A lot of people think of the Department of Justice as being a bunch of heavies who arrest people, but they do a lot more. Specifically, what caught my eye today was two great programs that they have funded that will have a positive impact on young people’s lives. The first program is the World Golf Foundation’s first tee program. “We need something really attractive to engage the gangs and the street kids, golf is the hook,” said J. Robert Flores, the administrator of the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. As an avid golfer myself, I love the sport, but nothing irritates me more than paying my $85 greens fee and then getting an incompetent caddy. This is an excellent chance to train the new generation of caddies to follow in the grand traditions of golf. What’s more when these inner city gang members see what a fun afternoon at the course $50 can buy, you won’t be seeing drive bys you’ll be seeing drives! Some people were not real happy with the program which was ranked 47 out of 104 programs getting the funding, but I am told the videotaped presentation from former President Bush was very persuassive–far more so than some of the presentations by higher ranked programs to deal with teen violence and gang prevention. A Washington based abstinence program called Friends Forever got a 1.1 million dollar grant even though it ranked 53rd out of 104 programs in its category, but again I think Best Friends President Elayne Bennett puts it best, “”We’re really about positive friendships. A good, solid friendship is a beautiful thing.” From getting kids out on the golf course to getting them out of intercourse, the Department of Justice is on the job. Hopefully, Bill Bennett will point that out in his next commentary.