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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 1998202/307-0703


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Criminal justice professionals and community leaders across the nation received additional tools to fight drug activity and restore neighborhoods through a national satellite teleconference broadcast today by the Department of Justice's Executive Office for Weed and Seed (EOWS), in partnership with the National Guard Bureau. The teleconference reached law enforcement officials, juvenile court officials, substance abuse treatment providers, school leaders and U.S. Attorneys at more than 100 downlink sites and was also broadcast live on the Law Enforcement Television Network.

"Today's broadcast marks the first time that Weed and Seed has used satellite technology to reach out to such a broad audience," said Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). "We hope this is the first of many such opportunities where OJP can both share information and learn from the field."

The teleconference showcased effective strategies to eliminate open-air drug markets, which operate in public spaces and allow a steady flow of buyers to make quick anonymous purchases. The strategies are:

"The teleconference is an example of the Justice Department's commitment to share information that can help communities combat crime and rebuild neighborhoods," said EOWS Director Stephen Rickman. "The programs featured today also show how local citizens -- whether they are National Guard members or parents concerned about children's safety -- can make a difference in Weed and Seed communities."

Today's broadcast featured the Weed and Seed Drug Education for Youth (DEFY) program, originally developed by the Department of the Navy, which uses military role models to teach young people of the dangers of drug use and promote positive life choices. DEFY includes a summer camp program, followed by a curriculum of ten moths of mentoring and afterschool programs. Local National Guard members, naval personnel and Marines serve as mentors and role models for participants and often give the young people opportunities to visit military installations and see military aircraft and equipment in operation.

The teleconference also spotlighted the efforts of two Florida Weed and Seed sites. Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Inc. provides substance abuse prevention, job training, mentoring and parenting workshops to residents of an East Tampa neighborhood. The Mad Dads of Greater Ocala helps protect neighborhood residents through street patrols and provides alternatives to traditional incarceration for selected first-time juvenile offenders. The program also provides mentoring, tutoring and job training services.

To learn more about the other Weed and Seed conferences and programs, visit the EOWS web site at

Information about other OJP bureaus and program offices is available at Media should contact OJP's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at 202/307-0703.

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