U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue NW, Room N-4437
Quarterly Meeting Agenda
Friday, December 3, 2004
Francis Perkins Department of Labor Building, Room N-4437
Quarterly Meeting Summary
December 3, 2004
Francis Perkins Department of Labor Building, Room N-4437
The December 2004 Quarterly Meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention provided Council members and the public with information on the federal custody of juvenile offenders, nonoffenders, and undocumented juveniles. Maureen Dunn, Director of the Division of Unaccompanied Children's Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and John Pogash with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security gave presentations on the federal custody of unaccompanied alien children. The Council also heard presentations on the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign from Tad Davis, Acting Deputy Director for Demand Reduction, and Robert W. Denniston, Director of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, both in the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor informed the Council about the Employment and Training Administration's activities related to juvenile offenders: Lorenzo Harrison spoke about the Workforce Investment Act, Mason Bishop discussed the Prisoner Reentry Initiative, and Richard Morris presented information about the Youth Offender Portfolio. Council members offered feedback regarding these presentations and reviewed the status of action items from the September 2004 Quarterly Meeting. The Council also continued a discussion on the Final Report of the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth. Council members will continue to work on two action items: (1) gathering recommendations to decrease disproportionate minority contact and supporting an effort to increase data gathering and compliance by the states on this issue and (2) pursuing interagency cooperation to depict service areas on maps as an aid to coordination of program resources.
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
U.S. Department of Education (ED)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)
William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General, Memphis and Shelby County District Attorney General's Office, Memphis, TN
Adele L. Grubbs, Judge, Superior Court of Cobb County, GA
Steven H. Jones, Judge, Sullivan County, Tennessee, Justice Center, Kingsport, TN
Victor Rodriquez, Chief of Police, McAllen Police Department, McAllen, TX
Welcome and Introductions
Mr. Flores welcomed Council members and members of the public to the Quarterly Meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and thanked them for attending. Mr. Flores noted that over the past year the Council has taken some major steps forward; agencies have worked together on projects in the areas of truancy, mental health, and reentry and job training. He anticipates that the Council will become more involved in important issues such as disproportionate minority contact and will take a closer look at how the state juvenile justice agencies are functioning, how the Council can serve them, and how to develop partnerships with the states.
Mr. Flores expressed his appreciation to the representatives of the Department of Labor for hosting and providing a venue for the meeting. The rotation of meeting hosts and locations reflects and reinforces the notion that the Council belongs to all its member federal agencies, although it is housed in the Department of Justice.
Mr. Flores welcomed the two new practitioner members of the Council who were appointed for 2 years by President Bush and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist: William L. Gibbons and Steven H. Jones. Mr. Gibbons is a prosecutor and district attorney in Memphis and has experience with urban programs, including those addressing gangs. Mr. Gibbons visits annually every middle school in his county to talk about gangs and the problems they bring to their members. Judge Jones has been involved with innovative programs that serve rural youth in Eastern Tennessee while also dealing with civil, domestic, and criminal issues. These two new members will be sworn in at a later date. In addition, Senator Frist reappointed Larry Brendtro of Reclaiming Youth International to the Council.
Mr. Bishop welcomed Council members and members of the public to DOL on behalf of Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. Mr. Bishop assured the Council that DOL is committed to working together with the agencies of the Council to bring programs to people in a collaborative way. The Department of Labor is "about jobs" and believes, in many respects, that the best social program is helping someone find and keep a job. DOL's many relevant partnerships include the Serious and Violent Offender Initiative, the Ready for Work Initiative, and DOJ's Gang Reduction Pilot Program.
Welcome From the Office of Justice Programs
Ms. Nolan, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, welcomed participants to the quarterly meeting and commended them regarding their commitment to the work of the Council and the high level of support from partner agencies.
Review of Status of Action Items From September 10, 2004, Quarterly Meeting of the Coordinating Council
Mr. Wight led a discussion regarding the status of the action items from the September 10, 2004, Council meeting. The Council Planning Team, established to help the Council plan meetings, implement decisions, and coordinate activities,met by telephone conference call on October 7 and November 4. Participating in the conference calls were Matthew Braud (HUD), Stan Chappell (HHS), Javier Cordova (ONDCP), John Foster-Bey (CNCS), Bill Modzeleski (ED), Richard Morris (DOL), John Pogash (DHS), and Timothy Wight (DOJ). Members reviewed and updated outstanding action items from past Council meetings and provided information on their agency's activities in regard to the Final Report of the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth. Members also reviewed and discussed the agenda for the December 3, 2004, and March 4, 2005, meetings.
Reviewed and updated outstanding action items from past Council meetings. Council agencies agreed to address a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on child welfare and juvenile justice. The GAO report Federal Agencies Could Play a Stronger Role in Helping Reduce the Number of Children Placed Solely To Obtain Mental Health Services looked at situations in which children appear to have been placed in child welfare or juvenile justice programs solely as a way to obtain mental health treatment. On October 18, 2004, HHS convened a meeting to coordinate efforts related to the report. In addition to many HHS components, several Council agencies participated in the meeting, including DOJ, ED, and DOL. The report stated that federal agencies could play a stronger role in helping states reduce the number of children placed solely to obtain mental health services. Presentations included the following:
Council agencies agreed that additional work is needed to increase the amount of mental health services for children to prevent their inappropriate entry into the juvenile justice or child welfare systems, or if already in the system, to ensure that they receive treatment and exit the system as soon as possible.
Final Report of the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth.Council agencies agreed to report on their agencies' activities related to recommendations from the Final Report of the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth. Council Planning Team members provided summary information on their agencies' activities related to the recommendations from the final report. This summary was provided to Council members for the December 3, 2004 meeting in a large chart format.
Practitioner members address disproportionate minority contact. Council practitioner members met on October 7, 2004, to discuss recommendations to strengthen legislation related to disproportionate minority contact in the juvenile justice system. The next meeting for practitioner members to discuss this issue is scheduled for January 6, 2005.
Future Council meetings. Mr. Wight announced the next Council meeting will be held at the Department of Education at 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, D.C., on March 4, 2005. The summer 2005 meeting will be held at HUD in Washington, D.C., on June 3, 2005. Hosts have not been identified for the September 9 and December 2, 2005, meetings.
Decisions needed from the December 3, 2004, Council meeting. Mr. Wight noted the following agenda items and their related required decisions for the December 3, 2004, meeting:
Review and discussion of written public comments submitted to the Council. No written comments were submitted by the public in response to the Federal Register notice for the December 3, 2004, meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Prior to the September 2004 meeting, the director of the Miami-Dade County Juvenile Assessment Center submitted a written comment highlighting assessment-related improvements made to the local juvenile justice system in Miami-Dade County and how those improvements can be replicated nationally. As requested by Council members at the September 2004 meeting, the director of the assessment center provided additional information regarding the center's assessment improvements for Council member review (see handout in meeting packet).
Council Discussion on Actions Taken From the Final Report of the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth
Mr. Flores asked Council members for their comments regarding the handout of the oversized chart that lists the activities of member federal agencies related to the recommendations of the Final Report of the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth.
Interagency coordination. Harry Wilson (HHS) stated that an interagency coordination meeting is to be held during the week following the December 2004 Council meeting. Mr. Wilson, Cheri Nolan (DOJ), Mason Bishop (DOL), and Emily S. DeRocco (DOL), among other federal agency administrators, will attend, along with representatives of several foundations that have expressed an interest in partnering with the Council and advancing the goals of the task force.
"What Works" clearinghouse. Cheri Nolan (DOJ) expects that the unified protocol for a federal "What Works" clearinghouse will be completed in January 2005. Federal partnering agencies (ED, HHS, and DOJ) will then agree to monetarily support and establish the clearinghouse within the next few months with some deobligated funds in the Office of Justice Programs. The clearinghouse will gather information from all Federal agencies on programs and interventions that have demonstrated evidence-based success. In the past, each agency has had its own criteria for measuring success; whereas the clearinghouse will standardize the criteria for success and apply a unified protocol to each program considered for its database. Grant applicants and other local and state organizations will find the clearinghouse helpful in determining programs to replicate in their own communities.
Discussion and Council Recommendations on the Federal Custody of Juvenile Offenders, Nonoffenders, and Undocumented Juveniles
Two speakers gave presentations on the federal custody of juvenile offenders, nonoffenders, and undocumented juveniles: Maureen Dunn of the Office of Refugee Settlement (HHS) and John Pogash of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (DHS).
HHS Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children
As mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the mission and functions of DUCS were transferred to HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement within the Administration for Children and Families in March 2003. Children under 18 who do not have legal status in the United States and are not accompanied by an adult when apprehended (often by Border Patrol agents), known as unaccompanied alien children, are often referred by detention and removal officers in DHS's Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to DUCS. ICE is responsible for transporting these children to shelters and other housing options. Most are boys, 15 to 17, from Central America (predominantly Honduras), China, and India. Mexican children are also apprehended, but immigration law requires that they be returned to Mexico. The numbers of girls, including pregnant girls, and very young children ages 3 and 4 are increasing. The youngest children are most likely smuggled into the country to join undocumented parents. Approximately 6,000 unaccompanied alien children are apprehended each year; less than 800 are currently under the care of DUCS. About 40 percent of the 6,000 are voluntarily returned or deported to their countries of origin. In fiscal year 2003, a child's average length of stay under DUCS care was 45 days.
The Flores Settlement Agreement (Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292 (1993)), the result of 15 years of litigation with the INS, outlines guidelines regarding treatment of the unaccompanied alien children for DUCS to follow until regulations are published. The underlying principles of the Flores Agreement are to place children in the least restrictive settings and promptly release them to families or other sponsors. DUCS care options provide 920 beds and include shelter care (825 beds), short- and long-term foster care (50 beds), group homes, staff secure facilities/secure facilities (46 beds), and residential mental health treatment centers. Virtually all children within DUCS care are involved in immigration proceedings to request some form of relief or to be voluntarily returned to their country of origin. All facilities must offer the following services: educational, medical, counseling, vocational training, outdoor recreation, and transportation to court hearings and consulates.
Staff secure facilities, which have a high staff-to-child ratio, were initiated in the past year and are licensed as shelters as an alternative to traditional secure detention centers. Placement criteria for staff secure facilities include children with an offender history (adjudicated delinquents or those with an arrest history, a chargeable offense, or a conviction for a crime, or those who are a subject of delinquency proceedings) or children with behavior issues or other special needs. Ms. Dunn listed infractions, such as shoplifting and joy riding, that might determine that a child be placed in a staff secure facility and described the standards of care staff give to a child in such facilities. Placement criteria for secure detention facilities also were detailed, along with procedures to respond to an emergency influx of children.
Ms. Dunn recounted the following achievements by DUCS since March 2003:
Although it is not yet 2 years old, DUCS has learned valuable lessons and generated ideas and plans for the coming years. DUCS will continue to place every child in the least restrictive setting available by adding more staff secure facilities, adding "full service" secure facilities, and monitoring and reviewing the unaccompanied alien children in secure facilities.
DHS Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children
Until March 2003, DHS housed the program for unaccompanied alien children in INS, as described above by Ms. Dunn. DHS officials are now attempting to determine how Council agencies and DHS can work together to help fulfill their own and each others' goals.
When INS was charged with caring for unaccompanied alien children 2 years ago, 400 to 650 children were in custody at any given time; the HHS program, DUCS, now has about 800 children. Prior to 2003, the program had regional and district field staff, in addition to national staff, to monitor local services and activities. The Flores Agreement was signed in March 1997 and INS met the terms of the agreement every year thereafter. (The Flores Agreement will be in effect until the regulations are signed, which is not anticipated in the near future.) The program had direct authority from the INS commissioner's office and administered grants and oversaw contracts starting in 1997. The program also developed and reviewed policies, wrote regulations, trained personnel, produced a database to track everyone in custody, and created a protocol manual.
ICE continues to apprehend unaccompanied alien children as it did prior to 2003, but now refers them to the HHS DUCS program if they are to be held in the United States instead of being sent back to their country of origin. Mr. Pogash stated that one of the issues that has plagued both DHS and HHS is the placement of nondelinquent children in secure (lockdown) facilities. This practice has been common in sparsely populated and remote areas that have only secure facilities for children, such as juvenile detention facilities. In these areas, it has been acceptable to house nondelinquent children for 1 or 2 days until transportation can be arranged to move them to a less restrictive, more suitable facility. All beds used by ICE are inspected and licensed, meet state and federal standards, and have programs and services for children in place. Types of facilities are similar to the types used by HHS's DUCS program—nonsecure, secure, and medium secure—and services and programs required are also similar. Over the years, more officers have led to more operations, which have led to more apprehensions, which have led to more arrests, which have led to more children in custody. Forty-three days was the average length of stay for a child in custody.
Mr. Pogash outlined the program's accomplishments from 1997 to the transfer in 2003, including the following:
HHS and DHS continue to collaborate to make the program work by meeting regularly regarding policies and procedures and exchanging information about benefits and case investigations. In addition, DHS border patrol and inspectors continue to make arrests and upfront release decisions. However, when children must be taken into custody within a day or so, the HHS DUCS program takes over to identify a place for the child to be housed. If a child returns to his or her country of origin, DHS reenters the case and accompanies the child back.
Mr. Pogash listed several outstanding transitional issues, including:
Mr. Pogash cited several critical issues that have not been resolved. The U.S. juvenile justice system coordinates services for juveniles who are charged with violating the law; Mr. Pogash suggested that the U.S. system that deals with nondelinquent juveniles be as coordinated, understanding the difficulties in coordinating with foreign governments as opposed to local governments in the United States. He proposed that three actions should occur when a child is apprehended: (1) the child is returned to his home, (2) the child is granted a benefit immediately and is taken care of, and (3) only a small percentage of children are taken into custody, pending further research. Every child must also be adjudicated quickly and not allowed to languish up to 10 months, in some cases, without a determination on his or her case. Current law does not say who speaks for the unaccompanied alien child and when; the Elian Gonzales case demonstrated this vividly. Parental rights and responsibilities are not spelled out. Children may be granted a benefit to stay, but the parents often do not appear at the facility or hearing or claim the child for fear of deportation. Mr. Pogash believes that because the problems related to unaccompanied alien children range from smuggling to abandonment to witness protection, many agencies, such as HHS, DHS, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the State Department, and the U.S. Marshals Service need to be involved. Mr. Flores invited Council members to make recommendations on these matters.
Presentation on the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign: Teens, Drugs, and the Media
Tad Davis, Acting Deputy Director for Demand Reduction at the Office of National Drug Control Policy, introduced Robert W. Denniston, Director of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, to describe ONDCP's Early Intervention Initiative—Teens, Drugs, and the Media—and present recent drug use trends among youth.
Mr. Denniston stated ONDCP's national drug strategy goals for children ages 12–17 and adults 18 and older: (1) reduce illicit drug use by 10 percent in 2 years, (2) reduce illicit drug use by 25 percent in 5 years.
Mr. Denniston made the following points:
Dr. Flores opened the floor to comments and questions.
Judge Steven Jones, a practitioner member of the Council, noted that most of the youth that come before him in his juvenile and drug courts believe that marijuana is not addictive. They are also unaware that local (Sullivan County, TN) dealers have been lacing marijuana with cocaine. Judge Jones also reported that youth are now abusing over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, such as Coricidin (called triple Cs). He urged the national media campaign to address these issues.
Mr. Denniston (ONDCP) responded that the national campaigns have been working with the news media to build the message that marijuana is a serious drug with serious consequences. A recent content analysis of 9 months of news revealed that only 6 percent of the stories about marijuana included information about its harmful effects. As a result, the campaign began reaching out via 40 media roundtables, working with local media, local experts, and local statistics to promote the message that marijuana can be addictive and its use has negative consequences. New print ads with these same messages will appear in national newspapers in January 2005. ONDCP research with parents shows that the addiction argument is not powerful with parents. Instead, compromising a teen's short-term future by missing school, loosing a scholarship because of a drug test, and crashing the car because of impaired driving are relevant messages to parents.
ONDCP is aware that although marijuana and other illicit drug use is declining, prescription drugs, such as vicodin, percoset, and triple Cs, are increasingly being abused. ONDCP-sponsored roundtables with Hollywood writers and producers are attempting to help them build messages into their storylines about the consequences of drug abuse, including the abuse of OTC and prescription drugs.
Victor Rodriguez, a practitioner member of the Council, inquired about the availability of the campaign materials for use by law enforcement agencies across the country. Mr. Denniston indicated that large quantities of print materials (poster, pamphlets, and booklets) are available at no cost and print ads are downloadable from the Web site, www.TheAntiDrug.com. Reels of ads can be obtained for private showings (but cannot be broadcast due to prior legal arrangements).
Discussion and Council Recommendations Regarding DOL's Youth Training Programs
Three speakers from DOL gave presentations on youth training programs: Lorenzo Harrison of the Office of Youth Services; Mason Bishop, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor; and Richard Morris, Workforce Development Specialist.
Presentation on DOL's New Strategic Vision for the Delivery of Youth Services Under the Workforce Investment Act
Mr. Harrison's presentation can be viewed as a followup to the recommendations contained in the Final Report of the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth issued in October 2003. The report focused on four goals: better management, accountability, and connections and giving priority to the neediest youth. The goals also include developing a unified research agenda that identifies the best practices using random-assignment evaluations.
Mr. Harrison described a collaborative, results-oriented approach by HHS, DOJ, and ED to youth development and employment training that aims to prepare youth for success in a global economy—and addresses the recommendations of the White House Report. The amount of funding directly or indirectly related to youth in these three agencies totals almost $7.3 billion and includes the following target programs: the Job Corps, formula-funded activities under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), programs under the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, Carl Perkins Vocational and Technical Education program, and an array of programs within OJJDP.
The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has developed a new strategic vision for the delivery of youth services under WIA: Out-of-school youth are an important part of the new workforce "supply pipeline" needed by businesses to fill job vacancies in the knowledge economy. Youth programs funded by WIA will provide leadership by serving as a catalyst to connect the youth with quality secondary and postsecondary educational and employment opportunities. Included as well are other units of government such as those at the state and local level, private philanthropic organizations, and foundations. The four pillars of the new youth vision focus on (1) alternative and innovative education, (2) meeting the demands of business, especially in high-growth industries and occupations, (3) the neediest youth, and (4) improved performance as determined by common measures. Some of the industries of the new economy include advanced manufacturing, biotech, health care, financial services, and construction.
Three regional youth forums are the ETA's mechanism for disseminating the four pillars of its new youth vision across the country. The forums have resulted in meaningful interagency commitment and strategic planning among federal, state, and local administrators and programs funded by OJJDP, HHS, ED, and DOL.
Feedback from the forums highlights state challenges and federal opportunities: the need for information on resources and services across programs and agencies, engagement of state leadership, models for collaboration, common messages and common languages, and continued support of state teams. Additional feedback from the forums revealed these needs as well: integrated policies and planning guidance across agencies at the federal level, framework and policies that support data sharing, a performance measurement system that supports the vision, and funding strategies that support collaboration and new models (without new funding). Mr. Harrison shared an example of data sharing among local agencies in Hartford, Connecticut. With the leadership of the mayor, the local school district found a way to share information with community-based youth programs that does not compromise the Family Privacy Act.
Followup to the forums will engage governors, provide resource mapping, align federal teams to support states on an ongoing basis, clarify and resolve policy issues, and provide models for collaboration.
Mr. Bishop stated that although approximately $232 billion federal dollars are funding youth programs across the country, people at the state and local level believe there is not enough money. He proposed that they believe this because the money is distributed by the many federal agencies to programs that specifically target various populations and are administered by people in diverse state and local agencies who do not communicate with each other. For example, state correctional departments do not talk to state workforce departments, state education departments, state health departments, or state human services departments. As the Council provides a model for collaboration at the national level, the importance of involvement by state governors and resource mapping at the local level will help state and local programs collaborate as well.
Presentation on DOL's Prisoner Reentry Initiative
President Bush announced a request for funding of a new prisoner reentry initiative in the 2004 State of the Union Address. Congress recently approved funding for such an initiative, to be led by DOL, which will coordinate with DOJ. A principal component of the initiative is improved engagement with community- and faith-based organizations, which will be reflected in the solicitation from DOL in the spring of 2005. Grant awards will probably be announced in July 2005.
Presentation on DOL's Youth Offender Portfolio
Mr. Morris described the Young Offender Portfolio, an offshoot of an earlier investment that DOL began in 1999, which is located within ETA's Office of Youth Services. ETA's vision for young offenders targets the neediest of them, prioritizes the investments that serve them, and makes funds available to help them reintegrate into and become productive members of their communities. The goals of the portfolio include providing offenders and those at risk of offending with information, support, and training needed to obtain jobs and schooling; providing employers with skilled workers; ensuring that young offenders remain crimefree; and creating safer communities. Mr. Morris stated that obtaining accurate recidivism rates among juveniles is very difficult and suggested that the Council try to promote the standardization of the collection and dissemination of such data.
Mr. Morris presented maps of the United States and, as an example with further detail, California, which illustrate the numerous and varying federally-funded youth investments, including the following programs: Youth Opportunity Grants, Youth Offender Demonstration Projects (YODPs), Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker programs, Youth Build, Latino Coalition, Foster Care Initiative, Job Corps, and the Urban League.
Representatives of ETA's Office of Youth Services have met with William L. Woodruff, OJJDP Deputy Administrator for Policy, to discuss using their geographic information system (GIS) to combine the data from both agencies and obtain more detailed resource mapping. The goal is to link staff in neighboring resources so that they can work together and avoid duplication.
ETA's strategies include expanding partnerships between state and local workforce investment systems and the criminal justice, education, and foster care systems. ETA programs for young offenders also will utilize community- and faith-based organizations to train and mentor ex-offenders. Finally, the programs will use intermediary organizations to connect employers with offenders, particularly in such high-growth industries as health care.
Programs within the Youth Offender Portfolio provide services to incarcerated youth, youth at time of sentencing, and youth at risk of involvement with the juvenile/criminal justice system. The services provided include reentry and aftercare, alternative sentencing, and gang prevention; key components of these services are education, job readiness, and job placement.
ETA's strategy to guide and assist local projects via technical assistance is reflected in its new Young Offender Grants Program, which involves such national organizations as the Latino Coalition, Nueva Esperanza, Ready for Work, STRIVE (Support and Training Results in Valuable Employees), the Urban League, and YouthBuild USA. Public entities awarded grant funds total more than 95 around the country and are located in, for example, Avon Park, FL; Cincinnati, OH; Oakland, CA; Pueblo of Laguna, NM; Sisseton, SD; and YOPD Impact Sites. The Avon Park project is an example of a 6-year partnership between DOL and DOJ to study the local impact of ETA funding.
Local grant administrators are encouraged to keep in mind the following overarching process and impact performance measures and use them also as "management measures" while guiding the planning and implementation of the project: enrollment, participation, placement, diploma/GED attainment, job retention, and recidivism.
Mr. Morris reported selected results from the YODP impact evaluation within the Young Offender Portfolio. In its third and final stage, 29 sites received funding. Six of the 29 sites were identified to participate in a random-assignment impact evaluation, which follows the recommendation of the White House Report that promotes the increased use of scientific methods, such as random assignment, in the evaluation of projects.
Mr. Flores noted that HHS, DOL, ED, HUD, and other agencies with significant budgets related to youth activities are preparing to make portions of them available in a practical way to other departments and other practitioners. These funds are, in reality, "new monies" to the receiving agencies. They represent a broader look at the concepts of funding and budgeting that include partnering with other agencies and working hand-in-hand with other agencies on nonpartnered activities.
Mr. Flores reminded participants that the truancy conference in December, Partnering To Prevent Truancy, A National Priority, is an example of the Council's work in bringing ED and DOJ together on an issue central to President Bush's commitment to leave no child behind. Young people who are not attending school may not be able to meet future employers' demands for employees that can read, write, perform advanced mathematics, and make a contribution in the labor pool when they turn 18.
Mr. Flores asked the judges on the Council whether they use job training opportunities as a carrot to reinforce and promote alternative sentences. Do district attorneys wonder whether they should commit to an alternative sentencing plan in certain cases? Will young offenders stay in those programs, go back to school, get job training, and become a success? Will alternative sentencing programs work in their local communities?
Judge Adele Grubbs stated that the Department of Defense, with its National Guard Challenge Program, was part of the Council. Although youth who had been adjudicated were not allowed in the Challenge Program, this limitation often could be negotiated, making this voluntary program a very successful tool. Judge Grubbs greatest problem, however, is followup. She does not have the ability to follow up, which is the probation department's task. She uses the Youth Build Program but admits that she does not always know what resources are available and finds that the state probation department rarely does either.
Judge Steven Jones stated that when he cochaired the prevention component of the Juvenile Justice Reform Commission in Tennessee, it was clear to see that lack of school attendance was highly correlated with delinquency and, ultimately, criminal behavior. If a youth was about to "age out of the system," Judge Jones sought alternative sentencing that would address two main needs: GED programs and life skills through vocational education. Many available jobs are summer jobs, which will not sustain anyone. To address the needs of education and training for youth, Judge Jones works with a not-for-profit organization that helps to prepare grant applications for the local churches and other community-based organizations, which would otherwise not know how to access the federal grants system. He reiterated Judge Grubbs' opinion that followup and aftercare services are needed. Judges Grubbs and Jones agreed that a judge can develop a suitable plan for the juvenile offender but cannot help to piece together a broken plan if no one brings it back to him or her in the form of a hearing.
William Gibbons, District Attorney General in Memphis, has witnessed the difference in the success of alternative sentencing with and without continued judicial supervision. In his drug court, which includes continued supervision of offenders by the judge, offenders are required to enroll in drug treatment, obtain their GED, and be employed. He also concurs with Judge Jones regarding the link between truancy and delinquency. In Memphis, a study showed that 25 percent of all delinquent acts on school days occurred during school hours, indicating they were committed by truants or suspended students.
Mr. Flores asked Mr. Bishop (DOL) whether the Council should consider promoting ways to help young offenders who participate in reentry job training programs but are not meeting their responsibilities to be brought back before a judge. Judicial oversight will help sell and maintain the program with employers who might otherwise be reluctant to hire offenders. Could such oversight be required? What are the barriers and challenges to implementing it?
Mr. Bishop indicated that the White House Task Force Report recommended moving the Youth Challenge Program from DOD to DOL because, at its heart, it is an employment program. Youth Challenge has several shortcomings; however, it contains a behavioral modification component but not a vocational training component and it is a relatively short-term experience. To overcome these problems, an experiment in Louisiana is giving Youth Challenge participants a priority status to enter the Job Corps, which is residential, has job training, and helps members get jobs. DOL staff working with workforce systems are interested in collaborating with judges and the justice system so that youth who are being adjudicated have opportunities for obtaining a high school education, GED diplomas, community college, apprenticeships, and certification programs.
Randomly assigned high-performing YODP sites initially funded in 1999 and 2000 will be involved in a study to determine if they should include an alternative sentencing/workforce system component. DOL is committed to working with state and local systems to serve young offenders in more intensive ways and meeting Council goals as well. A frequent barrier, however, is the performance measurement piece, about which people say, "It's a harder-to-serve population and we won't be as successful in getting many of them employed." Mr. Bishop believes that these issues can be overcome and resolved.
Mr. Flores stated that the March 2005 Council meeting will devote less time to presentations and will focus on discussing presentations from the December 2004 and previous meetings and determining priorities for the Council.
Mr. Flores thanked Council members for a banner year in terms of accomplishment toward additional coordination, real cooperation, and a better understanding of federal agencies' missions and perspectives. On behalf of the chair, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Mr. Flores thanked his staff for their efforts, especially Timothy Wight, who is leaving the position of Director of Concentration of Federal Efforts and will become Deputy Assistant Director in the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Mr. Wight's position will be filled by Robert Samuels, who will be in contact with Council members in the near future.
Mr. Flores also thanked Richard Morris (DOL) for supporting Council staff between meetings, assisting with the mapping project, and educating the Council on DOL's mission, Javier Cordova (ONDCP) for identifying points of contact in the White House and helping the Council understand drug abuse issues, Lorenzo Harrison (DOL) for being a valued colleague ever since Mr. Flores's arrival, Sonia Chessen (HHS) for staffing the White House Task Force and explaining the complexities of HHS, Deborah Price (ED) for helping to sponsor the Partnering To Prevent Truancy Conference, Phyllis Richardson (DOL) for helping to set up the December meeting at DOL, and Daryel Dunston (Juvenile Justice Resource Center) for staffing Council meetings, ensuring that members receive their materials, and improving the meeting environment over time.
Mr. Flores thanked the Council members and other participants for attending, wished everyone happy holidays, and adjourned the meeting.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Division of Children and Youth Policy
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
Office of Justice Programs
U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
Lucy Hudson, Project Manager, Juvenile Justice Resource Center
David Kittross, Editor, CD Publications
Kimberly LaGree-Ross, Public Sector Grants Manager, World Vision, Inc.
Joyce Lowery, Public Sector Grants Specialist, World Vision, Inc.
Marion Mattingly, Washington Editor, Juvenile Justice Update
Christy Sharp, Director, Child Welfare League of America
Dennis L. White, Research Analyst, Hamilton Fish Institute, The George Washington University