Quarterly Meeting Agenda
Thursday, July 8, 1999
Duke of Gloucester Room
Please note: a picture I.D. is required for admittance.
Quarterly Meeting Summary
July 8, 1999
Duke of Gloucester Room
The Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention held its quarterly meeting on Thursday, July 8, 1999, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Duke of Gloucester Room at the Maryland Inn, Annapolis, Maryland. A list of those who attended the meeting is included at the end of this summary.
Shay Bilchik welcomed the members of the Coordinating Council to the quarterly meeting. This meeting concluded a solid day's worth of meetings with practitioner members alone and with Federal representatives. Bilchik announced the first agenda item, the Comprehensive Strategy developed by James "Buddy" Howell, prior Director of Research and Program Development Division, OJJDP and John Wilson, Deputy Administrator, State Relations and Formula Programs, OJJDP. The Comprehensive Strategy provides a framework for communities to plan prevention activities and graduated sanctions in their juvenile justice systems. This nationally distributed document is being used by States and communities to identify objectives through a data-driven assessment of child victimization and juvenile delinquency. Bilchik then introduced Mark Matese, manager of OJJDP's Comprehensive Strategy Program, who brings a State-level perspective to the Federal Government from his work in Kansas.
Matese said he would provide an overview of the Comprehensive Strategy in terms of OJJDP's background, activities, and coordination with the Federal Government and would then turn the floor over to Delmas Wood and Sandra McBrayer, who would present information about the field implementation of the Comprehensive Strategy at the State and local levels, respectively.
Wood is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Field Services for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice; McBrayer is Executive Director for the Children's Initiative in San Diego, CA.
The Comprehensive Strategy offers a continuum of services from prenatal care to correctional aftercare. The Strategy involves two components: prevention, which targets youth at risk for delinquency, and graduated sanctions, which targets delinquent youth. The latter includes everything from small community-based residential programs to institutionalization and aftercare.
Core principles of the Strategy are strengthening families, supporting social institutions, promoting delinquency prevention, intervening immediately and effectively when delinquency first occurs, establishing a system of graduated sanctions, and identifying and controlling the small group of serious and violent juvenile offenders.
Buddy Howell and John Wilson decided to publish the research on prevention and graduated sanctions, and in 1993 the Office approved the plan, which was published in 1995. In 1996, they began testing the concept in communities and providing technical assistance in mobilizing communities, assessing community needs and resources, and planning and implementation. The concept was piloted in San Diego, CA, and Fort Meyers, FL. In 1997, five States (Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Texas) were competitively selected to develop 5-year strategic plans. The Office is currently assisting 28 sites. Many States will be completing their strategic plans in the next few months. In Oregon and Wisconsin, the Office is testing and piloting a community planning manual that could be used elsewhere. In Kansas, the guide was used to rewrite the state's juvenile justice legislation.
OJJDP's support of efforts based on the Comprehensive Strategy began with publication of the Comprehensive Strategy program summary in 1993. In 1995 OJJDP published the guide for implementing the Comprehensive Strategy. Two strategic plans are now on the OJJDP Web site.
The Office will support the training and technical assistance initiative beyond assisting communities with their strategic plans. The Office recently issued an announcement of $1.5 million to assist five States in implementing their plans through management information system (MIS) enhancements, program monitoring, process and outcome evaluation, staff coordination, data collection, program development and implementation, and training in school violence prevention.
Matese said that they have also identified possible linkages with other Federal initiatives. Examples include geographic information systems and MIS, Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) work in community planning, and the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) crime-mapping project Compass. Funding can come from a variety of sources. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has local law enforcement block grant funds. The Weed and Seed Initiative through BJA is another example. Jacksonville, FL, was one of the first sites to think creatively about obtaining funds; it received $1.2 million from sources such as these.
OJJDP will work with other Federal agencies, including the National Partnership for Reinventing Government, to reduce barriers that affect outcomes for kids. The phrase that Matese said sums up the Comprehensive Strategy is "the right resources for the right kid at the right time." He then turned the floor over to Delmas Wood.
Wood has been with Maryland's Department of Juvenile Justice for 25 years. He supervises local offices in the State that work with the juvenile courts. Wood was at first ambivalent about the Comprehensive Strategy, but his enthusiasm grew as he realized how extensively the Comprehensive Strategy documents the causes of violent juvenile crime. If a community wants to develop its own prevention strategy, it can draw on the wealth of information in the Comprehensive Strategy to determine implementation steps and programs, such as infant home visitation or preschool programs. The Strategy allowed Maryland to plan for prevention, and at the same time, deal with juveniles that need immediate attention. This model also provided a way for communities to build a system of graduated sanctions using a validated classification system to identify the kids most likely to continue on a delinquent path. Maryland began by targeting six sites: Baltimore City, Montgomery County, Prince Georges County, Washington County, Charles County, and Wicomico County (Salisbury), which is a microcosm of Baltimore City.
Wood gave responsibility for the Comprehensive Strategy to the area directors of each of these six sites. With the State in the lead, area directors had more input into juvenile justice changes. They realized that they could not plan and develop the early prevention component of the strategy but that they could work with community-based organizations to put those programs in place. At first, the communities would not buy into the program because it did not seem different from previous ones. They also wanted to see the funding up front. Even though there was no money for the program, Wood told them he believed they would later be eligible to receive funding from Federal, State, foundation, and other sources. They would be in a much better position having completed the strategic planning process.
Wood handed out a one-page summary of Wicomico's plan, which has been developed over the last 18 months to 2 years. The county identified 5 of 19 possible risk factors, and focused on these. It inventoried the available services related to each risk factor, identified gaps and planning priorities, and developed short- and long-term strategies. Other plans around the State were similar.
One challenge has been citizen involvement. The public wants things now, but as people were brought to the table, they began to develop innovative partnerships. One example is neighborhood youth panels, made up of citizens before which an offending juvenile appears. Other communities were interested in community conferencing, a model from Australia/New Zealand in which a facilitator works with the victim, perpetrator, and families.
Implementation of the Comprehensive Strategy fits successfully with other initiatives, including Maryland's emphasis on restorative justice, which focuses on repairing the harm done to a victim by a crime. By adopting the Comprehensive Strategy, the six pilot sites have raised both the profile of the community and the victim.
San Diego County is the sixth or seventh largest city in the Nation, with more than 800,000 youth ages 0-18. In the county, 20,000 juveniles are arrested yearly, 4,000 are on probation daily, and 10,000 are documented gang members. The county came to OJJDP with a "one target/one task" approach and discovered that county stakeholders were not working together.
McBrayer said that, for them, the Comprehensive Strategy is a philosophy of doing business differently, of not placing blame but of getting people to work together. When all the players came together, they found that they each knew their own fields well, but not each other's. They then looked at how to tailor the Comprehensive Strategy to their needs. They changed the name of the program to Comprehensive Strategy for Youth, Families, and Communities because they wanted to shift the focus away from juvenile justice to include community-based organizations and education.
They also drew up traditional mission and vision goal statements. They included not just leaders of organizations and elected officials but also brought in youth, parents, and representatives from the business sector and faith community. They looked at gaps in services to identify needed programs and overlooked geographic regions. They also examined support services, infrastructure, and computer services.
They decided that the Federal Comprehensive Strategy, with its two components, divided rather than unified them. Rather than working on graduated sanctions and prevention separately, they decided to work on them together. Those working on prevention were in the room, for example, when the juvenile justice side developed graduated sanctions. They became unified through sharing across tasks, geographic regions, and funding streams to get families what they need.
McBrayer described OJJDP's technical assistance as "amazing." They were able to borrow best practices from other States listed in the action guide. They knew the funding would come once they had developed their plan. Stakeholders are now better positioned to apply jointly for and share funds. Programs can be implemented immediately because representatives from various agencies are at the table. Afterschool programs were formed not from an education standpoint but also as a health issue, because 2-6 p.m. is when youth experiment with drugs, sex, and alcohol. The San Diego Health Department put up $1.7 million the first year to fund afterschool programs. In the first year of operation, they served 20,000 middle schoolers.
They now have services on demand for juveniles. They began special programs for girls when they found a 276 percent increase in violent felonies among females. One such program is Working to Ensure and Nurture Girls (WINGS). Because of OJJDP's technical assistance, San Diego County received $10 million for joint projects from State and local sources in the first 18 months. They recently received $16.5 million from the California Department of Education for afterschool programs. School districts used to compete against each other, but under the Comprehensive Strategy, 22 school districts jointly applied for funds. Across the board, a network of services maximizes resources, eliminates duplication, and provides immediate services to kids. The Comprehensive Strategy is a philosophy of collaboration, of learning about outcome evaluation, of accountability to the public, and of finding the best practices available across the States.
Bilchik then asked how the Federal Government can facilitate this effort. McBrayer answered that transportation issues are the most difficult because people cannot get to the services they need. She also wondered if there were something at the Federal level that could be modeled at the local level.
Jim Wright asked how those at risk are identified. Wood said that Maryland uses two kinds of risk assessment. The community is assessed using a total of 19 possible risk factors. A juvenile's level of risk is also assessed. The National Council on Crime and Delinquency helped them put in place a classification system using a study of 900 kids. They looked at the children's characteristics and then followed them for 18 months. They arrived at a statistical model that gave them eight factors that were weighted to determine which were predictive of future offending. Then, they were able to separate the juveniles into four categories of risk so they could make decisions about which kids to leave in the community. They balance this risk assessment with the juvenile's prior offenses and the seriousness of the current charge.
McBrayer said they use mobile Community Assessment Teams (CAT's), an asset-based assessment of the child and family in the home. They maximize resiliency, as well as seeing the negative or the risk. Everyone uses the same form, which travels with the family rather than having the family repeatedly evaluated by various agencies.
Tompkins explained that the last reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act was in 1992. That authorization expired in 1995. In 1996, 1997, and 1998, the Act came up for reauthorization, but Congress did not enact new legislation. This year's bills have made more progress in both the Senate and House than in previous years. There are now three bills that could serve as vehicles for authorization: S. 254, H.R. 1150, and H.R. 1501. In the Senate, S. 254 incorporates prevention and accountability provisions into one comprehensive bill. In the House, H.R. 1501 deals with accountability and H.R. 1150 with prevention.
The bill S. 254 was introduced in January by Senator Hatch. It was immediately put on the Senate calendar, bypassing the regular committee, hearing, and markup process. It was sent to the Senate floor at the same time as the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, CO, and was transformed into a vehicle to provide new gun control legislation. The bill passed on May 20. Originally 275 pages and 4 titles long, it had grown to 400 pages and 12 titles. The final text is packed with new programs and establishes new funding streams.
H.R. 1150, the prevention bill in the Committee on Education and the Workforce was introduced by Congressman Greenwood. It generated the most activity until March. Then in April, H.R. 1501 came to the fore. It provides for a Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Program much like the current Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants program that OJJDP administers, with some minor changes. By June, H.R. 1501 was sent to the floor of the House for debate.
Then, H.R. 1150, the prevention bill, was added to H.R. 1501, the accountability bill, by amendment. The bill, which is now called H.R. 1501 by name but incorporates H.R. 1150, passed. The next step is for the two bills S. 254 and H.R. 1501 to go to conference, which may be this summer, although that is uncertain.
Tompkins then moved to the provisions relating to the reauthorization of OJJDP. Both bills continue to provide for an office of juvenile justice in the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). The bills essentially continue OJJDP's functions and programs but change its name. In the Senate bill, the name is the Office of Juvenile Crime Control and Prevention, and in the House bill, the title is the Office of Juvenile Crime Control and Delinquency Prevention.
Both bills eliminate the provisions in the JJDP Act that provide for the Coordinating Council. However, there appears to be a recognition in both bills that coordination is essential to a Federal juvenile justice program, to pool resources, avoid duplication, and streamline functions. For example, the Senate bill has a number of programs that call for collaboration between Federal agencies. OJJDP and the Department of Education are tasked to help State and local educational agencies develop alternative education models for at-risk youth. The Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice (DOJ), HUD, Labor, Agriculture, and Defense are tasked to collaborate in establishing a parenting support and education program. The Federal Trade Commission and DOJ are tasked with jointly conducting a study on the marketing practices of the motion picture, recording, and computer game industries.
The House bill also promotes coordination among Federal agencies. The Surgeon General and the National Institute of Mental Health are directed to conduct a comprehensive review on the effect of violence in the media on juveniles. The Secretary of Education and the National Academy of Sciences are tasked to conduct a study on the antecedents of school behavior in urban, rural, and suburban schools. OJJDP and the National Institute of Mental Health are directed to study the scope and nature of the mental health problems and disorders of juveniles in detention, confinement, residential placements, and probation.
Both bills continue to provide for a Formula Grants Program. The programs in both bills are similar to that in the current JJDP Act, that is, they are grants to the States to improve the juvenile justice system and to develop effective programs such as education, training, research, prevention, diversion, treatment, and rehabilitation programs.
As with the current Act, funding is conditioned on the State meeting certain "core requirements." Both bills include all four of the current core requirements, which include the deinstitutionalization of status offenders, separation of juveniles from adults, removal of juveniles from adult jails and lock-ups, and disproportionate minority confinement. The disproportionate minority confinement requirement undergoes the most significant change from the current Act. The Senate bill also adds a fifth core requirement, which requires that the State have a policy requiring juveniles found to be in possession of a firearm in school to be brought before a judicial officer and, if the juvenile is found to be a danger to himself, to be detained for 24 hours for evaluation.
Both bills have a program to provide block grants to the States for projects to prevent juvenile delinquency. They replace the Title V Incentive Grants for Local Delinquency Prevention Programs in the current JJDP Act. In the Senate bill, the Prevention Challenge Block Grant Program authorizes 22 prevention activities and requires 80 percent of the funds to be spent on primary prevention. The House authorizes 20 similar activities.
Both bills have accountability block grant programs. They provide assistance to the States to improve the administration of juvenile justice, strengthen the juvenile justice system, and ensure juvenile accountability. The difference is that in the Senate bill funding is conditioned on the State having a system of graduated sanctions, a policy of drug testing, and a policy recognizing the rights and needs of victims. Twenty-five percent of funds are to be spent on primary prevention activities. This section of the Senate bill also includes a program to help State and local courts with juvenile offender dockets.
In the House, funding is conditioned on the State having a system of graduated sanctions, and on the State having a policy in place to suspend the driver's license until age 21 of any juvenile found to possess a firearm illegally or to have used a firearm in the commission of a crime or act of delinquency. The other language is very close to that in the current JAIBG program.
In the current Act, research, evaluation, statistical activities, training, technical assistance, and information dissemination are conducted as part of the Office's National Institute of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (NIJJDP). These activities are housed in OJJDP under the direction of the Administrator. The treatment of NIJJDP is an area where the two bills diverge significantly from current functions.
The Senate bill continues the existence of a National Institute of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, though it renames the entity the National Institute for Juvenile Crime Control and Delinquency Prevention (NIJCCDP), and takes it out of OJJDP and places it in the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), leaving some of the functions in OJJDP. It is a complicated arrangement.
The House bill looks very different from the Senate bill, and also from current law. The House bill deletes all provisions from the Act that relate to the NIJJDP entity. The functions formerly conducted within the entity-research, evaluation, statistics, information dissemination-are conducted in OJJDP as part of the overall OJJDP program. The bill directs the OJJDP Administrator to carry out the research and evaluation functions with NIJ or another Federal agency, and to conduct the statistical activities with the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) or another Federal agency. The bill also directs the OJJDP Administrator to consult with the Directors of NIJ and BJS when formulating a plan for research, evaluation, and statistical activities.
Both bills provide for a Missing and Exploited Children's Program in OJJDP, continuing the current activities the Office conducts with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
All major provisions can be reviewed by downloading them from the Internet. The Thomas Library of Congress Web site (http://thomas.loc.gov) provides full text, summaries, and legislative history. The text of the JJDP Act is available on the OJJDP Web site ( https://ojjdp.ojp.gov/about/legislation).
The floor was then opened to discussion. Richard Morris asked what the logic was to have an expectation for collaboration and yet cut out the Coordinating Council. Tompkins replied that it is partly due to the focus on streamlining. Bilchik agreed, and yet, he added, the bills ironically create compartmentalized programs and commissions. He asked that the Federal representatives familiarize themselves with the reorganization plan for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), which suggests changes in the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), OJJDP, National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). He said that hearings are expected to discuss these statutory changes, but the timeframe is unpredictable.
Bilchik then introduced the next topic, an update of the National Juvenile Justice Action Plan based on earlier Council discussions.
Garry opened by stating that the Juvenile Justice Action Plan is the most visible product of the Coordinating Council. She briefly reviewed the eight objectives, which the Council has decided are still valid. Some new issues need to be brought into any discussion of the objectives, but the objectives themselves remain a legitimate framework for the Action Plan. The Council agreed that the Action Plan does need to be updated.
Garry provided an overview of the Action Plan. Each objective analyzes the problem, giving research and statistics. It lists solutions, effective programs found nationwide, and Federal resources, activities, and technical assistance. It identifies action steps that State and local jurisdictions can use to implement the Action Plan.
Garry reported that, after much discussion, the Council decided that a report should be issued summarizing what has been accomplished in the last 4 years and what still remains to be done. In addition, activities have been undertaken in the last 4 years that had not yet been planned at the time the Action Plan was developed.
The Council decided to produce a series of Bulletins. Each objective would become a stand-alone Bulletin that is easy to read, digestible, and practitioner friendly. The Bulletins would be recognized as a family of products produced by the Coordinating Council, with standard introductory text and a consistent template. At the end of the process, the Bulletins will be combined into a single publication, thus improving the flow of information to the field.
Rather than one agency taking the lead, the work will be divided among the agencies. Each Federal representative at the table the previous day will go back to his or her agency and identify the objectives in which the agency is most interested. There will be eight small working groups made up of Federal representatives and practitioner members. OJJDP will do the final edits, design, layout, printing, and dissemination. All Federal agency representatives and practitioner members will be involved in review of each Bulletin.
The Council also recognizes the need to build the technical assistance available to the States and local jurisdictions. The Council brainstormed on the types of technical assistance needed, such as satellite teleconferences and public policy forums. To begin this process, the Council decided that each Federal representative will identify a technical assistance point of contact in his or her agency to serve on a working group that will begin generating and implementing ideas. The Council will aim to have a plan for the delivery of technical assistance by the end of this year.
OJJDP will be in touch with the Federal representatives and practitioners and will begin laying out schedules and working groups.
Bilchik said that one of the most common remarks he hears from the field concerns the overlap in technical assistance provided by various Federal agencies. He stressed the importance of coordinating delivery. Doing so would help communities and provide opportunities for the agencies to cofund assistance.
Bilchik closed by saying that the last 2 days had been very productive in terms of talking about coordination and in soliciting input from practitioners. The Council has done a tremendous amount in enhancing coordination but has a long way to go to sustain it across Administrations. He said that the Council has recommitted itself to these goals. The Council members recommended that the coordination mechanism be maintained either in the form of the Council itself or as an advisory commission. Bilchik mentioned that he will share this recommendation with the Attorney General. He then closed the meeting and thanked everyone for coming.
Top of Page
Thursday, July 8, 1999
Robert A. Babbage
The Honorable William R. Byars, Jr.
Eileen M. Garry
Julie L. Herr
The Honorable Gordon Martin
The Honorable County and Youth Courts of Forrest County, MS
Major Bob Stone