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Thursday, March 29, 2001 Meeting

Quarterly Meeting Agenda

Friday, March 29, 2001
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Office of Justice Programs
810 7th Street, NW
Main Conference Room
Washington, DC

Please note: a picture I.D. is required for admittance.



The Honorable John D. Ashcroft
Attorney General
US Department of Justice


Protecting Our Children

Opening Remarks
Ms. Diann Dawson
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
Administration for Children and Families
US Department of Health and Human Services

Presentation: Reducing Childhood Exposure to Violence
Dr. Steve Marans
National Center for Children Exposed to Violence

Chief Dennis Nowicki (Retired)
Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department (NC)

Opportunity for Council Discussion

Presentation: Protecting Children in the Information Age
Mr. Ernie Allen
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Opportunity for Council Discussion

Presentation: Protecting Children From Violence: A Public Health Issue
Dr. Rodney Hammond
Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Opportunity for Council Discussion

Presentation: Prosecuting Child Abuse
Mr. Victor Vieth
National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse
American Prosecutors Research Institute

Opportunity for Council Discussion

3:00 Closing Remarks
John J. Wilson, Vice Chair
Acting Administrator
OJJDP, US Department of Justice

Quarterly Meeting Summary

March 29, 2001

Office of Justice Programs
810 Seventh Street NW.
Main Conference Room
Washington, DC

In attendance:

  • The Honorable John Ashcroft, Chair, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
  • John J. Wilson, Vice Chair, Acting Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), DOJ.
  • Ernie Allen, President, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
  • Robert Babbage, Senior Managing Partner, InterSouth, Inc.
  • Larry Brendtro, President, Reclaiming Youth.
  • Barbara Broman, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Services Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  • Kimberly J. Budnick, Director, Concentration of Federal Efforts (CFE) Program, OJJDP, OJP, DOJ.
  • Sonia Burgos, Director, Community Safety & Conservation Division, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • The Honorable William Byars, Jr., Children's Law Office.
  • Jack Calhoun, CEO and President, National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC).
  • Diann Dawson, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  • Larry EchoHawk, Professor, Brigham Young University Law School.
  • Dr. Rodney Hammond, Director, Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Lorenzo Harrison, Administrator, Office of Job Training Programs, Employment Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
  • Herb Jones, Director, Project Outreach/External Affairs, Office of the Under Secretary (Enforcement), U.S. Department of the Treasury.
  • Edward Jurith, Acting Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP),
  • Lee Kessler, Director, Federal Partnerships, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
  • Dr. Steve Marans, Director, National Center for Children Exposed to Violence.
  • The Honorable Gordon Martin, Jr., Associate Justice, Massachusetts Trial Court, District Court Department.
  • Bill Modzeleski, Director, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program, ED.
  • Richard Morris, Youth Specialist, Office of Job Training Programs, Employment Training Administration, DOL.
  • The Honorable Michael McPhail, Judge, Juvenile Court of Forrest County, Mississippi.
  • Chief Dennis Nowicki (retired), Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department, North Carolina.
  • John Pogash, National Juvenile Coordinator and Juvenile Program Director, Immigration and Naturalization Service, INS, DOJ.
  • Kevin Rooney, Acting Commissioner, INS, DOJ.
  • Scott Shanklin-Peterson, Senior Deputy Chairman, NEA.
  • Charles Sims, Chief of Police, Mississippi Police Department, Hattiesburg.
  • Bob Stone, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
  • Dr. Gladys Gary Vaughn, National Program Leader for Human Sciences Research, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Victor Vieth, Director, National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, American Prosecutors Research Institute.
  • Jim Wright, Coordinator, Youth Alcohol Programs, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
  • Wendy Zenker, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Corporation for National Service.

Welcome and Opening Remarks
The Honorable John Ashcroft, Chair, Attorney General, DOJ

The Honorable John Ashcroft welcomed the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Council) to its quarterly meeting, thanking the Council for devoting so much time and energy to the worthy objective of protecting the Nation's children. While children represent 25 percent of the culture, they are 100 percent of the future. The Council's endeavors help the Nation's children to achieve their full potential as happy, healthy Americans. The presence of so many representatives from the Federal partners reflects the commitment of the Council to the Nation. Attorney General Ashcroft thanked the Council for the work already undertaken, including efforts to combat underage drinking and to enhance employment opportunities.

He continued by stating that there was an unfortunate timeliness and urgency about the day's meeting, given the dangers in what are considered to be safe places—schools. Violence at school, predators at home or on the Internet, and the threat of drugs sadly reflect a broader problem of juvenile crime and victimization. Young people make up about 17 percent of criminal arrests and one third of all crime victims. Of the 22.3 million children between the ages of 12 and 17, 1.8 million have been victims of sexual assault, 3.9 million of physical assault, and 9 million have witnessed serious violence. In 1998, child protective services departments investigated 2.8 million cases of child abuse, 900,000 of which were substantiated. The harm does not end with the incident. An abused child is 53 percent more likely to be arrested as a juvenile and 38 percent more likely as an adult.

DOJ intends to reduce gun violence by prosecuting those who break the gun laws. Additionally, DOJ intends to increase efforts to combat drug abuse. The President's budget includes millions of dollars to increase the police presence in the schools. This week, DOJ announced new initiatives to find and prosecute those who enslave women and children in sweatshops or in prostitution. However, the government is not the only one who can accomplish these goals; the Nation must rally to support the next generation.

Remediation isn't enough and is almost impossible at some point. The role of parents is essential on the frontline of protecting children. What seems simple, such as eating dinner as a family, can be a very important action. Parents and the community must play a role in creating a culture of respect, decency, and responsibility.

This responsibility includes the entertainment industry and the media. The glorification of violence has a profound and lasting impact on the culture. The culture must ask what its actions teach the next generation. What is most troubling about video games and television programming is that they teach so well. The responses of children can become automatic based on what they learn and see. Violence in the news also desensitizes, and violent television can lead to aggressive behavior, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health and the Surgeon General. Their recent report notes that children may be more fearful and more aggressive toward others because of exposure to violent television programs. The impact of the research is even more disturbing when one considers the amount of time spent watching television and playing video games. The average American spends 4 hours watching television daily—9 years by age 65. By the age of 18, the average U.S. child will have witnessed 200,000 violent television acts, 16,000 of them murders. The Nation can and must do better at preventing childhood exposure to violence, the Attorney General said; it must intervene to prevent children from becoming witnesses to or victims of violent acts, and bring those who perpetrate these acts to justice.

John J. Wilson, Vice Chair, Acting Administrator, OJJDP

Mr. Wilson also welcomed the Council and spoke on behalf of the Council in welcoming Attorney General Ashcroft. He said that the Council cannot underscore enough the critical importance of the Attorney General's leadership on these issues. Mr. Wilson also welcomed 32 students from American University's "American Justice Semester." OJJDP released a new bulletin, Keeping Children Safe, on the issue of child protection in March, and has 50 different programs that address child protective issues.

Protecting Our Children: Opening Remarks
Diann Dawson, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families, ACF, HHS

Ms. Dawson thanked the Council for the opportunity to make remarks on behalf on Secretary Tommy Thompson. HHS has the principal Federal leadership role in meeting the needs of the Nation's most vulnerable children. The key child protection goals are to: ensure safety; permanency; and well-being for children who require the care and protection of public agencies.

The Children's Bureau, an HHS program within ACF, has the lead in working with the States to support a continuum of child welfare services, from the prevention of child abuse and neglect to the identification, investigation, and assessment of reported child maltreatment to service interventions, including in-home services and foster care. The Children's Bureau administers $6 billion of programs. The President's budget for FY 2002 is proposing to increase this amount, including $2 million more for Safe and Stable Families programs. It also recognizes the special needs of children with parents in jail by proposing grants to States that will distribute funds tocommunity and faith-based programs for the creation of mentoring programs for children of prisoners. For those children who will not be adopted, funds will be provided for young adults transferring out of the foster care system, and an additional $60 million will be provided as educational vouchers to the Independent Living program. The budget also proposes that $400 million be set aside within the Child Care Development Fund for vouchers for parents to enroll children in educational afterschool programs.

ACF's Family and Youth Bureau funds a Shelter Program that provides basic shelter to runaway and homeless youth, the Transitional Living Program for older youth, the Street Outreach Program, and the National Runaway Switchboard. ACF's HeadStart supports very young children, from birth to 5 years, with comprehensive programs for language, cognitive, social, school readiness, and emotional development. This year's appropriation is $6.2 billion.

The HHS research agenda in the area of child neglect and domestic violence is led by the National Institutes of Health and supported by a consortium of Federal partners. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a division focused on violence and injury prevention. The Green Book Project is funding six communities across the country to improve the coordination of child protective services, domestic violence, and the court system in handling cases of domestic violence in which children are involved.

Ms. Dawson noted that for the last 10 years, April has been designated by Presidential proclamation as Child Abuse Prevention Month. HHS will mark the occasion by hosting the Faces of Change conference in Albuquerque, NM, on April 23. Also in April, Secretary Thompson will release the latest statistics on child abuse and neglect.

Presentation: Reducing Childhood Exposure to Violence
Dr. Steve Marans, Director, National Center for Children Exposed to Violence, and Chief Dennis Nowicki (retired), Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department, North Carolina

A partnership that began between mental health and law enforcement and has been expanded to include domestic violence advocates, juvenile probation officers, school personnel, and child protective services is making an important contribution to addressing the cycle of violence and its effects on children and families. The Child Development-Community Policing (CD—CP) program is a 10-year model of collaboration between mental health, law enforcement, and juvenile justice that began with OJJDP support. Dr. Marans said this program has been replicated and expanded to include other stakeholders in helping children exposed to violence to succeed. In the beginning, however, the CD—CP idea seemed an unusual partnership between professionals who regarded themselves as being on the opposite side of the issue at times.

Although the initial collaboration between law enforcement and mental health professionals was not easy, each group recognized that alone they could not solve the cycle of violence. Each group needed to learn what the other did. After months of working together to share each other's expertise, a team of child development specialists and law enforcement officers established a program with the following elements: child development fellowships for police supervisors that exposed them to the effects of trauma; police fellowships for clinicians on basic police practices;seminars on child development; strategies for all rank and file; and round-the-clock on-call clinicians. Each week, all stakeholders assemble to discuss cases and develop comprehensive plans. Typically, 10 referrals are generated in CD—CP sites, which are generally areas with populations of at least 140,000. The program has seen more than 1,500 children and their families in the last 3 years in New Haven.

Why should the community be concerned about children's exposure to violence? When violence is unnoticed and untreated, children are at higher risk for substance abuse, school failure, anxiety and depression, poor concentration and attention, sleeping and eating disorders, and impaired relationships. The link between perpetration and witness to violence is well established. Eighty percent of children who committed homicides reported being witnesses to domestic violence and being abused.

Chief Dennis Nowicki (retired), Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department, North Carolina, shared an actual CD—CP case of a 15-year-old boy, who was robbed at gunpoint and very frightened. His mother called the police, who had been trained in the CD—CP program. Seeing the boy was afraid, the officer removed his belt and gun and talked with him. He allowed the officer to take him to the emergency room where he was seen by a clinician within minutes. Because he was calm after the initial panic, the boy was also able to provide the officers with a description that led to the arrest of the perpetrators. This boy had himself been at risk for gang involvement but instead became involved in a mentoring situation with a law enforcement officer.

The CD—CP program coordinates a range of services with followup activities that include brief or long-term involvement with a clinician. The police officer can establish a feeling of stability and security for the child, especially in the case of domestic violence. Both the number of repeat emergency calls for service and the arrest rate for batterers have decreased. Unfortunately, in the last few years, the program has been called on to respond to entire communities and is developing a school crisis response model as a result. To date, CD—CP has provided technical assistance for 200 crisis events in schools.

CD—CP has led to significant collaborative efforts among multiple agencies. The police department now takes names of juveniles at the scene of a violent incident and can respond with mental health assistance. Clinicians make house calls. Juvenile and family courts routinely include mental health professionals in the process, leading to court orders that are more responsive to individual situations. There is an enhanced level of communication between the schools, police, courts, and others. CD—CP allows the law enforcement officer to continue the relationship after taking the police report, enabling the officer to follow through by getting help for the victim and enhancing the officer's own sense of effectiveness.

CD—CP has been replicated in a number of sites and has been expanded to the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence, a program that takes these core ideas and extends them to other children's services programs for children exposed to violence. The Center will continue offering training and technical assistance and promoting public and professional awarenessthrough publications and the Internet. Future activities include a comprehensive program evaluation.

Mr. Wilson recommended that this program be replicated in every police department.
Jack Calhoun, President, National Crime Prevention Council, asked if Dr. Marans was extrapolating general principles regarding children exposed to violence from CD—CP's remediative work. Unsupervised hours lead to difficulties in school and in development, Dr. Marans said. Children need structure, supervision, order, and security. The roles the schools and the community should play when parents are not there need to be examined. The issues involved range from crisis situations to teaching children what to do when they are feeling overwhelmed.

For more information on CD—CP, visit www.nccev.org.

Presentation: Protecting Children in the Information Age
Ernie Allen, President, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has an award-winning Web site that gets 3 million hits per day. Today NCMEC can do in minutes what used to take weeks. It has a searchable database of missing children that allows local law enforcement to print posters and distribute them and provides photos of missing children to 80,000 other Web sites that rotate banners with these photos. This is the bright side of the Internet.

There is a dark side of the Internet, too, where risks to children exist. In 1999, NCMEC and OJJDP looked at the 24 million 10- to 17-year-olds who were regular Internet users. One in five was sexually solicited online—3 percent of these aggressively and two-thirds of them girls. One in four children encountered unwanted sexual content based on Internet searches, and 6 percent of this group received harassing e-mail. The numbers are deceptive, because most children don't report these solicitations to their parents for fear of losing computer privileges. The greatest risk exists for 13- to 14-year-olds. NCMEC surveyed law enforcement agencies in 1999 and found 785 cases of children who had been solicited and left home to meet the solicitor. The good news is that while most children who were regular Internet users handled similar situations responsibly, 785 children still ended up on the police blotter.

How do perpetrators get to children? If parents click on the America Online profiles, they will find that children enter a great deal of personal information. An Instant Messaging search also brings up many names that include personal information about children. In an adjudicated case, a 13-year-old girl who thought she was talking to a young boy was talking to a 45-year-old repeat sexual offender.

In 1982, the Supreme Court, in the Ferber v. New York decision, said that child pornography is child abuse and therefore is not protected free speech. As a result, child pornography disappeared from the shelves of adult bookstores, gravitating to the mail and eventually to the Internet, where it is rampant. A related concern is "ambush" pornography, which appears when someone does a search for a Web site and ends up at a pornographic site instead; for example, whitehouse.gov will take the user to the White House, but whitehouse.org will send the user to a porn site. Sevenof the top 50 search terms are sexually related. Number 33 of the most searched terms is "Lolita," suggesting there is a huge child pornography population.

Attacking the problem requires prevention education and aggressive policing of the Internet. NCMEC has produced publications on this issue and distributed 3 million Safety on the Information Highway bulletins that lay out the basic safety rules and are addressed to both children and adults. NCMEC is also developing new interactive Internet games to teach Internet safety. Although software that blocks access to pornographic Web sites is a good tool, it can be defeated. Parents need to monitor use of the Internet and educate their children about the risks. If a child is online, he is in public.

Judge William Byars, Jr., Children's Law Office, said his county has been giving computers to foster parents who don't have them. He asked if NCMEC will make the games and teaching information available to programs such as this. Mr. Allen said the NetSmart program is being beta tested now at Boys & Girls Clubs and will be available in 6 to 12 months to South Carolina's program and others.

On the enforcement side, through the leadership of OJJDP, there are now 30 Internet Crimes Against Children task forces involving more than 120 agencies. OJJDP is also helping to build the capacity of local law enforcement. The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI's) Innocent Images task force is 7 years old and is making arrests. NCMEC has created a CyberTipline and has already handled more than 38,000 leads. Analysts are triaging the leads, looking at sites, and rating the content. The tipline is linked to the FBI and to the Post Office for investigative followup. The preponderance of cases have been for child pornography, but 3,600 have been cases of trying to lure children on to the Internet. NCMEC receives tips from Interpol and other international organizations and received 35 leads in a recent major arrest made by U.S. Customs.

Mr. Wilson added that OJJDP is adding $6.5 million in 120 satellite sites to the original Internet Crimes Against Children task forces and all will have to have an enforcement component as well as a prevention element.

For more information on NCMEC, visit www.ncmec.org.

Presentation: Protecting Children From Violence: A Public Health Issue
Dr. Rodney Hammond, Director, Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC

CDC has a strong tradition of partnership with other Federal agencies to make a measurable effect on programs. The mission of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is to prevent injuries and deaths from violence, accomplished in four steps following the public health approach:

  • Assess the problem using sound science and epidemiology.
  • Identify the causes of violence that need to be addressed in prevention programs and policies.
  • Evaluate interventions and policies to determine which approaches seem to be working.
  • Encourage widespread adoption of programs and policies that are based on evidence.

The recent school shootings have heightened public anxieties about youth violence. DOJ, ED, and CDC will release a comprehensive investigation and analysis of school shootings at the end of this school year. In contrast to public perceptions, schools are basically very safe places. Although the number of homicides is flat, multiple-victim events have risen since 1994. The study raises some new issues in school shootings, namely, the role of firearms, the role of suicide, and the victimization of offenders. In the United States, the homicide rate for youth under age 19 is 9 deaths per day.

CDC recently released Best Practices for Youth Violence Prevention, a Sourcebook for Community Action to provide comprehensive tools to address these problems and to look at the effectiveness of prevention practices in four key areas: family-based programs, home visits, conflict resolution skills, and mentoring. The book also provides categories for communities to consider when drafting policies to prevent youth violence. Policies were chosen based on an analysis of the literature, expert opinion, and consultation with many investigators.

CDC's National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center is a central source of information on prevention and intervention programs, publications, research, and statistics on violence committed by and against children and teens. The center is a collaboration of CDC, HHS, DOJ, ED, Agriculture, and Labor. For more information, visit www.safeyouth.org, or call 866-SAFEYOUTH for fax-on-demand. The Web site receives 45,000 hits a day. Dr. Hammond recognized the efforts of Dr. Susan Blumenthal, Assistant Surgeon General, who helped launch the program. There are a number of excellent models for youth violence prevention. CDC is currently funding a 4-year evaluation study of 52 middle schools in 4 States to examine the effectiveness of three prevention strategies.

CDC is developing a database, the National Violent Death Reporting System, that will expand the ability to track problems at the State level and build capacity to gather data on violence-related deaths. This database will link databases from many Federal, State, local, and university partners and allow the kind of tracking that is now done on fatal auto accidents.

Child maltreatment is a huge public health problem. It is estimated by the Office of Child Abuse and Neglect that 903,000 children either experienced or were at risk for maltreatment; however, the lack of uniformity in the definition of child maltreatment from State to State complicates the ability to measure the extent of the problem accurately. For working purposes, CDC subscribes to the definitions in the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. CDC is concerned with child maltreatment because violence against children is a gateway to other forms of violence and other public health problems. CDC's preventing child maltreatment program will follow a public health approach by:

  • Building a strong foundation with surveillance systems and reviewing instruments to collect data.
  • Looking for commonalities in the civil and legal definition of maltreatment.
  • Developing and evaluating programs to prevent child maltreatment.
  • Compiling a database of good programs.
  • Conducting a social norms analysis and environmental scans of other issues related to child maltreatment, such as outcomes of abuse, the characteristics of abusers, cultural differences in perspectives about child maltreatment, and risk and protective factors.

Presentation: Prosecuting Child Abuse
Victor Vieth, Director, National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, American Prosecutors Research Institute

In 1985, the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse was established by the National District Attorneys Association in response to an explosion of reported child abuse cases. Its mission is to improve the ability of prosecutors who are not trained to handle these types of cases by providing training, technical and legal assistance, and publications. Some prosecutors will not prosecute a case of sexual child abuse without a confession or clear medical evidence because the cases are so difficult. The National Center is there to help frontline professionals. Last year, the Center took 4,000 calls from child abuse professionals asking for help. A number of those calls involved cases in small, rural communities. The Center hosted 13 national training conferences last year, but most training is at the State and local level. Last year, the Center trained more than 9,000 professionals; this year, it hopes to train 12,000. The Center's two-volume manual, The Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse, is highly regarded.

The center also offers a course that had its beginnings in the many calls prosecutors received from police officers who did not know how to talk to abused children. They asked how an investigator could empower a child to speak and how to ask the right questions. The center collaborated with Corner House, a child sexual abuse training facility in Minnesota, to design a course to address this problem. Finding Words is only available to teams of police officers, prosecutors, and social workers. It is very intensive, with 2 to 3 hours of reading nightly and videos of actual sexual abuse interviews. Each participant interviews a child about a nonabusive event like a trip to the zoo to validate that the right types of questions are being asked. At the end of the course, each participant receives an actual case file and is required to work with a team to develop a strategy, questions, and approaches. Participants interview actors who play the children in forensic videos, which are critiqued. The course concludes with a written essay exam. Finding Words has had 300 graduates, but the program does not have the resources to share the program with more trainers.

Judge Byars urged that the Finding Words program, which has provided training with the same annual $1.5 million congressional earmark since 1985, receive additional funding.

Closing Remarks
John J. Wilson

Mr. Wilson thanked the Council members and presenters for their participation and input, with a special goodbye to practitioner member Judge Byars, whose term ends this month. Judge Byars expressed his great pleasure in being able to participate in the important work of the Coordinating Council. He reminded the Council to continue to coordinate these importantFederal programs with State and local efforts, "Otherwise," he said, "we're just bunch of fingers and what we need is a fist."

Mr. Wilson adjourned the Council meeting.

Date Published: March 29, 2001