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tv   Discussion Focuses on Re- Entry Following Incarceration  CSPAN  November 28, 2016 10:51am-11:31am EST

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interesting questions never happen. that's a good thing. and i think we're heading to a world -- i see one of my former federal court students laughing at me from the back. i think we should be happy with the fact that it never happens and i worry we're going to have more of these questions raised and have to be resolved now than may have otherwise. >> is it your view that crazy liberal law professor is a redub dant redundancy? >> maybe. i do not include everyone, those adjectives are restrictive, not redundant. i don't see how we ever get to the, adopting a proposal like the one steve recommends, which i think has something to say for it. who knows what the unintended consequences of that would be. >> i'm sorry to say we've run out of time. this has been a super lively
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discussion. please thank these excellent speakers. [ applause ] ment to on "the communicators." >> i hope that any copyright will come with a requirement or some kind of framework for putting data into a central repository where people can have access to it, where it can be searched not ohm an an individual eye tim by item basis but on a sort of scale basis because we run two and a half million songs through and we're going to get more and more every day as we move to an on demand service. >> steve bonet on the issues
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facing congress and the music industry over digital music services including copyright laws, ticket price inflation, and the competition between humans and bots for concert tickets. mr. benet is interviewed by alex spires, technology reporter for politico. >> bots do buy tickets but what they do is, they keep other fans out of the market for tickets and what we are finding is that some fans really want to go see a concert, and they can mash the buttons on their computer all day long but you can't beat a bot, so they're not able to get tickets in their first run at their list price, and so they're left with the only the opportunity of buying those tickets on the secondary market after the bots have gotten them and passed them along to promoters who then raise the prices. >> watch "the communicators" tonight at 8:00 eastern on s c-span2. >> coming up live on c-span at
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2:00 eastern a discussion on the future of u.s. global alliances, and at 6:30 eastern former homeland security secretary michael chertoff on protesting the u.s. from isis terrorist attacks. sunday on book tv's in-depth, we're hosting a discussion on the december 1941 attack on pearl harbor on the eve of the 75th anniversary. on the program, steve toomey, author of "countdown to pearl harbor: the 12 days to the attack" eri hotta and craig nelson with his book "pearl harbor: from infamy to greatness" followed by an interview with donald stratton, coauthor of "all the gallant men: an american silor's firsthand account of pearl harbor." we're taking your phone calls and tweet questions live at noon eastern. go to for the full
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schedule. now a discussion on the benefits of education and job training of prison inmates from the center of law and social policy, this is about 40 minutes. >> hi everyone. welcome. i'm david sokolov from the center for law and social policy for c.l.a.s.p. we're here to discuss reconnecting justice how americans move from incarceration to re-entry. i want to give a warm welcome to the 200 of you gathered here in the room. we have more than 700 of you across the country and 48 states, the district of columbia and puerto rico registered for the webcast so welcome to all of you being with us here virtually and to many more of you watching us on a live broadcast on
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c-span3, thank you so c-span for covering this very important topic. we are really glad in particular to see the many participants from a wide array of fields doing important work for many different angles. we're really excited to learn from all of you about how we can work across silos. i want to give a special welcome to our friends from lumina foundation for being with us here today to many different members of congressional offices, staffs who have joined us for their continued and longtime leadership in this field over many years. we're really very glad that there are so many key officials from federal, state, county and municipal governments that have joined us today, and leaders from colleges and universities, and many policy advocates, researchers, employers, and others with really deep
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commitment and expertise in various different solutions related to poverty, social justice, human services, workforce development, education, criminal justice, employment, and different other fields. it's really an amazing group that has gathered with us both here and on the webcast. we thank you all very much for participating. c.l.a.s.p. is hosting today's forum because it is a vital part of our anti-poverty mission. at c.l.a.s.p. we advocate for practical solutions and visionary strategies for reducing poverty, promoting economic security, and addressing barriers faced by people of color. we promote workforce training, post secondary education and career pathways that low income adults and youth need to succeed, and our work on education and training and employment has led us to focus on the particular needs of those involved in the justice system.
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in america today, more than 2 million people are in prison, the majority of whom are african-american or hispanic. just among young adults incarcerated those who are between 18 and 24 years old, 49% are african-american, and 24% are hispanic. overall, those who are incarcerated come disproportionately from low income communities and have median pre-incarceration earnings of less than $20,000 a year. so this forum is part of our broader agenda. it is the second in our series addressing intersections among education, employment and justice reform. last june c.l.a.s.p. hosted a forum and published a paper on realizing youth justice, sparking a conversation about the experiences of youth of color within the context of criminal justice, racial equity, and economic disparities.
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in today's forum we'll turn our attention to adults and the role of education and training during and after incarceration. for returning citizens to get hired in jobs that can lift them out of poverty, the systems we'll be talking about today must be part of a broader approach to addressing mass inkai incarceration and collateral consequences. it's just as much a mistake to train people for jobs that don't exist, efforts to open up job opportunities have to be coordinated with skills training so returning citizens can earn post secondary credentials that give them a fair chance at being hired for the jobs that are being made available. so before we get to today's program started there are a few brief housekeeping items. first for those of you here in the room, restrooms are in the hallway here adjacent to this room. please take this time to check the settings on your mobile
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device to stay silent during the event, but while you have your twice out and you're looking at it, please take note of the wifi password for here in the room, and you can tweet at #reconnectingjustice. we hope you all do that. as you think of questions for the q&a portion of our forum today, those of you here in the room, please, write them down, if you'd like, on the indesk cards which are provided in your packets, and otherwise you also can, and everybody watching at home can send questions to so if you would send those, we'll be able to get them to the speakers and have a lively two-way interactive conversation, that email is dress is once again thank you for joining us and now it's my pleasure to introduce my colleague at
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c.l.a.s.p. who has been such an amazing job with our team putting together today's forum, wayne tallaferro. [ applause ] >> thank you, david, for opening today's event and setting that broader context. before i introduce our speaker, i want to offer some additional framing remarks about why we're here today. today we're here to listen, discuss, and ask questions about aspects of a topic that have become one of the biggest racial, social, and economic justice issues of our time. as you've already heard, over 2 million people in america are incarcerated, and that's more than any other country in any other developed world. while that number is egregious in and of itself it's even more
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troubling about who we lock up, why we lock them up, and what that means for our society. for some of us, these issues are personal. for others, that connection may be more distant. but for our society, for our families and communities, and the humanity that connects us, we cannot afford to continue to write off an entire segment of our population. and we also can't assume that this blame does not lie with the systematically engrained justices that face us today. as you'll hear throughout today's event, the pipelines from low income communities of color through incarceration are well documented and rooted in legacies of economic injustice, institutionalized racism, problems with the justice system and failed policies that have culminated in the system of mass incarceration we know today. too often one of the by-products of these injustices is low
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levels of educational attainment especially for the individuals who end up in prison. among the prison population, the average educational attainment level is 10.4 years of schooling. among young black men in prison less than one in three have a high school diploma and for young hispanic men, less than one in five. in today's economy, where most jobs require some form of education beyond high school, these numbers are even more tragic. between the lack of formal education and skills among prisoners, and the collateral consequences that come with the criminal record, incarceration essentially dooms people a life of second class citizenship, and for people of color, those effects are even more dire. and that's why today's panels are so important, to better understand out education for training and opportunities for this very population can serve
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as one solution to re-entry success. so individuals can build skills and success in the labor market. we know it's not a cure-all but it's definitely one place for us to start. we brought together panelists, speakers, and audience members from all levels of government, industry, higher education, legal services, and many other fields to hopefully critically examine these issues and leave us all ready to effect change. i also want to point out that the folders you receive today include a newly released report from c.l.a.s.p. that looks at the landscape of correctional education both from the funding and programming standpoint and also how it ties to reentree. the report is coauthored by me and my colleagues at c.l.a.s.p., anna and dewey, and available on our website
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also the recorded version of today's event will be available on our website later as well. now i'd like to turn the program over to our esteemed speaker, nick turner, president of the vare institute of justice, an independent nonprofit national research and policy organization that works to end the misuse of jails, transform conditions of confinement and ensure that justice systems are more effectively serving america's growing minority communities. nick has been at the institute since 1998 and has served as president since 2013. he is a nationally recognized leader on criminal justice reform issues, and we are so excited to have him with us today. without further adieu, i present nick turner. [ applause ]
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>> good afternoon, everyone. >> good afternoon. >> that was good. i don't even have to ask you to do it again. whenever someone introduces me as being esteemed or nationally recognized i always think that they're talking about someone else. i certainly don't feel that i quite fit that bill but i'm going to try to do what i can to live up to that introduction. i want to begin first by saying how pleased i am to have been invited to speak to all of you, to be invited to an event that is organized by c.l.a.s.p. c.l.a.s.p. is an organization that i have long admired, in many respects vare is the same combination of a generation born of i think recognition of great challenge that we saw in the '60s and great opportunity to remake society and to draw a
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greater attention to social justice issues and give voice to the underserved. like you, c.l.a.s.p., and olivia, you know, we care a great deal about racial justice at vera. you take a lens of anti-poverty work, as you pursue it. we have always sort of been in the justice reform lane, a slightly narrower lane, but i think we've been running together for a long time, and it's -- and it is wonderful to be here. olivia, i have watched you, you may not know that i have been watching, but i have been watching you since i was, i had my first job in d.c. at a place called sasha bruce youth work, you were at children's defense fund there, and then when you were up in new york as state director of operations and then now in this role, and when i looked at the board members for c.l.a.s.p., i saw names like peter edelman and joe onic can k
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and angela glover blackwell and sarah don in a cooper, all of whom i have great admiration for so i couldn't be more thrilled to be here. i'm going to tell you what i hope to do today. one of the things i'd like to do is sort of set out the historical context for this conversation that we're having right now and to help you appreciate that we are actually operating in a moment of history, and why this is such an important moment for justice reform and for poor people in this country. i want to explain a little bit about why paying attention to breaking the cycle of incarceration through some of the things that wayne just spoke about, a broad array of education and training for people in prison and then leaving prison is essential and a critical issue, and then finally, i want to focus specifically on post secondary education in prison, and i'll describe what i believe is an opportunity for all of us to do
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something really big. but before i get into that, i want to show you a short film, so if you would just turn your attention to the screen behind me, you can enjoy this for about two minutes. >> we're so lucky to spend mother's day together, but there are hundreds of thousands of kids who moms are incarcerated this mother's day. >> so we wanted some kids to share letters that they wrote to their moms. >> dear mom, hi mom, i miss you very much. >> i know i don't write you a lot but this letter right here is actually pretty special. >> your second mother's day away. i took to facebook and posted. i love my mother. >> i miss your love, i miss your hugs. >> every mother's day i listen to all of our favorite songs. >> i think about you all the time, at night, when i'm getting ready to go to bed, it makes me think of the most amazing mom that i have. >> i miss playing with you and sleeping with you at night.
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>> i miss your smile and i miss your hug, i posted on facebook i miss how you used to -- i can't do it. >> i've been having some personality issues by that i mean my sexuality and i wish you weren't in prison so you could be here to help me with it. >> school is kind of good, but fighting in school, it's difficult. >> recently i was inducted for the national honor society at my school. >> something good that happened to me recently i went roller skating. >> mom i love riding bikes because i love riding them. >> dear mom, i will always love
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you no matter what happens. >> and i can't wait to see you. >> from your first born. >> happy poert's day. >> love you, mom. >> love your favorite daughter. >> happy mother's day. >> click on the link below to see more love letters to moms. >> i show you that video not because it has necessarily a substantive connection to the reason that we've all gotten together today but because it is important for all of us who do this work to remember the people who we're doing this work for and sometimes we get caught up in the evidence and the politics of the moment, and we sometimes
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even those of us who are so deeply committed stop thinking about the human beings whose lives we are trying to improve and so this is something that i have showed on a few occasions just because i find it very, very grounding. so as i promised you, and i should just say that video was something produced by google. there is actually one for father's day, too, equally affecting. as i promised you, one of the things i wanted to talk to you about was this moment in history, and i would say that we really are, this is a paradoxical moment. we are in a moment where we have before us a massive decades in the making arguably centuries in the making problem in this system of mass incarceration that has been argued to us, has
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kept us safe, but we also have in this moment what i would argue is unparalleled momentum, and an opportunity, and it really is a true moment in history, so i want to break down those two things for you if. first. what do i mean by massive problem? let me try to put this in nukical terms for you, i know that not everyone here is deeply involved in criminal justice, you come at this from different angles, maybe a commitment to education or to workforce training, but we are talking about a system that, on any given day, has 2.3 million people behind bars in this country, some in jails and some in prisons. we are what i often describe as an international aberration. this country is responsible for 5% of the globe's population, but 25% of the imprisoned population, and when you compare us with many of the countries
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that we view to be our peers, so let's say the oecd nations, many western european democracies, we are incarcerating at a rate of six to ten times more than they are. you might ask yourself well that's fine, maybe this is a more violent society, you know, maybe there are reasons for that, maybe we get a much better return on investment, in fact, than these other countries do, but the answer to that is no, that is not the case. we're investing around $80 billion a year in correctional services in this country, and the recidivism rate two-thirds of people who are released from prison will be rearrested after three years, and a little less than half will be reincarcerated, so you have to ask yourselves some questions. why are we spending all of this money to put so many people behind bars for results that are far from positive?
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on the human level, as you saw in the film, i mean, this affects the children of the incarcerated and you know that this just imposes an intergenerational burden, but for people who are being released from prison, they are facing what michelle alexander referred to as the new jim crow, a species of second class citizenship that bars them from all of the things that we need as citizens to succeed, whether it is entry into the labor force, whether it is a safe place to live, whether it is financial support for education, the complex and the infrastructure of barriers to entry back into society are astonishing. i think someone said that when having done a national survey
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that there were 44,000 different state or local or federal provisions that in one way or another shut people out of a labor market or housing or student aid or jobs, so it's astonishing, and then we also know that imprisonment has a huge impact on people's income, on hours worked, on the ability to build wealth, so and then we can go further and think about the communities that are impacted, and as wayne mentioned, one in three african-american men will spend time in jail or prison in their lifetime. many of these men come from communities that are of concentrated poverty, that are increasingly segregated, and so what we are doing is participating in a process that is disappearing men from these communities, and women, too, but
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it is most powerfully felt by the men, there are fewer fathers, fewer partners and lovers, there are fewer workers in those communities and the impact on those communities' abilities to thrive, to have a strong economy, to have workforce exist not only in this moment today, but just perpetuates itself intergenerationally. so it's a massive, massive problem that we're confronting. but if i could be optimistic for a moment, i know that's hard for a washington, d.c., crew, because we are in this moment when there's so much head scratching and head shaking about the political debate that's going on or the inability to get things done in washington. i do want to point out for those of you that have not paid a lot of attention to criminal justice that this is a highly unusual moment, despite the challenge of the work that needs to be done,
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i have in the 25 years that i have worked in this space never seen a moment when there is as much heightened attention to the problems that we're confronting and as much energy and mobilization from unusual people who i never thought cared about the issue as i do, as i'm seeing now, and i think the reasons for that, you know, others may disagree, i think they are four fold. i think people are finally just shocked at the numbers that they see that we have quoted from this podium already. i think that stories of people who have been impacted by the system, you know, people who have spent time in jail or prison and are raising their voices and are being leaders in the movement has had a tremendous impact. you can find that in everyday folk and you can also find that in political leaders, some of the political leaders on the
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right who are the most vociferous about trying to change the system, either spent time in prison or had a loved one spend time in prison so that kind of proximity i think has woken folks up. i think it is hard to also ignore the existence of citizen journalism that we have seen in the past few years, which has focused almost entirely on policing but what it has done is showed something to america that many people in america probably struggled to believe or accept, that the system that the criminal justice system was rigged against people of color, and that the interactions of the people of color had with the justice system were so different than what many americans had ever imagined could be true. i heard a colleague refer to it as sort of the bigfoot problem, that everyone sort of, people
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argue about whether bigfoot or sasqwatch exists, you see a film of it, oh, yeah, it does exist. i think that's what's happened with these films of walter skol, philando castile, people want to find out more at what's going on, doesn't stop at policing, it goes deep into the system as a hole and finally there's an ideological convergence that folks on the right, whether evangelical or libertarian or fiscal hawks, and i think this is mostly at the elite leader level, i'm not entirely kons vin convinced the folks on the grassroots on the right are fully owning the need and desire to change the system, but they have joined with the progressive grassroots in calling for change, and that is a phenomenon
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in and of it self, but i think it also makes more people curious because, given what happens in washington and the state of our political discourse, there is what i sometimes call a man bites dog element to that story where people think, what? oh, conservatives and progressives are actually aligning together on something? so this is a paradoxical moment. huge problem, decades in the making, but more opportunity and momentum to change than we have ever seen before, i think certainly in the last 50 years. so i want to talk a little bit about post secretary education in prison because i think in many regards it exemplifies that paradox. i think that the growing interest in post secondary education in prison indicates a broader movement that reflects what i would describe as a resurgence of interest among
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people in the rehabilitative role that our justice system needs to play. i think we are witnessing the slow rebirth and return of an embrace of that value, and there's no doubt that post secondary education and prison is much needed. you can harken back just to the facts that i gave you about the high rates of recidivism for people who are coming out of priz yonl and jail, and we need to have interventions that are proven, that are supported by evidence actually reducing recidivism but much more importantly improving the life outcomes of people who are leaving prison and their families who are welcoming them and relying on them to come back. and some of those outcomes are probably well-known by this group. one thing i'm reminded of, having completed a college
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education is what we sometimes refer to at vera as a protective factor. if you've completed a college education, you are less likely to go to prison. when you look at the growth of the prison pop flation in the states from 1970 until 2010, the vast ma jrt of growth are in the demographic of people who have not gone to college, people who participate in educational programs are being rearrested or reincarcerated at a far lower rate. there's a higher chance of gaining employment upon release, higher chance of higher earnings, and for an organization like c.l.a.s.p. and i imagine for many of those of you who are in this room, the two generation sort of bang for your buck that you get with college education is really important, because we know that
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the children whose parents have sought a post secondary education are far more likely to go pursue their post secondary education in college than if their parents had not, and so again, looking back at the film, that is 2.7 million children of the incarcerated, and we know how important a college education is to succeed in this economy and the economy of the future, but i think college and prison is also important for other reasons beyond the evidence, beyond its ability to improve outcomes for people. it is relatable. everyone in this room understands how important college has either been for you or for your loved ones, and essential, and understands increasingly what an essential aspect it is of people's ability to participate fully in the american economy, and so being
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able to expand access to that in prison i think is an important humanizing aspect. it is a way to help people to get proximate. we have spent way too much time in this country treating people who have been affected by the criminal justice system as "other" as some, not like me, that's folks obl the other side of town, you know, who we are scared of, but in fact, they are parents and they are strivers and inspiring and want to accomplish the many, many of the same things that we all do in this room, and so it's important as a humanizing thing, and the last reason that i'm going to say it's really important at this moment in time, and why i think we should all be focusing on post secondary education in prison, even though we know the training and other forms of education are really important is that there is a big opportunity to make a difference i think in the next three to four years, so you all may know this story about college in prison. the 1994 crime bill which many
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people talked about in the context of this current election included a ban on the use of pell grants, the federal pell grants so federal financial aid for students in prison, and that had a dramatic effect on programs. prior to the 1994 bill, there were around 270 college programs providing courses to around 23,000 people in prison, and after the 1994 act went into effect, 44% of those programs ended. if you look at it, at the state level, my state, my home state, new york, there were 70 programs that were operating before 1994, flash forward to 2008, there were eight. so what that did was it took the main source of funding, and there are a lot of wonderful programs that continue to operate, there are people here who you will be listening to who have dedicated their lives to
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them, but they required often generosity, charity, philanthropic dollars rather than a reliable federal stream of money. so that's asirk tans that we're still living in. last year the obama administration did something very important, even though the congressional ban exists, as the great c.l.a.s.p. paper talks about the obama administration used what is called experimental authority to essentially test, to test the use of pell grants and supporting students who are students in prison, and put out an rfp for institutes of higher learning to apply to be a basis for these students and over 220 colleges and universities applied and said yes, we want to run programs over this three-year experimental program,
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and 69 were chosen by the administration, so for the next three years, we'll have 69 colleges and universities in 28 states, blue, red and purple, that will be educating 12,000 students on a year, and the estimated leverage in federal dollars is $30 million a year to support that. so it's a remarkable expansion, but it is time limited, and that's important for us to know, because what we now have is a window of opportunity, with programs in 70 colleges, 28 states, that means that there will be experiments where corrections and education work together, where small business owners and places can find new employees, where sheriffs and law enforcement can stand up and
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talk about the benefits of these kinds of programs, when they are released, and that road will run, again, through blue and purple and red states, and so if you can imagine all of the positive messages that can come out of this experiment, not just serving, not just serving this student population, but the right messengers who may or may not be talking to their delegations up on the hill, and talking about jobs found, about happy employers who have an expanded labor pool, about families who are supported, about people who are not returning to prison. you can imagine this. you can imagine coalitions of employers and small businesses, law enforcement, and education, locally elected, all saying to their congressional delegations, this is worthwhile and it is important. we are invested in it and we want it to continue. so i think that there is a window of opportunity for the next three years to figure out how we can actually overturn the
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ban and return to pre-1994 days. make america great again. so a few parting thoughts. overturning this ban would be great. it would bring education to thousands of people. it would reduce poverty. it would break the cycle. it would help children of the incarcerated go to college, and it would increase income and wealth, but that's not enough for all of us to do in in room and i want to bring it back to the if iment for a second. i showed you that film not because you all are a bunch of policy wonks and you know, mavens of good evidence and innovation and policy and program, but i showed it to you as citizens of this country. we created what we have. democracy was the culprit that got us to the 1994 bill and got us to all of the things that h


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