The Champion

November 2006 , Page 51 

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Solving the Youth Violence Problem in America

By Janet Reno

Thank you, Neal [Sonnett, former NACDL President (1989-90)]. Thank you all so very much. This is an extraordinarily high honor for me, and a privilege that I will cherish all of my life.

I remember that Fly-In meeting. It was exciting. It was exciting to reach out and start to build bridges and to come up with ideas of how we could work together to improve the defense function in this country, and to ensure people that the realities of Gideon were indeed realities.

That night, I started thinking about the possibility of what we could do if we worked together. What we could do if we worked together to solve problems and not just litigate. I had had an example in Miami of what could be done to solve problems if people worked together.

We formed a drug court in 1987. We were able to form that drug court because Bennett Brummer was willing to work with us in doing problem-solving together. It is exciting now to see over 400 jurisdictions in this country with a functioning drug court that i

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