United States. Congress. House. Committee on the J.

Taking Back Our Streets Act of 1995 : hearings before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, on H.R. 3 ... January 19 and 20, 1995 online

. (page 37 of 51)
Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JTaking Back Our Streets Act of 1995 : hearings before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, on H.R. 3 ... January 19 and 20, 1995 → online text (page 37 of 51)
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fairs at Princeton University and director of the Brookings Institu-
tion Center for Public Management here in Washington. He is
widely published and is the author of the seminal book now being
used around the country for first-year college courses on govern-
ment. He is also the son of a Philadelphia police officer.

Our next witness is Judge Richard Gebelein, the former attorney
general of Delaware. A superior court judge, who currently presides
over the Wilmington, DE, drug court programs.

Our third witness, Lynn Curtis, is president of the Eisenhower
Foundation, an organization which focuses on the causes and pre-
vention of violence. Dr. Curtis was urban policy advisor to the Sec-


retary of Housing and Urban Development from 1977 to 1981, and
has testified numerous times before committees.

The final witness is Bennie Click, chief of police for the city of
Dallas. He previously served as a police officer for 28 years in
Phoenix, AZ. He has long been a strong proponent of community

Thank all of you for taking the time to come today and being
with us at this time.

Our first witness we would like to call on is Lynn Curtis.

Your written testimony will be admitted as part of the record.
Please give us a summary.


Mr. Curtis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The position of the Eisenhower Foundation when it comes to
crime policy is that we ought to stop doing what doesn't work and
use the money so saved to expand what does work to a scale that
is equal to the dimensions of the problem. I believe that H.R. 3
does just the opposite. It takes what doesn't work and expands it.
H.R. 3 takes what does work and reduces it. In addition, I believe
that the block grant provisions in H.R. 3 are too narrow and have
too many strings attached. I can tell you more about that during

The block grant provisions of H.R. 3 are not decentralized
enough. They are not consistent with the new federalism because
they don't get enough of the money to the grassroots levels of deci-
sionmaking where crime prevention is most effective.

On all of those grounds, I believe it is important to keep the 1994
crime bill as is. It was a well-thought-out, bipartisan bill with a lot
of consideration by both sides. It is a wise piece of legislation.

Let me be a little more clear on what doesn't work and what does
work, Mr. Chairman. In many ways, the least successful crime pre-
vention program of the 1980's was trickle-down, supply-side eco-
nomics. In the words of conservative analyst Kevin Phillips, the re-
sult was that the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. The rich
tended to be white. The poor tended to be black. Racial tensions
were increased, and Los Angeles erupted in flames.

The trickle-down economics of the 1980's also increased the na-
tional debt from $800 billion to $3 trillion. That, in effect, pre-
vented us from carrying out many programs we already know are

In addition, the t ') Training Partnership Act, which was passed
in the 1980's has failed, according to studies commissioned by the
Reagan administration. That is important because scientific eval-
uations show that effective job training can reduce crime.

We know that more and more prisons do not result in less and
less crime. We know that prisons cost up to $100,000 to build. And
it costs up to $30,000 to maintain someone in a cell for a year. It
is not cost-effective to the taxpayer to build more prisons beyond
the 1994 bill. We know that one out of every four young African-
American males is in prison, on probation or parole at any one
time. It is one out of three in the State of California, and one out
of every two in Washington, DC. In many ways, prison-building


therefore has become part of our civil rights poHcy. We know that,
while we tripled our prison space, we reduced appropriations for
housing the poor by 80 percent, so in some ways prison-building
has become part of our national housing policy for the poor.

At the same time, we know that a great deal of prevention has
worked, based on scientific evaluations. The most successful across-
the-board prevention program is Head Start, at least according to
the conservative CEO's on the Committee for Economic Develop-
ment in New York. They said that, for every dollar invested in
Head Start, we get $5 in benefits — in terms of less crime, less
drugs, less school dropouts, less welfare dependency, more employ-
ability. It just makes economic sense.

We know from an evaluation by Columbia University that safe
havens, sanctuaries off the streets, boys and girls clubs in public
housing have been cost-effective in reducing crime.

We know from evaluations by the Eisenhower Foundation that
organizations like the Argus Living for Learning Center on East
160th Street in the South Bronx have been successful as commu-
nity schools which have taken school dropouts and provided reme-
dial education, employment training and job placement.

We know that other such private sector, nonprofit youth develop-
ment organizations have partnered very well with police depart-
ments. For example, the Eisenhower Foundation has just com-
pleted a study in which we evaluated nonprofit youth development
groups working with police in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and
San Juan. The result was that we reduced crime by 20 to 30 per-
cent in the target neighborhoods. These results were statistically

Such problem-oriented policing can stabilize neighborhoods for
economic development. That can create jobs for high-risk kids if
they have Argus-type programs. They can get to the job training
if they are in some of the safe haven sanctuaries off" the street.
They can get to the sanctuaries if they have Head Start preschool.
And so the principles underlying success seem to be "multiple solu-
tions to multiple problems," to quote Professor Lisbeth Scharr at
Harvard University. In other words, what we need is comprehen-
sive interdependence in our crime prevention programs.

Can we find the money to do this? Of course, we can if we really
want to. We found the money to fight the gulf war; we found the
money to bail out the savings and loans. It is a matter of political

Given that we know what works and given that we can find the
money if we really want to, the problem is not so much the "Boyz
N the Hood," as the boys on the Hill.

Congress does not base policy on scientific evidence — but more on
political ideology. Congress is not organized to create multiple solu-
tions and comprehensive interdependence. It creates legislation
that is fragmented and categorical. Why, for example, should a
committee called judiciary be dealing with the subject of crime,
when many of the solutions embrace education, employment, and
human resources?

Unless Congress has real control over the lobbyists on K Street
with the thousand-dollar suits and alligator shoes, and unless we
have true campaign finance reform, I suggest that there will never


be enough money to implement what works on a scale equal to the
dimensions of the problem.

If you look at history, most great civilizations have fallen not be-
cause of external threat, but because of internal decay. The inter-
nal decay of America is defined by crime, race, and poverty — and
by how we are unable to carry out and find answers to those prob-
lems even though solutions exist. If we continue such policy for the
poor, for the working classes, and for the newly anxious, middle
classes, the American dream will continue to be deferred.

What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up l^e a raisin
in the Sun or fester like a sore and then run? Does it stink like
rotten meat, or sugar over like a syrupy sweet? Perhaps that
dream just sags like a heavy load. Or, Mr. Chairman, does it ex-

Thank you.

Mr. McCoLLUM. Thank you, Mr. Curtis.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Curtis follows:]


Prepared Statement of Lynn A. Curtis, President, Milton S. Eisenhower


Introduction and Executive Summary

A common sense crime policy should stop doing what doesn't work and use the money
saved to invest in what does work.

There is almost no scientific evidence that more and more prisons result in less and less
crime. Prison building is extremely expensive - up to $100,000 per cell to build and up to
$30,000 per year to keep someone in prison. This throws money at the problem. Today,
America has the highest rates of incarceration in the industrialized world, but also the highest
rates of violent crime. Nor is there much scientific evidence that boot camps work. (See
figures 9 - 12.)

At the same time, there is considerable evidence based on scientific evaluations that many
prevention programs work to reduce crime, and other interrelated problems. Scientifically-based
examples include variations on Head Start preschool; boys and giris clubs in public housing that
provide safe havens after school for mentoring by big brothers and big sisters; private sector,
nonprofit community-based inner-city schools, like the Argus Community in the South Bronx,
which provide remedial education, job training and job placement in a strictly drug free setting;
and partnerships between private, nonprofit youth development organizations and police, working
out of neighborhood-based ministations. (See figures 14 and 15.)

H.R.3 could eliminate all prevention funding from the 1994 crime bill, if increased levels
of prison building are not approved. Even if prevention monies are included, via block grants,
the level of prevention spending would be significantly less than in the 1994 crime bill. And
the H.R.3 guidelines for block grant uses are excessively narrow. They do not sufficiently allow
for, or encourage, initiatives proven to work, like prevention by private, inner-city, nonprofit,
community-based youth development organizations. In this regard, we encourage the
Subcommittee to review legislation being proposed by Senator Nancy Kassenbaum and
Congressman William Goodling on funding of community youth development organizations.

H.R.3 is based more on political ideology than scientific evidence. It expands what
doesn't work (prisons) and reduces what does work (prevention). As such, it is cost-ineffective
to the average taxpaying citizen and voter. It is wiser to stick with the 1994 crime bill.

A Broader Vision

Beyond the merits of any legislation presently being proposed, what is the best future
policy, based on what works?

The answer to this question must take into account how, as a result of supply side, trickle
down economics in the 1980s, "the rich got richer and the poor got poorer," in the words of
conservative analyst Kevin Phillips. During the 1980s, children living in poverty nationwide
increased twenty-two percent and average hourly wages fell by more than nine percent. In the


shadow of some of the most sophisticated medical centers anywhere, infants in Washington and
Detroit had higher rates of mortality than in Cuba and Bulgaria. (See figures 1 - 7 and 13.)
As a result of the federal disinvestments of the 1980s, the famous prophesy of the 1968 Kemer
Commission, of two societies, one Black, one White ~ separate and unequal - is more relevant
today and more complex, with the emergence of multiracial disparities and growing income

Given these realities, it would make sense to focus crime prevention policy based on what
works on the hard core poor in the cities, the roughly ten percent of the population who live in
urban areas of concentrated long-term poverty, and whose violence and suffering has a
disproportionate effect on American life, class tension and race tension.

Scientific evaluations over the last two decades suggest that policies that work can be
summarized as investing in people ~ especially children and youth ~ and using those investments
as much as possible for reconstructing our cities.

Investing in Children

Head Start is not perfect. But it has been evaluated as perhaps the most cost-effective,
across-the-board inner-city prevention strategy ever developed. (See figure 14.) Yet, today,
whereas more than fifty percent of the nation's higher income families ($35,000 and above)
enroll their three-year-olds in preschool, the enrollment rate is only seventeen percent for lower
income families. It is noteworthy, if frustrating, that the Kemer Commission called for
"building on the successes of Head Start" more than twenty-five years ago. It is time to extend
Head Start to all eligible children, even though it is clear from programs like Project Beethoven
in Chicago public housing that preschool needs to be complemented by multiple youth,
employment, economic and community policing innovations in the most deteriorated

Investing in Youth

Over the last twenty years, despite pessimistic rhetoric that "nothing works," and in the
face of twelve years of federal government disinvestment, many community-based, non-profit
ventures have shown encouraging successes in tackling the problems of violence and drug abuse
among urban youth. Illustrations include the Argus Community in the Bronx, Centro Sister
Isolina Ferre in Puerto Rico, Delancey Street in San Francisco and Project Redirection
nationwide. Many of them have been judged successful in careful scientific evaluations. Most
have "bubbled up" from the grassroots, thus providing "ownership" for the disadvantaged.
Often, they have evolved because the more traditional service delivery mechanisms for the youth
of the inner city-including the schools—have failed.

35-667 96-14


When we look at the successes for high risk youth in the inner city that have built up a
reasonable amount of scientific evaluation, as well as the initiatives that seem on the right track
but need more rigorous evaluation, several lessons seem clear:

• There is value in organizing and implementing non-profit
youth organizations at the grassroots level.

• Multiple solutions are needed for multiple problems-the
"butterfly effect" applies.

• Solutions need to be flexible and staff need to be caring
and tenacious.

• Sound management must be put in place.

• A way must be found to secure a? least minimal resources
year after year.

The Butterfly Effect

For example, Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic, has written of the
"butterfly effect":

It is a belief that everything in the world is so mysteriously and
comprehensively interconnected that a slight, seemingly
insignificant wave of a butterfly's wing in a single spot on this
planet can unleash a typhoon thousands of miles away.

We are not certain about typhoons far away, but, in the inner city, interconnectedness
is not at all mysterious in successful programs for children and youth.

Most of the successful programs begin with some form of "sanctuary" (a place to go) off
the street. It may be residential, as Delancey, non-residential, as Centro or both, as Argus.
Paid and volunteer mentors function as "big brothers" and "big sisters" ~ offering both social
support and discipline in what amounts to an "extended family."

Often youth who need such social investments are teen parents who receive counseling
in parenting skills, as in Project Redirection. In some successes, where feasible, mentoring and
counseling also involve the parents of the youth who receive the mentoring.


Not uncommonly, a goal of the mentoring process is to keep youth in high school or to
help them receive high school equivalency degrees, sometimes in alternative, community-based
organizational settings, as Argus. Here, too, there are many variations among successful
programs. They include day care for the infants of teen parents. Remedial education in
community-based settings often can be pursued with the help of computer-based programs, like
those developed by Robert Taggert with US Basics, which allow a youth to advance an entire
school year through two or three months of one-on-one work with a computer. There are
vocational incentives to stay in school, like the Hyatt hotel management and food preparation
course being run by Youth Guidance, at Roberto Clemente Community Academy in Chicago,
which assures a job with Hyatt upon graduation.

Some successful community non-profit programs also link high school education either
to job training or to college. When job training is undertaken, social support and discipline
continue, firequently in community-based settings, as is the case with Argus, and there is a link
between job training and job placement. The training-placement link is crucial because the
present American national job training program for high risk youth - the Job Training
Partnership Act ~ does not adequately place such youth in jobs. In successful programs,
sometimes job placement is in the immediate neighborhood of a sponsoring community-based
organization ~ as in initiatives which train young workers to rehabilitate houses, like
YouthBuild. This can help in the social and economic development of the neighborhood.

There are some promising ventures where this combination of youth, social and economic
development is assisted by community-based and problem-oriented policing, as is the case with
the Centro San Juan residential police mini-station and nonresidential ministations in
Philadelphia. Such joint ventures by youth/community/police have reduced crime, based on
careful evaluations. (See figure 15.) The crime reduction can help encourage businesses and
the public sector to stay or build in the inner city. If this economic development is planned
correctly, it can provide jobs for high-risk youth. The youth can qualify for the jobs if they
have adequate job training, and if they stay in school. Staying in school is made easier by "big
brothers/big sister" mentoring and "extended family sanctuaries off the street. " Children can
survive long enough to get into these sanctuary initiatives if they have Head Start.

What works, then, for youth at risk of getting into trouble seems to embrace a "multiple-
solutions " formula including: sanctuary, extended family, mentoring, positive peer pressure,
social support, discipline, educational innovation that motivates a youth to obtain a high school
degree, job training (which continues social support) linked to job placement, feasible options
for continuing on to college, employment linked to economic development, and problem-oriented
policing, which is supportive of the process for youth social, community and economic

Not all youth successes have all of these components, but multiple solutions always are
evident in the formula.


Similarly, the program successes tend to have multiple good outcomes. Not
uncommonly, in successfully evaluated programs, these outcomes include some combination of
less crime, less gang-related behavior, less drug abuse, less welfare dependency, fewer
adolescent pregnancies, more school completion, more successful school-to-work transitions and
more employability among targeted high-risk youths. The communities where young people live
can experience business, housing job and economic development.

As with the multiple solutions in the program formula, not all model programs and
replications achieve all of these good outcomes. But the point is that multiple good outcomes
are the rule, not the exception.

Replication is Possible But Not Easy

In a speech before the nation's governors. President Clinton has talked about "the need
to make exceptions to the rule." In the private sector, he said, exceptions do become the rule
quickly, if they are successful. Everyone else in the market needs to adapt or be driven out.
But, in the public sector, he said, it is much more difficult to make exceptions the rule.

These are important insights. It is true that the "social technology" of how to replicate
inner-city community-based non-profit programs is rather primitive. However, the difficulties
that m.ust be overcome are, in the words of Lisbeth Schorr, "not insurmountable." David
Hamburg, President of the Carnegie Corporation, believes that, "we know enough to act and
can't afford not to act." And Joy Dryfoos, in Adolescents at Risk , concludes:

Enough is known about the lives of disadvantaged high-risk youth
to mount an intensive campaign to alter the trajectories of these
children. Enough has been documented about the inability of
fragmented programs to produce the necessary changes to proceed
toward more comprehensive and holistic approaches.

In many important ways, then, we need to stop thinking in terms of experiments and
demonstration programs alone. We need to start implementing and replicating what already

It is time for a new, dynamic, creative implementing agency. We propose a national
non-profit Corporation for Youth Investment, funded by the federal government and the private
sector. The Corporation needs to replicate the shared components that seem to underlie success
of community-based, non-profit development programs for high risk youth at a sufficient scale
to begin to create a national impact.


National Education Policy for the Inner City

Unlike Japan and many European nations, the U.S. makes its decisions about education
locally, without mandates from a government ministry. The U.S. Department of Education does
not buUd schools, hire teachers, write textbooks, dictate curricula, administer exams or manage
colleges and universities.

But the federal Department of Education's mission is to expand educational opportunity,
set standards, innovate new ideas which, if successful, can be replicated locally, undertake
careful evaluations and disseminate information.

We recommend that the Department of Education implement the recently proposed
reforms of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, carry out the National Urban
Schools Program proposed by the Carnegie Foundation and the middle school reform proposed
by the Carnegie Council, replicate the School Development Plan of Yale Professor, James
Comer, replicate the Eugene Lang "I Have A Dream" Program and the Cities in Schools
Program if comprehensive evaluations show their worth, experiment with still unproven
vocational and apprenticeship training, replicate already successful vocational and apprenticeship
training Gike Project Prepare in Chicago), push for more school integration based on plans that
have worked (like the one in St. Louis), and begin a demonstration that allows inner-city
students to pay off college loans through community service. Department of Education monies
should be leveraged at the rate of one new federal dollar for each eight state and local dollars,
as recommended by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Job Training and Placement

We need a new federal job training and placement system focused on high-risk youth that
builds on the Argus Community, JobStart, YouthBuUd, Comprehensive Competencies, and
appropriate American variations on German vocational training. As part of the policy, the
minimum wage should be fully restored to its 1981 purchasing power.

The present major federal job training system, the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA)
begun in the early 1980s, has failed high-risk youth and needs to be scrapped, not just modestly
reformed. Evaluations have shown that, while the results were marginally positive for
disadvantaged adults, high-risk youth in the JTPA program actually did worse than comparable
youth not in the program. For example, young men under age twenty-two who participated in
the program had earnings $854 lower than their comparison group, with significantly greater
deficits for those who took on-the-job training.

Part of the JTPA reform should be based on Thinking for a Livins; . the book by Ray
Marshall, Secretary of Labor in the late 1970s, and Marc Tucker, head of the National Center
on Education and the Economy. They call for a national employment and training board. It
would be composed of government officials and business, labor, and education leaders. The


goal is to coordinate and streamline present job training programs. However, we believe that
at least one-third of the members of the national board and of local boards should be
representatives of community-based non-profit organizations. The local boards should replace
Private Industry Councils (PICs) as the grassroots public-private implementing agencies.

The comprehensive new federal program needed should return job training and placement

Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JTaking Back Our Streets Act of 1995 : hearings before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, on H.R. 3 ... January 19 and 20, 1995 → online text (page 37 of 51)