2                OJJDP National Conference

         3           Juvenile Justice At The Crossroads



         6                   Keynote Address by

         7       The Honorable Janet Reno, Attorney General





        12                Friday, December 13, 1996






        18                    Renaissance Hotel

        19                  202 East Pratt Street

        20                   Baltimore, Maryland




         1                  P R O C E E D I N G S

         2               Thank you, Lynn.  And my thanks to

         3     you all.  But I'm the one that should be

         4     applauding you for your work in Baltimore,

         5     Maryland, and your work across this country.

         6               There are so many dedicated people in

         7     this room who I think are the heroes and the

         8     heroines of this nation, people who care about

         9     children, care about giving them a future, care

        10     about holding them accountable, care about

        11     making sure that they can live up to their

        12     fullest potential.

        13               I discovered about twelve years ago

        14     that raising children is one of the most single

        15     difficult jobs in the world.  It takes love,

        16     hard work, and an awful lot of luck.  It is

        17     also one of the most rewarding experiences.

        18               What you do in terms of giving a

        19     future to children who have nobody to raise

        20     them, or who have children who need that

        21     additional help, you just do such a great job

        22     for this country.  And I just want to say thank


         1     you.

         2               I want to say thank you to all the

         3     people in OJJDP who do such a wonderful job day

         4     in and day out.  Caring, trying to do the right

         5     thing, focused on the facts, focused on hard

         6     data as to what we can do to make a difference

         7     for our children.

         8               And we've got to do that.  We've got

         9     to do it just from the basis of common

        10     humanity.  But, then, if you find somebody that

        11     doesn't understand what common humanity means,

        12     point out to them that, unless we make an

        13     investment in our children, we're not going to

        14     have a workforce with the skills that can fill

        15     the jobs that can maintain this great nation.

        16               Point out to that doctor who says,

        17     that's not my problem, that's not my type of

        18     practice.  The health care institutions of this

        19     land will be brought to their knees unless we

        20     make an early investment in preventative care

        21     for our children.

        22               Let's start selling America any way


         1     we can.  Common humanity, workforce, but let's

         2     lead the way in showing them we have got to

         3     make an investment in our children.  And what

         4     you do is critical, because this is a critical

         5     time for juvenile justice and for the office of

         6     OJJDP.

         7               It is critical that we start with

         8     increasing frequency to share the information

         9     we have about what works, and what doesn't

        10     work.  Not in terms of puff pieces, not in

        11     terms of oh, I've got the best program, and

        12     it's because of this.

        13               Let's have hard data, current data

        14     that can make a difference in informing this

        15     nation about what works and what doesn't work.

        16     Because I haven't met anybody, not a

        17     Congressman, not a person who wouldn't rather

        18     invest up front in preventing the crime if they

        19     know that prevention dollar will work.  The

        20     more we can show it will work, the more we can

        21     show that juvenile justice can work, the more

        22     investment we are going to have in this system.


         1               Now, OJJDP has heard me say this.  I

         2     used to get wonderful books when I was the

         3     prosecutor in Miami.  They have a lot of

         4     information in them.  I got real excited and

         5     turned in and found the information was three

         6     or four years old.

         7               We've got to have current information

         8     out to the field so that they can use it in

         9     ways to help now with city commissions, with

        10     county commissions.  We've got to have it in a

        11     form that everybody can understand and

        12     appreciate.

        13               And then we have got to talk about

        14     this issue based on fact, not politics, not

        15     thirty-second sound bites, but what works.

        16     This is not a Republican issue, this is not a

        17     Democratic issue.  This is a people's issue.

        18     This is this nation's issue.  And we've got to

        19     approach it from a bipartisan thoughtful way

        20     based on facts and not demography.

        21               Earlier this year we saw the

        22     announcement of the reduction in overall


         1     juvenile violent crime and a significant drop

         2     in homicide arrest.  I didn't believe those

         3     figures at first.  I kept going back to the

         4     people and saying, just make sure you're right.

         5     Just make double sure you're right.

         6               And let us -- no one can take credit

         7     for all of this.  Let us recognize that this is

         8     a reflection of the effort of so many.

         9               Yesterday, after they went back and

        10     dug, and dug, and dug, and looked at it some

        11     more, they came up with new information which I

        12     understand has been shared with you that helps

        13     us understand better the decline in the

        14     juvenile crime rates.

        15               This analysis of the UCR reports

        16     reveals that that decrease we saw this past

        17     year in overall juvenile justice crime arrests

        18     was driven by young juveniles 14 years of age

        19     and under.

        20               For those of you who haven't seen it,

        21     you can look at the yellow charts that I

        22     understand have been handed out to see what I


         1     am describing.

         2               While juveniles 14 and under are

         3     responsible for only 30 percent of juvenile

         4     violent crime arrests in 1995, they account for

         5     over half of the decline in juvenile violent

         6     crime arrests.  The decline in property arrests

         7     is 100 percent accounted for by these young

         8     juveniles.

         9               What this means, I think, is that

        10     kids 14 and under are reflecting what you have

        11     been doing in your communities.  In order to

        12     ensure that this trend continues though, we

        13     can't say, well, we've done the job, and go

        14     home.  It's not going to work.

        15               You all know that the number of young

        16     people will increase significantly in the next

        17     10 or 15 years.  The pressures on the system

        18     are going to become greater.  The demands for

        19     resources will be greater.  We cannot relax.

        20     And we saw some other disturbing information in

        21     the analysis that I just referred to.

        22               The female proportion of juvenile


         1     arrests is growing.  In fact, increases in

         2     arrests between 1991 and 1995 were greater for

         3     juvenile females than juvenile males in most

         4     offense categories.

         5               This issue merits our attention and

         6     our concern.  OJJDP has just recently funded a

         7     training and technical assistance program that

         8     will assist practitioners in implementing

         9     gender specific programming to address this

        10     problem.  But we must do more to combat this

        11     increasing delinquency and crime among young

        12     women.  We must renew our efforts across the

        13     board.

        14               As most of you know, I served as a

        15     prosecutor in Miami for fifteen years.  I'd

        16     pick up the presentence investigation for the

        17     seventeen year old, and I could see four or

        18     five points along the way where we could have

        19     intervened and have made a difference in the

        20     life of that child.

        21               But I saw that child drawn through a

        22     system where social service agencies may have


         1     touched him or her earliest, or a police

         2     officer may have touched the family in a

         3     violent situation at one point, where the

         4     school touched the child at another point.

         5               Where some parks and recreation

         6     specialists may have reached out for that child

         7     one summer and tried to make a difference, and

         8     where the juvenile justice system received the

         9     child after other institutions failed.

        10               And I saw the child kind of floating

        11     through a puzzle, a puzzle that had not come

        12     together, a community that had not come

        13     together to reweave the fabric of community

        14     around that child.

        15               And it seems to me that we have a

        16     golden opportunity based on what you're doing

        17     today.  Our jurisdictions across the country

        18     are suffering from the same situation that I

        19     saw exist in Dade County.

        20               The juvenile justice system has too

        21     often, despite our best efforts, become

        22     divorced and remote from the lives of people in


         1     neighborhoods across the land.  Community

         2     residents too often don't know who the judges

         3     are.

         4               They don't know how the process

         5     works, especially when it comes to the juvenile

         6     justice system.  They are suspicious of it.

         7     And they have no faith that the juvenile who

         8     enters the system will be held accountable.

         9               In addition, we do not come together

        10     with others in the community to analyze the

        11     nature or the problems facing us.  Or if we do

        12     so, we do so downtown in some office that has

        13     no relation to the neighborhood, to the people,

        14     to the problems involved.

        15               If we do so, we do so too often, in

        16     kind of an idealistic ivory tower rather than

        17     concentrating on a community, or a

        18     neighborhood's problems, on who is strong, who

        19     can help that child, who can work together with

        20     that child.

        21               The need to do this, to forge closer

        22     connections between the juvenile justice


         1     system, the community, and all the community

         2     institutions I think is critical.

         3               To address this situation, I think we

         4     can learn from some things that are happening

         5     in this country today from some of the things

         6     that you're doing, from community policing.

         7               Earlier on, after I'd become Attorney

         8     General, I went to Dorchester, Massachusetts,

         9     to a community policing event.  And I saw young

        10     people working with their community police

        11     officers in extraordinary ways.  There was not

        12     suspicion.  There was not distrust.

        13               There was trust, there was support,

        14     there was mentoring.  And it gave me a new

        15     insight into what police officers can do when

        16     they go into the community, get to know the

        17     people they serve, build the trust, and involve

        18     the citizens, including the young people, in

        19     identifying the problems and priorities, and

        20     working together to do something about it.

        21               Shortly thereafter, two of the young

        22     men came with two community police officers to


         1     the Justice Department to discuss community

         2     policing.  The President came over that day.

         3     And I'll never forget those two young men

         4     saying, Mr. President, these guys got me out of

         5     trouble.  These guys made a difference in my

         6     life because they trusted me enough to hold me

         7     accountable, and yet gave me enough support to

         8     help me make it down the road.

         9               Let us consider what we might do if

        10     we focused on juvenile community justice with a

        11     judge assigned to a neighborhood.  Now, you'll

        12     say we don't have enough money to do that.

        13     Just take a case load in a neighborhood instead

        14     of having the judge downtown, find a good place

        15     in the neighborhood, set it up.

        16               But then that won't work.  Cities and

        17     counties have got to reach out to the juvenile

        18     courts and say, how can we form these community

        19     courts so that we take the city and county

        20     services and assign them to the courts so that

        21     they can work together.

        22               We've got to have the schools working


         1     with the system.  We've got to have probation

         2     officers involved at the community level.

         3     Instead of a probation officer knocking on

         4     doors around a community that stretches 25

         5     miles from one end to the other, have the

         6     probation officers in the community who know

         7     the families, know who's there, know where to

         8     go, know that sometimes they have to knock on

         9     the door at 10:00 at night to make sure the

        10     kid's home.  And if he's not home, go find him,

        11     and find out what's wrong, and do something

        12     about it.

        13               But talk about justice in human

        14     terms, not as a case number.  Not as a name

        15     that is unknown and unmatched to a face, but a

        16     real live human beings with a potential

        17     success if we give them half a fighting chance.

        18               Think of what we can do if we look at

        19     the picture as a whole.  All of you in this

        20     room know that so much of delinquency starts

        21     from family violence at home.

        22               The child who sees his father beat


         1     his mother comes to accept violence as a way of

         2     life.  Let's stop it early.  We know that the

         3     child who is abused and neglected often times

         4     grows up to be the delinquent.  Let's stop it

         5     early.

         6               How do we do that?

         7               In the Crime Act passed in 1994,

         8     President Clinton made a special commitment,

         9     and is especially proud of the monies for

        10     violence against women, monies that are now

        11     going in significant measure to every state in

        12     this nation.

        13               Just think of what would happen if

        14     cities and counties in the court system

        15     organize together to make sure that we got

        16     monies into those neighborhoods where there was

        17     a high incidence of family violence.

        18               And organize, so that not only was

        19     there an intervention by a community police

        20     officer at a family violence situation, but

        21     there was a follow-up from social service

        22     workers who knew that community with the kids,


         1     who observed the violence, to interrupt the

         2     cycle of violence before it started.

         3               And when that child came to the

         4     preschool, and there was obvious evidence of

         5     abuse but nobody could really find out what

         6     happened, you made an intervention, not if

         7     necessarily in a criminal justice sense, but

         8     with a public health nurse assigned to that

         9     neighborhood who went with the community police

        10     officer to knock on the door to find out what

        11     was happening.

        12               And instead of waiting for that woman

        13     to become a confirmed crack addict, let's

        14     intervene up front, making sure, in a

        15     neighborhood setting, that she gets the

        16     treatment without approbation, she gets the

        17     treatment that can get her off on the right

        18     foot before she becomes a confirmed user.

        19               Let's just use common sense and go

        20     back to people and their problems and start to

        21     solve them.  Let's make that judge the force in

        22     that community, so that, when he sees children


         1     in a public housing project at 3:00 in the

         2     afternoon wandering unsupervised at age four

         3     and five, that he says, let's develop a program

         4     to ensure that every child in this neighborhood

         5     has appropriate supervision during nonschool

         6     hours.

         7               Let's make sure that every child in

         8     this neighborhood, if we see them truant at

         9     11:00 in the morning, is not just picked up and

        10     returned to the school.  And then the school

        11     sends him home because mamma doesn't come get

        12     him.

        13               But, instead, the public health

        14     nurse, and the community police officer knock

        15     on the door to find out why mother didn't come

        16     get him.  And if there is abuse and neglect

        17     ongoing, let's get the process started through

        18     appropriate interventions.

        19               I have watched so many juvenile court

        20     judges, saints, but saints so often who are

        21     moved in some downtown courthouse, some remote

        22     place where they don't know what's happening in


         1     the neighborhood.

         2               Think of what we could do if we took

         3     their strengths, and as cities and counties,

         4     organize services around those courts and

         5     neighborhoods with high incidents of

         6     delinquency.  We could make such a difference.

         7               Nobody has really gotten all the way

         8     down the line, but there are bits and pieces

         9     coming together.  But think what could happen

        10     for the kid that finally got in trouble at 12.

        11     You could have an early assessment.

        12               You could find, if you haven't

        13     already found by the community working together

        14     that he was falling two grade levels behind.

        15     You could develop tutoring programs with people

        16     from the neighborhood.

        17               Because that's another thing.

        18     Everybody is suffering from reduced resources.

        19     But we've got to, in this community justice

        20     setting, organize volunteers.  There is a great

        21     untapped resource out there.  And let me show

        22     you what I mean.


         1               About four weeks ago, about 20 of us

         2     from the Department of Justice volunteered for

         3     a day at Habitat for Humanity.  We walked into

         4     what seemed like a shell.  And I thought, what

         5     are these people with five thumbs going to do,

         6     and with no experience in building, this is

         7     going to be a mess.

         8               They had two or three superb

         9     supervisors who said, don't worry, we're going

        10     to come behind you.  We'll make sure you don't

        11     mess up.  And here's what you do.  We didn't

        12     stop working except for lunch.  And when we

        13     left, that place looked like a house.

        14               Just think of what we can do if we

        15     have community police officers who make a

        16     community safe so that that retired school

        17     teacher will feel free to come out from behind

        18     her door and go tutor the young man that the

        19     judge finds needs tutoring to get him off on

        20     the right foot, rather than being put into a

        21     detention facility.

        22               But then you're going to have kids


         1     that still get in trouble.  Instead of having

         2     one judge look at the child and then come back

         3     after you can't remember, the judge is going to

         4     say, now, you were here six months ago.  And we

         5     did this.

         6               And I promised you there was going to

         7     be an increasing sanction.  Our sanctions are

         8     going to be fair.  They're going to be firm.

         9     They're going to be -- they're going to fit the

        10     crime.

        11               But I told you, if you kept getting

        12     in trouble, they were going to get stiffer

        13     every step of the way.  And this is what I'm

        14     going to do.  He sends him to secure detention.

        15     But he's coming out sooner rather than later.

        16               And let us develop aftercare programs

        17     in this community setting that make sure that

        18     kids who may have to go back to the apartment

        19     over the open-air drug market, let's make sure

        20     that he has an aftercare system, and a support

        21     system in the community that can make a

        22     difference.


         1               In short, let's just take the

         2     tremendous resources that exist in this country

         3     today, teachers who care, judges who care,

         4     nurses who care.  And let's organize them the

         5     right way based on human beings, and not

         6     arbitrary jurisdictional structures.

         7               Let's organize them based on

         8     neighborhoods where they can concentrate in

         9     helping to make families self-sufficient.  Let

        10     us concentrate them in neighborhoods so that

        11     they give our youngsters half a fighting

        12     chance.

        13               Now, you may say, where is it

        14     beginning to work.  I've seen one city, for

        15     example, come together, not as much as it

        16     might, but it is making a difference.  And

        17     Boston is doing some wonderful things in

        18     bringing community probation officers to work

        19     with community police officers, with church

        20     groups.

        21               A local hospital is working with the

        22     court to intervene with victims, recognizing


         1     that the victim of the gunshot wound is going

         2     to be the perpetrator three weeks later for

         3     revenge unless we intervene to break the cycle

         4     of violence.

         5               You all are on the front line.  You

         6     know better than anybody what's needed.  But

         7     we've got to stop wringing our hands and

         8     saying, it's just a matter of resources, we

         9     don't have enough resources.  And just show

        10     what we can do when we organize together and

        11     use all of the resources involved.

        12               One of the points though, as we see

        13     things begin to work, we've got to report them,

        14     and we've got to subject them to evaluation.

        15     Now, I remember when the feds used to come to

        16     town after they'd given me a grant.

        17               And I finally decided the grant

        18     wasn't worth it, because I didn't understand

        19     the fed's forms.  And they quibbled with me

        20     about this and that and the other.  And I said,

        21     well, here's all the data.  Well, you don't

        22     have it in the right way, just shift it around


         1     this way.

         2               Evaluation doesn't have to be a

         3     burden.  Evaluation of what we're doing, every

         4     one of us should be evaluating what we do.  Not

         5     from the point of view of having to do it, but

         6     because it's fun.  It's interesting.

         7               Okay.  This doesn't work.  Let's get

         8     rid of it and let's start something else.  But

         9     let's not throw the whole baby out with the

        10     bath water because it might require just a

        11     little tweaking here.  And this data over here

        12     indicates that if we tweak a little bit here we

        13     can make a difference.

        14               But let's stop getting into ruts

        15     where we go down, we have a grant, we defend

        16     the grant.  Let's start asking, does it really

        17     work?  Does this work?  Have I bought -- been

        18     wrong here.  We can't be afraid to say we've

        19     been wrong.  But then let's get the data

        20     together.  Let's evaluate, let's share.

        21               Let's subject our work to the best

        22     statistical scrutiny that we can, because we


         1     have a wonderful opportunity.  Americans across

         2     this land care so much.  They want to see

         3     things work.  They want to volunteer.  They

         4     want to make a difference.

         5               If we can harness the energies of

         6     this nation around real people, around real

         7     neighborhoods, if we can share with everyone

         8     what works and what doesn't work, if we can not

         9     be afraid to scrutinize in order to be better,

        10     we can do so much.

        11               But, most of all, I urge you to

        12     involve the young people.  For the -- this

        13     fall, as part of my pro bono services with the

        14     Department of Justice, I have been going to

        15     schools in the D.C. area to talk about conflict

        16     resolution, and dispute resolution, and to

        17     encourage them in their peer mediation and

        18     other dispute resolution programs.  Children

        19     are so wonderful.

        20               I asked them what can you -- if you

        21     were Attorney General, what would you do to

        22     prevent crime?  I'd teach you how to talk to


         1     young people.  She says, you adults just don't

         2     know how to talk to us.  You don't understand

         3     us.

         4               She said, my aunt said there was some

         5     thugs on the corner.  They're not thugs.

         6     They're good guys.  They just need some support

         7     and understanding.  And if there was somebody

         8     to understand them, and somebody to talk to

         9     them, it'd make a big difference.

        10               And I was reminded of a youngster in

        11     a detention facility in the Midwest that I met.

        12     I said, what would you do if you were the

        13     Attorney General to make a difference.

        14               I'd have somebody for us to talk to,

        15     somebody who understands how hard it is to grow

        16     up in this country today, somebody that could

        17     give me a pat on the back when I deserved it,

        18     and a swift figurative kick in the pants when I

        19     deserved that, too.

        20               And I'd have something for us to do

        21     in the afternoon and in the evenings that could

        22     keep us out of trouble.


         1               Out of the mouths of babes comes the

         2     greatest wisdom of all.

         3               Let us listen to our young people as

         4     we reweave the fabric of community and of

         5     family around these wonderful beings who want

         6     so much to contribute to this nation, who want

         7     so much to grow up to be somebody, to make a

         8     difference, to have a family, to be involved,

         9     and who can because they are strong and

        10     wonderful if they are only given half a

        11     fighting chance.

        12               With the energy in this room, there

        13     is no doubt that if we go forward from this

        14     conference together and work as hard as we can

        15     in this year, we can come back with even better

        16     figures to rejoice upon.

        17                    (Applause)

        18               MALE VOICE:  The Attorney General has

        19     graciously agreed to stay for a few extra

        20     minutes and entertain a couple of questions if

        21     you have any of her.  And I will facilitate

        22     that process.


         1               So we have just a few minutes, so

         2     please step forward if you'd like to ask the

         3     Attorney General a question.

         4               We have one question here.  Let's go

         5     with this question first, and then we'll go

         6     with Betty Charmer's question.

         7               MALE VOICE:  Good morning.  My name

         8     is (inaudible) Maddox.  And I'm from the Safe

         9     Teacher's Program, a board of director's

        10     program in Boston, Massachusetts.

        11               One of the things we've looked at,

        12     and we're trying to do in Boston, and probably

        13     other folks are probably trying to do this

        14     elsewhere in the country, is trying to

        15     incorporate youth entrepreneurial aspects to

        16     our program.

        17               Because, as you say, my experience in

        18     the criminal justice system, particular in

        19     corrections in Boston, all too often when young

        20     people come out of these places, they go right

        21     back to what they were doing before,

        22     particularly if it's economic based.


         1               Now, we feel that there should be a

         2     little more emphasis on this aspect of things.

         3     And we want to know how can we expect to get

         4     the support for these types of programs?

         5               MS. RENO:  One of the suggestions,

         6     and I'm not sure just what you're doing, and I

         7     don't know if it ties in.  And what I'd love to

         8     do as we follow up with (inaudible) and make

         9     sure we've got information.

        10               One of the -- just a small piece, a

        11     small beginning.  In one of the Boston programs

        12     that I saw, I saw John Hancock involved in

        13     terms of identifying community police officers

        14     and probation officers facing exactly the

        15     problem you've talked about, and said, what are we

        16     going to do.

        17               These youngsters don't know how to

        18     interview.  They don't know to apply for a job.

        19     They don't know the importance of getting to

        20     work on time, or how to take directions.  And

        21     we need to start encouraging them in the right

        22     direction.


         1               John Hancock responded by creating a

         2     program that gave them on-the-job skills and

         3     then has tried to place them.  But I think you

         4     have put your finger on what I think is one of

         5     the great problems.  And in some respects, it

         6     doesn't have to do just with youth.

         7               But where youth are at risk, we need

         8     to see what we can do to develop job

         9     opportunities that are real.  And that comes

        10     back to skill training.  There's some

        11     interesting work.

        12               And I'm trying to learn more about

        13     it, about how we, instead of trying to change

        14     market forces that send a kid two bus trips

        15     across town and make it very difficult for him

        16     to get to work, how do we use the energy in

        17     communities?  How do we use their location to

        18     create an economic opportunity for an

        19     entrepreneur?

        20               If we don't find them jobs, we're

        21     going to be in the same situation.  And so,

        22     what I would suggest is, where I see it working


         1     is the neighborhood going to identifying the

         2     neighborhood with high delinquency, going to

         3     the large employers in the community and

         4     saying, let us work together.

         5               This is your job force, this is your

         6     workforce for the future.  There is some

         7     progress being made, but we've got a long way

         8     to go.  And that brings me back to skill

         9     training.

        10               The best programs that I have seen,

        11     in terms of juvenile justice where detention is

        12     required, or confinement is required, or even

        13     in terms of supervised probations, intensely

        14     supervised probation is the program that starts

        15     while the child is under supervision, or

        16     confined, and focuses them on the real world of

        17     jobs and how you get a job, then brings them

        18     out, and if they're old enough gets them a job,

        19     but then requires that they go find a job on

        20     their own so that they can learn how to do it

        21     for the future.

        22               Those programs seem to be working


         1     significantly in reducing recidivism.  But it's

         2     part of the education and part of the message

         3     that we have got to give, all of us.  If you

         4     don't care about children because of common

         5     humanity, then think about them as your

         6     workforce for the future.

         7               MALE VOICE:  Penny.

         8               PARTICIPANT:  I'd like to ask you a

         9     question and have you expand a little bit on

        10     your idea, this juvenile justice community

        11     model, which is an intriguing idea.  I would

        12     suspect that you have talked about this model

        13     as you travel throughout the country.

        14               What has been the response of the

        15     judges in this country, and what are some of

        16     the (inaudible).  You talk about the

        17     (inaudible) then maybe we can think about a

        18     strategy to approach it.  Because it is an idea

        19     I rule that's worth exploring.

        20               MS. RENO:  The reaction has been

        21     wonderful.  I went to the State Chief Justices'

        22     Conference.  And we now have regular quarterly


         1     meetings with their executive committee.  And I

         2     hope to be meeting with them in February.

         3               I challenge them to consider with me,

         4     and to work with me in developing community

         5     courts, not -- I didn't specify juvenile

         6     courts.  But I talked specifically in terms of

         7     the family and children.  And they responded

         8     magnificently.

         9               I met with all of the Judges, all of

        10     the Chief Justices.  And what I find is very

        11     encouraging.  Judges realize that they can play

        12     an appropriate activist's role in terms of

        13     judicial administration, not in terms of the

        14     case itself, but in terms of judicial

        15     administration.

        16               And I see some progressive and

        17     far-sided thinking on the part of the Chief

        18     Justices.  To give you an example on the other

        19     side of the coin, as to how a judge and the

        20     courts can be instrumental, in Dade County we

        21     initiated a drug court back in about 1989.

        22               I think, I and the public defender,


         1     would could work together pretty well, but I

         2     don't think between the two of us we could have

         3     gotten that started.  It was the fact that the

         4     Supreme Court of Florida freed a circuit

         5     judge's time and gave him, not a leave of 

         6     absence, but an assignment to establish a drug

         7     court and focus on the treatment.

         8               And it was the power of the judiciary

         9     behind that initiative that really, I think,

        10     helped get it off the ground and make it --

        11     make it a success.  And now we're seeing it

        12     spread across the country, recognizing that it

        13     differs from place to place.

        14               Now, let me tell you what the

        15     downside is.  I sometimes think that we go in

        16     cycles and we forget too often.  When I first

        17     got out of law school, we had a system of JPs

        18     in Florida that, in some instances, dispensed

        19     marvelous community justice.

        20               But, in other instances, created

        21     petty thieves from this because they had their

        22     neighborhood, and they were the boss of the


         1     neighborhood.  Somehow or another we have got

         2     to make sure that we do not become too

         3     personalized, and that we ensure justice, and

         4     that children do not get labeled because

         5     they're known as the bad kid in the community.

         6               And that's going to have to be the

         7     attention that we always focused on.  How do we

         8     ensure justice?  How do we prevent the

         9     labeling?  How do we give kids an opportunity?

        10     How do we give kids the support?

        11               I look at it this way.  I made

        12     reference to my experience in raising children.

        13     A friend died in 1984 leaving me as the legal

        14     guardian of 15-year-old twins.  And that's

        15     where I'm learning how hard it is.  It's also

        16     been one of my rewarding tasks in my life.

        17               But it's the same way.  You've got to

        18     make sure that you don't label the children you

        19     love, that you give them the support, that you

        20     work through the issues, that you provide

        21     justice, that you hold them accountable.

        22               And so, I think the biggest


         1     impediment is going to be, or the biggest fear

         2     I have, is that the justice system can be

         3     adversely impacted.

         4               The second greatest impediment, and

         5     it's not an impediment of will, I think it's

         6     more of an impediment -- it's so hard to get

         7     things changed.  And I've discovered that in

         8     Washington.

         9                    (Applause)

        10               Has OJP talked to the criminal

        11     division?  Have you talked to the U.S.

        12     Attorneys?  Has OJJDP worked with somebody else

        13     on this particular issue?  What are you doing

        14     in the office of victims of crime to relate to

        15     youth victimization?

        16               And it's so wonderful to see how

        17     they're coming together and how they're

        18     building a great team.  But sometimes it takes

        19     a little bit of time.  Well, that's one thing.

        20     But, then, if you have a school system run at

        21     the state level but with local school boards,

        22     and you have the county commission over here.


         1     And then you have 26 cities in the county, and

         2     the city line runs right up the middle of the

         3     highest high-risk area in the city.  And then

         4     you have a state probation officer.  But that's

         5     different than a juvenile probation officer.

         6               And you've got state court systems,

         7     but that doesn't mesh with the county and the

         8     city.  It's a mess in terms of trying to get it

         9     together.  But I think that is our challenge

        10     for America.  Because I think what's happening

        11     -- I think beginning in the depression, people

        12     began to look for Washington as a place to get

        13     problems solved.

        14               With World War II, Washington became

        15     truly the focus of the nation.  With the 50's

        16     and 60's, people looked to Washington for

        17     Justice.  In the 70's, they looked to Washington

        18     for a lot of money.  In the 80's Washington

        19     started shifting the programs to the states

        20     without the dollars.

        21               And then I was in Tallahassee

        22     lobbying the legislature.  And I watched the


         1     legislature shift the programs to the

         2     communities without the dollars.  And then I

         3     watched cities and counties with their backs up

         4     against the wall.  And I've seen it across the

         5     country, start to say, okay, how do we reach

         6     out?

         7               And I think it's going to be up to

         8     states and others to give flexibility at the

         9     local level, for the federal government to give

        10     flexibility at the local level to see what we

        11     can do about organizing around people and not

        12     just concepts.

        13               PARTICIPANT:  What suggestions do you

        14     have for youth empowerment programs such as the

        15     New Haven Board of Young Adult Police

        16     Commissioners.

        17               MS. RENO:  Such as.

        18               PARTICIPANT:  The New Haven Board of

        19     Young Adult Police Commissioners.

        20               MS. RENO:  I have heard of that

        21     program and that sounds like a wonderful idea.

        22               One of the things that I would do


         1     first, if I walked into a community and there

         2     was no significant youth empowerment program,

         3     is start organizing in the schools and asking

         4     the young people how they could best organize

         5     and how they could best work together.

         6               I would try to organize it, again,

         7     based on community.  It depends on the size of

         8     the community.  And each -- a city may be

         9     (inaudible) and then you could perhaps link

        10     them through a coordinating committee.

        11               But ask young people how they can

        12     best serve and how they can best make a

        13     difference.  Work with community police

        14     officers in identifying how we can work

        15     together.  Find the good teachers who

        16     understand young people.

        17               But, most of all, figure out the best

        18     way to listen to young people, get their

        19     reaction, identify the young people who can

        20     really make a difference, and bring them

        21     together.

        22               PARTICIPANT:  My name is (inaudible)


         1     and I'm with Seattle's Safe Futures.  I'm glad

         2     to have an opportunity.  I'm surprised, no one

         3     else (inaudible).  Even if I didn't have a

         4     question, I probably would have came up here

         5     anyway.

         6                    (Laughter and applause)

         7               But I do have a question.

         8               I'm a Vietnamese refugee of this

         9     country back in '75.  And in Seattle we have a

        10     Two To Save Futures effort, we're having an

        11     emphasis on helping Vietnamese and Cambodian

        12     youths.  But we want to help more.  We just

        13     have to concentrate because it's not enough

        14     resources.

        15               There's been a lot of immigration

        16     talk, as we all know.  But I really think

        17     immigration is really good, because we bring a

        18     fresh perspective to their country.  Oftentimes

        19     we live there long enough that we get what we

        20     truly have in the states, as well as our youth

        21     don't know what they have in the states because

        22     we're always concentrating on the negative


         1     aspect.

         2               My question is, if we know -- usually

         3     we know when the next phase of refugee or the

         4     large immigration of the next refugee or

         5     immigration comes into the states.

         6               We should be anticipating in the

         7     efforts of prevention, investigating so we can

         8     set up the resources to help these parents that

         9     don't speak English, help these parents that

        10     want to do good, but have no resources.  I'm

        11     just wondering what you, or your department was

        12     thinking about that.

        13               Because what we find is when people

        14     come into the country, they just can't help

        15     their youth, such as the Vietnamese, and the

        16     Cambodian, and soon to be the Russian,

        17     Ethiopian, and Eastern European countries.

        18               MS. RENO:  Let me make one comment

        19     first.  My father was 12 years old when he came

        20     from Denmark to (inaudible) Wisconsin.  He

        21     spoke not one word of English.  And people

        22     teased him about his funny language and his


         1     funny clothes.

         2               The people who were doing most of the

         3     teasing were second generation Danish children.

         4     He never forgot that.  And in four years he was

         5     the editor of the high school newspaper.  And

         6     he became a reporter for the Miami Herald for

         7     43 years and wrote beautiful English.

         8               I'm just convinced, again, in this

         9     age of decreasing resources, where I see the

        10     best programs are where community groups have

        11     organized to provide the opportunity to take

        12     care of that seven-year-old of the new refugee

        13     who had just come into the country, who's

        14     starting to work.

        15               And the person who's been here a

        16     generation, or the person who has been here 15

        17     years is the one that is reaching out and

        18     helping that seven-year-old learn how to speak

        19     English.  We are committed in the Department of

        20     Justice to maintaining this nation's tradition

        21     as a nation of immigrants.

        22               When this nation no longer has


         1     immigrants is the day it will not have the

         2     vitality and the strength and the diversity and

         3     the wonder of so many different backgrounds

         4     that has made it, truly made it the greatest

         5     nation in the world.

         6               At the same time, we've got to

         7     address the issue of illegal immigration.  And

         8     we're trying to do that according to principles

         9     of due process and fair play, making sure that

        10     there is no immigrant bashing along the way,

        11     because it has been so wonderful.

        12               Shortly after I took office, I opened

        13     an envelope that had been sent to me.  And out

        14     scattered pictures of my grandfather who had

        15     been a photographer in Denmark.  And I opened

        16     the letter, and the letter said, I don't know

        17     whether I'm related to you, but I think I am.

        18               And I know for sure, and knew for

        19     sure.  Again, we organize, if the immigrant

        20     community organizes in the same way, if we

        21     reach out, if they go call on the judge, if

        22     they go knock on the door, if they form


         1     alliances, if those that have come before can

         2     make the difference, we can do so much.

         3               I don't think we can look in terms of

         4     additional dollars.  But what we have got to

         5     fight for is to make sure that immigrants have,

         6     who are lawfully here, have the benefits, the

         7     schooling, the things they need to get off on

         8     the right foot.  And I think we can do that,

         9     again focused on community justice concepts.

        10               PARTICIPANT:  (Inaudible) Center for

        11     Dispute Resolution.  And you mentioned about

        12     resolutions in the schools and mediation in the

        13     schools.  And I just wanted to question, when I

        14     was in North Carolina, we had county dispute

        15     resolution centers that had volunteer

        16     mediators.

        17               And the court would often refer cases

        18     which were felt should be mediated, or cases of

        19     parent/child situations where they could be

        20     mediated.  And I was wondering what your

        21     thoughts were about that, what your experience

        22     is about community mediation programs working


         1     with the courts?

         2               MS. RENO:  I think they are

         3     absolutely -- I think they present a wonderful

         4     opportunity, because something is happening

         5     across this country that I find exciting.

         6     Lawyers who've traditionally solved all their

         7     problems in the court by cussing at each other

         8     in a nice way in a court are suddenly

         9     discovering that it's costly, and that they can

        10     settle a lot of their disputes by learning how

        11     to negotiate.

        12               We go to law school to learn how to

        13     try cases, but we have rarely learned how to

        14     negotiate cases.  So, for example, in the

        15     Department of Justice, we're focusing a great

        16     deal on appropriate dispute resolution.

        17               In the workplace we're seeing the

        18     same opportunities arise with the enforcement

        19     of the Americans With Disabilities Act.  But I

        20     think in a community setting if we, first of

        21     all, if we require that every school, that

        22     everyone learn how to negotiate, and how to


         1     problem solve, and how to communicate, we could

         2     make such a difference.

         3               And it can be done.  There are some

         4     wonderful courses being given to Washington,

         5     D.C., school teachers and to youngsters who are

         6     participating in dispute resolution programs.

         7     And they can make such a difference.

         8               So, in my image that I have of this

         9     community juvenile justice system, is you will

        10     have people well trained as mediators able to

        11     understand children, appreciating children,

        12     appreciating some of the communications issues

        13     with children, and the body language, that they

        14     could be both mediators and problem solvers.

        15               Mediation takes different forms.  As

        16     I understand it, the mediator is supposed to

        17     stay out of coming up with the problem and help

        18     the others come up with it, but sometimes we

        19     need problem solving, too.

        20               But can't you imagine, if the

        21     juvenile court judge in that community had the

        22     opportunity to refer on a regular basis to the


         1     mediation program, but followed up to make sure

         2     that it just didn't fade off, we could do so

         3     much in making the difference.

         4               Because that juvenile court judge may

         5     be able to decide you're guilty, or you're not

         6     guilty, or this should be done, or this

         7     neighborhood situation needs to be resolved.

         8     But the mediator can do it far better than the

         9     court system can in the narrow confines of the

        10     law.

        11               So go to it.  And I'd like to hear

        12     more about what you're doing in New Mexico,

        13     (inaudible) if you can hear about that.

        14               Thank you all.

        15                    (Applause)

        16                    (End of Keynote Address by

        17                    Attorney General Reno)

        18                      *  *  *  *  *