SATURDAY, JANUARY 13, 2001
| PRESIDENT CLINTON?S RADIO ADDRESS TO THE NATION: |
| PREVENTION RESOURCES FOR AMERICA |
| January 13, 2001 |
Today in his weekly radio address, President Clinton will announce two new
steps the White House Council on Youth Violence is taking to help address
the problem of youth violence. The President will launch the National
Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, a central hub for all Federal
information regarding youth violence prevention efforts. The President
will also release the youth violence prevention resource Helping Your
Children Navigate the Teenage Years: A Guide for Parents to help parents
better communicate and understand the developmental stages of their
A CITIZEN?S INFORMATION HUB. Today, the President will launch the National
Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center (NYVPRC) developed by the White
House Council on Youth Violence in coordination with the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other Federal agencies. The
Resource Center consists of three components: a toll-free information line,
a fax-on-demand system, and an Internet Website. The Center will provide a
single point of access to Federal information about youth violence,
including suicide, making youth violence information from all Federal
agencies available in one place, and providing links to private sector
resources. The Resource Center?s website is www.safeyouth.org, and the
toll-free number is 1-866-SAFEYOUTH (1-866-723-3968).
TOOLS FOR PARENTS. The President will release a resource for parents of
teens, Helping Your Children Navigate the Teenage Years: A Guide for
Parents. This guide helps parents understand normal adolescent
development, identify problem behaviors, improve family communication, and
locate outside assistance if additional help is necessary. The guidebook
was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration
(SAMHSA) and will be disseminated on the NYVPRC website, as well as by the
Council's participating Departments, and various professional associations,
such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of
Secondary School Principals and the National Association of School Nurses.
It can be ordered through the NYVPRC website or SAMHSA?s Knowledge Exchange
Network at (800) 789-2647.
BUILDING ON THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION?S COMMITMENT TO PREVENTING YOUTH
VIOLENCE. From the beginning, President Clinton has believed that every
sector of society has a role to play in the efforts to reduce and prevent
youth violence, and the Clinton-Gore Administration has worked with both
federal and private entities to approach the issues of youth violence.
This comprehensive strategy has shown encouraging results. Between 1993
and 1998, the rate of serious violent crime victimization of youth, aged
12-17, declined by 43 percent, while homicide rates for youth aged 15-24
decreased by 37 percent and by 43 percent for teenagers aged 15-19. The
youth suicide rate has dropped 18 percent between 1993 and 1998 for young
people aged 15-24. President Clinton has made youth violence prevention a
priority for this Administration and has implemented a broad range of
programs and initiatives across the Federal departments.
? White House Council on Youth Violence: Following the tragedy in
Littleton, CO, the President established the White House Council on Youth
Violence in October 1999 to coordinate the anti-violence efforts of all
federal agencies. The Council members include Secretaries Donna E. Shalala
(HHS), Richard Riley (DoEd), Larry Summers (Treasury), Andrew Cuomo (HUD),
and Attorney General Janet Reno (DOJ). The President?s Domestic Policy
Adviser Bruce Reed chairs the Council, the Director is Sonia Chessen, and
U.S. Assistant Surgeon General Susan Blumenthal, M.D., is the Council?s
Senior Public Health Advisor who directed the development of the NYVPRC.
? Federal Youth Violence Prevention Initiatives: The Federal agencies
have partnered to establish innovative programs including the Safe Schools
/ Healthy Students initiative and the 21st Century Learning Centers, which
have provided hundreds of communities with funding for activities that
foster the safety and healthy development of our students. The
Clinton-Gore Administration has also developed guide books, such as the
Early Warning Guide, the Blue Prints Initiative and Best Practices of Youth
Violence Prevention to help communities better understand the precursors to
violence and the solutions found to be most effective. The Administration
has strengthened partnerships between law enforcement and schools through
the COPS in schools program, as well as the critical need to restrict
access to guns by strengthening the laws that keep guns out of schools and
out of the hand of juveniles (Gun-Free Schools Act and Youth Handgun Safety
? Media and Youth Violence: The Clinton-Gore Administration has also
worked on minimizing the role violent media may play in youth violence and
aggressive behavior. In 1996, the President and Vice President fought for
legislation that gave parents the V-chip, a new tool to help screen out
television programs that are not fit for kids. More recently the President
asked the FTC to conduct a study to determine whether the entertainment
industry was marketing violent material to children. This report found
that the entertainment industry was doing little to restrict children?s
access to violent media rated for adults. The President, the Vice
President and the First Lady called for an immediate ceasefire of marketing
violence to young people.
? Private Sector Partnerships: Finally, the President believes that the
private sector has a significant contribution to make in the effort to
prevent youth violence. In 1999, the President launched the National
Campaign Against Youth Violence to engage the private sector in innovative
local solutions for preventing youth violence and supporting the healthy
development of our Nation?s young people.
? Surgeon General?s Report on Youth Violence: Next week, Surgeon General
David Satcher will release the first Surgeon General?s Report on Youth
Violence. Compiled in response to a Presidential directive, this report
provides a comprehensive review of what we know about youth violence from a
public health perspective and identifies science-based strategies that can
be implemented by parents, schools, and communities to decrease the risk of
TAKING ACTION AGAINST YOUTH VIOLENCE:
CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION ACCOMPLISHMENTS
January 13, 2001
REDUCING YOUTH VIOLENCE ? ENCOURAGING TRENDS
? Between 1993 and 1998, there was a 43% decline in the rate of serious
violent crime victimization of youth, aged 12 - 17.
? Between 1993 and 1998, there was a 48% decline in the rate of serious
violent crime perpetration by youth, aged 12 - 17.
? Since 1992, the number of non-fatal crimes in schools is down by more
than 21 percent.
? Between 1993 and 1998, homicide rates for youth aged 15-24 decreased
by 37% and by 43% for teenagers aged 15-19.
? Violent deaths at school are extremely rare. Thirty-four violent
deaths were reported in 1998-99, compared to the high of 49 deaths reported
in 1995-96, a 30% decrease.
? Between 1992 and 1997, the number of students who report carrying a
weapon to school decreased by 25%.
? Youth suicide rates for youth aged 15-24 dropped 18% between 1993 and
COORDINATING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT?S RESPONSE TO YOUTH VIOLENCE:
White House Council on Youth Violence. Following the tragedy in Littleton,
CO, the President established the White House Council on Youth Violence in
October 1999 to coordinate the anti-violence efforts of all federal
agencies. The Council members include Secretaries Donna E. Shalala (HHS),
Richard Riley (DoEd), Larry Summers (Treasury), Andrew Cuomo (HUD), and
Attorney General Janet Reno (DOJ). The President?s Domestic Policy Adviser
Bruce Reed chairs the Council, the Director is Sonia Chessen, and U.S.
Assistant Surgeon General Susan Blumenthal, M.D., is the Council?s Senior
Public Health Advisor who directed the development of the National Youth
Violence Prevention Resource Center (NYVPRC).
Providing a Citizen?s Information Hub. The National Youth Violence
Prevention Resource Center (NYVPRC) was developed by the White House
Council on Youth Violence in coordination with the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) and other Federal agencies. The Resource
Center consists of three components: a toll-free information line, a
fax-on-demand system, and an Internet Website. The Center provides a
single point of access to Federal information about youth violence,
including suicide, making youth violence information from all Federal
agencies available in one place. The Center provides links to private
sector resources as well. The Resource Center?s website is
www.safeyouth.org, and the toll-free number is 1-866-SAFEYOUTH
MAKING SCHOOLS SAFER
Supporting a Community-Wide Response to School Safety and Youth Violence.
To help communities throughout the country promote a coordinated,
comprehensive response to school safety, the President launched the Safe
Schools/Healthy Students Initiative (SS/HS) in 1999. The SS/HS Initiative
is an unprecedented national effort to provide students, schools and
communities the benefit of enhanced comprehensive educational, mental
health, social service, and law enforcement services. It is based on
evidence that a comprehensive, integrated community-wide approach is an
effective way to promote healthy childhood and youth development and
address the problems of school violence and alcohol and other drug abuse.
The Initiative has provided $147 million to 77 local education authorities
that have established formal partnerships with local mental health and law
enforcement agencies. The grants support coordinated and comprehensive
school safety plans that include anti-truancy initiatives, mentoring,
mental health services, conflict resolution programs, school resource
officers, and more ? helping to promote healthy youth development and to
prevent violence before it occurs.
Responding to the Early Warning Signs of Troubled Youth. President Clinton
directed the Secretary of Education and the Attorney General to develop a
guide to help teachers and principals identify and respond to the early
warning signs of troubled youth that can lead to school violence. In
August 1998, the Departments of Justice and Education released Early
Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools. This guide provides
schools and communities with information on how to identify the early
warning signs and take action steps to prevent and respond to school
violence. More than 400,000 copies of the guide have been distributed to
every school in the country and to youth organizations throughout, and
additional copies may be obtained through the websites of the Departments
of Education and Justice. In April, 1999, the Departments of Education and
Justice once again teamed to produce a follow-up publication: Safeguarding
Our Children: An Action Guide, which emphasizes early intervention and
prevention, and the importance of teamwork among educators, mental health
professionals, parents, and students.
Helping to Make All Schools Safe, Disciplined and Drug-Free. In 1994,
President Clinton expanded the Drug-Free Schools Act into the Safe and
Drug-Free Schools Act, making violence prevention a key part of this
program. Safe and Drug-Free Schools currently provides support for
violence and drug prevention programs to 97 percent of the nation?s school
Promoting Collaborations Between Schools and Law Enforcement. Under the
School-Based Partnerships grant program, the Clinton Administration has
provided $30 million to 275 policing agencies to work with schools and
community-based organizations to address crime at and around schools. The
grants help forge or strengthen partnerships between local law enforcement
and schools to focus on school crime, drug use and discipline problems. In
addition, the COPS in Schools initiative hires and trains school resource
officers using the community policing strategies that have made
neighborhoods safer all over America. Under the COPS in Schools initiative,
the Clinton-Gore Administration has provided $252 million for 1,060
communities to hire 2,250 police officers to work in schools, engaging
students in problem solving and mediation, collaborating in safe school
planning efforts, coaching sports and acting as mentors for children and
Issuing the First Annual Reports on School Safety. In December 1997,
President Clinton called for the first Annual Report on School Safety.
Issued every year since, these reports describe the nature and scope of
school violence and steps that communities can take to develop a
comprehensive school safety plan. The reports highlight what schools,
students, parents, police, businesses, and elected officials can do to
create safe learning environments and describe schools and communities
doing an exemplary job of creating and maintaining safe school
environments. The reports also list resources for information on school
safety and crime prevention issues.
Hosting White House Conferences on School Safety. In October 1998,
President and Mrs. Clinton hosted the first-ever conference on school
safety to provide an opportunity for Americans to learn more about how they
can make their own schools and communities safer. Students, parents,
teachers, principals, law enforcement, ministers, and other experts from
across the country participated in the Conference, and hundreds of
communities and schools were linked by satellite. In May 1999, after the
Littleton tragedy, President Clinton and the First Lady held another
meeting to discuss the problem of youth violence and develop a strategy for
a national campaign to address this problem. The meeting included a broad
cross section of Americans, including parents and children, teachers and
religious leaders, law enforcement and government officials, gun
manufacturers and sportsmen, and representatives of the entertainment
FOCUSING ON PREVENTION
Developing Guides for Best Practices to Prevent Youth Violence.
Recognizing that youth violence prevention must start at the community
level, the Clinton-Gore Administration has researched the most effective
and successful approaches to prevention and published them in guides for
community leaders, school officials, law enforcement, health professionals
and others. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, with
the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed the
Blueprints Initiative which identifies ten successful youth violence
prevention programs in such areas as mentoring, bullying, family therapy
and foster care. OJJDP also released Promising Strategies To Reduce Gun
Violence with practical information on a range of effective strategies for
local officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?s Best
Practices of Youth Violence Prevention: A Sourcebook for Community Action
provides step-by-step guidance for implementing proven youth violence
Encouraging Conflict Resolution. The Departments of Education and Justice
have developed and distributed 40,000 conflict resolution guides to schools
and community organizations, providing guidance on how to develop effective
conflict resolution programs. In addition, the departments are training
community officials and educators on these conflict resolution measures.
Establishing National Centers of Excellence for Youth Violence Prevention.
The Department of Health and Human Services, through the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is supporting ten Centers of
Excellence to serve as national models for the prevention of youth
violence. The Centers foster a multi-disciplinary approach that includes
communities in collaborative efforts. This approach allows non-traditional
partners (people and entities not normally included in research and
information-sharing) to become involved in the research and intervention
process to learn how to obtain information and apply it to resolve youth
violence problems within their communities.
Creating Internet Web Sites to Provide Resources to Prevent Youth Violence.
The Clinton-Gore Administration has established many informational web
sites, including: http://www.afterschool.gov/ , which contains a compendium
of federal resources that support children and youth during out-of-school
hours, and includes information about government guides, reports, and
research, as well as information about successful community programs and
available funding sources; http://www.americasteens.gov , which contains
information for teens on college opportunities and funding, community
service, jobs, volunteering, and teen health issues, including substance
abuse; http://www.parentingresources.ncjrs.org/ that provides helpful
information for families to meet the formidable challenges of raising a
child today by addressing topics such as school violence, child
development, home schooling, organized sports, child abuse, and the
juvenile justice system.
Engaging the Private Sector in Youth Violence Prevention: President Clinton
launched the National Campaign Against Youth Violence, an independent
national nonprofit organization to engage the private sector in addressing
the problem of youth violence on a national scale. The Campaign has
developed anti-violence activities including a major media campaign,
concerts, town hall meetings, and in-school and after-school programs. The
Campaign also highlights effective youth violence initiatives in cities
across the country.
Youth Violence Prevention in Public Housing. The Clinton-Gore
Administration has taken steps to reduce youth violence in public housing.
Working together, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed the youth violence
prevention program resource handbook that identifies current practices and
model programs for youth violence prevention programming in community
settings. HUD also provides training and technical assistance to local
communities through the Youth Violence Prevention in Public Housing
ADDRESSING FACTORS THAT PUT YOUTH AT RISK FOR VIOLENCE
Cracking Down on Truancy. Truancy prevention initiatives have been shown
to keep more children in school and dramatically reduce daytime crime. The
Education Department issued a guidebook to the 15,000 school districts
nationwide that outlines the central characteristics of a comprehensive
truancy prevention policy and highlights model initiatives in cities and
towns across the country. Since then, the Education Department has
provided grants to local school districts to develop innovative truancy
prevention programs of the kind described in the guidebook.
Developing a Comprehensive Anti-Gang Strategy. President Clinton has
proposed a comprehensive strategy to target gangs and violent youths by
hiring new prosecutors and probation officers, expanding anti-gang task
forces and by using racketeering statutes (i.e., RICO) for gang-related
offenses. Recent studies indicate that as much as 50% to 70% of violent
crime in certain areas may be perpetrated by gang members, so that
targeting gangs may have a significant impact on reducing violent crime.
Developing a Comprehensive Anti-Drug Strategy Including a $195 Million
National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. The President appointed Barry
McCaffrey, a four-star general, to lead the Clinton-Gore Administration's
anti-drug strategy as the nation?s Drug Czar. In July 1998, President
Clinton launched the national expansion of the Anti-Drug Media Campaign
first proposed in 1997. The 5-year, $2 billion campaign (which includes
private sector matching contributions) is designed to let teens know --
when they turn on the television, listen to the radio, or surf the Internet
-- that drugs are dangerous, wrong and can kill you.
Encouraging Schools to Adopt School Uniform Policies. School uniforms have
been found to help reduce violence by promoting discipline and respect in
school. Because of this, the Clinton Administration has encouraged schools
to consider adopting school uniform policies by sharing with every school
district a school uniforms manual prepared by the Department of Education
in consultation with local communities and the Department of Justice.
Since the President highlighted school uniforms, a growing number of
schools have adopted these policies including: New York City, Dade County,
Florida, San Antonio, Houston, Chicago and Boston.
Supporting Curfews at the Local Level. Community curfews are designed to
help keep children out of harm's way and enhance community safety. Because
of their success, President Clinton has encouraged communities to adopt
curfew policies. A 1997 survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors has shown
that 276 of 347 cities surveyed ? or 80 percent ? had youth curfew laws, up
from 70 percent in 1995.
PROMOTING POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Providing Safe After-School Opportunities for 850,000 Students Each Year.
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program has provided enriching
after-school and summer school opportunities for 850,000 school-age
children in rural and urban communities last year. Extended learning time
has not only been shown to increase achievement in reading and math, but to
decrease youth violence and drug use. Funding for this program more than
doubled over the past year. The Education Department released a report in
June 1998, titled Safe and Smart: Making the After-School Hours Work for
Kids. This report shows that after-school programs can lower juvenile
crime and improve academic performance. Safe and Smart was sent to every
school district in the country.
Establishing the GEAR-UP Mentoring Program for Middle School Children.
President Clinton and Vice President Gore created and expanded GEAR-UP, a
nationwide mentoring initiative, to help over 750,000 low-income middle
school children finish school and prepare for college. In 2001, 1.2 million
children will be served by this program.
Supporting Civic, Community and Faith-Based Organizations. Recognizing the
important role that civic, community and faith-based organizations can play
in reducing crime, the Administration launched a new Values-Based Violence
Prevention Initiative to make $2.2 million in grants available to 16
community-based collaboratives, including religiously-affiliated
organizations, that target youth violence, gangs, truancy, and other
juvenile problems by promoting common-sense values and responsibility.
Helping Students Take a Stand Against Violence. In October 1998, the
President kicked-off a partnership between the Federal government and MTV
to engage youth in preventing violence. The MTV year-long media campaign
--"Fight For Your Rights: Take A Stand Against Youth Violence" ? is
designed to give young adults a voice in the national debate on school and
youth violence. In partnership with the Department of Justice and
Education, and the National Endowment for the Arts, MTV created and is
distributing a Youth Action Guide and CD-ROM that aim to engage youth in
mentoring, conflict resolution, and other positive solutions to violence.
The guide is available through the Justice Department and through MTV.
RESTRICTING YOUTH ACCESS TO GUNS
Launching the Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative. In 1996, President
Clinton launched the Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative (YCGII) in 17
cities to help trace crime guns to their source, as well as identify and
arrest the adults who traffic firearms to children. Since then, the
President has expanded the YCGII initiative to 37 cities. ATF agents have
conducted more than 200,000 crime gun traces for local law enforcement. In
1998 alone, ATF initiated over 300 investigations in these cities, which
involved over 3,300 illegally trafficked firearms.
Enforcing Zero Tolerance for Guns and Other Weapons in Schools. In October
1994, President Clinton signed into law the Gun-Free Schools Act, requiring
school districts to expel students who bring guns to school. The President
issued a Presidential Directive later that month to enforce the "zero
tolerance" policy for guns in schools, consistent with the Gun-Free Schools
Act. Over the 1996-98 school years, the U.S. Department of Education
estimates that, under zero tolerance policies, nearly 10,000 students were
expelled from public schools for bringing a firearm to school.
Issuing Directive on Child Safety Locks for Handguns. Child safety locks
and other safety devices can reduce the unauthorized use of handguns, by a
child at play or a teen looking to commit a crime. Many youth have to look
no further than their own home to get their hands on a gun: an estimated
one-third of all privately-owned handguns are left both loaded and
unlocked. In March 1997, the President signed a directive to every federal
agency, requiring child safety locking devices with all handguns issued to
federal law enforcement officers. And, in an historic agreement, eight
major gun manufacturers followed the President's lead and have voluntarily
agreed to provide child safety locking devices with all their handguns.
Signing into Law the Youth Handgun Safety Act. In 1994, President Clinton
signed into law the Youth Handgun Safety Act, which generally banned the
possession of handguns or handgun ammunition by juveniles under the age of
18, and made it a federal offense for adults to transfer handguns to
juveniles, with limited exceptions. In 1997, the President directed the
Treasury Department to require that signs be posted on the premises of
Federal firearms licensees and that written notification be issued with
each handgun sold to non-licensees to help ensure compliance with the Youth
Handgun Safety Act.
LIMITING YOUTH EXPOSURE TO MEDIA VIOLENCE
Launching an Investigation Into Marketing of Violence to Children. In June
of 1999, the President asked the Federal Trade Commission and the
Department of Justice to conduct a joint study of the marketing practices
of entertainment industries to determine whether these industries are
marketing to children violent (and other) material that is rated for
adults. This report, released in September 2000, found that companies in
motion picture, music recording and electronic game industries routinely
target children under age 17 and that retailers make "little effort" to
restrict access to violent material.
Giving Families A New Tool -- A Content-Based Television Ratings System,
The Vice President garnered a breakthrough agreement from the television
industry to create a new content-based voluntary ratings system to protect
children from violence and adult content on television. The new system
went into effect October 1, 1997, giving parents the information they need
to determine if television shows are appropriate for viewing by their
children and to identify which programs they may want to block from their
homes using screening technology (the V-chip). The voluntary rating system
includes age- and content-based ratings.
Helping Parents Control What Comes Into Their Living Room with the V-Chip
Under strong leadership from the White House, Congress enacted the
Telecommunications Act of 1996 which included V-chip legislation. As of
January of this year, all new television sets 13 inches or larger must now
contain the V-chip.
Keeping Children Safe on the Internet with the Parents? Protection Page.
In the wake of the Columbine Tragedy last year, the Vice President
announced the parents? protection page, an important new commitment by the
country?s premier Internet companies to give parents the resources they
need to protect their children from inappropriate material on the Internet.
The parents' protection page, now known as GetNetWise.com, provides parents
with the tools and knowledge to supervise and guide their children?s online
activities. In addition to giving parents access to more than 100
blocking, filtering and monitoring tools, this page includes information
for parents, teachers and children on how to report crime or other
troubling activity online. The parents? protection page also serves as a
guide to identify the vast array of high quality educational materials