tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 5, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT
to -- all of you -- as to things we could do to make things better. it is hard to do that when you think you are almost perfect. i am serious. i mean, some kind of way -- did you watch the testimony yesterday, any of you? hello? anybody? ms. barr, did you watch any of the testimony yesterday? ms. barr: i heard some of it, but wanted to focus on preparing today. >> i got updated throughout the day on the testimony. >> i watched part of the area. >> i watched most of it. after coming -- mr. cummings: when you heard the testimony of seems like a world of difference. and let me tell you what i think is part of the problem.
i do think it personal issue is part of the problem. a personnel issue is part of the problem. tells you when you got people than you got more demand, you are going to have projects. serious. i also think there is a lot of things that you all are doing right, doing a great job. there are some cases that maybe our little more complicated more controversial, and so the process has slowed down a bit. it's a in, perhaps a lot. -- in some instances, perhaps a lot. just listening to everything that was said between yesterday and today, that is where i come
down on this. in some kind of way we got to get past where we are because i think we could better. it is easy to say we are excellent in everything. that is not true, folks. it is not. so some kind of way we got to close this gap. and the only way we are going to do it is that we have to be frank with each other and we have got to begin to set some goals, whatever you are going to send us back the you should be doing that could he better. and said deadlines with regard -- set deadline. other than that, it is going to worse. so i am hoping you all will do
that. i have discovered from being on this hill for 20 years now almost that you almost -- we have to set deadlines to get things done. i have also noticed that a lot of times people who come before us have a tendency to outwait us. they note that congress is going to change, know that we are going to move to something else, and the next thing you know things to get done, and then they look at what is the new congress and it is worse, and we go through these circles. you need to have been here for a while to see this cycle, and i have seen it. according to you, ms. barr we are making a big deal with regard to secretary clinton.
my colleague, the gentleman from south carolina, whom i have percent for suggested we should not take secretary clinton's word because of the fact that she used her personal e-mail for official business. but, ms. abarr last fall the state department at former secretary rice along with other secretaries for information about official e-mails on their personal accounts, is that right? ms. bar former secretaryr: rice did not respond. she had a representative do that. that is what said in the report sent to the national archives on this issue. you know who secretary rice's representative is? ms. barr: i do not konw.
-- know. >> the former representative claims she did not lose her personal e-mail account for official business. do you know what his assertion was based on? do you have any idea? ms. barr: just what was told us i do not have personal knowledge of what was said. mr. cummings: ok, so you do not know whether she told him that or he review documents -- you do not know? ms. barr: that is correct. mr. cummings: did he take her word? is that your testimony? ms. barr: yes. mr. cummings: when dozens of white house officials were using
private e-mail accounts, we work with their attorneys to make sure they were recovering official e-mails and reducing them. we did not suggest subpoenaing their servers, identify documents, responsive to our request to produce them to us. attorneys have a legal obligation to provide us with truthful information, this is the same process we were virtually every investigation we conduct. again, i just -- as we close ms. howard, i take it you are getting ready to retire? you are not your way out the door today? ms. howard: not today, no. mr. cummings: when? ms. howard: i'm eligible, but
what keeps the work is the dedication of my employees and the professionalism of my colleague this. mr. cummings: what can begin to improve this system, and then i will be finished, mr. chairman. ms. howard: we would like advanced technology to make it easier to do searches. we would like at irs access to a really good foia system that help us be consistent and accurate with reductions so we could get more done with the same amount of people. it is think that my folks do in disclosure other than foia's is they are responsible for doing 6180 reductions and also for making sure that the employees across irs know of the disclosure laws and have questions about disclosure answered as they need on a day-to-day basis.
we have those responsibilities. i think the technology would go a long way. additional staff. what we see is a trend in the complexity of requests, so instead of requests the mostly for taxpayers asking for their files, we're seeing more of the types of requests that you have witnesses speaking about yesterday that are very expensive in their scope and nature and rely on us going to must that multiple -- multiple custodians, and volumes and volumes of pages. meet people, people who are trained well, and we need technology to us with all of that. mr. cummings: >> we have added resources people. mr. cummings:
for about training? -- what about training? >> we received about 40,000 requests overall faster and closed about 14,000 as well. an improvement. mr. cummings: would you say based on what you just said you have a situation best practices? >> we're always looking for best practices. we try to doubt many that we can for the department of justice. parking works with them. we're moving in the right direction, but can always improve. mr. cummings: --i appreciate >> the question, and i have giving quite a bit of urgent talk. in the case of my agency, it is difficult to say because we are in the midst of this review. i think it is important i understand what the systemic
challenges are facing my agency so that not only he can understand how to address them, but communicate to you about what they need, because it may the tempting to turn what might seem an obvious solution today but that solution may not address the problems are. i think foia is a statute may not have accumulated that technology available not only to seek information, but respond to requests and to that extent it is a worthwhile considering how the statute be updated. and otherwise i think it is a good question and i am interested in polling my unit and the outcome of this review i would be delighted to get back with you with my thoughts. mr. cummings: i hope you get back to me within 30 days. can you do that?
>> i think the number one thing from our perspective is the appreciate and need support of congress for adequate resources for foia, that it will help us with personnel and i.t. and training. we feel we have done well with training, with resources we have made available. we have been encouraging agencies to do training. we are asking agencies and getting a good response that agencies are getting their employees substantive foia training, and we provide training to thousands of personnel every year. training i think we have handled in the sense we can do that now we are continuing to focus on. ms. barr: technology to help us quickly go through the various -- we have information all over
the world in different systems. that would be helpful. and of course, people, and at the same time it's we have and inspector general taking a look at our processes, we also hope to get something from that as well. but it is a very serious problem, but for us also a complicated problem. just trying to get all the information in the right place quickly so can be responsive. mr. cummings: i want to thank you offer much and we look forward to hearing from you and working with you. i yield back. mr. chaffetz: i want to make a comment on the i.t. part of the equation. part of the frustrations is if you look at the money we pour in to i.t. at the irs to it is roughly $2 billion a year.
you have 90,000 employees. it is unfair to divide the number and calculate out some 20 plus thousand dollars per person, but it an extraordinary amount of money. if we go to any corporation private sector saying we will give you a $2 billion a year, keep giving you year over year billions of dollars for i.t. and have such a dilapidated system, we do not understand that. it does not as if we are pouring resources into i.t. budgets. you have billions of dollars at your disposal, and every time i turn around i hear across agencies how bad it works. and we are -- and i am doing this off the top of my head -- something like $75 billion-plus
is that on i.t. with the government, and it does not work. and get data breaches. we did not even get into the data breaches happening at the irs. we have got to get a grip on what is working, and not working. if you think a data breach is out there because microsoft did not think about that, we have big, big problems. i want sure you and your staff know we appreciate. there is a huge volume. it is supply and demand from this man has been greatly increasing, that puts a lot of pressure on a lot of people. i'm a huge believer the overwhelming of majority of federal workers, they try to do the right thing, and we tried to do the right, too. while these hearings are
sometimes tough and pointed and direct, that is what they are supposed to do. as our constitution in motion. you are supposed to be self-critical. that is how we get that her. in 20 smiley face on everything and say it is all good. we want to help solve his problems. we're not only the oversight entity, we are supposed to be -- and there will be a foia reform bill. i want to take another breath and get your perspective, the media, the outside groups so we get that the just right. you do not get just once every couple of decades a chance to reformulate something, so we will look back at that bill, see if we cannot tighten up some other things maybe lesson the number of exemptions -- lessen the number of exemptions. and then speed of some of the other parts of the process so it makes your job smoother and easier. you got all these charts and
graphs, what we can release -- let's do what president obama said err on the site have let's released. i do not think you folks have the freedom to do that. they are slowed down in what "the new york times" said this culture that says -- and it does happen over a long time, not just one administration -- culture that does not want to make the mistake because it does not want to release it and we are not giving the people what they pay for. we all work for them. you all work for them. we got to be more responsive. there telling us is not working. it is been in protective today's appearance. still lots more to learn. we look forward to the interaction with you. thank you for your time and patriotism and dedication to the, country and your government and we thank you come to this committee stands adjourned.
it is always good news that more americans found work, but with weak economic growth and too many for better jobs, he can do better. -- we can do better. >> this sunday, conversation with jim webb, discusses growing up in a military family. american foreign-policy, congress, and why he wants to be president. senator webb: if you look anywhere in the country and as people what they think is missing at the federal level, it is leadership they can trust people have the experience that can show they have a record, work across the aisle, and get things done. it is a blessing and i have
been able to spend half my time in public service and have of my time to other things, working for myself as a sole proprietor and believe strongly that we need to create a new environment in washington where we have leaders who can talk about that -- talk across the aisle. >> jim webb at 6:30 p.m. eastern on sunday. >> or from "washington journal" in about an hour. at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. host: our guest is mara keisling. good morning. guest: good morning. how are you? host: fine, thank you very much. we have heard a lot about the
term transgender this week. what is technically a transgender person? guest: a transgender person is somebody whose identity, how they express the internal senses, is different than what you would expect from somebody based on what the doctor said when he slept them on the behind when their firstborn. host: how many are in the united united states? guest: we don't know for sure, we think about one million. host: one of the aspects of your organization is dealing with the quality issues. when it comes to a list of issues of equality for transgender people, what are they? guest: discrimination, violence. we have about a transgender person per month murdered in the united states just for being transgendered. job discrimination, access to health care, access to i.d. documents that shows we really are so that you don't get hassled or hurt when you have to
to produce i.d. host: so talk a little bit about more about that. what do you mean about that? guest: well, most people take their driver's license for granted. the gender marker fits who they appear to be. for trans people, it has been harder to get i.d. that matches who they are. since 9/11, it is so much more important to have a good i.d. in the united states. and consisted from one form of i.d. to another. host: at a goes further than driver's licenses? guest: passports, birth certificates, government i.d.'s military discharge papers, a lot of different ids. things you wouldn't think about. medicare cards have a gender marker on them. host: what protection specifically applies to the transgender person? guest: more and more, we are
hearing courts interpret sex discrimination laws to say that if you discriminate against a transgender person, it is because of their sex. you don't think they are the right kind of man or right kind of woman. so we believe it is legal to discriminate against trans people. i think we have a little more work legislatively and administratively to do and litigation wise to do before that is cemented in. host: what is happening on the state and local levels? guest: when we started, about 4% of the country's population lived in jurisdiction that had state or local protection. we have almost 20 states that have state explicit laws that protect gender identity. host: if you want to ask our
guest questions, phone lines are available. transgender viewers can call and and givet their experiences. we divide the lines partisan but is this a partisan issue? are the people on both sides of of the aisle working for this? guest: absolutely. one party has been more favorable towards us than the other, but that is becoming increasingly less true as more and more families have transgender kids or even gay or bisexual kids. that is how families are really learning about this. and that is how we are teaching people who go to school with us, who go to the church or the mosque with us. host: when it comes to the rights issue, one of the things i read over and over was the
issue of bathrooms. what is going on? guest: it is kind of puzzling. i think people kind of think we are -- forget we are human. we have to use public restrooms. it is just that simple. and the easiest way to do that -- and the right way to do that -- is for me, for instance, to use the women's room. and for a transgender man, someone born female and becomes a man or becomes identifying as a man and may have a beard, we want him in the men's room. we, as a society, want him in the men's room. i don't mean me personally. it is something that i think people aren't yet familiar with, but it has been going on for decades. we have had city and local laws that protect trans people's rights. host: but there are lawsuits concerning this. guest: sure.
but we are winning all of those. you know, nothing in any of these laws would allow anybody to do anything untowards in the bathrooms. anybody who does anything illegal in the bathrooms, they have done something illegal. if they haven't done anything illegal, i think everybody should just leave everybody alone in the bathroom. host: talk about the work about the agency that deals with work. guest: the eeoc has been a really important part of the trends toward clarifying sex discrimination laws to protect transgender people. the logic is pretty simple. you wouldn't expect a judge to say you were fired for converting from catholicism to judaism, so that is not religious discrimination. but judges used to say that. they would say, you are fired for converting from a being man to a woman. and judges and now the eeoc and the u.s. department of justice and other agencies have said
yes, that doesn't make any sense. if somebody fires you or discriminates against you because of your sex, it is sex discrimination. and the eeoc has come up very clearly on that. host: on our republican line you are on with our guest. caller: your guest mentioned in the open that there was no apparent reason for gender to be on a license. that is, like, ridiculous. it is for cops to identify physically the person that they are looking at. it is just amazing to me that because you decide you are not the gender god made you born with, nobody is gender. guest: well, thanks, tony.
i think you misheard me. i said there is no reason for gender to be on the medicare card. in another few years, i will have a medicare card and it will have an f on it. there is no reason why a pharmacits or doctor's office needs to see that. it doesn't help anything on the card. it has always been there because they were never pictures before. that is why there is a gender marker on driver's licenses. when i got my first license, there was no driver's license. so a police officer would need race, age, height, and sex on the license. that is not true anymore. the real i.d. that was passed a little more than 10 years ago ago requires states to keep the gender marker on the drivers license. it doesn't really do any good at -- and eventually that will come
off. host: let's hear from wayne next. wayne is in nebraska. go ahead. caller: i am wondering who made the law that taxpayers have to pay for sex changes for people in prison? guest: well, i believe it was thomas jefferson. let me clarify what i mean by that. the eighth amendment to the constitution, which probably jefferson didn't write, it disallows cruel and unusual punishment. over the history of our country, we have always, always been committed as a country to the notion that denying health care to prisoners was, in fact, cruel and unusual punishment. so if somebody breaks their leg while they are in prison, we set a leg. and more and more, it is unanimous in the medical community that transition- related care, including transition-related surgeries is, in fact, good, smart necessary health care.
and as such, our constitution says it is cruel and unusual punishment to deny that to prisoners. that's our constitution. i am a big believer in our constitution. host: are there federal programs that cover transitional surgeries? guest: so, the main federally controlled health care of medicare -- controlled medicare no longer has a national coverage determination that disallows coverage, but in fact, people are not getting medicare currently to pay for surgeries. the same in the veterans administration, there is a regulation that disallows them from conducting or paying for transition-related surgeries. and the federal employee health benefits program, the office of personnel management is still not telling insurance companies that they must cover this.
so there is not a lot of federal money being used for this at all. if at all. host: employers health insurance, does it cover it generally? guest: 10 years ago, no health plans did. now, more and more are. they know that in order to keep good people, they have to have good health care plans. so, people who do not rely on government-funded health care are now more and more a lot better off than people who rely on government. host: what is the cost of transition surgeries? guest: well, it varies a lot. i think a lot of americans think there is something called sex reassignment surgery, when in fact there is a whole array of surgeries that some people may need. it is different for everybody. there are what we call top surgeries that happen from the top up. there are bottom surgeries, which you can figure that out. and then there are a range of them. but we are in a situation now where we still have, for
instance, a transgender man who may need a hysterectomy for not transgender-related reasons. a doctor may say, you need a hysterectomy. if the doctor says the transgender man needs a hysterectomy and his non-transgender female coworker needs a hysterectomy, she may get hers paid for and he may not just because of transgender. and that is discrimination. even if it is for the same medical condition. john is from florida. caller: good morning. first question is -- how many transgender citizens are there any united dates -- united states? and if caitlin jenner does not proceed completely with the transgender process, don't you think this is going to be a huge setback? guest: so, we think there is about one third of a percent of the u.s. population is transgender identified.
probably somewhere around 800,000 to one million people. as for caitlin jenner, i don't know what her plans are. i don't think -- well -- i mean i know there is nothing called completing one's transition. it is different for everybody. some people elect to transition socially. jenner has clearly transitioned socially and let everybody know she is a woman, she has a new name, etc.. some people transition legally. some people change medically. but that is also not a clear line all the time. i do not know what medical treatments caitlin jenner has had or does half, and it doesn't matter to me. i think most of america will make their assumptions about what medical treatment she has accessed. and that is between america and
caitlin jenner. host: what has caitlin jenner done for the issue though? guest: oh, what she has done has really been amazing. right after the diane sawyer interview, one of the most amazing things is that news outlets all over the country have been inviting trans people in to tell their story. while caitlin jenner story is just one story, she has created this moment where hundreds or thousands of people are telling their story. and more and more people in america are leading a trans person who they think they knew. obviously, host of us don't and jenna, but a lot of america thinks they know her through her sports life or through her kardashian life. i think it has been an amazing gift she has given us. and i hope it runs a few more months. host: a columnist makes two points. i want to -- want you to respond to both. the first point, what concerns
me here is the media's treatment and the assumption that we all need to be a part of this. guest: yeah, you know, i have personal problems with the whole idea of celebrity culture, but that is actually where we are. my job, as i see it, is to take this cultural moment, which is only happening because of caitlin jenner. if it was just some random person off the street like me, it wouldn't be a big deal. vanity fair wouldn't have put me on the cover. because we live in this celebrity culture, which is vapid and probably harmful in lots of ways, that is what they do. and caitlin jenner is in the middle of that. is intentionally in the middle of that. and i think there are some real positives to that. you know yeah, i don't know why all of america have to be dragged into every celebrity's everything.
host: and the other point goes to your point, saying in stark contrast, all gussied up like some 1940's girl. it seems a mockery of her new womanhood as well as the human dignity. guest: well, i am not, as you can imagine, who they call for comments on fashion magazine culture. so i don't know that i want to comment on that, but what i will say is there are all different kinds of transgender people. there are some glimmers transgender people, and there are some people who can barely eat. we have a germanic -- dramatically high poverty rate. we are four times more likely than the non-transpiration to live on less than $10,000 -- non-trans person to live on less than $10,000 a year. we are more likely to be homeless. a survey we did five years ago said that 19% of us have been
homeless at some point. so caitlin gender -- jenner is not a typical transgender person. but we are just people like everybody else. and so some of us are celebrities. not me. host: mara keisling is with the national center for transgender equality. fred, you are up next. caller: yes, hi. i have a question. i have a son who is transgender. born female. well, we thought. [indiscernible] -- surgically and legally. and has turned out to be a very happy person and we support the heck out of him. love him and support him. but while i was thinking he was extremely happy and well-adjusted, when we had a conversation, he said, dad, it
is not -- well, he said it is not perfect. and not just him, but other people. my question is -- i want to be sensitive and i want to learn. i am old and what things should i stay aware of two best support him? guest: fred, thank you so much. first, let me say i am from harrisburg, right across the river from you. i grew up there. and it is good to hear from somebody from back home. you know, there is a really great group and central pennsylvania. that i would suggest you get involved with. but actually, the most important thing you could possibly do is what you are doing. you are saying, this is my child. this is somebody who i am attached to for life. this is somebody i care about. this is somebody who i am going to support.
is transitioning going to solve all of anybody's problems? no. it is still really hard to be anybody in this life right now. if you are transgender, it is hard to not transition, and it is hard if you do transition. but it makes a really big difference, as you are saying, in your son's life. i would just suggest, meet some good people locally. there is a great lgbt center in harrisburg. with support groups and i think meeting people and getting to know people can help put your situation and your family and better context for you. but the most important thing for everybody, whether they are transgender or not, his family acceptance and family support. host: this is al in las vegas. go ahead. caller: hello. i'm -- i read a book several years ago.
but it goes into the life of a -- a young girl that is -- that she doesn't know, you know, when she becomes an adolescent, she discovers that she doesn't feel like a girl. but she knows she is ago, but the thing is that -- that she doesn't wake up one morning and say, hey, i think i will be a boy or the other way around. a young grow -- or a young boy could wake up -- i mean, he just doesn't like up someday and say hey, i want to be a girl. a person -- and most people don't realize this -- but a person is born with this problem. it is not like -- it is not like they want to be different. but anyway, let me get back to
the book. the title of the book is, "middlesex." guest: absolute -- absolutely. caller: are you aware of that book? guest: yes, i sure am. host: i will let our guest respond. guest: i sure am. it is really a good book. there is artistic license that goes into anything like that, and you are absolutely right. for most people, this isn't a suddenly i woke up when i was 32 years old, you know? using caitlin jenner as an example, she has done a really good job over the last month or so explaining how when she was a kid and this is how it manifested itself been. and when choosing teenager and went to his young adult. she started going out and meeting transgender people to try and understand it when she was in her 30's, but it wasn't until her 60's when she could
execute a transition. it sounded very clinical, to execute a transition, but i have now met kids and doctors of kids who get at 18 months, 36 months five years old would just know. i did. i have thought about this every day of my life and i don't know why, i don't know what causes it, i just know every conscious they of my life since i was three years old i have known this to be absolutely true. and i have known that what society was telling me was my amazing, loving, well-meaning parents were telling me because we didn't know any better in the early 1960's. you know, we know better now. and it is really improving a lot of kids' lives. and books like that do a good job of -- of educating people
about certain aspects. host: what happens when miners want to go through a transition? what laws govern that? guest: again, there are different kinds of transitions. so, i know lots of folks who you know, their children will say, i am a boy or i am a girl and they will let them live that way. you are not going to do a medical transition on a three or four-year-old. i am not an expert on the medical stuff, but that is true. when kids start getting towards puberty, that is when you have to start thinking about what that is. what should be done. but kids very young -- on the bruce jenner interview, they interviewed a friend of mine who is saying she has seen 18 months old just say, no, not girl. boy. and we know.
we know when we are kids. additives -- and it is interesting. society doesn't think to ask how kids are sure about their gender. most little boys and little girls are absolutely sure. and that the arts different than what their parents said. we don't challenge that. we don't say, how does the four-year-old not trans kid know they are not trans? but yeah, kids generally won't -- they will socially transition young, but they won't medically transition. host: from indiana, hello. caller: high. -- hi. my aunt was born a boy and she had a surgery young. i told -- totally support her. even though i don't talk to her that much, you know, unfortunately.
but -- you know -- i see a lot of my own family and friends and stuff who -- who not just with the transgender, but with the lgbt community, just in secret or, you know, in this little family-friendly network, they see a lot of that stuff about those people who live that type of lifestyle. i mean, what does the guest think can be done about that, not just from a public -- you know -- from a public thing, but what can be done for, you know, -- host: we got your point, day. guest: yes, dave, thank you. the most important thing that happens is what happened to you.
you had one in your family. and it has made you more understanding of what transgender is. not that you experienced it yourself, but you know somebody. it is not some abstract thing that some athlete reality show star in hollywood is experiencing. it is something that your family is experiencing. right now, we saw a survey a month or two ago showing that about 20% of americans say that they know a transgender person. that means 80% of people don't either know somebody or they don't know that the know somebody, but what it means is that it is not a real thing for them. so people still have an understandable -- still have understandable, and doubt that my experience is real, that somehow i am trying to make it up or pull some political agenda on somebody. when you are my family and you know that i have always been in good -- a good and reasonable
person and now i am saying this, you can hear it better. and you can be willing to learn. when we heard from the father from pennsylvania, that is not something he was expecting. but now, i bet he doesn't go to work and make fun of transgender people because his son is one. that is the most important thing and the most important thing -- i think the policy work we do at our organization is very important. the most important work that is being done as people every day educating people at work, educating their families and the people they go to a synagogue with and their classmates. so, i think that is how we do it and it is going to take some time. host: your organization is the national center for transgender equality. mara keisling
>> more from washington journal in about an hour and 10 minutes with the author of "undercover jihadi," and his decision to leave the jihadi movement. that is at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. memorial services for vice president joe biden's son, beau, continue today. the iraq war veteran and former delaware attorney general died saturday from brain cancer. he was 46 years old. the associated press reports a foundation in his name for children has received $121,000 in debt -- in contributions. president obama is expected to deliver the eulogy at the funeral tomorrow in wilmington,
delaware. c-span will be live during the mass starting at 10:30 eastern. this sunday night at 8:00 eastern on "first ladies," we look into the lives of two first ladies from the 1850's. jane pierce loses her son in a tragic train accident. she does not attend the inauguration of her husband and spends most of her time writing heartbreaking of the -- writing heart raking notes. jane pierce and harriet lane this sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on "first ladies: influence an image: examining the private and public lives of women who fill the position of
first." as a conflict, c-span's new book first ladies is available as a hardcover or e-book through your favorite bookstore or online bookseller. >> a look at the u.s. criminal justice system as it attempts to deter criminal activity through punishment other than incarceration. michael botticelli and representatives from the faith and freedom coalition and the vera institute of justice. this is an hour.
>> good afternoon everyone. good afternoon and welcome to the safety and justice challenge symposium. i and the -- i am the director of the free justice institute. we are thrilled to be working with partner organizations on the safety and justice challenge. i want to offer you our congratulations and a particular one of the 20 sites and welcome you to washington dc and the challenge. our role is to convene all of the amazing talent assembled today to the sites who are receiving funding to the technical assistance fighters -- providers who will support the sites on their journey to creating better safer, and more
effective local criminal justice systems. welcome to the national strategic allies who are rallying around this initiative over the next couple of years. the safety and justice challenge will help spark dramatic change across the country and we are honored to be a part of that. i must tell you that we are being broadcast live today on c-span 2. if you would like to tweet everyone you know, anywhere that you have ever met, please let them know they can be tuning in right now to see you at this event. we are grateful to c-span2 for being here today. her first speaker today is julia stache, president of the foundation. prior to joining she worked for , the city of chicago, first as a commissioner or the department of housing and then as chief of staff to mayor richard
daley. she also served at the companies and general administrator at the service administration here in d.c. please welcome her as she kicks off the program. [applause] ms. stache: thank you to all of you. i'm julia stache, president of the macarthur foundation. we are one of the largest philanthropies and our headquarters are in chicago. we have offices in russia, mexico, and nigeria. we support organizations working in more than 50 countries to make the world a better place. why we are here today is there is a growing consensus that the system of justice in our country needs great attention. the system of concern is a level of incarceration that not only leads the world but conflicts
with the bedrock american ideal of fairness. i want to thank each of you, our our interest in the issue and for interest in the safety and justice challenge, which is our attempt to address it. we appreciate your thoughtful engagement and input in is the start of a concerted national effort to change and think about how america uses its jails. thank you to c-span for covering this event. let's thank them more for drawing attention to an important issue. today we will announce the 20 jurisdictions that will resave funding -- received funding through the challenge. the collaboration that begins here is just as significant for macarthur at that is for you our partners. we share your commitment to a fair commitment to justice at the local level and we stand ready to help at every juncture along the way. this is not a quick fix and it will be a long journey.
whenever you start a long journey it is helpful to remind ourselves of what the bearings are at the beginning. let me share with you the thinking that led us to engage with adult criminal justice. how this relates to our identity as an institution and what our goals are. as i said, macarthur now almost 40 years old is active in a range of issues and in countries around the world. i don't know how many of you have heard of our ambition to build a world that is more just, verdant, and peaceful. you may have heard about that. you also may know about our genius grants and the macarthur fellowships. the awards for people who are exceptionally creative and effective and our supports for public broadcasting. these threads are central to our
identity, the concern for peace , flourishing in farming, creativity, the public good and justice. our very first branch was to -- grant was to amnesty international. for the past two decades, we have worked really hard to include juvenile justice in the united states. we also worked in other areas of american social policy. in each of our u.s. policy areas we have the ambitious goal not just to attack specific problems but encourage deep change in the complex system of governance and housing and education and health care to shape virtually everybody's life. we believe improvement in those areas will contribute to a
stronger fairer, more democratic america that brought us to the justice system and the safety and justice challenge. we know that the justice system is so central to how society regulates itself. when the justice system fails it is safe to say virtually nothing else can succeed. what in criminal justice is real success? that is a harder question. we began with the concern of the high rates of incarceration in america. i don't think i cannot personally add much by you to the great deal that is being said. except to say i am extremely grateful that the magnitude of the problem is now truly well-known. i think it is enough to save we
cannot be proud to have so many americans behind bars or that almost 2/3 of them are people of color. we dedicate far too many valuable resources to practices for whatever the merits, they , also can do tremendous harm to individuals and families and communities. we can and we should do better. that is why we are here. crime is not a simple problem the consequences of which can be just wished away. the truth is that people do bad things to one another. these are crimes that have to be deterred and punished whatever the views are about incarceration. incarceration is the end product of a complex set of actions reactions, and action within a system.
we should start at the beginning in the local systems. in towns and suburbs safety comes first. that is where we put the word in our name. safety is nonnegotiable. not just localities but , civilization itself. the government that does not provide security loses legitimacy opening the door to fear that creativity and freedom are not possible. from deterrence to policing to just punishment all based on the imperative of equal rational treatment, the rule of law is the indispensable treatment of a free society. we take these concepts as given. in regards to safety, we have a
reason to be optimistic. we have made great strides with violent crime. property crime is all down dramatically. we are safer today and we were in the early but every success 1960's. as its shortcomings. we may have passed the point of diminishing returns and there is a consensus the war on crime has produced serious collateral damage from our society. what do i mean? remember the american ideal , places less emphasis on the exercise of controlling power than the willing consent of the governed. participatory democracy, even more so than other forms of government, depend on trust legitimacy and the inherent , justice of the social contact. that is why we chose justice as the second element of our name. it must be perceived to be reasonable and fair to be effective for citizens to internalize. when the rule of law seems
intrusive, imposed, or oppressive the social contract falters. i fear that in many places america sees that process in action. researchers have studied the they have studied the experience of communities as a regular part of life. they show how wide of the net the justice system is casting and in 1980 only 1% of 18 through 23 rolls of self reported no criminal behavior were exposed to parts of the system. by 2002 it was 13% and net was 30 years ago. misdemeanor plea bargains created a whole generation of cohorts with a criminal record. many people were exposed to the controlling affects of the criminal justice system.
studies show these encounters are profound and lead to low levels of trust and a diminished sense three-quarters of the -- diminished sense of standing. three quarters of people surveyed agreed leaders care very little about people like me so they will be less likely to report broken street lights we have many people withdraw from society who into the draw -- hoping to draw attention to themselves and this is the opposite of the civic engagement. so by its nature criminal-justice is extremely powerful. so with apprehension to incarceration as people have their rights curtailed it profoundly changes to individuals perceive themselves.
if government seems to be -- if government expressed through the criminal justice system seems to be capricious or dangerous people seem to be fully participating that if the system fails nothing else can succeed so now you see it is high-stakes that is our word challenge comes from. how can work toward a criminal justice system while ensuring democratic accountability? in particular, what we're all about, change the way jails are used and perceive so they don't undermine the credibility and respect for the justice system. incarceration is powerful but blunt instrument can be more surgical or fair? we don't underestimate the scale of this challenge.
often encounters people at their worst but yet we're asking them to be at their best. we are looking for well conceived and executed culture that raises the levels of trust and reduce the harmful effects for individuals and society. we're asking this of a system that is chronically underfunded optimally designed a subject of local politics and sometimes conflicting goals. it is a tall order but what we have seen in the proposal , and even those not in the final 20 there is a determination to make real and meaningful progress to innovate for communities the ordinary people can afford security.
macarthur is proud to have found partners like you who share our hope for the future. we pledge ourselves to you and to the task ahead. it won't be easy, but we are confident, and we are hope you -- and we hope you are confident as well. before i turn the podium over to the director of justice at the macarthur foundation, who will introduce the selected jurisdictions to you, let me up thought you for the work you do every day. but even more so for your aspiration to make that work more effective bulk, more accountable, -- more accessible more accountable, and in keeping with the democratic ideals. thank you so much. welcome. [applause] panama good afternoon. -- >> good afternoon.
i am the director of the justice reform program at a macarthur foundation and. we have given you a picture of what brought us to the stage today and i want to thank you for joining us and for participating in the safety and justice challenge for i will go -- and justice challenge. let me go deeper into the nuts and bolts approach to think about the growth of incarceration in the united states we decide to focus on local criminal justice. despite the growing national attention to the large numbers of americans significantly less attention has been paid to criminal-justice system's where the system primarily operate where incarceration begins 12
-- begins. there are nearly 12 million local jail admissions every year. 20 times the number prison admissions equivalent to the population of los angeles and new york city combined. three out of five people in jail are legally presumed innocent awaiting trial or a plea negotiation. nearly 75 percent of the population of pretrial -- of both sentence offenders and pretrial detainee's r is in jail for nonviolent like drugs or violations of property 17 percent of serious mental health many are there because they cannot make bail. important to the foundation and a core principle of our work is concern about the disparities in how people of color are treated by the system. we knew that reducing racial and
ethnic disparities would be a core focus of our work. the safety and justice challenge announced last february. the reason we had confidence is we know there are promising strategies out there. all across the country jurisdictions are working to reduce their reliance on jail with a focus on the disproportionate impact on low and income -- on low income the visuals -- low income individuals. and communities of color we set out to build a network of partners that were committed to local justice reform, the project's public safety to produce social outcome. when we announce the safety and justice challenge, we expected to hear from jurisdictions across the country to create meaningful criminal justice
reform. while we expected a strong show of support and enthusiasm we were overwhelmed by the responses that we received. we had over 180 jurisdictions submit applications for 45 different states and territories. they exhibited a commitment to collaboration, understanding the need of a local solution motivation to redress racial fairness, and a deep commitment to local reform. with a team of reviewers we undertook the task to form a the safety and justice challenge and -- challenge network. and here are the 20 sites idaho, south carolina, cook county illinois, harris county texas, los angeles, california, with
hash lucas county ohio luxembourg county, north carolina. mesa county colorado, milwaukee wisconsin, oregon, new orleans' louisiana, new york new york, a palm beach county florida, pending to an county, south dakota -- pending toton county, south to goes a -- south dakota. philadelphia, pa., a rizona, missouri, shelby county tenn., a spokane county washington. the jurisdictions include large cities to small localities like mesa county colorado and in south dakota. those capacities are from just over 200 beds or as many as 21,000. together they represent 11% of the nation's jail capacity it
-- capacity. this initiative could impact a large segment of the of population and to demonstrate the alternative to incarceration that others could adopt and implement. the sites are diverse geographically and with politics with the economic and social structure and how the jails are organized and governed. regardless of the starting point , there is a half to change the way jails are used. in terms of the population represented by these sites they represent over 42 million or 13% of the total population. they have very diverse jail capacities. this gives you an idea how we
picked small, medium, mega large jails. why these sites? as i mentioned we were gratified by the quality and volume of their response we received of jurisdictions across the country. the sites selected are broadly representative of the nation's diversity. they exhibit leadership collaborative capacity and to make change that is needed and a commitment addressing racial disparities that exist in the system. also of the support of the of 171 who were not selected a -- select for the challenge, that we are committed to them to
provide support to it is our aim to raise this as a safety and justice challenge as a national imperative. we know there are promising innovations out there that will help us reduce the miss and overuse of jail. what will the work and tail? in the next six months these jurisdictions will work with some of the leading justice organizations. the universities of new york institute to state and local governments. the center of court innovation, the justice management institute. to generate actual plans and reducing the incarceration or creating a fair and local justice system. where did the racial end of next disparities be from the jail you see the echo -- use each.
-- you see iged. they will explore better ways of targeting resources and insisted only be used when necessary. they will do all of this law maintaining an emphasis on public safety. together this work will create momentum for change on a national level. many of the jurisdictions that are involved have already made great strides in justice reform. their work will explore how to build on that progress. all the sites will turn and i toward collaboration. they are in safer meaningful and lasting change.
beginning in 2016, 10 of these jurisdictions will be selected for a second round of flooding -- round of funding to implement their plans. we look forward to sharing with you the experiences of our 20 selected jurisdictions and of those and represented by their teams, please stand. [applause] congratulations so -- congratulations. thank you so much. so now we will go a little deeper to what has been happening in our nation's jails. is my pleasure to introduce nicholas turner, who joined in august 2013. he came to the foundation but he
previously was with the vera institute. he has also served on the boards of the national council and though living cities at the center for working families. please join me to welcome nick to the podium. [applause] nick: this is the second to dais -- second day s i have been on today. the first one i toppled off backwards in my chair. i'm going to assume today's short talk with you will go better than that. you guys can be the judge.
i am nick turner, the director of vera. it is really an auspicious occasion. if i'm quite onerous with my test honest with myself i am awestruck by two things. -- if i'm quite honest with myself i'm awestruck by two things. there is so much at stake. the second is what a tremendous opportunity we have. there is unprecedented national attention on the work we are called upon to do here. there is unprecedented opportunity to make the most of this moment. before i talk about this first challenge, i think this requires a brief historical digression about the organization that i run. fear, founded in 1961, was held
as developing here in the united states a solution to unnecessary detention in our jails 54 years ago. his family made money on cigarette rolling paper. and the first president was concerned about the problem of too many poor people in jail and in new york for too long. it is on atlantic avenue. some are waiting up to 10 months for their cases to be adjudicated. mostly they were there because they couldn't afford to pay bail. what vera did at that time was
to devise an entirely different system for managing release. what we all know is release on caucuses. the notion you could look on family and individuals and community ties and assess these things. if someone rated as a lower risk you could read them and they would return. this experiment proved to be more effective than they'll. that was in the early 60's. what happened is a number of jurisdictions got interested. the work ended up informing the federal bail reform act, which was the first reform of the bail system in this country since the late 1700s. i tell its story not because i'm proud of it but because i have to acknowledge what we see and what we have to face as a
describe -- as a bittersweet recognition. it is if the work we did in 1961, the manhattanville project almost never happened. lori recounted some of the specifics for us. a statistic she cannot recount, but i will say more about in a moment, his we are now spending four times that we spent 30 years ago in jail. that is 22 billion. i have more to say on that. three out of five people in jail right now are presumed innocent they are awaiting the disposition of their cases. and release on cognizance, this thing that my assessor invented release without financial conditions is less common now than it was 25 years ago.
there is a lot of work we need to do. what we know from this sliver of a document you all received when you entered is it is called the price of jails, measuring the taxpayer cost of local incarceration. we have learned we are spending more than we thought we were. and that is part of the huge challenge we have to undertake and we need to solve. the cost of jail is higher than most policymakers and the public realize. it is almost certainly higher than the $22 billion figure that i just told you. significant jail costs sit outside jail budgets. have you ever conducted a survey and sent it out to a number of jurisdictions? 35 jurisdictions responded. what we have learned is in a quarter of the jurisdictions
that responded, 20% of the jail, of the budget dedicated to jails, sits outside the jail budget. in one jurisdiction, over 50% of it does. these costs, pensions, health care legal judgments, capital costs, programming, are often not found in the correctional agency budget but other budgets in various counties and cities. perhaps what we have learned is the -- is it is more work than we have. i am quite confident we can do this work. first as tupac said he said all eyes are upon me. he didn't say that. he said all eyes are on me. i am happy there would be some recognition in the audience.
every once in a while u.s. sends the audience. -- you assess the audience. i'm going to bring up tupac and see if anybody recognize that reference. no -- so never before has so much attention and showered on those of us in this room who were dedicated to developing humane solutions to mass incarceration. that comes from people like grover norquist and rand paul and the koch brothers and rick perry and eric holder and ralph reed. here is how hillary linton put it last month when she kicked off her campaign with her first policy speech. there is something wrong when one third of all black men faced the prospect of prison in their lifetimes. and estimated 1.5 million black men are missing from their
families because of incarceration or premature death. it is time to change our approach and it is time to end the era of mass incarceration. we need a true national debate about how to reduce our prison population will eating our communities safe. this kickoff for a presidential campaign. i don't think anyone who is a veteran of this work that we do would have put smart money on that ever happening. here is the second point. this group has the potential to make good on the promise of smart effective reduction and over incarceration. different from what hillary said, you are not dated, you are doing. -- you are not debating, you are doing. there is a lot of talk out there and not a lot -- and not enough action.
there is going to be action. one of the examples we can take as we look at albuquerque new mexico. we touched upon it briefly in this. it's indicative of the ability that counties have to reduce over incarceration at a large-scale, and to to it quickly. facing a federal lawsuit and having 700 people placed in out-of-town fat -- it created a criminal justice review commission to develop an emergency jail population management plan. that plan contain 40 different initiatives, including speeding probation violation, and funding of a for an assistant district attorney for misdemeanor arraignments. the results were really
astounding. in just two years there was a 39% decline in the jail population. if you want a less godly application of that -- the punchline is these counties and cities are nimble. they have many levers at their hand come at their disposal to safely reduce jail populations. system players judges, prosecutors, police have a lot of discretion to act prelim you are not sitting on stock populations of people serving long sentences. you can put this in perspective by looking at new york state or new jersey.
each of these states has reduced prison populations by 30%. that has been over 15 years, a rate of 2% per year. the smart money should be on cities and counties to make a dent in over incarceration. frankly the smart money is on them. thank you lori, and julia and the macarthur colleagues who are here today. let's talk a little bit about justice reinvestment. you all know the concept, it is the notion of taking what you are spending on corrections and public safety and figuring out how to do that -- how to reduce that smartly and reinvest in things that help the communities to thrive, help individuals and families succeed. that is another reason why this work is so important and why all of you must succeed. a reinvestment of jail savings
and the things that help communities to thrive stand a better chance of succeeding here on the local level than it does anywhere else. you don't have regional competition for savings you are not having a debate in a state house about rural economic development and what to do when a facility is closed. there is no real urban divide in that sense. your constituents can benefit from the actions you take, not some other senators constituents that benefit from the services you invest in. and the leaders of these communities, counties, and cities, are closer to these cities. they know how to best reallocate for positive purposes. you are well positioned to be able to redirect savings that meet the needs of your citizens. we can talk about reinvestment
and the hard thing will be to get it right. there are fewer obstacles and cities and counties to make sure that does get done. one final point i want to make to you, which is why this work is important, and it is not anything contained in the price of jails, but something that all of us who have observed the events of the past few months have an understanding of with a degree of poignancy and it is important we bring it all to the work we do here. and that is the task you are undertaking is not only to figure out how to develop smart solutions and reduce jail populations, but it is to re-instill trust and confidence in the criminal justice system. contrary to the news we have heard since ferguson and even before that, and even the report of cleveland, the shootings the
unauthorized use of force public misgivings about the criminal justice system are sourced in things other than just community relations. ask yourself these questions the people whose lives are interrupted, whose jobs are lost, whose expenses piled up, whose children may end up in foster care because they couldn't avoid jail, they could not afford to pay bail. does that have anything to do with the distrust or uncertainty that people have that the criminal justice system -- that those paying attention to their best interest? asked his question to the brothers and sisters and spouses of black men in communities like a castilla or westfield park or chicago deep distrust -- the distrust they have of the kernel justice
system -- of the criminal justice system and are we in a position to change that? as the person who sees a sibling suffering from mental illness or substance abuse whether jail is a place for them to go or if there is a better place they can receive services to get a fresh start in life and in doing that if that instils trust into the system. and finally, ask the taxpayer who wonders why we pay for what we do with the results that we achieve and what we have struggled with that is the very foundation of why we are here today. there is a lot here. there is an undeniable
excitement i feel for the work you are undertaking and with that work, i think i would like to leave you with a simple fact that you should note that what you are doing is exceedingly important for the country, you are being watched, it matters. you are being watched by everyone. you are being watched by c-span also. and then it matters to people not just in your jurisdictions but all around the country. as tupac says all eyes are on , you. [applause] >> come on in. thank you nicolas for that presentation. our next speaker knows well the
impact that jails have on individuals and families. the community has been concerned about over incarceration joining us today is the executive director of the fates and freedom coalition. party joining, he was the district director for a member of the texas congressional delegation. he has also worked for members of the texas legislature and as a missionary in asia and europe. please joining me in welcoming mr. head. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you to the foundation for hosting this event. also, you have to enjoy comments that fold in a low federal and a tupac -- will ferrell and tupac reference. [laughter] let me just say that these
systems are important but they reason why this conversation is important is because good policy, good systems, good budgets really serve people. really, human dignity is elemental at the core. of freedom. as freedom" to the personal choices -- conflict is inevitable. the question becomes can and nation create a system that can resolve those conflicts -- as ronald reagan would put it -- to result in the ultimate end -- an individual freedom with law and order. there is no doubt safety and security are the ultimate end of our criminal justice system but at the faith and freedom coalition, we believe every government enterprise must begin and end by analogy and preserving the dignity of every
single person involved. created in the image of our creator. as national attention does focus more and more on the huge number of americans state and federal a presence -- federal prisons -- not enough attention is paid to our gel systems. you don't need to be educated more on these overreliance on our local jails. the population has over tripled in the last 35 years. expenditures are rising with keeping with that. 12 million as we heard earlier -- 12 missions -- admissions annually. this really is the core and the root of where our incarceration problems and dilemmas arise. it is why i commend macarthur for focusing here while there is so much focus ain't placed in
other admittedly needed places. this is really where our laser focus will need to lie. so my hometown is waco, texas. it can be said that in the middle of delicate situations like we are observing there, some of the other place that's were mentioned by nick that may actually divert us away from this conversation. i believe it should attract attention and conversation in our focus to this conversation of nationally. so this is a prime opportunity for us to zero our focus and to really investigate where are things going right and also where can things be adjusted. the primary purpose of the local jails of course is to detain those that are awaiting court proceedings. those who are a danger to the public or a flight risk. deals have come to hold far more
people than full into those categories. they are often warehouses for low-risk individuals who are too poor to post bill or to sit for key amenities to deal. i was a therapist -- i didn't mention that. i have dealt quite a bit with mental health issues and client interrupting formally or informally with the criminal justice system. i have seen far to often that the people who really have their own personal and psychiatric issues find themselves inadvertently dealing with a system really not designed or capable of appropriately handling them. our system can protect the public by separating dangerous offenders from society at large
and candidate or crime but if we focus on crime and punishment alone, we miscount was opportunities to help break vicious criminal cycles that plague too many of our communities. when we carefully apply resources to root causes of criminal behavior, substance abuse, mental health, childhood neglect, truancy -- we can prevent some crimes before they happen. we can protect victims from that and ultimately, we can devote our limited resources to the design purpose that the limited cells were designed to serve which is ultimately just to keep us safe from dangerous people, right? so i do think that it is very important for to us point out that as we embark on the justice reform discussion we have to remember that victims are the ultimate -- those that
ultimately suffer the most. we must design systems to protect and remedy the damage done to victims first and not society at large but particularly to the victim themselves individually or in small communities. we also must proceed in any reform conversation with a clear understanding that can the local and the state police are our first responders. they put their lives on the line every single day. and we are thankful for the service they provide and also deeply indebted to corrections officers for probation and parole officers across the country that also put themselves in harm's way, either in jails themselves or also out in the field. there is more that we can do to ensure law enforcement continue to provide excellent service to the communities they have sworn to protect, including engaging in partnerships with communities
and the latest technology. to protect both the officers themselves and the public. public awareness community policing and faith-based programs will prove to be incredibly helpful to this end. in michigan, governor snyder just recently offered remarks of a renewed focus and vision for criminal justice there. the state has an arrangement now in over 30 cities across the state to incorporate people of faith and particularly clergy to make up what they refer to as a criminal incident intervener. so faith leaders are apart of the quick response teams that provide a calming influence in the midst of challenging circumstances. they also act as liaisons between the law enforcement and community. they are provided a specific training. to help diffuse crisis and also
houses of worship are holding community gatherings where law enforcement is invited in either to decimate the information on a regular basis or just simply to get to know each other. we also know that our federal and state laws are unwieldy and out of date. there are codes today. you may or may not know this. there are codes today that say to accept a dual is punishable up to a year in jail. do you have any inmates that are found guilty of engaging in dulz lately? and not to be outdone -- reproachful language about the person that refused a dual. a six-month misdemeanor. [laughter] >> i will probably at some point hang it over my 7-year-old's head. should we challenge? what should we do if we turn it down?
thankfully, discussions are well underway right now nationally, here in washington d.c. and state capitals across the country to eliminate the redundant and outdated laws and to look at the penalties in place that are regularly enforced. low level felonies -- we will review those to see if they will be misdemeanors and they will be reviewed to see if they can be civil infractions that don't actually have criminal obligations. so as we know, before a defendant goes to trial, as we have discussed on bail, risk assessment tools will need to be implemented. they are communities in the country that do this. and courts that do this. it needs to be a widespread practice so that we can divert people away in the event of
recognizance is a great example so we can identify those that are eligible for the pretrial supervision in the electronic monitoring. this is really the direction we need to go. thankfully we are seeing that more and more. that needs to be the norm rather than the exception. and it will need to be the practice being. jail sentences are imposed on those that would be held accountable in any other ways. if mental health or substance abuse issues lead someone to a crime, treating those problems can actually improve lives and prevent people from committing new crimes. diversion programs can be designed so the defender can avoid a permanent criminal record if they completely the program. doing this makes it easier for them to command -- return to the community. specialty courts are also something more and more widespread. they are better equipped to deal with substance of alcohol abuse
mental illness. we see veterans courts come up around the country. these are a great practices. because more interaction with a seasoned judge and prosecutors and defense attorneys that are also seasoned, we actually see far better results to this end. and for individuals that are convicted of a crime but don't go to prison, too many of those probationers and that behind bars anyway often for technical violations. to address the growing cost of revoking probation, we need to incorporate driller -- clear parameters around the linked of confinement for technical violations. certain periods of confinement are far more effective than absolute revocation.
americans must have absolute confidence convictions are reach fairly and in a timely way, we will hold fast to the constitutional right to counsel. and the prosecutors and he did fence attorneys have to be well trained and practices in the latest developments and criminal law. there are far too many instances and innocent people convicted of crimes. and false accusiations and perjured testimony. one guilty verdicts are found sentences are delivered incarceration is a critical role of our criminal justice system. putting people behind bars is not always the answer. the time is now. you all have entered into this challenge for the very reason. you are trail blazeres to this end. in texas, the first judge i work for after law school -- i remember after a trial we where in a sentencing hearing.
he -- the defendant was found guilty. the judge -- one of the finest men i've ever known -- his, practice is he would step down off of the bench and walk around and hand him a key. he would say i am giving you this key because you now hold the key to your future. if you actually use your time to remedy yourself to become a productive citizen, you will return to this community as a constructive and contributing member. if you choose not to do that , it's your decision. we know that criminals will be released after they complete the sentence. and be better if they return for a job to be a productive member
of society instead of turning back to that life of crime? redemption is the heart of the faith-based programs across either jail visitation, prison ministries for not just decades but actually ultimately the millennium across the world as christian communities have stepped into jails and prisons for forever. we just did a lunch in about two months ago in atlanta and as we sat listening to governor nathan deal about justice reform issues and efforts in metro georgia the man that is was next to me leaned over and nudged me and said i am a graduate of the very program that the governor is describing. he went onto tell me that is he a minister. and he leads the chapter of the fellowship of christian athletes in north atlanta. and he reaches out to students to talk about his time in prison
and the choice that's he has made. and the way he has turned his life around. all kinds of examples of individuals like that man have committed crimes, turned their lives around and are in places of respect and influence in their communities. we can reform our criminal justice system so that we can have more and more success stories just like his. the best opportunity to secure communities is to secure the few -- future of the children. we must find ways to divert juveniles away from criminal justice system. and we will need to accurately assess the risk and the needs and treat the underlying causes of their behavior and invest in high quality community based interventions. juvenile justice is largely local. we end up with systems all over the country. slightly different. and there are challenges that come in within that. there are strengths with that. and we are able to customize their interventions and communities that are all unique.
and we have been able to assess different community assets that different communities may have that lie differently. removing a juvenile offender from his home and community to place him on the residential facility should be a last resort. studies have shown that being absent from a school as a child can greatly influence the likelihood of committing crimes as an adult. diversion programs could result in a criminal record. and community based programs are more effective and less expensive. many of you do not receive the most appropriate placement or the right type of treatment and the failed placements could be disruptive to the youth and contribute to additional misconduct. and can do more harm than good. so as the factors take their
toll in identifying underlying issues, we find that the treatment will be within their families and in their homes and schools and communities lastly. the criminal justice system engages to protect the public punish the yield to come -- punish the guilty, and reform offenders so they do not reoffend. thankfully, these are exciting times to be involved in this work on the policy level and practice level. i commend you for that. i meant them as building from city hall to state capitals to the halls of congress. so i think that it is very safe to say that the change will happen. we are now in a place of what will that change be? how quickly will it happen? our justice system has to be designed in away that when
it does engage it will maintain the ultimate liberty and is consistent with the law and order. in so doing, we will acknowledge the inherent ability of every person in the justice system and the people in this room today are the tro blazers to that end and for that, i thank you. [applause] >> come forward. thank you. it is my great pleasure and honor to introduce michael sworn in as director of the national drug control policy. on february 11, 2015. previously he served as acting director and deputy director of the national drug control policy. he joined the office of national
drug control policy as deputy director in november 2015. and he has more than two decades of experience. supporting the americans that have been affected by substance abuse. he has received numerous awards and honors for his participation in the field. he has also in long-term recovery from a substance abuse disorder celebrating 25 years of sobriety. [applause] >> good afternoon everybody. it is exciting to be here. i think that many of us have been doing this for a long time. we have been for moments like these. and i really want to thank the foundation for all of the work that they have been doing on criminal justice reform. and congratulate for a willingness to enter into the journey. and folks have talked about the today, this is really a
remarkable moment in time. not just in terms of the revolution and reform to our criminal justice system but particularly the complement of the limitation of the affordable care act as it relates to people with substance abuse and mental health disorders. i cannot remember a time that it has been cooler to be working in drug policy than right now as we think of the historic events we have before us and the incredible bipartisan support we have at all levels of government. i remain convinced from the discourse has change from addressing draconian measures and addressing mass incarceration. and i this i that with bipartisan support. and commitment creativity and perseverance to be applied to the move mentment incarceration can become a reality. -- reductions in incarcerations
and become a reality. we can still ensure public safety. we have been brought together to find solutions to this disturbing problem. the overuse of incarceration and criminalization of poverty race and disease. this is no small undertaking but you have been selected because macarthur knows you are the best people to take on the challenge. like you, the administration is concerned over who is behind bars, whether they belong there and how to make the justice , system more fair and humane and cost effective. the national drug control strategy of the -- is the obama and the station's primary blueprint for drug policy. and drug policies are anchored in the science and recognize that's drug use is a public health concern. leveraging resources and coordinated manner to achieve the over arching goal in drug use and consequences and criminal justice reform is a critical platform of efforts in the drug policy.
for us, drug policy has been putting evidence above dogma. addressing our nations health and justice concerns using science to support our decision. not walking people away because we are mad at them, because they have a substance use disorder but because they impose a threat to the safety of our communities. for too long, we have used the criminal justice system to address substance abuse disorders. when science began to study addictive behavior, people with substance-abuse disorders were thought to be morally lot lacking in will power. these were bad people doing bad things. any discussions of substance abuse disorders was relegated to the shadows. we used punitive rather than therapeutic responses. the time is come to treat substance use disorders as the chronic disease we know it to be like diabetes or hypertension.
we would not allow them to spiral further into their illness without trying to assist them. we can no longer respond in a punitive manner or rate for n to the lot to provide the fourth opportunity of treatment. this is my professional mission but also part of my personal past. despite the fact i exhibited all the classic risk factors for addiction, my illness progressed unscreened, undiagnosed, untreated until my own intersection with the criminal justice system encouraged me to seek care. unfortunately for many, my story is not unique and while our criminal justice system can and should play critical role in diverting people away from arrest and incarceration, our health care and social service systems must also do better at early intervention and more timely access to care before someone is putting content with the loaf -- with the law.
we are moving this discussion front and center and bring it into the light of day and working on solutions. groundbreaking discoveries about the brain are revolutionizing our understanding of addiction. federal legislative and policy initiatives have allowed for more than just changes in charging and sentencing. the change reflects an understanding of the need to protect society from the most dangerous individuals are providing solid alternatives for individuals with nonviolent drug and other offenses. the administration wants to make certain that the scarce resources are applied in the most effective manner and supporting alternatives to incarceration that mitigate risk of community safety and meet the justice involved individuals. we are working to make sure that evidence based responses and interventions are the norm.
and screening substance abuse disorders and effective treatment. medication assisted treatment. overdose prevention efforts and recovery support. and without these viable alternatives how do we expect anything to change? we join you today in support of the mutual goal. diverting more people from the jails and prisons and towards community-based solutions that will both hold them accountable and allow them to live with their families, live in their communities, and live with dignity, decency, and respect. we would like nothing better than the substance abuse disorders to remain out of the system if at all possible. primary and specialized health health care programs at be providing the prehave nottive systems and treatment not just the criminal justice system. gels are too often used to detail the wrong individuals -- those for, disenfranchised, struggling with a disease. it will be better to identify people who need help utterly in the process and connect them
with services. for individuals with substance use disorders, using evidence-based health locus of screening tools and risk and needs assessments should be integrated in the criminal justice process. the we should be screening people out, not in. on the federal level, we are trying to establish systems and processes that can help you respond to the needs of your community. the federal government plays a critical role that local governments are the incubators and effective strategies. we learn from you, your experimentation, leadership, creativity determination to tackle head on these problems. you are in a parcel position to turn the criminal justice system upside down and inside out. to make it effective and fair and compassionate. i wish you all the best with charging a new course and look forward to our work together. thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much, director
for your words and leadership. we will carry forward your message as our work is underway. the intersection between substance abuse and mental health disorders is one you will all face as a challenge in your jurisdiction. and now, let's celebrate. i am what is standing between you and establish reception next door which should provide you some sustenance in advance of two incredibly difficult days ahead or you will you are a lot of really good information and have a very challenging schedule. it is the challenge. before you proceed to the reception, women give you a little bit of housekeeping. for those of you who are staying a day hotels in town, we have three buses available this evening. if you go back down the
elevators, there will be three buses this evening. they each will carry about 50 of you. please don't wait until the last bus. they will be downstairs again. if you prefer to go elsewhere please make sure you can get back to the hotel so we can be ready to start in the morning. thank you for coming today and arranging or travel schedules to be here this afternoon to begin this celebration and we invite you to the reception next door. thank you. next, a discussion about how extremist groups are recruiting people to their cause and tom cotton talking about u.s. foreign-policy. after that, a form on how states can comply with new regulations by the environmental protection agency.