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                      *  *  *  *  *