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Mr. VORENBERG. I do not think it is today, Senator. I think it could be. I think this kind of function could be performed in a number of different ways. It could be performed by a city agency, could be performed by an agency that started as a youth study center, a private agency. It could be performed by a poverty program agency which, of course, is why it is so absurd to provide in this bill that poverty program agencies are to be excluded.
But the thing that is not being done anywhere in the country today as far as we know, is to have one reasonably well-financed allpurpose agency in a city that has contacts with schools, with vocational training, with psychiatric services, with family servicesSenator CLARK. With neighborhood centers?
Mr. VORENBERG. And with the neighborhood centers, with recreation, that look at young people who really can go either way, who could become a serious, confirmed criminal, or could be prevented from following that track, and really try to find what he needs. That we just do not have at all.
Senator CLARK. Would you just briefly, for the record-I am trying to make a record-tell us why you do not believe that the traditional agencies like church, home, and school are competent to handle these problems the way they were universally thought to be when I was a youngster many years ago?
Mr. VORENBERG. When you talk about the home, I think we have to recognize that in many cities we are talking about, the problems of delinquency come out of areas where what you and I think of as a home, simply does not exist. So people who say, "Well, why cannot the family take care of this problem," fail to recognize the fact that there is not any family. You do not have anything to work with.
So I do not think you can glibly say, "Let us leave it to the home."
By and large, the church agencies-the church itself may be useful, but I do not think there is any basis for believing that church participation is the real answer to delinquency. The churches themselves are not well enough financed to run these agencies.
Senator CLARK. What is the statistical information from which one can determine what percentage of youngsters who get into trouble are church oriented. I would suspect it would be a small percentage.
Mr. VORENBERG. The Crime Commission had no statistics on that. The impressionistic picture we got would agree with what you say, though, as very low.
I think the most important answer I would give to your question, though, would be that of the agencies that do exist, some of them are doing very good work with the clientele they have, but they tend to be so overwhelmed by numbers, so understaffed with well-trained, imaginative people that they inevitably push the troubled kids, the kids that are on the verge of delinquency, to the bottom of the barrel. If there are a few people to be trained for jobs, you train the good kids. The bad kids, you just do not have time for. Then, when you have special education programs, these are by definition the kids that act up and give the teachers problems.
So this high-risk group that needs the services most, not just in terms of a humane approach, but in terms of society's protection, is getting it the least.
Senator CLARK. I agree with you. How would you respond to the suggestion that among Headstart and Followthrough, the Neighborhood Youth Corps, the Job Corps, and Upward Bound there are existing programs which are going to be able to deal with this, assuming that they are adequately financed, which of course they are not?
Mr. VORENBERG. I think one of the answers to that is that the poverty program has tended, as far as I understand, to want not to be regarded as dealing primarily with the problem of delinquency. The result is that there is no central agency, central clearinghouse, that does regard its concern in most cities-in fact, in any city that I know-as being the prevention of delinquency. I think the programs you mentioned and the agencies that are running them are among the most important agencies to which the clearinghouse would refer them. But I do not think, as presently constituted, the poverty program can become the agency for handling delinquents.
Senator CLARK. Let us return to the bill. On the basis of your experience, if you were on this committee, would you rewrite a bill to incorporate the recommendations of the task force to see where we get with them, or do you think that is too bold an approach? Obviously, the administration bill only hits the fringes of your recommendation. Mr. VORENBERG. Well, I think the administration's bill, with sufficient funds, would authorize most of the major actions, would permit the beginning of most of the major action that the Commission proposed. It is not entirely a coincidence. The administration's bill was drafted in conjunction with the people who were working on the Crime Commission, so I think cognizance was taken of the proposals that we made. Senator CLARK. It is still in essence a pilot project and demonstration bill; do you not think?
Mr. VORENBERG. I do not think, as originally envisioned by the administration, it was. My understanding of it was that the administration bill would authorize ongoing projects.
Senator CLARK. It does not even have anything in it for training. Mr. VORENBERG. It does not have anything in it for training and, as I said at the outset, I think that is a serious defect.
Senator CLARK. How much money would you put into the bill if you had your way? Just ignore present fiscal problems and let us say we are living in the best of all possible worlds and you want to see taxpayers' money used here.
Mr. VORENBERG. Leaving aside for a while that you need some months to get started, I would believe that appropriations in the juvenile delinquency area, as opposed to the other crime control bill, of between a quarter of a billion dollars and a billion dollars a year was not out of line. I think in terms of
Senator CLARK. You said billion, not million; did you not?
Mr. VORENBERG. I said billion. In other words, I think that the needs here are so great and the possibilities of real progress are so greatSenator CLARK. And the research and development under the 1961 act has progressed to such an extent that in your judgment this money could be wisely spent?
Mr. VORENBERG. I do not think it all would be wisely spent. I think that any large program like this, there is inevitably a considerable amount of waste. But I think that it is well worth the slippage to deal with this major social problem.
Senator CLARK. Let us look at the pessimistic side of it and assume we only have $25 million instead of $250 million. What would you do with it?
Mr. VORENBERG. Well, myself
Senator CLARK. Would you throw it into the drink, forget about it because it is so obviously inadequate, or is not worth while?,
Mr. VORENBERG. No, I think if you spread $25 million around, you can do a little bit of good with it. But I do not think you ought to expect people to begin major programs, because I think they know they may be cut off.
I think that what I would do with that small sum of money would be to make it available not for specific programs, but for State and city-I will not say planning agencies, because that sounds too remote-agencies that can hire a staff to try to work out the process of change in those cities. In many cases, what is needed is simply some expert staff to work with the existing agencies to try to get them to look at what they are doing.
I think the first dollars should go to that.
Senator CLARK. Sometimes we avoid a semantic difficulty if we speak of programming instead of planning. Is this, to some extent, what you have in mind?
Mr. VORENBERG. Yes, programming, but always remembering if you are only talking about $25 million, you are not going to get many new programs. What you are going to get, I think, is an updating and elimination of some of the worst——
Senator CLARK. Are you not almost forced back to demonstration programs if you only have $25 million? You cannot spread that all over the United States of America. You would have about $250 in each community.
Mr. VORENBERG. Well, I can talk about one State, Massachusetts, where I have just become the chairman of the Governor's Advisory Committee in this area. In Massachusetts, one of the principal problems we are facing now is we have a lot of things that we see that we could do to implement the Crime Commission's report. We, at the moment, have a staff, a full-time staff of three people. We simply do not have enough people to do those things that do not cost additional money. So it would be helpful, even this amount of money, spread around for those purposes. I do not think it would make a tremendous difference, but it would be of some help.
I think to start, to run additional demonstration projects with no real indication that the administration, the Government, the Congress, is going to be able in the foreseeable future to spread around what is learned, is rather cynical, frankly.
Senator CLARK. I do, too. It seems to me we have arrived at the point after 6 years where we have to either fish or cut bait. My feeling is that we will sit on the sidelines cutting bait for some years, and we will never get a chance to fish. At the risk of being tedious, how are we going to do this unless we get out of Vietnam?
Mr. VORENBERG. I take it that was not the primary purpose for calling me today, Senator.
May I make one other statement, general statement that goes to some extent to the dialogue with Mr. Beck? It seems to me that there is a serious lack of focus in the country today as to what the juvenile
delinquency problem is. It is awfully easy for all of us to begin to associate delinquency with hippies, the hippie, marihuanaSenator CLARK. LSD.
Mr. VORENBERG. LSD. Those are important social developments. They obviously, around the fringes, at least, produce a kind of delinquency. It seems to me it is very important in designing this program not to confuse that with the major problem of delinquency in this country, because we really do not have any evidence that is where the delinquency problem is coming from. In fact, we have rather strong evidence that that is not so.
This relates to your question about what is different today from 25 years ago or 50 years ago. It seems to me that there are three things that are different today, or at least seriously aggravated today.
One is that the gap between the rich and the poor in our large cities has been very much dramatized today.
Senator CLARK. Let me interrupt. I agree it has been dramatized, but actually, it is not any greater than it was in the 1890's.
Mr. VORENBERG. No, I think it is no greater, but I think now, with the aid of television, with the aid of all the advertising, the message now is that really everybody ought to be driving this big car and taking a beautiful woman to a luxurious night club and that there is something wrong with you if you do not.
Senator CLARK. I wonder if part of it is not the fact that the poor have become articulate, which they were not, I think, then.
Mr. VORENBERG. I think what we have done, and I think in the long run it may be a good thing, is that we have rubbed their noses in fact that they are poor and that they are missing things.
That is only one of three elements.
The second is that it seems to me that because of that, there is a much stronger sense of a lack of stake in a lawful society. If you go into our slum areas and talk to the kind of people Mr. Beck has to work with most of the time, you get a serious sense that these people feel they do not have much to lose.
Senator CLARK. Let me interrupt you there, because this is a fascinating thought to me. As I understand the social history of our country, the poor historically have been largely though not entirely, in terms of the cities, the most recent immigrants- but I do not want to make any ethnic groups angry by identifying them. You know as well as I do how that came along.
As each of these waves of immigrants came in, they had a great faith-at least, so it seems to me-in their capacity to get ahead in a country which was regarded as the land of opportunity, which had an indefinite frontier where an immigrant, regardless of his original country, had the gleam in his eye that he could one day be a successful man though unfortunately successful is too often identified with wealth. But that is not so any more.
Mr. VORENBERG. I think that is so. It seems to me you put it so well, and since I do not have any constraints as far as identifying groups, it seems to me that the Crime Commission documented the fact that wave after wave of immigrants from Italy, from Germany, from Poland, from other foreign countries came here, moved into the poorest areas of the cities, and while they were there
Senator CLARK. Let me get closer to being indiscreet by saying we politicians are told we have to visit the three "I" countries if we are going to hope to get elected.
Mr. VORENBERG. I thing we are talking about the same thing, Senator. They moved in and while they were there, all the indicia of poverty was the greatest, including crime. Also, there were more still births, more tuberculosis, and crime, delinquency, was the highest.
Then, as these ethnic groups moved out to the suburbs, those indicia fell. What has happened is that in our large cities, because of discrimination, because of the fact that education has suddenly become so much harder to operate without and also harder for Negroes to get, the Negroes, the Puerto Ricans, the Mexican Americans are trapped in the cores of our cities.
Senator CLARK. There was a lot of discrimination against those ear lier groups, too.
Mr. VORENBERG. It is, to some extent, a question of degree. I think the problems facing these groups, combined with the educational lacks, are the greatest.
The third point I wanted to make, which I think is relevant to this bill, is the fact that today, to a considerable extent, the whole system of law enforcement is seen by the people in the slum areas as working against them and, in my view, is in fact many parts of the country working against the reduction of delinquency.
The Commission found very significant evidence of police physical abuse in these areas, very significant evidence of widespread police corruption in the ghetto areas.
Senator CLARK. But, certainly this was true in the days of Tammany Hall. I have a lithograph on the wall of my study in the Capitol called "Riot in Philadelphia." It shows an awful going on between Catholics and Protestants, with the police standing by and beating up those who were not beaten up by the others. This has always been the case in the slums, has it not?
Mr. VORENBERG. I think it has always been the case when you were talking about a riot or some major disturbance. I think it is to a great extent today, and it is hard to prove it, since you do not have earlier documentation, and at the same time that our society is setting up higher aspirations for itself and demanding a much greater degree of lawful conduct by these people. It seems to me that unless we can reach out, unless we can use the funds legislation like this generates to reach out with the agencies of the community and the agencies of society and really perform some services for the people, really help them get jobs, rather than simply piping them into the juvenile justice system, where we know they are going to be right back out no better than they were before, we appear cynical, and I think we are cynical.
Senator CLARK. I think I ought to ask you to cover at least briefly one other area where we need a bit of a record. That is why is this not essentially, this juvenile delinquency problem, a local problem and then a State problem, and then at the very end, a Federal problem? And why should the Federal Government get involved in this area?
Mr. VORENBERG. I think ideally, it would be a local and State problem if the local communities and the States had the money, had the training capacity, had the know-how to do it; I think there would be great advantages in turning it all over to the cities and the States.