Document 15053

20, 1993 Coppin State College
250C W. North Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland
1:10 p.m.
Goed afternoon to all of you.
hope aome of you had the opportunity t.o have lunch,
your atomachs will Dot be rumbling.
And if Dot, there
will be other opportunities.
I cannot tell you how delighted I am to be able to
make this particular introduction. woman that you see
before you, I think, 18 know to each and every one of you.
But I have to tell you I knew her when.
secretary Saur:
And ahe was as delightful and
competent many years ago as she is today.
When a reporter
recently asked Janet Reno what she hopes will be her
greatest accomplishment a5 Attorney General, ahe did not
hesitate with her respoDse.
REqual opportunity for all the children of America.­
secretary Saur:
She went on to explain that as a
people, we must reach children early to prevent crtme in
the first place.
So in a atate where the Governor bas made prevention
bis prime initiative _. and I may pause here to say that
the Governor die! want to ))e here and waited a. long aa he
could, but the traffic of this world aamettmes defeats us
So he had a very urgent appointment back at
Annapolis. And he also extends bis deep regret.
In a state where the Governor has made prevention his
prime initiative, what better speaker could we have for
And just as Governor Schaefer believes in all of us
working together to
our problems, Ms. Reno i . •
strong advocate at the federal level for working
Department of Bducation and the Office of Juvenile Justice
and Delinquency Prevention to deal witb juvenile crime.
As Secretary of the Department of Juvenile Services,
I am sure you can understand bow hopeful that makes me
feel to have a strong voice in Washington emphasizing the
need to help our young people change their lives.
Before Janet Reno was appointed Attorney General by
President Clinton this past March, ahe served has the
State Attorney in Miami since 1978.
There, she had a reputation for being tough, but
fair, and managed to win over many people who had
initially been .keptical of her.
And ahe won re-election
five ttmes.
Before that, she 8erved a. an assistant .tate
attorney and a8 Staff
of the Plorida Bouae of
Representatives Judiciar,y Committee after 8tartiDg her
legal career in private practice. In Miamd, MS. Reno had her home number listed in the phone book.
While I hope for her 8ake you will Dot find her number witb the D.C. Directory Assistance Operator, MS. Reno haa promised to be the people's lawyer for all Americans. The task before MS. Reno 18 great.
ADd I look forward to hearing some of her ideas on how we all can work at preventing and dealing with the ever-growing problem of
cr~e. So now, it gives me the greatest pleasure to introduce the people's lawyer and
friend, Attorney General of the United States of America Janet Reno. [Applause.] STATEMENT OF HON. JANET RENO. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE
Attorney General Reno:
is a small world.
Thank you
very much.
And I do Dot think ve ever figured ve
would be meeting like this.
secretary Saur:
Attorney General Reno:
We did not.
Mor did I think I would be
meeting you at Chicks in ADDapolis on a Saturday morning.
Attorney General Reno:
And I think that is what has
impressed me so much about Washington in my contacts, that
this nation is joined together in
wonderful ways.
many incredibly
There are so many people that know each
There are links, and there are forces that are
bringing us together.
And when I see this many people
gathered together to spend a day to discuss how the people
can do something about violence. I am 80 encouraged.
I wish that I could stand up here and tell you that I
have now understood the Office of the Attorney General,
the Deparcment of Justice, all of its campouente, and that
I am going to wave a magic wand and .tell you how to do ;i.t,
but I cannot do that.
What I would like to describe to you 18 the process
by which I hope to address the i.sues that bring you here
today and
I hope to for.m a partnership with you and
with all communities and states across this Dation to
address the problem together, not as the federal
government Baying, wThis is the way you do things,w Dot as
the federal government aaying, wThis i8 the way you are
going to take our money or you do not take our money,W but
the communities saying, WThese are what our needs are.
These are what our resources are.
How can we work
together to utilize the very ltmited dollars we have at
every level of gover.nment and in the private .ector to
address the problem?­
One thing r can stand here ana tell you is that 1
believe with all of my heart and soul that we can have an
impact on crime at every level.
But we have to do it in a non-partisan, thoughtful,
analytical way, using what works, understanding that there
are times we cannot control crime as we would want, that
we cannot prevent the one horrible crime that oftenttmes
triggers a reaction.
But let us look and see how we begin.
what we are doing at the federal level.
am looking at charging policies.
And this is
Pir8t of all, I
people have became
concerned because 80 many crimea have been federalized
I would like to take a principled approach to what
should be prosecuted in federal court
what .hould be
prosecuted in state court and do that in conjunction with
the National Associations of Attorneys General with the
National District Attorneys Association,
that we are
not forcing cases on states, nor atates on us, but that we
are fOrming a consensus of bow it should be done.
want to look at the charging guidelines of the
Department of Justice to make aure that they are
appropriate and fair.
Then I want to look at who is going to the federal
prison today, to understand an increase in
understand what impact that will have in three or four
years, what the cost vill be in terms of prison
construction, and in terms of the aollars necessary to
operate the prisons.
And I want to try to achieve two goals:
One, to
recognize that there are some offenders who are so
dangerous, that are so recidivous that they should be put
away and kept away, and that incapacitation is the best
way to prevent future crime.
think, working together, we can reach general
consensus on what category of offenders meets those
But then I thiDk, with my ult1mate goal being
to make Bure that person who cames· into the Bystem does
not carmit further crime, that we have to understand that
there are people that are coming into this system, both at
the state level aDd at the federal level, that are going
to be back out on our streets sooner rather than later.
It makes
.ense to take a person to prison
three years, leave them there for three years with a drug
problem, and then pick them up and drop them back in the
community from whence they came and .ay, -Go, and God be
with you.·
Attorney General Reno:
I cannot speak with in an
infonned lense about Maryland.
So do Dot think that I
make comments about Maryland, but it is of conce%!l to me
when I see other experiences that I have had of somebody
who goes to prison, gets drug treatment in prison, and
then is picked up and dumped back out on the streets.
That does not make any sense either.
What we have to do i8 approach it as we have
approached our drug port in
approach, saying, ·Okay.
with a carrot and stick
You may have a CJrug problem.
you agree to participate in the program, ve can get you in
for drug treaement, get you .tabilized and de-taxed.­
-Then we can get you into non-secure residential
treatment, which il les8 costly than a prison, then into
day treatment, then into after-care with follow up and
with job training. and placement, and with randcan drug
testing as the check and balance on our success.­
But that is Dot going to work if we return that
person to the place where it started, because
that will be an open-air street Bartet out in front of his
slum tenement.
ADd he will say, -This is all well and good, but I
know what is going to happen to me if you let me go back.·
us think in terms of ))old and creative
alternative housing sites where ex-offenders partieipate
in rehabbing buildings that can .erve as dor.mitories where
they can take pride in their drug-free community.
So much
can be done if we look at the continuum.
Now, I suspect there are experts here that can tell
better than I can that there is a tendency OD the part
of America to say, -Look.
If he gets out and starts using
drugs again, put him back in.
It is all or Dothing.­
I think most experts have learned lately that it is
not all or nothing. .It
be back in
a week to let
him know that we mean business and we are going to follow
up when he comes up with the dirty urine, but then bring
him back out in a gra4ual .ort of way.
Job training has got to
part and parcel of it.
Other problems, but working together using common .ense, I
think we can make a difference.
thing, however, in all .enteacing is to
mean what we say.
And we have got to have truth in
And unless we start looking at admdssions, looking at
the price tag of what it i8 going to cost us to Bend
people to prison for the length of
the judges are
sentencing them and be willing to pay that price tag, we
are going to have a system of sanctions that does Dot mean
what it says.
And the people are not going to
it, rely on it, or think that it threatens them.
I think raising children is the single most difficult
thing I know to do.
I think it takes hard work, love, and
a lot of intelligence.
I have learned from some experience that if you
threaten punishment and do not carry it out, that is worse
that not having threatened it at all.
[Applause. ]
Attorney General Reno:
But punishment by itself
'without a nurturing and loving environment for children to
be raised in isn't going to work either.
You have to provide the balance.
And that i. the way
I kind of like to try to approach the criminal justice
system and all that we are doing.
We can look, too, to first offender programs, to
second offender programs.
We are tzyiDg to expand •• were
trying, a8 I l;eft· _. to expand our drug court in Dade
County to include aecoDd and third
offenders who
could benefit from the program.
But as we use this earrot and stick approach, we bave
to have .ticks .ufficient to
out our .threata.
we have to bave carrots sufficient to give them the
The carrot. cost a lot leBS than the 8tieka.
And if
used judiciously, the two together, ve can make
significant d1fferences.
I think the other area that we have to look at as we
look at the problems of America is to realize that 26
percent of the people in federal prisons today are aliens
And many of them are there on minimum mandatory
We have to look at:
Is this the proper use of the
American taxpaying dollars?
Should we provide a sanction
that will deter them from com1ng back into the country,
and then return them?
These are questions that should be asked.
On the
minimum mandatory sentence, we have to look at that and
see if that is an effective .entence.
And this 18 where I
need the states and local communities' help from around
this nation.
It is frustrating to me to see a Don-violent
offender, a first offender, in prison for ten years on a
when I turn around and look at acme
states in the nation that are letting people out in 20 to
30 percent of the sentence, even if they be dangerous,
because there are not adequate prison cells.
would like to aee us take the prison cells that are
available to all of us throughout this nation and make
sure that
understands that America's first
priority is the violence.
For the violent recidivous, for the truly dangerous
offender, we do not want them out.
And we should have
enough prison cells, pooling our resources to keep them
Attorney General Reno:
But then let us look.
is the punishment side of it.
Then we have to look at
what we can do in terms of juvenile justice.
And one of the first things I want to do as I am
fully staffed in the Office of Justice programs is seeing
what we do in
justice prevention to make aure
that the dollars get to the community in the wisest Danner
possible to aerve you.
I did a 8tudy once when I vas a prosecutor in Dade
county during LEAA days.
It was not scientifically
correct, but I estimated that it took $6, tax-paying
dollars, from
pocket to go to the IRS in Washington for
income tax to process an LEAA grant through Waahington to
Atlanta to Tallahassee to Miami and then have it
And we got maybe $1 to $3 back in Miami.
I vant to make aure we get a. many dollars back to
communities and states as possible in a coherent way that
can truly .implement what you are trying to do and
eerve as models for other places in the Dation.
I vant to make aure that those monies are coordinated
that we develop juvenile juetice programs that
are effective and that make 8ense.
But I suggest to you that as I look at violence in
America, the other thing that we have to focus on, both in
the juvenile justice system and in the adult system, is
family violence.
(Applause .1
Attorney General Reno:
One of the first points
made in the confirmation proceedings and the discussion of
the Violence Against Women Act, the child that aees that
father beat the mother, and nothing happened, i8 going to
come to accept violence as • way of life.
The child wbo aees 8omebocSy abused i8 going to become
the abuser.
You eee the cycle from generation to
ADd we bave get to, throughout this DatioD,
develop effective family violence unite that aay that
government will
tolerate family violence.
You can do it by training judges, by training
prosecutors, by training even public defenders who
sometimes would prefer to get their client off than to get
help that works through the ulttm8te problem, the long­
range problem.
But if "e can work together to develop the programs,
we can make a difference.
Bow, the common thread I get
I used to regularly have wamen coming to m.y
office to complain against our DO-drop policy.
And they say, -I do Dot want him to go to jail.­
Well, let us develo.p alternatives other than jail
with the knowledge that jail will be the leverage that
forces people into other alternatives.
Oftentimes, you will find an alcohol problem behind
Let us do something about
It may be a problem
that family finances have overwhelmed the people.
Let us
get financial planning involved.
Let us work together to 8ay that family violence is
something that we will not tolerate at any level.
And let us
a180 that with increa8ed life
expectancies, violence against the elderly member. of the
family, aomettmes unintentional, .ametimes just out of
absolute exa8peration and long endurance, is something
that will have to be addresaed a8 part of this whole.
But I suggest to you that I have learned .omething
over the last 15 years as State Attorney in Dade County.
When I took office, I tried to focus on our juvenile
justice system, because I wanted to do something about the
cause of violence.
And I looked at 16 and 17 year olds, and tried to
develop programs that would help tbem get off to the right
at the same time provide a .anction that said,
·We do not tolerate this conduct, but we vant you to have
a good start if you
And I reached the conclusion, very quickly, that we
will never have enough dollars to focus, on every 16 or 17
year old who is a delinquent if we wait until they are
delinquent at that age.
They will have two priors for delinquency.
have dropped out of school when they were 13.
have been truant.
They will
They will
They will not have self-respect.
will not have a sense of dignity.
It is going to be too late to change all of the kids,
but we have got to keep trying with every resource at our
our grand jury did a study
And it focused on what the schools vere doing in
middle schools for dropouts.
It i . too late then.
kid who has failed in the third grade, who has been
laughed at
he cannot read as vell as his
classmates, by the time he gets to be 12 or 13, you -. ve
could change him, but we will never have enough dollars to
change if we wait.
And so I atarted focusing on early intervention
programs in the neighborhood.
epidemic hit Miami.
But then in 1985, the crack
It hit it earlier. I think, than most
other communities.
And 80 we had a little bit of a bead Btart.
ADd %
vas grappling vith what to do with crack-addicted aothers
and their babies and how to handle dependency issues,
because we had responsibility for dependency at the ttme.
And I learned an awful lot when the doctors took me
to the neonatal unit at the public hospital and 8tarted
showing me what it was like to be a crack-addicted baby
who laid in the bassinet for six weeks, Dot held or talked
to except when changed or fed.
And then you campare that child with the child who
was born with severe birth defects, aeverely crippled,
tubes coming out of everywhere, but both pareDts there
almost around the clock or whenever they could be there,
loving that child.
And that child was beginning to
And then I kept talking to the doctors. and the
doctors have taught me an awful lot.
But doctors,
officer., correctional officiala, they
have all taught one thing:
Bach of us has got to get out
of our little specialty.
The prosecutor bas to look backwards.
corrections official has to look backwards.
The juvenile
justice person has to start talking' to the child welfare
The child welfare persoD has got to relate to the
8chools and to the police and to the public health Durae.
Everybody has to start talking to tbe pediatrician.
pediatrician haa to start talking to the gynecologist.
And somebody has to start talking to the people who deal
with teen pregnancy.
And if we are going to do 80mething about violence in
America, we have to realize that teen pregnancy, youth
gangs, drugs, violence, this horrible phenomena of youth
violence that we are aeeing, is a symptom of a deeper
problem in society.
And that is that for the last 30 or 40 years, America
has too often forgotten its children.
[Applause. ]
Attorney General
And we have got to join
together in a national -- to develop a national agenda for
How do we do it?
First of all, at the federal level, federal agencies
are beginning to talk together.
Secretary of the
I am meeting with the
of Bducation
BUD and the
of Health and Human Services and Labor,
we talk together, and that federal start to come together
as a cohesive whole rather than fragmented packages.
I participated in the marvelous
team approach in an
area with a large number of children at risk that had a
public health nurse, a police officer, and a 80cial worker
working together in a small neighborhood as a team.
people together once a week.
There would be
five federal ageneies there.
These women would be trying to get off welfare.
would get a minimum wage job,
they would lose
So they would be worse off than if they had not
gone to get work in the first place.
we tried to
put together packages that would enable them to work
towards aelf-sufficiency.
went to law school, and I could Dot figure out how
to do it.
We have to make federal law available to the
We spend more money determining whether somebody
is eligible, I think, than we do in determining whether to
serve them.
Attorney General Reno:
community coming to us.
We have to go hack to the
You know what re80urces exist in
in Balttmore.
You know what, your needs are.
You know how that
private, Dot-for-profit corporation fills the gap that
mdght Dot be filled in another atate.
We should be developing programs fram the communities
that the federal government reacts to, rather than .aying,
-You have to do it our way.­
Let us do it as a partnership.
(Applause. ]
Attorney General Reno:
But the overriding theme of
this partnership should be that there is a continuum of
human life that we can impact at every step of the way.
And as we for.m this partnership to address all of the
multiple issues that include that economy, ve have to say
to that businessman, wOkay_
If you are not interested
about crime, and if you do not care about children just
from common humanity's sake, let us start talking about
your work force in five and ten and fifteen years, and let
you understand that unless we make an investment in
children tOday, you are Dot going to have a work force
with the skills that can fill the job. w
[Applause .1
Attorney General Reno:
I bet .ome of you have a
group of senior citizens that has told you, aLook.
raised m¥ child and educated my child.
I educated
And I have even helped educate
have done
duty to children.­
You have to explain to them, -We have got to keep
trying, because pensions are not going to be vorth the
paper they a re written on if ve do not have the work force
that can keep the economy running to maintain the
[Applause. ] Attorney General Reno:
for the doctora, tell the
doctors that the whole health care system is be1Dg drug to
ita knees, no matter vhat we do in health care reforom,
because we have failed to prevent by investment up front
in children's lives.
We are all going to have to do a selling job, but
here is what we have to aell.
This nation has got to do a
thoughtful, careful, deliberate, make a deliberate effort
to reduce teen pregnancy_
For every teen pregnancy
prevented, we are going to save dollars and give
a far better chance.
(Applause. ]
Attorney General Reno:
We have to make aure that
every pregnant woman in America has prenatal care.
[Applause. ]
Attorney General Reno:
Now, you are going to .tand
here and you are going to .ay,
ia the Attorney
General talking about prenatal car·e for?­
You are going to 8ay,
goodness, you do not .ound
like a law enforcement person.­
[Laughter .1
Attorney General Reno:
what every doctor and
And the bottom line is that
child development
told me is, -If you want to make one inves~ent in a human
beings future, make it in prenatal care. 'or every dollar
spent, you will aave $3 down the road.­
[Applause. ]
Attorney General Reno:
We have to make aure that
every child in America bas appropriate health care and
Zero to three is the most formative years of a
person's life.
The child development experts again tell
me that that is when the child develops a conscience and
develops the concept of reward and punishment.
It is not going to do anything to have a federal
judge 21 years down the line worrying about award and
punishment if they have Dot developed the concept when
they were supposed to.
[Applause. ]
Attorney General Reno:
We are gOing to bave to make
sure they have immunizations and preventative medical
Something is wrong with the nation that says to a 70­
year-old person, ·You can have an operation that increases
your life expectancy by three years,- and says to tbe
child of a working poor person who has
health care
benefits at their place of employ.ment and makes too much
to be eligible for Medicaid. that they canDot provide
preventative medical care for their children that will
saves us all dollars in the long run.
[Applause. ]
Attorney General R.eno:
We have to take vhat ve have
learned from head start, which is -- these years, again,
are so formative.
And we have to make Bure that head start is available
throughout this nation, but that even prior to head start,
we have edu-care, good, constructive edu-care that blends
into head start and blends into X through 12 in an orderly
way that can make a difference.
Again, we come back to the fact that we can make a
difference in those early years.
It Bure is frustrating
now to walk through a public housing development and aee a
child wandering around, two or three years old.
And I say, -Why isn't that child in child care?­
And they say, -His mother ia Dot looking for "ork.
She is Dot working.
And she bas not abused him and
neglected him bad enough to make
eligible for the
child care program.­
If 'We made that iDVestment up froDt, we could make
such a difference.
And then as we came to the schools, we should look at
what we are doing in our schools.
I do not know about
Maryland, and I do not •• I would love to know wbat you
are doing here, because I think it is 80mething that it is
something that is going to spread throughout this Dation.
But there are aome wonderful conflict resolution
programs in public 8chools throughout this nation at the
elementary school level.
Again, if you teach a child when be is five and six
to get along with the person of another color who apeaks
another language, they are going to grow up doing that.
And it is going to save us so much.
(Applause. ]
Attorney General Reno:
Then lets look at what we do
to the police.
A child, 8 years old, is truant lS days in
the first 45.
I hope you do not do it in Maryland, but at
home what we all too often did. was the police would. pick
him up, because he was wandering around., take him back to
the school.
The achool would call home.
would. come get him.
Sometimes the mother
Oftentimes, ahe would Dot.
And then
at the end of the afternooD, if ahe had Dot came to get
him, the school would take htm and .•end htm OD the bus
home and do
We have to develop truancy prevention programs with
teams that go into the home to find out what is causing
the problem in the first place and do 80mething about it
before that child is entrenched in a path that will lead
him to delinquency.
We have to look at - - and the police can only
benefit, because every truancy prevention program that I
have ever aeen produces a remarkable drop in daytime
burglaries while you are getting them off the streets.
But we, too eften, wait until they are 13 or 14.
us start early.
Let us look at afternoons and in the
evenings, that tremendous amount of free time described by
the Carnegie Foundation as a time of opportunity but a
time of risk.
Let us understand that if we develop programs that
can occupy our children, not just in terms of sports and
recreation, but in terms of art and computer training and
other programs, we can do so much. Let us look at jobs.
Just to say, -Here, young man, go paint this wall for
a summer,- does not do too much.
But let us consider taking every ••venth grader and
making sure we have a clear assessment of aptitude and
interest, that we take summer job experience, with work
experience in the BChoels and the schools educational
program, and tie it all together on a track,
that we
sit down with that child in the seventh grade and 8ay,
·You really have an aptitude for this.
And if you follow
this course every 8tep of the way, you will graduate from
high sChool vith a skill that viII enable you to earn a
living wage.­
kid needs a light at the end of the tunnel.
needs to know that if he works a little bit at MCDoDA1d'8
flipping hamburgers and then does this after learning acme
work ethic and moves on, he has got a future.
Let us talk about what is important in our schools.
So many kids are graduating not knowing how te be parents.
What about parenting skills
in our achools?
about practical courses that teach us how to live and
The thing that has impressed me, because I speak to
at home, I used to apeak to a
acheol on the
average of once a week -­ is that yOUDg people
desperately, desperately want half a fighting chance.
they need in so many instances is a little boost.
We can
make such a difference.
But then I want to challenge you vith .amething that
important to me.
programs and dollars.
It is not juat • matter of
It 18 also a matter of putt1Dg
children and fandlies first again in our employment
settings, in everfthing that ve do.
If you had told me in 1960 that I could not go to law
school because I was a woman, I would have been very angry
and would be very angry
But % think both men and wamen can achieve their
professional goals while atill putting their children
And I think we are going to have to be bold and
innovative in terms of persuading
as to how
important Daternity and paternity leave are, flex time,
all the programs that enable us to .pend more
our children.
I remember my afternoons after school in the 8ummer.
My mother worked in the home.
My father worked downtown.
My mother taught us to play baseball, to bake a cake, to
appreciate Beethoven's symphonies.
She spanked us hard, and ahe loved us with all of her
And there is no child care in the world that will
ever be a substitute for what that lady was in our lives.
I now watch people at hame in
office in Miami wake
up early in the morning, get breakfast on the table, the
children dressed and off to .chool, to work,
a case,
finish at 6:30, talk to witneaaes until 7:00, get hame,
get dinner on the table, the children bathed, the bamework
Everybody collapaea in bed.
temple or run errands.
Saturdays, they go to
Sundays, they go to church or