Justice
Action Plan identified two key objectives for the Council: breaking
the cycle of violence and victimization and reducing drug abuse among
juveniles. Mr. Fisher said the work of those addressing the Council
at this meeting speaks directly to these objectives. The Council
needs to examine how it can support their initiatives.
Mr. Fisher welcomed the Council's newest members, Ms. Kitty Higgins,
Deputy Secretary of Labor, who was representing the National Endowment
for the Arts (NEA); Mr. Ted Mastroianni, U.S. Department of Labor;
and Ms. Deborah Vincent, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Mr. Fisher expressed the Attorney General's appreciation for the
work of all the practitioners. He echoed her message regarding the
importance of collaboration among Federal agencies and those at the
State and local levels. "You can bring to us the knowledge of what
you are doing and share amongst all of us the best practices. This,
in turn, will bring about constructive results for the Nation's youth." He
thanked Mr. Bilchik and Ms. Gina Wood, Staff Director, Coordinating
Council, for providing the opportunity to discuss these issues so
the daily work of the various members can be linked in order to address
Mr. Fisher noted the Nation is in a period of great challenge and
opportunity regarding youth crime and victimization. Young people
are experiencing increased problems in their lives, whether from
abuse or neglect or as victims of or witnesses to violence. According
to the Carnegie Corporation Report, young adolescents across all
economic strata find themselves alone in communities with few adults
and no safe places to go. One of President Clinton's chief priorities,
as stated in his State of the Union address, is the establishment
of afterschool programs. Today's youth are pressured to use alcohol,
cigarettes, and other drugs at earlier ages. Many have problems with
depression; suicide is the third leading cause of death for young
people aged 15-24. Many youngsters cannot handle interpersonal conflict
without resorting to violence. By age 17, one-quarter have engaged
in behavior harmful to themselves or others. These behaviors include
getting pregnant, using drugs, engaging in antisocial activities,
and failing in school. Nearly half of the Nation's young people are
estimated to be at risk for damaging their life chances. "Wherever
we go in America, too many of our youth are afraid, alone, and angry,
and this is a crisis which is a call to action," Mr. Fisher said.
Those who work with children must form a protective safety net around
them. Some of the work begun in the Council can help accomplish this,
but more must be done to break through barriers and turf issues to
support youth and their families and create safer communities. Mr.
Fisher recalled that when he worked on the L.A. Police Commission,
one of his first priorities was to bring the resources of the public
school system, the juvenile division of the LAPD, community agencies,
and nonprofit organizations together for the same purpose that defines
the Council's work: "Not to compete for dollars, not to compete for
turf, but to talk to each other."
Mr. Bilchik then introduced Mr. Michael Petit, Deputy Director,
Child Welfare League of America, and Ms. Ruth S. Massinga, Chief
Executive Officer, The Casey Family Program, whom he acknowledged
as preeminent experts in the area of child maltreatment and its link
to juvenile delinquency. Mr. Petit and Ms. Massinga have both policy
and real practice experience in this field. Mr. Bilchik referred
to a national poll taken 11 years ago that indicated that 26 percent
of Americans thought that child abuse and neglect were serious national
concerns. A similar poll taken this past year showed that only 2
percent believe that today. The misperception about the impact and
importance of this issue illustrates that attention must be refocused
on the problem.
Breaking the Link Between Child Maltreatment and Juvenile Delinquency
Mr. Petit thanked the Council for allowing the Child Welfare League
to be represented. The League comprises 900 member organizations
that serve more than 2.5 million families, through 49 of the 50 State
child welfare agencies. After 30 years in this field, Mr. Petit is
convinced that an unequivocal relationship and clear link exist between
child abuse and neglect and juvenile crime. He recommended to the
Council the book Ghosts From the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of
Violence, which documents 10 years of infant brain research and
its relationship to child abuse and neglect.
Professionals can identify early on those children who will commit
crimes or pose problems to the culture later in life. This identification
can occur in some cases as early as in utero, sometimes right after
birth, and certainly by the age of 5 or 6. Mr. Petit highlighted
a Sacramento County, California, study that illustrates three of
the factors that contribute to this behavior: alcohol and other drugs,
parental incarceration, and child sexual abuse. The Sacramento study
was performed because of an increase in teen homicides, from approximately
7 in 1990 to more than 30 in 1995. A judge wanted to know what these
teenagers were like at an earlier age.
Mr. Petit said it is likely the child will commit future offenses
if a child has appeared for a third offense by age 10. The likelihood
in such a case is 96 percent. Of the 75,000 youngsters ages 9 through
12 in Sacramento County, 1.5 percent, or 1,100, are involved with
child welfare. Approximately 250 of these 1,100 commit three-quarters
of the crime. These youngsters have identifiable risk factors such
as a history of physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and parental
incarceration. Disturbingly, these 9- to 12-year-olds also have striking
similarities to the 15- to 20-year-olds placed in the California
Youth Authority, which is a very high level placement. For example,
nearly half of both groups have incarcerated parents.
Substance abuse by caretakers is also very prevalent. School-related
problems show up very early with this population. Escalating behavior
results in escalating intervention, which, in turn, results in escalating
costs. Without intervention, the system spends $471,000 per youngster
through age 25. With the community intervention program designed
for Sacramento County, the cost drops to $40,000 per youngster over
a 5-year period.
Mr. Petit then shared with the Council the results of a survey that
revealed a deficiency in the States' ability to deal with these problems.
Forty-seven of the 51 States took part in the survey. When asked
whether substance-abusing families are more likely to see their children
return to the child welfare system once these children have been
taken away, 69 percent said yes. When asked what percentage require
substance abuse treatment services and what percentage the State
is able to serve, only 11 of the 47 States could provide answers.
These 11 States are only able to serve one-third of the parents who
When asked what percentage of children in out-of-home care have
substance abuse problems in their families, 39 of 47 could not answer.
Forty-four of 47 could not say how many children have substance abuse
problems themselves. Only 12 of the 47 States could identify an appropriation
for drug treatment services in their budgets. Thirty-five either
did not have an appropriation or did not know if they have one.
Currently, 1.5 million children have a parent who is incarcerated
or who has a history of incarceration. This number has increased
by five-fold within a single generation. Yet when asked how many
children in their system have a parent with this history, only three
States knew. Asked if they have policies that address these children
and their problems, only six responded affirmatively.
Mr. Petit then cited a study in North Dakota, which he believes
reflects the situation in all 50 States and Washington, D.C. Rampant
substance abuse results in reality-based depression. Much of this
depression can also be traced to sexual abuse at a young age. Many
children who have suffered sexual abuse are not only not receiving
care, some are still living with the perpetrator of the abuse. Virtually
no record keeping exists regarding the relationship between the child
welfare system and the criminal justice system. The only two ways
to protect a child are to remove the child or the perpetrator from
the home. Mr. Petit stated, "I can tell you what happens in most
cases. The kids are yanked from the home. An 8-year-old girl is pulled
75 miles from her school district, and she internalizes this belief
that somehow she is responsible for ruining her family. She is now
away from them, and she is 80 miles away from her school. The kid
accepts that verdict, and there is not a finding of guilt against
the individual." He cited one case in which a father who sexually
abused his 5-year-old daughter is still living in the home with her.
No guilty plea, no prosecution, and the court thought this was the
best way to deal with the problem.
A 1996 study in Riverside, CA showed that of 47 reports of child
sex abuse, 10 cases were received by the district attorney, and only
4 resulted in charges being filed. Unfortunately, in 1 of 10 cases,
the perpetrator see a courtroom. In one jurisdiction, 4,000 cases
were received in a year, but only 50 to 100 were opened. Typically,
district attorneys will only prosecute if there is a confession,
and judges will only open a dependency proceeding if a criminal hearing
is started by the district attorney.
Many children are left unprotected. Substance abuse, child abuse,
and maltreatment result in angry children. As indicated by the book
Mr. Petit referred to earlier, by age 2 or 3, brain patterns are
formed, and it is almost impossible to break the formation of these
negative patterns of thinking, along with the anger and hostility.
Mr. Petit noted the States and localities have a great deal of willingness
to address these problems. However, a great deal of frustration exists
because the information available regarding these problems has not
always been shared adequately.
Ms. Massinga told the Council The Casey Family Program is a private
foster care agency that has been in operation for 31 years. A member
agency of the Child Welfare League, it is active in 13 States, primarily
in the West. The data presented by Mr. Petit is very familiar to
Ms. Massinga's agency from a practitioner perspective. For the past
30 years, more than 80 percent of the children who entered foster
care did so because of parental substance abuse and the complicating
factors of mental health problems and abuse and neglect issues. The
past decade has seen an increase in the number of such children who
come into foster care. As these children enter adolescence, little
hope remains of sorting out these problems so their families can
take care of them. These children experience many interruptions in
their schooling and have mental health problems themselves. A better
job must be done in determining the intensity and duration of treatment
needed for these youngsters and for their parents. This determination
must be made much earlier. Each year, 25,000 children leave foster
care. Few resources exist to help them become successful adults.
The Casey Family Program joined with the North Dakota Department
of Human Services, Juvenile Services Division, to discover effective
intervention strategies, especially for adolescents who have been
adjudicated delinquent and who have no probability of returning to
the parental home. With the right interventions, appropriate foster
families can be found for these youngsters, which can increase their
chances for a better future. Recently, The Casey Family Program joined
the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
to promote Staring Early, Starting Smart. This intervention strategy
gives early treatment to young families with substance abuse and
mental health problems. Its aims are to avoid issues of abuse, mitigate
issues of neglect, and avoid interruptions of family life.
Ms. Massinga has found that the array of community partners that
Mr. Petit referred to is available in many communities. This provides
the cross-disciplinary, cross-agency involvement that allows a holistic
approach to these issues to be taken for youngsters and young families.
Yet a lack of treatment resources still exists throughout the United
States, and the situation is getting worse. In particular, not enough
treatment opportunities exist for young parents who may be faced
with early removal of children. Ms. Massinga believes the recent
law passed by Congress that seeks to speed up adoptions and terminate
parental rights does not provide adequate local, cross-disciplinary
services and will leave more children at risk, thus increasing the
connection between dependency and delinquency. Organizations such
as The Casey Family Program want to assemble facts that will provide
information on the community level and that will ascertain the aspects
of intervention that have the greatest long-term effects for children
and their families.
A number of questions were taken from the participants. Mr. Jack
Calhoun, National Crime Prevention Council, noted some youngsters
have the same profile of incarcerated parents, drug abuse, and history
of sexual abuse, but do not enter the system. He asked Mr. Petit
and Ms. Massinga what insulates these children. Mr. Petit said if
enough risk factors are present, few children escape the system.
However, the children who fare best do so because of some positive
model of intervention, whether that model is a boys' club, a teacher,
a grandparent, or family therapy, that provides sustained attention
to children's needs. The mix of services needed is as different as
the children and families who need these services. Mr. Petit pointed
out that millions of children do not receive early intervention and
treatment services because of an overburdened child welfare system.
Ms. Massinga said the ability to read, adequate, uninterrupted schooling,
and the presence of a key person in their lives who gives them consistent
attention help children to succeed. She also said belief in themselves,
the sense of "I can make it," is especially important. She noted
many children do not receive discipline from their environment and
so do not have an internal sense of discipline.
Ms. Mary Ann Murphy, Casey Family Partners, said that 25 percent
of abused children become abusers as adults. Not enough information
has been gathered as to why the other 75 percent do not continue
this cycle. Underreporting and underresponse contribute to this lack
of knowledge. Ms. Murphy also pointed out that referrals to child
welfare agencies often come from family members or neighbors, rather
than professionals. Such referrals are less likely to be responded
Mr. Mastroianni asked how the system can ensure that those involved
in the child welfare system are not victims of discrimination later
in life. Mr. Petit replied that our society is very tough on 12-
to 14-year-olds who have engaged in criminal behavior. The key to
preventing discrimination is to identify these children early so
that they do not amass a set of records or undesirable characteristics.
Mr. Petit said it is ironic that referrals from neighbors are minimized,
while referrals from law enforcement receive more attention. However,
by that time, less chance exists for curbing the behavior. Unfortunately,
an adequate way to avoid stigmatization does not exist.
Ms. Higgins asked if communities have model programs for early intervention.
Mr. Petit responded that numerous worthwhile programs exist, but
they do not have the desirable penetration rate. "The question is,
are they getting to 5 of the 100 kids, or 40 of the 100 kids, or
100 of the 100 kids? It is no consolation to the one kid who is hungry
that 99 are not. At some point, it comes down to one kid a time." Ms.
Massinga again pointed to the need to know the nature and duration
of intervention required so that these successes can be transferred
more easily to other situations.
Mr. Fisher asked for a working group to be formed from the Council
to address this problem. He directed that an action plan be drafted
for the next meeting. Ms. Murphy and Ms. Rose Washington, Berkshire
Farms Center, will cochair this group. Mr. Fisher called the empirical
data presented by Mr. Petit and Ms. Massinga "impressive and depressive."
HHS Secretarial Initiative on Youth Substance Abuse Prevention
Mr. Fisher introduced the Honorable Donna E. Shalala, Ph.D., Secretary,
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Secretary Shalala
reported that the 1999 budget calls for an 11-percent increase in
substance abuse grants to the States, with an emphasis on getting
users into treatment programs. She said this budget reflects President
Clinton's leadership and a genuinely caring attitude about the children
no one else seems to care about.
Secretary Shalala outlined the Child Care Initiative, which is the
largest investment in child care in the history of the country. It
features an afterschool care component that includes adolescents.
The Federal Government hopes to see innovative approaches in this
area emerge from community-based organizations and schools since
it has no desire to dictate what these programs should look like.
The Secretary wants activities planned not only for afterschool hours
but also for the weekends. Although teenagers are on a different
time rhythm, they still need caring adults to be with them. She pointed
to the need to leverage the resources she believes Congress will
approve with local funds because the States have a great deal of
money. Putting enough money and ideas into play in substance abuse
and afterschool programs will allow practitioners to work with the
Administration and Congress to shape a set of dramatically different
programs for young people.
Secretary Shalala then spoke about another set of programs for younger
children, including infants. Very little infant care currently exists
in the Nation. Parents who are going to work or entering a treatment
program have no place to put a new baby. This initiative seeks to
develop quality child care for younger and younger children. Currently,
most parents place their children with a friend. Family daycare needs
to be upgraded. A number of networks are being developed to train
these daycare providers, even if these providers take care of only
a few children. These jobs need to be upgraded, with workers who
have more skills and who are paid on a regular basis. Such initiatives
represent a fundamental, multibillion-dollar investment in children.
Noting that research investments are also very important, Secretary
Shalala said, "Our understanding of why young people do what they
do is quite limited. We know more about basic science than we do
about behavioral science. We need to invest in prevention and understand
why some kids are involved in risky behavior. The explanation cannot
simply be poverty all the time." By investing in social science and
clinical research, a better sense of the strategies that should be
developed will emerge.
Secretary Shalala said, because not enough money is available for
substance abuse treatment, the States need to leverage the money
they are "sitting on." Republicans have asked the Secretary if the
money from the tobacco industry can be applied to a more integrative
approach regarding risky behavior. Rather than isolating tobacco,
they want to look at alcohol and drug abuse also. She said this will
be considered so that more careful and more strategic investments
can be made.
Secretary Shalala expressed some disagreement over the concerns
voiced by speakers earlier regarding the effects of the new adoption
bill. While very supportive of substance abuse treatment for natural
parents, she still believes that children cannot bounce around in
foster care. "We have some responsibility to make these decisions
quicker and, I think, ultimately fairer because 2 or 3 years in the
life of a child is a lifetime." She believes that the new adoption
bill establishes the balance needed between parental rights and the
welfare of children. She went on to say, "What we have now is simply
a disaster for a whole generation of young people, and we're coming
down now on their side to see if we can find a way to get them into
a much more stable situation much quicker."
On the issue of substance abuse, Secretary Shalala said marijuana
continues to be a very serious problem. Some success has occurred
in slowing down the use of drugs among younger children. "The question
is," according to the Secretary, "how do we sustain that conversation?
Somehow, when we turn the kids over to the larger society and they
no longer have babysitters or if the parents pull away from them
a little as they enter adolescence, we lose them to a larger culture
and to a different kind of message. We have to figure out a way in
which the messages and the expectations stay together for these young
people." She believes afterschool and weekend programs will address
with this need.
Secretary Shalala ended her remarks by pointing out that, in every
fairy tale across cultures, "kids are always saved by caring adults.
In the end, that is what we have to do." This must be done with the
tools available, whether they be new legislation or investments in
substance abuse education and treatment.
Mr. Fisher thanked Secretary Shalala and noted the powerful alliance
that she has formed with Attorney General Reno in bringing together
the efforts of HHS and the Justice Department.
Secretary Shalala was asked if there are alternative educational
programs for children with discipline problems so they do not have
to be removed from school. She said that HHS and the Departments
of Justice and Education encourage localities to develop alternatives
that will foster safer kids and safer schools. Performance partnerships
encourage mixing of funds on the local level, so that the needed
components, such as alternative schools, schools-within-schools,
or special support programs, are present in innovative programs.
Secretary Shalala believes barriers are being removed to empower
agencies to work together.
National Drug Control Strategy
Mr. Bilchik welcomed the Honorable Barry R. McCaffrey, Director,
Office of National Drug Control Policy. General McCaffrey said 14
other Cabinet officers work together on the Administration's drug
strategy and that a special coalition exists among the Attorney General,
Secretary Shalala, U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley, and
himself. He praised the Attorney General for her work as a child
advocate and a community coalition builder.
The focus of the drug strategy is prevention programs for adolescent
American youngsters, particularly those in the middle school years.
According to General McCaffrey, if youngsters from the ages of 9
to 19 do not smoke cigarettes, abuse alcohol, or use pot, they are "home
Only a small number of Americans are compulsive, drug and alcohol
addicted users. However, this group of 4.1 million is larger than
the number of persons in the active armed forces. This group is involved
in almost every social problem the country faces, accounting for
16,000 deaths per year and $70 billion in damages. They represent
one-third of all AIDS cases and one-third of all industrial accident
victims. They also drive the criminal justice system. Of the 1.7
million persons behind bars, Columbia University estimates 80 percent
have drug or alcohol-related problems. The National Institute of
Justice puts this figure at 54 percent. Whatever the number, the
number is going up, with perhaps a 25 percent-increase expected in
the next 5 years.
Five years ago, the Nation had seven drug courts. Currently, 200
are in operation and, by the turn of century, there may be 1,000.
These courts place the nonviolent, drug-using offender in a treatment
program supervised by the criminal justice system. This approach
has been shown to work at least one-third of the time. Under this
approach, if a person is arrested, that person will be tested for
drug use. If the test is positive, the person goes into treatment.
The person either cooperates with the treatment or goes back to jail.
General McCaffrey told the Council 80 percent of the drug effort
is dedicated to prevention for adolescents and treatment programs
that are linked to the criminal justice system in an effort to alter
the compulsive drug-using behavior of those 4.1 million Americans.
On other fronts, the Nation needs to work in cooperation with the
international community to stop the drug supply. Americans accept
modest constraints on their behavior in order to travel safely. General
McCaffrey wants to see an analog to air travel developed for the
39 border crossings in the Southwest. Within 5 years, a similar system
could be set up for the border crossings, using unintrusive technology.
Since the technology exists, this challenge is a matter of organization
and resource allocation.
To illustrate the point that the drug supply sometimes grossly exceeds
the demand, General McCaffrey said addicts in this Nation use 13
metric tons of heroin, while 390 metric tons are produced in the
world. The United Nations reports the United States accounts for
11 percent of the world demand, but it is the preferred customer
because Americans pay more for illegal drugs. The country spends
spend $67 billion a year on illegal products and thus fuels an international
General McCaffrey believes the most dangerous substance abuser in
America is a 12-year-old who smokes a lot of pot. This youngster
probably started by smoking cigarettes and abusing beer or wine coolers.
An addicted youngster costs $2 million over the course of his or
lifetime. Yet a child-at-risk program like the one cited in Miami
only costs $2,000 a year per child. This represents an excellent,
After going through the budget appeal process, General McCaffrey,
Secretary Shalala, and Secretary Riley secured $17.1 billion for
drug programs. Although the Nation will continue to pay for law enforcement
incarceration, the largest increase in the 1999 budget (14.5 percent)
will go toward prevention programs for young Americans.
General McCaffrey also outlined two new initiatives, the Drug-Free
Community Support program and the National Youth Media Strategy.
Over the next 5 years, $140 million will be used as seed money to
build more antidrug community coalitions. These groups sprang up
in the 1970's and early 1980's as a reaction to the prevalence of
drug abuse, which peaked in 1979. Since then, the Nation has experienced
a 50-percent reduction in use. These coalitions played a big part
in that downturn. Currently, more than 4,300 coalitions operate throughout
the Nation. DHHS will administer the program, and 14,000 coalitions
will be built in 5 years. This effort represents a modest investment
of money by Federal Government standards.
The second initiative is the National Youth Media Strategy, which
began through the Partnership for Drug-Free America. The advertising
community will develop television, radio, and print advertisements,
and then air them as public service announcements (PSA's). Congress
appropriated $195 million for a 5-year effort. These ads will appear
in 12 test cities for a 3-month test. The program will be evaluated
and then go nationwide in June. The initiative will also create four
interactive sites on the Internet. The National Institute of Justice
(NIJ) has said America does not have a national drug problem but
a series of local drug epidemics, so these ads will target local
markets with local messages, which will appear four times a week
with a 90-percent market penetration. General McCaffrey believes
that both these initiatives will help parents, educators, health
professionals, law enforcement, and communities, which are the heart
and soul of drug prevention efforts.
Mr. Petit asked General McCaffrey if resources could be expanded
to help substance-abusing mothers with babies. Due to the lack of
available treatment programs for this population, their children
are often taken from them. Mr. Petit does not think advertising will
affect this group. General McCaffrey agreed that this aspect of the
drug problem needs attention. However, he stressed this $195 million
will not come at the expense of any other program. He reminded participants
money cannot be transferred from one program to another. For example,
the money spent to fly an aircraft on a counterdrug mission over
Peru cannot be applied to drug treatment as a tradeoff.
General McCaffrey went on to say saturating the market with these
ads will create a demand and will make people realize the system
does not currently have the capacity to respond. By deliberately
overloading the system and creating the demand, the public will force
Congress to respond. Two-thirds of the ads will be aimed at youngsters
and one-third at adults. In the future, 60 percent of the ads will
target parents and 40 percent will target youngsters. General McCaffrey
believes a niche market could be created for parents who are drug
General McCaffrey told the Council, "All of us would like to believe
that drug abuse is a problem of the dual-diagnosed, drug abuse is
a problem of the dysfunctional family, drug abuse is a problem of
the economically deprived, drug abuse is a problem of anybody but
me and my family." He stated Americans believe 97 percent of compulsive
drug users are black. Yet 7 out of 10 drug abusers are employed,
and users are overwhelmingly white, not black or Hispanic. Drug abuse
is not a poor person's problem. The highest incidence occurs among
health professionals, particularly anesthesiologists, 10 percent
of whom have problems with alcohol, legal narcotics, or illegal drugs.
Black teens have a markedly lower incidence of drug abuse than any
other ethnic group. On a per capita basis, crack use by whites is
double that of blacks. The drug use problem exists across the board
in America. "If you want to worry about somebody's kids, worry about
your own," General McCaffrey said.
National Substance Abuse Coalition
Mr. Bilchik then introduced Mr. R. William Ide, Chair, American
Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Substance Abuse, and
Dr. Percy Wootton, President, American Medical Association (AMA).
Their organizations have formed a multidisciplinary coalition to
address the problem of substance abuse. Mr. Ide shared with the Council
his pride in the partnership the ABA and AMA have forged with one
another. The ABA has been working on the drug problem for the past
7 years. One of its accomplishments in this area is the unified family
court system, which Mr. Ide believes will ultimately reinvent the
court system in this country by providing one judge for each family.
While Mr. Ide has observed some successes in the workplace, he has
also met with frustration in dealing with business leaders. He believes
politicians are the most difficult to deal with because they do not
truly understand the problem of drug abuse and only want to build
more correctional facilities.
The history of cooperation between the ABA and AMA began with the
domestic violence issue. Their first successful venture in the drug
abuse area was similar to Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.).
Their partnership allows each organization to bring a piece of the
answer to the drug abuse puzzle. For the past 2 years, the National
Substance Abuse Coalition has brought together 30 national organizations
that, in turn, are building a mosaic of perspectives. For example,
corrections officials learn about the welfare system from those working
in that area. By developing a mission statement that includes their
guiding principles, the Coalition has been able to focus their efforts.
Dr. Wootton expressed his appreciation to the Attorney General for
recognizing the importance of this partnership. He also thanked the
Council for the invitation to speak to them on behalf of the AMA's
300,000 members. He outlined the coalition's approach to the problem,
an approach that is somewhat different from others. The coalition
wants to bring together America's public and private leaders to address
the substance abuse problem as primarily a public health crisis.
This public health crisis damages families, foments crime, drains
the economy, and undermines that Nation's strength. Unlike many other
public health problems, drug abuse is preventable, and treatment
and rehabilitation opportunities already exist. By enlisting member
organizations with grassroots support, the leaders of those organizations
can educate their members regarding the abuse of alcohol and other
drugs. These organizations can then harness their national lobbying
capabilities to influence drug policies and legislation.
By recognizing the drug problem in America is fundamentally a public
health problem, the criminal justice ramifications are then seen
as symptoms of this public health crisis. The focus of national policies
must shift to treatment. Dr. Wootton said when treatment is received,
crime will decrease and the quality of Americans' health will increase.
The Coalition is working on the parity issue to ensure that those
who seek drug treatment will have the same level of insurance coverage
they would have for other illnesses. It also wants treatment expanded,
especially for those who are clogging the Nation's criminal justice
system. He emphasized prevention is the bottom line. Very often,
preventing a disease is much easier than treating it.
Dr. Wootton said the key words that drive the Coalition are collaborate,
cooperate, and participate. He believes partnerships like the National
Substance Abuse Coalition are effective because they respond to the
need for a national discussion on policy priorities and resource
allocations. Such partnerships also bring together diverse approaches
and fragmented perspectives from communities throughout the Nation.
Public and private leaders can then work together without being derailed
by partisan politics.
Dr. Wootton assured the Council the AMA and ABA are ready to work
to end the scourge of substance abuse and improve the quality of
life of all Americans and their families. The Federal Government
can help best through their support of local efforts. Dr. Wootton
quoted Martin Luther King, who said that service is contagious. Community
service is a key principle among physicians. Giving back to one's
community is the message Dr. Wootton has tried to promote across
the country. This service to the community is essential since because
all health care and all politics are local. This Coalition can serve
as a national model for building partnerships that will provide the
right kinds of services on a local level. Dr. Wootton also stressed
that, if the system can reach juveniles, the cycle will be broken.
Mr. Bilchik acknowledged the shortage of treatment services. If
the demand in the field is created as General McCaffrey suggested
and linked with best practices, such as the Safe and Drug-Free Schools
programs, perhaps additional support will be secured and concrete
parameters established in partnership with Federal agencies.
Mr. Fisher observed Washington has the money to deal with this problem,
but it must be designated and appropriated. He stressed the Federal
Government needs to know what the demand for services is so that
resources can be channeled. He reminded the Council the Attorney
General is adamant that those in government listen, because all politics
is local. Mr. Fisher said, "There is a lot 'inside the Beltway' can
do if we are told what is needed out there. We need to know what
your assessments are."
Mr. Bilchik asked that the Council focus on the child abuse and
neglect area. Ms. Murphy and Ms. Washington will work with Ms. Wood's
support in forming a working group and performing outreach to the
other Federal representatives and practitioner members. He also requested
Ms. Wood to crystallize the opportunities that may exist among the
Federal agencies and practitioner members to connect with the ABA
and AMA and to further support and participate in the National Substance
Abuse Coalition. Mr. Bilchik closed the meeting at 4 p.m.
Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice
and Delinquency Prevention
White House Conference Center
February 3, 1998
Coordinating Council Members Participating in the Meeting
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
U.S. Department of Justice
Dr. Hoover Adger
Office of National Control Policy
Larry K. Brendtro, Ph.D.
Lennox, South Dakota
John A. (Jack) Calhoun
National Crime Prevention Council
District of Columbia
Robert W. Denniston
Center for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
University of Illinois at Chicago
U.S. Department of Labor
National Endowment for the Arts
Office of the Under Secretary (Enforcement)
U.S. Department of the Treasury
John Howard Association
The Honorable Gordon Martin
Massachusetts Trial Court
Newton Centre, Massachusetts
Employment and Training Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
The Honorable Barry R. McCaffrey
Office of National Drug Control Policy
County and Youth Court of Forrest County
Safe and Drug-Free Schools
U.S. Department of Education
Mary Ann Murphy
Casey Family Partners
President's Crime Prevention Council
District of Columbia
The Honorable Donna E. Shalala, Ph.D.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Deborah L. Vincent
Office of Indian and Public Housing
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Berkshire Farms Center
Canaan, New York
Gina E. Wood
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
U.S. Department of Justice
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
U.S Department of Transportation
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