JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION ACT: PREVENTING JUVENILE CRIME AT SCHOOL AND IN THE COMMUNITY
SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD,
YOUTH AND FAMILIES
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
HEARING HELD IN WASHINGTON, DC, MARCH 18, 1999
Serial No. 106-12
Printed for the use of the Committee on Education
and the Workforce
OPENING STATEMENT OF THE HON. MIKE CASTLE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF DELEWARE *
STATEMENT OF JESSE SLIGH EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY QUEENS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE KEW GARDENS, NEW YORK *
STATEMENT OF KARLA BALLARD ARISE INTERNATIONAL WILMINGTON, DELAWARE *
STATEMENT OF VINCENT SCHIRALDI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR JUVENILE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE WASHINGTON, D.C. *
STATEMENT OF SANDRA MC BRAYER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR THE CHILDREN'S INITIATIVE SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA *
STATEMENT OF BARBARA OTT DIRECTOR SILVER SPRING YMCA YOUTH SERVICES SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND *
STATEMENT OF ROBERT SMITH DIRECTOR YOUTH SERVICES AGENCIES OF PENNSYLVANIA DOYLESTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA ACCOMPANIED BY: JESSE ARMETTA *
Appendix A- The Written Statements of the Honorable Bill Goodling a Representative from the State of Pennsylvania *
Appendix B- The Written Statement of Donald M. Payne a Representative in Congress from the State of New Jersey *
Appendix C- The Written Statement Of Statement Of Jesse Sligh Executive Assistant District Attorney Queens County District Attorney's Office, Kew Gardens, New
Appendix D The Written Statement Of Karla Ballard, Arise International, Wilmington, Delaware *
Appendix E- The Written Statement Of Vincent Schiraldi Executive Director, Center For Juvenile And Criminal Justice Washington, D.C *
Appendix F-. The Written Statement Of Sandra Mc Brayer Executive Director, The Children's Initiative San Diego, California *
Appendix G- The Written Statement of Barbara Ott, Director of the Silver Spring YMCA Youth Services, Silver Spring , Maryland *
Appendix H- The Written Statement Of Robert Smith Director Youth Services Agencies Of Pennsylvania Doylestown, Pennsylvania Accompanied By: Jesse
Table of Indexes *
JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION ACT:
PREVENTING JUVENILE CRIME AT SCHOOL AND
IN THE COMMUNITY
Thursday, March 18, 1999
U.S. House of Representatives,
Committee on Education and the Work Force,
Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth, and Families
The Subcommittee met at 11:15 a.m., in Room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building, the Honorable Michael N. Castle, chairman of the subcommittee, presiding.
Present: Representatives Goodling, Castle, Greenwood, Souder, Miller, Kildee, Scott, Woolsey, McCarthy, Ford, Kucinich.
Chairman Castle. The Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families will come to order.
We welcome Mr. Kildee. We will probably have other members coming and going, which is the nature of subcommittee hearings.
But we appreciate all of you being here. I will make a brief opening statement. Mr. Kildee also will make a brief opening statement, if he so wishes. And then we will proceed with the witnesses' testimony from that point.
I first of all want to welcome all of you to today's hearing.
I believe the issue we are discussing today is of vital importance to our nation. And of course, that is preventing juvenile crime.
Our children are our most important resource. We must, therefore, endeavor to keep them safe from harm and prevent them from becoming involved in at-risk activities such as drugs, alcohol, and crime.
Each year, far too many children enter the juvenile justice system. Many of the crimes these children commit could have been prevented had someone intervened at a critical moment and provided assistance.
We need to provide real alternatives to at-risk youth. Last year, H.R. 1818 provided flexible program dollars to states and local communities for prevention and intervention activities.
It permitted local programs to provide services to youth to prevent initial involvement in juvenile activities and to work with youth already in the juvenile system to prevent them from engaging in additional criminal behavior.
Yesterday, Congressman Greenwood introduced the Juvenile Crime Control and Delinquency Prevention Act H.R. 1150. I am pleased to have been included as an original cosponsor of this legislation.
It is my personal belief that after-school programs are one of the most effective tools in preventing juvenile crime. As we know, the majority of youth engage in delinquent activities between the time when school ends and their parents return home from work each day.
Quality after-school programs can provide alternatives to at-risk children, keeping them off the street and encouraging their involvement in a variety of educational and enrichment activities.
I look forward to receiving the testimony of today's witnesses, who have first-hand knowledge about quality prevention programs. And again, we thank you for being here and I turn to Mr. Kildee.
OPENING STATEMENT OF THE HON. MIKE CASTLE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF DELEWARE
Mr. Kildee. Thank you very much. I'm very pleased to join Subcommittee Chairman Castle and the Chairman of the Full Committee, Bill Goodling of Pennsylvania, in welcoming the witnesses before the Subcommittee today.
I know that Chairman Castle and I are looking forward to your testimony.
The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, since its enactment in 1974, has funded important and vital efforts aimed at both prevention of juvenile delinquency, and protecting juveniles who, unfortunately, encounter the justice system.
This vital two-part focus of prevention and protection has created a blueprint for states and localities to address juvenile crime and foster success of our youth, rather than leaving them to a life of failure.
As we look to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice Act, I believe we need to strengthen its prevention and protection focuses.
I am pleased that yesterday, Representative Greenwood and Chairman Castle introduced legislation modeled after the bipartisan H.R. 1818, which this Committee and the Full House passed last Congress.
Since this legislation was the product of months of bipartisan negotiations during the last session between Representatives Martinez, Scott, Greenwood and former Chairman Riggs, I believe this is an excellent starting point for our reauthorization work this Congress.
Again, I want to thank the witnesses for appearing before this Subcommittee today. I've been involved in this program for 23 years now and have been through a number of reauthorizations and hope to complete another positive reauthorization this time.
Thank you very much.
Chairman Castle. Well, thank you, Mr. Kildee.
The rule of the Subcommittee because we have a lot of hearings is that the Ranking Member and the Chairman make an opening statement.
But when the Chairman of the Full Committee shows up, we always allow him an opportunity to speak.
So we turn to Chairman Goodling at this time.
Chairman Goodling. I'll put my statement in the record and merely say that what happens to an awful lot of youngsters in the future will have a lot to do with what we're able to do here.
Last year, we thought that we put the balance to the overall act that was passed in the House. So we'll try to put that balance there again, trying to make sure that we give all youngsters an opportunity to get a piece of the American dream, even if they make a mistake or two.
We'll give them another try.
As a high school principal, I always gave them two tries before I swung into action,
So we'll do the same here.
See Appendix A For The Written Statements of the Honorable Bill Goodling a Representative from the State of Pennsylvania
Appendix B For The Written Statement of Donald M. Payne a Representative in Congress from the State of New Jersey
Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And it is correct, just for historical reference, this Committee did have the same legislation before it last year.
As Mr. Kildee said, Mr. Scott and some of the others, worked very hard to come up with good bipartisan legislation. We were able to get that done in the House. It just didn't get done completely in the Senate, to the point that we could go to conference. Unfortunately that will happen, even with good legislation.
So this year, we hope to work hard to prevent that.
We will now go to our panel of witnesses. And I think if you see your names, you can start taking your places up there.
Mr. Sligh, over here, and right down the line, and we'll go in that order.
I'm going to read a little background on each of you while you're getting into position, and then we'll start down and you'll each have five minutes to present your points of view or to summarize whatever your written statement may have been.
The first witness, Mr. Jesse Sligh, represents the Queens County District Attorney's Office in Queens County, New York.
His office directs several unique educational and prevention programs. These include a school anti-violence program, a mock trial program, a youth employment program, and a summer program that allows youths to interact with law enforcement officials on nonconfrontational terms.
His office also oversees several diversionary programs, such as the Second Chance Program, which is an alternative to incarceration, and a graffiti program where the offenders clean up defaced property and are educated about being responsible young adults.
Next, we have Ms. Karla Ballard, who is the president and CEO of ARISE International. In conjunction with the University of Delaware, she created YIELD_the Youth Institute for Economic Leadership and Development_which guides high school students from low-income communities through a program that creates educational opportunities that focus on economic education and entrepreneurship.
This program allows the participants to interact with business leaders and government officials from the Delaware Valley.
And of course, you may have understood from that that she's from Delaware. She's a special witness, of course.
I have these in a different order, but I'll go in the order in which you're sitting.
Mr. Schiraldi_did I say that correctly?
Mr. Schiraldi. It's Sh-ur-aldee.
Chairman Castle. Schiraldi. For the last nine years, Mr. Schiraldi has headed up the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, which he founded.
His organization focuses on protecting the rights and futures of numerous young people both in and out of the criminal justice system.
Prior to his current post, Mr. Schiraldi was involved with the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives in the New York State Division for Youth.
Next is Sandra McBrayer. Currently, Ms. McBrayer is the executive director of the Children's Initiative, an organization which is dedicated to strengthening children and families through educational opportunities with numerous accomplishments and awards, including being named the 1994 Teacher of the Year.
She has dedicated her career to helping out at-risk youth. We appreciate Ms. McBrayer traveling from San
Diego_that's a long ways away_to join us today.
Barbara Ott is next. Ms. Ott has been the director of the Silver Spring YMCA for over 13 years.
In addition to her master's degree in counseling psychology, she brings us knowledge from 25 years in the field. Prior to her work at the "Y", she worked as a mental health promotion specialist with Prince William County and was an administrator with a child care center in Newark, New Jersey, as well as a neighborhood youth corps program here in Washington, D.C.
We welcome you as well.
And Mr. Smith, I'm going to hold your introduction because Mr. Greenwood would like to do that. He may arrive while the testimony is going on.
So you'll remain sort of anonymous for a while_
_which may or may not be good from your perspective.
The basic ground rules are that there's a little series of lights here. You'll have a green light for four minutes, a yellow light for one minute, and a red light for one minute.
Nothing too drastic will happen when the red light comes on. But we would hope at that point that you would start to complete what it is that you are going to say.
You're welcome to read from your testimony or summarize your testimony or to tell us whatever you think would be helpful to us in terms of what happens here today.
You should also know that a lot of our staff is here. A lot of the other members will be informed of what you have said, as well as your written statements.
This all becomes part of the record that we use in building in terms of where we're going with respect to the whole issue of dealing with juvenile justice.
So with that, let me thank you all for being here and let us start with Mr. Sligh.
STATEMENT OF JESSE SLIGH EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY QUEENS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
KEW GARDENS, NEW YORK
Mr. Sligh. Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you this morning and testify about some of the innovative programs which we have in the district attorney's office in Queens County.
Our district attorney, Richard A. Brown, believes strongly that resources must be invested in prevention and treatment and they must be spent together with aggressive investigation and prosecution, and that they would then form the integral parts of the crime reduction strategies.
Consequently, although our office takes a tough stand with violent criminals and repeat offenders, we have put in place a wide variety of educational programs for our youth and alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent first offenders to keep kids from getting involved in criminal activity or get them back on track fast if they've gotten into trouble.
If we are to believe the statistics involving violent crime, it indicates that violent crime is down drastically.
However, juvenile crime has not shared those same reductions.
I cannot present to this body this morning any hard-core data that 2250 children in our programs have made a decision that changed their lives because they've been involved or impacted upon by the Star Track program, the Second Chance program, our internship program, or even Operation Summer Fund, or that any number who are at risk to become juvenile delinquents had their lives changed because of the contact with any of our programs.
But I can tell you when people ask me how we judge these programs, I tell them one, two or three children at a time.
I'm happy to take one and call it a victory.
Our educational programs start from the premise that kids who believe they have a positive future to look forward to will be the ones who will not get into trouble.
And so, we do our very best to have young people interact with positive law enforcement role models and mentors through a variety of affirmative prevention programs aimed at reaching our youth.
Our various internship programs are in many ways bridging that gap by teaching students much more than the fundamentals of a job.
They are being instructed on self-esteem, job readiness, appearance, labor market skills, timeliness, and interacting with others on the job.
If a job is available and the individual is prepared for that position, this will benefit the employer, the student and, ultimately, the community as a whole.
When I talk with young people routinely, they tell me that the lack of finding suitable employment, not having a job, is something that contributes to their lack of self-esteem.
In 1993, we launched an educational program designed to help prevent gun violence in and around schools. This program grew out of a series of conversations with law enforcement officials, school officials and community members.
We call it the Star Track Program.
The reason we call it the Star Track Program is because we know that every student wants to be a star and that they can be a star if they will in fact stay on track.
This is a three-prong program.
The first prong of the program is to send assistant district attorneys into those schools. And not just for one week or one month, but for the entire school year. They build a relationship with those students and it continues in the mentoring process.
The second prong of the program is the establishment of safe corridors around each of the schools.
We've been told that many of the students who brought guns to school brought them for protection. They were often the victims of random acts of violence on the way to and from school.
To address this problem required the cooperation of the entire community. And that brought the third prong of our program_the inter-agency council.
This council is a group of school officials, law enforcement, community leaders, parent associations, everyone in that community working together to solve the problems of our young people.
We are able to address issues in that council that we would not normally address in a district attorney's
office_truancy, gang information, things like that, we address in the particular inter-agency council.
We believe in our office that community service must be a meaningful community service.
And so, that is why when a person is sentenced to community service, it's not just cleaning up the streets or cleaning up the park, but it's something that would have a direct relationship to the crime that has been committed.
Perhaps it's something that would improve their self-esteem, that they would learn something positive about the criminal justice system.
We have many success stories in our office that I could tell you this morning, but, of course, not in five minutes. We could tell you about the young man who, by all statistics, should have failed in life and become a high school drop-out.
But after participating in the summer internship program, today, he is a freshman at a local university. And in our office last week, he used our computers to type up a final examination in one of his classes.
Another participant now who had received his GED and is now playing with a popular band. And last year, his salary was quite impressive.
Another young man has started his own business at the age of 21 and was featured recently in a news story.
In our view, a prosecutor's office can no longer take a narrow view of their role in the community. We must play a critical role in preventing crime by reaching out to our young people.
In the prevention of crime, it means that we must do all of the things that I suggested in my opening. And prevention can take many forms and must be crafted in each county in a way that reflects the needs of the local communities.
Our office does just that, without any outside funding.
Fortunately, we are a large office and can afford to devote some of our resources to this important work.
Many of our fellow prosecutors in New York City and in the larger counties outside of New York State have broadened their views of the prosecutor's role and getting involved in prevention, education, and treatment.
Like community policing, the concept of community prosecution has started to take hold in prosecutors' offices throughout this country.
Increasingly, prosecutors recognize that they can ill-afford to continue to limit their involvement in crime reduction solely through efforts to convict and incarcerate.
To build on the extraordinary reduction in crime we have experienced in recent years, prosecutors must devote some of their attention to preventing crime. We must work closely with communities and reach out to the earliest possible time to our children at risk.
We must begin to open our doors to allow kids to come in and experience what we do, to begin to build more positive relationships with our young people.
How can Congress help?
Congress must create more jobs for young people, not just the minimum-wage place for a kid to go to, but jobs that are meaningful.
And we must actively teach kids skills that raise young people's level of self-esteem and values.
It's never too early to begin to fund vocational programs. Congress can help by providing technical assistance to police and prosecutors who want to get involved in juvenile crime prevention programs, help them design programs, help them look for resources, help them coordinate with available services, help them find grants to pay for the staff, the materials and the evaluation of these programs.
And Congress should consider providing some direct funding for prosecutors, direct juvenile crime prevention programs to enable and encourage smaller offices to get involved in the critical things that we are doing in the large office in New York City.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to testify today, and if our office can be of assistance to you further, I'd certainly like to come back and talk to you more.
See Appendix C For The Written Statement Of Statement Of Jesse Sligh Executive Assistant District Attorney Queens County District Attorney's Office, Kew Gardens, New York
Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Mr. Sligh. You'll have a chance to talk to us in a few minutes when we question you some more.
Mr. Sligh. Thank you.
Chairman Castle. Now we'll go to Ms. Ballard next.
STATEMENT OF KARLA BALLARD ARISE INTERNATIONAL WILMINGTON, DELAWARE
Ms. Ballard. Good morning. It's a pleasure to speak with you today about the YIELD program.
I would like to thank Congressman Castle as well as the other members of the Subcommittee for this wonderful opportunity.
I am here today to share a success story with you about one of the ways that we are addressing juvenile delinquency prevention in Delaware.
This story begins with a partnership.
In 1997, my organization, ARISE International, a company focused on economic development in urban communities, used a community-centered approach to address some of the issues Wilmington was witnessing with teenage crime.
The partners included: the University of Delaware's Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Sonny Hill, of the nationally-recognized Sonny Hill League, Howard High School, Delaware's Small Business Development Center, the City of Wilmington, MBNA America, and Chase Manhattan Bank of Delaware.
We wanted to create a program that would teach young people legitimate ways for earning money, while instilling moral and educational values.
We wanted to give them hope and a brighter future.
The result of this partnership was the Youth Institute for Economic Leadership Development_or YIELD. YIELD assists students in defining the real economic value to society.
The students learn the basic components of an economic system and gain an understanding of how to make this system work to their advantage. Students learn how to become entrepreneurs/intrapreneurs and receive proven techniques for achieving financial success nationally and internationally.
Most importantly, the students are challenged to move beyond their perceived self-limitations and to learn how to become viable economic contributors to our society.
This is a success story because we have results.
45 students have already successfully completed the program and we plan to conduct an extensive evaluation process to learn how we can enhance the program and, more importantly, serve more students.
Preliminary results show that students who have completed the program last year, our first pilot year, are still in school and most are employed by several businesses in the Wilmington area.
We have been successful in maintaining contact with all the students by offering them ongoing activities and support.
We are going to expand the program this fall by providing three community-based after-school programs in an effort to begin establishing many YIELD clubs or groups throughout the community.
Our goal is to work towards creating a youth market for our students to engage in legitimate business ventures amongst each other, replacing the underground market many of them become involved with.
I've already received feedback from some students that YIELD is becoming known throughout the Wilmington high school population and inquiries are being made on how to become involved.
The idea is to initiate a movement in Wilmington, Delaware, to break the cycle of economic depravity, to break the cycle of hopelessness, and instead, create a renewed spirit of self-worth and the ability to dream and reach one's full and true potential.
We are also looking forward to an exciting and mutually beneficial partnership with the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, to support the idea of a community-centered initiative impact our youth in all aspects of their lives.
Today, I would like to briefly describe the key components of the process we use and are still using to establish a comprehensive youth development program to address the local concerns our youth are facing and suggest ways to replicate this program on a national level.
In no way are we professing to have found a cure-all.
However, the process that we have chosen is one that is community-centered versus agency-driven, and one that I believe will serve as a solid model for ensuring the economic solvency of our youth, not only in Wilmington, Delaware, but across the country.
Critical to the process of defining and initiating a movement is knowing the factors that influence juvenile delinquency, such as unstable family structure, economic disparities among communities, education, external cultural influences and racial biases.
When one considers all these factors, it's imperative that a collaborative approach is used to bring community organizations together to establish a unified youth development prevention initiative.
In addition to looking at juvenile delinquency prevention from a more community-centered approach, we must also address this issue by applying entrepreneurial strategies.
There is a definite need to fully understand the interests of the students who are at risk. Our target market_to ensure effective delivery of our program, a youth development initiative.
I would suggest the involvement of major corporations to address the role that economics plays in relation to juvenile delinquency, especially those corporations located in areas where the highest rates of juvenile delinquency exist.
For example, partnership with the National Education Association would help to address the educational factors influencing juvenile delinquency.
A partnership with the Alliance for Children and Families will help to address the wellness of the immediate home structure of the child.
I would certainly engage the entertainment industry because they have an incredible pulse on what our youth are attracted to and do a phenomenal job in capturing their attention.
For years, associations like the National Urban League have worked hard towards bridging the social and economic gaps between the races.
Organizations such as this one are effective vehicles for impacting change in some areas identified as high-crime arenas.
If statistics can jump from 1974 to 1988 with an increase of 20 percent in juvenile delinquency, then over a four-year period from 1988 to 1992, increase at a rate of 50 percent, then someone or something out there has an incredible marketing strategy for promoting juvenile delinquency.
I believe you can take that same amount of energy and achieve the same percentage with societal help only if there are the appropriate individuals and organizations on a national level working together on this issue.
In closing, I would like to share a quote by James Baldwin, a famous author and playwright:
``For these are our children. We will all profit or pay for what they become.''
See Appendix D For The Written Statement Of Karla Ballard, Arise International, Wilmington, Delaware
Chairman Castle. Thank you, Ms. Ballard. We appreciate those comments, too.
And we'll turn now to Mr. Schiraldi.
Mr. Ford. Mr. Chairman, I just want to inquire.
Is that your mom sitting right there, young lady?
Ms. Ballard. Yes.
Mr. Ford She was very proud of you throughout your presentation, I might add.
And she had every right to be.
Ms. Ballard. Thank you.
Chairman Castle. Did you know that, or you just saw from the beaming aspect of it, Mr. Ford?
STATEMENT OF VINCENT SCHIRALDI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR JUVENILE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE WASHINGTON, D.C.
Mr. Schiraldi. Thanks for your kind introduction before.
I wanted to also let Committee members know that in addition to the direct service work we do, we do a lot of research and I've been on a lot of different commissions on youth crime in California, Governor Deukmejian's commission, and the juvenile probation commission in San Francisco.
So I really want to talk today a little bit about some of the research, as well as some of our direct experiences, particularly working with minority youth who are caught up in the juvenile justice system.
There's a large body of research which paints a really dismal picture of the disproportionate minority confinement in America.
Black youths are now seven times as likely to be held in public detention facilities as white youths.
In both Connecticut and Texas in 1996, 100 percent of the juveniles held in adult jails were minorities. Blacks make up about 12 percent of America's population and about 13 percent of drug users.
So about the same rate as their representation in the general public.
But teenage black males were confined for drug offenses at 30 times the rate of their white counterparts in the last year for which we have data.
Now some have been tempted to conclude from this that since blacks commit most of the crime, they occupy most of the jail cells.
But I think a fair analysis of rare in America's juvenile justice system is much more complicated than that. In a meta-analysis of studies on race and the juvenile justice system, researchers Pope and Feyerheim found that about two-thirds of the studies showed that even when other factors are held equal, race mattered and mattered for the worse in sentencing juvenile delinquents.
Delbert Elliott's studies of differential offense rates of white and African-American teenagers have shown that black teenagers do commit violent crimes at about 1-1/2 times the rate of white teenagers.
So the rates are not completely the same.
However, after their teenage years, whites mature out of criminal behavior and begin to show declining involvement in violence, while African-Americans show a resurgence of violence in young adulthood.
Importantly, and this really gets to what both of you have mentioned up to this point, when youth possessed either a job or a stable relationship, both blacks and whites experienced the same precipitous decline in violent behavior.
So a job and a stable relationship have been shown to reduce criminality in both whites and blacks equally.
I think this has profound public policy implications because it shows that we already have a model system for addressing delinquency here in America.
And that's the system that helps white teenagers mature out of violence. In that system, friends and neighbors serve as mentors. Special schools are arranged and restitution and community service are worked out.
What I would urge Congress to do is to not give up on these minority youth, but promote a system for them which mirrors that which any of us would want for our own kids if our own kids were in trouble.
Let me give you an example.
My organization was referred the case of a black high school teenage senior charged with a strong-arm robbery.
Derrick's mother had died the year before, but he was still in school, he worked nightly repairing shoes, and he was enrolled in ROTC.
One day after school, he stole a sweatjacket off another student. Derrick's lawyer told me about the case and was unable to get the DA to offer anything other than state prison, explaining_now these are his words_that his client had what he called a big black kid problem, because he was six foot three and exuded a tough attitude towards those who didn't know him.
My agency got Derrick and the victim's mother to meet at the local police station. She yelled at him and he looked at his shoes and mumbled what appeared to me and, more importantly, to her, to be sincere apologies and she learned how he hadn't been in any trouble until his mother had died.
Derrick paid restitution for the sweatjacket and we set him up training recovering drug addicts to repair shoes, which is eventually what the judge ordered with the mother's blessings.
Although it had a happy ending, I think it was clear from the beginning that the system saw a script for Derrick which was eventually going to include a trip to prison.
The system didn't recoil from locking him up like it would have for a white ROTC, working high school senior whose mother had died the year before.
The burden was on us to humanize Derrick. I felt he walked into court as a stereotype.
Indeed, that prison-bound script is not so far from accurate. A recent Justice Department study found that one in four black male children born last year will go to
prison_not jail or probation, but prison_at some time in their lives until something changes.
It was only through luck that Derrick found us. Many more Derricks don't.
Too often, minority youth are ministered to by disinterested bureaucrats and imprisoned in dangerous warehouses.
It is indeed true that the opposite of love is not hate, but apathy.
As a result, while white youth are obtaining the jobs and establishing the relationship that will alter their life path from violence to success, like others have mentioned, like Dr. Elliott's data confirm, and like common sense tells us, black youth are learning the hard lessons taught in America's jails and prisons.
My program was funded partly by DNC funds. It takes youth who are in juvenile hall, these same types of youth, obtains their release under strict conditions and sees them face-to-face three times per day after they're released.
My staff who are long on street smarts are there when the pager goes off at 2:00 in the morning because the kid's father's on a drunken binge and about to tear the kid's head off, to defuse the situation and get the family to safety.
On the other end, we're honest with the judges about our client's progress, warts and all.
Staff are trained to think creatively and look at their clients like a nephew who has gotten in trouble_not to make excuses, but to demand accountability combined with deep concern for their welfare.
The research on that program shows that our clients were re-arrested at half the rate of the control group and re-arrested for violent offenses at a third the rate of the control group.
Over 90 percent of the kids we serve are minorities.
When he was locked up in the Birmingham Jail, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, ``Injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere.
Treating youth with care and decency while still holding them accountable the way you or I would want our kids treated works as well for minority youth as it does for white youth.
For my part, I know that if the system would not give up on my children who are white, it should do no less for the sons and daughters of African-American parents.
I thank you for this time.
See Appendix E For The Written Statement Of Vincent Schiraldi Executive Director, Center For Juvenile And Criminal Justice Washington, D.C.
Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Mr. Schiraldi. We appreciate that.
Ms. McBrayer, we're ready for your testimony.
STATEMENT OF SANDRA MC BRAYER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
THE CHILDREN'S INITIATIVE SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
Ms. McBrayer. Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity this morning.
San Diego County is in fact the fourth largest county in the United States. It is made up of 4620 square miles, which is equivalent in fact to the State of Connecticut.
We have a five-member board of supervisors. We have 18 incorporated cities, 66 independent special districts, 43 separate public school districts with 43 superintendents and 43 school boards.
We have five community college districts, five California state senate districts, nine state assembly districts, and five U.S. congressional districts.
As much as we don't want to admit it, we believe in government and governance.
Yet, when I see San Diego County, I see children, children who speak and hear a multiple of languages_in fact, 85 to date.
I see children who live in our dense urban areas, refugees from Rwanda and Bosnia who speak little or no English.
I see children who live on 18 different Indian reservations and those who grow up in our vast agricultural and desert spaces.
And in San Diego County, I see children living in poverty. Over 100,000 to date.
San Diego County has the opportunity and the challenge of meeting the needs of 739,000 young people. Our child population in San Diego County currently exceeds that of 21 states.
And in the next two years, it will increase by 26 percent.
I say this because it's not a problem for us. I say this because we can overcome any obstacle that is placed in front of us.
It is not what we do in San Diego County, but how we do it.
San Diego County is on the cutting edge of the national efforts for juvenile prevention and youth violence. With the strong assistance and vital help from the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention, San Diego County has developed a blueprint for how to protect our children and youth and how to promote their positive development.
In the last three years, under the direct guidance and support of OJJDP, and with technical assistance for the developmental research program and the National Council on Crime Delinquency, the Children's Initiative has convened more than 100 diverse organizations.
This team, comprised of public and private organizations, law enforcement, community, schools, have worked to implement the San Diego County comprehensive strategy.
We have worked with the extensive research from OJJDP and a philosophy of shared responsibility and coordinated action. This has resulted in a region-wide effort in San Diego County to develop healthy, responsible youth through prevention, intervention, and graduated sanctions.
We look at prevention and say, how do we ensure that a child does not enter the juvenile justice system?
We also look at intervention.
Once a child is in our system, how do we ensure that the services and programs they need are in place so that we can get them back on the right track?
And we look at graduated sanctions. We look at children who are committing serious crimes and making sure they are separated from others so that they cannot continue their destructive path of harming themselves and possibly others.
The comprehensive strategy in San Diego County is our roadmap to spell out what we need to do and how we get there.
OJJDP's focus on prevention, strong research base, models, support of community collaboration, and the dissemination of best practices, provided San Diego with the opportunity and the skills needed to succeed.
But we didn't wait until our blueprint was published. In the 18 months of design, San Diego County quickly saw a need and it was what the speaker said this morning of after-school programs.
We saw that there was substantial state and federal funding for elementary school children after school. We saw high school students had sports, drama and jobs. But we saw middle school students falling through the cracks.
We saw that they were too young to be left alone, but too old for babysitters.
We also saw in San Diego County the crime statistics showing what was happening in the hours between 2:00 and 6:00 p.m.
We did not go to schools and say, what are you going to do about the problem. We brought the team back together.
We brought together community, law enforcement, health, education, and said, how can we do it together?
How can we ensure that we have a safe place for children after school?
And then we asked children, what do they want? We did a survey that said, totally awesome, okay, and totally gross.
Sorry to say, but golf got totally gross.
But do you know what got totally awesome on every survey? Cooking. The youths said to us, we have to cook for our families because they're working. Will you teach us how after school?
Babysitting. They say, we have to care for our younger brothers and sisters and they're driving us nuts. Will you teach us how to better care for them?
Real-life problems with real-life solutions.
So in San Diego County, the county board of supervisors put together $1.2 million, an impressive amount of money and a bold and creative action on behalf of youth.
With blended monies from the State of California, the City of San Diego, San Diego opened 27 after-school programs for middle-school youth.
In the first year of operation last year, 14,000 youth had a safe place to go.
This experience was not a one-person going it alone. It was the blending of state, county, and foundation dollars. It was partnerships with schools, providers and businesses clearly listening directly to children and youth.
It was examples we learned at the federal level from OJJDP, the Children's Initiative, and the Comp Strategy.
It is not about what we are doing. It is about how we are doing it.
Through partnerships with education and justice, clearly using research-based programs and services, with blended funding from all streams, and with the total inclusion of parents and youth, this model works.
San Diego County is proving it again and again, in after-school programs, in gender-specific services, in community assessment teams, and in intensive probation supervision.
We are clearly demonstrating that you can teach grown people to share. They might not like it a whole lot, but they can do it and it's necessary.
We must break out of our silos at the county level, the state level, and the federal level.
It can be done. And if it is being done in San Diego, it can be done anywhere.
See Appendix F For The Written Statement Of Sandra Mc Brayer Executive Director
The Children's Initiative San Diego, California
Chairman Castle. Thank you, Ms. McBrayer. We appreciate that testimony as well.
Now we turn to Ms. Ott.
STATEMENT OF BARBARA OTT DIRECTOR SILVER SPRING YMCA YOUTH SERVICES SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND
Ms. Ott. Mr. Chairman and members_
Chairman Castle. Excuse me, Ms. Ott, for a moment.
Mr. Scott. Do we have a vote?
Chairman Castle. No, I think that was just the beginning of the session because it was delayed. I don't think there's a vote on, unless somebody can contradict that.
Ms. Ott. Mr. Chairman, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you on the importance of comprehensive strategies for the prevention of juvenile delinquency.
This is a topic which is immensely important to me, not only as the director of the Silver Spring YMCA Youth Services for the last 12 years, but also as a mother, a grandmother, a volunteer, and a foster mother.
I know the value of investing in our nation's youth, particularly for those at risk of juvenile delinquency.
Not band-aid remedies, but thoughtful, multi-cultural, comprehensive community-based strategies that seek to develop the entire youth, not simply treat a particular problem.
I want to keep our children safe.
Silver Spring YMCA Youth Services has been serving the community for over 25 years, as a free, nonmembership-based, outreach program of the Silver Spring YMCA.
Like all YMCAs, Silver Spring services all ages, all abilities, all incomes, all races, and all religions.
YMCA Youth Services lives its mission to foster the spiritual, mental and physical development of families and individuals every day.
YMCA Youth Services offers a full range of prevention, early intervention and treatment services to over 2000 youth and families per year, always developing and implementing new programs designed to address the specific needs of that particular community.
Indeed, the YMCA nationwide is a partner with over 400 juvenile courts and some 300 public housing developments in an effort to reach out to at-risk youth.
But with only five minutes, I'll simply give you a brief overview of one of our programs, called HOME_Hope and Opportunity in a Multi-cultural Environment.
HOME operates out of the Carroll Avenue and Quebec Terrace Apartments. For many years, the "Y" had driven a van over to the Carroll Avenue and Quebec Terrace Apartments to pick up youth and take them swimming and camping.
The families at Carroll Avenue struggled to survive economically and personally, in a culture with rules they did not understand.
African-American, African National, Latino, Vietnamese, and Cambodian residents live next door to each other, but did not speak to each other.
They were crowded, isolated and fearful of their unknown cultural surroundings.
Often poorly educated, the parents did not utilize the resources of the schools and the government and have had a diminished sense of personal control and ownership of their community.
It soon became apparent that these children and families needed much more. The children needed a safe place in their neighborhood all year, and we needed to prevent problems.
We believe that to be effective, you must reach out to immigrants on their own turf and work on their issues first.
I asked the apartment owner to allow the "Y" to use the apartment as an activity center. He agreed. This early partnership gave birth to the program we call HOME.
Today, HOME is a formal collaboration of public, private and nonprofit agencies working together with the residents in a focused effort to create a community.
The youth who regularly participate in our program represent the community at large.
Last year, 70 percent were Hispanic, 20 percent were African-American, seven percent Asian and three percent Caucasian.
There 727 participants at HOME. HOME is the glue that holds the child, the family, and the school and the community together.
HOME collaborates with many community resources, including the Federal Office of National Drug Control Policy, Montgomery County Health and Human Services, Montgomery County Police Department, the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice, the State Park and Planning Commission, recreation, public schools, and churches and businesses.
The Homework Club is a safe place for children 5 to 18, where they receive tutoring and training, a healthy snack and participate in supervised recreation and trips to the library.
HOME has its own youth marketing team. They recruit other children in the neighborhood.
The results indicate that our efforts have been worth it. School absences decreased among Home Work participants in 1998. The comparison group did not show a consistent decline.
Another success story is in a program called Man-to-Man, which provides activities and counseling aimed at instilling respect, integrity and responsibility.
One of the 35 participants_we will call him John_had extensive dealings with the juvenile justice system. He had been involved in auto theft, narcotics, gang activity, and served time in the juvenile detention center.
After being released from the detention center, he sought help from our male mentoring counselor. He and his mother participate in counseling.
John participated in all the programs of the Man-to-Man program and now, each day, he is equipping himself better to resolve his circumstances and has re-enrolled in high school.
He and his two brothers will not likely participate in the juvenile justice system.
Investing in our nation's youth should be a priority for all of us. Organizations like the YMCA and prevention programs like HOME play a tremendous role in meeting the varying needs of youth.
We hope to replicate HOME in a comparable community.
With that in mind, thank you, Chairman Castle, for this opportunity to testify. I gladly welcome any questions from you or other members of the Subcommittee.
See Apprndix D For The Statement Of Barbara Ott Director Silver Spring Ymca Youth Services Silver Spring, Maryland
Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Ms. Ott. We appreciate that testimony.
I'll now turn to Congressman Greenwood, who will introduce Mr. Smith and his guest.
Mr. Greenwood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I apologize for being late and neglecting to introduce my friend and constituent, Bob Smith.
I'd like to do that now.
Bob Smith is the director of development for Youth Services Agency of Pennsylvania. He's been actively involved with work involving risk and delinquent youth for over 25 years, which means we were both social workers in Bucks County at the same time.
And as I often say, it was my work with acting out adolescents that best prepared me to come to Congress.
The Youth Services Agency of Pennsylvania is one of the
most creative programs in the country. They run adventure programs, alternative education, high schools, runaway and homeless youth programs.
They have a nonprofit construction company and in fact, they're now building their third community center in Pennsylvania.
One interesting point is that 14 of the young people that were once clients of the organization now are employed by the organization, success stories.
And he has one of his success stories with him. The lovely young lady seated next to him is Jesse Armetta, and I'll let Mr. Smith introduce her.
And if I might ask for a moment more indulgence from the Chairman, I'd like to introduce another friend of mine, Police Chief Steven White from Doylestown Township is with us.
He's here for a meeting with the International Association of Chiefs of Police. But he's also a very important resource for me and my staff when it comes to working with policies on troubled youth.
And I'd like to welcome Steve to the hearing as well.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Greenwood. And we're ready, Mr. Smith, to hear from you.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT SMITH DIRECTOR YOUTH SERVICES AGENCIES OF PENNSYLVANIA DOYLESTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA ACCOMPANIED BY: JESSE ARMETTA
Mr. Smith. Thank you. And thank you, Congressman Greenwood, for your kind words. And I'm also glad to see the chief.
Mr. Chairman, I represent the Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs. We have a number of facilities throughout the country that I'm hopefully representing today.
We run the Runaway and Homeless Youth Center. We also run a transitional living program.
The Runaway and Homeless Youth Center is two facilities containing five beds where kids that are on the street and at risk of many, many things, such as exploitation, abuse, years of painful isolation, we're able to take those kids in for up to 15 days.
In our transitional living program, we have been recognized as a best practice model by the Administration for Children and Families in 1998.
We have over the last nine years developed programs for youth where they live, learn and develop a life-long trade while pursuing future education opportunities.
Youth in one of our TLPs, located on the campus of a large geriatric facility located in Bucks County, live in a supervised setting while enrolled in a unique training program we developed with Chandler Hall Health Services.
Each youth can earn credentials in areas such as a nursing certificate, therapeutic recreation, hospice care, child care certification.
These are an example of the many training programs available to our youth through this program.
If our youth complete the program, the nursing facility and youth services of Bucks County, then out of a joint fund, further fund these children to go on for their college education in a chosen area.
Other career and personal development training is available through Youth Services Agency of Pennsylvania's non-profit construction company, which Congressman Greenwood mentioned, and we are building our third adventure community center in Pennsylvania.
All three of those centers will house alternative schools for the communities that they're in. One is in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. We have another one in Middletown, Pennsylvania and another one in Doylestown, Pa.
Those centers are also opportunities for kids to receive employment. We have 14 young people that have gone on to work for the agency.
We also have graduated ten youths from the program into college, five of which have graduated, five of which are still in school.
I'm here today to really speak on behalf of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.
I would like to say that I think that, ASAP, we really need to re-authorize this act. Every day, there are kids all over this country that are on the street and they're not there for reasons that they caused. We have a number of youth that are on the streets because they've come from abusive homes.
They've been sexually abused. They've been abandoned and they've been neglected.
And when the time comes when they're independent enough to walk out the door, they will. They'll do it for safety reasons and in many cases, they'll do it so that they can save their lives.
I brought with me today a person that I'm very, very proud of who is in our transitional living program. Her name is Jessica Armetta.
Jessica has agreed to let me tell her story, which I know is a very difficult story. She asked that I tell it. She would like to talk at the end because she fees that it would be a little bit much for her to tell the story here with everybody in the room.
Jessica is from San Diego, originally. She was living with her mother and her father.
They separated when she was only four years old.
Because of a situation where Jessica was abused, actually being beaten and burned, she was taken out of her home from her mother and returned to her father's care in the State of Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately, while staying with her father, she was sexually abused by her father from the age of 7 until the age of ten years old.
You can see that this is the kind of kid we're talking of. This is the kind of story.
It doesn't end there. Jessica at that point was transited back to her mother, who had remarried. She was living with her stepfather and his three children, one of which, her stepbrother, molested her from the age of 11 to 14.
At that point, Jessica had pretty much had enough and she decided that she was going to take off.
She ran away.
Unfortunately, at that time the system viewed running away as a very serious problem. Jessica was brought back to the family. She was found to be delinquent because of her inability to maintain herself at home and because of drug charges that were brought by her mother.
She then spent four years in the juvenile justice system, coming out when she was 18 years old, returning to her mother. Her mother having, I think, some understanding, but very little support for her when she reported the abuse that she had been through.
The mother more dependent on the father, the stepfather at this point, needing the money that they supplied, so that she could continue to live.
Jessica at that point had to leave the house.
When she called us, she found out the name of our facility from an outreach that we had done to local churches. She called us up. She had been staying in a hotel and she had run out of money.
Just before Christmas of this year, she called us. We took her into the transitional living program.
Today, she is working at Chandler Hall Health Services in the aquatics program and she is working towards a certificate in therapeutic recreation.
She would like to stay working for Youth Services of Bucks County past her time. Therefore, she is getting some of the credentials that we need to work in our adventure programming.
Just for a moment, I'd like Jessica to speak. I know the red light is on. If we could just give her an additional couple of minutes to say what she wants to say.
Ms. Armetta. As you heard, I've had a difficult life.
I just want to make sure that I'm comfortable bringing up my past because I'm dealing with it.
I'm very fortunate to be involved in this program. Before I came into the program, I staying in motels until I ran out of money. I was a friends house calling and calling.
A lot of them wouldn't take me because of my situation and my age.
When I called the program, I lied about my age and they told me that they were willing to help me, so I told them, can I call you back? And when I called back, I came clean with the program coordinator and she still helped me.
In a few days, I was entered into the program.
They helped me obtain employment that could become my future career. I was able to_they provide me with stable housing. They encouraged me to trust people.
And . . .
Mr. Smith. Jessica has asked if she could stop at this point.
This is a great young woman who is going to go on to do great things, not just because of us, but because of her internal strength to deal with all that she's been through.
You can see the reason why we're really encouraging you to re-authorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, where we'd like to see it as a separate act so that it's not caught up in the juvenile justice stuff.
If we're going to reauthorize JJDPA, please re-authorize it with a strong prevention component. Reauthorization needs to include the institutionalization of status offenders, to not have kids like Jessica end up in the juvenile justice system when they need other levels of care and they need to learn tangible skills.
And they need to talk to people so that they can get through the trauma that they've been through in their lives.
Thank you for your time.
See Appendix H For The Written Statement Of Robert Smith Director Youth Services Agencies Of Pennsylvania Doylestown, Pennsylvania Accompanied By: Jesse Armetta
Chairman Castle. Well, thank you, Mr. Smith. And Jessica, we thank you for your courage in being here. It does take some courage to come before a group like this and to have that story told.
It makes an impression, believe me, on all of us.
We now have reached the time when each member is allowed to ask questions. And again, we have the same rules with respect to the lights.
We have five minutes.
There may be times when a general question is asked and you each have to answer. If you start to multiply that out by a number of minutes, we're going to have a problem.
So when that happens, please be very brief in your answers. In some instances, we'll be asking questions specifically and I think that's generally what I'm going to be doing.
I will start off.
I'd just like to ask a few questions. First of all, I heard prevention loud and clear from each and every one of you. I happen to be a believer in that as well. And I think that's extraordinarily important.
We have to treat things like runaway children as a separate and identifiable program and perhaps keep that separate as well.
And I also appreciate that.
In terms of carrying some of these things out, though, I'm curious as to what you've learned. Mr. Sligh, let me just ask you very briefly.
You mentioned this, but I just want to get a more general answer.
Are other prosecutors becoming more receptive to getting involved with these kinds of prevention programs, as you have described?
Is that a change among the prosecutorial ranks, or are they too busy and they feel we can't do this?
Can you characterize this based on what you know?
Mr. Sligh. Certainly, it's a change and I see the major prosecutors' offices within New York State moving in that direction.
And the reason I mentioned the smaller offices is because I'm sure they don't have the kinds of resources to do the things that we are doing in New York City.
But I know that all of the five district attorneys' offices within New York City are moving in that direction with programs that are very similar to the ones that we've talked about here today.
Chairman Castle. Okay. I hope that's happening. I see it happening in the schools. There's a real changes in the schools with after-school programs, much more receptivity than there used to be, which is tremendously helpful.
And I was once a prosecutor for a while and I don't remember thinking that way much when I was a prosecutor. So, hopefully, we're all learning our lesson with respect to that.
Ms. Ballard, this is a big question. And I want to be careful because I listened to Jessica's story and I realize that problems begin at home and the solutions often are at home or in specific programs.
But there are some general things which happen. And one of them is the influence of television.
You mentioned the entertainment industry and the need to bring them into that. I was curious about your statement with respect to that and curious about any thoughts you have of anything that we could or should be doing.
I realize, in a general sense, you're absolutely right. But I was wondering if you have any thoughts about what should Congress be doing or what can we be doing with respect to making sure the entertainment industry is not affording the thinking, the mentality that perhaps some of these kinds of acts by youth are okay.
Ms. Ballard. Right. And since we had five minutes, that's probably the largest section that I omitted.
But one of the things that I've begun to recognize in working with our students is that there is sort of a missing bridge between today's culture and today's entertainment groups and things like that, that are talking a lot about the juvenile justice system because a lot of these entertainers in some instances have been part of that system.
So when I talk about our target market, I am talking about a lot of the African-American population. That's the population mostly served in the YIELD program.
And in talking with some of the students, there's this real desire to have_if we're going to look at approaching this whole issue from a national level, to have the entertainment industry kind of come to the table and talk about what a lot of the singers are discussing in their lyrics.
A lot of people are saying that they're promoting juvenile delinquency.
However, I believe that's sort of a misnomer. I think that there is a way that we can kind of bring the entertainment industry to the table and have the actual artists sit down and talk about, no, we're not necessarily a part of this system any more.
I'm not saying all are. Some may be. I don't know their personal lives.
But I think there are a great amount of artists who are not promoting juvenile delinquency, although we are walking away with the notion that they are in their lyrics.
So when I do talk about bridging the gap between entertainment and the juvenile delinquency prevention initiative, I'm saying almost a consortium should take place, to sit down and talk with that industry about some of the ways that we can bridge the gap.
Chairman Castle. Thank you, Ms. Ballard.
I'm going to suspend my questioning there. Mr. Greenwood has to leave early. Mr. Kildee has been kind enough_I'd normally go to him_to let him go next.
And if we can do that so that we can keep moving.
Mr. Greenwood. Let me thank Mr. Kildee. That's very gracious of you. I appreciate the consideration.
Are you okay, now, Jessie? Can I ask you a question?
I'd like to better understand why it is that, initially, you felt that you had to lie about your age.
Were you 18 at the time? And if you could answer that question and then between and Mr. Smith, just explain to us how your age was ultimately_how that issue was resolved.
Ms. Armetta. I'm 20. Since I wasn't physically abused, a lot of places would not take me in.
So when I got a hold of the lady, she said_
Mr. Greenwood. By that_let me interrupt you. I'm sorry.
What you mean by that was that you were not physically abused immediately preliminary to your call.
Is that it?
Ms. Armetta. Yes, I wasn't physically abused at that time.
Mr. Greenwood. Right.
Ms. Armetta. I was getting away from a situation that would be more of an issue.
So when I was calling, I was 20, and they told me to lie because I was desperate and I needed a place to stay.
So when I called, I told her I was 16. And then when she said that she could help me_she said that she takes 18 to 21. And I was just like, okay, let me call you back.
And then I called back and I told her my age. And she still helped me.
Mr. Greenwood. Did you disguise your voice and say you were somebody else?
Ms. Armetta. No. I kept my voice. And so she was fine with that.
Mr. Greenwood. And Bob, could you maybe explain, it would help the Committee to understand the transitional program, how you managed to provide services for someone of Jessie's age?
Mr. Smith. Well, we're trying to work with kids that fall between the cracks. There are a number of kids that are not served by public agencies. They may not have committed crimes. They may not have been kids that have been identified to a child welfare system.
But they are kids that don't have a place to stay. What do you do with a 17-, 18-, 19-year-old kid? We're talking about kids that have to make the transition from their adolescence to their adulthood.
In order to do that, they need skills. These kids, when they are placed_we get a lot of boys that are placed out of their homes because of a conflict in the home. We get a tremendous amount of young women who are placed on the street because they're living in sexually abusive homes and they cannot tolerate staying there any longer.
But they need skills when they come out of those situations. And they also need to work on some of the trauma that's been laid at their feet.
One of the things that our program tries to do is really have a complex look at these things. Kids that are coming into our runaway shelters, we want the family back involved.
In fact, we've re-united 87 percent of the kids that we've seen back with their families. We know that that's where the strength can be.
But there are people like Jessica whose families really are not a strength. They're a danger. And they're the kind of kids that can go into our transitional living program.
It's been successful because we can hold onto them through the funding that we get from the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act that keep them for up to 18 months.
We can teach them how to live. They live relatively independently in a shelter that has minimal staff, but it does have supervision. And it has people that understand that they're making the transition.
We put a lot on Jessica to live day-to-day. She has to take care of things. She has to budget herself. She has to take care of her primary needs. And she's expected to be at work every day.
We also know that the kids we work with don't have those kinds of skills and they can work in our program and they can fail.
We expect them to fail. But we can use it as a learning opportunity to teach them skills so that they won't do it over and over again.
And I think Jessica represents somebody that_all the trauma in the world, it sounds terrible. But it's her strength that keeps sticking with me. It's her ability to overcome this and still say, I'm going to have a life.
It's amazing. It's amazing. And I appreciate her talking.
Mr. Greenwood. Well, we think she's a heroine to be here. She's really fabulous.
Mr. Smith. Yes.
Mr. Greenwood. Are there any recommendations that you would make to this Committee in terms of changes that we might make in the act in order to make it so that you don't have a problem dealing with these slightly older young people who are over the age of 18?
Is the system, as it's set up now, working well enough?
Mr. Smith. Well, the system is set up so that we can continue to work in a continuum with kids when they run away to the time that they need transitional living service.
We've got a lot of kids that age out of the juvenile justice system, too, because they have no place to turn_18, and they're done. And then they're on the street.
It doesn't take long before people start to panic and they burn all their bridges and they've stayed with all the friends that they can stay with.
So we appreciate this. But we have to subsidize these programs pretty heavily through other services that we provide. We obviously can't do it with the amount of money we get.
But we appreciate it because it allows us to have the seed money to go ahead and build other systems.
One of the things that I would really like to see is this legislation separated out from juvenile justice because I think sometimes it can get caught up in a lot of the machinations that are important.
But, really, Runaway and Homeless Youth has been going on for a long time and it's been very successful at working in a prevention mode to keep these kids out of the juvenile justice system.
And I would like to see funding on its own.
I know in the Senate, they're already talking about a bill for runaway and homeless youth that's separate from the JJDP.
So I think that that would be helpful.
Mr. Greenwood. Thank you. And again, Mr. Kildee, thank you for your graciousness.
Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Mr. Greenwood.
Mr. Kildee. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Jessie, about ten years ago, we had a young witness testify from Michigan. His name was Mike. I've seen Mike quite often since then.
He ran away from home.
I was raised to think that running away from home was probably the dumbest thing one could do. But for Mike, it was the smartest thing. It was really an act of survival for him.
It took a long while for me to realize and admit that.
Fortunately, when Mike ran away and was able to come across a good program in Oakland County and got into a shelter that provided counseling.
I saw Mike about four months ago_I've seen him several times in the intervening years. He has a two children now, a very stable family. He is very proud of his children.
Certain approaches work and we have to fund those things and make sure that more of our vulnerable children receive these type of services.
Mike was saved by that shelter and by the counseling and direction that he got in that shelter.
So I appreciate your testimony here today.
The President has proposed to increase the after-school programs from the present $200 million to $600 million in the 21st Century Learning Centers programs.
Ms. McBrayer, I think you mentioned the helpfulness of those programs. Perhaps you and others could tell us how that plays an important role in coordinating with other agencies in prevention because I'm more concerned about prevention than any other part of this program.
Ms. McBrayer. Thank you, sir. I will.
What the President has done and Congress has done is set an example. In the State of California, last year, with Assembly Bill 2284, our governor signed in $50 million for after-school program for K through 8, in replica of the 21st Century Learning Centers.
And so what it has done is it has encouraged states to not just look to the Federal Government for dollars, but to look at state dollars, too, and I think that's a real plus.
The other key part of both the 21st Century Learning Centers and the Critical Hours Program in the State of California is not to just look at schools. It's to actually combine Justice dollars, Education dollars, and Health dollars.
In the County of San Diego, when they allocated $1.2 million, they took it out of health realignment dollars for after-school programs.
So I think that's the key we have to model for the country, is to not just look at education.
And as an educator, I know that a lot of that falls on our shoulders, saying, what are you going to do now when it's your responsibility?
But to ensure that schools, providers, community-based organizations and other city governments take a role in that.
In California, we are also very creative, sir. We looked at the PVEA dollars, which is the Petroleum Violators Escrow Account.
So we were very innovative. And we said, wait a minute. The Petroleum Violators Escrow Account charges oil companies every time they make a mistake or spill oil, to put money into this account, which has millions of dollars.
How do we tap into it for after-school programs?
We wrote a grant for $100,000 to say that we wanted electric vans to teach children conservation, to teach children about energy.
Now granted, we were transporting them in that van, but it was a dual role. It was really looking at not just one pot of money, but a very innovative look at how do we grab more dollars for more areas?
And sir, also, we have to look at foundation dollars. We have to look at NEA KC and Robert Wood Johnson and other agencies to allow us to blend dollars, to not just look at categorical funding, but to blend dollars.
And I think that that is they key for us.
Mr. Kildee. On that, the Mott Foundation in Flint has given about $70 million. And I think Secretary Rowty is trying to peel another $70 million out of the Mott Foundation.
But, really, having been a school teacher myself, I would see students who would have benefited in those days. I haven't taught now in 34 years, but benefited from a program like we're doing now.
And I think, as you say, a combination of dollars and a combination of programs because when they're there, they might get some health care, get some education. You can bring various agencies in.
Anyone else have any comment on that?
Mr. Schiraldi. My office here in D.C. is located over in Anacostia, which is sort of a tough part of town. It's where a lot of our kids are from, so that's why we put ourselves there.
And I have to say, it really is a daily tragedy at 3:00 when some of the best role models in town leave the neighborhood and the schools close.
And those kids, some grade-school kids, they dump out into that street where there's drug dealers all up and down Martin Luther King.
Some of the healthiest, best buildings in the neighborhood close where the kids could learn things, they could do homework, they could play basketball.
And I know those kids. They're going to be my kids in a couple of years if we don't give them something to do that keeps them away from those dope dealers on the corners.
Mr. Sligh. One of the things that I've been suggesting is that we continue our public and private partnership and open up offices in the afternoon.
It's not really about that 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. timeframe. It's about idleness.
If children are idle with nothing to do, then that's what causes the problems.
In the summertime, it's idleness. That's why we operate Operation Summer Fun, to get them off of the street and into a structured program of having fun, on one hand, but doing something constructive on the other.
So I'm really in favor of that public-private partnership. Open your doors. Let them come in from 2:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon and use that as a teaching mechanism to learn about what goes on in the work place.
Little things like being on time to work, the appropriate clothes to wear to work, things like that are so important to preparing our children for this next millennium.
Ms. Ott. May I make a comment on that, please?
Mr. Kildee. Yes, Ms. Ott.
Ms. Ott. We applied for one of the 21st Century Learning Centers grants. We didn't get it in Silver Spring last year.
But the community decided we were going to do it, anyway.
And I think that that's the challenge that we face with granting, is that sometimes we can blend a lot of resources. And we've done that in Silver Spring, county grants and everything else.
But there has to be a commitment and a coalition that's willing to do the programs with or without funding and to find a way to do it.
I would certainly support increased funding for grants. But I think that nobody can do it by themselves and we really need to work together as a collaboration to accomplish these after-school programs.
Ms. Ballard. I was just going to echo what Mr. Sligh was saying.
One thing that I think we need to be mindful of, too, are the particular times because there are some schools that let out at 12:00. And that could be for seniors or things like that.
So just a really quick point that we are going to have to look at those timeframes because it's not all just 2:00 to 5:00.
Mr. Kildee. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Kildee. Not to pander my own bills here, but I have introduced a bill, too, which would have the Department of Education actually try to collate information about all the good after-school programs which are out there.
The President has a program that I happen to think is a good program. The administration has expanded it tremendously, as you may know, for after-school programs in the schools, which is actually helping fund the programs.
My concept is a little bit simpler. It's simply, let's find out what's out there.
We could probably put together dozens of panels like this, each of which would come forward with a particular good program. And if we could find out these programs and replicate them, I personally think that we should.
So it's something that we are concerned about up here and we'll be working on during the course of this year.
And with that, the next person in order of appearance is Mr. Scott.
Mr. Scott. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, I had a question for you, if I could get your attention.
Chairman Castle. Sorry.
Mr. Scott. I had a question for you. The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act has been introduced and is presently in another subcommittee I serve on.
It's in the Crime Subcommittee.
Chairman Castle. No. Actually, I'm the sponsor of it and it is in this Subcommittee. We may handle it separately.
We're discussing how to proceed with that now.
Mr. Scott. There's a bill in the Crime Subcommittee, S.249.
Chairman Castle. Actually, the actual jurisdiction of that legislation is this Subcommittee and this Committee.
Mr. Scott. Okay. Are you having any discussions_
Chairman Castle. Not to put down the Crime Subcommittee, Mr. Scott.
I would never want to do that, sir.
Mr. Scott. Right. I serve on both, so I'll see it one way or the other.
But are you in discussion with Mr. McCollum?
Chairman Castle. Yes. We've just had a discussion with him to get that little fact established.
Mr. Scott. Okay. And Mr. Smith, we have funded the act, although it wasn't reauthorized last year.
But there was no lapse in funding, was there?
Mr. Smith. No, there was no lapse in funding, other than the month when we didn't receive any funding. But we received the money on the back end.
So I think everybody did the same thing we did, continue with services.
Mr. Scott. Okay. Mr. Sligh, you indicated that you're using money that's allocated for prosecution for prevention.
Is that right?
Mr. Sligh. Not necessarily money that's been allocated for prosecution, but perhaps some forfeiture money and other monies that we have in the office for our programs.
Mr. Scott. Are the prosecutors using official time or personal time for the activities that they're involved in?
Mr. Sligh. Many of the prosecutors are using official time.
In fact, most of our programs are on official time. There are other programs that they may use their personal time.
One particular prosecutor who has adopted a young man from one of the programs is certainly using his personal time on weekends and during the summer.
Mr. Scott. But that indicates to me that, as prosecutors, you have determined that you can reduce crime through prevention, as well as through prosecution, and that prevention has to be an integral part of the effort to reduce crime.
Mr. Sligh. Absolutely, sir.
Mr. Scott. From a prosecutor's point of view.
Ms. McBrayer, I was just noticing that you had a $1.2 million program and served 14,000 children.
Ms. McBrayer. Yes, sir.
Mr. Scott. That's about $100, just using a little "back-of-the-envelope" arithmetic, that's about a hundred dollars per youth.
1.40 youth at $30,000 in jail is $1.2 million. And you served 14,000.
Is there any question in your mind that you reduce the need for incarceration by at least 40%?
Ms. McBrayer. No, sir. In fact, I would actually take it a little higher, recognizing that the youth who are involved in the after-school program are also impacting their siblings and friends.
And so, the positive behaviors that they're learning after school and the skills and academic achievement that they're learning after school then actually multiplies as they go home and talk about it to their younger brothers and sister.
Mr. Scott. Now you indicated that you use research-based programs. That's a little unique from our perspective because, generally speaking, the only research that we involve ourselves in in dealing with the crime problem are political polls.
If it polls well, therefore, it must be a good idea.
I assume you were using some more substantive research. How did you involve that research in your policy-making apparatus?
Ms. McBrayer. Actually, sir, I have the Federal Government to thank for that, and that is OJJDP.
One of the things that OJJDP does, which Mr. Castle happens to mention, is they get best practices across the country. And those are available to us and disseminated to us from OJJDP.
So when we have a new issue, we're able to call OJJDP and say, tell us the research. Tell us what you've done and what other places have already done so we don't have to reinvent the wheel.
An example, sir, I would use is that we are actually combining our communication systems between law enforcement, probation and schools for the first time.
We're able to go to OJJDP and say, who does it and who does it well? Tell us the pitfalls and tell us the obstacles so that we don't have to do that again.
So looking, really, to OJJDP and NCCD and DRP to ask_we don't have the skills to go across the country, but, yet, they do, and they're able to disseminate that information for us.
Mr. Scott. Let me see if I can get in another question to Mr. Schiraldi.
The treatment of Derrick_you indicated you did treatment and early intervention rather than sending him to jail.
Can you discuss very briefly the relative cost and effectiveness of treating him the way you did, rather than just sending him to jail?
Mr. Schiraldi. Sure. The program we run, we run it in Baltimore, D.C., and San Francisco. It costs $10,000 a year. And in those places, depending on the jurisdiction, it's anywhere between $30,000 to $50,000 to put a kid in juvenile hall.
And then at the end of the day, the kids get re-arrested at about half the rate and a third of the rate for violent crimes.
Mr. Scott. Say that again. The ones in your program get arrested at a rate half of those that get released from jail.
Mr. Schiraldi. Right. Just a regular control group.
Mr. Scott. And what is the relative cost?
Mr. Schiraldi. $10,000 for ours and somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000 just to put them in juvenile.
Mr. Scott. $10,000 per kid?
Mr. Schiraldi. Uh huh. Per kid, per year.
Mr. Scott. And they are re-arrested at a rate half of that. Or you could spend more money and get more crime.
Mr. Schiraldi. Correct.
Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Mr. Scott.
The whistling which you hear from time to time is, some believe, a function of this room.
Others believe it is the whistling of a former chairman that comes back to visit from time to time.
But we can't do much about it, so don't be distracted by it any more than you have to be.
Mr. Miller. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Ms. McBrayer, let me ask you a question. What percentage of funds, juvenile justice funds, in San Diego County do programs like yours consume, do you think?
Ms. McBrayer. I would say less than a quarter, sir.
I would say that we have tried to not become dependent on just juvenile justice.
And I also want to echo the fact that we look at, with the Homeless Act, ensuring that we don't take children who are not in the system and label them part of the system by using Justice dollars.
And also, not allowing other agencies to get off the hook and say, well, this is a Justice issue, so we don't have to participate or play.
And so I think that we are very clear to ensure that all agencies or organizations and all departments, so to speak, have an equal play.
Mr. Miller. Let me maybe reframe the question because, to me, it's somewhat of an issue of allocation of resources. Some of that starts here with attitudes about juvenile justice.
Studies in Los Angeles County sort of indicated a couple of things, like 16 percent of the kids within the juvenile justice system consume most of the resources with the least effectiveness.
There are kids that, despite all your efforts, you're probably not going to help very much.
Ms. McBrayer. 13 percent of San Diego County youth commit 50 percent of the crimes.
Mr. Miller. Right. And by the same token, you find that if you deal with kids who are eight and nine years old, your chances of success are about three in four. At 13 years old_again, I'm using LA County_one in four.
It seems to me that a lot of the things that you're talking about are really a decision we have to make about whether we want to front-load this system in prevention.
You can take everything from the old High Scope study of what happened to kids who were in nonabusive families, parents went to day care, Head Start, and all the rest of that.
A factor of five. Those children that didn't have those benefits were engaged in violent activity.
Or we can back-load the system and worry about what we're going to do, whether we're going to put 14-year-old kids to death.
And, unfortunately, that's how the debate starts to revolve around this place.
I'm a big proponent of everything you've said. But I guess it would be important, I guess, at some point, Mr. Chairman, to look at the allocation of resources because there seem to be more and more evidence_and this is why I think more and more prosecutors and police and others are looking for other arrows to put in their quiver to deal with these kids_there's more and more evidence that as we pile on these back-ended resources to deal with the criminal and the victims of crime, so to speak, it's the least efficient dollar we're spending compared to what we could do up front in the community.
And I include that sort of from pre-natal care up until you're worrying about the kid from 2:00 to 6:00 in the afternoon.
Ms. McBrayer. Certainly, sir, and I agree with you wholeheartedly. And I think Mr. Scott made the great point when he broke down the numbers and he said, you can spend $100 on a child or $30,000 to incarcerate.
And I look at the fact that, oftentimes, as we look at some of the Justice dollars, our hands have been tied because of the categorical nature of saying that they must have already had contact with the Justice system being wards or dependents of the court.
And so, I think as we look at that issue and say, can we actually take more prevention dollars, whether it's board of corrections or federal dollars, to go from the front of the system of prevention, I want to say that, oftentimes, we can't because of the stipulations in the grants.
Mr. Miller. Right.
Ms. McBrayer. And we need to end that so that we can save the dollars that Mr. Scott mentioned.
Mr. Miller. Let me ask about one of the mid-range expenditures that may or may not be helping.
I don't know that I have an answer to the question.
One of the problems seems to be that when a young person enters the juvenile justice system, in many case, and may even have a court date and go through the court process, then supervision is just completely haphazard.
What about the impact of proper supervision and programs like yours where young people can be channeled, but also be supervised as to whether or not they're taking advantage of those activities or participating in the various programs because, again, if you look in the large urban areas and the huge number of kids that end up in court, they're just gone from the system until you see them again in criminal activity or some kind of violation of the law.
Would additional parole officers or guided supervision for some of these kids who are in the mid-range?
Ms. McBrayer. I actually would like to say I don't know if it's parole officers as much as allowing communication.
Allowing schools and probation to openly communicate about issues that are on the table with the youth, oftentimes they're saying an education, as one who says it often:
"I can't share this information because I will lose federal dollars for confidentiality violations."
So if we would allow probation and education to have complete communication that we could actually tell them, what are they doing on schools and what are they doing on the weekends, I think that that's actually going to build a stronger bridge of not having one person supervise, but having several different agencies responsible for the supervision on that middle level.
Mr. Miller. Mr. Schiraldi, do you want to comment?
Mr. Schiraldi. Yes. I think the kids we see, we see have had nothing happen to them, nothing happen to them, nothing happen to them, and then the system gets frustrated and wants to lock them up with adults.
The reason that the District of Columbia particularly brought us in here is because they were overcrowded. They were getting fined a thousand dollars per kid per day that they were over the cap.
And the judges weren't going to let the kids go, which they shouldn't let them go, unless they knew somebody was going to watch them and they didn't think the system was going to watch them.
So that's why we were actually in a pretty good negotiating position and we said, we're not taking these kids that you think should be locked up unless we can watch them the way we think it's responsible to watch them.
That's why we see them three times a day face-to-face.
And you'd be hard to find a program that sees kids_and that's not over the phone. Periodically, I just pull the files of my staff. I want to see that they went nose-to-nose with these kids.
We call their parents to say, yes, the staff member came down here at 10:00, and then sometimes they'll come at 10:30 because the kids thinks, oh, 10:00. I'm off the hook now.
And I think the community providers could do that and would do that right in their own neighborhoods. In San Francisco, the program we run, we have two staff people. But there are 12 staff people in the program.
We actually hired five different other nonprofits to do supervision in their neighborhoods.
A Latino group does it in a Latino neighborhood. There's two African-American groups that specifically deal with African-American kids in their neighborhoods.
San Francisco's got a broad diversity of folks. There's a Southeast Asian group that's in the tenderloin. And then there's this girls' group that specifically works with the girls.
And it's a great. We have a great mix. Staff meetings are very lively.
But we're seeing those kids and they know that we'll be there when the time comes for both to come down on them, but also, to support them if they run into the kinds of problems that Jessie experienced.
Mr. Miller. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for letting me run over.
Chairman Castle. Thank you.
Mr. Ford. District Attorney Brown, if I could just sort of engage you_
Mr. Sligh. Actually, District Attorney Brown is my boss.
Mr. Ford. Well, you can speak for the district attorney.
Mr. Sligh. All right.
Mr. Miller. At your own peril.
Mr. Ford. I enjoyed everyone's comments, particularly Ms. Ballard. I was delighted to hear you talk about ways of introducing these young folks who have all of this energy and all of this ambition, ways in which they can legally make money, like some of our dear friends and those who are driving the economic growth on Wall Street.
A lot of these kids possess that same drive and ambition, but simply don't have access to some of those tools.
So I'm delighted to see what you're doing and would like to explore that for one second.
But if the spokesperson for the district attorney wouldn't mind talking a little bit about the Scared Straight program and elaborate about your summer internship program.
I was fascinated by some of the things included in the district attorney's testimony about how you're introducing kids to the rigors and habits of work and how you've seen the dividends from some of that work.
Mr. Sligh. Certainly. Thank you. The summer program, Operation Summer Fun, is a very unique program because kids believe that it's just going to be fun, that they'll be going on trips and having fun all day long for three days a week.
What they don't realize is that during the time that they are having fun, we'll be there talking with them about interacting with the police department, interacting with the district attorney's office, and of course, preparing them for the trips that they're going to be taking.
Many kids have not been out of Queens County into New York City, to the museum, to the Statue of Liberty, to the Bronx Zoo, things like that.
You'd be surprised at the number of kids who live in New York City and Queens County and who never leave that particular county.
So it's an educational process. It's a fun process. But we're preparing them for their interaction with the system in a very, very positive way.
Scared Straight is something that_it works because I see people who actually walk into the prison and they come out crying and they say, I never want to go into that place.
I will tell you that many of the inmates who talk to our kids in the Scared Straight program, I think they sort of beef it up a little bit and they talk about their crimes in such a way to make these kids realize that jail is not an alternative for anything in life and it's not a place that they want to go to.
So it's a very, very good program. But Scared Straight is not a program that you can use alone.
You can't take a kid into the Scared Straight program and think that's going to do anything. You've got to have some alternatives, some good things that will happen to this kid_the mock-trial programs, the after-school internships.
You've got to have somebody there every day saying, tuck that shirttail in, stand up straight, why were you late today.
And we call the parents and talk to them, things like that, because these are the kinds of things that they are going to face when they get a real job.
And I say to them that every day you come here, this is a real job.
So that's why these programs are so very important.
One final thing, Mr. Ford. Yesterday, I talked to 100 kids about what I should say to this body today. And 99 of those kids said, tell them about programs.
We need after-school programs. 99 kids. And these were 99 of the brightest kids in Queens County.
Mr. Ford. Thank you. I hope my colleagues were listening on both sides of the aisle for that matter.
Ms. Ballard, if you'd be so kind as to talk a little bit more about the ways in which you're able to bring some of these corporate players to the table.
Just sort of practically and logistically, for a moment, if you don't mind.
Ms. Ballard. Sure. Absolutely. Thank you for your comments and your affirmations about the program.
It always helps to have some contacts at these corporations. I used to work for MBNA America. I think a lot of it stems from that we have in Wilmington, as Mr. Castle, you know, a wonderful, wonderful corporate environment where there's a lot of interest in giving back to the community and being a responsible corporate citizen.
So one of the ways that we went about it, it came kind of naturally. Because I had the contacts, I was able to bring some people to the table.
I think the corporations there in Wilmington absolutely want to be a part of a new and innovative and creative program, especially one where we're going to be addressing it like we're going into business.
I don't want to generalize not-for-profits and the way they operate, but we are certainly looking at taking entrepreneurial strategies where we're saying, this is the target market we're going after and we're going to need to bring all the appropriate entities to be able to address this issue and meet the goals that we've set out to do.
Mr. Ford. First, I'd like to note that you have 45 students who have successfully completed the program.
What does that mean? I mean I've read through the testimony and I understand what you're doing. But just
give me_I hope I'm not taking anyone's time_just a little bit as to what that means.
And I would like an invitation in June to come up and have an opportunity to see what your kids are doing.
Ms. Ballard. That would be great. When you say, what does it mean_okay.
It's Yield, Incorporated, and we have three aspects to the program. We have Yielding after school and we have Yielding Excellence, which is a traveling curriculum. If there's another state that's interested, we can bring it to them.
Then we have Yielding Bridges, which we'd like to launch in the year 2000, and that's an exchange program that will teach students globalized economics.
What do I mean they successfully completed the program?
We had a pilot program launched early in the spring of 1998. It was actually housed at NB&A America. They graduated through an 11-week program.
So when you're in the program, you're called a Yield associate. When you graduate, you're a Yield executive.
We had a Yielding Excellence at Delaware Tech. We're working with Wilmington High in a creative program called College Links.
So we were asked to be a part of that. And so we were able to graduate in four weeks because that was the Yielding Excellence curriculum, 36 students through the program.
I think that was the number.
Mr. Ford. Congratulations. And thank you, Ms. Armetta for your courage today. It was an inspiration to us all.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for letting me go over a little bit, too.
Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Mr. Ford.
And Ms. McCarthy is next.
Ms. McCarthy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank all of you for your testimony.
I think everyone here believes in the importance of preventative care.
The problem is when we leave this particular chamber with the members that were here, we have to fight those on the other side_and I'm not talking about the other side of the aisle, Mr. Castle.
There are many that believe that we're too soft on juveniles, even though there are a number of us that value prevention as all of you have.
And yet, the response from the many members of the House has been, put them in jail.
When I first got here, the big debate on juvenile justice was get rid of midnight basketball and other programs like it.
Well, I remember thinking at the time that, I remembered when they had midnight basketball when I was a teenager. And you know what?
Those parks were packed with people playing basketball. Kids who without such programs would have gotten in trouble. And I know that for a fact.
So we support you with that. But I want to ask Mr. Smith a question.
I've been meeting with several groups on Long Island. I live in Long Island, New York, a very nice suburban area. And one of the biggest problems we're facing that would probably fit into the programs that you're talking about is foster kids, foster kids that run away from foster care homes and then reach that age of 18 up and have no place to go. And what happens to them?
Mr. Smith. One of the things that happens in our runaway and homeless youth shelter is we have a 48-hour placement, emergency placement service.
We have probably gotten about 300 kids that have run away from foster care.
Initially, under the funding, we weren't allowed to take them in. We decided to fund it ourselves because with all these kids who were calling us in the middle of the night and they needed a place to stay, so we started taking them in.
It has since become part of the policy in Runaway and Homeless Youth to take those kids only on an emergency basis, which I'm very happy about.
I think the whole idea that kids are going to be placed in one system and it's going to serve all those kids that go there is not true.
We have had a number of problems in Philadelphia with foster homes that are dangerous unto themselves. And for the lack of foster homes, the system has worked with people that are willing to do it.
So when these kids wind up coming through the systems and they find that, again, they're at risk, it doesn't feel good. And they don't have the skills even in good homes to form relationships with new people over and over again, they hit the streets.
And that's when they wind up getting involved with what I'll call immature value systems. They wind up getting involved in value systems of their peer group.
That is reinforced every day through survival. And that's scary. That worries me more than anything.
My agency is also a large juvenile justice agency. And one of the things that we see is if we cannot take these kids from their adolescence to their adulthood and give them some skills and give them some sense that there is something out there for them, you know what?
I think we're all sunk.
Ms. McCarthy. And I agree with you. And by the way I want to congratulate everyone on the panel, you're doing a tremendous job and I thank you and I know the battles that you're going through because I'm facing it in my own community.
It's amazing to me, and I'm sure all of us that are here getting the same thing when we go back home.
My communities are trying to either open up the schools before and after school hours or build community centers. They have more sense than we do here in Congress, I have to tell you that.
The problem is we cannot seem to come to an agreement in Congress on where these monies should go.
As a nurse, they should be going to prevention. It's been proven. We can show them all the facts and figures. And yet, we're still building too many jails.
Mr. Schiraldi. Ms. McCarthy, I just wanted to make a comment about the previous question about the foster kids. I talked about our delinquency programs. We run a number of residential programs in D.C. for abused and neglected kids, one of which is for girls with their own babies that have been abused and neglected, and the other is sort of a group home type setting for severely abused kids.
And we have yet to have a girl in our program, and it's three years old, that wasn't sexually molested either at home or in one of those foster placements.
It's the only category of arrest for juveniles where girls outnumber boys. 57 percent of the runaways arrested last year were girls.
You can't say that about any other category of crime. And we are talking huge numbers_just runaway arrested where twice as many kids were arrested for all violent crimes last year.
Huge numbers of these runaway kids.
Mr. Smith. Can I just second that? I find the same thing. And I'm also frightened by the number of kids that in certain places in the country are being institutionalized. They're being placed in jails for running away.
Mr. Schiraldi. Right.
Mr. Smith. And that's only going to make the problem worse. It's not going to make the problem less.
Ms. McCarthy. Well, hopefully, all my colleagues that aren't here today will read the testimony of everyone who testified today.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Castle. Thank you, Ms. McCarthy.
I would like to ask one follow-up question, and if the other members have a brief question, they certainly may do the same. I don't want to go through a full second round because of the press of our schedule. But I got cut off a little bit earlier because Mr. Greenwood had to leave early.
And it was a question that I wanted to ask you, Mr. Schiraldi, originally. And I know this is going to be very general. And I assume I know one of the answers and one of them I do not know.
You indicated in your original testimony that I believe black youths are seven times as likely to be held as white youth, and with drug offenses it's 30 times greater.
And I assume in what you're saying, that that is, at least in your judgment, or you know it through data, disproportionate to the commission of crimes by white and blacks as well.
In other words, there seems to be a law enforcement focus in terms of the black community.
Is that more or less what you're saying?
Mr. Schiraldi. I think it's a very complicated issue. I think there are combinations of factors. One is just what you said.
But as I said earlier, black kids_when you survey groups of white and African-American youth, African-American youth admit to committing 1-1/2 times as much violent crime as white youth.
But at that same period of time, the same age cohort, black youth are arrested four times as frequently for violent crimes and imprisoned seven times as frequently.
Chairman Castle. All right. So the ratios are higher.
Mr. Schiraldi. Part of it is crime. Part of it is, I think, race effect.
Chairman Castle. That is a fact which I think I understand. This is something I don't understand.
In your judgment, if you can reach this judgment based on what you see, not just in Washington, but more nationally, too.
Are these prevention programs and the very things that we are talking about as equally targeted to_by equally, I mean in proportion to the crime committed, et cetera, and to the problems of runaways, et cetera_to the minority communities as they are to the nonminority communities. Or is there some sense of imbalance with respect to the various local state and federal, or combination of those or even others who help supply money for these kinds of programs?
That's something that I simply don't know as much about.
Mr. Schiraldi. I think that there are a lot of good reasons to design programs and call them things which prevent crime.
But I think there are some problems with that notion, too, because then it separates them out as something that is targeted towards one end when it may be achieving a whole variety of ends, only one of which is crime prevention.
And I say that by way of introduction to the answer because I think that in my neighborhood, which is, I would say, slightly majority white, although there's a ton of Latinos and African-Americans, we have a community center which is a great community center and a very diverse community center.
We didn't build the community center exclusively for crime prevention. We built it because we wanted the kids to have some place to go to have fun.
So if I was to have all of that stuff as prevention, I would say that it is disproportionate in white communities, which are more affluent, than it is in African-American and Latino communities.
If we were to get to the very specific categorized prevention funding, it probably is more equal.
Chairman Castle. Okay. Thank you.
Yes, Ms. Ott.
Ms. Ott. May I make a comment?
Chairman Castle. Sure.
Ms. Ott. This is in response to Representative McCarthy's question.
I think the difficulty that we have right now is on the question regarding front-loading versus either prevention or treatment.
And I think it's really necessary maybe to address that question by flexible funding and having perhaps the country needs to put more money up front initially in the hopes and with the belief, really, that later on, the expenses won't be as high.
But you can't neglect the high-end costs at the same time as putting in prevention. But you'll be in a cyclical pattern if you don't start with the prevention.
And so, I would just support the belief that we need to support prevention. But perhaps up front, we need to put more money and be willing to pay the price for it.
Thank you, sir.
Chairman Castle. Thank you. Do any other members have any follow-up?
Mr. Scott. I'd like to ask a quick question of Mr. Schiraldi and then a general question to the panel, if possible.
Mr. Schiraldi, on the disproportionate minority confinement, are prevention efforts effective?
Mr. Schiraldi. Some are and some aren't. I'm not a believer that_I'm a big believer that we ought to evaluate programs and keep the ones that are good and not keep the ones that aren't good.
Some programs stink. Some programs are great.
Mr. Scott. To the general panel. One of the things that we want to do is replicate the programs that work. And there are a lot of the prevention programs that have common elements.
I guess my question is what are those common elements? It seems to me that if you give kids constructive things to do with their time, empower them by making sure that they've done their homework and get a good education, if they've got adult interaction, they can develop hope and spirit.
Those are some of the common elements.
Can you comment on what elements in the programs that you have ought to be the ones that we look to in evaluating programs to determine whether they're effective or not?
Ms. McBrayer. Sir, I think one of the words you just used was evaluation.
I think that all good programs must have an evaluation component, to ask ourselves, not on a yearly basis, but on a quarterly basis, are we effective? Is the population that is currently in front of us doing something with the services that we offered and are they the services that they need in order to survive and flourish and grow?
The second is do we have measurable outcomes?
Oftentimes, a lot of providers and CBOs say, well, the parents tell us, or the kids tell us. But what are our measurable outcomes and how are we gathering that data to prove its value and worth?
And again, I think we have to be very strong with accountability. As the gentleman next to me said, if the programs don't work, stop funding them.
If we can't prove their value_so I think that two components that must be in place for all good programs that must be funded is both measurable outcomes and evaluation of the services rendered.
Mr. Sligh. I think one important thing is to look at programs that are not being funded as well because i think that with or without funding, there are some things that communities must do.
And so that's something unique, Mr. Scott, to our programs, that especially the Star Track program, it's a community-based program without funding and we have everyone in that community on board to target the smallest problems that might affect our young people in that particular area.
So I think that's something that we can look at to replicate perhaps for some other programs.
Don't get me wrong that we don't need some funding. But I'm saying that it has to be with or without funding, the community must become committed to a particular program.
Ms. Ott. I'd like to add something, two things to that.
Is that one thing I believe is that people change people. Programs don't change people.
In my experience it's been having a continuity of caregivers, that one person that that other person feels that they can totally trust.
I think Ms. Armetta spoke to that. It's that trust is the critical element in changing people's lives. You have to get that trust first.
So I would support that the people that you have and being able to hire qualified people to do these programs is an essential element which comes into the funding
question_do we have enough funding to hire skillful and people that we're going to be able to keep those people on board.
The other thing is that I think we need to have culturally sensitive programs. Just because one program worked in one community doesn't mean if you replicate that in another community, it's going to work in that community.
It's having the community come up with solutions to their own problems that are going to work in their community, so that they have an investment in the solution of the problem and they're willing to put their feet where their thinking is.
And I think that's the second critical element.
Mr. Schiraldi. Mr. Scott, the guide to the comprehensive strategy that was mentioned by Ms. McBrayer earlier, I think is a really good compilation of what works and they also put in there what doesn't work, where they mention programs like intensive supervision type programs like we run, multi-systemic therapy, the high scope model, and they are very clear about what Ms. Ott said, which is that you don't just stamp these programs out in different localities.
You see what the community needs. You research it first before you just put this program in because it happened to work across the country some place.
And when we designed our program, we used research like what was in that. Actually, our program preceded that book coming out.
But we used a lot of that basic research to inform us. And then after you, we learned that some of it worked and some of it didn't work.
We added night monitors to the program. We didn't have them at first. We added them later because the kids are pretty well occupied during the day.
Once you get them going, once you actually get them to go to school, and a lot of times our staff would show up at 7:00 in the morning to get the kid to go to school because the kid was just blowing school off and the parents were gone so he wasn't waking up.
So we go wake him up.
And guess what? He doesn't want my staff walking him to school every day. It's embarrassing. So eventually, he'd get up and go himself.
So then once we got him, what we really needed was somebody checking him at night. We didn't get that out of the book. We sort of figured that out and the department gave us feedback and the kids gave us feedback.
So there is a good research base and you can build from there.
Mr. Smith. I'd just like to make one comment.
In working in a community development model, we're always looking to teach kids skills, and that's needed. But we also need them to give them the opportunity to use those skills and then the recognition once they've done that.
I think all the things that we teach kids are great, but they have to work in a reciprocal relationship. They have to go back and do some good in the community.
We tell all the kids in our programs, whether it's Jessica in TLP or kids in our runaway programs or kids that work in our construction company, they're learning skills, but it's important that at some point they use those skills back in the community.
We have in just the last two years completed 67 community service projects, 1500 hours of work done by kids that are involved in the system.
And I'm telling you, those kids come out of there feeling good and they're the first ones to drive by and say, I built that. I was part of that.
We have three community centers we've built and they're in high-risk areas. Not one piece of graffiti, not one piece of damage.
One of the first community centers is five years old and we've yet to have anything happen to the building.
I think that says a lot about having kids as part of the process and not separate from the process.
Kids learn in different ways. There are multiple ways of learning and we have to recognize that we have to give them multiple opportunities.
There are some kids that are beyond hope. And I'm not going to kid this panel and say that we haven't seen those kids. I have.
There are a small percentage of kids that eat up a lot of dollars. But the reality is that there's many, many more kids that are getting sucked into the system that don't have to.
Chairman Castle. Thank you. Thank you very much everybody.
Let me just close by saying, it's funny. You all have made some observations that I think apply to a lot of things in Washington.
One is, of course, the prevention, where we can do it, is the best way to deal with these problems.
Secondly, if we're going to have these kinds of programs, we should identify them and if they're good programs, we should be able to replicate them.
We should have some sort of accountability. If the program is not working, it should go and we should eliminate it.
It's amazing. I was just talking to Mr. Kildee. It's amazing how difficult it is to eliminate programs here because they all have some sort of a godfather or godmother out there by somebody who created it and you can never get rid of it.
Unfortunately, not just in this area, but in a whole variety of areas. We have these programs in Washington that have gone on for 50 years and you hear about them and you scratch your head and say, why is this happening?
But when that does happen, you obviously can't reutilize that money to do something else that could be better.
But you've been a wonderful panel. You've taught us a lot. We've had a succession of very good panels on this Subcommittee of late and we're highly appreciative of what you brought to it.
We're going to be looking at this legislation. We start, we think, with a pretty cooperative spirit going into it, as has been suggested already earlier today.
So, hopefully, we're going to be able to get something done and go from there.
But thank you for taking your time and expending your effort to be here. We certainly appreciate it.
We stand adjourned.
Mr. Sligh. Thank you.
Mr. Schiraldi. Thank you.
Mr. Smith. Thank you.
Ms. Ballard. Thank you.
Ms. McBrayer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[Whereupon, at 1:03 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]