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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release September 17, 1999


                         DURING AFTERSCHOOL HOURS

     WASHINGTON, D.C. - Vice President Al Gore today announced new findings

that offer insight into the problem of juvenile violent crime. According to a new Justice Department report, young people are at the greatest risk to be victimized by violence during the after school hours of 3-7 p.m., suggesting more must be done to help working families balance the competing demands of work and family by providing after school programming.

"With more and more working families struggling to raise children in homes where both parents work, it is essential that we develop afterschool programs that keep our young people safe and provide positive alternatives to crime and drugs," said Vice President Al Gore.

"Information is one of the most important weapons in the fight against juvenile crime," said Shay Bilchik, Administrator of the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). "Without the facts, solutions can only be based on speculation. Our aim is to get critical information on emerging trends out in time to make a difference -- both in public understanding and policy."

The new report also showed that the 39 percent fall in juvenile homicides between 1994 and 1997 was entirely due to a decline in firearm-related murders. The number of juvenile homicides not involving firearms remained relatively constant.

"This data illustrates what we've always known: To have a real impact on juvenile violent crime, we must keep guns away from our young people," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "It is my hope that states and local communities will continue their efforts to combat juvenile gun crime. Congress must pass measures that would help keep firearms out of the wrong hands, and other important measures, such as including requiring safety locks on guns."

Some highlights from the report?s analyses include:

Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report is the second comprehensive national report on juvenile crime and victimization issued by the OJJDP, which issued the first report in 1995, with updates on violence in 1996 and 1997. The new report includes data compiled in 1998, which, in most cases, is for 1997. Data is presented in an easy-to-read format on topics ranging from juvenile sexual assault victims to the transfer of juveniles to criminal court.

Copies of Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report, is available through the OJJDP Website at and from OJJDP's Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse, Box 6000, Rockville, Maryland 20857. The toll-free number is 1-800/638-8736.

Key facts from the report are highlighted on the Website with a special icon called, "National Report Notebook," which provides additional information and direct links to related pages in the report."