Criminal Justice Section  

    Criminal Justice Magazine

Criminal Justice Magazine
Spring 2000
Vol. 15, Issue 1


In 1999, as Congress debated enacting legislation that would establish a policy for the federal government emphasizing trying more juveniles as adults and conditioning grants to state and local governments based on implementing such a policy, American Bar Association President William G. Paul, in a statement entitled, "100 Years of Juvenile Justice in Jeopardy," observed: "Violent crimes account for less than 6 percent of juvenile arrests in this country. These legislative proposals undermine state and local governments, which need to be able to deal effectively with the 94 percent of juveniles arrested who are nonviolent offenders. They need prevention programs providing alternatives to criminal activity."

Paul also noted that Congress needs to pay attention to the research showing what works. He further stated: "We know that comprehensive, community-based programs have reduced juvenile crime. Congress should help states fund these balanced programs. For example, in Boston a three-pronged program of after-school prevention, intervention, and enforcement aimed at violent youth reduced the number of youth homicides by 80 percent over five years."

-Arthur Burnett, Sr.