From the Administrator

The poet Carl Sandburg once described children as God's promise that the world will go on. As the bearers of our Nation's future, America's children are critical to its attainment. Simply put, the future of our children is the future of our Nation.

To achieve the promise that heralds the dawn of the 21st century, we must protect our children from physical, social, and emotional harm, while affording them every opportunity to develop into productive adults whose lives are fulfilling and rewarding.

This issue of Juvenile Justice describes dangers that children face today and offers practical steps that parents can take to protect their children.

Almost every American can recall the tragic history of young Adam Walsh, who was abducted and murdered in 1981. More Americans should be familiar with the story of Adam's father, John Walsh, who transcended his family's personal anguish to help other missing children and give their parents "Reason To Hope." Ronald Laney's interview elicits John's insights on key missing children issues.

Ernest Allen, another contributor to enhancing the system's response when children are missing, has also contributed to this issue ("Keeping Children Safe: Rhetoric and Reality"). Ernie heads the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which has collaborated with OJJDP since 1984 to help missing children and their families.

As a reflection of the "real world," the "virtual world" of cyberspace also poses risks to children. Daniel Armagh of the American Prosecutors Research Institute describes the dangers and helps parents construct "A Safety Net for the Internet" to protect their children from cyberpredators.

Few things are more reprehensible than the victimization of innocent children. When tragedy strikes our children, we must -- as Patty Wetterling reminds us -- "Never Forget." After all, our children are our Nation's future, and both deserve the best we can give.

  Shay Bilchik
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention


Juvenile Justice Journal   ·   Volume V   ·   Number 1   ·   May 1998