5                       JANET RENO
7                      HYATT REGENCY
8                 CRYSTAL CITY, VIRGINIA
9                      JUNE 7, 1996
1               MS. RODRIGUEZ:  Good afternoon,
2     ladies and gentlemen.  My name is Raquel
3     Rodriguez.  I'm the chairperson of the ABA
4     Young Lawyers Division.
5               It is my privilege and honor this
6     afternoon to present to you a fellow Miamian,
7     the Attorney General of the United States, who,
8     prior to becoming Attorney General in 1993, was
9     the state attorney for Dade County for many
10     years.
11               Although she was initially appointed
12     by our Governor in 1978, afterwards, she was
13     re-elected overwhelmingly five times.  For
14     anyone who is familiar with our community, in
15     Dade County, you know that it is one of the
16     most politically and culturally diverse
17     communities in the country.
18               But there is always one thing we
19     could all agree on, and that was that we wanted
20     Janet Reno as our state attorney.
21               Ever since the late 1970s and early
22     '80s, Ms. Reno has been extremely consistent in
1     her observations of the need to start with
2     children when they are young.  And I remember
3     her saying at all of these meetings, "You can't
4     wait until they're 12 years old or 14 years old
5     to start.  You have to start at a young age."
6               And I'm happy to see that the rest of
7     us are now catching up with her.  She is an
8     excellent role model for all of us as attorneys
9     and an excellent role model for our children.
10               Ladies and gentlemen, the Attorney
11     General.
12                    (Applause)
13               ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  Thank you so
14     much, Raquel Rodriguez.  And thank you, Judge
15     Harris and Mr. Davidson, for your great work.
16     Thank you all for your commitment to showing
17     people how we can resolve conflicts without
18     knives and guns and fists and how we can
19     problem solve working together.  You are an
20     example for all lawyers.
21               And I, as Ms. Rodriguez says, have
22     had a focus on children.  And I particularly
1     appreciate this conference and your work.
2               I'd like to put it in context, to
3     talk about where we're at, and what we're
4     talking about in terms of --
5                    (Interruptions)
6               Can you hear me now?  Well, this is
7     going to be short.  How's that?
8               Sometimes, we get involved in what
9     we're doing and we don't see ourselves in terms
10     of a bigger picture.  Yesterday, I was in
11     Boston to focus on what Boston was doing about
12     youth violence, since they seem to have been
13     able to come together better than many cities.
14               There was a district judge who worked
15     with the local hospital.  The local hospital
16     had developed a program for children who were
17     witnesses to violence, in order to teach them
18     how to cope and to address issues of conflict
19     resolution, to and address issues of how to
20     cope with conflict.
21               There was a Youth Violence Task Force
22     headed by a lieutenant who worked with street
1     workers in not only reaching out to enforce the
2     very serious offenders, but to work with other
3     offenders to resolve their conflicts
4     peacefully, and to pull them back from drugs
5     and gangs.
6               It was so exciting to see a community
7     start to blend together.  And it made me think,
8     as I thought about what I was going to say to
9     you today, that we have to look at the context
10     that we're in.
11               We look at more and more children
12     born into families that don't know how to cope
13     from the day the child is born:  A crack
14     addict, a mother who is overwhelmed, a single
15     parent struggling to make ends meet and not
16     knowing how to cope without extended family.
17               And I have never appreciated it as
18     much in understanding what infancy to 3 years
19     old means, as I have now at a distance from
20     observing my great-niece and great-nephew, ages
21     2 and 4.  And when they come to visit me, or
22     when I come home for that brief visit, they
1     watch how conflict is resolved by a parent who
2     is with them every hour of the day if their
3     grandparents aren't there, and to see what can
4     be done from an early age.
5               But too many children in America do
6     not have that now, do not have that nurturing,
7     do not have that bonding.  They just don't have
8     anything in their lives in those early years.
9               It is worth sharing with you -- and
10     some of you have heard these figures -- what
11     the child development experts in our largest
12     hospital in Miami told me.  I tried to figure
13     out what to do about crack-involved infants and
14     their mothers.
15               They pointed out to me that 50
16     percent of all learned human response is
17     learned in the first year of life, that the
18     concept of reward and punishment and a
19     conscience is developed during the first three
20     years of life.
21               It is very difficult to address your
22     tasks with a 6 year-old, or a 9 year-old or a
1     12 year-old, if they did not have a strong
2     foundation formed in those first three years.
3     That's the reason I have been such a major
4     proponent of what I call "educare" and a major
5     proponent of the school system recognizing that
6     if we're not to put all our monies into
7     remedial programs, we have to develop
8     comprehensive educational programs for our
9     early years, if we are going to make a
10     difference.
11               So as you approach this task, you
12     can't start too young.  I think we can learn a
13     lot as we learn through educare facilities, and
14     through programs where children witness
15     violence.  I would urge you to go back to your
16     community and talk to police officers who form
17     safe street units, talk with the local hospital
18     and public health specialist, and see what can
19     be done to focus on youngsters who are the
20     witnesses to violence, to see if we can't make
21     difference both in dealing with the trauma of
22     the violence, and in teaching them and then the
1     whole family how to resolve without conflict.
2               This is particularly necessary in
3     whole area of domestic violence.  Clearly,
4     violence is a learned behavior.  And one of the
5     best places to learn it in America today is in
6     the home; we have watched over the years an
7     escalation of domestic violence.
8               There are monies that you may be able
9     to tap into that can make a difference in this
10     area.  This past year, through the Violence
11     Against Women Act, we were able to distribute
12     $425,000 to each state.  For some states, that
13     is just a drop in the bucket, but it was meant
14     as a down payment.
15               This year, we will distribute $130
16     million to all the states with each state
17     guaranteed a minimum amount.  This money is to
18     be distributed through the State Criminal
19     Justice Councils in each state.  But I urge you
20     to look into that, to see what could be done to
21     develop a component of domestic violence that's
22     focused on resolving the conflict that children
1     see and the trauma that children see, and
2     teaching the family, as a whole, how to work
3     through that violence and to move ahead with a
4     particular focus on children.
5               As we watch children grow older,
6     though, as we watch them come to school, we
7     also learn startling things.  A 1992 study
8     conducted by the Carnegie Foundation determined
9     that only 60 percent of an adolescence
10     non-sleeping time is taken up by school,
11     homework, chores, meals, or employment.
12               Many adolescents spend the remaining
13     40 percent of their non-sleeping time alone or
14     with peers without adult supervision or with
15     adults who may negatively influence their
16     lives.  It is no surprise, therefore, that we
17     see juvenile and conflict escalating
18     immediately after the school doors close at
19     3:00 in the afternoon.
20               The more recent Carnegie Foundation
21     reports says that children are more alone and
22     unsupervised than at any time in our history,
1     and more children are at a risk for so many
2     factors, whether it be drugs, alcohol, or
3     whether it be conflict itself.
4               How do we develop programs that can
5     focus on these kids?  I urge you to link with
6     youth services authorities and with schools in
7     terms of developing programs that can focus on
8     those children in after-hours programs.  If the
9     school doesn't have it, find out what we can do
10     in terms of teaching conflict resolution, in
11     terms of mediating disputes, in terms of
12     working out neighborhood problems, in those
13     after-hour times.  It becomes increasingly
14     critical if we are to address the problem as a
15     whole.
16               But what I urge you to do is to look
17     at the whole picture.  What has troubled me so
18     often in these last years, as I've grappled
19     with the issue of children, is that somebody
20     will develop a perfectly wonderful program over
21     here.  They will have thought it out.  They
22     will develop it.  They will implement it.  It
1     will be well thought out, but then there won't
2     be anything else to go with it.
3               There won't be other afternoon
4     programs.  There won't be positive activities.
5     You will teach them to resolve conflict.  But
6     then they go out and they're alone, they are
7     unsupervised, and your work goes for naught.
8               Or perhaps there will not be a
9     truancy prevention program that gets them back
10     into school, or there will be substandard
11     housing, or there will be a drug problem in the
12     family that can't be addressed.  We need to
13     look at the whole picture.
14               And as you return to your
15     communities, I would urge you to figure out how
16     your community can reweave the fabric of
17     society around all our children in a
18     comprehensive way, with the schools, the
19     police.  The police functioning both from the
20     law enforcement prospective, as well as from
21     the prevention perspective.  Parks and
22     recreation specialists can be wonderful allies
1     in your endeavors.  The business sector can be
2     a marvelous ally.
3               One of the complaints that I get from
4     the business sector, for example, when they
5     talk to me about giving young people job
6     opportunities is, "Janet, they don't know how
7     to get to work on time.  When they get to work,
8     they don't know how to take instruction, and
9     when they get frustrated, they act out, and
10     they get mad at everybody, and they don't know
11     how to work with others."
12               This is a wonderful setting to
13     demonstrate what we can do in terms of
14     problem-solving and conflict resolution in that
15     type of setting.
16               And for example, yesterday in Boston,
17     I was told of a program that John Hancock had
18     developed with the Boston Police Department
19     that provided for a summer of opportunity.
20     Young people who had been in a program,
21     supervised by community police officers and by
22     probation officers, developed the idea that
1     these children needed job opportunities as
2     well.
3               But they didn't need just job
4     opportunities, they needed life skills to
5     prepare them for job opportunities.  So for six
6     weeks, children were brought to the John
7     Hancock Program, given these life skills, and
8     taught how to interview.  And just think what
9     could happen if we had a conflict resolution
10     and a mediation component to that, and what we
11     could teach children to do in terms of
12     preparing them for job opportunities.
13               Then they take those skills that have
14     been developed during the summer program, and
15     provide an internship for the remainder of the
16     school that follows from October through May,
17     in a program that works from about 3:30 in the
18     afternoon until 7:00 at night.
19               Again, if we look at our work in the
20     context of the whole, we can make it ever so
21     much more effective.
22               President Clinton has made a
1     commitment to put 100,000 community police
2     officers on the streets of America.  We have
3     17,000 on the streets now; 43,000 are
4     authorized.  And it so exciting to travel this
5     nation and to see the difference that these
6     police officers are making.
7               What if you came to those police
8     officers and said, "We would like to work with
9     you.  In developing skills, you can teach us
10     something about policing, and how we may be
11     supportive of you.  And we can teach you
12     something about how to work with children in
13     helping them resolve their conflicts peacefully
14     instead of getting into gang fights"?
15               I urge you to contact your local
16     police department and see if they have a
17     community policing component or a DARE
18     component where you could provide extraordinary
19     benefits based on your knowledge and your
20     experience.  There is so much that can be done
21     if we look at the problem as a whole.
22               But even then people are telling me,
1     "It just won't work.  It's too big.  My one
2     program can't make a difference."  I have now
3     had the opportunity to travel across the
4     country, to listen to the concerns of young
5     people, to talk to people about what's working
6     and not working.  And I can tell you that what
7     you do is making a difference.  And I see it
8     happening.
9               I have never felt so encouraged.  I
10     have never felt so sure that we could turn the
11     problem of youth violence around and that we
12     could give our children a future as I have
13     during these last six months.
14               As I have seen community after
15     community come together, trying to fit all the
16     pieces of the puzzle together in a whole that
17     can truly make a difference.
18               But I've heard of specific programs
19     that are working, where those that have been
20     the beneficiary and those who have watched the
21     program in action tell me it is making a
22     difference.
1               For example, young people in the "We
2     Can Work It Out School Program," developed by
3     the National Institute for Citizen Education
4     and the Law and the National Crime Prevention
5     Council, are making a difference.
6               Because of their peer mediation
7     program, they have reduced school suspensions,
8     detention, and expulsion.  They've decreased
9     the need for teacher involvement in student
10     conflicts.  And they have improved the climate
11     in the school.
12               The New Haven Child Development
13     Policing Program is another example of
14     community policing working, with real experts
15     in the area.  These officers are working with
16     children and their families to prevent the
17     violence in the first place.
18               In Miami, I listened to a public
19     health nurse tell me that, 30 years ago, she
20     used to go knock on the lady's door, the lady
21     would invite her in for a cup of coffee, and
22     she would tell this brand new mother about
1     infant feeding, about formulas, about nurturing
2     and bonding, as they sat around the breakfast
3     table.
4               She said, "I'm afraid to go anymore."
5     And it gave me the idea, why don't I develop a
6     team of a community police officer, a public
7     health nurse, and a youth counselor, who can
8     make the home visit together to find out why
9     the child might be truant, or what problems
10     might have developed, or has what caused the
11     conflict?   That was very successful as I was
12     leaving, despite Hurricane Andrew.
13               But the major conflict that had
14     developed, and where they so needed help in
15     that particular context, was they were getting
16     calls from the mother of the teenager.  And the
17     conflict existed between mother and son, and
18     they didn't know how to resolve it.
19               Again, your work could become such a
20     marvelous component of what so many people face
21     in these communities.
22               Similarly, Big Brothers and Big
1     Sisters are giving youth at risk someone to
2     talk to and guide them into adulthood.  This
3     program has made young people less likely to
4     start using drugs and alcohol, less likely to
5     hit someone, improved their school attendance
6     and performance, and improved their peer and
7     family relationships.
8               There are programs that are working.
9     And we are trying to build on that through the
10     National Juvenile Justice Action Plan, in which
11     we have tried to describe the threads that are
12     necessary to pull all of this together.
13               One of our objectives is to provide
14     opportunities for young people to engage in
15     positive activities, to make sure that there is
16     someplace to go to and someone to talk to.  We
17     can, again, make a difference, if there's a
18     mentor.  But if you teach that mentor and if
19     you develop, with a mentoring program in your
20     community, the skills that you possess, you can
21     enhance that mentor's ability to help that
22     child cope with growing up.
1               Just last week, I participated in
2     what I thought was one of the great examples of
3     new technology and what it can do.  The Office
4     of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
5     sponsored a national satellite teleconference
6     on conflict resolution programming and school,
7     community, and juvenile justice settings.
8               This satellite teleconference
9     provided information to over 485 sites and
10     approximately 10,000 participants on conflict
11     resolution programs that have reduced the
12     number of violent juvenile acts in schools,
13     homes and neighborhoods, decreased the number
14     of chronic school absences, reduced the number
15     of disciplinary referrals and the suspensions,
16     and increased academic instruction during the
17     school day.
18               I was on the hook-up for a bit by
19     telephone.  And it was so interesting to hear
20     from people around the country who had either
21     started or wanted information on how to get
22     conflict resolution and peer mediation programs
1     started.
2               For those who had started, they were
3     so encouraged.  But they were already branching
4     out to other parts of the community, what can I
5     do to get this student back into the mainstream
6     of education?  What can I do about truancy
7     prevention?  What can I do to teach somebody
8     about job skills?
9               And you realize that when we talk
10     about these issues, we've got to look at the
11     problem as a whole, and we've got to teach that
12     child problem-solving skills.
13               It is exciting, though, to see how
14     people are relating together, to see the ABA
15     and the AMA come together to talk about what we
16     can do in the area of youth violence, what we
17     can do in the area of domestic violence, and to
18     see so many people focused on this issue and
19     willing to make a difference.
20               One of the areas that I urge you to
21     concentrate on is developing evaluation
22     techniques that can ensure that what you're
1     doing is in the right direction.  I've seen
2     some conflict resolution programs just kind of
3     develop like out of whole cloth, without too
4     many people giving too much thought to what the
5     best way to do it is.
6               Set yourselves some standards,
7     understand research that is being done in the
8     area, find out what other programs are doing,
9     and see if you are truly making a difference.
10     And if you are, then share.  Share with others
11     because that is we are really building, I
12     think, success in this country.
13               But there's still going to be
14     children and trouble.  They're still going to
15     be children who hurt each other.
16               One of the most tragic programs that
17     I saw developed -- and I have been told that it
18     is no longer -- but one area that I ask you to
19     focus on is in the older children who are
20     victims of violence.
21               I went to a hospital, while I was in
22     Washington, to an emergency room where there
1     was a high incidence of youth violence victims,
2     and they were mostly teenagers.  Those victims
3     were going to be perpetrators in another three
4     to four weeks, when they got out of the
5     hospital and got mad with each other and went
6     back and sought retribution.
7               This is a perfect place to intervene,
8     if we could develop with doctors, with nurses,
9     with schools, a comprehensive intervention
10     program for victims.
11               I just cannot tell you how much I
12     admire what you do.  I want to be as supportive
13     as I can.  One of the things I never liked was
14     for the federal government to come to town, to
15     tell me what to do without asking me in the
16     first place what our ideas were, because we
17     understood our needs and resources far better
18     than the federal government did.
19               I'd like to take this time to answer
20     any questions you might have but, more
21     importantly, to hear from you who are on the
22     front line, what we might do in the Department
1     of Justice to better support your efforts both
2     in this area and in any other area that you
3     might think of.
4               I come away with a great wealth of
5     information that I think has helped shape much
6     of what the Department is doing.  And I would
7     be very greatful for your answer to this
8     question, If you were the Attorney General of
9     the United States, what would you do to
10     improve --
11                    (Laughter)
12               -- conflict resolution amongst
13     children, and address the issue of children as
14     a whole?  Now, don't be shy.
15                    (Laughter)
16               I always wanted this opportunity with
17     an Attorney General.
18                    (Laughter)
19               PARTICIPANT:  Would you tell us how
20     the ABA can get involved in the consortion that
21     other (inaudible) around the issue of conflict
22     resolution in the schools?
1               ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  Just tell me
2     who to have to call tomorrow.
3               PARTICIPANT:  Jack Hanna.  He's the
4     staff representative on dispute.
5               ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  Jack, you'll
6     give me your number, before I leave.
7               MR. HANNA:  Oh, yes.
8                    (Laughter)
9               PARTICIPANT:  It seems like we're
10     repeating that question from this morning, but
11     much of what I do is in frustration in dealing
12     with kids.  Some of their basic need aren't
13     met.  And we create programs, and put money
14     into it, and we don't do things like get them
15     clothing, get them food, and get them more
16     child care.
17               And I think we structure programs
18     around professionals more than we do around
19     needs of the kids.  I guess the question is,
20     how can you, on a federal level, break down in
21     the perception that poor kids are undeserving?
22               We're fighting ten years of rhetoric
1     from President Reagan about the undeserving
2     welfare mother and, now, the undeserving
3     neglected child.  It's an oxymoron.  The child
4     is in the dependency system.  The child is
5     dependent on us.
6               And I think the federal government
7     needs to do something to say it's okay to
8     support kids.  Give them the help that they
9     need, including food, clothing, shelter, and
10     direct services.
11               ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  Here is the
12     message that I have conveyed from the time I
13     took office to a major businessman's council,
14     and even last night, to the Hartford Downtown
15     Business Council.
16               The first way I sell the idea that we
17     have got to make an investment in children is
18     to talk about how the doctors took me to our
19     public hospital, to look at the crack-involved
20     infants, and taught me about how much is
21     learned in the first three years of life.
22               And my response was "What good are
1     all the prisons going to be 15 years from now
2     if the child doesn't understand the concept of
3     punishment and hasn't developed a conscience?"
4               And then I say to them, "if you live
5     behind a stone wall in a gated community and
6     you don't think crime is a problem, what good
7     -- you are not going to have a work force in
8     15, in 20 years, even in 5 years if we don't
9     make an investment in children, in the whole
10     child, and develop in these children the skills
11     necessary to fill the jobs to maintain America
12     as a first-rate nation.
13               Then I ran into senior citizens who
14     used to say, "Janet, you're a nice girl, and I
15     know you like children --"
16                    (Laughter)
17               "-- but I've done my part.  I've sent
18     my sons to college.  I sent my grandsons to
19     college.  I've even helped with my
20     great-grandsons.  I don't want to be bothered
21     anymore."
22                    (Laughter)
1               And my response to them is, "Our
2     pensions are not going to be worth the paper
3     they're written on if we don't make an
4     investment in a workforce that can fuel the
5     economy and that can maintain those pensions."
6               Then I get some doctors that say,
7     "I've got a middle-class practice.  I don't
8     have to worry about it."  And I say, "Health
9     care institutions will be brought to their
10     knees unless we make an investment in
11     preventative medical care and a life that can
12     give a child a chance to grow in a strong and
13     healthy way."
14               And it is fascinating to me.  It was
15     fascinating last night, with an audience
16     composed primarily of businessmen.  They
17     understand this.
18               We've got to make that message heard
19     loud and clear here.  They laughed at me when I
20     first took office, but nobody has called me a
21     social worker recently.  And I think more and
22     more people are beginning to understand.  But
1     we still have a long way to go, and the
2     requires that all of us speak out.
3               But I think what you put your finger
4     on, what the problem is, and that's the reason
5     I talked earlier about the need for a
6     comprehensive approach, and that your conflict
7     resolution program and other children advocacy
8     issues won't make any difference if there are
9     other essentials in that child's life that are
10     omitted.
11               Each community is going to be
12     different because there may be a private,
13     not-for-profit that performs a function in one
14     community but not in another.  And one of the
15     ways that I see is just demonstrating to people
16     how cost-effective it is to make an investment
17     early on in children, whether it be clothes, or
18     housing, or conflict resolution, or educare, or
19     afternoon and evening programs.  And the money
20     we eventually save shows the the necessity for
21     developing that comprehensive approach.
22               That's what impressed me so much
1     about Boston and what Boston is doing.  It
2     still has a way to go, but it is the most
3     comprehensive approach that I have seen.  And
4     what they have done with the Justice's
5     Department money, for its comprehensive
6     community program, is take that and develop a
7     youth services network in which a number of
8     different agencies are involved.
9               And the community policy officers are
10     linked into that network.  If they find a child
11     adrift, in need of a particular service, they
12     know where to call and what to do.  There's a
13     case management component built into it.  My
14     question was, "The police call.  How do we know
15     the child doesn't fall between the crack of the
16     17 or 18 different service agencies"?
17               We follow up and we have a case
18     manager that follows up with community programs
19     to see that it's happening.  It's not perfect.
20     But the more that we can focus on
21     neighborhoods, on particular communities as
22     parts of cities, the greater difference that we
1     can make.
2               I'd like the Bar Association, too, to
3     consider a concept that I think is going to
4     become an almost everyday concept, and that's
5     community-based justice, particularly for areas
6     that have a high incidence of delinquency and
7     abuse, a high incidence of domestic violence,
8     and have a judge, a community prosecutor,
9     community probation officers, community police
10     officers linked with businesses in the
11     community to provide these services and to
12     ensure, both in a court setting and in
13     community initiatives, that these services are
14     provided.
15               There is so much that we can do.
16     It's not going to happen overnight.  But the
17     difference that exists between now and three
18     and a half years ago, in this nation, is enough
19     to give me great encouragement that it will
20     happen.
21               You're going to have to continue to
22     speak out loud and long.  And the best way to
1     get people to invest is to show them that
2     they're going to have a great return on their
3     investment if they do it now, and a lousy
4     return if they wait until the crisis occurs.
5               PARTICIPANT:  First of all, thank you
6     for the question.  I appreciate it.
7               I'm with a group in San Francisco.
8     We've always done parent-child abuse.  But
9     recently, we've been working with parents and
10     children, with youth who have been involved
11     with problems that have gotten them into
12     juvenile hall, perhaps arrested, perhaps in
13     coming out of the county juvenile facility.
14               It's a wonderful time to get the
15     attention of a family and talk about what's
16     going to happen next.
17               So, again, it goes to tying in
18     conflict resolution, and support to the family
19     as the family -- the young person, particularly
20     -- is coming out of a situation.
21               The other thing is a that lot of work
22     is done in conflict resolution with youth is
1     sort of youth-directed.  There's a real
2     different mix directed towards single or
3     smaller groups.  There's a possibility to
4     combine youth organizing and conflict
5     resolution in our families.
6               We're really beginning to help youth
7     organize around their own issues, and come to
8     grips, and negotiating with others, including
9     adults, for their own needs which is real
10     interesting.  I know they call it "violence
11     prevention."  I think that word is overused a
12     bit.   You could say "conflict resolution" in
13     the same sentence.
14               Well, we want to respectfully ask
15     what you think should be done.  And we've used
16     community mediations before, but it makes
17     mediation very broad if you simply say to us
18     make agreements.
19               My question is, we're also working on
20     community policing.  I've been looking to find
21     out where does one go, perhaps, to the federal
22     government courts in this area in tying
1     together community policing and community
2     conflict resolution.  I don't see where you can
3     go, or where there's funding for it.
4               ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  Let me get
5     our card and see what we can do in terms of
6     tying  -- a year ago, I could have told you
7     where to go.
8                    (Laughter)
9               Congress changed it a little bit.
10     But there's going to be some block grant money
11     coming that's available to local police
12     agencies.  And let me get you -- the parameters
13     of that have not been precisely defined yet.
14     We're trying to work through the issues because
15     it's just part of the appropriations bill
16     that's passed.
17               If you have a county, and then 26
18     different municipalities in the county, how
19     does the money get down?  Does it have to have
20     county agreement?  We're working out the
21     regulations.
22               But that can be used for crime
1     prevention.  And I think you would find a
2     number of police agencies that would be anxious
3     to participate.
4               But let me find other dollar sources
5     to link you with community policing, and the
6     conflict resolution area.
7               I think, on the community
8     organization or youth organization issue, you
9     have come to a critical point.
10               If the children are as alone and as
11     isolated as the Carnegie Foundation suggests,
12     they are gravitating towards the only people
13     that they're around, which are their peers.
14               And the peers or adults that are
15     oftentimes pulling them are pulling into gangs.
16     And it is very disconcerting, for example, to
17     see the enticement of the gang, see them form
18     gangs because they don't think -- the gang
19     leaders who are adults don't think anything is
20     going to happen to the juvenile, and they just
21     throw the juvenile -- the juvenile is a throw
22     away.
1               If we can use all the techniques that
2     are at our disposal and develop organization
3     for kids that is positive, then we've come a
4     long way.  And to make that positive, we've got
5     to teach them to work together in a
6     constructive way for other goals, other than
7     just the feeling of belonging to the only
8     organization that's around.
9               Yes?
10               PARTICIPANT:  I was just wondering
11     how we stop the loss that is already working in
12     the system.  All the money is just going away.
13     Any federal funds that are available, it seems
14     that there are all kinds of strings, whereas
15     non-profit organizations who aren't tied to the
16     state cannot reach this money.   I just wanted
17     to know what you thought about that.
18               ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  Well, I think
19     it depends on the state, and I think that's one
20     of the frustrations with block grants.  For
21     example, with the COPS program, I can shape
22     that and work with police agencies and make
1     sure that money gets out the right way because
2     I'm responsible for getting it out to the
3     agency that's going to use it.  And we have
4     some discretionary monies.
5               Other states have marvelous plans and
6     I think distribute their money in a fairly
7     decent way.  If you can afterwards give me the
8     name of the state, I'll try to follow up with
9     you, and give you some suggestions.
10               PARTICIPANT:  In answer to your
11     question, I think it would be beneficial if
12     there were legislation coming out of the
13     Justice Department that said to local
14     governments and the state government, "We're
15     not going to give you any more money.  The
16     juvenile detention system leads to jail or to
17     prisons."  Until you show that you have tried
18     this resolution and the option of --
19                    (Applause)
20               PARTICIPANT:  The point is that jails
21     and prisons are being filled not because we
22     need to put away a good kid who might do a bad
1     act, but because it's big business.  And we
2     need to face that reality.  We need to
3     challenge it even if it's unpopular.
4               And we need to say to localities, "If
5     you tell us that you've tried all things, and
6     you still need jails and prisons, we'll help
7     you.  But we would rather give you money for
8     alternative programs and correctional options
9     for treating violence and abuse."
10               It is a community problem.  And the
11     problem is, if we build more jails and more
12     prisons, the same localities will fill them.
13     And we can't afford to be locking our youth
14     anymore.
15                    (Applause)
16               ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  The Congress
17     has foreseen that because there is a prison
18     grant program that does not provide for such
19     strings.  And what we're trying to do is,
20     through our community policing initiative and
21     through what monies we can get into prevention,
22     try to do everything we can at the earliest
1     stage as possible to teach these issues.
2               PARTICIPANT:  The Juvenile Justice
3     and Delinquency Prevention Act is up for
4     reauthorization this year.  It provided some
5     important federal standards in terms of the
6     institutionalizing of the status offenders,
7     from moving children from jail and keeping them
8     separate from adult prisoners.
9               What is the administration and
10     Justice Department doing, and how can we all
11     help so that we retain the emphasis on
12     prevention and on some the issues that this
13     woman raised, rather than focusing on youth
14     predators, and rather than moving toward a
15     system that does not adequately deal with the
16     issues you raised earlier?
17               ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  I think we
18     have all got to work together in these days
19     because Senator Thompson and Senator Biden are
20     working on this area.
21               Our position is that we have reached
22     out to advocates, we've reached out to
1     community groups to hear how the Act might be
2     finetuned and improved, and we have made
3     recommendations.  And we will continue to work
4     with Senator Biden and Senator Thompson to
5     ensure that the best parts of the Act are
6     carried forward.
7               PARTICIPANT:  Nancy Palmer from
8     Florida.
9               A lot of the focus here appears to be
10     on the juvenile and so forth.  And I just hope
11     as you travel, you will remind people that we
12     find that a lot of these problems, as far as
13     high school dropouts and so forth, relate to
14     the decisions by adults such as the board.
15               And it's very important that we teach
16     children communication and conflict resolution
17     in terms of their male/female relationships
18     from a very young age, so that at some point,
19     we can preserve our families.
20               Since there areso many problems as
21     people marry, divorce, remarry, and so forth,
22     that the children become the people that lose
1     in that situation.  So I hope we won't focus
2     just on the children, but on the adults that
3     make decisions that impact their kids.
4               ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  Well, that's
5     the reason I suggested that you look at it from
6     a comprehensive point of view, as opposed to
7     just a focus on the child.  If violence is a
8     learned behavior, it's going to be learned in
9     the home, as probably the first place.  And
10     that's the reason it is so important to focus
11     on what you might do with those violences
12     against them with monies that will be coming to
13     the state this year.
14               Yes, sir.
15               PARTICIPANT:  One of the problems
16     that we're facing is that -- the enormous
17     amount of volunteerism and a lack of true
18     involvement in the community really makes a
19     difference, and some of the questions designed
20     around the lack of incentives for that.
21               Perhaps the Attorney General might
22     drop a word to the President that we could have
1     a tax break for voluntary work.
2                    (Laughter)
3               PARTICIPANT:  There are certain kinds
4     of activities of individuals that were donated,
5     in terms of time.
6               ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  My sense is
7     that before the tax breaks -- because that's
8     going to mean less money for the programs that
9     you want -- I find that there is a tremendous
10     spirit of volunteerism, but people don't know
11     how to do it.
12               We're grappling with that in the
13     Department of Justice because I've announced a
14     pro bono policy that suggests 50 hours of pro
15     bono services and aspirational goals.
16               They want to do it.  And I have been
17     to orientation programs with young lawyers in
18     the Department, who want very much to
19     participate.  But how can they?  For example,
20     in Washington, if they are not a member of the
21     D.C. Bar, what can they do as an alternative?
22     Where can they go?  What kind of work they do?
1     What type of conflict might they have with the
2     Department of Justice?  What type of case are
3     they going to handle?
4               The more we can spell that out and do
5     it in the right way, and make it easy for them,
6     and make them feel comfortable in their
7     volunteering, I think the more we can support
8     that effort.
9               I will pass your suggestion along to
10     the President, but I would like to concentrate
11     on how we can make volunteerism easy for
12     people.
13               In Miami, for example, we have a
14     significant elderly population in the
15     northeastern condominiums.  They would love to
16     volunteer, but they are hampered because of
17     transportation difficulties.  Let's think about
18     some of those problems.
19               This question, then I'm going to have
20     to leave.
21               PARTICIPANT:  Your theory is a
22     primary example of individual achievements.
1     And it's needed to set examples.  And I
2     personally commend you.
3                    (Applause)
4               ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  It's not me.
5     There are just some very wonderful people
6     involved.  And one of the reasons I have to
7     leave is to get back to call them, to tell them
8     what a wonderful job they're doing.
9                    (Laughter)
10               PARTICIPANT:  Although there may not
11     be funding times, I think, as Attorney General,
12     you could make it clear that there are not bad
13     children out there.  They are children, and the
14     distinction between delinquency and dependency
15     is a very dangerous and a harmful distinction
16     we make through our entire system.
17               Children need rehabilitation support.
18     They are dependent on us.  And if they don't
19     have a family to rely on, they need to rely on
20     all of us.  And that is a message that you as
21     Attorney General can provide, even if we can't
22     necessarily find funding.
1               ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  Well, that's
2     the message that I have tried to convey since I
3     took office when I was state attorney in Miami,
4     and I will continue to try to convey that it
5     begins when a parent conceives.  I mean, just
6     in terms of ensuring prenatal care, and
7     ensuring preventative medical care, ensuring
8     child care that's educational and thoughtful
9     and sharing afternoon and evening programs in
10     the most nurturing family possible.  And that's
11     the message I will continue to convey.
12               But I want to thank you all for the
13     wonderful work you do.  And just know, you are
14     making a difference.
15                    (Applause)
16                      *  *  *  *  *