From the Administrator

Change is, of course, inevitable in any human enterprise, but true progress requires designing and implementing changes that enhance the well-being of others, as we do when we promote justice and practice compassion.

I am proud of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 and its legacy of more than two decades of accomplishments on behalf of youth, their families, and our Nation. However, I also believe that we are currently in a unique position to significantly improve and strengthen our juvenile justice system. Accordingly, I welcomed the opportunity to share some thoughts on where we have been and where we should be going in the interview that appears in these pages ("Making a Difference: On the Front Lines With OJJDP Administrator Shay Bilchik").

I am convinced that we can make substantial progress because we are now able to match our analysis of the problems that challenge us with new knowledge of what works in addressing them. A good example of this approach is provided by James Howell in "Youth Gang Drug Trafficking and Homicide: Policy and Program Implications." The author first enlightens us about the problem -- the relationship between youth gang involvement in drug trafficking and homicide, and then suggests constructive steps toward the solution -- support for promising strategies and proven programs that are already at work.

As we approach the new year and draw closer to a new millennium, I hope that 1998 will prove to be "the year of the child" -- as every year should be. With your help we can make it happen.

  Shay Bilchik
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention