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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  May 27, 2015 9:00am-11:01am EDT

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when we talk of data that is generated by body worn cameras, we need to keep in mind that that data is actually evidence. so we're talking about the generation of evidence. there are many, many uses for the recordings generated by body worn cameras. and as has already been alluded to and as it goes to the issue of trust accountability and transparency are critical functions of that. however, we cannot lose sight of the fact that there are many many considerations to take into account when we start dealing with the collection, retention distribution, and processing of evidence which is what is
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generated by the body worn cameras. clearly from a prosecutor's perspective, this evidence can be very, very important. when you present a case to a jury, certainly they would benefit from being able to see the place and the circumstances immediately after the commission of a crime. jurors would benefit from being able to evaluate credibility and demeanor of the witnesses that are recorded contemporaneously with the crime. and when we start talking about officer-involved shootings, body worn cameras can certainly play a role in determining whether or not the officer acted within the scope of his authority or whether that officer may have violated his oath and acted outside justifiable, legal grounds. so clearly the prosecution community supports the use of body worn cameras in appropriate circumstances with appropriate safeguards and appropriate
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procedures involved in the use of the body worn cameras. as has been mentioned already there are some areas of concern that are shared by prosecutors, and i need to stress that it's critically important as we go down this path that the prosecution community be part of the dialogue in creating policies and procedures not just at the federal level, but also at the state and local level to be able to engage with their local law enforcement authorities to identify the issues that may be very unique to each jurisdiction because in this discussion one size does not fit all. we are talking about judicial districts, law enforcement agencies, sheriff's departments of various sizes and what may work in one locale may also not work in other locales. the question that is critical for prosecutors is exactly what is being recorded? what is the extent of the recording?
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and perhaps another way to put it, when should you not record? be easy to say just record everything, anytime that an officer is on the street, the camera is on, but is this really the process that we want? it certainly results in extraordinary costs associated with this. the costs of not necessarily the camera itself but the cost of appropriate storage archiving, and cataloging so that that evidence can really be used in an appropriate manner. prosecutors are also concerned with respect to the storage and retrieval of that evidence. we have obligations to present this evidence to defense attorneys. we must be able to know which portion of a recording pertains to a specific case and be able to distribute that to the defense bar. that leaves us to the question of what is our broader responsibility to the public? many states have open records laws or criminal justice records
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acts that mandate that much of this information must be disclosed. where is the right line between collecting this important evidence and what in fact we will be distributing to the public at large. and as has been already testified to these cameras are not a panacea because they show different perspectives. we are very optimistic of the possibility of body worn cameras and used appropriately, we feel it can be an important tool for both law enforcement and prosecutors. thank you, mr. chairman. >> good afternoon, chairman graham, ranking member whitehouse, and members of the subcommittee. i'm wade henderson, president and ceo of the leadership conference on civil and human rights. a coalition of more than 200 national organizations charged with the promotion and protection of the rights of all persons in the united states. i'm also the joseph l. row, area
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professor of public law at the university of the district of columbia. thank you for bringing us together today. over the last year we have seen a growing movement to address policing practices that have a disproportionate impact on low-income communities communities of color, and african-americans in particular. these practices like discriminatory profiling, excessive use of force and both explicit and implicit racial bias in law enforcement, have framed the national debate around police reform and prompted a national conversation on the use of technology, specifically body worn cameras as one possible means to enhance accountability and transparency in policing. americans across the nation have been transfixed by a series of video clips recorded by concerned citizens that capture tragic encounters between police
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and the people they serve. not since the brutal images of the bloody sunday marchers being savagely beaten in selma, alabama, were broadcast across the nation 50 years ago have we seen video make such a profound impact on our nation's public discourse. prior to these broadcasts, the voting rights act did not exist, but those images inspired the nation to write and pass the voting rights act less than five months later. today's citizen-recorded videos have inspired the nation once again. when one hears eric garner's plea that he can't breathe or sees walter scott being shot from behind it's hard not to be moved. chairman graham you spoke for millions and certainly for me when you described the video of walter scott's killing in north charleston as, quote, horrific and difficult to watch. there is a temptation to create
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a false equivalence between these citizen-recorded videos and body worn cameras operated by law enforcement. i urge the committee not to give in to this temptation because body worn cameras won't be operated by concerned citizens and won't be recording officers. they will, instead, be directed at members of the community. that's why last friday the leadership conference joined with a broad coalition of civil rights privacy, and media rights organizations to release shared civil rights principles for the use of body worn cameras by law enforcement. these principles, which i would like to introduce into the record today, recognize that cameras are just a tool not a substitute for broader reforms of policing practices. they point out that quote, without carefully crafted policy safeguards in place, there is a real risk that these new devices
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could become instruments of injustice rather than tools for accountability, unquote. that's why it's so important that when cameras are deployed, it's with a set of clear and narrowly defined purposes and that policies governing their use are developed in concert with public stakeholders. these cameras should be tools of accountability for police encounters, not a face or body scanner for everyone who walks by on the street. facial recognition and other biometric technologies must be carefully limited. if those technologies are used together with body cameras, it will actually intensify stark disparities in surveillance in more heavily policed communities of color. early experiences in pilot programs suggest that without strong rules, officers won't necessarily record when they should. for that reason, it's vitally important that departments impose stringent discipline on
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officers who fail to record encounters that are supposed to be on camera. finally, our principles call for a prohibition on officers viewing footage until after their reports are filed. footage can be misleading or incomplete. that's why other sources of evidence, including the officer's own independent recollection of an incident, must be preserved. allowing officers to preview footage provides an opportunity to conform reports to what the video appears to show rather than what the officer recollects. moreover, there is a risk that the officer's report and the video may seem to confirm each other independently when they really aren't independent at all. the leadership conference urges federal, state and local governments as well as individual police departments to consider our principles as they develop and implement body worn camera policies and programs. without these appropriate
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safeguards, we are at risk of compounding the very problems in policing that we are seeking to fix. thank you for your consideration. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, mr. hendersen we will accept your principles without objection to make it part of the word. senator franken, would you like to go first? >> well, thank you. i feel like we're in the infancy of this technology and as now ranking member on privacy technology, and the law subcommittee, i can see, you know, mr. hendersen raised facial recognition and the use of that possibility. we know that technology is here and this raises so many issues. one of the issues i talked about with senator scott before this
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hearing just a little while ago was -- because we've heard testimony about the costs of this from sheriff bruder and in these studies miss miller is there any indication of the benefits in terms of money? in other words i would imagine that reducing by 80% 90% the negative sort of interactions, that there may be an actual financial benefit from that? >> you know that's what we heard from the police executives we worked with. they said this drop in complaints, the drop of lawsuits has really helped them on the backend save money. there hasn't been a lot -- there haven't been a lot of studies cost/benefit analysis yet into the technology. my organization is actually starting one now, so we're going to be working on that over the
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next year to kind of look at that, to see what are the cost savings in terms of lawsuits and investigations and do those help outweigh some of the significant costs? anecdotally we hear absolutely that they're worth it 100% even though the costs are very steep. >> okay. so then there's benefits, but there's also cost -- i mean, there's dollar benefits versus other benefits. >> sure, yeah. >> so the dollar benefits may not equal the cost -- the dollar cost. this is -- some of the issues that are being raised are when -- obviously when does the officer turn it on, when does he turn it off? i think all of us can sort of in our minds see "60 minutes" stories of a miscarriage of justice because of editing of footage. i mean, that's not very hard to
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do. so then the question is is what kind of protocols are put in place to guarantee that that doesn't happen. and i imagine that that's been thought through. does anybody have any response to that in terms of how do we avoid the "60 minutes" story for the "20/20" story or the "dateline" story that we all have in our head 3 years from now or 20 years from now if somebody has been in prison for 20 years for something they didn't do because of a misuse of this? sir? >> senator franken it's a terrific question. let me first thank the chairman the ranking member, and the entire subcommittee for convening this hearing because you have by doing so put the issue squarely on the public table, and we appreciate that. to avoid the problem you've
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identified, let's begin with the need to develop these policies in public that there should be transparency and there should be involvement of various sectors of the public. obviously, the law enforcement professionsals professionals, certainly those who are professional advocates in this area, but clearly the public at large scientists and others, and guidelines have to be developed with an eye toward the subsequent use of this information in various cases. secondly, these cameras are really -- they offer protection both to good officers and to the public they serve. officers who are, in fact inclined to do what they should be doing, and by the way that is the vast majority of officers who are currently on the beat, we lift them and salute the work that they are committed to do, but, unfortunately not every officer follows appropriate protocols. the existence of these cameras we hope will have a prophylactic
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impact and influence on officers who would be inclined not to follow existing protocols or present protocols. third, it will require law enforcement to, in fact revisit the protocols they currently have so that they can ensure that their officers receive appropriate training on the use and appropriate involvement of these cameras. all of these steps we feel can contribute to a wise investment. this should not be undertaken lightly. the expense is obviously considerable, but when you balance the impact on the public they serve the money that will be saved in litigation costs that result from unfortunate incidents of bad policing the balance of the cost will probably work out in favor of the purchase of cameras. >> well, thank you. and i know that all of you have the same kind of questions that i want to ask. i just want to -- mr. weir talked about storage archiving
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retrieving, and disclosure essentially as all policies and before storage i guess is what do you shoot and when? those are all -- and mr. hendersen, you talked about a carefully crafted policy. so i think those are all things that we need to be keeping in mind as we go through this technology and this new world. >> well, thank you for your thoughtful testimony and that's perhaps one of the most refreshing things i have heard is that how unsimple this is. this is a little bit more complicated than i think -- as meets the eye because some of the suggestion is all you need to do is put cameras on
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officers, and you are good to go, and that clearly doesn't appear to be the case. i have a particular question about victims. there is something called the crime -- federal crime victims rights act. one of the rights guaranteed is the right to be reasonably protected from the accused, and one of the others is a right to be treated with fairness and respect for victims' dignity and privacy. so i'd be interested and miss miller, maybe we can go down the line, and i'd just like to get your comment on how we might be able to make sure that we protect the victims of crime. >> thank you for the question. our report we recommend that officers be required to obtain consent prior to filming conversations with crime victims. so that puts -- it gives the crime victim the dignity and the privacy to be able to determine whether he or she wants to be filmed, and then on the back end, of course there's the
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issue of public disclosure which is another privacy issue when it comes to victims, and, you know we recommend that agencies really consider the privacy -- as i said in my testimony, you don't want to see people at their most vulnerable show up on youtube, so careful reviewing, making sure that the footage isn't disclosed if it's evidentiary, if it contains interviews with victims, and then careful redactions if it does have to be disclose approximated. >> mr. bruder? >> in south carolina we are currently working through state legislation to implement body worn cameras. one of the moves that we've done there is to basically make body worn camera footage exempt or actually not even subject to the freedom of information act. it's not considered a public document. in doing that we make sure that the individual victims of those crimes they're not -- their identity is not shared, their incident is not shared. those types of things can only
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be achieved through the discovery process in court and that's one of the biggest concerns we had there as well as making sure people were not victimized for long-term periods based on that. >> mr. weir? >> senator thank you. thank you for the attention on victims. i think this is something that's very important in this discussion. the victims certainly have the right to be protected and they have the privacy rights associated with that. any policies that have to be crafted have got to be done thoughtfully and in some detail. there may be circumstances, frankly, when recording of a victim would be appropriate thinking of the domestic violence victim that is recanting. but there are also circumstances where it would be absolutely inappropriate, victim of a sex assault or a child victim subject to abuse. i think the clarity of the policies within an agency becomes critical at that point
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because what you're left with in a courtroom setting is video for a number of purposes, and then it is remarkable in its absence when perhaps the most important individual in a proceeding is not on video and being able to explain that to a jury and perhaps having an appropriate jury instruction to explain that to a jury i think would be very, very important. >> mr. hendersen? >> senator, we agree completely that there has to be clear operational policy for recording, retention and access to film. we certainly believe that the rights of individual victims should be protected and that there are clear incidents where the rights of privacy of the individual would preclude release, a casual release of this information. however, in incidents involving the police use of force there should be access to that information as quickly as
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possible and should be shared broadly with the public, and those policies that govern the retention and access to information should be strictly enforced so that when officers fail to record incidents that should be recorded, there should be consequences for that. now, obviously there has to be adequate training. there has to be reinforcement and there has to be a sense that these officers are, in fact, being helped as much by the existence of these cameras as the public they serve and when those things work in conjunction with one another we think they produce positive results. >> mr. hendersen, if i could just follow up. as i was telling senator scott as we were talking about the officer being responsible for turning the camera off and on and being trained to turn it on at the right time, i could see how that itself will be controversial because what did the officer record, what did the officer choose not to record,
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and so as we said earlier this is not perhaps quite as simple as -- >> well, you're right senator but, again if the department provides clear operational guidelines for the recording retention, and access to that film, then the officer is not left having to decide for him or herself what incidents require a recording and what don't. he'll have that clear bright line that we hope will encourage him to do the right thing or her to do the right thing. that's why it's so important that these guidelines be developed with public review, that they be disclosed openly that that transparency and debate in the public sphere serves the interests of the officer as well as the public. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you chairman. this is very interesting hearing, and i appreciate all of the witnesses. i will echo what my friend, senator cornyn has said.
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the unsimpleness of this is perhaps the most significant thing that we have heard. as sheriff bruder probably knows better than the rest of the panel, police officers see people at their worst. they see people at times of real emotional agony. they see them with horrific physical injuries and a video record of a great deal of that would be hugely intrusive to those individuals, hugely in demand by our 24/7 news media if it bleeds, it leads culture, so i think you can expect some really intense conflict over this availability. you can go into people's homes if you're a police officer. if your camera is running in somebody's home% does right to not have what's in their home seen, if
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they're a celebrity, a public official, a sports hero or something like that? i think this is -- it's really important to solve the problem of police use of force, but we want to make sure we don't open a whole new array of problems. sheriff bruder, you said there are 46 different sheriffs in your home state? >> yes, sir. >> in rhode island we have 39 cities and toubs and most of them have their own police departments. how many of your sheriffs have what you would consider a sophisticated i.t. department? >> a handful. obviously, a lot of them have to comply with requirements from the fbi so they have some i.t., advanced i.t. stuff there, but only a handful have the ability to go back and do those things. >> we have police departments that have been hit by cryptolocker and shut down. >> right. >> and i think police departments are often targeted by hackers these days. so the question of the
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hackability of all of this when you consider what the rupert murdoch folks did in england hacking into telephones, how easy would it be to pay somebody to hack into these and get some of that very, very personal footage out? i don't know how -- i appreciate mr. hendersen, your desire there be a clear bright line but at this point i don't see a clear bright line. in you're a police officer who has to make an on/off decision about when you turn it on do you know when you're going to be using force in advance? probably not. does that mean that any encounter you should turn it on sort of just in case and then maybe erase it after? this is really complicated. what are the best policies out there right now? are there a couple we could look at where you think people have really got this right in the public records law in terms of something that is patrol officer
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already has 5,000 other things to remember can implement in a sensible way and in a way that is protective of the myriad of privacy rights that surround this? miss miller? >> well, i think that -- >> perf is terrific by the way. so thank you for your great work. >> i appreciate that. thank you for the question. when we did our research, we looked at a lot of different policies and we spoke to a lot of agencies from across the country because i think this technology is so new that i couldn't even really point to one policy that was a model at this point. i think that, you know, for one thing, every state law is different when it comes to disclosure and evidence, so they're all going to be a little different, but what we did was we gathered all of those policies. we spoke with all of the people who have experience in this, law enforcement officials and civil rights groups and unions and different folks and we kind of came up with what we found were at that phase some of the best
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practices and the best policies and so when it comes to turning the cameras on and off, the policy we saw the most and that we thought was probably the best was to do it during all calls for service and so when you get a call on the radio and goes to that call, they turn it on from the minute they get that call and it goes until the end of that incident and then also during all -- >> so an officer comes to somebody's house responding to a call, the person who made the call says i don't want you to come in with your camera on. this is my house and i don't know what you're going to do with all that footage. what's the officer's choice then? >> it depends on the just diction. we would recommend the officer continue recording unless this is a victim who is saying that they don't want their face on the camera. but, you know, at that point we say continue recording because most of the agencies we worked with said as long as the officer has a legal right to be in the home, which you would as responding to a call for service, then that's when they should be recording because, you
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know, you don't want some incident to occur and not have the footage of that incident so there's an accountability piece there. as well as the privacy piece. >> that's kind of the backside of the supreme court decisions we're dealing with right now about police surveillance where the supreme court has taken a look at things that police always have done but said now when they're hyperenabled by technology it's actually a new question. so my time is up but this is a really interesting hearing and i appreciate the chairman holding it. >> thank you. >> thank you. senator coons. klobuchar, would you? you all decide among yourselves. >> thank you, chairman graham and senator klobuchar and senator scott for calling this hearing, ranking member whitehouse. this is an important time and an important issue. the american public as we all know is searching for answers on how to effectively heal the divisions we've seen play out between law enforcement and the communities they serve. last week was national police
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week, and we honored 273 officers killed in the line of duty. a stark reminder that policing is a dangerous profession and it's our duty as elected officials to provide state and local police with the support and the equipment, the training and the resources they need to come home to their loved ones and families at the end of each day on the job. and in the recent weeks and months we have also seen disturbing footage taken from a number of scenes in new york and missouri and ohio and south carolina and in maryland and in each of these instances, the actions taken by law enforcement and the ensuing public response has highlighted the deep divisions that still exist in many places between law enforcement and the communities they protect. so it's also our duty as elected officials to try and help bridge those divides, and i welcome today's hearing as an opportunity to learn and work constructively on what is the best way forward for finding common ground. like many of my colleagues i believe that body worn cameras have tremendous potential if
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implemented correctly and thoughtfully to increase accountability, to settle conflicting witness accounts to contribute to officer safety and to transparency, and to heal some of these deep divides, but there are very important concerns that you as witnesses have raised so far today and i think meeting those concerns will be absolutely essential to ensuring that cameras become properly deployed tools of accountability rather than means of furthering division. so i have a couple of simple questions and i would appreciate your answering them in turn if you wouldn't mind to just continue this conversation. when designing an implementing rules for the use of body worn cameras, who should be at the table? and how can communities ensure that the rules around use of cameras and access to video footage are properly followed once in place? if you would, please. >> thank you for the question. the first part, we recommend that police agencies engage with pretty much any stakeholders who is going to be affected,
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community organizations, line officers unions, prosecutors local policymakers courts. all of these people need to be included at the table when it comes to policy development and engaged and their voices heard. and when it comes to the second part of your question and kind of the accountability portion we recommend that agencies share their policies online with -- on their websites with the public, that they share their retention schedules for data with the public, and we recommend that they regularly collect statistical information about the usage of cameras and make that public as well so that the public can see how the cameras are being used, what's being released, things like that. so those are kind of our two recommendation approximates. >> thank you. mr. bruder. >> again, in south carolina we are looking at implementing statewide legislation to have body worn cameras. the legislature has kind of sent that task over to the law enforcement training council which is made up of various law
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enforcement agency heads from across the state. i know that they have already had plans to include many of the groups miss miller has mentioned as well as our criminal defense attorneys, their associations those type of folks to make sure everybody has input on the implementation and the development of those policies. i echo miss miller's comments on the accountability that that's probably the best way to go about doing that. >> thank you. mr. weir. >> thank you, senator, and thank you for the question. i think it's critical once again to keep in mind that we're not just looking at the front end of this process. the accountability and the transparency associated with video recording is very very important, but the back end of this is what are we going to do with it? this, in fact, is evidence that is being collected and how that evidence is stored, managed, and appropriately disclosed to defense counsel and perhaps disclosed to the public but perhaps under some circumstances
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not disclosed to the public to respect privacy interests all of those are very important considerations. many of these decisions, i believe, can be -- should be addressed on the local level. something that the community itself needs to be engaged in. when we start talking about building and developing trust between law enforcement and the community, this is something that should happen well before we're rolling out body cameras. the community has got to be engaged and those relationships have got to be formed by all partners, but we can't lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day the collection of this data fundamentally is for evidentiary purposes and how can we best preserve that evidence. >> thank you, mr. weir. mr. hendersen. >> senator, thank you for the question. i agree with the remarks of my colleagues. all affected stakeholders should be invited to the table and there should be a public debate
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on these issues. that includes elected officials, that includes members of law enforcement. it certainly includes legal advisers, people who may serve prosecutors, defense bar should be encouraged to come. civic organizations as well as recognized nongovernmental orths organizations that have roles to play in evaluating the implementation of this human rights groups like amnesty international or human rights first might be included in the debate. now, having said that, again, body worn cameras are only one tool. they cannot accomplish systemic reform, and so if for example, we do not have a policy addressing a ban on racial profiling, for example, and that continues to be a factor in law enforcement in a particular community, it will defeat the purpose of the body worn camera if that purpose is to help
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reintegrate law enforcement and the community together in a new approach to law enforcement. >> i really appreciate all your answers and i'm again grateful to the chairman for calling this. as the co-chair of the senate laumplt caucus and someone who worked closely with law enforcement in my previous county role, those are thoughtful and thorough answers and it's my hope some of the organizes you represent will work together to help develop some model guidelines and model policies. it should be locally driven but not every community is going to have the resources and the time and effort and i think body worn cameras are misperceived as an easy solution to very xlekts and deep-seated problems. they can be a constructive tool but we need to do the hard work first to make sure that the parameters and challenges are understood and i'm grateful for your testimony today. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman can i ask unanimous consent that the statement of our ranking member, senator leahy, be added to the record of this proceeding? >> without objection. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, mr.
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chairman, and senator whitehouse. thank you all for being here. this is an issue that's near and dear to my heart. i used to be a prosecutor and actually minnesota was one of the first states in the country that videotaped interrogations both in squad cars and custody anything that was in custody and when i was -- it came about because of defense efforts actually to prevent any kind of questions about bad activities but also to protect civil rights, but i made the argument and our police pretty much agreed that it also protected them. it made for a better process. it allowed people to see videotape of someone when they were being questioned so the jurors could judge for themselves what they thought. we had a few cases where we had people that would say things that were somewhat incriminating on the videotape that the jurors were able to see, and mostly it made sure miranda rights were
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read and that the process was fair. and so i guess i'd start with that and i think it's come now in more jurisdictions obviously and our police have grown to accept it and they did accept it actually pretty quickly when it started there, and, of course, there's other issues with regard to body cameras and privacy that we've pointed out that are different than just interrogating one person, but i want to start with this concept of the interrogations. i guess i'll start with you, mr. weir and mr. bruder. i realize not every jurisdiction has this mandatory recording of interrogations, and how would you compare body cameras to other types of interrogations? what are some of the issues that you don't have with the interrogations that you have with the body cameras? >> thank you senator, for the question. as you know, there are other recording devices that are more widespread right now such as dashboard cameras used by law enforcement in stops. those have been proven to be
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very effective law enforcement tombs. for many of the reasons that you articulated. often times it shows the officer acting in absolute conformity with the best practices that you would expect from police and sheriff's officers and state troopers. it's also great evidence of what actually happens on scene. >> it's also a good training thing actually i think for officers and they're able to watch each other and see what's good and what's bad and make sure it's really i think a very good way for people to learn when they're able to watch each other. but continue on. >> i would certainly agree with that senator. and i would also agree that we are all about trying to improve our process and from a law enforcement and prosecutor perspective, our goal is to pursue the truth. our goal is to achieve justice, and we don't hide from the facts, and if in fact the video recording helps establish
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that's facts, then it's a tool that should be used. with respect to the taping and videotaping of interactions and conversations with witnesses and defendants, that is a good practice and certainly in my jurisdiction we do that as often as we possibly can. however, it is not mandated and i would be very reluctant to be advocating mandating that given the fact that once again in the pursuit of truth the pursuit of justice, there may be legitimate evidence that results from the conversations between law enforcement and an individual that could be lost and that's subverts our pursuit of truth and justice. so i think the right circumstances, i think it should be encouraged and it is used extensively, but i certainly would not be in favor of any kind of a mandate. >> well i think in our state it was a supreme court decision called the scales decision but i
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will tell you our police have grown for the most part to like it, and we have not had issues of not being able to get convictions or anything like that because of this practice. sometimes they have to explain why they pursued a certain number of questions or why they did it a certain way, that is true, but i think overall we found it to be beneficial. so mr. bruder? >> thank you for the question. i would echo mr. weir comments that it's best practice and probably advisable to try to get those interrogations on film when possible but it is not mandated in south carolina. to kind of transition to a different point that you were making and something that was a great fear of ours and we were trying to support this legislation, we, too, have dash cameras in our cars, and we have seen a tremendous problem where somebody's foot can be -- can go off the scene of the video and then the case is being dismissed because you don't see everything that's happening on video. what we don't want to happen is for that to be taking place with
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body cameras. we don't want to get to the point where body camera footage is the end all, be all of evidence. >> we used to call it the csi effect with juries because we would have a case mr. hendersen know what is i'm talking about there would be no possibility of dna but a defense lawyer would say, well, there's no dna and people are used to seeing this on tv so your point is well taken, although you'd have to explain to juries why something went bad that it's not necessary to have that for a case, but i think that's a good point. anyway, i thought when i came in senator whitehouse was asking some questions about just the best -- the pilots of you, miss miller. we have a pilot going on in duluth and in burnsville, minnesota, maybe we want to look into how they're doing there in minneapolis with what they're doing, but i do think those pilot programs are one good way of figuring out what's working best and to allow states to develop some of these privacy policies that are going to have to be in place to make this
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work. i don't know if you wanted to add anything to that mr. hendersen? >> senator, thank you. i think pilot studies can be very useful in providing information to be considered by a wider audience before a major investment is made in the purchase of these cameras. having said that, i hope states and localities will not use that delay as a bay sitsis for not going forward particularly now that the department of justice is making available grant funds to support some states moving in this area. i think that should be encouraged. we support the administration's approach. >> and that's why i led with this interrogation issue because at first it was something that our officers were concerned about, and i think they grew to think it was actually a pretty good policy over time, and this one i will admit has much more complications in terms of some of the issues that were raised with privacy and what you do with these tapes and that you protect people's privacy as
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opposed to just interrogating someone in a squad car or in a room so that's why it's more complicated and we have to consider that as we move forward but i want to thank all of you for being so thoughtful today. thank you. >> senator scott. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you once again for holding this hearing. i have met with more than a dozen groups over the last couple of weeks and would love to turn the information over to the committee and submit it for the record. thank you, sir. miss miller, do you know how many jurisdictions around the country are currently running some type of a pilot program and/or have adopted the policy of body worn cameras approximately? >> that's a great question. it's one i get asked a lot and it's one i don't know the answer to. i don't think anyone knows the exact number. the most recent estimate i have heard was between 3,500 and 4,000 agencies across the country, but again, that's just an estimate. i think it's not even the most recent -- i don't think it's
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necessarily current, so that is something that would i think -- people are working on trying to figure that out. >> the reason -- the number is not nearly as important as the level of activity around the country. i think four or five years from now looking back, this will be a fore foregone conclusion that we find ourselves with the vast majority of officers wearing body worn cameras but i think it's important to point out the fact that the american laboratory is currently at work looking for a best practices and the best policies. we can look around the country and we will find the weaving together of the best practices and policies around the country. i do think it's important to perhaps re-emphasize the necessity of local develop of the policies. policing is a local effort and not a federal effort nor should we find ourselves trying to figure out how to federalize local policing. i think it's also important for us, mr. weir i'd love to hear your thoughts on the mandates. i'm of the opinion that we should not mandate from the
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federal government what local law enforcement should do from body cameras but we certainly should encourage it and we can as we've discussed previously, create a framework for folks to work within. thoughts? >> thank you, senator. i agree, and i would expect that most of my colleagues in the prosecution community would also agree. there certainly is a place to delineate best practices and there certainly is a place to try to articulate the kinds of issues that need to be addressed and perhaps even suggest proposed solutions to some of those issues, but fundamentally this really is a local issue, and it varies significantly from one locale to another based upon resources, officers' training and the kind of requirements that are needed to effectively prosecute. the resources are a huge issue not just with respect to the money involved with the data storage but the personnel
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associated with that as far as being able to accurately document what data you have on hand and then from a prosecutor's perspective to be able to draw down that information and be able to identify which portion of recordings go with which case and how is it going to be used. although you are generating significant evidence you also generate significant work. if you have nine different cameras on a single incident, that exponentially increases the amount of review that you may have, some of which may be extraordinarily relevant to the issue but some of it may not, but that still translates into personnel and man power costs so i think it is very very important that it be done on a local basis, perhaps with guidance from a federal level or state level and also as we've been discussing, i think input
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with respect to involved stakeholders from the community would also be an important sxont. >> thank you, sheriff bruder and mr. hender sen i know we've heard a lot about privacy issues, where you use cameras where not. one of the questions i have has to do with privacy issues in public spaces with the number of cameras that are now available called the iphone or whatever your samsung i don't want to get in trouble with anybody, but whatever your choice -- your phone of choice is and/or or your camera at the grocery store or you're walking down the street and if you're in my neighborhood, you are on camera because i have them on my house, too. so there's new krtionconsiderations that have to be absorbed with regard to public spaces. for sheriff, since you're a man who can arrest me in south carolina i want to make sure we give you as much time as necessary on that issue.
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that's my best joke, by the way. >> i'll be very brief. i think you have identified a new but very complex challenge that faces 21st century society. i mean, after all, our congress has just gone through a debate over the collection of data by the national security agency. what kind of information can be gathered in various forms. there obviously are a new sensitivities, heightened sensitivities about privacy in our society and that should be the case. so i think we have to move with care and thoughtfulness. i think that new policies have to be developed to meet new challenges and how we both access this information, how we retain and store it who has access to it, these are all very relevant questions that should be discussed before an investment is made of substantial cost rather than after. and so i'm glad you have identified the issue and i don't feel that we have given adequate
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attention to the complexity of the privacy challenges that face the country. >> i know my time is up mr. chairman. thank you very much. >> thank you, senator scott. senator blumenthal. >> thanks, mr. chairman. >> mr. bruder would you like to make a comment? >> i'll be quick. one of the things -- that expect conversation happened in the south carolina senate judiciary committee, and they had the exact same conversations there. ultimately it came down to a matter of what was subject to the freedom of information act and what was not. again, it came down to a resource issue and the fact that we've done very small police departments that would ultimately have to create a foia department to be able to maintain all this data that was coming in and out and all the requests. essentially the decision was made not to make it a public document but to be able to give a copy of that data to a small amount of people and then they obviously can do with it what they wanted to after that. so that was our way of kind everof
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narrowing it down so the public still does have knowledge and, of course, the law enforcement could still release it if it if it would benefit the public as well. >> thank you very much. >> senator blumenthal? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks for holding this hearing and thanks to senator scott for the bill that he's introduced and the initiative that he's taken. and thanks to all of you for being here today. i'm a strong supporter of body-worn cameras by police. in fact, i've supported the full appropriation for existing programs that would fund them. and i think they will make a very substantial contribution to the credibility and effectiveness of law enforcement. at the same time, i respect mr. hend hendricks' point that a lot of care and thoughtfulness need to go into should policy.
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you have a camera so of course it will record everything, no problem. and there will be no questions. well, in fact, there are questions about privacy. there are questions about chain of custody. who has access to the results of these body-worn cameras. where are the results stored. if so, by a third party. the chain of custody issues are multiplied. and what are the standards, existing federal programs do not fund standards and policy guidelines. and i think there is a role for the federal government to play as you've just said, mr. weir. in fact, not only is there a role, there is a necessity for the federal government to try to set some evidentiary standards and credibility for admissibility here. and i might just say one of the toughest cases i ever had to try involved the use of video in a
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drug prosecution where the video failed for a short period of time. and the defense was that the critical in effect exculpatory support for the defendant occurred during that period when the video failed, and tried to create reasonable doubt because of that malfunction. so we're not done with this topic simply by requiring cameras to be worn by police. there are significant issues to be overcome. and i think you've all highlighted them. and i might just ask all of you, not just for the number but could you point us in the direction of programs that are
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working and working well so that perhaps we have models for what should be done by other cities in fact, maybe other states if you know of any? >> well, thank you again for the question. you know, we worked with several agencies that i think are doing a lot of things right. and, you know, even though their policies may differ and we may not agree with every single policy they have, i think that they are very thoughtful about what they're doing. i think oakland, california was one of the initial adopters of body cameras. they have had them since 2009, 2010. i have worked with their chief quite a bit. places like daytona beach, florida. greensboro, north carolina. mesa, arizona. they have all put a lot of thought. rialto, california. these places have done a lot of work. and those are all agencies that have you know, really done a good job of considering all of these issues and are still engaged in trying to, you know,
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reform their policies as they learn new things. >> mr. bruder? >> thank you for the question. obviously, it's very new technology so there's only a few in south carolina that have done it. we've got probably 22 agencies out of the 316 in south carolina that have actually implemented body-worn cameras. i can think of a couple off the top of my head that are doing it very well. one sheriff's office has been doing this coming up on a year, and they seem to be having great success with it. and the charleston police department has taken the route that we have all discussed in bringing everybody to the table to formulate their policies. i believe they have been approved by the uclaaclu and a number of other groups. a lot of people are looking to charleston and their policies as a model to implement in their own communities. >> senator in california
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approximately 28% of the law enforcement agencies are using body cameras in one form or another. the greatest success stories i hear are coming from the very, very small departments. when i say small, these are departments with less than 10 sworn officers. so i think that helps focus some of these issues and also perhaps reduces some of the complexities associated with this. of that 28% in colorado, there's only one department in excess of 50 officers that have used body cameras. and that's been on a pilot because basis. i think in colorado, it's still an open question, although the response from the agencies, the smaller agencies, has been very positive. >> mr. henderson? >> senator it's a great question. it deserves a thoughtful response. i prefer to submit my answer in writing. >> great. >> i'd like to consult with the task force that helped to produce our civil rights principles. i think they have surveyed some
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of the programs currently in place, and i'd like to get their advice before i respond. >> i would welcome that response and any other written responses after this hearing from any of you, on any of these topics. and i might just say with all the questions that may be raised, body-worn cameras are going to be a fact of life for better, not for worse. better that the images should come from cameras worn by police than cameras held by by-standers. and we know that the images from those by-stander held cameras are going to be a fact of life whether we like it or not. better that they should be held or worn by police officers who are sworn to tell the truth and enforce the law and seek justice. so i'm a strong advocate.
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and simply raise these questions because i think they are inevitable and you as professionals would want them answered. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman. and thank you for coming before us today to discuss this issue. mr. henderson i'm kind of stuck on this one point here that mr. bruder raised. the state of south carolina has deemed data recorded by a body-worn camera not to be a public document, thus the data is not subject to the freedom of information act disclosure. he goes on to say in his testimony, doing so will ensure that a single moment of indiscretion does not provide a lifetime of embarrassment. ensures that one's guilt or innocence is determined in a court of law and not a court of public opinion. in your testimony, you noted the fact that footage from body-worn cameras can be a valuable source of evidence to help protect both officers and the public. the public needs access to that
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information if it's going to protect them, does it not? >> well, senator durbin thank you for the question. and the answer is yes i do think the public needs access to that information. i would say in every instance where there has been a use of force by the police department in a particular encounter with the public, that information should be made available and accessible and relatively quickly in the aftermath of a particular incident. heretofore we have not had adequate data about the use of force or for that matter death in custody. it was not until the senate this year adopted a provision requiring the collection of data of individuals who died in the custody of law enforcement that we are beginning to get that information. so i am concerned about unilateral declarations that exclude access of this information to the general public, without having first a
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clear discussion of why that approach has been taken and whether it conforms with existing exemptions of the freedom of information act. i think in many instances the judgment and understandably done in the desire to protect individuals from permanent embarrassment over incidents that are relatively minor in nature, that is a legitimate concern. but that should not override the public's need or access to information that is involved particularly where a use of force by police officers has taken place. >> mr. bruder, what you're saying to us is you don't want this to be a fishing expedition. that's the way i read your testimony. how do you respond to this balance, protecting police officers and protecting the public while saying the police can hold that information from that body cam, and it does not have to be disclosed? mr. henderson suggests that if there's use of force, that ought to create the exception. what do you think? >> i agree with mr. henderson's concerns.
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and that is a fine line that we've been trying to walk in south carolina to allow access that the public can see and have confidence in what the law enforcement agencies have been doing. but also to protect ourselves and protect the victims and other people on the video from excessive or abusive request. our bill in south carolina still allows the public to get that information, whether that is through the individual who is on the camera can request a copy of that and he can obviously do what he would like to do with that data then. or the agency -- the law enforcement agency head can release that information if he felt like it was in the best interest of the public to go ahead and do that. and we've seen that time and time again where questionable uses of force have been used, and we've gone back and go ahead and released that video. one of the questions that was brought up earlier was about tampering with the video or doing those types of things.
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this is a topic that came up when we considered our release of information. there are certain things in south carolina law that prohibit us from releasing identifying characteristics or juveniles or those types of things. for us to do that, we'd have to redact. obviously, it's easy to reduce a piece of paper with a black sharpie. but how do you redact a video? and then further more, once we get into court would the question be raised it's obvious that you have been able to redact and do this to some degree. how do we know that what we're watching in court today is the actual true event of what took place that day? those are all questions that we're still trying to figure out as this new technology moves forward. >> well, we're all trying to learn. and i think the march of science challenges us constantly. you know, it wasn't that many years ago dna didn't mean anything to anybody. and now it's ended up resulting
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in much better and i think more complete efforts to find the truth and justice. and video evidence the same. the merge of science is going to give us access to information in real time with some degree of certainty that we never had before. thank you very much. thanks, mr. chairman. >> thanks, senator durbin. i'll wrap it up here. y'all have been very informative. i've learned a lot. so number one, miss miller, in the dash cam recording history has that worked pretty well as far as dash cams? >> yeah. i mean i think there's been a lot of success with dash cams. i think it's a good way for us to kind of look to body cameras and see what they can do. i do think there are a lot of differences. we always advise agencies, you know, you can incorporate things from your dash cam policy but we wouldn't recommend relying on it. >> you have to go much further with body cameras. >> exactly. but i do think they can be instructive. >> has any jurisdiction outlawed a dash camera after it came into
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being for any reason? >> no. i have talked to places that actually there was one agency that i can remember that ended up not -- getting rid of their dash cams because of the expectations that the courts started having, and it was kind of the csi effect that was discussed earlier. they found that their officers you know, credibility was being kind of undermined. just one that i've ever talked to. >> mr. bruder dash cams in south carolina. are they pretty common? >> they are common. mostly they are required by law, but we're still having a problem getting the funding for that. >> would you say 80%? 70%? >> probably 70% to 80% of patrol vehicles. not all law enforcement vehicles but patrol vehicles that do traffic enforcement. >> how do they store the data or deep the data? . that have methods that they do that within the local agency there. they can go back and either download that through a cloud
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means or go in and physically connect to a computer to download. >> how much more expensive would it be with the body cameras? would it be exponentially more expensive? >> based on the hours and amount of video that you're getting, it's going to be exponentially greater. most of our agencies have been looking at these and trying to get different cost examples. a lot of them have come back with the number of $100 per month per officer to store data. >> $100 per month for officer? >> yes. >> miss miller, what's a guesstimate as to how much it would cost the nation, every agency, every law enforcement official, had a body camera? >> to store the data? >> just to buy the camera, store the data the whole package. >> i am terrible at math so i hate to even try. >> that's okay >> but i've talked to agencies that spend you know millions per year on storage alone. >> can somebody try to find that
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answer for us? >> we can look into that. >> do you agree about $100 per month per officer sounds about right? >> i've heard $800 per officer per year. >> okay. >> so it depends on the size of the agency, how many videos they are shooting. that sort of thing.)/x[ >> mr. weir, you talked about look at this as an evidence device. is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> so chain of custody all would be very important. >> absolutely, senator. >> have you had a problem using dash camera evidence? >> we have not. in colorado, the dash cameras are used routinely by the colorado state patrol. and then it's left up to individual police departments as to whether or not they also want to use dash cameras. >> from a prosecutor's point of view, this hasn't been a difficult tool to employ? >> not with respect to dash cameras, senator. once again, the complexity is
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logarithmic when you start talking body cams. >> i got you. i just want to make sure that what we use is good to go. mr. henderson, the only reason we're probably having these hearings are the private videos that have shocked everybody. do you agree with that? >> i do. >> in those cases, we are glad to have those videos. but in some cases, only god knows what would story would have been. >> you're absolutely right. it's the private videos that have motivated the public debate. as i said earlier you deserve great credit for convening this conversation. >> on balance if you could get the right protocols to protect privacy and make sure the officer is using the camera in an appropriate manner, do you think it's best for the nation to go down this road? >> without question. i think it's absolutely essential. >> does everybody agree with that? if you don't, speak up.
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>> senator, i think going down -- >> i'm not saying a federal mandate. but just for law enforcement in general. >> i think it can be an effective tool. but once again we've got to be very careful primarily on the back end. >> no, i got you. all the problems are real that you've identified. but is this something worth pursuing? is the benefit greater than the cost? >> potentially yes. >> so that's common ground for everybody? the benefit is worth the cost, if we can do it right? does anybody know if the capitol hill police wear body cameras? >> i think they are looking into it, but i don't think that they wear them now. >> it seems to me that if we were that concerned about it as members of congress, we would look into that. so i intend to do that. very much appreciate your testimony. one last question. let's say there's a grant program. would you agree that having
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certain criteria that you've got to do certain things before you get the grant would make sense, mr. henderson? >> i think that is also absolutely essential. >> mr. bruder would that be okay with you? >> yes, sir. absolutely. i take the opportunity just to point out that in the current grant funding, i'm not sure that data retention is covered, and obviously we pointed out today that's the most expensive part. >> you wouldn't want to spend money on a program that wasn't sound. so having conditions on the grant makes sense? >> yes, sir. >> does that make sense to you mr. weir? >> it certainly does, senator. yes. >> ms. miller? >> yes, it does. >> so a block grant is probably not the way to go here. have some conditions attached to it. >> yes. >> okay. thank you all very much. i've learned a lot. and now the hearing will be adjourned. we'll leave the record open for one week for further questions and any information y'all provide with the committee, you've really done the country a great service. thank you all. >> thank you, senator.
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here is a look at what we have coming up for you live today on the cspan networks. vice president joe biden is at the brookings institution. he'll be making remarks on the russia-ukraine conflict and its impact on the security of europe. that will be at 12:15 eastern. a little bit later, a couple of road to the white house events starting with hillary clinton as she makes her first trip to south carolina speaking to a meeting of the south carolina house democratic women's caucus. also the south carolina democratic women's council live at 1:45 eastern today. also, rick santorum will be announcing his intention to run for senate. this will be his second running for president. his first was back in 2012. and that is live at 5:00 p.m. eastern today. all of this on our companion network, cspan. presidential candidates
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often release books to introduce themselves to voters. here is a look at some books written by declared and potential candidates for president. former secretary of state hillary clinton looks back on her times serving in the obama administration in "hard choices." in "american dreams" florida senator marco rubio outlines his plan to restore economic opportunity. former arkansas governor mike huckabee gives his take on politics and culture in "god guns, grits and gravy." and in "blue collar conservatives," potential presidential candidate rick santorum argues the republican party must focus on the working class in order to retake the white house. in "a fighting chance" elizabeth warren recounts the events in her life that shaped her career as an educator and politician. wisconsin governor scott walker argues republicans must offer bold solutions to fix the country and have the courage to implement them in
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"unintimidated." and kentucky senator rand paul, who has also declared his candidacy, calls for smaller government and more bipartisanship in his latest book "taking a stand." more potential presidential candidates with recent books include former governor jeb bush. in "immigration wars," he argues for new immigration policies. in "stand for something," ohio governor john kasich calls for a return to traditional american values. former virginia senator james webb looks back on his time serving in the military and in the senate in "i heard my country calling." independent vermont senator bernie sanders announced his intention to seek the democratic nomination for president. his book "the speech" is a printing of his eight-hour long filibuster against tax cuts. and in "promises to keep," vice president joe biden looks back on his career in politics and explains his guiding principles.
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neurosurgeon ben carson calls for greater individual responsibility to preserve america's future in "one nation." in "fed up," rick perry explains that government has become too intrusive and must get out of the way. former rhode island governor lincoln chafee recounts his time in the senate in "against the tide." carly fiorina has recently declared her candidacy. in "rising to the challenge" she shares lessons she has learned from her difficulties and triumphs. former new york governor george pataki is considering running for president. in 1998 he released "pataki" where he looks back on his path to the governorship. bobby jindal criticizes the obama administration and
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explains where conservatives are needed in washington in "leadership and crisis." and finally "in a time for truth," another declared presidential candidate, ted cruz recounts his journey from a cuban immigrant son to the texas senate. a house subcommittee now examines the efforts of a number of federal agencies to combat prescription drug abuse, especially opiates that relieve pain. they discuss treatment barriers to treatment, and alternatives to helping addicts. witnesses include michael bot chely, the national institutes for health the centers for disease control, and a number of other agencies. it's chaired by congressman tim murphy of pennsylvania. >> good morning. welcome here to the oversight investigation subcommittee
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hearing. i just want to say it's mental health month, so it's fitting that we are here today on this issue. this is the third in a series of hearings examining the growing problem of prescription drugs and heroin addiction that is ravaging our country. this is our nation's single biggest public health concern. over the past five weeks, the subcommittee has heard from addiction experts working with local communities and our leading academic and research centers. dr. robert dupont the former white house chief of drug control policy and the first director of the national institute on drug abuse, testified that federal programs lacked direction and standards on treating addiction as a chronic condition, and noted what is being done to follow up with patients to prevent relapses and put them on a path of real recovery. he challenged us to even ask the most fundamental question, what is recovery? dr. anna limpki of stanford medical school provided critical testimony on how we must revise
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our quality health care measures, medical privacy regulations, and monitoring programs. we know that those with addiction disorders need a broad range of treatment options and that many with substance abuse disorders have co-occurring psychiatric disorders. we need to tear down barriers that keep us from treating both simultaneously. about three weeks ago, one of today's witnesses, the director of the office of national drug policy, presented a slide, i'm going to show it here at the national rx summit on major causes of death or injury from 1999 to 2013. quite a revealing slide. while the trends of other causes of major death went down drug use went up. in many states these numbers are soaring at high double digit rate increases. as he has indicated to me privately and at the rx summit, we must do better, and we have
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much work to do. today, we will hear from federal agencies charged with providing guidance, direction, and leadership in our nation's public health response to the opiate epidemic. no federal agency has a more central interest than the department of human services. hhs are responsible for leading our nation's public health response to the opiate heroin abuse and addiction treatment. they are responsible for certifying the 26,000 physicians who prescribe the most common maintenance medication. according to the testimony provided in april of last year there were nearly 1.5 million people treated with these opiate maintenance meditations in 2012, which is a fivefold increase in the last 10 years.
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has samsa defined the goal of recovery? is samsa collecting and evaluating meaningful data at an individualized letter that would hold grant recipients accountable for effective results? so far, the indications are the answers are no. where you don't define where you're going every road you take still leaves you lost. so we're hoping we can get some direction today. the numbers indicate we are failing as a nation. we darn well better come to terms with that. the 43,000 lives lost last year the thousands of babies born addicted to opiates, tell us the terrible toll this epidemic has taken. you heard my thoughts about the government sponsored promotion of what i characterized as addiction maintenance, and i referred to as heroin helper not because the medication is lacking, it is helpful, but because of the infrastructure the government has created for this highly potent medication is not fully working and worse yet is contributing to the growing problem.
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this has to be fixed, and i hope we'll find some solutions. that is what we need to discuss today openly honestly, and humbly. if we do not reverse the current trend, where will this end? how many millions of citizens do we want on opiate maintenance? how many more must die? how many dreams and lives must be shattered? i don't believe in better living through dependency, and please do not misconstrue this as a condemnation of opiate maintenance. but the therapy should not be the only treatment offered to the openiate dependent. what protocols are best for affecting this transition? what are the best practices for prevention of relapse for those patients who end opiate maintenance treatment? there are nonaddictive medications approved for this
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use, but are the medications widely available and how well do they work? according to the dea, it's the third most often seized opiate today. where is the call to modernize our treatment system to ensure that the right patient gets the right treatment at the right time? these are all incredibly important tools that we want to make sure hhs talks more about. last week, dr. wesley clark, the former director of samsa and who oversaw the growth of the drug, declared that many practices have become pill mills where doctors and dealers were increasingly indistinguishable and physician negligence and
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alleged laboratory fraud prevailed. the problem is not with the drug, however. the problem lies with current practices, and this is what we need to discuss. i consider opiate maintenance as a bridge for those with addiction to cross into recovery process. it's not a final destination. we seek complete withdrawal from opiates as an option. for cancer diabetes for aids, we want people to be free of the diseases, not just learn to live with it. we need to commit the same sorts of things to our research and clinical efforts that boldly declare what we must change here. i thank our witnesses for being here today. i now recognize the ranking member from colorado for five minutes. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. i think it's really important to hear from our witnesses today about the work the federal government's doing to address this serious public health issue. i know all of the agencies represented before us do critical work to prevent and treat this epidemic. in march secretary burrwell
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announced an initiative to combat the opiate crisis. i applaud the department action, and i am gratified to hear that this is one of the secretary's top priorities. i want to hear more about this initiative today and how all of the agencies before us are working together to accomplish its goals. but at the same time, i have some hard questions about our approach to caring for those who have substance abuse disorders. last week we heard from a panel of medical experts who have vast experience in treating opioid treatment. one doctor, a psychiatrist at columbia university and a research scientist at the new york state psychiatric institute, told the committee that the majority of patients being treated for opioid
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addiction received treatment that is both, quote outdated and mostly ineffective. he described this approach of rapid detoxification followed by an absence only method without the use of important treatment medications. he added that this is potentially dangerous because it raises the risk of an overdose if a patient relapses. as troubling as this testimony from our last hearing was today we have dr. volkhau on our panels who is one of the world's top experts on addiction research. and she notes and i'm sure you'll talk more about this doctor, in her written testimony that, quote existing evidence based prevention and treatment strategies are highly underutilized across the united states. where is that mr. chairman? why do we have experts week after week telling us that the bulk of the treatment americans are receiving for this devastating disease are ineffective, outdated, and not
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evidence based? we need to be asking ourselves some tough questions. for example, dr. westrike told us last week, quote, patients and their families need to know that detoxification treatment and drug free counseling are associated with a very high risk of relapse. are patienting enrolling in treatment getting sufficient data to make medically innormed choices? are families and loved ones being told what approaches have high failure rates before choosing an approach to treatment? frankly, this is not a decision that should be taken lightly. getting ineffective treatment may not only be financially costly, but it may result in a fatal relapse. finally, mr. chairman recent testimony including some i saw in the written statements for today raises important questions about whether taxpayer dollars should fund certain approaches
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for combatting this opioid epidemic over others. this is an issue i've been talking about week after week. we all agree we need the most effective treatment. and our experts agree that this treatment needs to be a broad menu of options that is different from patient to patient. so we might not have a silver bullet to cure opioid addiction at this point but we do know what treatments work better than others. evidence tells us and all the medical experts we heard from last week agree that for most patients a combination of medication assisted treatment and behavioral treatment such as counseling and other supportive services is the most effective way to treat opioid addiction. if that's the case, we should pursue more policies that encourage this approach as a clear option and steer away from any efforts that are not evidence based. it's costly. and it's dangerous to the patient.
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so i hope we can all work together to fight this epidemic. and i do look forward to hearing from all of our witnesses. i'm glad secretary burrwell and the department are devoting serious attention to addressing both the prevention and treatment sides of this problem. and, mr. chairman this has been a really great series. i'm happy to have a whole investigation like this in this committee. there's one group that we haven't heard from yet. i'm hope we -- >> the states. >> good. we haven't heard from the states yet. it's critical we hear from them because that's the -- where the rubber is hitting the road. we need to hear what the states are doing to address this problem and understand the reasoning behind some of the choices being made. some states are picking effective treatment methods, and others are not. so i think we need a multifaceted approach. this is what our research has showed. and i know we can work together to continue this important investigation.
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i just want to add one more note. the witnesses and the audience may see members jumping in and running out. we have another hearing in energy and commerce committee going on down on the first floor. so people will be coming and going. but i know certainly from my side of the aisle people recognize this is a very serious issue. thank you. >> and i know they'll be calling votes at 9:30. >> it's at 11:00. >> unless something has changed. i'm here for the duration. so we want to hear from you. and hopefully the members do. now we recognize mr. upton. >> we really are going to have votes at 9:30? >> that's what it says now. >> i'm going to submit my votes for the record now. >> all right. >> i'll do the same mr. chairman, because we both have to go to the other hearing. >> okay. >> see how much we get along. is there anybody else on either side that needs recognition? or go right into this? >> let's go. >> okay. let me find my --
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>> oh, wait. mr. kennedy. >> mr. kennedy? >> he wanted a minute. can i -- >> sure. >> mr. chairman can i yield just one minute? >> yes. you can yield one minute to mr. kennedy of massachusetts. >> thanks for consideration. i yield back. >> let me now introduce the witnesses on the panel for today's hearing. we have the honorable michael botacelli. welcome. dr. richard frank from the u.s. department of health and human services. dr. nora volkow with the national institutes of health. dr. douglas throckmorton, the food and drug administration. dr. deborah houry, for injury and prevention for the centers for disease control and prevention.
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dr. hyde. and dr. conway from medicare and medicaid services. welcome. the committee has a practice of taking testimony under oath. do you have any objection to testifying under oath? none of the witnesses have objection. the chair would then advise you under the rules of the house and committee you're entitled to be advised by counsel. do any of you desire to be advised by counsel? none of the witnesses say so. in that case, please rise and raise your right hand. i'll swear you in. do you swear that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? thank you all. all the witnesses answered in the affirmative. you are now under oath and subject to the penalties set forth in title 18 section 1, 001 of the united states code. you may now each give a
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five-minute opening statement. please stick to the five minutes. if you don't have to fill it, that's okay too. >> thank you, chairman murphy, ranking member degette, and other members for the opportunity to provide testimony to you today about the efforts to address the opiod problem in the united states. one drug overdose death occurs every 12 minutes. using the role as the coordinator of the federal drug control agencies, in 2011, we published a prevention plan to address the problem in this country. as you know, the plan consists of action items categorized under four pill lars. education of patients and prescribers, increased prescription drug monitoring, proper medication disposal, and informed law enforcement. with the work of our hss
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partners here "nbc 5 today"today and other partners here today, we have made some strides but there is more to be done. medical education programs have been rare. we have worked to develop continuing education programs about substance use, managing pain appropriately, and treating patients using opioids more safely. many agencies are receiving this important training. despite this a large percentage of subscribers have not availed themselves of this training. therefore, the administration continues to press for mandatory prescriber education tied to controlled substance licensure. i'm pleased that secretary burrwell has expressed her support. today, all states but one, missouri, have prescription drug
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monitoring programs that allow prescribers to check on drug interactions and alert them to the signs of dependence on opioids. with almost all states implementing pdmps, we focus on improving state-to-state data sharing and improving access to data within the system providers use every day. in october, the drug enforcement administration's final regulation on controlled substances disposal became effective. ondcp and our federal partners and stakeholders have begun to inform the public about the regulations and look to ways to stimulate more local disposal programs. in the work of our law enforcement partners at the federal, state, and local levels is ongoing. those engaged in fraud across the drug control supply chain are being investigated and prosecuted. recent data shows we are seeing an overdose from prescription
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opioids leveling off but a dramatic 39% increase from heroin overdose from 2012 to 2013. this creates an additional need for treatment in a system where a well known gap between treatment and demand exist. we must redouble our efforts to address people who are misusing prescription drugs since we know this is a major risk factor for subsequent heroin use. earlier this year, there was a meeting. mary lou leery our deputy director for state local and tribal affairs is one of the co-chairs for this committee. in addition, the president's fy 16 budget request includes $99 million in additional funding for treatment and overdose prevention efforts. we have also been working to increase access to the emergency opioid drug so that witnesses can take steps to help save lives. many police and fire departments
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have already trained and equipped their personnel with this life-saving drug, and loved ones are equipping themselves as well. and while law enforcement and other first responders have an important role to play, the medical establishment also must become more engaged to identify and treat heroin and prescription opioid use disorders. every day these people appear in our emergency departments and are the medical settings, and more models and interventions are needed to get these individuals engaged in care. we also need to expand availability of evidence-based opioid use treatments. medication assisted recovery with behavioral and other support have proved to be the most effective. decisions about the most appropriate treatment programs need to be agreed upon by the patient and the treatment provider. we also need access to housing,
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employment, and education to give patients the functional tools they need to lead healthier lives and fully integrate into the community as part of their recovery process. while we support multiple pathways to recovery, the literature shows that short term treatment such as detoxification alone does not work and has a higher incident of overdose and death. the strong connection between injection of opioid drugs and infectious disease transmission. we also promote public health strategies to prevent the further spread of infectious disease. the hiv and hepatitis c outbreak in scott county, indiana is a stark reminder of how opioid use can spread disease. needle exchange programs need to be a part of the response and how rural communities that have limited treatment capacity may experience additional public health crisis.
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finally, we are continuing our efforts to address neonatal syndrome. research published just yesterday so shoesws that it's grown nearly fivefold and that 81% of the 2012 hospital charges for nas were attributed to medicaid. we must consider that the best interest of babies with nas is often served by best addressing the interest of the mother. therefore, we need to provide safe harbor for pregnant and parenting women seeking prenatal care and treatment. in conclusion, we look forward to working with congress and our federal partners on the next stage of action to address this epidemic. thank you. s >> thank you for the opportunity to discuss how the department of health and human services is addressing the opioid abuse epidemic. regarding the use and misuse of
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opioid and heroin is a high priority for our team, and we're pleased to be here with you today. i would like to use my time today to give you an overview of how we view the challenge and describe how we are working to develop a multifaceted solution to this problem. it's going to take a lot of collaboration, and we are pleased to work with you and other stakeholders on this issue. addiction to an abuse of opioids including both prescription painkillers and heroin and the terrible outcomes associated with them are growing at an alarming pace. just over 1/3 of drug overdose deaths in 2012 and 2013 were from prescription opioids while heroin related deaths have spiked dramatically, almost tripling since 2010. the sharp increase in the misuse and abuse of opioids places a great burden on the health system. there were 259 million prescriptions filled for opioids in the u.s. in 2012. a large increase over just a few years prior. the medicare program, part d,
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spent $2.7 billion on opioids overall in 2011. $1.9 billion of that total or 69% was accounted for by the top 5% of opioid users. those spending patterns on these drugs reflect some of our concerns. the cost of abuse and misuse of opioids shows up in preventible use of very expensive health care. heroin presents an equally troubling but different abuse and overdose pattern. we saw increases between 2002 and 2009 in a number of people using heroin. but that number has held fairly steady since 2009. the striking new trend is that there's an increasing share of users dying from heroin overdoses. what i'm telling you is that we have an opioid prescribing problem sitting alongside a drug abuse and misuse problem. secretary burrwell is committed to addressing the epidemic and driving us toward two main goals. one, reducing overdoses and
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opioid -- an overdose related mortality. and, two, decreasing the prevalence of opioid use disorder. she directed us use the best science and to focus on the most promising levers that can make a difference for the people who struggle with opioid addiction and their families. hhs agencies have been collaborating on this problem for some time. and we hope that you agree after today that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. our actions informed by the evidence and discussions with states and are the stakeholders fall into three general categories categories. one, addressing opioid prescribing practices. two, expanding the use of meloxone. we are increasing investments in drug monitoring programs which are among the most promising clinical tools to curb prescription and opioid abuse. we are investing through state
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grants and technical assistance in supporting best practices to maximize the impacts of pdmps. second meloxone. we are supporting the development of user friendly versions and delivery systems and support training to get it to the hands of those in a position to reverse overdoses. the enactment of the addiction equity act opens up new opportunities to expand access to these evidence-based treatments. we also working on identifying best practices in primary care settings increasing access to m.a.d. through grant support, and potentially increasing the supply of providers by reviewing the policy and regulations that limit the types of individuals
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certified to prescribe. our commitment to halting this complex public health epidemic is set out in the president's 2016 budget that includes $99 million increase for parts of our initiative. finally, evaluation will help us identify the most effective activities, allow us to continuously learn, and inform future policy making in order to address this public health concern. so in closing this is critical for hhs and for the nation. and we can't do it alone. we need help. thank you for encouraging an open discussion of this today. and we are committed to turning the tide on this scourge that has become the opioid epidemic. >> thank you doctor. now for the members. votes are in progress. even though time is running out i think only about 20 people have voted so far. so apparently this is throwing everybody off and their schedules. i apologize. this is what happens on capitol hill. but we are committed to hear from you. we know how important this is, and we value your testimony. so we're probably going to be
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back in a little under an hour. so we look forward to hearing from you then. and getting to the rest of this testimony. thank you. all right.
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thank you for being patient. good morning. i want to thank you for organizing and inviting me to participate in this important hearing. the known medical use of prescription pain relievers is a particularly public health challenge and demands solutions on the one hand to prevent their diversions and misuse, while at the same time it demands solutions that will not jeopardize access of these medications for those that need them. opioid medications are probably among the most effective painkillers that we have for the management of acute severe pain. and the proper use can actually save lives. they act by activating opioid
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receptors that are located in the areas of the brain that perceive pain. but they are very high concentration of opioid receptors in regions and hence the problem. it's the activation of these receptors is what is associated with the addiction potential. there are also high levels of receptions in areas of the brain that regulate breathing, which is why their use is associated also with a high risk of death from overdoses. we have heard the devastating consequences from the escalation of the abuse of prescription medications in our country. the overdose deaths that transition to injection of heroin and associated infections with hiv with hepatitis c and increasing nas. our role in helping solve this epidemic is to support research that will help develop solutions to prevent and treat abuse of prescription medications that
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could be implemented now while at the same time funding research that in the future will provide transformative solutions. there are already evidence-based practices that have been shown to be effective in the prevention of overdose death. that includes the use of medications for opioid addiction and the use of naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses. there are three medications currently available to treat opioid addiction which when used as part of a comprehensive addiction treatment plan have been shown to facilitate abstinence and reduce overdose and hiv infections. also when coupled to prenatal care in pregnant women addicted to opioids, these medications reduce the risk of obestate rick fetal complications.
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yet, despite the strong evidence, less than 40% of those receiving treatment for opioid addiction get treated with these medications. we are funding research on implementation strategies that facilitate the use of medications for opioid addiction in the health care system. another key component to decrease the overdose deaths is to expand the use of naloxone. so we have partnered with companies to develop user friendly effective delivery systems for naloxone that will facilitate their use by those that have absolutely no medical training. in addition, we support research on the treatment of pain and on the treatment of opioid addiction that will offer new solutions for the treatment of these two disorders. examples, for example for the management of pain, include the development of drug combinations or new formulations with less
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addiction potential. the development of analan electrical brain stimulation for pain management. examples of research on the treatment of opioid addiction include the development of slow release formulations that need only once a month or once every six months dosing, which will facilitate compliance use and the development of vaccines against heroin which will prevent the delivery of the drug into the brain hence interfering with its rewarding effects and adverse consequences. because the epidemic of prescription drug abuse resulted from a lack of knowledge by health care providers the importance of developing curriculum to train both in pain and substance uses is another priority for which neitherwe have
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developed in partnership with other agencies. there are over 24,000 deaths from opioid overdoses in 2013. 24,000. this highlights the urgency to address this epidemic. solutions are already available. the challenge is the implementation. this requires strong integration of efforts, and we will continue to work closely with other federal federal agencies and communities to address this complex challenge. >> thank you. dr. throckmorton, five minutes. >> mr. chairman ranking member degette, and members of the subcommitteee, i'm dr. douglas throckmorton. thank you for the opportunity to be here today to discuss fd a's role in combatting opioid abuse. our goal is to find the balance
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between needing to treat patients with pain including the use of opioids where appropriate, and needing to reduce opioid drug abuse. this work is being done together with other parts of the federal government, and we know that a successful and sustainable response must include federal and state government public health officials, opioid prescribers, addiction experts, researchers, manufacturers, and patient organizations. for our part fda plays a central role in the regulation and use of drugs from their discovery and throughout their marketing. for example, when fda reviews a drug for possible marketing, we also approve drug labeling, including information for approved uses of the medicine and information about potential safety risks. fda also follows drugs after they are marketed carefully, including opioid drugs. where necessary, this enables to take action to improve their safe use such as changes to improve labeling. the first area of fda activity
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i'd like to highlight is formulations that make opioids harder or less rewarding to abuse. while this is not a silver bullet to prevent all abuse, fda believes that ait can help reduce abuse. we are seeking guidance we are using now to meet with sponsors interested in developing them. to date, fda has received some 30 investigational new drug applications from manufacturers. in addition, we have approved four opioid drugs with abuse deterrent claims in their labeling. overall, while we are in the early stages of their development, i am encouraged by this level of work. fda envisions a day not far in the future when the majority of opioids in the marketplace are in effective abuse deterrent forms. next, with regards to prescribing opioids, we know they are powerful medicines and we believe it is critically important that the subscribers
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have high quality education about how to use them in pain management. fda has done several things to improve educational materials on opioids. for example, we recently finalized required changes to the release long-acting opioids, changing their indication to inform prescribers that these drugs should only be used for pain, severe enough to require daily around the clock treatment when alternative treatments would not work. at the same time, fda strengthened significantly the safety warnings and we want the prescribers to use them with care and today it's among the most restrictive of any drugs that we have in the center. and have clear language that calls attention to the potentially life-threatening risks. the fda is working to approve the information available for prescribers in other ways. under certain circumstances, fda can require manufacturers as a part of the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy to address
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safety concerns such as opioid abuse. in 2012, fda required manufacturers to fund the development of unbiased continuing education programs on opioid prescribing practices for prescribers. in the first year since that program has been in place, approximately 6% of the 320,000 prescribers, around 20,000 prescribers, have completed one of those courses. we believe this training for prescribers is important. we also support mandatory education for prescribers of opioids, as called for by the administration in the 2011 prescription drug abuse plan and re-empathized in the 2014 national drug-control strategy. finally, fda has been working with many other stakeholders, including the agencies here today, to explore the best ways to prevent overdose deaths by the expanded use of naloxone. as others have said, it can and does save lives. fda is working to facilitate the development of naloxone formulations that could be easier used by anyone responding
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to an overdose. first, fda meets with manufacturers whenever needed and is using whatever tools we can to expedite product development. we approved the formulation of naloxone, which is intended to be a administered by people witnessing an overdose such as family members and caregivers. we've completed the review and approves this product in 15 weeks. going forward, we will work on how best to use naloxone and the fda and many other agencies are planning a public meeting in july to bring together key stakeholders to deal with questions of access and state and local best practices. in conclusion, as a society, we face an ongoing challenge and a dual responsibility. we must balance efforts to address opioid drug misuse, abuse and addiction for need for access to appropriate pain management. these are not simple issues and there are no easy answers. the fda is taking important actions that we hope will achieve this balance.
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we welcome the opportunity to work with congress, our federal partners, the medical community, advocacy organizations and the multitude of interested communities and families to turn the tide on this devastating epidemic. thank you for this opportunity to testify. i look forward to answering any questions that i can. >> thank you. >> chairman murphy, ranking member degette, i'd like to thank you for inviting me here to discuss this very important issue. i'd like to thank the committee r. for your continued interest for opioid prescription abuse. i'm dr. debra houry, i'm the director of the national center prevention and control at the cdc. as a trained emergency room physician, i have seen firsthand the devastating impact of opioid addiction on individuals and their families as well as the importance of prevention. together, we have witnessed a deadly epidemic unfolding in states and communities across the country. the overdose epidemic is driven in large part by fundamental
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changes in the way that health care providers prescribe opioid pain relievers. enough prescriptions were filled in 2012 for every adult to have their own bottle of pills. as the amount increased, so has the number of deaths. an alignment with the department initiative, i want to highlight cdcs work in developing opioid prescribing guidelines for chronic pain and providing direct support to states to implement multisector prevention programs. cdc is currently developing guidelines for prescribing of opioids for chronic noncancer pain. this undertaking is responsive to a critical need in the field. these guidelines will redefine best practices for chronic pain and make important advances in protecting patients. the audience for these guidelines are primary care practitioners, who account for the number of prescriptions for opioids compared to other
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specialties. the guidelines process is under way and public comment by the end of this year. we have plans in place to encourage uptake and usage of the guidelines among providers, which is key for improving prescribing practices. the second activity i'd like to highlight is our major investment and state level prevention. states are at the front lines of this public health issue and cdc is committed to equipping them with the expertise they need to reverse the epidemic and protect their communities. utilizing the newly appropriated $20 million, we recently published a new funding opportunity called prescription drug overdose prevention for states. it builds upon existing cdc-funded state programs and targets states that have a high drug overdose burden and those that demonstrate readiness needed to combat the epidemic. it requires collaboration across sectors for a truly comprehensive response. the goals for this program are to make prescription drug
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monitoring programs more timely, easier to use, and able to communicate with other state pdmps. to implement medicaid or workers' compensation prevention and data driven prevention to the community struggling with the highest rates of drug abuse and overdose. states also will be given the flexibility to use the program to respond to emerging crises so they know what works to prevent overdose and save lives in their community. the development opioid prescribing guidelines and our state prevention program are two key ways that cdcs broad work on the ep dem contributes to the initiative. we're examining overdose heroin doubled since 2010 and prescription opioid abuse, a key risk factor for heroin use, has contributed significantly to this rise in heroin use and overdose. we will leverage our scientific expertise to improve public
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health surveillance of heroin and evaluate effective strategies to prevent future heroin overdoses. addressing this complex problem requires a multifaceted approach and collaboration among a variety of stakeholders, but it can be accomplished. particularly with the ongoing efforts of all of the organizations represented here on this panel. cdc is committed to tracking and understanding the epidemic, supporting states working on the front lines of this crises and providing the tools and guidance they need to ensure safe patient care. thank you again for the opportunity to be here with you today and for your continued work and support of us protecting the public's health. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, doctor. welcome back. >> good morning, chairman murphy, ranking member degette. and members of the subcommittee. thank you for inviting samsa to be part of this hearing.
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thank you for your interest in this important public health issue. according to samsa's national survey on drug use and health, the rate of nonmedical use of prescription opioids is high, approximately 4.5 million individuals in 2013. heroin use is much lower, about 289,000 individuals reporting past month use, but that's doubled in five years. fortunately, the nonmedical use of pain relievers has decreased some from 2009 to 2013, especially among young people ages 12 to 17. however, as you know, overdoses and overdose-related deaths from both prescription drugs and heroin have risen dramatically among all ages. as you know, few who need treatment are receiving the community-based services that they need free of addiction. samsa believes prevention is priority and recovery is the goal. the data and public education and regulatory efforts are all designed to prevent overdoses
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help provide the treatment and services needed for people with substance use disorders to achieve recovery, support their families and foster support of communities. samsa together with six other medical societies to train prescribers with the best approach to pain management. it also educates physicians on medication assisted treatment for addiction. transfer centers provide training and materials on opioid abuse disorders to distribute research-based best practices to the field of addiction treatment. to help prevent opioid related deaths it alerted states that treatment block grant funds may be used to purchase and distribute naloxone and increase training on its use. also, in 2014, they updated their opioid overdose prevention tool kit to education individuals, families and first responders and others about steps to prevent and reverse the effects of opioid overdoses, including the use of naloxone. this tool kit is one of the most
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downloaded resources on samsa's website. the president's 2016 budget includes $12 million in discretionary budget for states to deliver naloxone, in high-risk communities and distribute education for overdose prevention strategies. as part of a recovery-oriented care model, medical assisted treatment is not meant as a stand alone approach but rather is designed to include medication, counselling, behavioral therapies and recovery support. in march 2015, samsa revised guidelines for opioid treatment programs which highlight the recovery oriented care model and encouraged the use of any of the three fda-approved medications for the treatment of opioid abuse disorder based on an assessment of each individual's unique needs. . samsa is taking an integrated care approach as part of the new 2015 grant program to expand and enhance the availability of


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