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Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice.

Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice

Summary of Meeting

July 9-10, 2004

The Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ) was convened for its second meeting at 9:00 a.m. on July 9, 2004, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Denver, Colorado. The meeting was called so that the full committee could discuss, revise, amend, and approve two draft annual reports: one that will be presented to the President and Congress and a second report that will be presented to the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The subcommittees of the FACJJ also met to discuss recommendations that were later presented to the chair and the full committee. The subcommittee recommendations were then put to a vote of the full committee and approved.

Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice members present:

Chair: David R. Schmidt (Primary): New Mexico
Vice Chair: Hasan Davis (Primary): Kentucky
Parliamentarian: Mark A. Johnson (Primary): North Dakota

Joe M. Thomas (Primary): Alabama
Barbara B. Tyndall (Primary): Alaska
Margaret Trujillo (Primary): Arizona
Derrick Johnson (Alternate): Arizona
Jerry K. Walsh (Primary): Arkansas
Stan Hanstad (Primary): California
Lindi Sinton (Primary): Colorado
Joseph Higgins (Alternate): Colorado
Eileen M. Daily (Alternate): Connecticut
Michael Arrington (Primary): Delaware
James Berry (Alternate): District of Columbia
Robert M. Evans (Primary): Florida
Andrew J. Harris, Jr. (Primary): Georgia
Christopher M. Duenas (Primary): Guam
Linda C. Uehara (Alternate): Hawaii
Scott Mosher (Primary): Idaho
Patricia Connell (Alternate): Illinois
Robert Mardis (Primary): Indiana
Allison Fleming (Alternate): Iowa
Bernardine S. Hall (Primary): Louisiana
Christine Thibeault (Alternate): Maine
Jeriel Heard (Primary): Michigan
Michael Mayer (Primary): Minnesota
Alfred L. Martin, Jr. (Primary): Mississippi
Peggy Beltrone (Alternate): Montana
Allen R. Jensen (Primary): Nebraska
Dan Coppa (Alternate): Nevada
Glenn Quinney (Primary): New Hampshire
B. Thomas Leahy (Primary): New Jersey
Michael Elmendorf, II (Primary): New York
Linda W. Hayes (Primary): North Carolina
Tom Mullen (Primary): Ohio
Juan Casillias (Alternate): Puerto Rico
Dottie DeFeo (Alternate): Rhode Island
Harry Davis, Jr. (Primary): South Carolina
Janine Kern (Primary): South Dakota
Cindy Durham (Primary): Tennessee
Charles Brawner (Primary): Texas
Gary Anderson (Primary): Utah
Kreig Pinkham (Alternate): Vermont
Robert E. Shepherd, Jr. (Primary): Virginia
Fred P. McDonald (Primary): West Virginia
Deirdre Garton (Primary): Wisconsin
John E. Frentheway (Primary): Wyoming

( Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington were not represented at this meeting.)

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
J. Robert Flores: Administrator
Greg Thompson: Associate Administrator
Timothy Wight: Designated Federal Official
Nels Ericson: Senior Writer/Editor

Report Writer
Kay McKinney

Juvenile Justice ResourceCenter
Daryel Dunston: Juvenile Justice Specialist
Carol Sadler: Assistant Manager

July 9, 2004

Welcome and introductions

Timothy Wight, Designated Federal Official, convened the meeting and welcomed participants to the second annual meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ). Mr. Wight introduced participants at the head table and Mr. J. Robert Flores, Administrator of OJJDP.

Mr. Flores welcomed the participants and thanked them for coming. After opening his remarks with a few comments on the status of the fiscal year 2005 appropriations bill, which is currently in Congress, and development of the fiscal year 2006 appropriations bill, Mr. Flores said OJJDP is exploring collaborative relationships with other departments with shared areas of interest and available resources. At a time when funding is being reduced and decisions are being made at the federal level to allocate money to priority areas such as national security, it makes sense to look at new ways of doing business and funding projects, Mr. Flores said. New partnerships with other agencies may require that OJJDP readjust or reconsider its programmatic focus somewhat, he said, but there are benefits to developing and expanding areas of shared interest. One critical function that OJJDP can fulfill is to act as an advocate to raise issues with state or federal officials that might not otherwise get addressed. He asked the states to keep OJJDP informed about "the good things happening in your state" so that this information can inform federal program development.

In response to a question from the floor on fiscal year 2006 funding levels and program priorities, Mr. Flores said budgetary requests are developed 1.5 years before they are finalized, and a great deal can and often does happen to OJJDP's original request during that time.

In response to a second question from the floor on how national security issues affect state-level program funding, Mr. Flores said his comments were made in the context that increased state and national concerns and reallocation of funds may strain state budgets, which often must function under strict fiscal constraints. OJJDP could serve as an advocate for juvenile justice issues, he concluded.

FACJJ Chairman David Schmidt welcomed the participants and thanked Mr. Flores for responding to the advisory committee's recommendations presented in the Point Clear, Alabama, meeting; responding quickly to the committee's request to reconsider how Title V grants are administered; and reallocating deobligated Formula Grant funds to address the loss of accountability-based sanctions supplements.

Robert Shepherd, Co-Chair of the FACJJ Annual Report Committee, briefly described the creation of the subcommittee, introduced its members, and explained how recommendations were solicited from the FACJJ membership and incorporated into the draft reports. Overall, he said, the FACJJ membership submitted 86 recommendations, of which 36 (13 for the report to the President and Congress and 23 for the report to the OJJDP Administrator) were included in the draft reports. Since the Point Clear meeting in January, the committee had held a number of conference calls to decide what recommendations would appear in the final reports and to comment on and revise the drafts. Copies of the two draft reports were sent to every member of the advisory committee with the request that each member mark up their copy and bring it with them to the Denver meeting. The subcommittee expects to meet later this year, Mr. Shepherd said, to present the final reports for FACJJ review and approval before they are finalized and submitted to the President, Congress, and the OJJDP Administrator in January.

Mr. Wight presented a brief review of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the federal legislation that guides the operation of the FACJJ, and procedures guiding the advisory committee's functions. Mr. Wight fielded several questions from the floor including:

  • Does the membership get to review and revise committee bylaws before they are adopted? Recommendations to modify committee bylaws are made to the OJJDP Administrator, who then decides to accept or reject the changes. Recommendations should be included in the FACJJ's annual report to the Administrator.

  • Do the term limitations listed in the bylaws apply to both primary and alternative members of the advisory committee? Letters will be sent to every state and territory governor about the staggered nature of the nominating process (Half of the members will serve 1-year terms for the initial term only, and the other half of the members will serve initial 2-year terms. Thereafter, nominations will be for 2-year terms.) Governors may nominate primary and alternate members for up to two consecutive terms each.

Mr. Shepherd outlined the process by which he would guide the discussion and approval or rejection of the reports by the full advisory committee membership. He asked the members to recommend changes of a technical rather than a substantive nature, sign their copies, and give their marked up copies to Kay McKinney, who drafted the original report and will incorporate all changes. Mr. Shepherd asked that all recommendations requiring early action be submitted to him. Finally, he suggested that the full committee discuss each recommendation and vote to accept them en block rather than voting to accept or reject each individually.

A question was entertained from the floor about why two reports were needed when much of the information in both is the same or similar. Mr. Shepherd said combining the two reports into one might save money and it might make sense that every recipient receive the same list of requests and recommendations. Mr. Wight said that the FACJJ bylaws call for two separate reports to be produced. He suggested that the FACJJ draft recommended changes to its bylaws and submit them to OJJDP if one report was desired. There is some benefit to preparing two reports, based on the designated audience for each, Mr. Flores said. The report to the OJJDP Administrator should be of a more "nuts and bolts" nature, he said, and should be viewed as a vehicle to present issues the states wish for the OJJDP Administrator to act upon. The report to the President and Congress should present policy issues and program initiatives that are beyond the authority of the OJJDP Administrator. For example, budgetary issues are probably best placed in the report to Congress, he said, while issues that do not require congressional approval or action would be better suited for the report to the OJJDP Administrator. During subsequent discussion, one member asked the FACJJ membership to be mindful that precedent was being set at this meeting and that distribution priorities on who should receive the final reports should be clear from the start. Mr. Shepherd asked that the advisory committee not act on the issue at that time but that it be tabled for further discussion later in the meeting.

Mr. Shepherd then turned to the discussion of the preface of the report to the President and Congress. A question was raised from the floor about the table of contents and an executive summary. Mr. Shepherd tabled discussion until review and approval of the main text of the report were complete. He asked the members if they thought an executive summary would be useful. A motion to include an executive summary in the final report was entertained and approved. Several changes to the preface, including a slight restructuring of the content and changes to several section headings, were discussed and approved.

Following a brief break, Mr. Schmidt called the session to order and discussion of the report to the President and Congress resumed. Mr. Shepherd opened discussion of the introduction and asked the advisory committee what its focus should be. Recommendations included:

  • A more sharply focused discussion of disproportionate minority contact (DMC) and its status in the states;

  • Juvenile accountability;

  • The connection between child maltreatment and neglect and subsequent delinquency in these children;

  • The FACJJ's intended course of action;

  • The effects of federal budget cuts on state and local juvenile justice programs;

  • The relationship between mental health problems and substance abuse in juvenile offenders;

  • The need for federal leadership because federal funds come with many mandates on how that money may be spent; and

  • The need for information sharing and collaboration among agencies with common areas of interest.

During the discussion, Mr. Shepherd directed Ms. McKinney to pull together discussion of DMC scattered throughout the report and group it in the introduction. He also asked her to group discussion on mental health/substance abuse together in the introduction. Responding to several questions about why certain issues were not discussed in the report, Mr. Shepherd said the report was based upon the information contained in the surveys received from the states. He recommended that the FACJJ conduct a listening session in its spring meeting to address issues that should be included in the next annual report.

Mr. Shepherd then turned the discussion to recommendations that make up the report's main text. At his request, the group discussed and agreed to change the word "girls" to "females" throughout the report. Participants also suggested that the following items be added to the report: a sentence on fetal alcohol syndrome to the substance abuse section, more charts, data on tribal youth gangs, information on Medicaid money for mental health issues for detained youth, and information on how juveniles waived to criminal court affect juvenile arrest rates.

Mr. Flores urged the advisory committee to "make a compelling argument" for more funding for prevention programs. Such programs help "avoid worse problems down the road," he said. Funding prevention efforts "requires robust discussion" on setting priorities and must be done every year, he said. Responding to a comment from the floor that "congressional reaction is to lock those kids up," Mr. Flores said the goal of OJJDP is to focus on prevention programs. As such, Mr. Flores said, he and OJJDP would work as advocates for the states to their congressional representatives. At the request of the FACJJ membership, Mr. Schmidt directed the Annual Report Committee to discuss prevention efforts and how to address them in the report during its working luncheon.

Mr. Shepherd opened the floor for discussion of each recommendation, many of which generated no debate. The FACJJ voted to change the wording on recommendation 3 to read: "The FACJJ recommends that the President and Congress amend the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002 to impose the financial penalty a state receives for failing to comply with the four core requirements of the Act in the same year in which the state was found to be out of compliance with any of the four core requirements." The FACJJ also voted to revise the wording in recommendation 8 to read: "The FACJJ recommends that the President and Congress modify the JJDP Act to mandate that federal government agencies in conjunction with the OJJDP Administrator develop and implement programs that comply with the four core protections of deinstitutionalization of status offenders, separation of adults and juveniles, jail removal, and disproportionate minority contact and do not impose financial penalties on the states."

The discussion on recommendation 13 about the death penalty and life without parole sentences for juvenile offenders generated intense debate on whether the recommendation should be removed, tabled for further discussion, or passed as is or with revisions. Mr. Schmidt directed the Annual Report Committee to discuss during its working lunch what, if any, changes should be made to the wording of the recommendation.

Mr. Schmidt adjourned the meeting for lunch and directed the subcommittees to meet to prepare their recommendations to the chair for presentation to the FACJJ.

Following lunch, Mr. Schmidt convened the meeting. As discussion turned to the recommendations, Mr. Flores excused himself from the meeting to allow for a candid exchange of views and opinions. He thanked the committee members for their dedication and accomplishments.

Mr. Schmidt asked the Annual Report Committee to report on its lunchtime discussions on recommendations 3 and 13. Mr. Shepherd said the subcommittee recommended certain language changes, which were accepted by vote of the full committee. Mr. Schmidt opened discussion on whether to accept the first 12 recommendations. A motion was entered to vote to accept or reject each recommendation individually but was defeated. Mr. Schmidt entertained a motion to accept the first 12 recommendations, which was approved. Mr. Schmidt opened discussion on what action to take on recommendation 13. A motion to table the recommendation was defeated. A motion to hold off action on the recommendation until advisory committee members could talk with their governors and State Advisory Groups and then vote at the FACJJ's next meeting at the end of this year was defeated. A motion was entered to accept recommendation 13 as revised and amended by the Annual Report Committee and was approved. In its revised language, the Annual Report Committee recommended that abolition on the use of the death penalty for juveniles become a core requirement of the JJDP Act.

Mr. Shepherd then turned discussion to the recommendations contained in the report to the OJJDP Administrator. He guided discussion through each of the 23 recommendations; there was little discussion except for requests for minor language changes on several recommendations and no requested changes to the rest of the recommendations. A question was raised about whether the letters and recommendations to the Administrator generated at the Point Clear, Alabama, meeting and the OJJDP Administrator's responses should be deleted from the appendix because most of that information is contained in the introduction. Also, the question was raised about whether the 2005 annual reports would contain OJJDP's responses to this year's recommendations. Mr. Shepherd said each subsequent report will list the administrator's responses to the previous year's recommendations. A motion was entered and approved to keep the letters, recommendations, and the draft memo contained in the appendix and to reference them in the introduction.

Mr. Schmidt entertained a motion on whether the FACJJ should meet again this year to approve the final reports to the President and Congress and the OJJDP Administrator, which was approved. He then adjourned the meeting for the day.

July 10, 2004

Mr. Wight called the meeting to order. He showed a copy of the proposed cover for the annual reports and asked that it be passed around the room. Mr. Schmidt called for a vote on the 23 recommendations to the OJJDP Administrator discussed in the previous day and for each of the subcommittees to report back to the full FACJJ. Mr. Shepherd asked for a motion to accept the 23 recommendations. After new language to recommendation 17 was read and accepted by the full committee, a motion was entered to accept the 23 recommendations and was approved by a vote of the advisory group. The language for the revised recommendation 17 reads (verbatim) as follows: "The FACJJ recommends that the OJJDP Administrator immediately seek and advocate for an amendment to the Anti-Lobbying Act (18 U.S.C. Section 1913) specifically exempting the SAGs and SAG members from the provisions of the Act when acting in accordance with the directives set forth in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, individual state laws, or state executive orders. In the alternative and in the interim, the FACJJ recommends that the OJJDP Administrator seek and advocate for a controlling OMB opinion consistent with the aforementioned exemption."

Mr. Schmidt asked each of the standing subcommittees to report on their recommendations to the OJJDP Administrator. The subcommittees made the following recommendations:

The Planning Committee: Co-chair Harry Davis, Jr., said that the consensus of the subcommittee was for the FACJJ to continue an annual spring/fall cycle of meetings, with meetings to be held most preferably on Friday and Saturday. He recommended that the next FACJJ meeting be held December 3 and 4 before OJJDP's planned truancy conference in Washington, DC. (Mr. Wight said these dates would present scheduling conflicts for himself and Mr. Flores. He suggested the FACJJ meet after the truancy conference.)

Regarding the annual survey, the committee recommended that it be sent to every state and territory. The survey, he said, should encompass five parts that include the following:

  • List the top five problems the state has identified in its 3-year plan.

  • Identify any promising practices and program evaluations that respond to problems.

  • List any State Advisory Group recommendations to the President and Congress.

  • List any State Advisory Group recommendations to the OJJDP Administrator.

  • List any other concerns, issues, or needs perceived by the State Advisory Group not otherwise reflected above.

The committee recommended that the survey be sent out by October 1 every year and responses be due back by February 1. The survey should be sent to the FACJJ primary and alternate members with copies sent to the State Advisory Group chair and juvenile justice specialist. The committee also recommended that professional assistance be sought to collect the surveys, collate the data, and submit the findings to the Annual Report Committee by March 1 (in time for the annual spring meeting).

During discussion of the subcommittee's recommendations, Mr. Wight asked Mr. Davis to clarify what type of professional assistance the subcommittee envisioned and said the OJJDP Administrator would have to approve such an added expense. Mr. Davis said the task of compiling and analyzing the survey findings would be beyond the time and resources of a volunteer. The outcome was the report writer would compile the responses to the survey but not analyze the data. Regarding Mr. Wight's suggestion that the next FACJJ meeting be held after the truancy conference, the advisory group took a straw poll and the general consensus of the group was that those dates would be viable. Mr. Schmidt entertained a motion for the FACJJ to accept the Planning Committee's recommendations, and it was approved.

The Grants Committee: Allison Fleming, Committee Chairwoman, said the subcommittee had several recommendations, as follows:

  • The subcommittee "vigorously supports" all funding-related recommendations in the reports to the President and the OJJDP Administrator.

  • The subcommittee urges the FACJJ to recommend to the President and Congress that language in the FY 2005 and future appropriations that authorizes the accountability-based sanctions supplement to the Formula Grants (Title II) program be reinstated. This supplement should be funded for not less than $26 million.

  • The subcommittee urges the FACJJ to recommend that OJJDP continue the formula-based distribution of Title V Incentive Grants for Local Delinquency Prevention Programs in FY 2005 and beyond.

  • The subcommittee urged the FACJJ to recommend to the President and Congress that they restore the 10 percent administrative cost allowance to the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant program for FY 2005 and beyond.

Mr. Schmidt entertained a motion for the FACJJ to accept the Grants Committee's recommendations, and it was approved.

The Legal Affairs Committee: Chairman B. Thomas Leahy read the recommendations of the subcommittee, which include the following:

  • The subcommittee urged the FACJJ to request that the OJJDP Administrator amend Section X of the bylaws of the FACJJ by adding the following language: "Both reports shall be distributed to the President and Congress, the governor of each state and territory, and the chair and juvenile justice specialist of every State Advisory Group with a request that the reports be distributed by them to each member of the State Advisory Group." The subcommittee recommended that the reports could be distributed to the State Advisory Group members electronically.

  • The subcommittee recommended that the name of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee be changed to the Juvenile Justice Federal Advisory Committee.

  • The subcommittee also rewrote recommendation 17 (to the Administrator) to read: "The FACJJ recommends that the OJJDP Administrator immediately seek and advocate for an amendment to the Anti-Lobbying Act (18 U.S.C. Section 1913) specifically exempting SAGs and SAG members from the provisions of the Act when acting in accordance with the directives set forth in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, individual state laws, or state executive orders. In the alternative and in the interim to seek and advocate for a controlling OMB opinion consistent with the aforementioned exemption."

Mr. Schmidt entertained a motion to accept the subcommittee's first two recommendations and they were both approved by a vote of the advisory group. A second motion to accept the subcommittee's third recommendation was entertained and approved.

Mr. Schmidt asked for a straw vote to be taken on whether the members wished to have the chance to talk with their governors and State Advisory Groups about their state's position regarding recommendation 13 to the President and Congress (regarding the death penalty and life sentences without parole for juveniles convicted of serious, violent crimes). The FACJJ members could then communicate within 30 days their vote on the recommendation through a letter. After some discussion, a vote was taken on the motion and it was rejected. A second straw vote on whether the members would support the recommendation if the language making compliance a core requirement were removed showed a general consensus of approval. Mr. Schmidt entertained a motion to amend the recommendation by removing the core requirement language and it was approved. The revised language reads (verbatim) as follows: "The FACJJ recommends that the President and Congress support the amendment of the JJDP Act to prohibit the imposition of the death penalty upon persons who are under the age of 18 at the time of the commission of their offense." Mr. Schmidt entertained a motion to provide the states a window to change their votes on the recommendation and it was voted down.

After some closing comments, Mr. Schmidt adjourned the meeting.

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