Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 11, 2015 9:00pm-12:01am EST

9:00 pm
something that might happen. so to work in that space where most people recognize the next step for u.s. counterterrorism policies domestically it needs to happen but it needs to happen with clear guidelines coming from the top. that's what we're not seeing. >> the top means department of justice? >> that's one of the other problems we see. there's a lot of entities that are somewhat fighting on who should be running that space. the whole alphabet soup of agencies there, everybody sort of claiming one part of the portfolio. dhs, fbi, we do not have a leading agency there although some things are moving there. but those -- then you have the federal, state, and local level. all those issues come together and really nobody takes charge of this. >> okay. let me open it up to the audience now. let's see.
9:01 pm
down front here, please. >> thanks very much. a fascinating discussion. i write "the mitchell report." i want to focus if i can specifically on the jihadi and isis sort of cluster and pose two questions if i can. one is -- as opposed to far right radicals or neo-nazis, et cetera. some of us have attended sessions in this very room on the role of messaging and counter-narratives and i would be interested to know particularly as i listen to what angela had to say about how you would do this successfully, i'm interested to know whether and to what extent you think
9:02 pm
messaging and counter-narratives can have some success in this process of keeping people from stepping over the edge. and then second, if it's appropriate or if there's time, i'm interested to know how you evaluate the considerable work that the saudis do on this issue and how you evaluate that. >> okay. so we have a question about the ethicacy of counter-messaging and then about the saudis. >> obviously there is a long tradition of de-radicalization intervention programs int3+ñf middle east and south asia and saudi arabia is leading that. i think they were classified as
9:03 pm
an active government, highly ideological program. what they try to do with a lot of money and with a lot of effort to replace jihadism with wahhabism. nothing of what they do could work in the western country to be clear. what they do is they have very strong sense of what is necessary in a practical dimension of de-radicalization. getting financial support for moving out and getting a home and they buy these people a car and they finance the families to come in and meet them in prison so the practical dimension is very good and i think there's no western country who would put so much resources into that kind of work. in terms of evaluating it, there's no de-radicalization program on that planet who would not claim 100% success rate or at least a high success rate.
9:04 pm
the saudi program is no different. they say they have a 95% success rate. it was just a year or two years ago where they arrested an 88-person al qaeda cell in saudi arabia. about 50 of the persons were graduates from the program. there were a number of terrorist plots led by graduates from the program. there's been no scientific evaluation of the program whatsoever. the only information that comes is from people who run it or finance it or say 95% success rate. they are good and they go out. this touches the issue of the program. i'm critical and skeptical. i'm convinced that de-radicalization can be evaluated and should be evaluated and can be effective. there are a lot of questions like data access, the relationship of the researcher and the program, who financed it, who has interest in positive or negative evaluation, it's highly complex and highly
9:05 pm
political. i think the saudi program is so popular in the muslim majority world because it's very outspoken in terms of we teach them the right form of islam. we sit down and debate them out of it. western countries to be honest i've never seen that work in practice when jihadi kids are in prison and you send in imam and say you listen and this is islam how it should be, they have no reason to listen. first of all, you're not a real muslim. why should i listen to you? you're government paid westernized muslim or government muslim so i do not listen. they simply say it because they want to get out of prison earlier. it's an interesting program. it should definitely be taken into account what can be done practically in terms of classes and financial support and sustainability. the ideological component, i'm very critical of that. i know what's been written in the media and what's been
9:06 pm
written in some very rare studies about the program. there needs to be a real evaluation. >> on the question of counter-messaging, is it worthwhile to do given that isis has gone out of its way to anger most muslims in the world. you don't light a fellow sunni muslim on fire unless you intend to put your finger in the eye of every muslim. we don't message as a government against neo-naziism. it's just mainstream culture decided it's a vile ideology. should we do counter-messaging? >> it fits into the last question. the saudi program is essentially saying you should only engage in acts of terrorism when we tell you to do so.mzg otherwise, it's just wrong. that's the substance of that kind of theology.
9:07 pm
it's what it boils back down to. that obviously will be beset with all sorts of issues. there's the credibility thing that you mentioned that actually when you engage with somebody in prison that you are acting on behalf of state and if they already deny the state, you're starting on a negative already. having said that, i actually -- my experience has been very different in the u.k. we looked at over 100 cases over the last six or seven years and actually in that space the overriding majority that we've looked at where there has been a theological or ideological component in the de-radicalization has taken place and there's continuous engagement since. so in my experience actually, it can be done. i just don't believe the religious specific perspective of the saudis is necessarily the most appropriate way to do that.
9:08 pm
looking across the world at indonesia, morocco, egypt, have various different takes on it. in indonesia you do the wraparound thing where they do the whole ideological dimension, theology and taking care of the individual and their family, et cetera, on cases where they convict terrorists. a lot we can learn from in that respect. this is why i think messaging if it's calibrated appropriately and has the right messenger, it can be effective. there are various different groupings of people if you like. you have the blood thirsty neo-sociopath that wants to join isis because they burned this jordanian pilot alive. because as you explain in your book they are successful -- sorry. because actually they are
9:09 pm
sociopaths attracted to the savagery. the other thing you mention that's really interesting is the management. a book about how you need to be savage in order to win and that's what modern jihadism should be and he explains tactics around it. one of the things you mention is that actually he talks about random killing of women and children and civilians. he explains that this is in direct opposition of a saying of killing women and children. actually coming from an academic voice which is not political which is someone just looking at it, would resonate with a lot of the young people i speak to. it's not muslim but academic who
9:10 pm
is more interested in politics but is just pointing out your religion is not blood thirsty in that sense and therefore that actually does have a resonance with people. i say that because i engage with young individuals from various different spectrums. in that sense messaging if it's calibrated appropriately from different messengers so, yes, the u.s. state may not be the most credible messenger toward jihadi. it's fairly reasonable to say. then there will be academic voices like yourself and muslim voices and there will be theological voices and then people at various levels of persuasion. some buy into politics. no matter how much you dislike a particular government, it never justified a terrorist act. then that messaging will have that impact. it depends really. that's not a great answer of calibrating and getting the
9:11 pm
right messenger will determine how effective the messaging it. i firmly believe it can be effective. >> gentleman in the brown jacket here in the middle. yeah. >> thank you. i'm a retired analyst but worked for among other places a unit in the state department called counterterrorism communication center. the strategy that we worked on at that time was to mobilize voices in the islamic community to do the counter-messaging that we've been talking about not from the u.s. government but to mobilize people in islamic community, which would be perhaps more acceptable voices to the target audience that we're talking about. and i think that's still a valid approach.
9:12 pm
i would be interested in further comments on that. >> if i could put a wrinkle on that as well and angela and lorenzo, please jump in. what happens when the communities don't radicalize? like we're talking about far right extremism. there's not been a big movement to push back against that. you were saying that yours is one of the first in the united states to push back against that. does the government need to fill that space? does it need to quietly encourage nongovernmental organizations to do it or should it just sit back and wait to see what happens? >> from my perspective, i know the numbers aren't great, but i don't think we can afford to wait to see what happens. i'll give an example for that. it could be something as simple
9:13 pm
as a community being empowered with knowledge. what do we do if we see x, y and z and for that example i'll use the charleston shooting. that individual publicly stated to several people that he was going to go out and commit acts of violence. if that community was empowered, if they weren't afraid or think i don't want to call the police, who do i go to? i don't know if it's a credible threat. and with that example i will say that we can't afford not to do something. we can't afford to say the numbers aren't that big so we can just let it go. the numbers are getting bigger. certainly not on the scale, you know, with other things that we've seen, but there's a problem. >> when you say we, you mean private citizens need to
9:14 pm
mobilize to set up more ngos like yours? >> well, i'm into all kinds of stuff. i would say we as a community. all of us who are engaged in this kind of work whether it's on the academic side, whether it's on intervention, cve, counter-narratives, policy, that's what i mean by all of us. >> needs to take extremism more seriously. >> there is something that you can avoid that happened in britain and to a large extent across different european countries. the failure in britain was that civil society didn't stand up against the phenomenon of radical extremism. i mean, i think that reaction is
9:15 pm
terrible but the reaction is because civil society has failed to challenge the ideology. what do i mean by that? i mean we have as an example the leader of the labor party, the leader of the opposition in the u.k., the main opposition in the u.k. who is someone that's invited someone to come into parliament in the u.k. who describes hezbollah as his friends. these are blood thirsty organizations that do a lot of good social work but they have terrorist fringes as part of their makeup. yet civil society has allowed them to be incubated within parts of mainstream society.
9:16 pm
this is one area where we can benefit and heed the words of john which is don't embrace your values in historic tradition. you forget why you fought for separation of powers. why you decided there should be no religious test in your constitution. there's a reason and rationale why you decided that when you formed your constitution. essentially the values underpin intellectually you have to stand up for and this is why we see regressive measures and i think that comes in both with your muslim communities and everybody, muslim or not, must share that stake in standing up for the american dream or whatever your particular aspirations and values of life, liberty and fruit of the loom. >> fruit of the loom.
9:17 pm
what can i say? i think what he's saying is fitting to the u.k. dynamics but doesn't apply to the u.s. a lot of what we discuss is very country specific. you said it works in saudi but not in other countries. here in the u.s. we do not have a problem of communities radicalizing. we have a problem of scattered individuals. occasionally there's more clusters of five individuals, similar to an online community, but it's a completely different dynamic. the counter-messaging, the working with communities, great stuff. it can't hurt but in some cases if not done properly it can actually hurt. for the most part we're talking about individuals here and there who are radicalizing. we're communities but are generally rejecting radical messages unlike important part of the british community. it's a very different dynamic here.
9:18 pm
some of the big role of the state, social engineering, the needs for the communities to really speak out, i'm not saying it would hurt in the u.s. but not necessarily needed. it's not a matter of communities. maybe there's something to be said about the part of the community in minneapolis but it's generally few of the individuals not part of the community. shameful in pitching our stuff but a study we did on isis in america looking at the individuals indicted in the u.s. for links to isis since 2014. 40% of them are converts. don't really belong to communities. most of them are new converts that people for a variety of reasons but in most cases belong to the fourth category. people with some weird personal issues radicalize. outreach to communities doesn't do much in that case. a lot of this stuff doesn't really apply to the u.s.
9:19 pm
>> thank you. let me gather a few questions. gentleman in the baseball cap in the back. >> thank you very much for an interesting discussion. my name is ken. my work was with addicts as a therapist. i wanted to see if there was some comparison to addiction treatment. people need information to self-diagnose. if they don't have a self-diagnosis, they really don't take steps. part of that is a measure of soul sickness. i've seen that even in guys who were in combat who were working with radical organizations and even people in the idf got disgusted with what they were doing and had to make a journey but they also needed to have individuals around them that would serve as elders, a sponsor
9:20 pm
in aa or in recovery but perhaps it would be someone who had charisma of going through this difficult journey back. i wonder if you might want to talk about that comparison if that holds valid. >> let me gather a few more questions. there was one in the back. nope. her hand is not going up. there it is. >> hello. i would love to hear the panel's view on some of our quote/unquote allies approach to countering violent terrorists. for example, egypt and turkey and israel. >> thank you. let's take another. down here in front, please. >> thank you very much for a fascinating discussion. i'm curious if any of your
9:21 pm
groups or you know of other groups that might actually have become a target for some of these violent extremists? when you think of the example that you end up dismembering a cell, it's just a very soft way of destroying it, right? ultimately you are an enemy. i'm curious if that's something that's of concern. >> thank you very much. let's take those questions. just to remind you, we have a question about similarities -- what do do you with people who have a problem but aren't willing to take the next step? we have a question about the way states in the middle east handle radicalization with egypt, turkey and israel. and then finally about whether any of you or if you heard of
9:22 pm
anyone being a target of doing this re-radicalization work. >> gosh. i think lots of people get involved and you end up becoming targets in the u.k. or have threats. so there is that risk for people. i'm loath to figure this out. i think it's normal. we tend to live in liberal bubbles. the rest of the world isn't really like that. i think kind of comes to my -- the last question, some of the h horrific practices of the
9:23 pm
egyptian government we should stay away from in terms of suppressing through violent means, not even terrorists but political radicals, people who we may not see eye to eye with and we think their ideas are horrific, but we shouldn't be supporting the suppression and repression of the muslim broadhobroa brotherhood. israel, how long you have got? i'm going to avoid the israel. turkey as well has become more and more authoritarian. that is a problem. >> at a conference i'm at, colleagues from turkey was about deradicalization. i talked about this intervention, ideology. and then turkish said, we put
9:24 pm
them in jail and they are de- d de-radicalized. neutralizing a threat. i know that they have changed a little bit in their community outreach project. they have a lot stronger community policing aspect where police officers would go uninvited and hang out gifts and be present and be nice and be open. they don't have de-radicalization programs. the question of the threat against people who are engaging in that war. you have to differentiate between those that naturally get attacked and threatened by former groups because they're a threat to these groups and those who are professionals and come from another background. and it's how you frame these kind of narratives. to give you another example of counter-narrative intervention, i'm leading a group together
9:25 pm
with inspirational group called mothers for life, a group of mothers from nine countries across the globe who all have lost their sons and daughters. most of them have been killed in syria and iraq. the mothers wrote an open letter to islamic state and posted on various social media sites and you can find out about that online. the idea was next to fathers, mothers are in a central position to challenge beliefs and ideologies because there's a famous saying of the prophet so mother irregardless of the faith or ethnic background language, she's the mother and has something to say about that. we wrote that letter and used jihadi terms and described how these mothers felt after their sons and daughters were killed without mothers having a chance to intervene against that and would you guess how long it took
9:26 pm
for islamic state to officially respond to that? 3 1/2 hours. after 3 1/2 hours an official twitter account tried to scorn the message. after a couple days when the letter was translated into eight, nine, ten languages they shift their response in posting jihadi recruitment saying you might have a point there but it's something different. you misunderstood what we actually do and here are videos showing that we just workout and training and it's nice. the response shifted from ridiculing and rejecting it to acknowledging parts of the message and trying to turn it around. none of these mothers were directly threatened after that even me as the family counselor or as an expert in that i was never directly threatened. what you said, of course it's
9:27 pm
dismembering these groups and dismembering the ideology and empowering those who are really dangerous to these groups by their simple biography and their simple natural being. i think it can be done in a way that these cells don't even recognize what is happening. it's simply getting more difficult to recruit. it's getting more difficult to hold your members in the cell and suddenly you are engaged in an internal controversy or argument with your own members why the person left and why are these mothers saying we shouldn't go to syria and we've been told the mothers are so important. you create much more noise and slur within these groups that potentially creates doubt and fallout from all of the other sites which you can use again and all that stuff. >> we have time for two more very quick questions if anyone has a burning question.
9:28 pm
good. all right. we answered everyone's questions. lorenzo, a final one for you. and that is if you had one recommendation to make to the u.s. government thinking through this stuff, you've looked at this issue in europe. you've looked at in the united states. what would that one suggestion be? >> easy question to answer. a couple things to expand a bit. one, resources. the bottom line is there's a lot of talk about cv in america resources. at the same time we do not need a massive large scale program like saudis or europeans. the problems are very limited number wise so we've been arguing at the center is targeted intervention accompanied by engagement which is useful not just from a security point of view and securitizing the relationship with communities.
9:29 pm
keep engagement but at the same time start with intervention programs with partnerships with community, open up the space for civil society and ngos to be partners. obviously with clear guidelines for everybody and i think it's something that can be done relatively on the cheap based on pre-existing structures and i think would allow law enforcement to zero in on the problematic cases and not spend resources on the 15 year old who is on facebook googling killing shias just because it's a phase and allows the fbi to zero in. it's a matter of resources put in the right way. it's not a matter of creating massive structures. >> thank you very much. and join me, please, in thanking our panel today. [ applause ] on the next washington journal, s sulma arias.
9:30 pm
then former homeland security secretary tom ridge looks at new threats to the u.s., including threats to cyber ware and the electrical grid. after that, dr. thomas frieden discusses a reported 25% increase in multi-state food borne outbreaks in the past few years. your phone calls, facebook comments and tweets. washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. two things are different. we have a justice system that does not -- these trials were not held according to what we would consider modern law. hearsay is acceptable. innocent until proven guilty had not yet been -- was not in place. no one has a defense -- there were no lawyers, by the way, i should say at the time.
9:31 pm
the courtroom is an extremely unruly place. that's one piece of it. we don't happen to believe in witchcraft or prosecute that today. >> sunday, stacie shifts talks about her book on the salem witch trials and the scope and affect the accusations and trials had on the massachusetts community. >> the interesting part of about the acquisitions, especially given the way we think of salem is that wealthy merchant were accused, sea captains, homeless 5-year-old girls were accused to be witches. this is not an where all the victims are female. we have five male victims, including a minister. we hang them. so in addition to the speed, there was so much encrusted myth and misunderstanding here that i felt it was important to dispel. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern at pacific on c-span's q and a.
9:32 pm
a democrat and republican who were sentenced to prison for minor crimes now discuss their experiences and why they are calling for criminal justice reform. they spoke at the american enterprise inststu institute for and 20 minutes. ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming. i am tim carney. i'm a columnist at the washington examiner. i think you have seen erupt around the country, especially in the last year, a discussion on criminal justice reform, on over-criminalization, on all sorts of things. we're going to focus today on a specific aspect of that. let me just -- my thoughts on part of why i picked this. this is about prison specifically. i have got libertarian leanings. i think too many things are illegal. i am a catholic. i think justice and mercy need to be played up.
9:33 pm
on the other hand, i don't know and i don't think necessarily we'll get into today a question of are we maybe locking up all the millions of people we lock up makes our country safer? that's a tricky question to debate. we have lots of opinions on that. my questions once we put people in prison, are we doing anything to help them, or are we just ruining lives? so when you -- having prison sentences serves a deterrent effect. there is some good there. it keeps dangerous criminals off the streets, so there is some good there. we call these correctional facilities. are they doing anything to krekd, or are they just making things worse? once people are in prison, are they being harmed? are they -- or are we treating them in a way that will benefit society or hurt society? i think we know the answer to that question, maybe. can we change anything going forward? what i did to discuss this is
9:34 pm
asked two guys who i know who i dealt with in their -- in their lives. i write about lobbying and politics. so i brought in a former lobbyist and a former politician. on my right is kevin ring, a lawyer and former republican congressional aide. in fact, he was executive director of the republican study committee. he passed through the revolving door and became a lobbyist in 1999. he wrote a book which was big reading in my house with my brother when he was in law school. it was scalia's dissent. i guess you compiled the book. it was an excellent book. if you're feeling angry and want good things to get your bile up and running, read that. he now is at the families against mandatory minimums. and on my left, jeff smith, former missouri state senator, congressional candidate who a lot of us stumbled upon in a documentary called "can mr. smith still go to washington." he is now an assistant professor
9:35 pm
at the new school in new york. the reason i bring them here, though, is that they both have served time in prison. so, before we get to the substance quickly, kevin suggested, so as not to hide the ball, why don't you guys quickly, however entertainingly or whatever you want, explain why you spent time in prison. >> i'll make it really funny because it's such a laugh. no. i was a lobbyist and i had the misfortune of working for jack abrahmoff who was at the time ended up being the leader of the big scandal in the bush administration. and i was basically charged with -- on a services fraud, a junior varsity form of bribery. i contested the charges at two trials and was found guilty and i served 16 months -- a 20-month sentence. i served 15 1/2 months in prison
9:36 pm
camp. >> i forgot to mention -- i said the documentary name was "can mr. smith still go to washington." i have in my hand jeff's brand-new book "can mr. smith still go to prison." >> when i was in the senate in missouri i was on a panel and the moderator found a question that i took too intrusive and i took the butt end of a bottle and bludgeoned the moderator. no. actually what happened was that i was running for congress in 2004. we ran like a grass-roots campaign. i was running against a dynasty candidate, russ carnahan. his dad was a successful two-term governor. mom was a u.s. senator. sister secretary of state. we were trying to run a grass-roots campaign and get over the top. three weeks before election day two of my aides were approached by a consultant who billed themselves as a so-called practitioner of the political dark arts.
9:37 pm
he told my aides that he wanted to put out a postcard detailing my opponent -- it was a ten-way race but detailing carnahan's dismal attendance record as a legislator. they said, he wants to do this. should we give him the information? what should we tell him? i replied, i don't want to know what you do. they said, well, so does that mean we should do it? i said it means you shouldn't tell me anything. do you understand that? they said okay. so they gave him that voting information, which was publicly available, but it violates the mccain-finegold statute because it constituted a legal coordination between my campaign and a third-party group. i lost by about one percentage point. a week after the campaign my attorney prepared an affidavit to sign in response to a federal election complaint that he filed. he won but pushed this complaint. and the affidavit had 15
9:38 pm
statements. 14 were true, one was not. it denied any knowledge about that postcard. even though i knew my aides had met with the person who i figured put it out, i signed a false affidavit. five years later as a missouri state senator my best friend called me. he told me that the man who had done that postcard five years earlier had just been picked up by the feds for mortgage fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, illegal weapons possession, spousal abuse -- >> a car bomb. >> cocaine distribution and the chief suspect in a car bombing that nearly killed his ex-wife's lawyer. i let my aides get mixed up with this monster. my best friend and i said, what are we going to do? what if the feds knock on our door and they -- we talked about
9:39 pm
that. my best friend and i talked about that for a couple months. little did i know the entire time he was wearing a wire. so then i was basically, you know, my only chance to stay out of prison was to do something similar, and i didn't do that. and i was sentenced to a year and a day and was in federal custody for ten and a half months. >> thank you. so part of -- i think where i want to start here is with -- from your guys' experience and from your knowledge professionally, working with families with incarcerated people, does prison do anything to help criminals, and can it or does it just sort of ruin lives and make people worse off? >> that's a broad question. and i think for some people -- prison serves a purpose. there are dangerous people out there who should be kept away from civil society. i don't think anyone would disagree with that. to the extent that the people are physically dangerous or have
9:40 pm
a compulsion problem where they will keep offending prison may be the only solution. i think we have come to a point where there is a large swath of people where prison isn't necessary. for those people prison can play different roles. for some there are a lot of people in prison who are uneducated. these are not master criminals. we put a lot of faith in the fact that our criminal laws will deter bad behavior because, if we ratchet up penalties people will be more inclined to follow the law. that's not the population i met with. these are people who didn't think they would get caught. they didn't give it a lot of foresight.
9:41 pm
some people just needed to age out. they were immature. they had just limited brain functioning. and they just needed to grow up and mature. there are other people who didn't speak much english, had very limited education, and they were able to get their ged while they were there, and that may have helped. for most of the people, though, it's just killing time. and people would say, well, that's okay. if you're bored, that doesn't bother me. but it should because while you're sitting there like a can on a shelf, the job market's advancing. technology's advancing. your family's moving on. everything is changing. and you have no responsibilities, really, when you're in prison.
9:42 pm
you may have a job, but it's a lot of makeshift jobs. and so your skills atrophy. you know, they said man is a creature who can get used to anything. and i think that's what happens to prisoners. you'll hear they get institutionalized. so you learn what it takes to become a decent prisoner. you stay out of fights. you stay out of stupid arguments. you don't touch other people's laundry, you know, that sort of stuff. you know, but you go to the commissary. you have a limited amount of things you can buy. you learn that lifestyle. and for some people who came from really dangerous areas, there's a certain comfort in that. and when they got close to leaving, they were very nervous because they were afraid of the choices. so for a lot of people, long sentences without any meaningful programming, and we'll address that, because unless you are able to get drug treatment -- you know, for your addiction or you get your ged, there's really nothing else available that's going to help you re-acclimate. and that's a real problem. and so when you look at the recidivism rates and people say these people come out and they re-offend, i know people who are going to try to do the right
9:43 pm
thing who i served with. some people will be type. some people will try to do the right thing. and after a few years, they won't be able to make ends meet and they are really at risk to going back to the same lifestyle. i want to give jeff a chance, but i want to say there's so much more that can be done on the programming side but it has to be coupled in a way that not only do we treat them more because it's in our interests because that's who's re-offending, but also we have to shorten the sentences because there's no amount of programming that's going to, you know, sort of satisfy somebody for 10 or 20 years of living in that kind of confinement. >> jeff, did you see anything there where you thought people were being helped or being improved, anybody left sort of, you though, with better impulse control or more prepared for world than they came in? >> not really. i wish i could tell you differently, but in my experience, prison did a lot to
9:44 pm
create better criminals and almost nothing to rehabilitate people. so there's three ways that i could talk about. so if i'm going on too long, just stop me. but the first way is that prison reinforces people's tendency to operate outside of, like, the rules and outside of the normal economy. and the way it does that is pretty simple. most people have a misconception that when you get locked up, you've got it made. you've got three hots and a cot and you're fine. but actually, most prisoners are destitute. they don't have a penny to their name. they get into prison. they don't have someone on the outside to put money on their books. maybe some of them do for their first year, their first two years, but then people fade out of their lives and kind of forget about them. and so the problem with that is that not everything -- you don't have it made. in fact, you have to buy your own soap. you have to buy your own deodorant. you have to buy your own toothpaste. so the basics of personal
9:45 pm
hygiene are, you know -- and if you're living virtually on top of hundreds if not thousands of other people. and hygiene is really, really important for a lot of reasons that i could get into later. but the point is if you want to have a normal lifestyle where you just have basic hygiene needs met, let alone anything else to make your life halfway comfortable, you've got to find a hustle. and so the hustles range from anywhere things that are totally legal, like guys who develop their artistic talent and they draw portraits of other guys, girlfriends, their children that people can send home for birthdays or mother's day. to things that are a little bit less legal like bookies who make book on the prison basketball games to guys who run barber shops which the prison is fine with to guys who run tattoo parlors which the prison is not fine with to then the most lucrative hustle which is guys smuggling contraband in.
9:46 pm
there's all types of hustles. i appreciate your words about the book, and i agree with almost everything you said. i found some very skilled men. and i would say that in my experience, there's not a single concept you could learn at wharton that you couldn't learn inside federal prison. new product launch. quality control. territorial expansion. risk management. barriers to entry, supply chain management. i heard every one of these concepts elucidated numerous times using somewhat different lingo than you would learn it at wharton. but they understood every one of these concepts, and unfortunately there was no training at all to help people translate their intuitive graft of the business world that they had learned through success in the drug world. no formal training to turn those into formal enterprises on the street. there was a computer course that was offered.
9:47 pm
i'm going to tell a story real quick if you don't mind. about a month -- there were three courses while i was there. there was one ged course that they had a prisoner teach. and so the prisoner didn't really care that much for most of the time. and so if you didn't want to go, you didn't have to go. and then there was a hydroponics course because what better way to prepare someone for successful reentry than to learn how to grow tomatoes in water for two weeks. and then thirdly, there was a computer skills course that was a pre-released course so everyone on their way out finally, we had been salivating over this room that had 12 brand-new computers but no one ever got to go in it. it was locked the whole time. a month before release, a dozen of us got to go, we sat down at the computers. i was in appalachia in southeast kentucky. and the ceo tells us to sign in. and we sign in the form. and he says -- we all sit down, he says all right. you see that button on the bottom right? push it in. so we push it in. the computer turns on.
9:48 pm
we sit there for about 90 seconds. then a prisoner says -- starts playing with the mouse. and he says, yo, c.o., if you push the -- shut the [ muted ] okay. we sat in silence for another 35 minutes. and at the end of about 40 minutes in, the c.o. says, y'all remember that little button on the bottom right? well, push it again. and then get the [ muted ] back to your cell. but since we had all signed in, they could tell the b.o.p. that we had successfully completed a computer skills course, and now the prison could get their stipend from the federal government for having done that. so that i would say was sort of the indicative of the amount of rehabilitation going on. >> so that's where i want to go now is with programming. that it does happen, right? it's supposed to be part of the
9:49 pm
federal system, the state system and, i mean, do they try it? what can work? i mean, computer seems like a good thing that would learn because that's a huge part of what sort of creates a coming apart in society is that some of us have good ability to deal with computers and others don't. are there career-based things? are there -- could you teach somebody some impulse control, or is it too late by the time they're there? what would you want to see? >> okay. well, i would just say the courses that jeff talked about, we had similar ones. these are called ace courses. they're taught by inmates. most of the programming there is taught by inmates. and so i didn't take hydroponics, but i could take jeopardy. i could take a class on current events. or crocheting. and get credit. and it was -- it was all busy work. and it was just the prison administration wanted to show that they were keeping us busy. and most of the guys wouldn't even go to the class.
9:50 pm
they would just sign the attendance form to say that they went. then they'd get their certificate. and when you'd go to your review, you'd give them the certificate. oh, i'm so busy working hard. we're rehabilitating you. so everyone felt good about this but it was really -- i joke about it, but i really think it's so corrosive because these are people who need to learn the rules. as jeff was saying about these hustles. there were people who did all those things. they'd iron shirts. they'd make food. we had bedding. i didn't care about any of that. i didn't really partake in it, but i didn't care about it. it's just i thought this is the place where you've broken the rules. you're at your lowest of low. this is one the place where you really want to get on board and do the right thing. and the prisoner doesn't care. and so there's nothing there for people so it's sort of idle minds, idle hands. so the program was really lackluster. in terms of the things that i thought, there's drug treatment, but there's fewer addicts i think than people would think at least in the federal system. there were only a couple people who came in that were really strung out and, you know, were
9:51 pm
in the throes of an addiction that needed help. there were people who had dependency who probably needed help, but it's not necessarily why they committed their crime. they were trying to make money if they were selling drugs or guns. but the thing that i thought was missing the most was some sort of cognitive behavioral therapy, some sort of, you know, psychological work, some therapy. a lot of these folks come from communities where that is frowned upon, and there's people everywhere who frowns upon this. but the lack of impulse control, the just sort of the emotional disconnect. these are a lot of the behavior there is antisocial. and that's what got them in this position. and now they're going to the most anti-social place in the world where you're walking around with headphones on screaming your music to no one and no one can tell you to be quiet because no one's going to screw with you. i mean, it's just -- it just perpetuates the worst behaviors. and so i think the fights that you'd see would be over turning
9:52 pm
the tv channel or somebody, you know, calling a foul in a basketball game. and those are things that you have these people in a fishbowl. you have them there. they might not seek this help otherwise. but while you have them there, there are certain things you could do to work with them to get them thinking about their thinking patterns. get them thinking about their behavior and the choices they're making and the roots of those choices. people do what, you know, they were raised to do, and they're not thinking about it otherwise. even those of us who try still struggle and we have to remind ourselves, wait a minute, why do i feel this way? these guys aren't thinking of any of that. and it's not cool to think that either. at cumberland, we had 250 prisoners and we had one trained psychologist. and she was the head of the drug treatment program. she didn't want to do any more work than that. so when i was there after a little while and i had two young girls who i was missing terribly and i knew some of the other guys were missing their kids, we talked about putting together a group that like that was an aa and na, different support
9:53 pm
groups. we said let's put together a fathers group so that we can talk about ideas about how to stay in touch with our kids, how to use our minutes, how to use things like finding the guy who creates pictures that we can send, anything you can find to stay close to your children, that's what you want to do. and you also want to be able to just say, i am bummed out. i'm dying. i had a visit this week end. i'm really sad. you don't go cry on your bunkmate's shoulder. it's a men's prison. so to have a group like that, i thought okay, this will be a sure winner. the psychologist wanted no part of it. she wouldn't respond to my e-mails asking if we could put that group together. there's a lot of lip service and talk about family reunification and how important it is to stay close, but there's not a lot that gets done. as jeff said, that c.o. who said, you know, now you can leave, that's the level of concern. it's sort of i checked the box. i gave you your computer training. it doesn't matter if you learned anything. there are things that can be done. they're not being done. i think some states do a better job from what i hear, but the
9:54 pm
federal government is really far behind. >> so i'm going to ask you in a second about something you alluded to i think you use in your book, the phrase convict code about how you have to behave to not have other prisoners make your life horrible. but before you talk about that, i want you to just say what you can say about programming. do you think psychological help is possible, helpful? what are your thoughts on any of that? >> so i agree with everything kevin said. you guys had crocheting? wow! we didn't have that. >> and i'm a master now. >> i actually applied to teach current events. i topped out to teach five different courses. instead i was put to work -- i see a couple of you have the book. if you turn the book on the back, then you can see what my job was. those are my -- i worked in the warehouse on the loading dock. and you can see my crew that i worked with. you can probably tell which one i was. anyway.
9:55 pm
so no, i mean, i'm not trying to be like you do the crime, you do the time, you know. and you do the time how they want you to do the time. not how you want to be the time. and so i'm not going to complain about my job. but i definitely think -- you know, i had a decade's worth of teaching experience. and i had been a state senator. and i would have loved to have teach a course. i applied first to teach a black history course because i was a black studies major in college. and most of the prisoners were black. and i thought that could have been interesting. i wanted to teach a current events course. i applied to teach -- then i realized, like, anything that had any political or ideological charge was never going to fly. and so i applied to teach, like, a job interviewing course and, like, a resume writing that could teach guys a little more about that. but everything got -- they ignored all five requests. although about three weeks before i got out, they did finally move me. which was interesting.
9:56 pm
i had fallen off of -- i worked -- we moved about 35 or 40,000 pounds of food a day into freezers that were bigger than this room, and i fell off the top of a freezer. a few weeks before i left. and then i don't think they were going to move me, but the lieutenant governor of missouri happened to visit the next day. and then they figured that he might have come in response to me falling, even though it was totally a coincidence. and when they figured oh, you might have some juice behind you, then they did move me. and then they sent me to the education department. and then i was heartened, at least it wasn't going to be long, but at least i hoped i would get to teach. and the guy in charge of it, he said -- he said inmate, what's your education level? i said a ph.d.. and he said, all right. we'll start you off sweeping the classroom. and so i swept the classroom for my last month. >> one thing i would say, not to put it too much just on the bureau of prisons because i was going to teach a writing class
9:57 pm
as well because a lot of guys asked me to edit things they were doing either court filings or course work doing correspondence courses. and they would ask me to write. and i think writing is a lost skill anyway. but in prison, it's pretty miserable. and so i said, you know, some guys said oh, would you teach a class in writing? same thing, resume, cover letters, just basic letters like that. and i had to say, part of the problem was that no one would have come. i mean, a couple of the guys would seek me out privately, but they weren't going to come from 5:00 to 6:00 at night because the prison wasn't going to make them. so there were some guys who were interested, you know, but i don't want to put it all on the prison. the prison should have made them come. and i said to a guy -- >> if anybody can compel someone to do something. >> well, that was the thing. the head of education, he said -- he was talking to another class. how would 50 people go to this class. it was an electrical class. wait a minute, if they're not going, why am i giving them all certificates?
9:58 pm
because you don't know who's there and who's not. how do i fix that? you stay and you check attendance when people come in and out of class. he said all right, forget it. >> so what you said really spoke volumes. the first thing you said, you said oh, people would come up to me and ask me for help, but they wouldn't go to a class. that's what i experienced all the time, people wanted help. they wanted tutoring on their ged. they wanted me to help write a resume, all that stuff. they would quietly come to my cell and ask. so there's definitely interest in it. and i would actually say, like, a pretty insatiable thirst to, like, figure out what they're going to do next and how they're going to acquire a skill. but yeah, doing things formally through the prison wasn't always interest in that. so there's a lot of research actually on prison education programming. and the rand corporation just did a study. they did a metastudy of dozens of other studies of prison education programs around the country. and it shows that first of all, there's a 43% reduction in recidivism for prisoners who
9:59 pm
advance educationally while they're incarcerated. secondly, for every dollar we spend on prison education programs and vocational training, there's an almost $6 return in reduced costs related to that recidivism. and that makes sense if you think of a 43% reduction and you think it's costing on average about $31,000 a year to incarcerate someone, then you can see how much money we could save doing it. so what kind of courses -- so you talked about therapy. i mean, therapy would be so important because people don't have an outlet. like what prison -- prison teaches you so many things. it teaches you a way to behave like to suppress all emotion all the time. >> this is going to be my next is you do talk in the book about the convict code that, you know, making eye contact or, you know, seeming too friendly. i mean, there's a way you have to behave, which is antisocial in a way. that you have to learn rules of survival that probably are
10:00 pm
counterproductive outside. is there anything -- i mean, i can't imagine that being something that at all would be easy to fix. or is it rooted in the fact that it's sort of the prison versus prisoners? is there anything that could be done, if you were just dreaming that could make prison not foster that code of -- that pushes people toward antisocial behavior? >> so i would say yes, there is. like that code, you know, what results is number one, a tendency to suppress all emotion because you learn very quickly that any show of emotion is a show of weakness. right? to be like i'm so excited for the visit i'm going to get this saturday. no. don't say that. okay? you don't -- you don't long -- you don't tell anyone else about your family. you don't -- you know, tell everyone how much you miss, you know, your kids. you don't do anything because then they know how to get to you. right? and people -- there's a lot of people that play a lot of mind games in there. they have a lot of time on their hands. they've developed really sort of acute senses for other people's
10:01 pm
weaknesses, and they will prey on that. so you learn not to express any emotion. you, of course, develop a tendency to overreact to small slights because if someone cuts in line ahead of you and you don't step to them, then you're weak. and everyone knows you're weak. and then people are going to find other ways to try to exploit that. and so all these tendencies that you develop of course are totally dysfunctional out in society. and that's the root of the problem. does it have to be this way, you ask? no, i don't think it does. i've been in a prison in texas that was the most positive place where the camaraderie and the enthusiasm for learning exceeded anything that i've experienced among ph.d. candidates at the new school. i'm being honest. there was a nonprofit called the prison entrepreneurship program which full disclosure i'm on the board now that operates inside two prisons in texas. they run a nine-month-long mba-level curriculum where it
10:02 pm
culminates in prisoners who compete in a shark tank-like business plan competition. they have nine months with the help of visiting executives and mba students from all over the world who advise them on the creation of these business plans. and the sort of positivity and just genuine, like, care and concern and even love for one another was i felt like, you know, it was similar to that of, like, a great winning high school team or college team. and the recidivism rate for graduates of that program over the last 11 years, 6%. >> wow. >> less than one-tenth of our national recidivism rate. and several men have started multimillion-dollar businesses as well. so i think there are ways. we see examples of ways to create an atmosphere that's very different. >> so that's cheering that there are examples of these things being done right. >> yes. i'm going to -- i don't want to disagree.
10:03 pm
and this is -- and again, when i read the book, it was -- i spared everybody telling my story because he really told it perfectly well. the one thing i would say about that is my sense of some of the folks there was there was too many, you know, bill gates just waiting to be born. and i think i'm afraid that sometimes we romanticize the prison population to think that these are people you'd have to a dinner party. this is, you know, everybody's least valuable players. it's not a great group of people to hang around with. i mean, you say that -- i mean, i was there. i'm not trying to be above it. if i said these things there, which i would do, people would put it right back on me that i was with them. and i get that. it's just these are, you know, low skill, low education, bad social skills, all of which i think can be dealt with. but i don't want to mislead people into thinking that they're all budding entrepreneurs because what worried me the most is when people would come up and say,
10:04 pm
hey, i've got this, you know, business plan. i'm going to come out with an app. they didn't even know what an iphone was. but they had an app that was going to sell. it was going to be like gangbusters if somebody just heard of this idea. and they had been sitting there for six, seven years. they had no market research or anything like that. they didn't know what they didn't know. so i felt like with some people, you shouldn't worry about being your own boss when you get out. you should just go hope to be a cog in a machine somewhere. like you don't need to compete with walmart. you just need to be a greeter at walmart. just hold a job. get something that pays the bills and supports you, and don't crush your dreams. but you're going out with a felony conviction. you don't know what the job market's like. and so i thought the prison could give people a little realism, too, by giving us so much space, they let people dream really unrealistic dreams, and i thought that was really counterproductive for the people who really needed a dose of reality as to what they were going to face when they got out.
10:05 pm
i was the exact opposite. i was so fortunate. my circumstances are so much different. so, you know, i could exempt myself prosecute that. i knew what i was going to do when i got out, but a lot of these guys don't, and they get scared. but if they're allowed to dream unrealistic dreams, i don't think that's healthy. >> i want questions from all of you guys in a minute. so i have one last topic for these two. reentry when they get out of prison, you know, is there -- are there existing programs -- i mean, you studied that work and also just so that -- i mean, people here who haven't had anybody close to them go in and come out of prison, i mean, what are the challenges besides not having seen an iphone? >> so a huge challenge is family and community support. you know, we talked about how heartbreaking it is to watch men who work -- i don't know what your wage was for your job, but i made $5.25.
10:06 pm
>> a week. >> which a lot of people say that's not bad. and then i tell them that was my monthly. >> a month. >> you know, for 40-hour-a-week work in the warehouse. but of course, like you, i was lucky, right? like i had money. i mean, i didn't have a ton of money. and most of it went to my lawyers. and then i had to pay a big fine to the government. but i still had enough to have someone send me 100 bucks here and there. i always had money when i needed it. most of these guys, you're working. you're making somewhere between $5 and $25 a month. and not only do you have to buy the basics of like, personal hygiene, but sometimes you have child support arrears accumulating while you're incarcerated. and then, you know, just to try to stay in touch with your family where i was, the interstate phone calls were, like, you know, $1.50 a minute for me to call home. other guys, it was even more. there's some prisons as much as $14 a minute. now, the fcc just changed that in a ruling that came out last
10:07 pm
week thanks to the great work of f.a.m., kevin's organization and some other organizations as well. but this is, you know, a huge problem upon reentry is the resentment that a lot of family members have because guys didn't stay in touch and they don't fully understand just how hard it was to get the resources to stay in touch, right? and you never tell people how bad it is in there. you don't tell people how hard it is. that's just part of the code. you don't want people feeling even worse than they already feel. so you say oh, everything's fine. so family and getting family back together, that's a big cal ledge. obviously the fact that 90% of employers perform background checks is a huge obstacle. one of the reasons i'm such an advocate for entrepreneurship is people won't hire you. i don't want to be misunderstood. >> no, i though. >> i know we might have a slightly friendly disagreement about this stuff. but basically, these guys, like, you know, they could run their own trucking company if they get a cdl. they could run their own landscaping business.
10:08 pm
they could run their own barber shop. they could run, you know, their own janitorial business. they have that entrepreneurial spirit that in many cases led them into the drug trade because i don't want to work at mcdonald's and make 7 bucks an hour. i want to do better. the challenge is channeling that energy into something that's a legitimate enterprise and then also like literally, like figuring out a way to get them, you know, just the sort of basics like a halfway house, my halfway house was worse than my prison. i don't know what yours was like. but my halfway house was crazy. you know. and when you put people right back in that place, you know, 650,000 people every year come back to the doorsteps of our communities, the same communities where they've already failed except now they've got the added stigma of a prison record and they're broke and they have to pay for
10:09 pm
their halfway house rehab, and they have to pay for their drug testing, and they have to pay for transportation and clothes to look decent at a job interview. it surprises me sometimes that one out of, you know, three people don't reoffend. you know, how they're able to get back on their feet. you know, we need much -- we need practical, we need therapy, you know, therapeutic resources, not a p.o. that's, like, be here at this time. if you're late, i'll violate you. you need to be here for the drug test. but somebody to counterbalance that and say how are you feeling about being back here? what do you need that can help you? can we help you with bus passes? can we help you learn to use the internet? you don't know any employers? you don't have anyone you can list as a reference? we've got some people who you can talk to. a database of employers like second-chance employers that are willing to hire people. it's great to see coke and walmart be in the box, but we need proactivity. we need people to step up and say what are the resources that it takes to identify, recruit,
10:10 pm
you know, hire and then support and retain people who were incarcerated? >> i mean, and i'm, again, a conservative libertarian guy, but that sounds like the perfect sort of thing for a nonprofit on sort of local-by-local, state-by-state level to do. do you think that should be part of the criminal justice system to do that, or would you see that being done outside? >> there's an amazing company that started a foundation. the company is called dave's killer bread. dave wasn't a killer, but he was -- he was incarcerated, and he was the brother of the company owner. and he came out and they said we want to help you, you know. can you bake some bread? he starts baking the bread. you know, there's some good cooking in prison, isn't there? like i miss the nachos. but he made the bread like totally different. he experimented with all kinds of stuff, and it went nuts. and everyone wanted it. and it grew like hundreds of, you know, and now it just got acquired by a much bigger
10:11 pm
company because it's been so successful. and they decided they were going to make it their mission to be a second-chance employer. almost 40% of their employees are people who came out of prison. and they just put on a big summit for employers all across the pacific northwest to learn what they're doing. and so yeah, i mean, i think -- i think government could have a role in connecting people in giving people more than 20 bucks and a bus ticket back to wherever you're from and connecting you to those resources. i'm not optimistic given my prison experience that they're going to take that seriously because frankly one of the c.o.s when people would leave, his line would be, he's say, i'll see you in six months. it's jackasses like you that remind me i'm always going to have a job. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. i would say -- i'm a small government guy for the most part, but i think the reason there's a role for the government is because the halfway houses, you're still under the department's control. we're still -- i was still
10:12 pm
serving my sentence when i left. so i had to do home confinement for a couple months. and i got to go to rockville and quickly get to home confinement. but if i had to go to hope village in d.c., i know a lot of people have been to hope village. it's way worse than your prison for most people. i mean, c.o.s are stealing things from the inmates. and some people at cumberland would pass up their halfway house time. even though they wanted to be closer to their family and community and start getting a job, they didn't want to go to the halfway house. so i think there are minimal standards that could be set to control these. rockville, even though i didn't have to spend time there, they have a good reputation because they really spend time getting people on the phone. they require them a certain amount of time applying for jobs. that's their whole focus is you're going to apply to ten jobs a day. and so there's a set period where they're making them do that. so they're really on them. and so i think that that's a good thing. you mentioned coke and walmart. and i would just say this is one of those cultural changes that need to happen. >> explain more. not everybody -- >> oh, i'm sorry.
10:13 pm
so coke, walmart, target, some of these companies have just voluntarily said we're not going to put on our application whether you have a criminal conviction. we'll find that out, right? i mean, through an interview process, but we don't want to knock you out of the consideration based on that one fact alone. so that's a smart move, they did it on their own. there's no law that requires that. president obama just announced he's going to ban the box for federal contractors. so that's not asked. i'll just say this. you know, as a conservative, i think an employer can ask whatever they want. so this idea to me is less about what it's actually going to do because, i mean, all the guys i served with, they could not get asked that. they'll submit their resume and there will be a ten-year gap. so it's not going to take long for somebody who figure out where you've been. some people list their prison jobs. because they don't want to have that gap, and they did do some work. so i'm not so optimistic about that.
10:14 pm
it has to be a cultural change. there's no law that's going to do this that's going to make people hire offenders and give them a second chance. we have to do that. i do not -- i have to do community service because after two trials, i couldn't afford to pay a fine. so i have to do 200 hours of community service. i live in montgomery county. if there's more progressive or proud of its progressiveness county in the world, i don't know it. it's bernie sanders, war's not the answer, hillary's a fascist up there. and so this is the greatest place you should be able to come home to, and yet i got turned down by three different places to do community service because of my felony conviction. the places had blanket policies no the to hire felons. i don't seek to be paid. i have a law degree. i just want to stack books in your used bookstore, but they will not hire me. so forget ban the box. forget about even not asking me, getting rid of policies that don't even allow you to consider me at all. and so again, i think it's
10:15 pm
cultural. i think it's just us saying and knowing more people who have gone to prison saying i'm not going to write you off because you served some time. i'm going to judge you as an individual. i'm going to get to know you. and i think that's what has to happen. that's not a government solution, though. >> so one possible government solution, and we might disagree on this, i think that even people on the right, i think definitely people on the right might find this interesting. remember what i said the c.o. said when people got out? that really embodied the incentive structure as it operates for prison wardens and prison administrators and c.o.s. they have a job because they know there's going to be a constant supply of us. what if we turned it on its head? what if we gave stipends or bonuses to c.o.s who worked in prisons? basically if we tracked everyone who came out of prison and if they went five years without recidivating, then we gave a $5,000 bonus on the c.o.s at the last two prisons where they were housed.
10:16 pm
maybe if we turned the incentives on their heads, then prison guards would be more focused on boosting you up than tearing you down. >> i totally agree with that. i would take the sort of warden or the head of the facility. i'd put it on him to create that culture. and i certainly would want to know -- i mean, i think wardens judge themselves now on nobody escaped today, you know? that's, like, all right. but everybody leaves your prison is reoffending. and we want to know that. so the bureau of prisons could at least track that information. how are different facilities doing? because we also build tease prisons in dog patch, usa. so a lot of people that are guards that jeff has imitated very well were the type of people that i had in cumberland, and they were this close to being inmates themselves. and i didn't find them any more moral or educated or anything than the people that i was serving with. and so what's this -- what's the training for them? what is their background? why isn't the head of my prison
10:17 pm
know something about psychology and motivation? like instead of insulting people, try to build them up? >> is there any state or locality or county where there are -- that you guys know of where there are sort of good incentives or wardens are given a job which is to help people or -- >> i know this idea has been discussed. i haven't heard it implemented. >> you know what? i'm going to be the commit some liberal right now. >> i just want to quickly say, if i hadn't said republican study until about five minutes ago, you couldn't have told that he was a republican, he was a liberal. now it's all going to come flowing. >> but this is sort of -- like the people who have done this the best over the last few years are like, nikki haley in south carolina, nathan diehl in georgia, rick perry in texas. the texas recidivism rate is, like, just a little more than one-third the national average. texas recidivism rate is, like, 23%, right? they're doing great. the best prison i had ever been in, that's in texas. they, you know, and the liberals and cynics might say, well, the
10:18 pm
reason the recidivism rate is so low is because at the execute so many people. there's 236 people who couldn't possibly recidivate. i will say this. conservative republicans and southern especially in the south governors have really led the way over the last five or six years on both on the inside -- you know, on the front end on sentencing reform and then on trying, you know, to be more compassionate inside of prisons in a way that will reduce recidivism. and it's a credit and nathan diehl's made this a focus of his governorship. john kasich in ohio. not only did he focus on this, but then he ran for re-election on specifically, you know, this issue which is pretty encouraging to me. so -- >> audience questions. yes. we've got a microphone. it will come to you. please -- yes. >> my name's dave price, retired
10:19 pm
journalist and educator. i want to begin with an accumulate and then go into my question. first, thank you. i'm sure there's times when you regret what happened to you. but it's been my impression working in urban schools and areas that the one population that probably is least represented is prisoners. both while they're in prison and even more so when they come out. so i think that's good. and my question kind of comes along with that. you talked a little bit, jeff, about this, but what's been the reaction not so much to you personally but to your message? i think it's such an important message. you're out there delivering it. do you think people are hearing you? and if they're hearing you, you know, are they beginning to act, you know, obviously it's going to be a multiple of things, but just the message. how's it being received out there now that you're giving it as an expert? >> and also along political lines, is it being received differently? >> yeah. it's just as you'd imagine. some people -- you know, i didn't want to be the guy who came out and was the expert, right? and it's not because i didn't want to relive the experience. i worked for families against mandatory minimums before i was indicted. so i was involved in these issues.
10:20 pm
i had been on the wrong side of these issues on capitol hill. i wrote mandatory minimum laws when i was a senate staffer and i was young and i knew nothing but i thought i knew everything. so part of this was a little bit of penance and just the idea that it didn't appeal to me as a conservative anymore that we would let politicians draft sentences for cases they knew nothing about. so i thought i wanted to get that message out. and i am lucky that as jeff said, there are so many other conservatives who are doing that. on a personal level, you think you're getting so much support, right? because those are the people who are talking to you. it's sort of a self-selecting process. i know there are people who -- what i don't like is in any other walk of life experience matters. and especially for conservatives, if you're a businessman and you're complaining about the epa, people would say you know because you're out there and if people are screwing with your business, we want to hear your viewpoint. my experience with the justice department. they say oh, of course you say that because you broke the law. so, you know, you've got, like, bernie kerik.
10:21 pm
nobody's done more to fight crime individually than bernie kerik. he was the nypd chief during 9/11. he ran rikers island. if you're going to dismiss him because he's got a conviction. jeff never talks about reforming the law where his conviction was. i talk about mandatory minimums. i wasn't subject to one. kerik doesn't talk about tax reform. we're talking about the system that we saw. and unfortunately we have experienced. so i'm a big boy. i can take it, but i don't like when the discount and that experience is discounted because people think it's a motive i have. i'd just as well not talk about this. but i was there. i saw it. i helped create a bad system, too, as part of a staffer, being a staff. so the reaction is mixed. >> obviously, there's that sample bias of, like, the people who come to events that where i'm selling my book are probably going to be people who are favorably predisposed to the message. but the most heartening thing i think is that i've tried to go to places that are unexpected,
10:22 pm
you know what i mean? i go on conservative talk radio. i go, you know, i go wherever i can. if people invite me. and i have had very, very few people come back to me and say, well, you know, what about, you know, what about rapists? you know, and i actually talk about rape in my standard talk because i think it's important to talk about it because what -- there's no clear example of how we operate our prisons, driving recidivism than rape. you know, because we tolerate rape culture inside of prison. there are more rapes that han in prison every year than happen on the street, than happen outside of prison. and how do we handle that? well, we laugh about it. like our pop culture, it's a staple of our detective shows, "law & order" to say hey, the prosecutor says don't drop the soap to the perp who's going away. i mean, how calloused do you have to be to think that no
10:23 pm
matter, you know, that no matter what happens to you on the inside, you deserved it because you broke the law. that's crazy. and unfortunately, a hugely disproportionate number of men who are raped or gang raped and repeatedly so on the inside come out and tragically attempt to reclaim their manhood in the way they perceive it was stolen from them on the inside. and so, you know, i am trying to talk about issues that a lot of people don't want to talk about. in some ways i'm a good messenger for it because i was a policymaker, and i actually worked on criminal justice reform as a policymaker. and then i am a researcher, too. and so i can bring that angle. in other respects i'm not the right messenger. i'm a white, you know, highly educated, i'm not representative of the prison population. but in a perverse way, i can reach people in a way that other people can't reach so i'm hopeful i can do that and spread the message.
10:24 pm
>> speaking of why you may have noticed that we are all white, he was attacked. jeff was attacked in his campaign as a well-known caucasian when he was running -- >> known caucasian. >> known caucasian in a district that was largely black. we invite people here, we try to get a diversity, some people say yes, some people say no. so i want to apologize for that. yes, sheryl. >> hi. i'm sherylyn, a lawyer and a writer. we've got 6,000 federal prisoners that are being released. jeff talks about in his being boo about the reason why -- one of the reasons why he was doing the -- i think you were doing inventory on the loading dock is because he had -- he could read. and he had math skills. so i'm curious. there's been a lot of reports about how there are a limited number of books in prison libraries. they don't allow newspapers.
10:25 pm
so what are these 6,000 prisoners going to do if they can't even read? and have minimal math skills? i mean, you can't even bag at the grocery store without having literacy skills. or math skills. >> i mean, either of you experience this also, illiteracy? >> part of this is, again, not everybody's in there dying to read. you know, some people can't and want to. some people really do use that time to self-educate because there's not classes. you know, when i was -- >> that's not the norm. >> no, that's not the norm. if they were -- if these guys were really starving for education, i mean, some of them, they wouldn't be in the position they were in. >> sure. >> but, you know, so in terms of the 6,000 coming out, i just want to say because f.a.m. has been having to respond to this a lot, this was not the obama
10:26 pm
administration's decision. this was the sentencing commission. and if we cannot tolerate this 6,000 who really are the lowest -- >> say more about -- >> okay, i'm sorry. yes. so there's been news reports about 6,000 people being let out early from federal prison who are drug offenders. and if you listen to bill o'reilly, you think you should run to your basement and lock the door because they're all violent folks. they're not. i was in prison. i just got out six months ago. i was there when a lot of people got their letters saying that they were getting the two-level reduction. so what happened was the sentencing commission over a year ago said the drug sentences were too high. the guidelines were too high. and since your sentence is driven by the weight of the drugs, they reduced the trigger for that. for most people they just got a slightly shorter sentence. 11 years went to 9 years. and they made that change going forward, but they said it's not fair to not include that for the people who are already serving. let's get rid of some of the overcrowding we have. and just as an equity matter, let's do it this way.
10:27 pm
so people were allowed to go into court. they had to have a good record. the prosecutor was allowed to object. the judge had to agree to this. so the people that are coming out, you know, there's been this scare -- fearmongering going on about 6,000 people. well, federal prisons let out 70,000 a year. state prisons let out more. these are, like, a handful in each community. and these are people who are serving drug offenses who served substantial amounts of time who were coming out anyway. so if you were worried that they weren't ready for society, they weren't going to be ready in a year and a half either. so it's the biggest nonissue, but it's been turned into something big. and what scares me about it is if we can't -- if we can't welcome these people back, then those who want to tackle, you know, the bigger prison issues are going to have a hard time because these are the lowest hanging fruit that we have in the system. >> pie question, though, what are we doing to help them? and even the ones that are much more -- that have much bigger problems? i mean, these guys are the
10:28 pm
lowest of the lowest, but do they have literate skills? >> we're doing with them what we do with everybody, and it's not enough. >> exactly. >> but the reason they delayed the decision was for the past year these people would transition to halfway houses, home confinement, look for work. so it wasn't as if on november 1st, 6,000 people walked out the prison door. but if you're talking about what we're doing to prepare them, i think that's our whole point is not enough. >> some of this, i mean, there's been -- you guys have mentioned some examples of things that have worked in some cases. and a lot of them, you know, you talk about the texas case or these other reentry programs, rockville having some good programs. in a lot of these, i'm almost feeling optimistic that we have some solutions that are worked on a local level and maybe they can be expanded and adapted to other situations. but on the question of people who are illiterate, getting an education in prison, is there any examples of that being done well that you guys know of? >> well the problem is it's anecdotal.
10:29 pm
and i think this is a problem with the criminal justice system overall. we don't have good data. if i said what's the recidivism rate, you would give a number that you heard. but if i said well, is that the number of people going back to jail or the number of people just reoffending? is that the number of people who have technical violations? you'd start to drop off and not know. a lot of researchers don't know the answer to that either. we don't have good data. even when we talk about programs that work, what the b.o.p. needs to do is also assess its programs. i'm all for them investing in programming that we think work, that reduces an education is a good example of that but i want that measured and tested. and then if it works, you know, sort of spread elsewhere in the country. >> that might be the most aei answer as possible. the answer is we need more data. >> yes, more data. >> yes, in the front table here, microphone is coming from right behind you. >> good evening. my name is elizabeth charity, and i'm the ceo and founder of youth corporation inc. services. i was, of course, in the corporate world. then what i did was i lost my
10:30 pm
job. and i started a volunteer in the juvenile justice system, in the juvenile detention center. and whilst i was there, i volunteered for, like, 20 -- it had been about 20 years. and what i did was i wrote a grant, and i gave it to -- submitted to the former governor george allen. and i started that 12-week job readiness program. but during that time, what i decided to do is come and go back to school to george mason university. and i did a study on training the ex-offender to a social entrepreneur. i put together that 12-week curriculum. i have submitted it to george mason university. and what we are planning on doing is getting college students to come in and help us teach that 12-week job readiness
10:31 pm
mentoring program, but we want it to go into the juvenile detention center. we have been given the opportunity to be able to go before the juvenile -- the department of juvenile justice to introduce this formula, and i truly will love to have some of your statements included in our study. this could be, like, a two to three-year study in which we can be able to get the data and all that information. >> i mean, so my question following up on that incredibly interesting sounding project there is on the juvenile level, have either of you done research or looked into that? that seems like that has a whole different set of needs and problems for juvenile offenders. >> it does have a whole different set of needs. and one of the most disturbing things that i uncovered in my research for the book was the number of states that put juveniles in solitary.
10:32 pm
i mean, juveniles are so ill equipped to be -- >> yes. >> no one should really be in solitary except in the most extreme circumstances pretty much across the world, the civilized world. they've decided you know what? this is basically slow-motion torture to do this to people. but, you know, where i was, i don't know if you had this experience, but, like, you know, you'd have a guy on your basketball team. and, like, he wouldn't show up for the game. and you'd be, like, where's cee lo? he gone. where is he? he's in the shoe. like he's in -- he's just gone. you don't know why people leave. they just disappear. they're in solitary, and then you never see them again. like the people who came out of solitary, i mean, they were broken people. right? it had broken them. and so, i mean, the number one thing i think we need to do in terms of juvenile justice in this country is to absolutely forbid juvenile solitary because no young person especially given their neurological development at that juncture should ever be put in solitary. that's the first thing.
10:33 pm
but, you know, i think we need to look further back. you know, everyone now is talking about the school-to-prison pipeline. and it's real. a friend of mine named karla shed just wrote a book on this in chicago. she looks at, you know, just the way that, like, poor kids mostly of color in our society like from the minute they go to school, they're 5 years old, they're accustomed to, like, metal detectors and, like, you know, this sort of things that we know of as, like, the carceral state. so i think we need to go even further back than the juvenile justice system and make it so that it's not considered -- and stop normalizing the experience of the criminal justice system for a big subset of our population. >> again, i want to know if i can be able to get statements from -- >> we can talk about that after. >> okay. thank you. >> man over there in the salmon-colored shirt. >> thank you. my name's jacqueline fefer meryl, and i serve on the board of the advocates for the prison
10:34 pm
partnership which offers programming on a high end above the cliche. we support goucher prison for a medium-security prison in jesup. i want to ask about here we have a very friendly audience. but talking to people who are much less sympathetic, whether we're talking to a c.o. who might have only a ged and no longer gets a subsidy from the department of corrections to take a community college course or taxpayers who are struggling to, you know, finance their own kids' college education, how is it that we talk, we saw the troubles talking about this in the state of new york about offering, whether it's college education or other education and spending yet more money on incarcerated people and help them see that it's really worth it? because having talked to the skeptics. >> kevin.
10:35 pm
>> yeah, i talk to the skeptics a lot because i was once one of them. and so sometimes that helps is that i remember what i was thinking when i was at that point. and it's still helpful sometimes to be working on these issues and talk to somebody on the hill who's, like, why would i ever shorten a sentence for anyone who committed any crime? you know, you think, wait. because there's no evidence that it's reducing crime. you know, it's like it's not helping recidivism. it's costing money. but, i mean, there's still just this -- turn on fox. >> especially among conservatives. there's this deeply ingrained sense that justice needs to be served. that these people do not deserve our sympathy or our help. >> until they know somebody who runs and follow the law. that's happening more and more. some of these people who are come out and are now supportive on the right just look through their family tree for a minute and you're going to find somebody who went to jail and
10:36 pm
all of a sudden they have a firsthand experience with the criminal justice system. some get it. some just weren't around during the old crime fights of the '90s where they don't have scars of me tough on crime you soft on crime, that old stale debate. how to talk to them, i really think it is about appealing to their self-interests because you can't make somebody always feel compassion. f.a.m. talks about personal stories. and that reaches people. in a lot of cases. but sometimes it's just -- it's not that -- i don't want us to not be tough on crime. i just think what we're doing isn't tough on crime. it's tough on criminals, on individual criminals. and so if i want to show how tough i am and i send somebody to 20 years, i may feel good about how tough i was vis-a-vis that person, but if i've just made them a worse offender, if i've destroyed their family and so now those kids are more likely to go to jail, if i'm just driving up the costs across the board of what i've done, then that's not being tough on crime. it's just -- and so, again i do think this is a cultural issue that is not so much legislative.
10:37 pm
i think we are very vengeful. i think we -- i'll give you an example. there were lobbyists who are doing just what i was doing. and half of them will say gosh. but for the grace of god, go i. the other half, even though they knew what they -- i was doing exactly what they were doing are, like, you asked for it about and we have that. there's something weird in our society where, you know, if, you know, all of a sudden speeding on the beltway, you know, got you ten years, we all do it. but the person who got caught, we'd have zero sympathy for. and so there's a quick -- it's an evolutionary thing we have that once you break the law, you become the other. and we don't have to feel any sympathy or empathy for you. and that's just going to take us growing out of that and part of it is when i grew up, i didn't know anybody who went to prison. i don't think my kids know anybody who doesn't know somebody who went to prison. so we're going to get to a point where we're going to jail so many people that we're all going to have more firsthand experiences here. and that may be what it takes.
10:38 pm
>> just very quickly. i totally agree with kevin, self-interest. you feel -- money and public safety. is how i talk to conservatives. you know? you like spending $80 billion a year of your money, you know, on a revolving door? >> then they say well that's because they get plasma screen tvs and comfy beds. you got the comfier bed. >> yeah. my bed went from this thick to, like, that thick. so -- and i talk about public safety a lot, which is like, you know, if you -- you know, these people, like 93% about of prisoners in this country are coming home. and what we do to them, like, we are -- our own nest, right? these are americans. we will see them. they will be, you know, maybe they won't live in your suburb, but when you go downtown for the opera or for the baseball game, you will see them. and if you want them to come out
10:39 pm
even more damaged, broken and angry than they went if, then you've got the right recipe. >> yes, sir. >> good afternoon. great talk. obviously very entertaining. but in speaking of entertainment, before i ask a question, i wanted to know, are you familiar with a comedian kevin hart? >> yeah. >> so i went to see him recently. and i can relate to him because he's under 5'9". i'm 5'7". he might be 5'4" or 5'5". so it's even tougher for him to be even that much shorter. but he does this joke about how a series or monologue about what it's like to avoid fights and why he avoids fights. and it's interesting to hear the rationale he uses because he basically says i know what the consequences are going to be if i get into a fight with this person. and so i think there's a
10:40 pm
difference between the way some people think when they say well, if i get into a fight with this person, i'll do this and it will come out okay versus someone who says no, it's going to come out bad. i think i need to walk away from that. so i've been able to stay out of prison because i've avoided a lot of situations where i could have made the wrong decision. and maybe it was because of my mom or my dad or going to catholic school. i don't know what it was. but as a result, i would be -- i know i would be the whitest guy in prison if i was there. i would be the whitest guy. i would be the guy they would pick out and say you, uncle tom, i'm going to do this to you, right? so i want to ask you, do you or do people that you've spoken to actually believe that what some of the things they did that got them put into prison were actually wrong? because i think -- and this is my theory, and i don't know a damn thing about it because i've never been to prison, but i think there's a point where you decide, hey, you know what? maybe i'm wrong. maybe i should have been put in prison for some reason. there's no perfect answer, but i'm going to start reading the bible. i'm going to start doing these
10:41 pm
other things. so do you think that anything that you did was actually -- because i don't understand anything that you supposedly got put in for. was it wrong or what? >> i lied to the feds, you know. and it doesn't matter whether you lie to the feds about jaywalking or structuring financial transactions or killing someone. you still lie to the feds, and i lied to them about whether i knew that a meeting took place between my two aides and a third party. i said i didn't know about that because the mailer didn't have the appropriate paid for by disclaimer. so it sounds sort of technical, but the underlying crime was a campaign finance violation, and then the obstruction of justice was signing a false affidavit saying i didn't know anything about that meeting. so that's what i did. do i think i did anything wrong? i think i broke the law, and, therefore, you know, in this
10:42 pm
country, i have done something wrong. i think i did something really, really stupid, okay? and it was a big mistake, and i learned a lot from it, but i also have perspective on it, and you get a lot of perspective on it by watching like the presidential campaign this year where basically what i did, it was a $10,000 postcard and right now i don't want to get into too many details but basically jeb bush has a super pac that's got over $100 million in it, and his like political alter ego who he spent the last 20 years plotting with is running that super pac and so they don't really need to coordinate because they spent the first six months of this year figuring out exactly what they were going to do with that $100 million. so they don't have to have a conversation about it now. i was an amateur. i was naive and stupid and so as a neophyte, i made the mistake
10:43 pm
of doing it in an illegal way. what some politician has probably done since we came here together at lunch today. but the fact is i did the crime, so i had to do the time. in prison overall one of the biggest myths, biggest misconceptions is that prisoners all say like i didn't do it. they know they did it. they'll tell you they did it, and in fact, one of the guys i worked with in the warehouse used to joke -- one time -- it's a long story but they -- they were going to plant raw meat in my freezer jacket because they were going to get me in trouble because i wasn't stealing, and so therefore they thought i was a rat and i was going to snitch on them for stealing. so i had to start stealing, and it's a long story but basically like -- there was a threat i would have to go to a high
10:44 pm
security prison, and i was like i don't want to do that. that's why i decided to start stealing because i didn't want to go to a max, right. and this guy is like, he's like what are you afraid of? i'm like there's like murderers there and he looks at and he goes the only difference between me and them is i missed. but this guy was like very smart and very thoughtful and like he had shot at people, you know. he was in the drug trade, and he had shot at people and he freely admitted everything he did, and i really believe that he was intelligent enough and, you know, just ambitious enough and hard working enough, like it was prison. it didn't matter if the boxes were stacked perfectly. i didn't care. and he was like, no, that's not right. smith, come on, senator, like change it around. you got to do it the right way. like he had pride in his work inside of prison. he wanted to do a great job. i think he would be fine on the
10:45 pm
outside, and i think even though, sure, there was guys that were already plotting their next crime, there were some of those, you know. but that was not the norm, and maybe we had a different experience. most of the guys wanted to fly straight. >> that was my experience as well. one thing i would say about jeff's story, and this is a perfect thing, if you said, well, jeff, you knew what you were doing. you know, you knew what the penalty was if you said you weren't involved in that meeting so you got what you deserved. he had no idea what the penalty was. they'll say what were you thinking? he wasn't thinking. he made a decision on the spur of the moment without thinking everything through. that's what people do. those are called mistakes and bad judgment and same thing with me. i mean, i fought my charges -- they were lobbying charges, essentially bribery charges not because i disagreed with the government's theory that i gave people tickets to events or took them out to lunches or dinners and ultimately hoped they would do something for my clients.
10:46 pm
that was called lobbying. it was what was my intent. did i have a criminal intent to trade those things sort of in a one for one basis on them and i would have done anything to stay home with my daughters. i would have pled guilty in a second if i could have done that, but i was going to have to incriminate against others, testify against people i worked with, members of congress who did i not believe was guilty and i wasn't going do it. that's my sob story and i live with it. i went to prison and i didn't seek any sympathy from people who were serving much longer sentences for similar mistakes. so i would say this, i was not happy i was involved in the system i was involved. i gave them the fat to pinch. so i'll take my lumps. i was sort of raised that way. you asked for it, watch who you hang out with. but the people there, again, they didn't think about their conduct, and if you had said, well, the penalty for this crime was five or the penalty is for 25, it would not have altered their behavior because they
10:47 pm
weren't thinking doing cost/benefit analysis, so i wish sort of this -- growing field of behavioral economics would inform more of our policymaking here because there are things you can do to sort of prime people to make better decisions or to at least punish them in ways that responds. restorative justice. make the person who sold drugs be accountable, go to a clinic where people are really trying to get off drugs. let them see the repercussions of what their drug trafficking did. don't let them sit in a cell for ten years where they have no face-to-face contact with that. there's other things we can do, but i think the idea of these people made mistakes, they're not innocent. i agree when -- people would say system is racist. every black guy said the system is racist. i'm like did you do it? yeah, i did. okay, let's go play basketball. they all thought i was an idiot that i had gone to trial. and so what matters is not
10:48 pm
whether they're guilty. the question is, is the punishment proportional to what they did? and i don't think it is in a lot of cases, and that's what we need to re-evaluate. are we safer because of the punishments we're doling out. >> i think this has been a great discussion. the most cheerful thing to me is that there are programs on smaller scales that have worked. this has now been taken up across the ideological spectrum. criminal justice reform broadly including prison reform. i'd like to go on forever but we're incapable of doing that. i will say jeff's book is for sale outside. they take credit card. he'll sign it for you, and just a quick note on this. when i got the book and i still have the dust jacket on and it's got jeff's picture on the front, my 5-year-old said what he says about every person he sees in the newspaper, is that your friend? what's the book about? it's about when he went to prison. and all my older kids gathered
10:49 pm
around and they thought that was a really interesting story and it was an informative them for me to talk about. my oldest asked if she could read it. i said no. don't buy it for your 7-year-old child yet. but it was -- i thought that was a really interesting thing, that that exposure to that, it's something in the bible we read about, but you're supposed to visit and care about the imprisoned but it was a new thing. so i see it getting picked up across the spectrum. i hope these little solutions on the local level can bubble up, but i want to -- >> speaking of little kids in the book, my 4-year-old son every time we're out in public, he's very gregarious, probably got the politician in him, he just walks around to everyone and he says, hi, have you read dada went to prison? >> thank you, guys, all for coming. [ applause ]
10:50 pm
on the next washington journal, sulma arias on an injunction blocking president obama's executive action preventing the deportation of 5 million illegal immigrants in the u.s. then tom ridge looks at new threats to the u.s., including threats to cyber ware and the electrical grid. and after that, dr. thomas freeden discusses a reported 25% increase in multi-state food-borne outbreaks in the past few years. plus your phone calls, facebook comments and tweets. washington jurge live at 7:00 eastern on c-span.
10:51 pm
all of you, thank you for your support and to the kids for just saying no. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> my hope is that the women of the future will feel truly free to follow whatever paths their talents and their natures point to. >> i think they thought that the white house was so glamorous, and your role was so, what you did was glamorous, what you did was glamorous, and all they saw was the parties and the meet being people and, you know, and i've got to tell you, i never worked harder in my life. >> nancy reagan served as long-time political partner, ferocious protector and ultimately as caretaker for
10:52 pm
president ronald reagan. an involved first lady. she was active with key staff decisions, policy-making and campaigning. she made drug use her signature initiative with her "just say no" campaign. nancy reagan, this sunday night on first ladies. influence and image, examining the public and private lives of the women who filled the position of first lady and their influence on the presidency. from martha washington to michelle obama. sunday at 8:00 eastern on american history tv, on c-span 3. all campaign long, c-span takes you on the road to the white house. unfiltered access to the candidates, at town hall meetings, news conferences, rallies and speeches. we're taking your comments on twitter, facebook and by phone, and always, every campaign event we cover is available on our
10:53 pm
website at c-span.org. c-span's road to the white house coverage continues with former maryland governor and 2016 candidate martin o'malley at a town hall in new hampshire. mr. o'malley outlines his national priorities and takes questions from the audience this is 45 minutes. >> i direct the school of public policy here at the university of new hampshire. it is great to see all of you here. obviously, those who are interested in public policy. we are starting a degree program. if you're a junior or senior, it's a great program and you should apply. but that's obviously not why i'm here. i'm here to introduce governor martin o'malley. i just moved to new hampshire a year ago. before that i worked in washington in public policy for many years. i worked in washington but i lived in maryland where i had the privilege of having governor o'malley as governor for eight
10:54 pm
years. i can say, having experience with that, he was a very effective governor. he froze tuition. got mo got minimum wage raised. the dream act. investments of public education. a real record of accomplishment. and something i care about is really worked on making deposit work well and efficiently. something he had done as mayor of baltimore. and i think that's one reason why he holds a unique distinction among governors of that era. he was initially elected before the great recession, before the financial crisis. and was actually re-elected after that crisis hit by a greater margin than he won the first time and facing the same opponent. and he had to make all the tough decisions and choices that all the governors across the country
10:55 pm
had to make. it says something about the faith people had in governor o'malley. he became more popular over that period. i will end it there and say welcome, governor o'malley. >> thanks a lot. thanks, michael. thanks very much. thank you. michael, thanks and for introduction. thank you for waiting on me. i apologize. my plane was late talking off the tarmac at bwi. it is actually not my plane. it was a southwest airlines flight that i shared with about 200 people. thank you for being here. i hope you're not missing class. thank you for being here, and thank you, you who are new hampshire voters, thank you for what you do for our country. at a time of citizens united when cynicism runs very, very
10:56 pm
high, the great thing about new hampshire is that in the granite state one person matters. every individual matters. and i know that given your unique role, i know how you new hampshireites how seriously you take your responsibility to see each one of us, two, three, four, five, six times before you make up your mind. so that's a tremendous service to the rest of the country. most people don't get to see each of us. i have good news for you since i was last in new hampshire. i have now secured third place in this race for the democrats. thank you very much. [ applause ] did you enjoy the debate? some of you saw it. did you have a watch party here? it's good to have debates.69íñ debate are how that most
10:57 pm
important office in the lamd makes its decision, your office, the office of citizens. we're going to have another debate. but now the field is whittled to three. let me share a few thoughts with you about leadership. about my candidacy, and most importantly about our country. as michael told you, my name is martin o'malley. what he didn't tell you is i am not a former socialist. i am not a former republican. i am a life-long democrat. and i am running for president of the united states. i am in it to win it. and i need your help. and i am running for one reason and one reason only. that is to rebuild the truth on the american dream that you and i share. you know, the poet laureate bruce springsteen once asked is a dream alive if it don't come true, or is it something worse?
10:58 pm
we have come a long way since the crash of 2008. i stood in line with my citizens as we fought to defend each and every home against these mindless home grinding machine of foreclosures, job losses. it seemed a limbo dance. how low would it go as far as job losses and despair. but eight years ago, our party, the democratic party, put forward a new leader. not to make the perfect decisions but to make the best decisions possible to move our country forward. and that's exactly what he has done. 67 months of positive job growth. our nation has now achieved 67 months in a row of positive job growth. and that is the very, very good news. the tougher news is this. there is still in our country because of the bad economic policies that predated the president's tour of duty, there is a growing in skwrus teurbgs the likes of which we have not had to address since the guilded age.
10:59 pm
it is a fact that there is a growing economic inequality in our country. a growing injustice that actually threatens to tear us apart. one of them is the fact that eight years after electing president obama employment is higher in new york, los angeles, the president's hometown of chicago. justice does not solve itself. we have to solve it. the good news is we are americans. and we know what needs to be done in order to solve these things because we have solved it before. of the three candidates in this race, i am the only one with 15 years of executive experience. what does that mean? that means that i did not serve for 40 years in washington in the senate. that's not my background as a
11:00 pm
legislator. my background is a as an executive. actually pulling people together to get things done. sometimes really difficult things. when i ran for mayor of baltimore it was not because our city was doing well. we had allowed ourselves to be the most a addicted, most abandoned city in america. and against and overcoming some pretty deep lines of division that all of us as americans have inherited around race, crime, violence, justice in america. we put our city on a better path, greatly increased drug treatment. gave her a better future. did not make her immune from setback, but we did save a lot of lives. as governor, as michael mentioned, i had to lead my state through this recession. and while some other governors tried to cut their way to prosperity, we remembered that no great people ever cut their way to prosperity. we did more on education. we invested more to make college more affordable for more people. we invested more to bolster our competitive advantages and innovation and economy we share. we raised our goals for minority
11:01 pm
and women business to the highest of any state in the country. then we exceeded them in a recession. we passed the living wage. we raised the minimum wage. and what is the common thread that wove through all of those things like passing the dream act, passing comprehensive gun safety legislation, repealing the death penalty? i would submit to you that the common thread running through all of those things was the formula of actions that we had become pretty proficient at taking as americans. not words but actions that include more of our people, more fully in the economic, the social and the political life of our country. and that's what we need to do again as a nation. you see, the economics that led us into that big crash are not the economics that are consistent with american capitalism. american capitalism is about fuller inclusion for all.
11:02 pm
think of one -- just one example. my dad flew 33 missions over japan. and when he came home, he and his fellow g.i.s, because of a far-seeing country that understood the more they would earn -- or the more they would learn the more they would earn. and the better our whole economy would do. they sent him to college on a g.i. bill. my wife katie and i have four kids. our oldest daughters are 24 and 23. they graduated from college in the last two years with a mountain of bills. what a contrast. we were very proud of them on graduation day. and we're going to be proud of them every month for the rest of our natural lives. we're the only developed nation on the planet, ladies and gentlemen, that saddles our cohorts of kids from our colleges with a mountain of crushing debt like we do now. that is a choice. progress is a choice.
11:03 pm
job creation is a choice. if we actually want to make our economy work again for everyone, we need to make better choices. you and i are part of a living self-creating mystery called the united states of america. but the promise at the heart of that mystery is a real and concrete thing. and that promise says wherever you start, you start. and our country. but through your own hard work, your own talent, own grit, own love of family, you should be able to get ahead. that earned us the brand of the land of opportunity. so what do we need to do? as best i can boil it down, i think there's three primary areas where we need to make the better choices that allow our economy to work for everybody again. one is to restore wage and labor policies back to the center of our economic choices. the second is to make the investments we can only make in our own country that makes our
11:04 pm
economy and opportunities expand for the next generation. and the third thing is to square our shoulders to the great challenge of our time. let me go back through each of those briefly. then let's open it up to questions and answers. by golly, if you have answers, i'm on a search for answers. so make sure you put your hand up first. wage and labor policies. thank you for the sound effects. we have to remember as americans. we need to remember our economy is not money. it is people. it is all of our people. and yes, we need a new national strategy of threat reduction. make no mistake about it. those things depend on us making our own economy straight at home.
11:05 pm
not just the highest percentage of our earners so get ahead. that means raising the minimum wage and keeping it above the poverty line all the time. raising it to $15 an hour however we can, wherever we can. the more our workers earn the more money they will spend, the more our economy will grow. that's american economics 101. we also need to pay overtime pay for overtime work again. something we stopped doing in the '80s when they stopped raising the threshold. we need to stop cutting social security as a ton of our people move towards retirement with less savings than in decades and decades. we need to expand social security so nobody retires in poverty in the united states of america. we need to fight for equal pay for equal work between men and women.
11:06 pm
we need to expand paid family leave. when women succeed, america succeeds. and you want to get wages to go up for everyone. let's do a couple of other things. let's make it easier rather than harder for people to join labor unions and bargain collectively for better wages. let's also get 11 million of our neighbors out of the underground shadow economy by passing immigration reform and a pathway of citizenship for all americans. you can applaud for that. [ applause ]. secondly, the investments in our own country. look, there are a lot of nations seeing a rise in their middle class. and that's all fine and good. our cause is to lead by example of the rise of the global middle class, free from fear, free from oppression. we need to make the investments in our country. china and india aren't going to do it. they have nations of their own.
11:07 pm
nations don't build generational wealth and pass on greater prosperity and greater opportunity by locking cash in a closet. or at the u.s. treasury. no, instead the way nations build generational wealth is things that serve beyond just one generation. think about the infrastructure our parents and grandparents built. it can create cycles of prosperity. affordable college. i have put forward a plan to move us to debt-free college within the next five years. unlike the other two candidates, i did it as governor. we went four years in a row without a penny increase in college tuition. there's other investments we make that last for generations as well. investments in research and development. look, i'm 52 years old. in the '80s when i came out of
11:08 pm
high school, the amount of our discretionary and things like r&d, education, transportation is twice what it is headed to be right now. which leads me to my third point. r and d. the third piece is that as americans every generation we have figured out how to square our shoulders to the great challenge of our times. and today in these times the great challenge is climate change. [ applause ] >> the greatest business opportunity to come to the united states of america in 100 years. speaking from my own party, we sometimes make a mistake at looking at the science -- you're laughing -- and connecting the dots. the problem with doing that is often time the dots draw a straight line to hell.
11:09 pm
and no appeal that ever came from a prospect of despair ever found fertile ground for success. this is the greatest business opportunity to come to the united states in 100 years. i am the first it candidate to create 5 million jobs along the way. unless you think this is pie in the sky, i've been spending a lot of time in one of my most other favorite states tied for first place with new hampshire and maryland. and that is iowa. get this. 30% of the electricity in iowa comes from iowa wind. and that was not true 15 years ago. and it employs 4,000 people and a new wind industry. as you are going across i-80 and you see these big trucks with huge turbine pieces on them,
11:10 pm
the great thing about those turbine pieces are they are too damn big for it to make any sense to import them from china or abroad. so they have to be produced here in the united states, a circular economy. a novel idea. look, those are some thoughts for you. there's other things we need to do as well in order to -- one of the great anxieties that i sensed throughout our country is this. especially among older people. is this sinking sense that we can barely give voice to that maybe we might be the last generation of americans that is able to give our kids lives that are healthier and with more opportunity. i don't sense that as much around younger people. in fact, when i talk to the young people around our country, i don't find the gridlock that characterizes our national politics. i rarely encounter young americans that deny that climate change is real or think we shouldn't do something about it.
11:11 pm
i rarely meet young americans that want to discriminate against gay couples or their children or that want to bash new american immigrants or blame them for the problems that we face as a country. all of that tells me we are moving to a much more compassionate, much more connected and much more generous place. we are standing on the threshold of a new era of american progress. we need the leadership to take the actions, not the words, to make tomorrow better. you know what, our country and this world has never needed us more than they do right now. for us to do what we do best, to act like americans. to remember we are all in this together. that we need each other. and we have to help each other if we are going to succeed. i need your help in this campaign. and look, i know when a guy
11:12 pm
comes before you, and he stands here with 5% national name recognition, which, by the way, is up 500% compared to where it was in the first debate. is there is a fine line between dilution and imagination. but i'm not imagining this. our country is looking for new leadership. and we are going to find it in one party or another. we can't be this dissatisfied with gridlock politics with the way we shout past each other and the way the economy is leaving most of us behind and think old names and politics will move us forward. it won't. so i need your help. i'm excited about these next 100 days. and lots of people tell me, man, you're facing a tough fight. well, i like a tough fight. i've always been drawn to tough fights. i think the toughness of the fight is the hidden god telling us we have something worth saving. our country is worth saving. the american dream is worth saving. this planet is worth saving.
11:13 pm
i need your help e and i thank you so much for waiting to hear me. thank you. [ applause ]. >> yes, sir? what? >> let me go to this gentleman first and then to you second. i'll be right there. yes, sir. go ahead. >> hi, martin. thanks for being here. >> what's your name? >> my name's miles. i want to bring us to what you are last talking about, climate change. you were asking for answers earlier. i think i might have one for you. we can't overcome climate change by just relying on clean energy. we also have to leave the fossil reserves in the ground. in order to stick to the 2 degree celsius gauge that the world is coming together to
11:14 pm
agree is the acceptable level of warming, 80% of the fossil fuel is in the ground. i wonder if you accept that science? >> yes. >> perfect. >> let me show you by the things i demonstrated and the actions i have taken. in our own state, we passed a greenhouse gas reduction bill. we raised it from 7% to 20%. we cut energy consumption by 15%. i also broke with my own party and we urged the obama administration, loudly and repeatedly not to allow for drilling for oil off the east coast and the chesapeake bay. i came out against the keystone pipeline. i came out against it eight months ago, who, unlike hillary clinton came out against it a week before the debate.
11:15 pm
[ applause ] so this is what i believe. some of these things need to go out. >> one of the things an executive can do is to stop new leasing on public lands. that's where a lot of our coal reserves are. >> i read about that the other day. how about that? >> i wonder if you would end new leasing on fossil fuels as president? >> i probably would. look, we are not going to get to this with an all the above strategy. we need to be intentional and move towards it. i was surprised to read how much of coal comes from federal lands. overall, what we need to do in broad brush terms is stop subsidizing fossil fuel extraction and move to a clean energy future.
11:16 pm
>> thank you. >> thank you. yes, sir. you wanted to interject and you had a sign. >> -- liberty over empire. you mentioned your father being in japan, over japan. >> over japan. >> that was a japanese empire. the british empire was the empire that kept citizens as subjects. empire is the causal issue or the singular central issue. my take is this, i don't care about all other issues. they are all defined by position on empire. and i don't care which candidate and which party takes it on. i gist just want to get empire addressed. it is the dividing point among people, the source of our economic problem. it is the source of our wars overseas and our climate problem. we are not dealing seriously with the fact that america is
11:17 pm
now acting like an empire, which obama, to his unending disgrace said while bombing libya, we'll not be there in libya. empire is the central issue. what's your position on it. >> my position is there is a difference between empire and republic. i'm not partial to empires. i believe in the american republic. i believe when we exercise our substantial economic military, diplomatic and political powers it should be done consistent with the principles of a free people, of the people of this republic. when we exercise those powers, whether as a government, or as
11:18 pm
multi nationals with our flag is contrary to those principles we harm the best inside the united states. yes. here, you want this? this is like the phil donahue show. you might not even need it. >> governor o'malley, i'm mckenji, i graduated from here in 2012. i'm a young mom concerned about the future of our young people in new hampshire right now, the american census just came out and said new hampshire has about 32,000 children living in poverty. i'm just wondering if you can kind of summarize what would be your plan to close the opportunity gap for children in new hampshire and across the united states, what would you do to help them ensure they could get into a college like i was able to do and that kind of thing. >> about two months ago, i put
11:19 pm
out 15 strategic goals to rebuild the american dream. some of them are economic things i probably spent the balance of my time, making wages go up, clean energy future. there is no such thing. so some of them are very much related to problems at the that erode and attack who we are as a people. what am i talking about? i'm talking about gun violence for one and cutting gun violence in half. we buried, since 9/11, 400,000 americans from gun violence. can you imagine if they were murdered by al qaeda what we would be doing to stop this sort of carnage? one nitwit with a failed shoe bomb and we're all taking off our shoes and lining up at the airport. but 400,000.
11:20 pm
there is another scourge as well and that is one fifth of our kids is going to bed hungry. the difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline. in our own state, we pursued this in our own state. and bill shore, who started a foundation called share our strength, has this beautiful phrase. he says, you know -- solving poverty is complicated but feeding a child is simple. and there are already programs in place if we could refrain from cutting them, like the snap program and school breakfast program that would allow us to reach that goal. where kids are concerned, we have to do a few things all at once. one is to eradicate childhood hunger. you can't expect them to learn at the same level as other kids if they're thinking about their stomach the first three hours of their learning day. the second is universal pre-k.
11:21 pm
the time has come for universal pre-k. i saw as mayor we were a little late to that game. scored above the national average in reading and math for the first time. and then this drive to make college debt free. and a component of that is to make sure that -- i talked a little bit about -- and there is a plan online for how we achieve debt-free college. back to the threat of inclusion, i think another way to including that and break cycles is by making more of that fourth year of high school. so when we graduate, when our kids graduate from high school, they have not only a high school diploma that means something but also a year of college credit that can transfer. and a skill in a career technical skill that is in demand in today's economy. so those are some ideas for you. yes, ma'am? thank you for waiting on me.
11:22 pm
>> in what ways do you think the threat of climate change will pose a possible threat to our national security? >> in many, many ways. in fact, the leading thinkers in our department of defense have been underscoring what a threat it is in terms of sea level rise, in terms of extended periods of drought. the republican candidates, some of them laughed at me when i said that climate change was one of the big contributing factors to the rise of isil. ha, ha, ha. how can that be? what a joke. prior to the civil war, there was a massive drought that came over the fertile crescent. uprisings broke out.
11:23 pm
civil war followed. nation state collapses and crumbles. and out of that rises isis. there are many cascading effects for climate change, including sea lanes in the arctic where there weren't sea lanes. mass migrations, continental migrations that can come across because of climate change. they always ask what is one of the first things you will do in the first 48 hours. i will sign an executive order declaring making this transition to a clean energy future is our highest national security and economic goal. yes, sir? >> i'm here with the fossil fuel campaign. fossil fuel divestment campaign. you supported that. so thank you very much. here it is up to a man named
11:24 pm
morgan rutman. and i was wondering if you would be willing to urge him to divest unh investments from fossil fuels? >> sure. is he here? [ applause ]. look, this planet needs a crowd source healing of the deepest kind. i think the movement that is going on in the campuses is a very positive thing u and i think not only should there be -- when you look at the dollars that you have and the dollars you have to invest, i would encourage them to invest in green technologies and get the return that way. yes, sir? >> hi. i am david. and i have a question. about fossil fuels. 15% of fossil fuels are from our public lands. so we commit to no more leases on public lands.
11:25 pm
>> where the coal is concerned, i probably would be in favor of that. generally we need to shift away from extraction and into clean. that's the movement. that's what we have to do in order to stave off the disaster. yes, sir? >> would you cut military spending to keep us out of war with isis? >> that's a good question. would we cut military spending to keep us out of war with isis. let me respond to the gist of your question their way. there is -- just when we learned to protect ourselves in land, sea, air, and space, a fifth domain rose up in your lifetime called the internet. and so we actually have a need
11:26 pm
for more robust defense when it comes to securing the global champions of the internet against cyberattacks, cyber thefts. and there was an interesting hearing in congress where head of fbi, and other military people all came and went down the line. and each of them said that one of the greatest threats we face as a nation is the potential for sort of pearl harbor type of cyber attack. so there are some things we probably, there are some areas of the defense budget e the whole of the defense budget, let me first of all say, requires greater openness and transparency to the public. we shouldn't allow the defense budget to be determined by the politicians and the lobbyists.
11:27 pm
there are some things, though, where the answer's not to do less. it's to do more. and our cyber defenses is one of those. every generation we have to be mindful that we're not preparing ourselves to defend the last war. the threats are very much evolving. this movement to special ops forces is one aspect of military reform. drawing down the size of our standing army is one way to compensate for that. there's still a need to reduce nuclear arms in this world, and perhaps by modernizing our triad capabilities. there are dollars that could be saved there. but overall, when it comes to cyber, we're probably going to have to do more rather than less. can i say one other thing on that? sometimes in times of scarcity we get drawn into believing that the only way to pay for one thing is to stop doing another. but one of the big entitlements i believe we can no longer afford as a country is the
11:28 pm
entitlement that the super wealthy feel to pay a lower marginal income tax rate. [ applause ] >> yes. >> hello, governor and former city council member. it's been a while since i've seen your band playing if he farmers market. my name's lauren selleck. i'm in columbia, maryland. i lived on abel avenue. i used to walk by your house on a regular basis. anyway, i saw you at politics and eggs before you officially declared. it's great to see you again. for me there's two issues that i see as really significant. i'm married to a town manager, so small town government, i recognize how critically important that is, local government. for students out here, please don't wait until the last minute to register to vote. go register to vote, get all your friends to register to vote.
11:29 pm
[ applause ] so i guess one question is, how can we encourage more young people to be focused on local government as well? it has so much impact on their daily lives as well as the national elections, which they should also be involved in. anlt other thing that i talk about with my children, the disparate divide between the parties and the need to recognize that we all have the same goal. a /* it's about a different vision of how we achieve that goal of world peace and loving our children and having them have better lives. >> there's a lot in that. let me talk about the local government first. how many of you are political science people? a few of you. i really enjoyed my time in
11:30 pm
municipal government and local government. and there's actually a revolution in effective government and governing going on that's bubbling up from our cities and our towns, led by really fundamentally entrepreneurial men and women who know there's no democratic or republican way to fix a pothole or to deliver a city service. and all of these -- as i traveled around the country, before i decided to make this offering, i probably spoke to every j.j. dinner across the country, most of us feel a lot better about how our cities are governed, and living in cities now than we did 15 years ago. this revolution i've seen taking place is that mayors, never having the situational advantage of having information six months before everyone else knew the reality, they weren't intimidated by new technologies,
11:31 pm
whether it's 311 centers, and that allowed them to have a way of governing in terms of weekly outputs and to put it on a map in ways that are small "d" democratic in way that i that everybody can see it, if you log on, you can see that the mayor is filling in potholes in one part of town at the same rate that she's filling it in another part of town. or if you live in a poor area, can you see that your response times from the police are the same as they are from the wealthier areas of town. and so to any of you thinking about doing things in government, i found local government extremely rewarding, because you could actually see that you were achieving something, and other people could see it, and you could bring people together around that one map and actually start running plays. so that's my pitch for local government. the second thing, how do we talk to each other again?
11:32 pm
there's an irish singer named cristy moore. he does a song, the opening line is, "for all our languages, we can't communicate." the song is called "natives." it's one of the bigger challenges we face at this point in time. technology has allowed us to get our information from sources that are patterned to our likes. we're able to talk to people or even read editorials from only people that agree mostly with our opinions on things. and we found that we're maybe losing what de tocqueville once said was the greatest strength of this republic, and that is the strength of our soft ties, that whatever our political differences, the different ideas that we may have as to how to get to a goal, the goals we share are the same, and the values for all the diversity of religions or faiths or people who profess to have no faith,
11:33 pm
those beliefs we share in the dignity of every person and our own responsibility to advance the common good, our understanding that we're all in this together, we've got to strengthen those soft ties. this is how i did it as an executive. there were a lot of things that we got done that we would not have gotten done were it not for some republican votes. i think three times i had to try before we succeeded in repealing the death penalty in maryland. i only got it done because of some republican votes. three times we tried before we've succeeded in passing marriage equality, then had to defend it at the ballot, and became the first state in the union to defend it at the ballot. that measure in the legislature only passed because of some republican votes. one of the things you learn as an executive is to never, ever, ever declare that someone who is not of your party affiliation is
11:34 pm
your enemy. [ applause ] >> republicans aren't our enemies. they're our colleagues. they're our uncles. they're our aunts, you know? they're the man or woman that comes if you have to call 911 for a paramedic. we're all citizens. i found as an executive, i called everybody in my legislature all the time, because i never knew what the combination was going to be for the next tough vote that i needed to get done. if i could help them along the way with ideas that they had that actually served the common good, i was glad to go a little extra mile to do that. and we also had -- we used to do bipartisan pizza night at the governor's residence. many of our republican members told me, you know what, governor, i've been in that house more in your first year than in four years of a republican governor of my own party. that's why you have those houses. my able staff aide who was in charge of counting votes in the legislature said, why did you invite senator so and so? senator so and so always votes
11:35 pm
against your stuff, he never says anything nice but you, and now he's in your house, eating pizza. i said, hey, man, it's just pepperoni, what's it going to hurt? i don't know that there's a magic way through it. but we do need to talk with each other again. here's a third thing. i'm talking too long. but a very smart woman, betty sue flowers, a ph.d. about folklore and the power of stories, when we ask people who we think are our political opposites for their ideas, it has a way of stripping bare, the ideology, digging in your feet stuff and calling them back to the democracy. one more. >> thank you, i'm the vp of
11:36 pm
college democrats here on campus. as you probably know, over the past several years there's been a sharp increase in hate crimes against particularly transgender women of color. i was wondering what you would do to increase protections for transgender people in our country. >> thank you. i just gave a talk on this in iowa, i wonder if it's online, a whole talk about the next horizons here. in our state we passed an antidiscrimination bill against transgender individuals. we passed it first in the city. i think in the city i became the first local jurisdiction to do it as mayor. and then we got it done in either the last or the second to last session. and our state legislature, there's things we can do on training police. there's things we can do in other areas, in other aspects as well. ultimately, the arc of our
11:37 pm
history always bends toward fuller respect of the freedom and the dignity of individuals. and i think there's a lot of barriers that we still have to work our way over and through when it comes to how we treat our neighbors who are transgender. okay. so that's it. let me say again, thank you. if i made you miss class, that was a class you didn't want to attend, you're welcome. if it was a class you really wanted to attend, i apologize. but i really appreciate you coming today. i need your help. and let me point out two people here. sam, are you the organizer here, sam? this is sam. he got a great assignment. he left baltimore and now he's in new hampshire. the weather's like this all year round. >> you can watch all of martin
11:38 pm
i was up here years ago for a did the that only had 1% name recognition. his name was gary hart and was declared dead three times before rising up to make it a contest between the inevitable front runner, walter mondale. i need you guys. >> i don't have a ton of money, i can't pay you a sum of money, but i can give you a rank and commission no one else can over. we're going out and knocking on doors every weekend. one thing you don't know about sam, he used to work in the baltimore headquarters. if he doesn't sign up at least 20 new people every day, he goes home at night and cries. he does, and he's unable to go
11:39 pm
to sleep. so i need you for the sake of your country and for sam's sleep. all campaign long, c-span takes you on the road to the white house. unfiltered access to the candidates, at town hall meetings, rallies and speeches. we're take your comments on twitter, facebook and by phone. and always, every campaign event we cover is available on our website at c-span.org. on the next washington journal, the deportation of illegal immigrants.
11:40 pm
and dr. thomas freeden discusses a reported 25% increase in multi-state food-borne outbreaks in the past few years. plus your phone calls, facebook comments and tweets. washington journal, live at 7:00 eastern on c-span. c-span presents landmark cases, a book, a guide to our series which explores 12 historic supreme court decisions, including marbury versus madison. brown versus the board of education. miranda versus arizona and roe versus wade. it features introductions, highlights and the impact of each case, written by tone m
11:41 pm
acha mauro. get your copy today at c-span.org/landmark cases. next, the national institute for health care management hosts a forum on ways to improve the health care system while reducing costs. we heard from health care leaders and policy experts during this two-hour event. good afternoon. i'm president and ceo of nickum foundation and happy to welcome you here today. we have an exceptional panel of speakers representing different perspectives. what unifies them is that they're all on the forefront of driving value through innovation in the way we deliver care, we
11:42 pm
pay for care and how we consume care. >> copies of the speaker's presentations will be posted on our website after the program. we have an impressive audience. we want to invite you all into the discussion as well. at the conclusion of all the speakers' presentations, if you want to fill out the blue card in your folder and hand them off, we'll be looking for them and bringing them up here so you can address the speakers. our first speaker today is well-known to all of you, dr. patrick conway. he is someone who has a lot of titles. he is the deputy administrator of innovation and quality and the chief medical officer of cms. dr. conway is responsible for overseeing and improving the program that give us americans who access health care through
11:43 pm
medicare, medicaid, chip and the exchanges. he personifies excellence in public service. he brings a unique background as a physician, a strategy consultant, and a researcher to his positions. and he brings a talent, a real talent for problem solving and a tremendous passion for finding and increasing the quality and value of the healthcare system. he has received the secretary's highest award for distinguished service. and with that, let's welcome pat conway. [ applause ] >> thank you, nancy. i'll apologize for two things in advance. i am sick, so my voice is a little odd. and i have to leave after i talk. i try not to do that. but i was told i need to be back in baltimore for some things. so as was said, i've been chief medical officer for five years. cms is like dog years, so it feels like about 35.
11:44 pm
true story, one of our communications folks said, patrick, you need a new picture. i said, why? you look a lot older than when we started. i asked my wife, do i really need a new picture? she said, yes, you really need a new picture. i'll move through the slides relatively quickly, if i can. maybe i'll say "next slide" and you can move them. perfect. i'll adhere to the time limit. if you think about the affordable care act, three major changes. one, insurance coverage. we're at the lowest insurance rate in recorded history for the united states. i had another set of data come out yesterday. i won't talk much about that today. i will talk about health system transformation, delivery system reform, really focusing on the cost and quality of care. if we go to the next slide. this shows a cbo estimate from 2010, and then looking again at 2015, predicted over $20 billion
11:45 pm
in cost savings from reduced medical trend. as you all know, both our own actuary and independent analyses now are saying a portion of this change is due to structural changes in the system and delivery system reform. if you go to the next slide, this is from a hard-core health services researcher. we don't have those kind of people often say jaw dropping results until the "new york times." just to call out a few of the results, this is from a jam study, over 68 million beneficiaries, reductions in mortality from 1999 to 2013. this is also testing me. i don't have my glasses on. so this is going to test me to see if i have my slides memorized. reductions in hospitalizations at a population level, less medicare beneficiaries being hospitalized, reduction in cost for in-patient emissions and
11:46 pm
reductions of hospitalizations in the last six months of life. our own quality measures for cms, over 95% of the measures have improved significantly over the last three years. significant improvements in quality across the u.s. the next slide, this just -- we'll test to see if i have to look at it or not -- this is our frame for delivery system reform. we talk about incentives. these are both provider and consumer incentives. this gets to things like value-based purchasing, alternative payment models, care delivery, true population health management, and engagement of patients in their care through shared decisionmaking and other means. then we talk about information, transparency and cost of care, also right information at the point of care. i'm still a practicing physician mainly taking care of children with multiple chronic conditions
11:47 pm
on weekends. i can tell you that that information at the point of care is critically important. if we go to the next slide. this is a payment framework you do not need to memorize. we published it in jama 18 months or so ago now. four categories of payments. it allies with a lot of the private sector folks you'll hear from today and from a payment framework that was released from our learning in action network. category 1, fee for service. category 2, fee for service with a link to cost. category 3, an alternative model like bundled payment. category 4, true population-based payment to a provider. you'll hear from private payers and others about how they're also moving to value-based payment. the next slide. the president and the secretary announced in january of 2015
11:48 pm
specific goals for alternative payment modules. this is category 3 and 4 from the last slide. where the provider is accountable for total cost of care to hit 30% of alternative payment model by the end of 2016, 15% by the end of 2018. we're setting this goal for the federal government, but we want private sector actors to move in the same direction, private payers, providers, consumers, purchaser groups, employers, et cetera. the second goal was value and based payment. we said about 85% linked to value by 2016. we're on track to meet those 2016 goals. we launched the learning in action network to partner with the private sector to achieve these goals. we've got eight of the ten private payers in the country. over 80% of the u.s. population, over 25 states engaged. you've got over a thousand
11:49 pm
providers groups. we had a summit of people representing a huge portion of the population driving to achieve these goals. this graphically shows the goals. the dark blue, the key point on this slide, in 2011 we had zero percent. we were at 20% in 2014 and continue to grow. it graphically shows you the shift you're seeing in payment in the u.s. the last thing i'll say here, and my seven-year-old son has this stat memorized, cms spends approximately $1 trillion a year, more than $2.5 billion a day, more than $100 million an hour. in the course of this discussion, $200 million plus. our goal is how do you spend those dollars as wisely as possible, how do you partner and catalyze change that improves quality of care for people, develops and generates healthier people in this country.
11:50 pm
and is smarter spending. in the next slide, this shows our value based payment programs. key point, here in the middle box, you can see hospitals right now have 8% of payment via readmissions and other value-based purchasing programs tied to quality and value. physicians and clinicians are at 9% for large groups, 7% for smaller groups. it's a significant amount of payment tied to the quality of care delivered to beneficiaries. on the next slide, i'm now going to shift to the innovation center. so we'll start with the innovation center about two and a half years ago. 10 billion over ten years to catlize new payment and delivery models, improve quality and lower cost. this lists all of our major models. i won't talk about all of them but i will talk about a few. on the next slide, accountable care organizations, we've got more than 400 acos in the medicare shared savings program.
11:51 pm
almost 8 million beneficiaries in the states including puerto rico. we're working on another set of rules right now, some of the benchmarking issues. we're looking to really improve this program over time. i'll talk about a little bit about some of the results. if you think about medicare, you've got 32% and growing. you already have a minority of medicare and what was traditional fee for service. and even within traditional fee for service, as i showed you, the vast majority of payments with a link to quality and cost. on the next slide, this is our pioneer aco results. first model to be certified by the actuary. improves quality and lowers cost. we built in track 3, the learning from pioneer.
11:52 pm
now all our models, people generally can go in and out of. pioneer, which the first model out of cmmi, so, you know, i think at that point we're at a different stage. people could only exit. so by definition, the numbers are going to go down over time, every time one exits, it gets a lot of press. we've tried to explain this. i've given up trying to explain it well. i'm going to talk about a next generation aco model. which we think a number of these organizations now are deciding that they go into track three? or do they go into pioneer? the key point is we want an array of payment models that meet providers where they are. we have a fundamental principle that they should have choices. the quality results here, dramatic improvements in quality and patient experience, and over $400 million in cost savings. a successful model that met the bar of improving quality and lowering costs. next generation aco, we think there's some key attributes
11:53 pm
here. we have robust interest. we hope to announce the selected entities soon u prospective attractions, you know your population. full capitation, up to full population based payments, or you can choose a lower amount than full population based payment. patients can select their aco. what we call voluntary attribution, but the patient says, this is my accountable care organization, then things can happen like rebates to the beneficiary to stay within network and also enhance care coordination. cause the provider knows they're part of network. and smoother cash flow and a benchmarking mechanism that is no longer just historical, actually looks more similar to medicare advantage where you're looking at regional benchmarking approaches. on the next slide, this just shows components of the primary
11:54 pm
care initiative. i grew up in a small town in texas but i have learned how to talk fast. i don't want to take any of the other people's time. so this is one of our primary care models, partnering with private payers. zoo in, so in seven states and regions, squarely focused on a small set of quality measures for providers. we're all putting in per member, per month population-based payments. while we ask for a decrease in cost of care. first two years of results now, decreased hospitalizations, decreased er visits, high level of care. we're in the evaluation mode for this one, but trending in the right direction in a positive way. i think what the future of primary care could look like. on the next slide, because i do think anecdotes sometimes brings it home, samma, they've got
11:55 pm
teams, physicians, nurse practitioners, care managers, using their electronic health records to tier patients into risk categories, using telehealth to monitor patients remotely, doing home visits for very frail elderly. the leader of this practice said a few key things. he said, first, our patients love it. they don't know all the details of the finances behind it but they love that they get called at home, they get their medications managed, a clinician sees them in their nursing home, they love it. he said, second, i've been a family practice doc for 30 years, i'm finally practicing the way i want to. third, i never would have done this. all the payers put a million dollars into this practice in year one. they brought down total cost of care more than 3 million. that million dollar investment, he would have mortgaged his house five times over in arkansas. he never would have made the transformation. there's a key lesson here that
11:56 pm
when you invest smartly, set the outcomes you want for patients, physicians, clinicians, teams, can work with their beneficiaries and patients and achieve the results we want. on the next slide, this is our state innovation work. we've now got 38 states and territories where we said we want you to achieve better care, smarter spending, healthier people. payment models, workforce, et cetera, but lots of flexibility. we've got 17 what we call test states and 21 design states and territories. test states are implementing their changes. arkansas is redesigning primary care over 80% of the payers in. it's a bundled payment where if you invest in prenatal care, you decrease complications post-natally for a child.
11:57 pm
they're showing results in terms of quality and lower coast. minnesota is doing accountable health communities, really linking the social and public sector with the clinical care delivery system. vermont is working on all payer aco type concepts. oregon with coordinated care organizations. you know really exciting to see the state and local change driven by these models. on the next slide, maryland, which we're going to release the first year results very soon on, really interesting model where maryland and the hospitals and the innovation center went through a process where we're moving maryland hospitals to population-based payment. we said 80% by year five. every claim would be 20 cents or less on the dollar. the rest of the payment is the attributed population around you which we update based on an algorithm. the maryland hospitals actually moved to 80% population based payment in year one. we asked why did you do that.
11:58 pm
they say, we figured we could have a foot in both boats and try to manage in two worlds. we decided that would be too difficult to we decided to shift to population based payments. now they invest in keeping people healthy and out of the hospital. they're investing in primary care, in community based services. like i said, we'll release the first year results steno. but we're very excited about this model. next slide. transforming practice. we are investing in supporting physicians and clinicians and improvement. this is supporting over 140,000 physicians and clinicians across all 50 states. really this builds on partnership from patients and other work we've done where we've helped them set goals, improve population health management. on the next slide, this shows some of the goals. i won't go through all these in detail, but things like
11:59 pm
decreasing hospitalizations, increasing appropriate use of care and more efficient care delivery. and we do think the model can demonstrate savings. on the next slide, and can you click through this one. innovation center, looking forward, we're focused on implementing models. evaluation and scaling is very different. traditionally cms, you know, run a model for a number of years, then have a demonstration report afterwards, you know, then contemplate what changes could happen at cms or by congress. we're monitoring data monthly. we do deep quarterly reveals and we adjust them. the pioneer model got adjusted multiple times. our bundle payment model's been adjusted multiple times. we're learning with the participants and improving over time, which i think is a key fundamental tenet. and we're also integrating innovation across cms and hhs. today i didn't talk about on
12:00 am
college or health plan innovation or some of our consumer and primary care work that's under way. care choices, just to give two sentences on, is a model we launched were beneficiaries for the first time ever will be able to receive hospice and services to improve quality of care and patient experienced and lead to a more efficient health system. so what can we collectively you do together? focus on better care and healthier spending for the population and that you serve to invest in the quality and data infrastructure to focus on transparency. those plans are a major driver to positive change we want to have a culture of

35 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on