Quarterly Meeting Summary
Office of Justice Programs
810 Seventh Street NW.
Main Conference Room
- The Honorable John Ashcroft,
Chair, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
- John J. Wilson, Vice Chair,
Acting Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention (OJJDP), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), DOJ.
- Ernie Allen, President, National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
- Robert Babbage, Senior Managing
Partner, InterSouth, Inc.
- Larry Brendtro, President,
- Barbara Broman, Acting Deputy
Assistant Secretary for Human Services Policy, U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services (HHS).
- Kimberly J. Budnick, Director,
Concentration of Federal Efforts (CFE) Program, OJJDP,
- Sonia Burgos, Director, Community
Safety & Conservation Division, U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
- The Honorable William Byars,
Jr., Children's Law Office.
- Jack Calhoun, CEO and President,
National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC).
- Diann Dawson, Acting Principal
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children
and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human
- Larry EchoHawk, Professor,
Brigham Young University Law School.
- Dr. Rodney Hammond, Director,
Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury
Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and
- Lorenzo Harrison, Administrator,
Office of Job Training Programs, Employment Training Administration,
U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
- Herb Jones, Director, Project
Outreach/External Affairs, Office of the Under Secretary
(Enforcement), U.S. Department of the Treasury.
- Edward Jurith, Acting Director,
Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP),
- Lee Kessler, Director, Federal
Partnerships, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
- Dr. Steve Marans, Director,
National Center for Children Exposed to Violence.
- The Honorable Gordon Martin,
Jr., Associate Justice, Massachusetts Trial Court, District
- Bill Modzeleski, Director,
Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program, ED.
- Richard Morris, Youth Specialist,
Office of Job Training Programs, Employment Training Administration,
- The Honorable Michael McPhail,
Judge, Juvenile Court of Forrest County, Mississippi.
- Chief Dennis Nowicki (retired),
Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department, North Carolina.
- John Pogash, National Juvenile
Coordinator and Juvenile Program Director, Immigration
and Naturalization Service, INS, DOJ.
- Kevin Rooney, Acting Commissioner,
- Scott Shanklin-Peterson, Senior
Deputy Chairman, NEA.
- Charles Sims, Chief of Police,
Mississippi Police Department, Hattiesburg.
- Bob Stone, Lieutenant Colonel,
U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
- Dr. Gladys Gary Vaughn, National
Program Leader for Human Sciences Research, U.S. Department
- Victor Vieth, Director, National
Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, American Prosecutors
- Jim Wright, Coordinator, Youth
Alcohol Programs, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
- Wendy Zenker, Acting Chief
Executive Officer, Corporation for National Service.
Welcome and Opening Remarks
The Honorable John Ashcroft, Chair, Attorney General,
The Honorable John Ashcroft welcomed
the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention (Council) to its quarterly meeting, thanking the
Council for devoting so much time and energy to the worthy
objective of protecting the Nation's children. While children
represent 25 percent of the culture, they are 100 percent
of the future. The Council's endeavors help the Nation's
children to achieve their full potential as happy, healthy
Americans. The presence of so many representatives from the
Federal partners reflects the commitment of the Council to
the Nation. Attorney General Ashcroft thanked the Council
for the work already undertaken, including efforts to combat
underage drinking and to enhance employment opportunities.
He continued by stating that there
was an unfortunate timeliness and urgency about the day's
meeting, given the dangers in what are considered to be safe
placesschools. Violence at school, predators at home
or on the Internet, and the threat of drugs sadly reflect
a broader problem of juvenile crime and victimization. Young
people make up about 17 percent of criminal arrests and one
third of all crime victims. Of the 22.3 million children
between the ages of 12 and 17, 1.8 million have been victims
of sexual assault, 3.9 million of physical assault, and 9
million have witnessed serious violence. In 1998, child protective
services departments investigated 2.8 million cases of child
abuse, 900,000 of which were substantiated. The harm does
not end with the incident. An abused child is 53 percent
more likely to be arrested as a juvenile and 38 percent more
likely as an adult.
DOJ intends to reduce gun violence
by prosecuting those who break the gun laws. Additionally,
DOJ intends to increase efforts to combat drug abuse. The
President's budget includes millions of dollars to increase
the police presence in the schools. This week, DOJ announced
new initiatives to find and prosecute those who enslave women
and children in sweatshops or in prostitution. However, the
government is not the only one who can accomplish these goals;
the Nation must rally to support the next generation.
Remediation isn't enough and is
almost impossible at some point. The role of parents is essential
on the frontline of protecting children. What seems simple,
such as eating dinner as a family, can be a very important
action. Parents and the community must play a role in creating
a culture of respect, decency, and responsibility.
This responsibility includes the
entertainment industry and the media. The glorification of
violence has a profound and lasting impact on the culture.
The culture must ask what its actions teach the next generation.
What is most troubling about video games and television programming
is that they teach so well. The responses of children can
become automatic based on what they learn and see. Violence
in the news also desensitizes, and violent television can lead
to aggressive behavior, according to the National Institutes
of Mental Health and the Surgeon General. Their recent report
notes that children may be more fearful and more aggressive
toward others because of exposure to violent television programs.
The impact of the research is even more disturbing when one
considers the amount of time spent watching television and
playing video games. The average American spends 4 hours
watching television daily9 years by age 65. By the
age of 18, the average U.S. child will have witnessed 200,000
violent television acts, 16,000 of them murders. The Nation
can and must do better at preventing childhood exposure to
violence, the Attorney General said; it must intervene to
prevent children from becoming witnesses to or victims of
violent acts, and bring those who perpetrate these acts to
John J. Wilson, Vice Chair,
Acting Administrator, OJJDP
Mr. Wilson also welcomed the Council
and spoke on behalf of the Council in welcoming Attorney
General Ashcroft. He said that the Council cannot underscore
enough the critical importance of the Attorney General's
leadership on these issues. Mr. Wilson also welcomed 32 students
from American University's "American Justice Semester." OJJDP
released a new bulletin, Keeping Children Safe, on
the issue of child protection in March, and has 50 different
programs that address child protective issues.
Protecting Our Children: Opening
Diann Dawson, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary,
Administration for Children and Families, ACF, HHS
Ms. Dawson thanked the Council
for the opportunity to make remarks on behalf on Secretary
Tommy Thompson. HHS has the principal Federal leadership
role in meeting the needs of the Nation's most vulnerable
children. The key child protection goals are to: ensure safety;
permanency; and well-being for children who require the care
and protection of public agencies.
The Children's Bureau, an HHS
program within ACF, has the lead in working with the States
to support a continuum of child welfare services, from the
prevention of child abuse and neglect to the identification,
investigation, and assessment of reported child maltreatment
to service interventions, including in-home services and
foster care. The Children's Bureau administers $6 billion
of programs. The President's budget for FY 2002 is proposing
to increase this amount, including $2 million more for Safe
and Stable Families programs. It also recognizes the special
needs of children with parents in jail by proposing grants
to States that will distribute funds tocommunity and faith-based
programs for the creation of mentoring programs for children
of prisoners. For those children who will not be adopted,
funds will be provided for young adults transferring out
of the foster care system, and an additional $60 million
will be provided as educational vouchers to the Independent
Living program. The budget also proposes that $400 million
be set aside within the Child Care Development Fund for vouchers
for parents to enroll children in educational afterschool
ACF's Family and Youth Bureau
funds a Shelter Program that provides basic shelter to runaway
and homeless youth, the Transitional Living Program for older
youth, the Street Outreach Program, and the National Runaway
Switchboard. ACF's HeadStart supports very young children,
from birth to 5 years, with comprehensive programs for language,
cognitive, social, school readiness, and emotional development.
This year's appropriation is $6.2 billion.
The HHS research agenda in the
area of child neglect and domestic violence is led by the
National Institutes of Health and supported by a consortium
of Federal partners. The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention has a division focused on violence and injury
prevention. The Green Book Project is funding six communities
across the country to improve the coordination of child protective
services, domestic violence, and the court system in handling
cases of domestic violence in which children are involved.
Ms. Dawson noted that for the
last 10 years, April has been designated by Presidential
proclamation as Child Abuse Prevention Month. HHS will mark
the occasion by hosting the Faces of Change conference in
Albuquerque, NM, on April 23. Also in April, Secretary Thompson
will release the latest statistics on child abuse and neglect.
Presentation: Reducing Childhood
Exposure to Violence
Dr. Steve Marans, Director, National Center for Children Exposed
to Violence, and Chief Dennis Nowicki (retired), Charlotte-Mecklenberg
Police Department, North Carolina
A partnership that began between
mental health and law enforcement and has been expanded to
include domestic violence advocates, juvenile probation officers,
school personnel, and child protective services is making
an important contribution to addressing the cycle of violence
and its effects on children and families. The Child Development-Community
Policing (CDCP) program is a 10-year model of collaboration
between mental health, law enforcement, and juvenile justice
that began with OJJDP support. Dr. Marans said this
program has been replicated and expanded to include other
stakeholders in helping children exposed to violence to succeed.
In the beginning, however, the CDCP idea seemed an
unusual partnership between professionals who regarded themselves
as being on the opposite side of the issue at times.
Although the initial collaboration
between law enforcement and mental health professionals was
not easy, each group recognized that alone they could not
solve the cycle of violence. Each group needed to learn what
the other did. After months of working together to share
each other's expertise, a team of child development specialists
and law enforcement officers established a program with the
following elements: child development fellowships for police
supervisors that exposed them to the effects of trauma; police
fellowships for clinicians on basic police practices;seminars
on child development; strategies for all rank and file; and
round-the-clock on-call clinicians. Each week, all stakeholders
assemble to discuss cases and develop comprehensive plans.
Typically, 10 referrals are generated in CDCP sites,
which are generally areas with populations of at least 140,000.
The program has seen more than 1,500 children and their families
in the last 3 years in New Haven.
Why should the community be concerned
about children's exposure to violence? When violence is unnoticed
and untreated, children are at higher risk for substance
abuse, school failure, anxiety and depression, poor concentration
and attention, sleeping and eating disorders, and impaired
relationships. The link between perpetration and witness
to violence is well established. Eighty percent of children
who committed homicides reported being witnesses to domestic
violence and being abused.
Chief Dennis Nowicki (retired), Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department, North
Carolina, shared an actual CDCP case of a 15-year-old boy, who was robbed
at gunpoint and very frightened. His mother called the police, who had been
trained in the CDCP program. Seeing the boy was afraid, the officer removed
his belt and gun and talked with him. He allowed the officer to take him to
the emergency room where he was seen by a clinician within minutes. Because
he was calm after the initial panic, the boy was also able to provide the officers
with a description that led to the arrest of the perpetrators. This boy had
himself been at risk for gang involvement but instead became involved in a
mentoring situation with a law enforcement officer.
The CDCP program coordinates
a range of services with followup activities that include
brief or long-term involvement with a clinician. The police
officer can establish a feeling of stability and security
for the child, especially in the case of domestic violence.
Both the number of repeat emergency calls for service and
the arrest rate for batterers have decreased. Unfortunately,
in the last few years, the program has been called on to
respond to entire communities and is developing a school
crisis response model as a result. To date, CDCP has
provided technical assistance for 200 crisis events in schools.
CDCP has led to significant
collaborative efforts among multiple agencies. The police
department now takes names of juveniles at the scene of a
violent incident and can respond with mental health assistance.
Clinicians make house calls. Juvenile and family courts routinely
include mental health professionals in the process, leading
to court orders that are more responsive to individual situations.
There is an enhanced level of communication between the schools,
police, courts, and others. CDCP allows the law enforcement
officer to continue the relationship after taking the police
report, enabling the officer to follow through by getting
help for the victim and enhancing the officer's own sense
CDCP has been replicated in a number of sites and has been expanded to
the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence, a program that takes
these core ideas and extends them to other children's services programs for
children exposed to violence. The Center will continue offering training and
technical assistance and promoting public and professional awarenessthrough
publications and the Internet. Future activities include a comprehensive program
Mr. Wilson recommended that this
program be replicated in every police department.
Jack Calhoun, President, National Crime Prevention Council, asked if Dr. Marans
was extrapolating general principles regarding children exposed to violence
from CDCP's remediative work. Unsupervised hours lead to difficulties
in school and in development, Dr. Marans said. Children need structure, supervision,
order, and security. The roles the schools and the community should play when
parents are not there need to be examined. The issues involved range from crisis
situations to teaching children what to do when they are feeling overwhelmed.
For more information on CDCP,
Presentation: Protecting Children
in the Information Age
Ernie Allen, President, National Center for Missing and Exploited
The National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has an award-winning Web site
that gets 3 million hits per day. Today NCMEC can do in minutes
what used to take weeks. It has a searchable database of
missing children that allows local law enforcement to print
posters and distribute them and provides photos of missing
children to 80,000 other Web sites that rotate banners with
these photos. This is the bright side of the Internet.
There is a dark side of the Internet,
too, where risks to children exist. In 1999, NCMEC and OJJDP
looked at the 24 million 10- to 17-year-olds who were regular
Internet users. One in five was sexually solicited online3
percent of these aggressively and two-thirds of them girls.
One in four children encountered unwanted sexual content
based on Internet searches, and 6 percent of this group received
harassing e-mail. The numbers are deceptive, because most
children don't report these solicitations to their parents
for fear of losing computer privileges. The greatest risk
exists for 13- to 14-year-olds. NCMEC surveyed law enforcement
agencies in 1999 and found 785 cases of children who had
been solicited and left home to meet the solicitor. The good
news is that while most children who were regular Internet
users handled similar situations responsibly, 785 children
still ended up on the police blotter.
How do perpetrators get to children?
If parents click on the America Online profiles, they will
find that children enter a great deal of personal information.
An Instant Messaging search also brings up many names that
include personal information about children. In an adjudicated
case, a 13-year-old girl who thought she was talking to a
young boy was talking to a 45-year-old repeat sexual offender.
In 1982, the Supreme Court, in
the Ferber v. New York decision, said that
child pornography is child abuse and therefore is not protected
free speech. As a result, child pornography disappeared from
the shelves of adult bookstores, gravitating to the mail
and eventually to the Internet, where it is rampant. A related
concern is "ambush" pornography, which appears
when someone does a search for a Web site and ends up at
a pornographic site instead; for example, whitehouse.gov
will take the user to the White House, but whitehouse.org
will send the user to a porn site. Sevenof the top 50 search
terms are sexually related. Number 33 of the most searched
terms is "Lolita," suggesting there is a huge child
Attacking the problem requires
prevention education and aggressive policing of the Internet.
NCMEC has produced publications on this issue and distributed
3 million Safety on the Information Highway bulletins
that lay out the basic safety rules and are addressed to
both children and adults. NCMEC is also developing new interactive
Internet games to teach Internet safety. Although software
that blocks access to pornographic Web sites is a good tool,
it can be defeated. Parents need to monitor use of the Internet
and educate their children about the risks. If a child is
online, he is in public.
Judge William Byars, Jr., Children's
Law Office, said his county has been giving computers to
foster parents who don't have them. He asked if NCMEC will
make the games and teaching information available to programs
such as this. Mr. Allen said the NetSmart program is being
beta tested now at Boys & Girls Clubs and will be available
in 6 to 12 months to South Carolina's program and others.
On the enforcement side, through
the leadership of OJJDP, there are now 30 Internet Crimes
Against Children task forces involving more than 120 agencies.
OJJDP is also helping to build the capacity of local law
enforcement. The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI's)
Innocent Images task force is 7 years old and is making arrests.
NCMEC has created a CyberTipline and has already handled
more than 38,000 leads. Analysts are triaging the leads,
looking at sites, and rating the content. The tipline is
linked to the FBI and to the Post Office for investigative
followup. The preponderance of cases have been for child
pornography, but 3,600 have been cases of trying to lure
children on to the Internet. NCMEC receives tips from Interpol
and other international organizations and received 35 leads
in a recent major arrest made by U.S. Customs.
Mr. Wilson added that OJJDP is
adding $6.5 million in 120 satellite sites to the original
Internet Crimes Against Children task forces and all will
have to have an enforcement component as well as a prevention
For more information on NCMEC,
Presentation: Protecting Children
From Violence: A Public Health Issue
Dr. Rodney Hammond, Director, Division of Violence Prevention,
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC
CDC has a strong tradition of
partnership with other Federal agencies to make a measurable
effect on programs. The mission of the National Center for
Injury Prevention and Control is to prevent injuries and
deaths from violence, accomplished in four steps following
the public health approach:
- Assess the problem using sound
science and epidemiology.
- Identify the causes of violence
that need to be addressed in prevention programs and policies.
- Evaluate interventions and
policies to determine which approaches seem to be working.
- Encourage widespread adoption
of programs and policies that are based on evidence.
The recent school shootings have
heightened public anxieties about youth violence. DOJ, ED,
and CDC will release a comprehensive investigation and analysis
of school shootings at the end of this school year. In contrast
to public perceptions, schools are basically very safe places.
Although the number of homicides is flat, multiple-victim
events have risen since 1994. The study raises some new issues
in school shootings, namely, the role of firearms, the role
of suicide, and the victimization of offenders. In the United
States, the homicide rate for youth under age 19 is 9 deaths
CDC recently released Best
Practices for Youth Violence Prevention, a Sourcebook for
Community Action to provide comprehensive tools to
address these problems and to look at the effectiveness
of prevention practices in four key areas: family-based
programs, home visits, conflict resolution skills, and
mentoring. The book also provides categories for communities
to consider when drafting policies to prevent youth violence.
Policies were chosen based on an analysis of the literature,
expert opinion, and consultation with many investigators.
CDC's National Youth Violence
Prevention Resource Center is a central source of information
on prevention and intervention programs, publications, research,
and statistics on violence committed by and against children
and teens. The center is a collaboration of CDC, HHS, DOJ,
ED, Agriculture, and Labor. The Web site receives
45,000 hits a day. Dr. Hammond recognized the efforts of
Dr. Susan Blumenthal, Assistant Surgeon General, who helped
launch the program. There are a number of excellent models
for youth violence prevention. CDC is currently funding a
4-year evaluation study of 52 middle schools in 4 States
to examine the effectiveness of three prevention strategies.
CDC is developing a database,
the National Violent Death Reporting System, that will expand
the ability to track problems at the State level and build
capacity to gather data on violence-related deaths. This
database will link databases from many Federal, State, local,
and university partners and allow the kind of tracking that
is now done on fatal auto accidents.
Child maltreatment is a huge public
health problem. It is estimated by the Office of Child Abuse
and Neglect that 903,000 children either experienced or were
at risk for maltreatment; however, the lack of uniformity
in the definition of child maltreatment from State to State
complicates the ability to measure the extent of the problem
accurately. For working purposes, CDC subscribes to the definitions
in the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. CDC is concerned
with child maltreatment because violence against children
is a gateway to other forms of violence and other public
health problems. CDC's preventing child maltreatment program
will follow a public health approach by:
- Building a strong foundation
with surveillance systems and reviewing instruments to
- Looking for commonalities
in the civil and legal definition of maltreatment.
- Developing and evaluating
programs to prevent child maltreatment.
- Compiling a database of good
- Conducting a social norms
analysis and environmental scans of other issues related
to child maltreatment, such as outcomes of abuse, the characteristics
of abusers, cultural differences in perspectives about
child maltreatment, and risk and protective factors.
Presentation: Prosecuting Child
Victor Vieth, Director, National Center for Prosecution
of Child Abuse, American Prosecutors Research Institute
In 1985, the National Center for
Prosecution of Child Abuse was established by the National
District Attorneys Association in response to an explosion
of reported child abuse cases. Its mission is to improve
the ability of prosecutors who are not trained to handle
these types of cases by providing training, technical and
legal assistance, and publications. Some prosecutors will
not prosecute a case of sexual child abuse without a confession
or clear medical evidence because the cases are so difficult.
The National Center is there to help frontline professionals.
Last year, the Center took 4,000 calls from child abuse professionals
asking for help. A number of those calls involved cases in
small, rural communities. The Center hosted 13 national training
conferences last year, but most training is at the State
and local level. Last year, the Center trained more than
9,000 professionals; this year, it hopes to train 12,000.
The Center's two-volume manual, The Investigation and
Prosecution of Child Abuse, is highly regarded.
The center also offers a course
that had its beginnings in the many calls prosecutors received
from police officers who did not know how to talk to abused
children. They asked how an investigator could empower a
child to speak and how to ask the right questions. The center
collaborated with Corner House, a child sexual abuse training
facility in Minnesota, to design a course to address this
problem. Finding Words is only available to teams of police
officers, prosecutors, and social workers. It is very intensive,
with 2 to 3 hours of reading nightly and videos of actual
sexual abuse interviews. Each participant interviews a child
about a nonabusive event like a trip to the zoo to validate
that the right types of questions are being asked. At the
end of the course, each participant receives an actual case
file and is required to work with a team to develop a strategy,
questions, and approaches. Participants interview actors
who play the children in forensic videos, which are critiqued.
The course concludes with a written essay exam. Finding Words
has had 300 graduates, but the program does not have the
resources to share the program with more trainers.
Judge Byars urged that the Finding
Words program, which has provided training with the same
annual $1.5 million congressional earmark since 1985, receive
John J. Wilson
Mr. Wilson thanked the Council
members and presenters for their participation and input,
with a special goodbye to practitioner member Judge Byars,
whose term ends this month. Judge Byars expressed his great
pleasure in being able to participate in the important work
of the Coordinating Council. He reminded the Council to continue
to coordinate these importantFederal programs with State
and local efforts, "Otherwise," he said, "we're
just bunch of fingers and what we need is a fist."
Mr. Wilson adjourned the Council
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