Quarterly Meeting Summary
Office of Justice Programs
This meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile
Justice and Delinquency Prevention provided members and the
public with information about and a vigorous discussion of
the Marijuana Initiative: Call to Action, an initiative of
the Office of National Drug Control Policy's Demand Reduction
Office. The Council was briefed on child delinquency, in particular
the development, intervention, and service needs of very young
offenders. The briefing and discussion that followed focused
on particular risk and protective factors that are crucial
to developing early intervention and protection programs for
The Coordinating Council will support new subcommittees that
will provide the opportunity to accomplish work between the
quarterly Council meetings. The initial subcommittees will
focus on family health, including growth, stability,
and strengthening the family, and mental and physical issues; tribal
youth; resources, including expertise, experience,
and volunteers, in addition to financial resources; drugs
and alcohol; and education.
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
(OJJDP), Office of Justice Programs (OJP)
J. Robert Flores, Administrator, Vice Chair, Coordinating
Kathi Grasso, Director, Research and Program Development Division
Bob Hubbard, Advisory Committee Management Officer
Karen Boston, Project Coordinator, Juvenile Justice Resource Center (JJRC)
Jason Dixon, Administrative Assistant, JJRC
Daryel Dunston, Senior Project Coordinator, JJRC
Jackie Siegel, Editor, JJRC
Executive Office for Weed and Seed, OJP
Robert Samuels, Acting Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Alex Escarcega, Juvenile Services Administrator
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
Susan Curde, Acting Director, Office of Juvenile Affairs
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
Lori Hunter, Research Analyst
Office of Congressional and Public Affairs
Mary Louise Embrey, Public Affairs Specialist
Office of Tribal Justice
Tracy Toulou, Director
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)
Eric Lindner, Deputy Director Youth Outreach Programs,
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs
U.S. Department of Education (ED)
Eric Andell, Deputy Under Secretary
Heather Carkuff, Program Analyst, Safe and Drug-Free Schools
Anthony Fowler, Interagency Coordinator
Robert Pasternack, Assistant Secretary, Special Education and Rehabilitative
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Trina Anglin, Chief, Office of Adolescent Health,
Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services
Sonia Chessen, Senior Policy Analyst
H. Westley Clark, Director, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
Harry Wilson, Family Services Bureau
Don Winstead, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Service Policy
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Sonia Burgos, Senior Program Manager
U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
Lorenzo Harrison, Administrator, Office of Youth Services
Charles Mondiano, Youth Program Specialist
U. S. Department of Transportation
Cheryl Neverman, Safety Specialist, National Highway Traffic
U.S. Department of Treasury
Herb Jones, Director, External Affairs/Project Outreach,
Office of the Under Secretary for Enforcement
Charlene Lane, Chief, Cooperative Agreement Section, Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms
Corporation for National and Community Service
Jeffery Gale, Program Specialist
Hank Oltmann, Director, Special Programs
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Doreen Conton, Environmental Protection Specialist
Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
Andrea Barthwell, M.D., Deputy Director for Demand Reduction
Darlind Davis, Chief, Prevention Branch
Nataki MacMurray, Policy Analyst
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
Lee Kessler, Director, Federal Partnerships
National Institutes of Health
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Redonna Chandler, Health Scientist Administrator
Jerry Flanser, Policy Analyst
Susan Martin, Health Scientist Administrator
Larry Brendtro, President, Circle of Courage
Larry Echohawk, Law Professor, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University
The Honorable Adele Grubbs, Juvenile Court of Cobb County, Georgia
The Honorable Gordon Martin, Associate Justice, Massachusetts Trial Court,
Patrick Aaby, Director of Government Affairs, The Channing
Tricia Bent-Goodley, Assistant Professor, Howard University
Joyce Burrell, Senior Juvenile Justice Advisor, American Institutes for Research
Jose Dimas, Government Reference Associate, National Center for State Courts
Steven Ellsworth, Consultant, Prosocial Solutions
Rhonda Elsey-Jones, Assistant Director, Tamar's Children
Erika Fitzpatrick, Executive Editor, Criminal Justice Funding Report, Capital
Stacey Gurian-Sherman, Director, Juvenile Justice Family Advocacy Initiative
William Howard, Assistant Administrator, Administrative Office of Courts, Maryland
Linda Kaplan, Executive Director, Danya Institute, Inc.
Erin Kliewer, Community Service Case Manager, Offender Aid and Restoration
Erica Lawson, Community Service Program Coordinator, Offender Aid and Restoration
Colleen Line, Sysinct
Rolf Loeber, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Epidemiology,
University of Pittsburgh
Michael Miller, Business Manager, Sysinct
Susan Mockus, Director of Advocacy, Tamar's Children
Kevin Morrison, Senior Attorney, American Prosecutors Research Institute
Robert Morrison, Director of Public Policy, National Association of State Alcohol
and Drug Abuse Directors
Ottoniel Perez, Program Manager, Bureau of Rehabilitation, Inc.
Sam Schildhaus, Senior Research Scientist, NORC/University of Chicago (Washington
Patricia Shahid, Lieutenant, Metropolitan Police Department
Deborah Shelton, Program Director, Associate Professor, Catholic University
J.J. Smith, Editor, CD Publications
Abby Taylor, Fight Crime Invest in Kids
Joyce Thomas, President, Center for Child Protection and Family Support, Inc.
Debra Whitcomb, Director, Grant Programs and Development, American Prosecutors
Henry White, Sergeant, Prince George's County Police Department
Dawn Wilsey, Senior Attorney, American Prosecutors Research Institute, National
Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse
Welcome and Introductions
J. Robert Flores, Vice Chair, Coordinating Council,
J. Robert Flores, Vice Chair, Coordinating Council, Administrator,
OJJDP, welcomed participants to the quarterly meeting of the
Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
The Coordinating Council is charged with making recommendations
and providing advice on youth to Congress and the President.
These recommendations must be based on current, reliable data
that are widely accepted by the public. In addition to good
data, the Council needs to investigate or develop tools and
resources to accomplish its mission. Mr. Flores announced the
creation of subcommittees that will facilitate the work of
the Council and provide the opportunity to accomplish work
between the quarterly meetings. The initial subcommittees will
focus on the following areas.
- Family health, including growth, stability, and strengthening
the family; and mental and physical issues.
- Tribal youth.
- Resources, including expertise, experience, and volunteers,
in addition to financial resources.
- Drugs and alcohol.
The subcommittees will be responsible for two things: assessing
the current programs and budgets on juvenile justice for each
Council agency, and identifying and expanding the use of technology
and tools--for example, the geographic information systems
(GIS) crime-mapping program, demonstrated at the previous day's
meeting. Mr. Flores thanked Herb Jones, Director, External
Affairs/Project Outreach, Office of the Under Secretary for
Enforcement, U.S. Department of Treasury, for urging the Council
to consider GIS as a tool for juvenile justice. Mr. Flores
suggested that it would be useful to map crime and overlay
grant programming information to determine effects. GIS could
be used to predict the effect and consequences of programs.
For example, it could identify the effect of narcotics interdiction
that occurs when drug dealers move into a new neighborhood
as they're chased out of the old one. As an alternative to
chasing a problem, he said, GIS could enhance the ability to
intercept a problem and make an impact on its solution.
Mr. Flores said he expects data from the subcommittees to
begin circulating within 45 days so the Council can have a
full airing and debate of the issues. When the Council considers
formal recommendations, it will proceed deliberately before
Presentation: Marijuana Initiative:
Call to Action
Andrea Barthwell, M.D., Deputy Director for Demand
Andrea Barthwell, M.D., Deputy Director for Demand Reduction,
ONDCP, reported to the Council on ONDCP's Marijuana Initiative.
The Office of Demand Reduction is targeting the large population
of youthful nondependent users in this effort.
Marijuana is a powerful and potent substance, and initiation
and use of the drug are at an all-time high. The younger children
are when they first use marijuana, the more likely they are
to use cocaine and heroin and become dependent on drugs as
adults The last National Household Survey on Drug Abuse showed
there were 14 million American users of marijuana. If use is
initiated before the age of 15, 9 percent use heroin, almost
54 percent misuse psychotherapeutics, and 62 percent use cocaine.
More young people are now in treatment for marijuana than
for alcohol. Marijuana use has increased dramatically as a
cause for emergency room visits, leads to changes in the brain,
and impairs the ability of young people to retain information.
Weekly users are almost four times more likely to engage in
Recent ballot initiatives in three States calling for decriminalization,
legalization, and medicalization of marijuana were rejected
by voters. Obstacles to the demand reduction initiative include
myths; cultural beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors; cynicism;
and hypocrisy. Myths about marijuana use include the following.
- Marijuana is harmless. There is clear and compelling
scientific evidence that this is not true.
- Marijuana is not addictive. There is clear and
compelling scientific evidence that this is not true.
- Youth experimentation with marijuana is inevitable.
Although 51 percent of high school seniors have tried the
drug, 49 percent have not.
- Marijuana is not associated with domestic and international
acts of terror or violence as are drugs like cocaine or
heroin. There is clear and compelling scientific evidence
that it is associated with violence.
- Prisons are filled with nonviolent, casual marijuana
users. There is clear and compelling scientific evidence
that this is not true.
ONDCP will use this clear and compelling scientific evidence
to deliver its message to the American public. There are potential
harms and risks associated with marijuana; there are increased
health and public health complications; and there are multiple,
negative consequences of marijuana use.
This initiative will be implemented within the framework of
ONDCP's other programs, including the Anti-Drug Media Campaign,
Just Say No, and Safe and Drug-Free Schools. The foundation
for preventing the initiation of drug use is through strengthening
the core values that are learned in the home. ONDCP is looking
to faith-based programs, physicians, laws, and public expectations
to reinforce and communicate the non-drug message. ONDCP is
working with ED to deter drug use through drug testing in the
schools and with the HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration's program to disseminate information
to treatment providers.
Mr. Flores asked if ONDCP has interacted with groups like
the Boys and Girls Clubs. Dr. Barthwell said that is an essential
component of the initiative; ONDCP has met with many secondary
social institutions to share its message and to hear from them
regarding their local successes. These institutions ask for
resources and materials to provide assistance to parents in
strengthening core values. They want collaboration and coordination
of the demand reduction effort. Those in the field see the
potential to change behavior over years to come, particularly
with the shift in focus to the non-dependent user.
Gordon Martin, Associate Justice, Massachusetts Trial Court,
District Court, asked if ONDCP is prepared to support and fund
drug testing in schools nationally. ONDCP is working with ED
through Safe and Drug-Free schools and has prepared a booklet
for schools to use in evaluating a testing strategy. Testing
has been successful where it has been employed.
Mr. Jones, Treasury, said that often when you tell youth what
not to do, they want to go right out and do it. Youth initiation
of drug use is rising again from lows in 1998 to 2000. Dr.
Barthwell agreed that in 1998 to 2000 there was a flattening
of drug use and initiation, but the last Household Survey shows
initiation is at an all-time high. The most recent ballot efforts
are not a fringe effort, but are very well organized and well
strategized in taking their case to the public. They have been
successful in shifting the values and mores that influence
youth; however, it should be noted that the gains made against
the tobacco industry are holding.
Has ONDCP included youth and/or adults who formerly used drugs
in its efforts to communicate with youth? Nataki MacMurray,
Policy Analyst, ONDCP, said that the treatment community is
filled with former users who have made alleviating marijuana
abuse their personal mission. ONDCP has a target effort to
address parents of this generation who may have experimented
with drugs. Today, marijuana is a different drug, more potent
and often laced with other chemicals.
Stacey Gurian-Sherman, Director, Juvenile Justice Family Advocacy
Initiative and Resources, asked if there is any connection
between illicit drug use and the use of Ritalin and psychotropic
drugs at very young ages. What do the mixed messages from drug
companies on feeling better through little pills say to young
people? This is an argument that the legalization initiatives
use, Ms. MacMurray said, and the pharmacological industry is
in business to sell pills. The messages are mixed, and we need
to be clear and consistent about the differences between treating
clinically diagnosed diseases like depression and illegal drug
use. Mr. Flores asked if there are any studies on use of Ritalin
or other drugs for behavior control and consequent drug use.
Trina Anglin, Chief, Office of Adolescent Health, Maternal
and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, said
that many studies have been done that demonstrate the correlation
is between untreated conditions and drug use. Those
suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
have a 25-percent chance of developing substance use disorders
or conduct disorders and thereby becoming involved with the
juvenile justice system; but, if medicated, they are more likely
to succeed and less likely to engage in adverse, risky behavior.
Studies suggest that recent decreases in youth suicide may
be attributable to increased use of prescriptions by primary
Joyce Thomas, President, Center for Child Protection and Family
Support, Inc., asked how the Marijuana Initiative will be structured
to reach kids who are not in a family (or are on welfare)
and therefore are at much higher risk. What can child welfare
and community groups do?
Ms. MacMurray responded that ONDCP advocates a thorough community
needs assessment and, when that community includes high-risk
youth, collaboration with all the stakeholders--child protective
services, foster families, schools, faith-based institutions,
adults who are influential--who can reach out and influence
Mr. Flores closed the discussion, suggesting that the Coordinating
Council could develop a Council Web site where these productive
and informative discussions could continue and where questions
from the agencies and public could be answered. Judge Martin
asked that Council members receive more information on Dr.
Barthwell's discussion of how marijuana may pose a greater
harm than alcohol.
Presentation: Child Delinquency: Development, Intervention,
and Service Needs
Rolf Loeber, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry,
Psychology, and Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh
Rolf Loeber, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and
Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, reported on the research
findings of OJJDP's Study Group on Very Young Offenders. The
report, based on hundreds of studies that describe the developmental
course of child delinquency and key risk and protective factors,
demonstrates the need to invest in effective early prevention
and intervention efforts with children at risk of becoming
child delinquents. OJJDP is publishing a special series of
bulletins based on these studies of child delinquency.
The number of child delinquents--juveniles between the ages
of 7 and 12 years--has increased by a third over the last 10
years. These statistics are troubling not only because offense
patterns are generally more serious for child delinquents,
but because these very young offenders are likely to continue
their involvement in crime. In 1997, 250,000 young offenders,
one-fourth female, were arrested. Although this is a small
group, it poses a disproportionate threat to public safety
and uses a disproportionate amount of resources from education,
juvenile justice, and mental health providers among others.
Research shows that male juvenile offenders begin to have behavior
problems on average at age 7, much earlier than the average
age of the first court contact, which occurs at age 14 ½ .
The interim period of time, 7 ½ years, can be a window of opportunity
Youth referred to court for a delinquency offense for the
first time before the age of 13 were far more likely to become
chronic juvenile offenders than youth first referred to court
at an older age. The age of minimum criminal responsibility
differs greatly by State; however, in some States, children
as young as age 6 are thought to be capable of understanding
court proceedings. Child delinquents are two to three times
more likely to become serious, violent, and chronic offenders
than adolescents whose delinquent behavior begins in their
teens. Child delinquents account for one-third of all juvenile
arrests for arson, one-fifth for sex offenses and vandalism,
one-eighth for burglary and forcible rape, and one-twelfth
of juvenile arrests for violent crime overall. Focusing on
child offenders rather than later onset delinquents offers
a great opportunity to intervene early and reduce overall levels
The sequence of persistent, disruptive problem behavior that
leads to a risk for child delinquency includes a high degree
of noncompliance with adults, truancy, and substance use. Eventually,
from that group, a minority will become serious youthful offenders.
Not all disruptive children become child delinquents and not
all child delinquents become serious, violent, or chronic juvenile
offenders; however, the majority of serious, violent, and chronic
juvenile offenders have a history of problem behaviors that
began in childhood. Child delinquents are two to three times
more likely to become violent--a risk that applies to both
males and females and across different ethnic groups. There
is one exception: children who have later onset delinquency
but who live in the worst neighborhoods still carry a risk
for serious offending later.
There are a number of myths about child delinquents:
- Young children are too young to be processed in the juvenile
- There is a new and more serious breed of child delinquents.
- Today's child delinquents are destined to become tomorrow's
- Most delinquent acts should be ignored because children
will grow out of this kind of behavior.
- Little can be done to prevent child delinquency or its
escalation to chronic crime.
- Incarceration is the best response to serious child offenders.
- A single agency can deal with child delinquents.
Risk factors for child delinquency include factors in the
following domains: individual, family, peer group, neighborhood,
and the media. The higher the number of risk domains and the
lower the number of protective domains, the higher the risk
of later persistent, serious delinquency. Individual factors
that are important include early aggressiveness, delinquency,
substance and/or alcohol use, truancy, hyperactivity, impulsive
behaviors, attention problems, risk-taking, and daring behavior.
Physical fighting is an important indicator, as is cruelty
to people or animals, covert behavior such as lying or stealing,
getting along poorly with others, and fire setting.
Language development also affects the development of child
delinquents. Many of these children have language processing
problems that affect their ability to respond to rules and
moral standards. Temperamental characteristics and early school
experiences, which are generally negative, affect outcomes
as well. Early-onset delinquents often come from families with
criminal backgrounds, teenage parents or single parents, very
large families, or families with childrearing practices that
include child maltreatment, poor supervision, or inconsistent
or punitive discipline.
In a Pittsburgh study of 30 individuals who had committed
homicide, all had highly problematic behavior as children,
with episodes of physical fighting that eventually spilled
over into more serious violence. Ninety percent of the homicide
offenders were known to be highly violent prior to the homicide.
One-third of boys who engage in physical fighting eventually
commit serious violence, and 1 in 10 of the violent group eventually
commits a homicide. The progression from physical fighting
to more serious violence to homicide is a developmental sequence
of escalation in aggression, and this has implications for
prevention and intervention. The prevention of violence and
homicide should begin with the reduction of physical fighting
at a young age.
There are a number of promising programs, all based on a comprehensive
model incorporating prevention, early intervention, graduated
sanctions, and special needs of child development. Most involve
coordinated efforts among police, the public, prosecutors,
judges, schools, child welfare agencies, and mental health
services. Practitioners agree that more coordination is needed
to deal with very young offenders, and some type of interagency
mechanism to do so should exist. Dr. Loeber said that there
is a strong need to develop training protocols for parents
and professionals and an accompanying single Web site that
combines all of the agencies' resources into one accessible
location. The Study Group on Very Young Offenders concludes
that national and State leadership is needed to fund and coordinate
research, screening, prevention, and intervention with regard
to child delinquents.
Charles Mondiano, Youth Program Specialist, Office of Youth
Services, DOL, asked if the additional risk factor for children
who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods would change any proposed
intervention efforts in those neighborhoods? Dr. Loeber said
the study findings don't remove the need to reduce child delinquency
in those neighborhoods, but the caveat is that it is not sufficient.
There are children who go through the high-risk period up to
adolescence without becoming child delinquents, but because
they are still at risk after that in disadvantaged neighborhoods,
intervention programs are warranted.
Susan Curde, Acting Director, Office of Juvenile Affairs,
INS, suggested that parents of upper and middle class youth
involved in shootings might not believe their children could
have these problems. Should these parents be a target population
also? Dr. Loeber said the proportion of serious crime from
advantaged neighborhoods is small. The only predictive factor
is physical aggression, which is a uniform predictor of violence
regardless of social class.
Robert Pasternack, Assistant Secretary, Special Education
and Rehabilitative Services, ED, asked if children who have
disabilities or who participate in special education programs
were part of the Study Group's research. Although Dr. Loeber
could not provide exact numbers, he said that, compared to
later onset offenders, there is a much higher proportion of
learning disabilities in earlier onset offenders as well as
a higher percentage of hyperactivity, conduct problems, and
depression. Two-thirds of these children never have contact
with agencies or have contact only once or twice.
Alex Escarcega, Juvenile Services Administrator, Federal Bureau
of Prisons, said he was very interested in capital offender
treatment programs as they relate to youth who have committed
homicide and asked if there is any research on the effectiveness
of victim impact panels in the overall treatment of young offenders.
Dr. Loeber was not aware of such research. Eric Andell, Deputy
Under Secretary, ED, asked if there is any science indicating
that States that intervene judicially earlier have greater
success, or any research on States that extend juvenile status
before shifting to adult status. Dr. Loeber said that States
differ significantly with regard to age of criminal responsibility,
but he is not aware of any evaluation studies on these particular
Ms. MacMurray, ONDCP, noted that the risk and protective factors
are the same for substance abuse, truancy, teenage pregnancy,
and dropouts. Would it be a viable approach for all agencies
to focus on these risk and protective factors in general? These
risk factors are shared by a variety of problems, Dr.Loeber
agreed; children's exposure to these risk factors puts them
at risk for a number of bad outcomes.
Harry Wilson, Family Services Bureau, HHS, said early crimes
and deviant behaviors such as arson and sexual acting out are
red flags for child maltreatment. Has child victimization been
studied in relation to child delinquents? Dr. Loeber said the
data referred to above were reported in the courts but agreed
this was an area for further study. Rhonda Elsey-Jones, Assistant
Director, Tamar's Children, said trauma is not often addressed.
Nine of ten women in Tamar's Children, a program for women
with children in jail, have experienced trauma, yet no one
addresses it; many of their children are given medication for
ADHD, but the roots of their problems and exposure to trauma
are not addressed. Dr. Loeber said there are many causes of
child delinquency addressed through the risk factors, not a
single trauma or factor; for example, ADHD is caused by biology,
but the behavior problems that accompany ADHD can be caused
Jeffery Gale, Program Specialist, Corporation for National
and Community Service, asked if there is a connection between
literacy rates and child delinquents. Many do have serious
problems with reading, writing, and math, but whether these
are causes or correlates is not known, Dr. Loeber said. In
response to a question regarding connections between video
games and delinquency from Steven Ellsworth, Consultant, Prosocial
Solutions, Dr. Loeber said that the connection between violent
television shows and delinquency is much better established
than a connection between violent video games and delinquency.
Dr. Anglin, HHS, suggested looking at clinicians as first
responders to identify these youth. Disruptiveness in the family
and emergency room visits are early indications of problems
that a clinician could address with the proper training and
connections. Lori Hunter, Research Analyst, COPS, said
that the SEARCH Institute has identified 40 developmental assets
that could be used as a framework for ensuring that protective
factors are present in a child's life.
J. Robert Flores
The Coordinating Council will set regular Thursday and Friday
dates for the quarterly meetings so members can plan their
calendars in advance. Mr. Flores thanked the Council members
and guests for their participation and comments and adjourned
Back to Meeting Archives