tv Locked In CSPAN June 3, 2017 4:00pm-5:31pm EDT
effectiveness was the fact that he could have three, four, 5, 6 different combat patrols out any given night. >> complete american history tv schedule go to c-span.org. >> good evening. i have the pleasure of introducing tonight at father talk, the true causes of mass incarceration and how to achieve real reform. take this opportunity to silence your cell phones and if you take
pictures please tag the library on social media. until the last few decades amerigas incarceration rate was on the par with that of other liberal democracies would however in the last 40 years we have seen a 700% increase in incarceration in the land of the free. we have the highest incarceration rate per capita of anywhere in the world under -- other than north korea but there is not enough data coming out to know for sure. what is to blame for america being number one at locking up its own citizens? many theories exist. tonight we will hear about them from an expert in the field, john pfaff has spent 15 years studying data on imprisonment and is here to discuss his book which seeks to debunk some of the more popular theories and providing his own take on this natural catastrophe. he is professor of law with a focusing criminal law, sentencing law and law of economics. he was published in journal of
criminology and economics review and federal sentencing reporter among others and was recently written up in rolling stone and the new yorker. please welcome john pfaff. >> i want to talk about how we get away from here with basic thrust being most of what we focus on, things that are wrong but less important than we think they are. we mustn't overlook the things that matter. incarceration in a nutshell. in the 1920s, 1970s, so stable, the single worst time, published in 1979, one of the most prominent criminologists said we will never go above this because we will change our law to push it down to 400,000. no. by 2010 our prison rate reached
over 500,000, adding jail that 158 -- we are technically number 2 in the world, not number one. 99,000 prison population 650, technically slightly above us. they released 45 from prison, we go back to number one. in all fairness we are number one. the only country that comes close to us are russia, keswick stan and cuba. england has the highest incarceration rate in western europe at 200 per 100,000. france and germany, 100%. nothing close. since 2000 and we have seen a slight decline in reformers are looking that this is a sign that we have turned the corner. remarkable reliance on incarceration behind us. if you step closer it is less optimistic and that is not very optimistic. if you look at it by state, and
increase since 2010, we see the united states and incarceration, california is the top one. crazy numbers, in 2010, 1.4 million people in prison, since 2015 that declined by 77,000, jumping 5.5%. not a lot but not nothing. we turned around a giant lumbering machine. unfair to say it exploded. didn't explode but it rose relentlessly for 40 years. from 1970 to 1991 prison goes up, 91, prison goes up, slow, steady rise. take california alone out of the equation the decline falls in more than half. if you take the top five decliners out of the picture, 11,000, basically nothing. the united states -- one state
on the side, and their prison population has grown. not just prison, but prison, probation and parole is 7. that is before you get to jail, a much harder picture to analyze. it is not nothing but not a lot. that is telling because prison reform is one of the truly bipartisan issues at a time when democrats and republicans can debate about whether the sun came up today. the aclu and the koch brothers sitting side-by-side working to think of this but for all this bipartisan effort there is very little to show for it. ignore three critical factors and get very little attention. the first is prosecutors who are ignored by everybody. a reform bill, rarely discussed. almost single-handedly the force behind prison level since crime
started falling but we never talk about it. and violent as opposed to nonviolent crimes. almost all reforms focus on that low-level nonviolent drug abuse and that low-level nonviolent drug offender should not be in prison but the fact is state prison hold 80% of all prisoners, over half of all people there convicted of a violent crime. changing how we convict people of violence only so far we can go. the third person we ignores the public sector. we complain all the time about private prisons. private prisons are bit players in this story. what matters are the public prisons that hold 92% of all people in prison. there unions are powerful and completely underground. they have the ability and willingness to reformat every turn. the public-sector unions, consistently in what reforms are accomplishing.
i will go through each of these. 94 to 2008, almost no data on prosecutors but a pretty decent time frame. that is a time in which crime steadily declined but what happened, very complicated story. why did prisons keep going up as crime went downward. here is what happens. crime went down. the same time arrests go down. overall arrests fall 5%, serious violent crimes dropped 25%, serious property crimes drop 20% it arrests for drug trafficking dropped by 50%. those are the times you go to prison for and we are resting fewer people for those crimes during that time. fewer and fewer people entering the criminal justice department together yet during time of fewer and fewer people entering the system the number of felony
cases skyrockets. fewer and fewer arrests, more and more felony creatures. once a case is filed against you the probability of going to prison, one in four felony cases go to prison in 1984, when in four felony cases in 2008. once you go to prison you can push back again, the amount of time you stay in prison does not change. there has been no systemic increase in time served in prison. loss of that and overcome actual time spent in prison has changed and it is not that long. i asked undergrads what do you think the median time spent in prison is for someone convicted of violence? ten use, 12 years, 14 years, 20 years. the actual numbers four convicted of a violent crime. one year convicted of drug crime, prison growth is not driven by people spending long time in prison although prison
for less but the change was admitting people to prison in the first place, the decision to file the felony arrest charge. that drive prison growth. it is not longer sentence but lots of people serving short time. the reason is -- we hear all these people going to prison, that is a small part of it. much bigger part is a large cohort of baby boomers committing offenses later in life than we expect and keep being admitted to prison. older offenders not aging in prison, very few people. driven by initiatives. the question is what made prosecutors more aggressive, why are they charging more people as crime goes down. why are they getting covered? really hard to say. we have decent data on crime and good data on arrests, the prison population, where it really matters, didn't have nothing,
scratch. my data set, the prosecutors gather no data. filing a case in court the court system lumbers into play and they gather numbers. a couple theories, some are easy to fix and some are harder. when his public defenders, 80% of all defenders, 80%, prison or jail term. we systematically underfund public defense compared to prosecutors. budgets are smaller, 4.5 billion compared to $6 billion for the year but prosecutors have a tremendous host of free services public defenders don't. if the prosecutor needs something to be investigated they don't pay for it. the investigative arm is called the police department, public defender pay for it out-of-pocket. the sheriff, the police, choose your resources, north carolina figured out the budget of public defenders and prosecutors had
the same budget in north carolina. the free services, public defenders don't, three times, it is adversarial, one side can't fight because they have no money. easy solution, just fund defense better but that is hard. new york state disagreed in upstate new york because it is underfunded, and he vetoed it, in terms of weight. even blue states, democratic governors are afraid to add the budget to defense. that is something we could do. a huge step to take. tough spending laws. people are not spending more time in prison and they are not. something has gotten tougher because it changes the bargaining. look at law and order. every case ends in a beautiful gilded court with the lawyers
yelling at each other and the law in law and order is spot on in the original, have no idea of the spinoffs. the original, remember what jack mccoy says, that was admitted and the second best possible so the law is great but the cases never end in the courtroom. 95% of all give the vertex -- we have no idea how the process works. complete blackbox but it could be the fact 15 years ago you sat down and said if you don't take the 3-year deal i will get you 5 years at trial. now you don't take a 3-year deal i will get you 10 years at trial, 50 years at trial, you're getting the three year sentence, time served, but pleading out faster. the threat is more severe. we can fix that, cut for time served by the official thank you as opposed. it works to this replicated unknown process, serving maximum sentence and hammered out during the plea bargain and no idea how
that happens. perhaps being explained the most is in many ways the most boring answer i have, what matters is boring and the more boring stuff. here are two interesting facts. between 1974, and 2008 the number of counties of full-time prosecutor, 45%, 85%, clearly in the world in the suburban house, in 1996 finally got a full-time da, taking place with one part-time are handling all this but rural and suburban counties did. a part-time guy, a full-time are justified the budget imbues himself now, a lawyer prosecutes on the fight is the prosecutor, changing how we handle the case. in the urban areas something remarkably perverse. as crime is going up, 1974-1990 you hire 3000 more trial
prosecutors. from 1991 to 2008 as crime drops steadily we hire 10,000 more prosecutors, three times as many, 20,000 to 30,000. they have to do something. if you look at what weird measures of productivity i can back out that is consistent. individual das are no harsher today than they were 20 years ago, they are equally harsh and we have 10,000 more of them that we do. a significant portion of this is the -- we arrest so many people and drop so many cases to start with that you hire 10,000 more das there are plenty of cases to justify their position. who wants to take a job and not do their job? let these positions expire but prosecutors fight that, that is how they show their status. these are cutting back.
some things d5 solution. i see an enemy and he is us. prosecutors are tough, away we vote for them. americans consistently say we want the left punitive approach to crime but we don't punish prosecutors for this failing. one bad ordinance and we will vote you out and they know that, we are inconsistent voters. to take on risks is a big thing to ask for. emission driven prosecutor driven, good news and bad news, the bad news is no federal law, no state law, driven by elected prosecutors, don't care what is happening in the states, to solve this county by county, the next graph shows prison growth or prison shrinkage not by state
but by county. orange counties have fewer people in 2014 than they did in 2010. blue counties have more in prison by 2014 in 2010. you see this map, california, vermont, kansas, you won't identify states on this map. the variation with any state is pretty big. county by county process. county by county by county using da after da after da, not to be harsh and punitive. on the one hand it is fair, 60% of all cases are filed, we live in those big broad swaths of the mid-level west, don't have any people, not a lot of prisoners in the me there. you can solve this at the local level. the other thing to keep in mind, they don't care about outside
the county. the rhetoric shifted in dc from prison reform to american carnage. prison growth will continue on. for good or for bad independent of rhetoric, the local da, it is a shield. change what local das do, hard to make it pay outside that. we will continue to reform. overheated rhetoric about crime and punishment. we have to pay attention to prosecutors and we don't. we have a crust -- justice reform proposal. she missed the middle and never
talked da. and their incentive and behavior to rain this in. our sensors are long. and prosecutors are ignoring the problem. the second and most common approach, funny at first, years ago, prison growth, going to prison, you poor misguided academic throwing your life away, i never heard of this war on drugs, never thought about the war on drugs, war on how do you spell that? i get it, people talk about it. between 1980, and 1990, rose sharply, 22%.
it shrank. it shrank. 15%. the fed that 50%. a few cases they are allowed to handle. 88%, drug people make up 15%. 85% are not there for drugs. what are they therefore, violence. between 1980, and 2009 we added 1.1 million people. that is staggering. 223,000, 21%, the drug offense, 551% convicted of violent offense, violence drove the growth, 53% of all people in state prison had their primary offense is a crime of violence. is everyone serving long sentences there for violence, the data looked at half of all
people in prison in 2003, 75%, were still in prison, 3%, and index violent crime, rape, aggravated assault, and index violent crime and lesser assault. and they are serving short term, a majority of prisons, if we don't change how we punish people, and one is on the right, and nearly as devastating to look elsewhere, the first is counting what the war on drugs
is, people there for drug crimes, what about the person who killed someone in a drug deal gone bad, that is a violent crime, not a drug crime, does that go to the war on drugs? what about the person who stole from a store to fund their drug habit? that is a property crime, not a drug crime, should i count them as well? yes. so first there is a lot of evidence now, not so much the prohibition causes violence and prohibition causes drugs you go where the violence already is. this book, talking about other books, mind first and read hers. she points out, anthropological evidence showing anywhere in the world or any time in the world you take younger men and denied the upper mobility and state doesn't do that, they will fight each other and death rates will be high. just as true in 19th century
czarist russia where she does her work as la times reporter in los angeles. it is true in 2010, the 90s and 80s, a large group of young men, underfunded, no racist barriers that deny employment a young black men, the state does not renounce this control of violence, the murder rate for la county as a whole is 60%. 60% of all murders in la county result in arrest, that shocked me. almost 1/3 don't produce and arrest but a plaque mail, it dropped 60% to 30%. two thirds of all of them result in arrest, the state is not enforcing laws. the state doesn't enforce the
law, young men despairs every mobility and return to violence. that brings drugs. there is already despair and lack of hopeful upward -- that is where drugs come to. take drugs out of the picture, don't result in the structural problem, the state doesn't prevent them, drugs to something else. the distinct spike in murders rolling on. at a very real level, and if you are in prison, wire people selling drugs, legal opportunities to do something different. it is a blow minimum wage job.
if you legalize drugs, and in the private sector. seeing this in new york, it is less probable in turning to identity theft. i am thinking of this, if you take drug enforcement, a broad drug to those areas where they are sold openly, the underlying social stress to go down as much. to the right, violent people should be in prison. anytime i write an article thank maybe not a guarantee you the first comment on everything, doesn't matter if it is the wall street journal or the boston globe, this is great, you can hear the scorn in the way they
write about it. you can hear the contempt. you talk about violent offenders, you should never use the word -- someone convicted of a crime of violence, here's why it matters. the violent offender, depends who they are. you are a violent person. violence is not a state. you age into and age out of violence. acknowledge aging in part, kids are crazy, as much as possible, we should treat them less severely because it is just a kid. in new york, 24. this is how long it takes to start being a lunatic child. the other side of the curve, you age out, people will systematically stop being violent in their 30s and 40s, some hang off, most age out.
we are going to throw the key away. your serotonin level shifts, there are social reasons, get married, have a job, you're not around your friends doing stupid stuff. my favorite example, an amazing caper showing what a terrible horror movie comes out that friday violent crime plummets. violence young men go to the theater instead of the bar. then they go home, doing stupid young man stuff. i find the saw movies horrible, they are the cheapest frontline on the war against violence, they should release that every 5 nights, great for our overall nation. you don't hang out with your friends, hang out at bars friday night. i would say you should do it that way. keeps you from doing dumb stuff. we should let people out of
prison earlier with no law. we are not -- there is no evidence a long sentence works. they over incapacitate because there lots of long after they age out. there were citizen rates. 5% versus 50%. big part of that, 45 to 50. and going to lose, 41 down. i might -- 41. and the policy, we let people out of prison, crime goes up because less people are in prison, that might be okay because there are huge costs. going to prison is a huge victory for tuberculosis and
hiv, going to prison cuts your income going forward. one year in prison in the short term, by two years, drug overdose, in prison taking lower drugs at a higher price, higher quality drugs at a cheaper price, you forget to send you die. someone dying of a drug overdose, there is a stigma and shame that bankrupted them in prison. in new york state half of our prisons are 200 miles from new york city. they come from the city. the financial process making contact with loved ones. it cuts into the income of the people left behind. it reduces the tax base and increases healthcare costs and imposes misery, throws dating markets off, dating functions, 50%, some highly placed neighborhood, 60% male, it is hard for families to form so it
throws off the dynamic. it alters the fundamental shift in their actions. talk about 50,000, $50 billion to spend every year. you don't put a price tag on top, staggeringly huge and might justify something like these costs and why do we ignore them? the racial geography of punishment. back to the prosecutor. who lets the prosecutor come out? new york city involves more in st. louis and san francisco. the city and suburbs. those suburbs are richer and whiter and more powerful than the city. they play a huge role for that prosecutor. that prosecutor in the rich white suburbs is in charge of enforcing law, putting more minority areas, we tend to heavily police. the suburban safety, commute deal is safer.
they feel the benefits, they don't feel the costs. not their brother, not their uncle, not their daughter, not their father, into prison for too longer. prosecutors are inclined the way we segregate our population so sharply, to ignore most costs because they don't pay for prison. they are elected by the county but prison is paid for by the state. the political upside, less powerful. so of course they are tough on crime. there a electorate doesn't worry about costs or if those costs exist. people look at me like what cost? seriously think about this, the cost is $50 billion, they are not on their radar but they dwarf in actual human miseries
of $50 billion they spend. a recent poll that came out, the book was published, mingling everything they have done. maybe in paperback. two questions, one troubling clip, a problematic one was what percentage do you think of all people in us prisons are there for drugs, the blue line people say yes. modern conservative. conservatives, 6, yes, the real answer is 15%. we think half of all people are there for drugs, more focused on people convicted of drugs where the bodies are. that is where people are but it is not half. it is 15%. we could educate our way around
that somehow. you can fix misperception. the next question is so heartbreaking. next question is would you be willing to punish less someone convicted of violence who poses little to no risk, are you going to address the easiest example of the hard question we face? no. 50% of liberals, 60% of moderates said no. we are not willing -- even if they pose little to no. we told people time and again that we need to solve the nonviolent drug offenders the low level drug offender should not be in prison but they are not the ones driving boats. because we emphasize the low-level drug offenders so much -- they don't have to ask the hard questions they have to ask. louisiana entertaining reforms,
posing them altogether, louisiana is at least talking about that. based on aging out. if you have been in prison 30 years you are pro-eligible. european countries for murder, 15, in louisiana, 30 years in prison, going to contemplate parole. we are getting there. pushing the conversation slowly as well. what can we do? proposition 36, you can parole people, they won't reoffend because they are older. give local more communities more say. let the city -- the costs and benefits are closer, systematic vibes enclosing the rule and because of that rule being posed properly. prosecutors and especially judges, stop electing judges, terrible idea no one else in the world does.
stop electing prosecutors but i would rather prosecutors be elected and appointed by the county but the way to shield prosecutors to respond that week. there is a lot of intervention that can work to stop time before it happens, we are being smart about this and we ignore it. local community, a vast array of interventions responding to residents reacting harshly afterwards. the reactions ignore years effective as intervention strikes beforehand to disrupt, expand and fund them. the fund it and passing dealing with the fallout from that. stop using prison to cut it off before we start. it is completely backwards. there are reasons to do it that way but we need to change the
approach. the last part. private prisons, the great distraction. bernie sanders wanted to show he cared about prisons, first thing he did, introduce a bill to abolish private prisons at the federal state-level. but side effect the state department was totally unconstitutional, the impact. 8% of all prisons overall, the state level closer to 6. almost all private prisoners nationwide are in five states and they have private prisons. the problem, they don't matter or have impact but a bigger problem that makes it frustrating is the problem with private prisons isn't the profit but the incentives. the prison horror story, you pay a is an per prisoner per day. they cut back on the costs to make that rate profitable for them, cut training and staffing and programming and food, make it as bare-bones as possible,
take it out of the prison to fund their own resources and use the reform tooth and nail because everybody is more money for them. that cuts off profit for them and that is horrible but what i described to you is not private and. what i just described is the state of louisiana did facing an overcrowding problem and a contract to pay local county sheriff's, public officials per prisoner per day to house their prisoners in local county's public jail. there wasn't a private actor in sight. later the counties build out their jail, sheriffs and staff at bare-bones level to buy cars and guns for their officers but it is not about the profit if you incentivize public actors to maximize body time they maximize body count. incentivize a private prison they do the same thing.
instead contracts incentivize private actors for recidivism. people leave your prison and we will track them and see if they come back in five years and if enough don't come back you don't get paid per prisoner per day, you get paid to not come back. not a pipe dream. pennsylvania did it at halfway houses, australia did the entire prison. is the incentive and the fact of the matter is public prisons have the same incentives private prisons do and the same terrible ways or we ignore it altogether. we spend $50 billion a year in prison. half of the cause of that is wages. public prison guard units are hugely powerful. private prison profit last year was $400 million. public-sector, $25 billion. who is the bigger political actor put it in the graph. prize in -- private prison profit on the left, it is there
and public prison guard salaries right there. that is what guard units maximize, what their power comes from. they make so much more of it and that is where the power happens as a force that derails reform. great example how effective they are, new york state should 25,000 prisoners and 1999, the amount we spend on prisons has gone up. people complain about private prison, if capacity falls below 75%, phantom prisoner contracts. that is terrible. new york state is littered with prisons. guards are getting there pay, practically no one. how is it different than private
prison paid for prisoners who are not there. people rant and rave about private resin contracts and never talk about public-sector guard units. it is a huge role. politicians play a huge role, public politicians, jobs, a lot of places prison is the only job, job impact is overstated. they believe it is an economic dynamo for their area. they will fight to keep their prisons open and to get more boring is more profoundly powerful and pernicious, outside four states, for you, new york, delaware and maryland does not hold true. everywhere else there is a prisoner list for the purpose of census for districting representatives, they live in
prison, not where they came from and all across the country
littered with world prisons take black and brown men in the city and move to the suburbs, they can't vote outside of maine and vermont. they are physically there. cannot vote. there are districts all across the country where prison shrinks, that legislator will reduce his seat at the next sentence, they depend on those bodies and those prisons that can't vote. very distinct political bias in this, they tend to vote democrat, democratic out of democratic cities and move to more conservative areas where they bolster republican representation. when new york state got rid of the proposal republican slept within the senate district because they knew they would lose a senate seat and added extra seats to preserve some
degree of senatorial power. the bias is clear. california, maryland, delaware
and new york are states with consistently democratic housing in new york state passed a law -- there is a two year window, the same time the assembly, the only time we enforce this law because republicans know it will cost. incredibly boring but nationwide they have to have their prisoners, they will fight reformist tooth and nail. boring and dry enumeration policy extremely important. urban suburban split when it comes to rates, we just, people in power don't feel the cost they are imposing, people don't look like them, disabled empathy, broad systemic difference. the politics are screwy. as much as we once wanting to work, politics point toward misery is always against mercy. no matter how well the program
works if it fails once politicians believe it is done. most famous is willie horton in a 70s and 80s, people going home for the weekend, 99% success rate. no one ever violated but one guy, he ran away, ran to maryland, rape and brutal aggravated assault, when the governor of massachusetts who didn't even pass the law but supported it, ran attack ads linking them to michael dukakis. it ran on cable which in the 1992 campaign was 1% of all americans saw it but the psychological impacts was fast. darrell dennis was in arkansas two years ago. one parolee commits one murder on parole and 5% to 10% population decline turns into a prison automation increase because the entire parole system arkansas shut down in response
to a single murder. that is how we operate and to depoliticize the system, that will never get fixed. 's constant loops. here's the example of that. in 1970 congress abolished all drug offenses. a state house of representatives got up in the house and said this is a vitally important law. we need to abolish these drug sentences because they are morally wrong, bad across the board and that representative was george hw bush, vice president and then president brought them all back. now we are trying to take them all away again. he abolished these things. we will be right back here again cycling through this. crime is down and we bring them back up but we are inclined to overreact to increases. systematically predictably do that or not designed but how
they have been dealt but no reform has attempted to change the underlying politics. we can use sanity commissions and other political devices to make media response less immediate. we don't do that, we ran through what we can. as soon as crime goes up enough we will be in trouble. the big take away, take questions, dramatic and shocking is often distracted. that is horrible, that should not happen. we should be opposed to that, what is more mundane, it was only two years or no years at all. these low-level things churning through the system, big and shocking because they are rare.
much more dane -- signing plea-bargain this. not some big solution. nothing more mundane. the take away is the most important thing will be the hardest, that is why they are a problem. we probably fixed it. what is an important is leaving there. if it matters it is matters because we don't pay attention to it because it is boring. one death row case, went down to center street and spent the afternoon fighting misdemeanor cases. fighting misdemeanor cases so these guys railroad them two years down the line. that is where things matter so we turned the boring but important fix things that are bad and drive the process but i'm optimistic we can, just shift our attention away from shocking and high profile almost
more horrifying but less dramatic. thank you and i look forward to any questions you have. [applause] >> there is a microphone in the front. stand up, line up. >> the fact is one size does not fit all. there is a difference between the culture -- 195 in the island, you spoke of town in california, incarceration -- in new york state there is no self defense law. self-defense you have a larger percentage of white people in
jail. self-defense from organizations in new york you probably have in california including 15% of the population in jails that are white. the fact of the matter is you spoke about the crime rates going down in some areas. that might have to do with the fact that women in prison are now 600% more than they were ten years ago, 32% of those in jail are there for psychiatrist reasons. children of parents second, third or fourth generation may not do drugs or violence to get their sexuality and their children -- >> new york state does have a self defense law that i teach to my law students every year. please. >> thank you for coming to this
meeting. on palm sunday in new york city going to rikers on the way there on the bus we were talking and i said have you ever been to prison? no, too old for that. prison is for young people. here is my question. a lot of people in prison get in trouble with the law. prisons are the boarding schools for america today. i'm an immigrant who came to this country, when i arrived, i got an opportunity to do what i could do in the united states. my question is what kind of social reform contract do you offer the people in the first conflict with the law, could be anything -- doing a great job with traffic violation. what do you suggest the social contract the first time?
>> first thing to realize is lots of us do things that could trigger the law and the law triggered against us so it is true that people go to jail or prison and those are two at different institutions. my focus is on prison, not jail. if you think of the felony, jails are mostly pretrial detainees, very different creatures. they rely on prisons that you lock people up for public safety and arrival. completely stunning to me if true, it is plausible, that 89% of all people not on rikers make it to their childhood. if there are the percentage of make it to a trial date is 4%. if you are locked up you are less likely to make it to your trial and free on bond. you have one job, keep them there until trial. or lay the person off at the beginning and rikers is separate
thing that i am looking at here. a social contract is hard how you deal with social problems but give it this way. when i was in high school i punched a kid blues not very well. not sure he even realized it but i did punch him in church. i was not a bruiser. i punched the kid. it was assault. there was no cop. stop punching people. a black kid punching a person in the same situation, saying don't do that, drop precipitously. you have broken the law. young people do stupid things all the time but some young people, stop being a stupid idiot. take you off to jail. stop doing that is a starting point. realizing there is a systematic difference in how we respond to
bad behavior by young people. there is no need to impose higher laws over to one group versus the other and it does tie back to an important point, the condemnation -- a theory that has the idea that offending by white people has individual mythology, you have done something wrong, dylan roof, the most amazing thing, he self radicalized himself. he became a racist murderer. no literature, no group, he -- new york times, self radicalized. crimes by people of color are social mythology. further proof of systematic failure of that community and there has been documented disparities in in that approach. there is a compulsion to respond more aggressively to minority offending on the view that that is not just this guy didn't do anything wrong were john punching someone.
this guy punching because that community is flawed. we have to flood it and react to its a deep psychological factor american culture has invented. no easy solution to it but acknowledging it is an important first step. >> a solution to it, slowly go in the right direction. can you speculate how to move faster or better, scenario three scenarios being addressed if it is not, the implication, positive, negative and neutral. >> things cascade in weird ways in our culture. gay marriage in 1989, focus on, a policy that you will ever get and as a constitutional right, look at the politics of gay marriage or crime, radically different. look at marijuana. support for marijuana legalization is moving in a sharp way. i am wary of people who say we
can't do that so let's not do it. policies shift in surprisingly fluid ways. i'm optimistic, in the 2006 election, brought on a very -- an attitude for the republican party, trump, carnage in america type person. that is what his campaign was built around but the same time trump won millions of votes within a hair's breadth of the popular vote, 16 or 17 major cities, reformist das won. people complain i am not going to be a hard ass but more progressive and more moderate but at the same time trump won, oklahoma the state that went strongest for trump 65-35, has two statewide referenda, 58-55, decriminalizing large swaths of drugs and shifting the money that would be used for punishment into treatment. you see things are terrible.
there is this growing shift taking place. also this great sort, the cities and rural areas conservative, plays perhaps well in this concept because most prisoners can come from cities, cities are getting blue and blue cities tend to be more tolerant. the red parts of the country are becoming tougher and more conservative and harsher. less populated areas, impact on the prison population. there are these broader shift taking place at post this generational, you look at the senate, u.s. senate when they fight crime, strictly generational lines. the baby boomers hate them and the younger senators favor reform. if you are a boomer you lived through the spike in crime and that spike will linger in your
psyche, always be there. my age i am 41 so it started when i entered college. most of my life they were safer so i didn't live through this. my age of political awareness declined. a huge role in what you experience over the course of your life. >> thank you for all the things you brought out, you did an excellent job. first time i heard anything like this poured out. medicine runs on donuts but america runs on the types of things you just brought out. the prison system is a market basically. you talked about this, alcohol is the biggest drug of them all. socially acceptable drug. deaths from alcohol-related deaths, cocaine, crack, crystal meth and everything else put together. the only thing bigger, it got so good they have atf, live off of people's pay, misery and suffering, when you did that
survey of people locked up in prisons it seems to me america is nothing but an elimination ground. it is big-money. >> it is big money. there is a lot of money here. most of that money in the public sector, the private sector, politicians and unions, much different story than remote companies breaking their private profits. a far removed one company headquartered in tennessee and the other headquartered in florida but new york state no -- fighting them at all. is against us or to incarcerate we take jobs away from the state of new york and a greater issue and you do see when cuomo tried to push prison reform he always tied into jobs reform. we are going to shrink your prisons and bring something else in because these prisons do operate as a world jobs program
in states like new york, texas, the opposite problem, the oil boom can't even of cars on a job in new york the industrialized rural areas. >> all these people locked up, more prisoners in america than china or has it gone up? people -- federal offenses. not enough jobs because their are no endowments. too much money more than others, no financial balance, creates desperation. >> moving people from civic life, much greater outside prisons. there is a fascinating site asking the american can i make activity legging, and one theory is unlike european countries we don't know how many but could be as many as 60 million men have a criminal record. maybe 60 million men have a
criminal record and 60 million men are denied access, job growth, massive -- the personal record and much more subtle ways. 50 million, 1.5 million prisoners shocking but not a staggering elimination. as far as prolonged post relief, even without prison time at all. permanent marker that never leaves your side is historical impact very hard because it keeps bad records. >> i have a question. it is important. reminds me of the song you got a brain and i have the local but i have a question because you are a very intelligent attorney. i have seen the advertisement
>> some type of war that would rest some of these issues. >> i lack the temperament to run for office successfully but i think you see a growing number of activists working with politicians. they began to realize throw a hundred grand at a senate candidate and it has no impact. throw it at the attorney general and they are out the next day. i have a budget of $15,000 myself. so other groups are being established to help train
district attorneys at the senior and entry level. i think there is a growing sense of changing how we focus on it and academics are getting more involved. i do think you are seeing more and more people mobilize to try to push on this. >> do you recommend anyone contribute money too? someone who will try to change the issues you bring up. >> guest: i don't know which ones i would say contribute money too. i think us anti prison foundation and the coke industry has one. those are the two biggest. after that, pugh foundation. there is so much wrong with our system that every aspect
important but there is no one group spearheading the charge of reform. it is too big an issue for one group to do it. >> perverse effects in the units and i am wondering does prison culture -- so many young men are in prison and does it increase criminality in communities? like, to what extent does the actual prison system itself increase or not criminal activity? >> guest: it is a very hard thing to study and most studies of it don't do a very good job. the stats are incredibly complicated. the best studies tend to have
two broadtake take aways. at this point today, when crime is low and criminal population is high, that marginal prison is not zero but surely a net loss. at any given point, however effective prison was there is something else that is more effective. a dollar spent on policing is a dollar more than spent on prison. police deter crime. crime is a young person's game. if there is someone not deterred by a 50 year sentence it is a 19-year-old who thinks they will never get caught. at 18, i was an idiot. if i saw the cop on the corner maybe not. that is how deterance works. there might be non policing options beyond that that might be more effective.
prison never worked. now there is a study that shows that the games in prison are short run. the long you are in prison, the more crimes you are likely to do. the math gets harder to say it is working. there is evidence that the younger the person is the worst the after prison behavior is. just the exposure to the more harmful results. getting a job and being married are pathways out of crime and the younger you go to prison the harder that is to obtain. so, probably a net loss and the younger get the harder it is for
the person. >> i am curious what reform took place in california that you thought was effective or ineffective? >> what california did was unique because they offer a unique situation. it is very hard to sue a prison for bad conditions. let's start with the 1984 crime act but it doesn't matter any more. everyone ignores it and it makes it hard to fight against it. people are dying but you have systems in place quit complaining. the ninth circuit took every running california's prison system and said you have to cut capacity from 200% and scale it back to 135% capacity. only 1/3 over capacity. that was the good world. with the democrats controlling the house and senate and jerry
brown as the governor they passed a law called realignment that took a bunch of prison offenses and said you can still convict them but you have to house them in county jail. made it harder to go back to prison for parole violations. in most states, 30% of people going to prison are coming off parole and in california it was 70%. they are a unique state and fell under unique ninth circuit observation and adopted this policy that does the double headed thing of cutting prison and at the same time cutting jails because they stop sending you back for parole violations. what california has done is remarkable but i am not sure mow much other states can try to do it both because i am not sure
they have the underlying causal mechanisms that realignment is good at targeting and political will to push this back on california. doing that, they started solving big moral hazard problems because this can be expensive and california was like this is the point. sacramento passed all these subsidies they are permanent and a law that is an incentive went away because it is hard to tell counties don't do this because they fight back aggressively even in company. >> when my son reached the age where it was a right to passage and experience of his friends being stopped and frisked on a
frequent bases i thought blacks should be maybe getting social security and disability because they are being arrested so many times and unable to get a job and housing. if someone is arrested and has a record housing and a job are hard to come by. >> guest: i don't think people appreciate the magnitude of consequences with being addicted. if you google abaconsequencesmap you can go state by state and look at when you get convicted how many potential restrictions k can be placed on you. for new york state, it is about 1300. there is a great example of how perverse these incentives can be.
new york city fixed this in 2008 but the single biggest training program in new york state is barber school. until 2008, one of the things that disqualified you from g getting a barber license was a prior record. we would train thousands of men to be barbers and upon being released tell them one thing you can never be is a barber. and then they reoffend because they are facing stress, pressure, and no job. tr there are two things you can think when someone re-offends. one, maybe we are making re-entry hard for them or two, guess it wasn't hard enough let's do it even more. traditional policy is the second. if it isn't working now, maybe the tougher laws will work because when you scream at someone louder that is the best way to get them to behave. i think we are getting smarter about that and realizing
re-entry is a huge issue. we need a lot more first chances. it is important to acknowledge it is guided and new york state lifted the blanket ban on prior people with felony records getting jobs as barbers but it took years to get there and we are slow to acknowledge how much pressure we put on people. most states you cannot -- you can have a drivers license on parole but you have to have a job. and in new york city you can manage that but in rural areas you cannot. they are spending three times the amount they make to get there. we make lives miserable for people and act shocked and appalled they re-offend again.
what is the chance you end up again? about one third. some people keep going back and back and a large number never go back once. across time, there is a lot of people who keep being that same person and going out and coming back. the overall risk of going back to prison looks to be about one third to one half. higher than it should be but less than the number you hear. median income is hard to get those numbers. those who have been to prison tend to have substantially lower income. the overall impact is slightly because you had low income before going to prison. prison population is people who were disadvantaged in the first place. the crime act abolish telegram for people in prison and obama rolled out a program but i am not sure what the status is. as for programs that work, i
would not say not withstanding but the programs we are rolling out are focusing on guns. we need to view gun violence as an epidemic. there is a study in chicago of 400 students and it was traced back to one. a shoots b and this shock wave of retaliation goes through the social network they belong to. if the first shooting didn't happen they would not propagate. a shoots b and so b shoots at a's brother and it spreads. so if you can cut it off before it spreads, you can see the first person getting sick. the first bullet is sent and break that transmission. maybe you can stop the whole spread of it. in chicago, this worked well in chicago but hasn't elsewhere because the impacts are hard to measure. but at least in the context of
chicago, they are showing that the rise in shootings in chicago is almost perfectly timed to when the governor cut the funding for this more than any other factor. one person says it looks like the program works well in communities with established gangs and make things worse in communities with weak gangs creating a cohesion among the gangs. what works in chicago may not work in bimington. it is why we sort of hey this program works and roll it out nationwide. what works in chicago, los angeles and new york will not be what works in other areas. we have to be smart about how we approach it on small and big and rural and urban are different contexts and the violence is a special thing. in new york city, 400 people are murdered something like 40 didn't know the person who
killed them. people are scared the guy in the dark alley is going to kill us but that rarely happens. it is usually someone you know. megan's law and these things, amber alert -- what was the fear of the stranger in the van? the kidnapper is the other parent. if you are scared of your kid being kidnapped it is probably going to be the person you are married to. not yet but if divorce goes bad. there are not random shots in the dark. they are social and contect con. they are not a one-size-fits-all
people committed. i apologize for that. my question to you is do you think more literacy should be advoca advocated and do you think crime and punishment would help? >> guest: absolutely about literacy. the problem we face is there is supreme court precedent saying if prison officials say safety dictates policy. what we think is an issue of safety, which was a hands on approach and it is aa -- and wardens ban the books and yes, i think we should focus on literacy and better training and allowing books in. but the law has a stance that gives wardens incredibly discretion to not do that if they don't want to.
>> guest: it is not a question what i think. it is a question what the data shows and the data consistently show people age out of crime. it is not an opinion. it is a fairly well established fact that people age in and age out. there are offenders who persist but it is a small fraction of the population. yes, we are fairly safe country. we are about the middle of the pack for europe. if you want to avoid being killed don't go here. go to spain or portugal.
it doesn't mean we can't do better. we need to adopt better and smarter approaches. we imposed the cost in the poor minority community because those who have the political power in the white wealthy areas don't feel the cost. we could still always do better. >> i am not saying this harshly but if you don't punish -- everybody wants the same
neighborhood and the same country and same neighborhood. even the criminals want to live in a safe neighborhood. i don't think anybody wants to live in an unsafe neighborhood. i think we should focus on bringing the children back and -- >> i guess i would just say this. pay attention to how to parents in the safer places punish their children. they don't think their kids have to go prison to make up for the dumb things they do. they are okay with the kids in the poor minority neighborhoods go to prison for things they do wrong. we have to keep us safe from them but don't do that to my child. you see that is not always about safety right there. >> can you talk about keeping people in prison. we see the same things when the
bronx when i caught and we see it in foster care system. how do you suggest inven inventivizing? >> this is a big question they are dealing with in medicine. instead of paying doctors per proce procedure how about he pay them based on the outcome? you botch the first surgery and you have to go back in the second time that is two payments and the guy is less better off you are worse off. i am not implying doctors think this way. but what if we could pay them based on this guy is so much healthier than that guy so we will pay you more so the good doctor gets paid more for the good work he is doing?
medicine doesn't have an answer to that. that is the case where the doctor and patient want the exact same thing we just have to measure, quantify and structure a pay system that works for that. i think that is the kind of thing we are thinking it works well for. what if we paid not based on per day but recidivism rates. you release 600 people last year. we will track these 600 people for one year, five years, 10 years, 20 years but the rate is still there. why should we work and they are getting more money than we are and i want to focus better.
that is why i think focused on the evil is wrong. the profit might be amazing if he can harness that and pay them on doing the right thing they will be encouraged to do the right thing or help us be pilot side if learning what does and doesn't work. a couple getting paid you can take a chance on the public prisons. it is a hard question we wrestle with. medicine is struggling with it and it isn't easy.
[inaudible question] >> this is not my primary area. it is complex and nuance. you hear about things like head start and it is important to have long lasting protections. as long as you maintain that initial early childhood investment early on it can have a durable impact. i think we want to be very careful about framing programs about head start in that way. there is laboring issues. that kind of puts that idea in their head and is very toxic down the line. i argue from a moral point of view. we don't want to say providing assistance to the poor is only justifiable if reduces crime. that is a horrible thing to say from that moral impact. there are educational programs that have long lasting impacts on going to prison. i saw some study and saw the headline and it said something
like for young black men having one black teacher in grades k-5 reduces the risk of high school drop out by 38%. small things like that. showing having a black teacher, a mentoring role model that you can relate to more directly, can reduce high school drop out and reducing high school drop out has impact on job employment and things that can shape pathways in and out of arrest. there are things that can work but we have to be careful not to frame them that way and put it at the expedient because it is saying these communities are only investing in if it makes me safer and that is easy but incredibly toxic thing to say. thank you.
>> here is a look at authors recently featured on booktv "after words." chris heys discusses racial inequality. and dr. elisabeth rosenthal editor and chief of kaiser health news reported on the current state of health care. new america president and ce 0 will examine how technology is impacting foreign affairs. and minnesota former and former saturday night campaign cast
member, al franken, will talk about his canidacy. and ben sas argues youth are not prepared for adulthood. >> i wanted to get to know the people and figure out why insth senate works. i interviewed a majority of senators to get to know them. i am not very partisan. i don't think either party is impressive. i was indifferent to republican and democrat. i wanted to know the people and know why the senate doesn't deliberate and why are we not tackling the chances and talking about the portability of benefits in an area where millennials will change jobs faster and faster. i realized there are substantial
collective activation problems and i would say local communities and mediated institutions are being hollowed out. most americans are politically disengaged. there is a lot of loneliness in america but most people not are not consuming radio news and talk shows. most of the public is checking out from this conversation all together. i think one of the effects of polarization is tit people in these two political parties think the main way they would lose their jobs and one of the scary things is the biggest long term thought many politicians have is in incumbancy.
we are fractionalizing media because of the digital revolution where it is possible to think and echo chambers of people we agree with. narrow casting becomes a smart strategy and i think it would be a big generation project and we need to do right by the next generation. >> "after words" airs on booktv every saturday at 10:00 p.m. and sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern. you can watch all previous programs on our website booktv.org. [inaudible conversation [inaudible conversations] >> ladies and gentlemen, please