JUVENILE CRIME CONTROL AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION ACT
SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD,
YOUTH AND FAMILIES
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
HEARING HELD IN WASHINGTON, DC, MARCH 25, 1999
Serial No. 106-15
Printed for the use of the Committee on Education
and the Workforce
HEARING ON JUVENILE CRIME CONTROL
AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION ACT
Thursday, March 25, 1999
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Early Childhood Development,
Committee on Education and the
Table of Contents
The Statement Of Shay Bilchik, Administrator, Office Of Juvenile Justice And Delinquency Prevention, United States Department Of Justice *
The Statement Of Patricia Montoya, Commissioner Of The Administrator On Children, Youth, And Families, U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services .. *
Appendix A- The Written Statement Of Shay Bilchik, Administrator, Office Of Juvenile Justice And Delinquency Prevention, United States Department Of Justice . *
Appendix B- The Written Statement Of Patricia Montoya, Commissioner Of The Administrator On Children, Youth, And Families, U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services . *
Table of Indexes . *
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 1:50 p.m., in Room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Mike Castle [chairman of the subcommittee] presiding.
Present: Representatives Castle, DeMint, Greenwood, Petri, Roukema, Schaffer, Souder, Ford, Hinojosa, Kildee, Kucinich, Martinez, McCarthy, Scott, Woolsey, and Wu.
Staff present: Robert Borden, Professional Staff Member; Castleman, Office Manager; Jay Diskey, Communications Director; Victor Klatt, Education Policy Coordinator; Bill McCarthy, Press Secretary; Krisanne Pearce, Professional Staff Member; Reynard, Media Assistant; Lynn Selmser, Professional Staff Member; Bailey Wood, Legislative Assistant; Roxanna Folescy, Staff Assistant; Dr. June L. Harris, Education Coordinator; Cheryl Johnson, Legislative Associate, and Alex Nock, Legislative Associate.
Chairman Castle. [presiding] The committee will come to order.
Let me personally apologize to the witnesses and anybody else who is here for my tardiness. I, along with Mr. Kildee, and maybe others here, were in attendance at the speech that Bishop Tutu was giving, and since I was not more than 10 feet from him, I did not think it was appropriate to leave. Besides, I did not want to leave.
It was a very enjoyable speech, but I did not mean to be late for this. It just went a little longer than we had expected. We are better for it, at least.
I would like to welcome everybody here to today's hearing on The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. This will be the second and final hearing on this Act prior to the committee markup.
Last Congress, we had a strong bipartisan bill, H.R. 1818, the Juvenile Crime Control Delinquency Prevention Act. We are currently working to develop the same bipartisan support for H.R. 1150, introduced by Congressman Jim Greenwood on March 17.
Each year, far too many young people enter the juvenile justice system. If we do not make an effort to work with these children now and provide them with the support they need to turn their lives around, we will be supporting them financially when they enter the adult prison system years from now. While there are some children, those committing the most violent acts, which we cannot help, I believe that most children will respond favorably to appropriate interventions.
Today, we will hear from those individuals who administer the key Federal programs that address problems of juvenile delinquency and runaway and homeless youths. I would be very interested to learn of their activities in this area and how we can all work together to give each and every child an opportunity to become a productive citizen.
Let me turn to Mr. Kildee for any opening statement he wishes to make.
Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to join you and my colleagues in welcoming Shay Bilchik and Patricia Montoya before the committee today. The service which both of you have provided to this administration and to the children of our country has been very, very valuable. I know that Chairman Castle and I are looking forward to your testimony.
I would like, also, to rise to a point of personal privilege, Mr. Chairman, and recognize a dear friend, and probably my first great expert and resource person in this area, Mary Ann Mattingly. [Refers to Ms. Mattingly] When I first came down here, I think 23 years ago, she became one of my real mentors, and I appreciate your presence here today.
The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, since its enactment in 1974, has been a vital component of our Nation's efforts to combat juvenile delinquency. And, key to this effort to combat delinquency has been a two-prong focus aimed at both prevention of juvenile delinquency and protecting juveniles who, unfortunately, encounter the justice system. This two-prong focus has been a vital blueprint for our local communities to combat juvenile delinquency and invest in their youth.
As we look to re-authorize the Juvenile Justice Act, I believe we need to strengthen its prevention and protection focuses. In addition, Mr. Chairman, I believe that H.R. 1150, as introduced by Congressman Greenwood and Chairman Castle, is an excellent starting place in our efforts to strengthen these focuses.
Again, I want to thank the witnesses for appearing today, and I look forward to your testimony.
Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Mr. Kildee. It is our practice here just to have the opening statements by the subcommittee Chair and the ranking member. With that, we will go to the introduction and your testimony.
Mr. Shay Bilchik will be our first witness. He is the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, OJJDP, in the United States Department of Justice. Prior to his tenure at OJJDP, Mr. Bilchik worked in the Department of Justice as an Associate Deputy Attorney General.
At the Department of Justice, he had supervisory authority over juvenile prosecution programs, established a child advocacy center, which is a multi-disciplinary intake unit for cases involving victims of child abuse, and served on a number of multi-disciplinary task forces.
Prior to service in the Attorney General's office, Mr. Bilchik served as Assistant State Attorney for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida in Miami.
As the Administrator of OJJDP, Mr. Bilchik has focused the priorities of the office on developing policies that support a comprehensive approach toward reducing juvenile offenses and victimization.
Our other witness here today on the same panel, is Mrs. Patricia Montoya. Mrs. Montoya serves as the Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services. As Commissioner, she oversees the implementation of Federal programs that assist vulnerable children and youth.
Prior to her current position, she was a Regional Director of Region 6 for the Department of Health and Human Services. Her wide-ranging responsibilities included implementation oversight, public speaking on Medicaid managed care, the children's health insurance program, teen pregnancy, welfare reform, child care, safe houses for youth, and community development_quite a spread.
Before joining the administration, Mrs. Montoya was practice manager for Presbyterian Family Healthcare, a hospital-based primary and urgent care center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From 1989-1993, she served as the executive director of New Mexico Health Resources, also in Albuquerque. For two years, she served as assistant director for the American Nurses Association.
We are delighted to have you both with us. Mr. Bilchik, if you are ready to make your opening statement, we will start with you.
STATEMENT OF SHAY BILCHIK, ADMINISTRATOR, OFFICE OF JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
Mr. Bilchik. Thank you. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I appreciate the opportunity today to discuss the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's perspective on legislative approaches to address the prevention and control of violent and serious juvenile crime.
It is important to note, I think, at the very beginning of my testimony, that the context for this testimony is very different than in past years. For in those years, we had either been experiencing large increases in violent juvenile crime or were just beginning to see a decrease.
I am pleased, therefore, to report to you that the juvenile arrest for part one violent crimes has now dropped for three straight years, falling 23 percent from 1994 to 1997. This positive trend is due, in part, to a movement for the balanced approach to juvenile crime, one that combines prevention programs for at-risk youths with early intervention and sanctions and strong law enforcement efforts that hold offenders accountable at every stage of the juvenile justice system.
In my written statement, I have outlined many of the programs undertaken by OJJDP, in partnership with States, communities, and tribal governments, to implement this balanced approach to juvenile crime. I recommend that you review those programs, but, most importantly, that when you have time, that you visit those programs. It is the most meaningful opportunity to understand how this balanced approach is taking hold in communities across the country.
Mr. Chairman, I would now like to turn to consideration of legislative initiatives that will affect how the Federal Government continues to support State and local efforts to drive down violent juvenile crime.
We are at critical point in our efforts to address the problems of juvenile crime. Too often we turn away from a problem after initial signs of success and move on the next issue that has risen to a crisis proportion. We cannot let that happen in this instance. Instead, we must build on the good work that has been done to date, continue to build our knowledge about what works, and sustain our support for the balanced approach communities have adopted in attacking juvenile crime.
In 1997, the administration sent its Anti-Gang and Youth Violence Act to Congress. Although that bill was not actively considered, some elements were integrated into H.R. 1818, which was passed by the House and is now reflected, in large measure, in H.R. 1150, the bill Mr. Greenwood and others introduced last week.
H.R. 1818 would have provided OJJDP with the tools necessary to assist State and local governments to address juvenile violence and delinquency. For that reason, I praise the direction that this committee is taking. You have chartered the course which will help to sustain those local and State efforts I just spoke about. There are, however, several areas of legislation that we would like to see addressed as this committee addresses H.R. 1150.
As modeled by the very successful Title 5, Community Prevention Grant Programs, it is my belief that any new block grant program should provide for direct State awards to units of local governments, which would, in turn, contract with eligible service providers to carry out local prevention and early intervention programs.
As a result of this current structure under the Community Prevention Grants Program, we have now seen more than 600 awards made to local communities that have worked through local policy prevention boards to establish comprehensive plans for the prevention of delinquency, and, with Federal support in that program, have filled in some of the gaps in services they have determined to be most critical for their individual communities.
This approach has resulted in added investment at the local level. It has far exceeded the local match of 50 percent required under this program_a sign, I believe, of the buy-in that is created when local units of government are also involved in the grant process.
The House bill's proposed formula grants program maintains the four statutory core requirements that provide basic protections for juveniles in the juvenile justice system. We believe that the flexibility and its provisions related to de-institutionalization of status offenders, separation of juveniles from adults, and jail and lock-up removal requirements is appropriate. However, the disproportion of minority confinement plan requirements should not be limited to prevention and system improvement efforts designed to reduce the number of minority juveniles who ``come into contact'' with the juvenile justice system.
Instead, it should address the over-representation that results from factors and circumstances that take place both prior to the juvenile entry into the system and those that occur after the juvenile has entered the system. The research that has been compiled to date in this area clearly supports this position.
As you are aware, the core requirements represent minimum protections for juveniles in the juvenile justice system. We believe that tying eligibility for funds to compliance with these requirements is an important incentive for State and local governments to operate their juvenile justice systems in a manner that keeps children safe from physical and psychological harm. While we agree with the House bill that some portion of the formula grants allocation should be available to a State, regardless of its compliance with the core requirements, we believe that non-compliance with any one or more of these core requirements should result in a loss of eligibility or 50 percent of the total allocation to a State rather than 12.5 percent for each individual core requirement violated.
Mr. Chairman, as I visit communities and listen to policymakers and practitioners about the kind of Federal support that is needed for them to sustain their efforts, I hear two main themes: the need for balanced funding for local and State programs, and strong Federal support for these efforts through research, demonstration of promising approaches, evaluation, training, technical assistance, and information_information, the kind of which that non-researchers can understand, as well as researchers, about what works and doesn't work to prevent and control delinquency and reduce juvenile victimization. It is for this reason, Mr. Chairman, that it is critical to maintain a strong Federal role in all of these areas of activity.
I look forward to working with you and the subcommittee to formulate legislation that will provide the statutory framework to continue the significant and substantial progress that State and local governments have made, with Federal support, in addressing the prevention and control of delinquency and the improvement of the juvenile justice system.
See Appendix A For The Statement Of Shay Bilchik, Administrator, Office Of Juvenile Justice And Delinquency Prevention, United States Department Of Justice.
Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Mr. Bilchik. We look forward to having a dialogue with you in a couple of minutes.
We will go to Mrs. Montoya now.
STATEMENT OF PATRICIA MONTOYA, COMMISSIONER OF THE ADMINISTRATOR ON CHILDREN, YOUTH, AND FAMILIES, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES.
Ms. Montoya. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the importance of programs serving youth and to express the administration's strong support for re-authorization of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act. I would particularly like to thank Chairman Castle, Mr. Greenwood, and other members of the subcommittee, for the leadership you have provided on this very important issue.
Time ran out before a final bill could be enacted during the last Congress, but I am hopeful that this year, marking the 25th anniversary of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program, we will be able to continue a tradition of bipartisan support and enact final re-authorizing legislation.
It is estimated that between 500,000 and 1,500,000 children and youth run away from home each year. A 1988 study estimated that over 127,000 children were throwaways_children who had been told to leave the house, had been abandoned, or prevented from returning home. Many youths are leaving homes because they have been affected by abuse, neglect, substance abuse, mental illness, or other family problems.
The programs and support systems authorized by the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act serve as a critical life line to these youths and their families. They provide a safe place to turn in times of crisis, and they offer the services, training, skills, and, most importantly, the positive support youth need to help make the transition to healthy, productive lives as adults. I would like to share a story that illustrates the importance of youth programs.
A young woman ran away from home at the age of 14 due to physical and sexual abuse. She found her way to the Central Texas Youth Services Bureau Shelter for Runaway Youths. Six years later, this young woman appeared at the shelter director's office and reported she had just graduated from nursing school and was getting married. She said she owed her life to the agency. If it had not been for their shelter and the caring staff, she probably would be dead.
Recognizing the importance of our youth programs, the President's budget proposes a 33 percent increase in funding for the transition living program. This proposal, along with several initiatives to expand supports to youths aging out of the foster care system, is part of our overall effort to assist vulnerable youth in making a successful passage to adulthood.
Assuring swift re-authorization of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act is yet another step in fulfilling our commitment to youth. To help meet the needs of these very vulnerable youths, the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act authorizes three grant programs. In my written statement, I have provided a more in-depth description these programs.
The Basic Center Program, which provides temporary emergency shelter to runaway and homeless youth, while working to reunite with their families, when possible; the Transitional Living Programs, which provides longer-term residential, educational, and vocational services to homeless youth, to enable them to develop the skills they need to become self-sufficient as young adults; and, the Street Outreach Program, which reaches out to young people on the streets, to protect them from sexual abuse or exploitation, and, to help connect them to the needed services and community supports. In Fiscal Year 1998, these three programs together served about 75,000 youth.
In addition to the three grant programs, the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act authorizes funds for a number of support activities, such as the National Runaway Switchboard. The Switchboard is a national communication system that assists runaway youths and their families by linking them to crisis counseling, programs and resources, and each other, as appropriate.
The Switchboard typically responds to more 12,500 calls a month. The program also support the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youths, the Regional Training and Technical Assistance Network, and support for much needed data collection, evaluation, research, and demonstration activities.
These activities and the programs authorized by the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act assure that, for some of the youth, most at-risk, those who have runaway or have been pushed out of their homes, there will be a safe place to go, with a caring adult.
In closing, we look forward to working with you to enact bipartisan legislation to re-authorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, so that we may insure that these programs continue to help youths, across the country, grow and flourish.
I would be pleased answer any questions you may have.
See Appendix B For The Written Statement Of Patricia Montoya, Commissioner Of The Administrator On Children, Youth, And Families, U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services.
Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Mrs. Montoya. Thank you both.
We will now turn to questions. I am going to defer my turn, in order to allow the primary sponsor of the legislation to be able to go first. With that, we will go on to Congressman Greenwood.
Mr. Greenwood. Thank you for that, Mr. Chairman.
The day we introduced the bill, we had a press conference, and we had two young people who had been through the system who we brought here as success stories. A young man who actually had been involved in the murder of his uncle, who has been through the process, more or less rescued from the adult system, where he could have wound up, and is now a successful college student. A young lady who had been very badly abused and began to commit some crimes, and is now a teacher.
We know much of the programs that are funded by this Federal legislation produced success stories. Mr. Bilchik, what criteria do you use and how do you evaluate programs in terms of their success? If a community turned to you and said, ``We have these problems with juvenile delinquency in our community; tell us what has worked best in this country?'', how would you answer that question? I do not mean specifically, but, I mean, what data would you turn to?
Mr. Bilchik. It is interesting, Mr. Greenwood, because I think I have heard that question probably 1,000 times since I have been Administrator. So, it is absolutely the right question.
My answer, first would be_
Mr. Greenwood. The question I asked or the question I am hearing from communities_
Mr. Bilchik. Okay.
Mr. Greenwood. What do we need to do to solve the problems that we are seeing in our communities? How do we learn about what works? And, how do we implement it?
Mr. Bilchik. One of the first things that the conversation involves is, how are you assessing what you need to do? How are you analyzing the data in your local community about the problems that you are seeing? What are the indicators that you are looking for in judging how to attack juvenile crime or the victimization of kids in your community?
There is a lot of good work being done on that level. We are able to help them with additional assistance to do that kind of function.
Once they have identified a problem, what we have done for the last five years is to look for and find effective programs, programs that work.
I brought with me a booklet that is a project that we are involved with called, ``The Blueprint Project.'' These are 10 model programs that have been identified by researchers as being effective in attacking certain types of problems that communities are facing, whether it be not having positive adult role models for children in the community, therefore, mentoring program; high levels of abuse and neglect in the community, nurse home-visiting, as a remedy.
Mr. Greenwood. If I may, the researchers who identified those 10 programs, did they use quantifiable measurements in terms of recidivism and all of those kinds of indicators?
Mr. Bilchik. They looked; they had very rigorous evaluation design set up with control experimental designs to look at what the impact of the program was. So, for example, one of the more popular programs that people talk about now is the Mentoring Program through Big Brothers, Big Sisters, done again with that kind of experimental design. Seeing the kids who experience the mentoring relationship had wonderful outcomes, reduced drug abuse, alcohol abuse, better school performance, less aggressive behavior_whereas, the children who did not have that positive influence in their lives through that program did not have that kind of positive outcome.
So, we are trying to identify programs across the board that have that rigorous evaluation, but, also, to be honest with you, to identify programs that we think are promising, that reflect underlying principles that we know to be effective, and then get that information out to the communities. Not just in a large volume and say, ``Here it is; good luck,'' but make sure they know there is support behind it.
So, when I learned about this program, it was not just to say, we will pass out 10,000 of these. It was to say, we will support the technical assistance you want to now implement these programs. We will send the people to your community to help you implement these programs.
That is what we are doing right now with this program and others. So, we are there to help them and with the most scientific of evidence, or, if you want to step down a level, promising approaches, as well, that they want to implement in their communities.
Mr. Greenwood. Let me see if I can squeeze in a quick question for you, Mrs. Montoya.
You spoke of the Federal funds that you receive helping you leverage non-Federal dollars on a 2-to-1 ration. What other groups do your programs typically partner with?
Ms. Montoya. Many of the other programs that we partner with are, not only are Federal partners, but we now have nine demonstration programs out with the States where we are involving the States coming together to work on some promising youth development strategies within their States.
We are also, many of our local grantees have just been superior at pulling together partnerships within the local community, working both with the school systems, working with the juvenile justice system at their local community, working with a lot of the non-profits and service organizations, as Mr. Bilchik had mentioned. We find that all of these coming together are what we are seeing really make a difference at the local community level.
Mr. Greenwood. Thank you. Thank you , Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Greenwood. Mr. Kildee.
Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The President and his 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program have proposed that we increase this spending from $200 million to $600 million. Are there ways in which your two respective agencies can tie into that after-school program to make both of your programs more effective?
We will start with you.
Mr. Bilchik. The level of cooperation that has existed between different departments within the Federal Government has been, I think, unprecedented. So, the immediate answer is yes.
As soon as that were to become a reality, we would have that kind of sit-down conversation. How do we link that kind of after-school activity, that kind of support activity for schools, with the kind of prevention programs that we are involved in at OJJDP, or perhaps, might going beyond the Center for Mental Health Services, or other Federal agencies?
Mr. Kildee, I do not want to stray too far from that particular program, but I want to give an example of that.
That is the recent appropriation received by four different Federal agencies: OJJDP receiving a $15 million appropriation for school violence reduction; The Safe and Drug-Free Schools Agency, within the Department of Education, receiving a $60 million appropriation; the Center for Mental Health Services, a $25 million allocation, and our COPS Office, over $60 million. We are pulling those funds together so the communities can make one central application to receive support from all four of our agencies. We all represent different kinds of activities, but all relate to the same type of goal, reducing school violence. And, those communities will have the ease of knowing that with one application, they could potentially access what in the past would require four applications with four separate monitoring processes and program implementation processes.
We are cutting through a lot of that. I think, if I understand what you are looking for, there is that level of cooperation across the agencies to build on a core program like the one you mentioned.
Mr. Kildee. Mrs. Montoya.
Ms. Montoya. Congressman, when the dollars first went out, we started working with the Department of Education to really see what we could do to collaborate with them because, as you well know, within our department, and, within ACYF, of course, we have the program experience of working with children and families, and so we brought that piece to the table to see what we could do in helping to build what they were already doing with their after-school programs. In particular, in the youth arena, through our Youth Services Bureau, we have done a lot of work, have established a lot of networks out there, and we are looking to see how we might work with them to build on where they are going and how we might amesh those programs to better serve, to improve access, and to meet those needs out in the communities.
Mr. Kildee. Is there a formalized interagency network between, say, the Department of Justice, your agency, within the Department of Justice, and your agency within HHS and the Department of Education, because we are dealing with many of the same kids? Is there a formalized interagency method or structure?
Mr. Bilchik. There is one that is done; there may be others, but there is one done through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the JJDP Act. That is the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. It is something that we think is a wise investment of $200,000 a year. It facilitates quarterly meetings of the Federal agencies and nine practitioner members from the field, all over the country, that give input as to the most critical things that we should be doing at the Federal Government to coordinate our efforts and provide services at the State and local level.
That project has resulted in numerous joint undertakings between our Federal agencies with that practitioner input, including the introduction of a national juvenile justice action plan to reduce violent offending.
Ms. Montoya. There is not a formal memorandum of understanding through which we operate on, but we do meet regularly with all of the other Federal departments with members of each other's interagency task forces and working groups on many of these subject areas. That is how we have been operating.
Mr. Kildee. I could see the same young person being touched by your two agencies, plus the Department of Education and the 21st Century Programs.
Interesting, the transitional living which you provide, several years ago we had a witness here, a young man who shared your last name, Mrs. Montoya, no relation to you, from my district. He had had some serious problems. The transitional living is probably the thing that really clicked him back into place and it is very important_I visited some of the transitional places in my district_but I run into this young gentleman now, who is probably about 27, 28. Mary Ann met him. We were there when he testified that day. What a success story. I mean, he is married now with two children, a very responsible father. Without this program, we could only imagine what may have happened. You are involved in something very, very important, and I really appreciate it very much. Thank you.
Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Kildee.
We will next go to Mr. Schaffer, who is also the vice-chairman of this committee.
Mr. Schaffer. Actually, I have a number of questions for Mr. Bilchik.
With respect to the structure and authorization of the legislation that is before us in the programs that you administer through it, I am curious about the federalism relationship between States and the Federal Government. I guess I just want to ask some general questions in that direction because, it would seem to me, that most States are concerned about reducing juvenile crime and also reducing delinquency within their own States, and that is perhaps where the greatest motivation exists, not to mention in school districts and among school board members and throughout the local structure. I guess my question is: Have you run across, in all the research and time and effort that you have spent, studying and analyzing what works and what does not work in States, have you run across any State at all that seems unconcerned about juvenile crime and lacks a desire to see it reduced?
Mr. Bilchik. No, I do not think I have.
Mr. Schaffer. Do you know of any State that is simply incapable, in your estimation, of reducing juvenile crime and reducing delinquency if the Federal Government perhaps played no role at all?
Mr. Bilchik. I think I have heard from virtually every State that they are looking for additional support; that they do not feel they have the level of support in-house, so to speak, without a Federal partner to help them seed new programs, learn about effective practices in other States. They almost look at using the Federal Government as a funnel, where all the information can come from the different States and different communities, about what is effective, and, then spread back out to them in a way that they could not ascertain individually.
Mr. Schaffer. So, just to be clear, you have heard from States who believe that they would be incapable of reducing juvenile crime and delinquency, were it not for the Federal Government?
Mr. Bilchik. I do not think I would put it that way, but I think they are looking for assistance. I think if we were not there to help them somehow, they would take it on themselves and get it done.
Mr. Schaffer. Without the Federal Government, do you think there are some States that would do a poorer job of reducing juvenile crime and reducing delinquency?
Mr. Bilchik. Yes, I think we provide a valuable role that cannot be replaced in terms of our ability to gather information from around the country and get it back to them.
Mr. Schaffer. Moving down on opinion, have you heard from States that have expressed that to you and to the Department? Are they specific States, for example, that you can point to that have led you to that conclusion?
Mr. Bilchik. I have not had that kind of conversation about, ``What would you do without us? How would you deal with it on your own?'' It is more than construct of_we really value the kind of support you can give us with the information on effective practices and the technical assistance.
Mr. Schaffer. Do you know of any governors or any State leaders who have identified funding for your program as the highest priority in the grand scheme of education funding?
Mr. Bilchik. I have not had that conversation.
Mr. Schaffer. I ask these questions because our direction in Congress over the last couple of years has been to try to decentralize as much authority back to States as we possibly can. Realizing that States have legitimate motives and capable and confident legislators, governors, and so on, who want to move in the same direction that we want to see them move in and believe we are helping here, and in moving that authority out of Washington and back to the States, we are really focusing on giving governors and legislators the maximum amount of flexibility to address the needs that they believe to be the highest priorities for them.
So, with that in mind, I would like to ask, why shouldn't we just give the cash to States directly and let them prioritize those funds however they want, rather than give the money to you and your Department and agency?
Mr. Bilchik. In actuality, I would say about 80 percent of the funding that we receive does funnel directly to the States and local communities for them through assessment processes at those levels to determine the best way to spend it.
Mr. Schaffer. I guess the question is, why shouldn't we have just one funnel, for example, where the Congress gives the cash to States, in block grant fashion? They could spend it on juvenile delinquency prevention, they could perhaps spend it on increasing the number of teachers, even spend it on decreasing class size.
Mr. Bilchik. I think there is a side question there, and that is, is there a need for a balance? Should the Federal Government take the position that, in using these funds, we should ensure that there is a balanced approach in taking on the problem, which we have seen is effective in reducing juvenile crime. I think that is one response in terms of why you would want to see it funnel through, so there could be that accountability activity, as well as the prevention activity, ensured with these Federal funds.
Mr. Schaffer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Schaffer. Mr. Scott.
Mr. Scott. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Bilchik, is there great flexibility on how the States can use the money?
Mr. Bilchik. There is great flexibility within wide program areas for them to decide, within the formula program, within a range of prevention activities, through our current operations.
Mr. Scott. And those decisions are made at the local and State level?
Mr. Bilchik. With input from a wide range of practitioners at the local and State level.
Mr. Scott. I noticed in your testimony that you support the core requirements pretty much as they are.
Mr. Bilchik. Yes.
Mr. Scott. Part of one of the core requirements requires a separation of children, separation from adults. Is there any research that shows that it makes sense to separate juveniles from adults?
Mr. Bilchik. We have learned history, Mr. Scott, as you know, that when we do not create that separation, we create horrible outcomes for those kids. Increased suicide rates are the primary things we saw back in the 1970's, when these provisions began to be adopted. We do not need to revisit that. We know the outcomes of mixing juveniles with adult offenders. We need to keep them separate. I think the suicide rate was almost six-fold in instances where they were not kept separate.
Mr. Scott. Is there research that shows that the crime rate goes up when you put juveniles with adults?
Mr. Bilchik. I am not familiar with the particular research about the crime rate going up. I know that there is research around the negative influences of adult offenders on juveniles in that incarcerative environment. But, I am not familiar with the crime rate data.
Mr. Scott. Increased recidivism?
Mr. Bilchik. Yes, Mr. Scott.
Mr. Scott. Yes, there is increased recidivism?
Mr. Bilchik. Right, that would be one negative outcome.
Mr. Scott. Okay. On your DMC you indicated a desire to have more things considered than just contact with the juvenile system. Obviously, poverty and there are other factors that could create a disproportionate minority confinement. Do you need a change in statutory language or change in regulations to encourage people to look more broadly at DMC?
Mr. Bilchik. The current law, as it exists now, is satisfactory to address the complete range of activities in relation to disproportionate minority confinement. Both prevention activities, community-based programming, as well as a programming that would impact the way minorities enter, and then penetrate into the juvenile justice system at a much higher rate than their population.
Mr. Scott. You indicated graduated sanctions were also needed. As you know, JJDP is re-authorized in two different committees, Education and the Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee held a hearing recently where many of the judges testified a frustration about the fact that they have essentially two alternatives, probation and incarceration, and could be very well served by intermediate sanctions. Could you say a little bit about what kind of graduated sanctions you would be talking about?
Mr. Bilchik. I have heard this before, Mr. Scott, as well, from different community members who come to us looking for assistance on types of programs they could implement, besides just putting a child on probation, the kind of community-based programs that you could see, academic support programs, mentoring programs, after-school activities that include: vocational training, non-residential programs like that, but, also, residential community-based programs. We think a lot about incarceration or punishment in an institution, but we know that local community-based residential programs are usually more successful than those large institutions that we think about at the extreme end of the system. Those are the kinds of programs we have identified in a comprehensive approach that we have documented in this book.
Mr. Scott. When you say, ``graduated sanctions,'' you are including in that services to the juvenile.
Mr. Bilchik. I think that is why it is a misnomer. When you talk about graduated sanctions, you are talking excluding levels of accountability, but, also, treatment. You have got to do both through the system. And, that's what that is about.
Mr. Scott. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Scott. Mrs. Roukema.
Mrs. Roukema. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I certainly appreciate your testimony here today, although I only heard part of it. I will get back to Mr. Bilchik because I had to be on the phone, and I will get back to him.
But, first, Ms. Montoya, I do want to say that the transitional living program, I think as you have outlined, is very impressive and it is certainly one that I think we should be enhancing. I do not know whether or not you could single out one or two ways that we should be enhancing it in this legislation or whether it is simply up to the funding level. So, if you would answer that?
But, I also want to know_maybe I missed it, and I should know this_under that program, are custodial parents permitted and possible adoption, like, under the Division of Youth and Family Services that we have? Is that part of the program, a component of the program, or should it be? If it isn't, should it be? I would think it should be.
Ms. Montoya. Congresswoman, first of all, let me address your first question regarding the transitional living program. At this point in time, the recommendation is for an increase in the appropriation. There is a lot flexibility with that program, and that is really what is essential in order to make it most successful. We attribute a lot of that to its success. But, what we now have with that program is that we are only now serving 78 cities and 40 States, and so, with the increased appropriation, we are looking to be able to serve at least an additional 600 youth and to add at least 20 new programs in those areas that are underserved.
Mrs. Roukema. But we are making progress, and its progress that you see has great benefits to juveniles?
Ms. Montoya. Yes. I mean, what we see is that we are assisting these young people to transition to adulthood. We are actually providing them with the keys to that successful transition, and so we see it as being extremely successful, and that is why the administration is going for the expansion.
Your second question, I believe, would refer to the transitional living program, which is under our Runaway and Homeless Youth, and then we have our independent-living program, which is in our Children's Bureau, and our independent-living is also part of the administration's proposal to be increased and that is the one that works with foster care and adoptive families.
Mrs. Roukema. But, that is not included as part of this block grant?
Ms. Montoya. That is not part of this one, right.
Mrs. Roukema. That was my understanding, but I wanted to have a clarification of it. Thank you.
Now, with respect to the prevention block grant, Mr. Bilchik, I do not know whether or not you covered this, but I have a special interest in bootcamps. I do not know what the facts are, but I am absolutely convinced that they are beneficial. It is unfortunate, I guess, that we have not, although we have it on the books, we have not funded them. And, so, we have failed on our part, but can you tell me objectively_I do not know if it was part of your introductory statement_but, objectively, do you find them very worthwhile? Have they been proven worthwhile? And, I know that we have some in the State of New Jersey that seem to be very beneficial. How are they working out across the country?
Mr. Bilchik. Actually, there has been some Federal support for bootcamps for juveniles through the Corrections Program Office. And, you have seen both adult and juvenile bootcamps funded through them, for at least the construction of those programs.
We actually funded, as a demonstration program, three juvenile bootcamps several years ago. The results were mixed. We saw some increases in educational performance. We did not see real positive outcomes in that limited demonstration program in terms of recidivism.
But, as I said in my opening comments, you want to learn about what works and you want to learn about what does not work. We documented the things that we saw as weaknesses, instability of staff, training of staff, and lack of aftercare planning for re-entry into the community. So, we took that information and we have fed it into the Corrections Program Office, and they are, with the National Institute of Justice, now evaluating a wide range of juvenile and adult bootcamps to see their level of effectiveness.
And, the verdict is still out on whether the second generation of juvenile bootcamps will be more effective than the first. I think they have improved in every measure that I just mentioned, the training, the stability of staff, and the aftercare planning, as opposed to what we saw several years ago. So, I am hopeful.
Mrs. Roukema. When will that report be available?
Mr. Bilchik. I will have to check with the National Institute of Justice. My guess is it will not be for another year or two.
Mrs. Roukema. In the meantime, do you give your support to highlighting or including the bootcamps in the prevention block grant?
Mr. Bilchik. As an intervention program?
Mrs. Roukema. Yes.
Mr. Bilchik. Yes. And, also, but with a qualifier_that it is something that needs to be done with care, in terms of the elements that I mentioned. So, we are trying to provide the training through our experts on how do you support and enhance the aftercare component of a program.
But, yes, we think people should still explore them as more of a youth development model.
Mrs. Roukema. I am sorry you are not as enthusiastic about it as I am.
Mr. Bilchik. I am enthusiastic about the approach, if it is done with a youth development model, as opposed to a straight, militaristic model.
Mrs. Roukema. I see. All right, I am looking forward to the report. Thank you.
Mr. Scott. Mr. Chairman?
Chairman Castle. Mr. Scott.
Mr. Scott. Would the gentlelady yield, appropriately?
Mrs. Roukema. I would be happy to yield.
Mr. Scott. Mr. Bilchik, has there been a difference in the outcome in whether or not they have an intensive education and counseling component, rather than the strict military?
Mr. Bilchik. Every one of the programs that we demonstrated has an education component. So, I can only speak to the evaluation of those three, and they showed positive outcomes in terms of education. Where they were weak was in planning for the re-entry for these back into the community. When you think about it, if you take a juvenile offender and put them in a program for a very short period of time, then do not provide the adequate social control and treatment support when they go back home, they end up associating with the same group of kids, the same issues and problems, and in a very short period of time, they will begin recidivating. We are looking for, not just that component, but the stronger aftercare component as well.
Mr. Scott. Thank you.
Chairman Castle. Ms. Woolsey.
Ms. Woolsey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to make a comment to my friend from New Jersey. I think you better be cautious; you are starting to sound like what Democrats are accused of_legislating from their heart and from their gut, instead of using good science.
Mrs. Roukema. Well, we Republicans have hearts and guts too.
Ms. Woolsey. I know you do.
Ms. Woolsey. Mr. Chairman, I would like to build on Mr. Scott's questions on flexibility. Last week, which seems like months ago already, we had our first hearing, and we had a young woman testify who was definitely a person rescued through the programs that you are speaking of. But, she was rescued because she was able to convince a program to waive a rule, to bend a rule. She was too old for the program by just a few months. They let her in anyway, and she is clean, sober, stable, and totally contributing to society and proud of it.
Now, my question to you is about the flexibility that judges have, that programs have, in order to make one size doesn't fit all. So, I'll start with you, Ms. Montoya. Talk about flexibility, and are we too rigid?
Ms. Montoya. Congresswoman, I believe that you are probably referring to the young woman that went through the transitional living program, who I think everyone heard last week. What it is, is that we do have the guidelines, and that is our general way of being able to monitor and provide some uniformity to programs. However, there again is the possibility, through other dollars, these programs are not solely funded by us. They are receiving other dollars, and so if there is the potential that they might be able to serve the young person through some other sources, they would be able to have that flexibility. Under our particular program, they are limited in the amount of flexibility they are allowed to have as far as the age range that is covered under this rule. I believe it is actually part of the statute.
Ms. Woolsey. Would you agree with that? Do you think we should be that rigid? I mean, look at the success.
Ms. Montoya. I think, again, Congresswoman, it is one of those that we all know_there is always a time when flexibility is definitely the way to go, and we hope that we are able to make the right decision with these programs and with these individuals at the time. I would hope that, again, we are able to be as flexible as we can within the confines.
Mr. Bilchik. I think the flexibility in the JJDP Act is inherent in the way we are structured. We respect the State age limits for juveniles. In certain instances we have gone beyond that; for example, in gangs and gang activity, realizing that there is this transitionary period of youth where they may be involved in gangs_16, 17, 18, 19, where our age limit goes up into, past age 20. So, I think there is flexibility to reach out and work with youth, including the provision allowing first-aid statutes that extend jurisdiction beyond juvenile age frames into adulthood, when these individuals are still under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. So, I think we don't have many children who cannot receive our services as a result of those kinds of inflexible restrictions.
Ms. Woolsey. Well, Western States Youth Services Network is headquartered where I live in Petaluma, California. In responding to my question of what is important for us to be looking at here, they commented that graduated sanctions need to be broadened and redefined. In their experience_and they are a very successful program_they do believe we are being a little bit narrow and rigid. So, I would hope we would look at that in the future.
One more question, and that is about prevention. My fear is always that the prevention programs are apt to be slighted over intervention programs. Do you think it would be wise to have a guaranteed setaside for funds for prevention?
Mr. Bilchik. I think that when we look at the balance of a continuum of intervention and care for our kids, that we need to ensure that there is a guaranteed setaside or portion that will be for prevention. I think the prevention block grant in H.R. 1818 goes in that direction. It talks about funding those preventions, and very, very early intervention programs, as a separate program from the formula program. In that regard, I think it is to be commended.
Ms. Woolsey. All right, thank you. My time is up.
Chairman Castle. Thank you, Ms. Woolsey, and we will go next to Mr. Tancredo.
Mr. Tancredo. Just one or two quick questions. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
We're celebrating the 25th anniversary of this program, as I understand it. How much has been expended over that 25 years in this program?
Mr. Bilchik. I don't know off the top of my head; I'd have to check.
Mr. Tancredo. Any guess?
Mr. Bilchik. I'm trying to do quick math in my head here. I'll work on it while we keep talking.
Mr. Tancredo. Well, I only have one other question then. That is, has the number of instances of juvenile crime, as percentage of the population, risen or decreased over the last 25 years?
Mr. Bilchik. We are about the same level that we were in 1980. We are almost back down to that level in terms of crime rate_
Mr. Tancredo. So crime rates of gone down in the last_
Mr. Bilchik. It has gone up and then down, and then up and then down. It has gone up and down.
Mr. Tancredo. It has gone up and down. Have you done anything that would let us know what, in fact, caused the downward curve?
Mr. Bilchik. Well, one thing we know is that it is not related to population, because we're talking about rates. That is sometimes misleading when people look at this, and they say, well_
Mr. Tancredo. No, that's what I was asking. I asked as a percentage of the population.
Mr. Bilchik. Right. So, no one has done this kind of all-inclusive study to say that we controlled for every possible factor that you could control for, and we can tell you the reason we're seeing a downward trend in juvenile crime or adult crime is ``X.'' We do know, when we look at individual components of these efforts, what is taking hold and what is being effective. We know which kinds of juvenile justice intervention programs are being effective, and what kind of prevention programs, and that we're seeing more of those, including those that go to the States and localities in this formula block grant fashion, and then are instituted with the knowledge of what is effective. We see that show up in the subgrants that go into local communities.
Mr. Tancredo. It just becomes very difficult to understand and recognize things. I am a freshman and new to the committee, but I am trying to figure out, especially during a re-authorization hearing, on what basis one would make a decision about the value of the program. If we would suggest that incidence of success, which we have heard, other members of the committee have identified anecdotally_of course, that is of no consequence in terms of whether or not this program works. One could assume that a lot of that would have happened, had this program never been there. So, it is very difficult, unless we can see that, because of the influx of dollars on one end of this pipeline, or funnel, as we keep putting it, that there is a commensurate reduction in the kind of activity that this is designed to deal with, on the other end_I just wonder if it is worth it, especially if we go through these rollercoaster examples of when instances of juvenile crime increase and decrease and we can't really identify what makes it happen.
We know some programs seem to work better than others, but, in the total scheme of things, one has to just really wonder if we would be any different today in this country if we had not spent the money in this particular program. You just have to wonder that.
Mr. Bilchik. I know it is not an easy question to answer. When you look at the way the funds have been spent over the years, particularly the last four or five years, and you start to see_for example, we have provided a mentoring program, a dedicated mentoring program, that has funded 93 programs as of last year. Now we are up to 160 through that dedicated mechanism, and through the formula program, over another 100 mentoring programs. We know mentoring programs have certain outcomes: reduced alcohol abuse, reduced drug abuse, less violent behavior by kids. Then you see corresponding decreases in communities of crime.
Mr. Greenwood. Would the gentleman from Colorado yield?
Mr. Tancredo. Yes.
Mr. Greenwood. I wonder, sir, if it might be helpful to answer the gentleman's question, if you could refer to the impact of the core requirements. For instance, prior to 25 years ago, there was not a core requirement that States separate children and adult offenders. So, therefore, the common practice was of having children in adult institutions being physically, sexually abused, being hardened as criminals. I assume there is a change we could talk about there. I would assume that there has been a change in the fact that, prior to this act 25 years ago, status offenders were treated like criminal offenders, and kids who were running away from home because they were getting sexually abused and physically abused and mentally abused were having their parents having them locked up as if they were criminals, until they returned home so they could be re-abused. Aren't those measurable differences in the last 25 years?
Mr. Bilchik. Those are.
Mr. Tancredo. Well, I also wonder whether, reclaiming my time, I wonder whether or not we can, again, suggest that the only way in which those issues could have been dealt with was through this act, because, of course, we are not necessarily talking about prevention of juvenile crime here; we are talking about the_in these specific cases, anyway_issues that could be dealt with legislatively directly, not necessarily through a funding apparatus like this.
I was just looking at the report here, for instance, although I don't have this particular cite, but it identifies the number of programs and the outcomes. It says something, of course, that is almost self-evident, ``Unfortunately, there is clear evidence that the deterrent effects of most prevention programs deteriorate quickly once youth leave the program and return to their original neighborhoods, families, peer groups, or gangs.''
Well, again, pretty self-evident. So, it is difficult, then, again, for me to listen to someone cite a particular program as successful because it has changed this behavior. But, you say, yourself, that success is actually terminal_
Mr. Bilchik. Well, it is only terminal if it doesn't continue back into the community. That particular blueprint you are looking at is a perfect example of how you do transition kids within the community, setting to successful outcomes. It is the same thing we have in other programs, the multi-systemic therapies and other blueprint projects. It is community-based. It works with the family, with the school, peer groups influences, community influences, that have long-term four-year outcomes, not just short-term programmatic outcomes.
Mr. Tancredo. It seems to me, that being the case, we should be able to come in with very demonstrable evidence of success, and not something, I guess, that is a little more subjective in our analysis. It just seems that way.
Mr. Bilchik. I think the closest we have tried to come is to look at the programs that are implemented, try to ensure that they are as close to the effective programs that we have learned about, because we don't control, ultimately, what the local community will implement, but we do see they tend to follow this knowledge of best practices. The alternative really is to associate an evaluation with each and every program that is implemented at the local level, which really would be cost prohibitive.
Instead, the approach we have taken is to develop self-evaluation guidebooks, so communities can do these themselves, at very low cost, and measure their outcomes as they go along. And we just started that series in the last couple years. That might help answer that question down the road.
Mr. Tancredo. Thank you, sir. Also, were you able to come up with an amount?
Mr. Bilchik. Oh yes, I'm sorry, approximately 2 billion.
Mr. Tancredo. Two billion dollars?
Mr. Bilchik. Yes.
Mr. Tancredo. Thank you very much. No further questions.
Chairman Castle. Mr. Hinojosa.
Mr. Hinojosa. Thank you, Chairman Castle.
I want to direct my first question to Commissioner Pat Montoya. First, thank you for coming to be with us and to talk to us on the subject you are responsible for as Commissioner on Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. You support a continuum of support services to children from childhood to adolescence, to early adulthood.
Commissioner, would you recommend the largest allocation of financial resources at the earliest stage of childhood? If so, why?
Ms. Montoya. Well, Congressman, as you know, this administration has made great strides in investment in the early years, based upon much of the information we now have on early brain development, and those early years being so critical for the development of a person. So, we do have a large amount of investment in the early years. However, I think it is just as important that we look at protecting that investment, as we move through the continuum of development from those early years through the school years and on to pre-adolescence and adolescence. I don't think that we are in a position that we can actually say we need to put all of our resources in one area, because we need to provide that support for our children and youth as they transition through the different passages of life.
Mr. Hinojosa. I want to ask a specific question on the numbers of runaway children. I believe that the material I read said there was an estimated 1.5 million runaway children and youth. What percentage are males, and once you give me that number, how do you process these male youth through the transitional living program?
Ms. Montoya. Congressman, we have seen a shift in the past. I believe, at this point in time, we are probably at about a 50-50 percent rate as far as the number of males and females. What we have seen is a change over the years of seeing more young females, actually, starting to runaway and be on the streets. And, what happens with our transitional living program, is that the young person will come in_these are then for the young people who cannot be reunited with their families. The basic center program is geared toward providing the temporary shelter and see about the possibility of family re-unification. When it is found that it will not be possible to reunite the child with the family, then they are brought into the transitional living program, where they are assessed. They receive both a mental health and a physical assessment to identify any physical and mental health needs they have.
At that time, they also set up a transitional plan for the young person to identify where they are at, and where they would like to be, so that they can start working on providing all the different supports that they will need to get there, whether it be completing their high school education, whether it is providing additional skills training for job placement, providing them with life skills and job development skills, so that they can transition to living independently.
One of the very basic things that we all take for granted in our day-to-day lives is our ability to manage our own lives, managing our money or checkbook, being able to rent, those types of daily activities. This is an area of focus that is worked on with these young people. So that, as they transition into that independent living, they have been provided those skills to be able to cope and to provide for themselves independently.
Mr. Hinojosa. Thank you, Commissioner, and that's all the questions I have, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Castle. Thank you. We'll go to Mr. Souder now.
Mr. Souder. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would first like to ask unanimous consent for the record of this hearing to be open until Thursday, April 15, for the receipt of additional information. That is one week longer than normal, because of the break. I have a number of written questions that will take a little bit longer time.
Chairman Castle. I don't believe there is any objection to that. We've spoken to Mr. Kildee about it. Without objection, so granted.
Mr. Souder. But, today I wanted to ask a series of questions related to the drug issue, because it clearly_I am sorry I missed your verbal testimony, but I read through your written testimony, which may be actually more complete than what you did verbally. But, it just screams off the pages. I mean, in Mr. Bilchik's statement you said that, while many of the crimes have gone down, it has gone up a 120 percent in drug use. In Ms. Montoya's testimony it says 47 percent of youth reported a household member was abusing alcohol or drugs, for those who have been either been physically or sexually abused or neglected. That is, approximately half have substantiated_it is 125 percent in your studies. That would suggest that that should be a focus of what we are looking at. If other things are going down, and these are rising and are such high incidences, it would suggest that should be a priority here.
One question I have for Mr. Bilchik_ in your testimony, you state that OJJDB has funded the center where they have the ten programs related to drug prevention. Are those ten programs that they were following through, are those all drug prevention?
Mr. Bilchik. They're actually blueprints for violence prevention. A couple of them are also related directly to drug prevention programs: the life-skills training program and the Mid-west Prevention Project. Both target drug prevention.
Mr. Souder. Why would not a higher percentage be targeting drug prevention, if that is the fastest-growing category?
Mr. Bilchik. What this project has done_and it is a project we discovered out of Colorado_is to document programs that have had rigorous evaluations to them, and then replication, again, with rigorous evaluation. So, we now are working with them, actually, to determine other programs they can classify as blueprint projects, by helping them fund the secondary evaluations that are necessary to classify them as such. So, it is really a matter of what is out there, what has been evaluated by the Federal Government, as well as State and private, and then documenting those things. So, I agree with you. It would be nice to have additional ones, and we are working towards that.
Mr. Souder. Because one concern I have, which we will probably be addressing in our elementary and secondary schools act, is that, to some degree, as we go through the schools, we have kind of watered down or broadened the focus of the drug-free drug prevention programs; that even here, where we appropriated $5 million directly for drug prevention, you are saying two of the ten that they evaluated_
Mr. Bilchik. Let me explain. I will be clear. With the drug prevention program, the $5 million appropriation, those are only going to the models that deal with drug prevention.
Mr. Souder. The two?
Mr. Bilchik. Right. We are separately supporting the blueprint project with other funds.
Mr. Souder. That is helpful. Could you see that our office gets a copy of those two, as we look at the other drug programs that are working?
Mr. Bilchik. I'll provide those.
Mr. Souder. Because there is no question that we are on the edge. We see drug abuse going down in every other category, but going up among junior high and high-schoolers. The administration is talking about it; we are talking about prevention, and yet, we have very little factual data that shows us how to deal with this. Do you have any data on drug testing, for example, of kids on probation? I know at a school I was at last week, after talking to a group of seniors, the superintendent and the principal had interesting comments afterwards because many of the kids were saying, ``We need prevention-type programs.'' A number of them who were arguing for more testing had all previously had a problem. The superintendent and the principal were amazed that the people who were saying there needs to be a method of catching them_because a couple had gotten caught_they said it changed their lives and they got off the habit.
Also, often in probation cases, we see drug testing as a monitoring mechanism. Do you have any studies on that? Have you looked at that? Are you planning to do any studies related to drug testing and its effectiveness?
Mr. Bilchik. There have been studies done in relation to drug testing of juveniles entering the juvenile justice system, initially, to determine the percentage of the population that are drug-involved, and they are finding well over half have tested positive for drugs at the point of arrest. What we are doing at the present time is to try to work with probation, as these kids are ultimately going to leave those institutions. So when they re-enter communities, they are able to work with them on a regular testing regimen and making sure they refer them to treatment and follow-up with treatment. So, we developed a guidebook for probation officers to do that, but also now providing the training and technical assistance out in the field on actually how to implement it.
Mr. Souder. But as far as treatment and follow-up to treatment, do you know if you have any specific studies that show whether or not drug testing as part of that component, increases its effectiveness?
Mr. Bilchik. I don't have that, not at hand. I would be glad to follow up and provide you that information.
Mr. Souder. Yes, will you see if you have any such studies exist? And, if not, that is one of the things I would like to see pursued.
Mr. Bilchik. I know that it exists for adults. I just don't know if it exists for juveniles.
Mr. Souder. We heard at a hearing yesterday from an Arlington County, Texas sheriff, that 63 percent of all the people who are coming into their system, when they have tested them in their prison right now, have some form of drugs in their system. That is of all prisoners, and not people who have stolen to fund a habit; this is at the time they are arrested, they have it in their system. This is such a spreading epidemic, that that ought to be a primary focus in looking at what works and what doesn't.
I would like to work with you in trying to look at what other methods of accountability we can look at, because we are not concerned so much about how a school gets there, or how a juvenile department gets there, but we are interested in seeing a reduction. I don't want it just to be kind of softer, things where we are out talking to people. We need to see what hard measurements and which programs are actually doing it, and I know drug testing is controversial, but it also seems to work in many areas.
Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Souder. Mr. Ford.
Mr. Ford. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'll be very brief.
I was curious to know, from both of our panels_and I apologize for not being here through most of your testimony; I have read through some of the materials_but I am curious as it relates to some of the programs and the focus on families and communities, strengthening families and communities. I know we have seen voluminous materials come before us that talk about the importance of a nexus there. If you could just sort of talk about programs that are predicated on that theme and what we ought to be thinking about as we sort of move forward in this re-authorization as it relates to families and communities, and how we can strengthen those programs?
And, again, thank you for coming. Ruben Hinojosa has told me about you, Commissioner, and I how he has known you, and he speaks very highly of you. My colleague just left. So you have my respect and admiration as well, because of the respect that I have for him on these issues.
Ms. Montoya. Congressman, as you can see from the testimony, the programs, the runaway and homeless youth, of course, the basic shelter program is the one that is really geared towards looking at the possibility of family re-unification, when that is possible. Oftentimes, realizing that what has predicated the runaway has oftentimes been issues of miscommunication, just general family dynamics, and dealing with some of the family system issues that are going on_so the one thing that we see with that program is that it is an intervention piece to be able to really work with and intervene, and work with families, when there is that possibility; if it is the issue of substance abuse and drug abuse, and other issues, that we can get family counseling, and help them to work through to preserve their family unit.
But, I guess above and beyond that, and not a part of this re-authorization, but this administration, as you know, has put into their budget for the year 2000, $295 million that is really working on continuing to provide and promote safe and stable families. And so, again, it is the emphasis of providing those dollars out there to communities, and working with families through the different vehicles that exist to help promote and support that family system.
Mr. Bilchik. If I could build on that, in brief, one of the common denominators we have seen, when we look at effective programs, is a family component, and this really goes across the entire range of programs that are showing effectiveness. So, when it starts this early, the earliest prevention programs_the nurse home visiting programs for at-risk newborns born to teen moms, we know reduces child abuse and neglect; what we now know, through longitudinal studies 15 years later, will reduce delinquency by those infants now as adolescents by 50 percent. When we look at pre-school programs that are enhanced with family strengthening components, we can look at studies that have extended out 25 years, and know that there is a five-fold decrease in criminality by those babies who experience that kind of pre-school readiness program. And in the juvenile justice system, programs like the multi-systemic approach that has a basic family component, family strengthening, how to work with that offender back in the home setting, after four months of intervention has had results four years out. All of those have that family component.
So I think we need to take note of that, not that that is the only thing you need to do; there are a lot of other components to the intervention as well. But take note of that, and make sure we pay attention to family components as well as community strengthening.
Mr. Ford. Administrator, I did mean to thank you_and I hope that we all listened, all of my colleagues and I. I would hope that, as you develop your thoughts on these issues even more, as they sort of come together, that you wouldn't mind putting me on your mailing list, as I know the rest of the committee members are as well. I would appreciate it, as we sort of work through this process.
I praise Commissioner Montoya. But, Mr. Bilchik, I am deeply impressed with the way you are able to compute numbers and talk at the same time, like you did for my colleague a few minutes ago. Thank you, and thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the time.
Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Ford. I deferred my turn earlier; I will take it now, and then we'll go to Mr. Payne next.
Ms. Montoya, I am going to ask you a question, but I am not going to ask you to answer it now. You can think about it for a minute, and I am going to talk to Mr. Bilchik about a couple of things I will talk to him about.
I, basically, am interested in what you view to be successful prevention activities, the various things you worked with and have seen out there in terms of the problems we are talking about today. We will come back to that in a few minutes.
Let me go, Mr. Bilchik, to you. You cited, I think, a 23 percent decline in, I guess it was the juvenile crime rate_
Mr. Bilchik. Violent juvenile crime rate.
Chairman Castle. Violent juvenile crime rate. I guess none of us would go so far as to say exactly why that is happening. A lot of people say it is the economy, and others say it is the programs, or whatever it may be. Are there any studies which try to pinpoint that more than just_the crime rate, I guess, is pretty easy. I have never really totally trusted crime rates, frankly, having dealt with that at various other levels of government, because there tends to be some play there.
But, let's assume the rates are correct because they are looking at the same crimes for shifting populations per thousand, or whatever it may be. But, my question is, do you know of any studies which show the cause and effect of programs, or anything else, in reducing crime rates, or is it still pretty much anecdotal, from your experience?
Mr. Bilchik. I can share with you that much of what we learn about this is anecdotal, and my research staff informed me a long time ago, just because they had four or five anecdotes, didn't make it data. So I don't want to just simply feed back to you a bunch of anecdotes of what I hear from county commissioners, and mayors, and local practitioners about the impact of a whole range of programs.
But, unfortunately, we don't have that kind of research that controls for a hundred different things you would have to control for to figure out what exactly caused the overall crime decrease in violent juvenile crime.
Chairman Castle. It is almost impossible to do.
Mr. Bilchik. It would be extraordinarily expensive and very difficult to do. Instead, what we are trying to do is to measure the different basic components of those programs, and the different strategies that are being implemented, and to see what is having a major impact. We are seeing that normative behavior in communities is being changed, for example, by the increased presence of police. That that does have an effect on crime. We are seeing increased adult relationships for kids through the mentoring programs reducing crime. We are seeing after-school programs, like Boys and Girls Clubs, reducing crime. I can give you individual measurements, and say, if you put this together, how could the synergy be anything but effective in seeing those kinds of crime?
Chairman Castle. Let me go on to my next question. You have touched on this in a couple of other answers, but I am going to give it to you specifically here in a moment. I will tell you, I guess, a bias I have, and that is, something we do at the Federal Government, not we so much, but it has been done for years, decades and decades. We create programs and then we never really truthfully review these programs in a way that would really give us a good bottom-line answer. You get defenders of the program in the Congress of the United States, as well as in various administrations as they go along, for obvious reasons, and all of the sudden you are living with programs which, in truth, should have been cashed in a long time ago and put into something else.
So, my question is, I am pleased to know you have started a program to determine the effectiveness of juvenile prevention programs. Under current law, there are a number of programs you must fund, either due to legislative language or directions received through the appropriations process. Can you give us any indication of whether or not these programs have been able to demonstrate their effectiveness? If you are required to use available research and demonstration dollars in a specific manner, are there types of research demonstration programs which you would fund which you cannot fund under current restrictions? I mean, I am asking you to just take the wraps off and give it to us straight as to what works and doesn't work, and what we should get rid of.
Mr. Bilchik. Right. What we have tried to do_and I think we have been fairly successful at_is, when we begin a new effort, to make sure we associate an evaluation with it. And when we are doing something like the JUMP Program, we are going to evaluate the JUMP Program, and set up a national evaluation, as well as support local evaluations through the self-evaluation book that we give to the communities that can help them with that.
Even the title V program, which did not have money separate and apart for evaluation up until last year, we began through the annual report process, to hire an evaluation team to let us know what kind of results we were getting out of this community-led, neighborhood-based program that was instituting prevention activities at the local level.
And we are seeing that they are resulting in good things; that we have some results from those evaluations, our comprehensive gang demonstration program, another area of activity created under the JJDP Act. We are doing a major national evaluation, and the initial indications back from that evaluation show us good outcomes for the kids. It is premature to say that we have the final evaluation in, because the numbers are still low, but we are seeing that we are not just going to fund a gang program, and spend $2.5 million a year, and not evaluate it. So, when I put together the testimony, and cited to some of the things that we now have evidence of, it is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are evaluations associated with at least another dozen major activities that we are monitoring and will be able to report to communities. What does that result in? When you look at the subgrants for the 80 percent of the funds that do go into local communities through a formula process, it starts to surface when you see what they are funding. Again, we have no control over exactly what they are going to fund, what kind of program. But, all of the sudden, we get good results on mentoring through our evaluations, and then I have more mentoring programs funded out of the formula program that we do out of our dedicated program.
By the same token, we are starting to get good results in the gang activities. We are starting to see more and more gang activities funded out of the formula program. So I think that we are setting up the construct that can work, but it would be difficult, like I said before, to associate an evaluation with each and every individual program. Instead, I think we need to be thinking in a broader way about how to inform the Nation.
Chairman Castle. Well, I hope that is correct, and I hope that, as these evaluations come along, there are some real consequences. If something is evaluated and turns out not to be working really well, somebody makes a tough decision to make that change. I'm not faulting you at all, don't get me wrong, but I just think governments do this in general. We tend to limp along too much. I am sort of running out of time here_do you have a brief response?
Mr. Bilchik. I guarantee you one thing, and that is, when we get these results, we publicize them. When we get the results, and we learn lessons about what is not effective, we publicize those, too. I didn't shrink back, when we learned that we had mixed results on our bootcamp project, to get the word out as to what happened, and then to try to inform people as to why it happened, so they could learn and institute better bootcamp programs.
Chairman Castle. Maybe you should talk to other committees of Congress and parts of the administration about reporting the facts they find about everything; it might be helpful.
Ms. Montoya, let's get back to the prevention question. If you could answer fairly briefly, please?
Ms. Montoya. Sure. Mr. Chairman, when we take a look at what is happening with our programs in the area of prevention, we think that just the overall addressing a positive youth development, and really gearing ourselves toward what that means, is a big piece of the prevention model_really looking to see what is happening with our young people, and helping them to see the consequences of certain behaviors. There is no doubt, when we take a look at what is happening to many of our youth that come into our programs, we see a higher rate of substance and drug abuse, particularly if they have been out on the street, and oftentimes even after their experience of running away. If they weren't in that before, there is the possibility of them turning to that to help them transition and get through these difficult times.
So, we see the need for a lot of drug education in order to really help them understand what it is that they are looking at, what the consequences would be, and what it would do to them and their lives. So, prevention from the perspective of really pushing a positive youth development, and what that means, and then generally education, particularly the intervention and working one on one with these youth in these programs.
Chairman Castle. Thank you, I appreciate that.
Mr. Payne. Thank you very much. I understand there in the past has been an emphasis on attempting to have prevention, and also, though, with minorities, focus on the disproportionate number of minorities in confinement, but also after confinement, that there would be emphasis on the youngsters while they are incarcerated to see, I guess about trying to prevent recidivism. I understand that that part of the program has been scrapped, so to speak, there, and the programs concentrating, once incarcerated. And I just wonder, what is that_and how do you expect to try to reduce recidivism, if there is going to be no emphasis once they are incarcerated?
Mr. Bilchik. Mr. Payne, the position of the administration is that that actually should remain in effect in relation to disproportion or to confinement issues; that there needs to be attention, if I understand the question correctly, across the entire range of activities; that you need to work on prevention programs and learn why more minority children are coming into the system, and what you can do to prevent that.
But, you also need to look at the system itself. As the studies that have been done show, as juvenile offenders penetrate the system, from arrest, to intake, to court hearing, and to placement, they penetrate deeper and deeper as a higher percentage than their population should call for into that system. Those studies control for things that you would say would explain it away. It controls for prior history information. It controls for the type of offense. When you control for those things, and you still see the penetration at a higher level, then you know you need some programming alternatives. You know you need some training of staff to work on those issues, and a way to make that problem better.
Mr. Payne. So, the position of the administration is that that should continue as they are in the system?
Mr. Bilchik. Yes, Mr. Payne.
Mr. Payne. I do have a question. I sat in on the original authorization. At that time, it was the Juvenile Justice, Delinquency and Prevention Act in 1973, when Burt Beyer originally sponsored it, and there was a question of status offenders being separated, you know, from hardened criminals. There were a lot of cases where truants were thrown in with hardened criminals, and the whole move was to separate. But I see we are creeping back to where the status offender could be in an adult prison for 24 hours_well, now it is 48 hours, If it is a weekend, it could be a little bit longer.
The business of separation, it used to be sight and sound; now it is sort of incident_as long as there is incidental supervised contact, they could be commingled. The question of 48 hours for the removal of a juvenile from an adult prison, well, now it can go up to seven days. You know, coming from 18 down to 15, some want 13-year-olds to be tried as adults, maybe 11-year-olds.
What is the move for this? Is it that, if we become harder on youngsters, we will prevent crime, is that it? Or, there's not the move to separate youngsters from hardened criminals? Is it a move back towards the dark ages?
Mr. Bilchik. I actually think that the provisions as they are laid out in H.R. 1818 and in Mr. Greenwood's bill pretty much keep the protections in place as they relate to de-institutionalization of status offenders, separation, and jail lock-up removal. As I mentioned, we have concerns about the disproportionate minority confinement provision, but those three are being tinkered with in a way to create more flexibility.
But, to be honest with you, we tried to create the same flexibility in our own administration regulations two years ago, and trying to be responsive to local communities, and what they were telling us they needed, while still protecting these children to have a little more flexibility in executing these provisions. We think we did that. We think that H.R. 1818 and the new bill also kind of reflect that. So, we do not have that much alarm about where we are headed. I think there is some finetuning, but not a major overhaul of those three sections that we would be interested in talking to Mr. Greenwood about.
Mr. Payne. So we can anticipate, if it is the same leadership three years from now, we have 24 to 48, it could be 48 to 72, you know, this flexibility. Or, as we see it moving, in my opinion, in the wrong direction.
Mr. Bilchik. I would hope that we do not find that creep. I hope we would find that, if we are going to be flexible and move the extension out from a 24-hour to a 48-hour, that that is being responsive to what we are hearing from officials in local communities, that can still protect children's interests, keep them separated from adult offenders and delinquents, and not see that kind of creep over time.
Mr. Greenwood. I know the gentleman doesn't have any time, but if he would yield the time that he doesn't have to me for a second?
I would just like to comment that what you're seeing there in that change does not reflect a philosophical change. It reflects an attempt to maintain the philosophical objective, and just merging a little bit of practicality. I can assure the gentleman, there is no shift in the philosophical belief system.
Mr. Payne. Sometimes practical things inadvertently create serious problems, and the move to get away from_it was impractical in 1973, too. The reason why they threw kids in Texas who ran away in a jail with an alleged murder was it was practical. It certainly makes it more difficult to run that kid around to a youth detention place. It was just easier_matter of fact, they don't even let him stay there. Of course, you should read some of the accounts up until 1973 of, particularly, the Texas prisons. But, I am glad it is not a philosophical shift, and hope that the practicality doesn't slip us into getting back to the way it used to be.
Mr. Bilchik. Mr. Payne, if I could add, Mr. Chairman, just briefly, that when I look at the whole package of what has been presented for these three areas of activity, there are actually things that make it stronger, in terms of what we are doing day to day for kids in this situation. When I look at the protections that the bill provides that require the kind of full report and assessment on a status offender who is going to be held on a violation of a valid court order_we have never required that before. But, it is a good, healthy step.
I can tell you that local service providers will say, ``You are really pushing us to the limit to do this.'' But, if we're going to hold a status offender in this situation, we should make sure we know what is going on with that child, and perform that assessment, and get that report to the court within, I believe, it is the 48-hour time period that Mr. Greenwood contemplates.
Chairman Castle. Mr. Payne, if I may, that was language that I had inserted in the bill last time in order to make the shift. I wanted that extra requirement.
Okay. Thank you very much. That is going to bring to a conclusion our hearing. But first, Mr. Kildee wishes to have a brief closing statement.
Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First of all, I want to thank you for having this hearing, and thank the witnesses for their very excellent testimony.
Mr. Tancredo asked a question as to the cost of the programs through the 25 years, and it certainly is a legitimate question. I think, also, another part of that question, though, is the savings that we may have made during those years_not just the moral, human savings, but the actual dollar savings.
Just to go back to the young gentleman I mentioned earlier in my opening statement, I think it is quite likely that he would have wound up in the Michigan penal system, at a cost of about $30,000 a year, and that was about 10 years ago, so $300,000. Plus, the fact that he is now paying into the treasury, rather than drawing on the treasury.
So, I think when we talk about cost, we also have to talk about the savings that we make, the human savings, but even the very fiscal savings. I think we on this committee have to make sure, while we want to know the price of things, we also want to know the value of things.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Kildee.
Again, I thank everyone. There was very substantial participation by the committee. I don't know if that was the quality of the witnesses, or the fact that it is springtime, or nothing else is happening out there today.
But, in any event, we appreciate that interest. As you know, we are trying to press forward with Mr. Greenwood's legislation, so we will probably be in close touch with you as we work that out. But, thank you for being here today and giving us your time.
With that, we stand adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:20 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]