tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 12, 2015 10:00am-7:46pm EST
before the honorable supreme court of the united states give their attention. tonight our, country faces a grave danger. we are faced by the possibility that at midnight tonight, the steel industry will be shut down. therefore, i am taking two actions tonight. first, i am directing the secretary of commerce to take possession of the steel mills and to keep them operating. announcer: in 1952, the united states was involved in a military conflict with north korea. and at home, a dispute between the steel industry and its union had come to a head. >> the korean war was a hot war, and they needed steel for munitions, tanks, jeeps, for all of those things that you needed in the second world war as well. so it is the steel industry went on the strike, that was going to
be a real problem. to avoid a disruption of steel production, president harry truman seized control of the mills. as a result, a pending strike was called off and fuel production continued -- steel production continued. however, one company disagreed with the action and took the lawsuit all the way to the supreme court. we will examine how the court world in the case of youngstown versus sawyer, and the impact on presidential powers. joining our discussion, michael gerhardt, professor at the university of north carolina law school, and author of, "power of president." and william howell, political science professor at the university of chicago and author of the "wartime president," and author. -- co-author.
that is coming up on the next "landmark cases," live monday on c-span, c-span3, and c-span radio. for background on each case while you watch, order your copy of the landmark cases companion book. it is available at c-span.org/landmarkcases. announcer: veteran ruben gallego was represented -- elected to represent arizona's seventh district. this congressional freshmen profile is about 20 minutes. gallego, aman ruben couple months now as a freshman representative, what is it like? >> it is very fascinating.
every day brings a new challenge. every day i get to do something very interesting and every day i miss home a little more. but i am glad i'm here. i feel like i'm doing good work for my district and i hope to be here for a long time. host: how did somebody who was born in chicago and up in arizona? mr. gallego: i followed a woman out there, who is now my wife, but essentially what happened was i was in new mexico with my wife and i was working on the 2004 elections. while there, i got activated and sent to iraq. when i returned, my wife had established herself well in arizona with a good job and a house. and leaving the marines, once you are done, you are done. so i didn't have a job or a place to live. so arizona was a very good option. host: let's take a step back. your family originally from mexico. mr. gallego: columbia. host: came to the u.s. when
jekyll mr. gallego: my mom came in the 1970's and my dad came in the late 1970's. host: and why chicago? mr. gallego: chicago was a great place at that point, and still is. good paying jobs, industrial base, cheap housing, a really good job. it is the second largest latino population in the family. host: your dad left when? mr. gallego: around the age of 11. host: any memories of him? mr. gallego: oh, yes, many memories of him. i looked up to him. he was a construction worker. he held a farm for a little while in mexico and i worked on the farm. i looked up to him as a father figure because he was my father figure, but when everything went south, he also went kind of bad. i don't think he reacted well to it, and his company eventually
shut down. that is why it hurts so much to see someone i looked up to to really abandon us and abandon who i thought he was. host: can i ask you what happened? mr. gallego: well, a lot of things happen, but essentially he had a construction company that was employing a lot of getple and he didn't care -- paid right by some contractors, and he didn't pay taxes so he started selling drugs. and for somebody who i thought was a good moral compass really ended up not being that. host: how did your mom keep everything together? mr. gallego: i couldn't tell you to this day. it is amazing. she has done an amazing job. but it was tough. and i remember, you know, some hard times. she is an amazing woman. today is her birthday actually. host: happy birthday to your mom. mr. gallego: i won't say how old she is, she would get mad.
[laughter] host: if you could talk to you that today, what would you tell him? mr. gallego: nothing. i have moved on. know, iis spot and, you had to, you know, become a father figure for my sisters at a very young age. i have closed that chapter in my life and i'm here to move on and be a good husband. host: you went to harvard. how did that all come about? mr. gallego: i -- [indiscernible] we were pretty poor. and in order for me to go to college, i was going to have to get some scholarships. and i realized the only way i was going to do it was i had to make sure i got the best grades onsible and score the best my test. i committed myself that i was going to apply to harvard. not necessarily that i was going to make it, but if i prepared
for that, no matter where i would land, i would go to college. i started taking exams my freshman year of high school. i started reading as much as i could about how to apply for college. i applied to harvard and did a lot of research. i wanted to prepare myself to make myself qualified, so i did that and i and it up doing very well on my test. i passed a lot of ap exams and got in and they gave me nearly a full ride. i got into a lot of schools with the same thing. so my goal was accomplished to get there and not to be a burden on my family. host: what advice did your mom give you? mr. gallego: the advice that my mom gave me was more emotional support than anything else. person,s a hard-working but she did not apply to college out of high school. it was very difficult think for
her to understand the paperwork and things of that nature. now she has it down pat. i was the first one. it was more difficult. but she really gave me a lot of emotional support, believing me that i could do it, and also just making me stay focused. while i working and also studying, she made me realize that there is also an important focus which his family and making sure i still had time for my sisters and my mom and realizing that was what really mattered in life. host: you are in high school, you get the letter, nearly a full scholarship, what was your reaction to echo -- reaction? mr. gallego: i was really shocked. i was working that day. i was working at a hot dog stand. and i knew what time the mail came, and my boss let me go, who actually came to my swearing-in. he let me go home to look through the mail. and i went and i saw the letter, a big packet, which is a good
sign. back in the day, you got a big packet. i called my mom. she was still at work. she started crying. i told my sisters, and then went back to work. my boss was very proud of me. and i guess i went back to work that day, but it was -- flipping those burgers was -- i had a little more step to my -- a little more pep to my step. host: how did your mom support you? over the years while you were growing up. you said she had many jobs. mr. gallego: she was a secretary for most of her life, a legal secretary and law firm. she supported me emotionally, but she worked some very hard jobs as a legal secretary and an administrative secretary. those are great experiences for me growing up thing able to go to work with her and seeing professional people walking
around, wearing suits. for me, it was a good example because growing up, the idea of work was about whether you can accomplish some type of construction goal. everyone in our family was carpenters. for some reason i thought that is what i was supposed to be. of course, that is good honorable work and it pays well, but i didn't know that there were all these other options. so being exposed to other professions was really important. my mom really taught me about the dignity of work. we didn't make much. but she did teach me that we should be proud that we are working. pay weught home enough never were lacking for food. clothing wasn't fancy, but we always left the house looking like a million bucks. our clothing wasn't a million
bucks, but what was matter -- what mattered was how he carried ourselves. host: do remember the name of the hot dog stand? mr. gallego: absolutely, susie's. it is still there. host: and what of that teacher about customer service? well, a lot of what i was doing was in the back because i was flipping the burgers and making the hot dogs, but what it did teach me was because of the interactions you had every day, people come in -- were coming into the restaurant, really all walks of life, and a lot of them were having bad days. they were coming from worker going to work, but what it taught me was that i needed to treat everyone the same no matter what. even if you are being mean that they, even if you are having a great day or a bad day, i was going to treat you professionally. i was going to make you the best hot dogs or the best hamburger.
but a lot of the other jobs i have had have always taught me if you treat people professionally, you are going to get treated the same in return. even if you are not, you're still better off being professional about it. host: how were the burgers? what was the most popular item? mr. gallego: the hot dogs were more popular than the burgers, and the hot dogs are chicago style hot dogs. a lot of people like to put peppers on the hot dogs, which most people won't put that on, but it was pretty good. host: you are at harvard, and then you withdraw to join the marine corps, why? mr. gallego: i just really wasn't getting along well at harvard. it wasn't harvard's fault, but the culture was very drastically different army from what i came from -- different for me from what i came from. some middle-class students got along very well, but i had a very tough adjustment. and a lot of things i look back
think i had always imagined myself going to harvard because i thought that was what i was supposed to do, when in reality i had always wanted to join the marine corps. in the back of my mind, i was going to join the marine corps first and then go to college. i got on this track and it was a check that was going to keep taking me somewhere and putting off my goal, which was joining the marines. so i found myself unhappy, not getting good grades. so i left and i joined the marine reserves. you do your training, boot camp, and then you return to school. and that is what i did. once a marine, always a marine. mr. gallego: absolutely. host: what do you remember about your time in the military? mr. gallego: just the friends i made. and the friends i lost. thet to serve with some of -- sorry.
i served with some great men. , i don't think i would be surrounded by people that great again. host: what did they teach you? mr. gallego: they taught me about humility, and my friends taught me about, you know, really being there for each other. and the marines taught me about discipline and organization. the marines i served with taught me about what it truly means to care about another human being that you are not related to, and what -- what you are willing to do to keep them alive. host: let me follow up, if i could, on that point because it was not without loss and tech of ice what you have seen over the years. can you explain? mr. gallego: explain what? host: about the losses you witnessed and the sacrifices.
mr. gallego: i lost my best friend, and i lost a lot of platoon members and in my company overall, we lost a lot of good men in combat. wereor reasons i think incorrect. we didn't have the proper armor in our vehicles, and i think we're also in an area that should've had more manpower than what we had. but to this day, the fact that i lost such close friends, it still haunts me. host: as you and others here in congress debate military spending, and what the military has my needs, how do you apply your experiences to the debate here? mr. gallego: i look at the budget from a perspective of the ground pounder, meaning the infantry man. i think every operation, whether it ends or begins, is going to involve the infantry.
when it comes to the budget, i always look at how is this going to affect that one infantry man because everything needs to be supportive of that. so when it comes to what types of airplanes, i will first look at what does the infantry guy need. because of the end of the day, that is where most likely the coordinates are going to be dropping from. justastly, i think bringing my perspectives, i think it is to fulfill our commitments, especially to our military personnel who are recovering. i have heard some talk of changing how we give our benefits to our retirees. and i know for a fact that is a military, there is nothing more disheartening to join the military where you are guaranteed certain things and then told know that is not the case. and we had to change it because
of budget priorities. well, there certainly isn't a budget priority of how fast he gets us into a war zone at, twitter are willing to spend on the war. i think the same has to happen when it comes to military benefits. what you're somebody is what they should be getting, and there should be no shortcuts. host: you are dealing with a lot of information, constituents. how do you filter through all of the data, the letters, the e-mails, the reports, the bills are have to read? mr. gallego: i don't really sleep much. just cannot been my nature. i do like being motivated and stimulated, so i enjoy getting a lot of information. and i don't -- and most of the time, it is just kind of service. but when i need to go deeper, then i'll start asking questions. for me, i enjoyed. it is enjoyable to hear from my constituents. and even when some things can
get under the weeds, i like the challenge. about -- i is more love my staff, but sometimes they can't keep up with me. i'm human, too, but i -- i just do it. i don't really think about it because for me it is part of the job and it is enjoyable. host: is this job what you expected so far? mr. gallego: to some degree, yes. coming from the arizona legislature, you kind of understands what it mean -- what it means to be in the minority. but there are other aspects i really enjoy. right now, we are working on the process to be helpful to the u.s. government on that, being the first colombian american ever elected to congress, that has been a good opportunity for us to be involved. being on the armed services committee has been very helpful. trying to figure out what to do with the defense budget has been
enjoyable, but very difficult. and then just kind of being involved in all these other small projects. a lot of fun. so even while we have a very obstructionist congress led by republicans, we have found ourselves to find ways to be productive for the districts. host: how did you meet your wife, kate? mr. gallego: she bought me a -- [indiscernible] host: you have to explain what happened. mr. gallego: [laughter] she was walking- back from some late-night classed that she was taking and she saw her girlfriend on the streets. walking to some of and. and they hadn't seen each other for ever, so she -- her friend invited her to come to this event. and it was a date auction that was being done by some sororities and fraternities at harvard to benefit the 9/11 fund. this was right after september
11, 2001. and i happen to be auctioned off that night. coincidentally, this woman was a mutual friend of ours, but we had never met. my wife and i had never met at this point. i study getting auctioned off, and her good friend and my good friend, she urged kate to bid on me. well and i wasg wondering who this beautiful woman is that was bidding on me. and i kind of started getting bid up more by other friends to make sure i didn't get myself embarrassed. and as the bidding is going up, she stopped the bidding and a friend was about to win the. and i asked the auctioneer to ask kate one more time. i wanted to see who this lovely woman was. and he did. and kate said that she had run out of money. and i said, well if she bids for me one more time, i will pay half.
and she agreed. and that is how we met. and we ended up going out on our first date about a week later. and ever since has been pretty good. host: how much did they raise on your bid? mr. gallego: $44. which was the second most for that day. one guy beat me. host: was your mom here when you took the oath of office? mr. gallego: absolutely. host: what was that like for her? mr. gallego: i think for her, it was a great feeling. there is no -- i don't think there is anything else we can do to reiterate how great of a job she has done. for her, her proudest moment was seeing all four of her kids graduate from college. and that is very hard to do nowadays. the fact that she did it, she did it with -- you know -- by herself. really shows her strength and what a great mother she is. things these kinds of
make her very happy because she knows i am for filling the goal or a con pushing a step -- or a cop pushing a step. ishing a step. and one of my sisters is in medical school. i think my mom was very proud mostly for me, but i think she knows she did a great job. host: and when you took the oath of office, what was going through your mind? mr. gallego: i had three members from my platoon holds the -- the bible. what was going through my mind is that i'm here and it is my charge to do my best for my country and for my district. and i was thinking about the weight of that pressure, and that i needed to fulfill, i think, what people wanted me to do, which was come here and be a
strong advocate for everyday people and veterans. host: how do you know whether you have achieved that? what is your benchmark? mr. gallego: guess how many facebook posts i get? no, just kidding. i think at the end of the day, it is a lot of times if i feel i put it all on the table, that i have pushed where i can push, and even if i fail, i know that i did give it my best. and that is just an internal gut check that i have all the time. that is the way i do it. and sometimes it is just looking in the mirror and saying, did i do what -- what other people would be proud of? that,swer yes or no to and hopefully i can answer it honestly. host: and finally you said being a husband and a son and a father someday -- mr. gallego: yes. [laughter] hopefully yes. not yet. host: what would you tell your
kids about your career so far? mr. gallego: i would tell them that i am blessed, that i was born in this country and that it has given me this opportunity. but opportunities given -- opportunities give you 50% of the way. you have to go the other 50%. just because i made it doesn't mean that i can forget everyone off that got me here. and not only the people that got me here, but the people who did not make it and how i can be of service to them, to their families. especiallyhink, someone who served in the military, i especially owe it to a lot of our veterans that i stay here and help them and help their families. host: congressman gallego of arizona, thank you very much for your time. mr. gallego: thank you very much. announcer: all of our freshmen
profile interviews are available at c-span.org. the house and senate out this week for the veterans day break. the senate on c-span2, the house here on c-span. up next, we'll take you to the beginning of a daylong conversation on race, criminal justice, and incarceration. we will take it to a conversation with the author -- and the atlantic's james bennett as the conversation gets underway. a video is playing. we take your life over to the atlantic here on c-span. atlanticve over to the here on c-span. >> -- established to begin with. ♪ ok, we are going to be taking questions from the audience. and i am going to open it up to you guys in just a moment. i think the mivc is moving aroud the room.
take us from where the video left off. the report was issued with the goal of tying to help do something about the problems of family breakdowns could -- breakdowns. what was the consequences of the family? what it can help to do a spark a conversation. ofi mean the consequences mass incarceration. >> they have been devastated. we just outlined the case right there. you are talking about one in 10 parents, one in nine children having parents in jail. that is a deprivation of human power within the household. kids take a lot of energy. we have statistics and a story
arrested folks who are and have children living in the household at the time. i don't think this necessarily has to be a conversation about doing nothing. i don't think that is what anybody is saying. but the quickness with which we go to prison. the quickness to which we grow in a community that has historically been deprived really should shame us all. >> other questions from the audience? here we go. >> my name is mark carr and my organization is social solutions, and we are working on reducing the incarceration rate across washington dc by half in
five years. and in youristorian years of researching and writing about race relations in the united states, specifically to incarceration, what was the thing that really struck you in your research? what surprised you? what startled you? what made you afraid? mr. coates: the thing that strikes me is how old it actually is. i think a lot of studies on mass incarceration, and to some extent even mine, began in the 60's and the 70's. period where you see a huge increase of the number of people going into the system. but dealing through criminal justice, through the deprivation of liberty, that is a very old solution. sayfirst thing people would is you can't release people, they are more likely to commit crimes.
when people want to do justify lynching, they said we lynch because the populace is more likely to commit crimes. when folks wanted to justify segregation and keeping african americans from having access to say -- certain neighborhoods, crime was always a part of it. crime was an argument against integration. one of the arguments i make is if a society tells itself repeatedly over a number of centuries that a society is like an entity, like a living person, if you tell your story about a group of people over a long period of time, eventually it becomes very, very easy to believe. when you seek an increase in crime -- if there were a different narrative for a different group of people because there is already a pre-existing narrative of african-americans as criminals, it becomes very easy to respond with incarceration. you talk about -- you see this
guy who, at least in the report, believed in the novel it investments. then within five or six years, he is in the nexen administration. nixon administration. that shows you a narrative that is already there. >> one of the really striking incarceration has been a system of social control. countryeen across the in the north versus the south. the 1970's as a baseline idea and the incarceration rates, by the time i get to our time, we are somewhere in the neighborhood of 700. if you think we can get back to 1970, everything would be ok.
when you start looking at long-term across the 20th century, in northern cities, incarceration rates forever can americans is always been high. they did not need to be high in southern says debt cities because the south has segregation and that was the control in the south. the ratio of incarceration in northern cities taken altogether was roughly a seven to one ratio black to white. the ratio today is about the same which shows that even as we add more people into the system, the basic mechanism is not really changed too much. it's a profound challenge for all of us interested in de -carcerati it did not suddenly pop upon. on us, it is more deep-rooted. as jim crow is dismantled in the south, the incarceration rate rose to the same levels.
how do we begin to look at affect on recidivism rate and what we need to do to try to get men and women out? >> we have a huge structural problem. that everys made it happens five times over. you talk about de-carceration, will we send these people back to these deceased communities? sending them back into those communities is unfair to the community as well.
we advance the conversation on the idea of lowering the amount of people we had. what are we prepared to do? you are really talking about money and investing in those communities are you there is no other way to put it. it says there is some consensus that says where we are is a moral and economic disaster. week as we go into the next step, it's not enough to cut the numbers, we have to invest in the communities. i don't know what we're there yet. >> good morning, national coalition of black reparation america. if we assume that the activism in black communities in the 60's and 70's and the linking of allies with white communities as that haswe assume
anything to do with the ramping up of the prison population, how would you compare and contrast what is going on today? likeave organizations black lives matter and the alliances beginning between black, brown, and white communities with young students in particular. how would you compare and contrast that so we have some idea of the hurdles before us? >> it's good to see you. at a very are interesting moment. in many ways, one can be optimistic about this moment. consensus, the black lives matter movement, we are too far gone on the issue of incarceration. that we are perceiving the depth of the problem yet. i don't know that we understand how bad it is.
we had an incarceration rate and we are at 700,000. that is a huge number. it's gigantic. on any given day, we have 2.2 million people in our prisons and jails. that is four times as many people in china. we have half a million more people -- it is a gigantic number. one of the things we hear and may well hear it today -- we should be skeptical when we hear this. there is the idea that this can offen it would just let non-dry up -- nonviolent drug offenders. a large number of our prisoners are in state facilities something on the order of 50 havef those folks committed violent crimes. you have to ask yourself if somebody assaults somebody or
kills somebody, is it worth taking their life away? is that something we want to do and how does that compare to the rest of the world and our own history? we had a situation where were giving people double and triple life terms. what are we doing there? is punishing people as harsh as we can necessary and essential? question somee to of the root levels. i don't know where quite there yet. have a segue to the story i would love you to tell so wrap up for us here -- we have a guest in the audience figuresodell newton who into your story and maybe you can tell his story. >> i will definitely tell that story as best i can. for me, there were several pitfalls i wanted to avoid. i wanted to push folks do not just think about the kids on the
corner and got caught with a nickel bag of marijuana and end up in jail for 20 years. we have heard those stores of death those sorts of stories. i wanted to push the envelope for people to consider actual violent acts within the community and how we, as a society, respond to those acts. n as a juvenile robbed and killed a taxicab driver. he was given life as a juvenile. he was given what we call life with parole. that meant something. that was not just a throwaway term. that meant within the judicial system in maryland at that time, you are supposed to somehow hopefully rehabilitate yourself. there was the possibility of you going back into your community. and the late 60's and the 70's and into the 80's
and even into the mid-1990's, we had a policy where folks could show they had rehabilitated their lives and were let out of prison. odell was recommended to be paroled on three different occasions by the parole board. he was actually in a program when he was allowed to go out and spend time with his family on the weekends. he had jobs in the outside. saidal of his employers they would hire him right away. as we went through this tough on crime. in the 90's, those programs were drawn back. in the state of maryland, a deep loose state, it's important you get this -- we ended up with a paroleon that life with became unique. no matter what the parole board ultimately recommended, the governor had to sign off. it became an extreme political liability for a governor to sign off on a lifer.
that poses a several challenges. the first one is understanding on some level that you cannot reduce this to conservatives doing evil things. even in a deep loose state like marilyn, this is a problem. -- like maryland, this is a problem. they are responding to a real fear that exist within society and communities. the way we have addressed it is to completely look away. how folks commit crimes and look away, that is the root issue. we actually have to get to this. it points to the fact that our basic institutions stop hurting. we had a system but the parole board did not exist. shows how we address incarceration.
>> thank you very much. thank you for exploring these questions. >> thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> for the next conversation, on a theme that we were touching on, incarceration. i will throw into the mix the figure that should cause you to raise your eyebrows. the u.s. spends $80 billion per year on mass incarceration. it's a lot of money by any standards. it should prompt a reasonable person to raise their eyebrows and ask -- what are we getting for that money question mark here to help sort through that and other questions about the
function of prison and the function of incarceration in american society, let me welcome cartatjena, deirdre pejer and jason riley. from the manhattan institute. a columnist for "to the wall street journal." welcome to all of you. let me start with a question that gets taken for granted. why do we incarcerate in the first place? what is the goal? time thate criminology was trying to institute incarceration, there were standards. you detain, you detain to incapacitate, you do it so you can defer and protect other people. you do it for a while to
rehabilitate. i think the issue in the american justice system has been the element of corrections. >> correction and rehabilitation versus punishment. >> that's right, but you are not correcting anything. we are losing opportunities to instill in these individuals a way to get out from under the fact that they have committed these crimes. in addition to did terrance and incapacitation rehabilitation, retribution is part of our reason for punishment. over the course of the prison boom, we have shifted our motivations for incarceration from rehabilitation. retribution is a sense that these are somehow deeply moral actors that we want to submit to the harshest possible conditions.
we are now seeing the consequences of what i feel is a misguided strategy that we are the 2w expecting that for million individuals we currently have in prison that if we can expose them to psychologically and brutal conditions and then release them into the streets, we will somehow have a policy for success and a strategy that will reduce crime. there is also the goal of what happens to the premise are in the system. the fact that you are keeping streets safe for people and removing the violent offender is an issue. you have said we don't have an incarceration problem, we have a crime problem. explain what you mean. >> there is a dual role or maybe three or four roles in prison. the primary reason we have prisons is to punish people for
antisocial behavior and to remove that threat for society. prisons keep us safe but whether they will rehabilitate the prisoner or deter future crime, i think those are secondary concerns. the primary purpose of the prison system is for people who social to keep society safe. >> do you to buy that? >> if that were true, why do we have punishment that lasts longer than just imprisonment? why are people not allowed to vote? why are people having a hard time getting public housing? we do punishment very well in this country. we do it very well. >> it's about reentering
society. >> at low levels of that'sration, i think an effective tool for keeping dangerous offenders off the street. we have expanded the net of criminal justice control and widening the pull of individuals that we are incarcerating to the there is mounting evidence that our incarceration policies are doing more harm than good. >> let me read you a quote -- prism is no longer a rare or extreme event among our nation's most marginalized groups. rather, it has become a normal and anticipated marker in the transition to adulthood. these are your words, do you recognize them? >> yes, i was focusing on the racial dimension of our system of mass incarceration. for young black men today, the lifetime chance that a young black man will spend time in prison is about one in three. for high school dropouts, that rises to nearly 60%.
we see this experience has become something that is a normal and accepted in event, something more common than or otherployment institutional attachments we think are constructive for society. when we reach this proportion, that's what we mean by mass incarceration. signnk there is a clear that we've gone too far. >> it's a shocking statement. that prison has become a normal and anticipated marker for a young black man growing up in an urban city in america today. >> it was not for me. is not thens me number of people in prison. we get international comparisons. it's whether the incarceration rate is matching the crime rate. i think that should be the focus. the new york city homicide rate
has been a multiple of london for 200 years. criminologist are not sure why that is. most of has been for its existence, a very violent place. even if you put aside gun crimes, americans kill each other without guns at higher rates than other industrialized nations. we don't know why that is. there is a lot we don't understand about the causes of crime or the demographic. the weather can have an impact but we do know that when you take an individual and imprison them, you have removed that threat from society. when are that most crimes are committed by people who have already committed crimes. the recidivism rate is quite high, around 60%. i think ran to programs are very important. most of the people in prison will get out at some point and we need to be concerned about reactivating them to society.
what worries me is the attempt to release people early and try to pick and choose which prisoners we think will turn. we have a very poor track record of doing that. wrong, the society that pays the price are the most vulnerable people in the country. >> how do you break that cycle? a veryink there has been uneven relationship between crime and incarceration and we do not see them tightly connected in this country. europe is a great example. they have reduced their incarceration rate over the last decade by roughly 20%. they have seen greater than average drops in crime. they have seen one of the greatest drops and homicide rates across the country. crime stategh on taxes has shown significant reduction in incarceration rates over the past 10 years and they have shown greater than average reductions in crime. there is a model and a precedent for losing -- reducing reliance
on incarceration. figure ofrted with a incarcerations as $80 billion. many people compare that to the cost of higher education. i don't think those are the appropriate comparisons. the comparison i would want to know is between the cost of our criminal justice system in terms of incarcerating people and the cost of crime in the country. you don't see that comparison done very often. great britain did a few years ago. they came up with a number of around 1.2 billion pounds in terms of cost of incarcerating people. they also tallied the cost of crime as around 60 billion pounds. i think that is the appropriate comparison. just in terms of past crimes but lives in broken families.
there are untold tragedies and there is a cost to crime that exceeds the cost of locking up some people. ofthe cost is often raised the cost of families and a wage earner being removed from families and from society. is that relationship clear to you? there is a benefit to removing someone dangers from the street but on the lower end of the spectrum where we see shorter prison terms and some reform and sentencing, what about the cost to the community? that youk the problems see, the social problems you see, in these communities predates mass incarceration. if you are talking about mass incarceration of the black thely, the trend dates to background of the 1960's.
mass incarceration dates to the 1980's and 1990's i don't see how that can be held responsible for a trend that predates it. aboutyou're talking sending someone to prison for 10 or 12 years for a relatively minor drug offense, how do you weigh the cost? >> that's the point. we continue to talk about prison. we know that nonviolent crime especially drug possession crimes, we started with nixon in the 70's and it ballooned through today. for whatw enforcement should be a medical issue. we use law enforcement to cure these ills. it just does not work. it has not worked all these decades. there may be a false
dichotomy that we either have in cars three or crime. incarceration is the only tool to address the problems of crime. it's the most expensive solution available. it's expensive in terms of dollars and expensive in terms of human lives. and the well-being of communities. there are many alternative solutions that have been shown to be more effective for a wide range of offenders. i don't want to stop the conversation with nonviolent drug offenders. there's a universal consensus that that's how we will reduce mass incarceration. if we cut the rate of admissions for drug offenders in half, you would reduce the prison population by 6%. that's not going to get us there. we need to rethink our management of offenders and the evidence is very weak that the long sentence as we have seen even for violent offenders have a meaningful impact on crime. i think that's a healthy debate that we are having. it seems to be the pendulum has
swung too far in the other direction. where i'm taking issue is applying new sentencing guidelines retroactively, saying people in prison should immediately be let out because we have determined that they are less likely to return to crime. we have a very poor track record. 2002, the justice department put out a study that tracked recidivism rate at 84,000 people from 15 states over three years were supposedly nonviolent offenders who were saved to release. 21% of these nonviolent offenders committed violent crimes within three years including more than 500 rapes and more than 600 murders. the patterns have been replicated state levels. philadelphia and los angeles tried this. we do a very poor job of deciding who will turn out good.
>> we have a healthy debate appear. -- up here. peoplereason why 6000 are being released easily is because this country woke up and how do we treat cocaine different than crack cocaine? once this was determined, the is thethat we realized most basic premise of justice. you are implying retroactively a decision that was made a long time ago. especially with a racial contour that people use powder coating -- powdered cocaine are white and the people use crack cocaine are black. i will just exit back -- [laughter] >> i agree the recidivism rate is troubling. individuals to
psychologically and physically brutal conditions at at least 2.5 years and releasing them into communities with the mark of a criminal record that makes it virtually impossible for them to find work and difficult to find housing. we da stabilize their's families. the thought that they have higher rates of crime, what are we expecting? what greater recipe for failure -- [applause] a quick response and then i will change the subject. >> i want to respond to the that the policy put in place in 80's is racially driven. >> that's what i'm talking about. even the blacks and latinos did not vote. a majority of the black caucus voted in favor of this.
charlie wrangle led the fight because of what it was doing to their communities. it was the same with the rockefeller drug laws in the 1970's. calleds a new book out "the silent majority," about how black community leaders were pushing rockefeller relentlessly to do this because of what was happening in their community. after the fact, all these years later, when we see the racial breakdown of who has been affected, i don't it's fair to say that it was racially motivated the time. -- at the time. i think that's important to point out. >> let me make sure i understand where you're coming from -- would you argue that current incarceration policy as it is today in america is working? >> no, not as well as it could be. debatewhy i think this
about sentencing guidelines is fair. we need to be very careful about what we are going to do in applying these things retroactively to people who are already in jail. >> let's see what happens on the other end. people, how should te people?era president obama announced he will ban the box for federal agencies. [applause] followinge have been the idea being that you don't ask or delay a federal job interview asking if you have a prison record or a track record with incarceration. you conducted an experiment in milwaukee that is fascinating.
>> just checking the box saying i have a felony conviction reduced jibe offers by 60%. were you able to control to the fact that many people who have had a prison record or less educated to begin with? >> absolutely, the young men i hired were college students. they were articulate and appealing. they presented themselves well. it was a best case scenario. checking the box was the only discrediting characteristic for
employers. it undermine their chances of getting a job. >> we will open it up to your questions in a moment. i want to ask one more big picture question. our we at something of a moment in terms of political ties shifting? we have no political consensus on anything. there appears to be some consensus we need reform in terms of criminal justice and incarceration policy. we have just learned in this conversation that there needs to be changed. jason, let me turn that to you. mr. riley: do i think that -- this is a we know problem where we need some change. mr. riley: the zeitgeist for some sort of change is out there, and my concern is we make
the right changes and take into account what we have learned from the past. there is no question we have to change. we finally have a president that actually visited a prison. a lot more has to be done. latinos, therer are many states that still do not report who is latino within their walls,. the national crime survey does not do it. we have data bumps in various states. maryland, virginia, north carolina are significant. moment,t an important
and it is time we talk about this issue openly. ms. kelly: that me open it up to the floor. to have a question out there. >> i am a writer. one of my family members will be incarcerated. this has affected my whole family. i have a question about the role of women in all this. before we begin talking a lot about the issue of mass incarceration, there is a lot of publicity about the fact that one of the fastest or the fastest-growing population in prisons was women, women of color, like, latino women. now we are talking about deinc
arceration, i would like somebody on the panel to talk about women. ms. kelly: why don't you weigh in on that. as au see this playing out women's issue in a different way when you are talking about -- this debate tends to focus on young men, young men of color from urban communities. when it comes to issues regarding incarceration activity in drug matters. are not able to negotiate better deals because of their marginalization on those issues. the impact on family, custody of and then when they
come out, how do you restore the family unit to give them assistance and help them get into the job market. ? ms. kelly: and unique issues playing out in the system that has been historically developed for men. next question. around.ringing mikes >> hi, i have been a criminal defense lawyer in the district for many years. i was around for the beginning of all this, and i may have to seeround long enough the end of this. i want to say i agree with saysthing is to coats about the racial origins of this, and i do not disagree with anything with has been said about the way it has grown, but it is an important issue on the economic front, which is the for-profit prison industry. [applause]
i have been convinced for decades that future interactions -- generations will wonder how we claim to be civilized while running prisons for profit. the problem there is so much money in the corrections corporation of america, and frankly the unions, because there's so much money involved, they just keep lobbying for more prisons, and if you don't then you have to fill them. then they work through organizations to pass more lengthy sentences in state legislatures, so there are more crimes to put prisons for so they can make more money. we have to make it illegal to prisons for profit. the last thing i would like to the decrease in drug crimes from the united
states sentencing commission, and everybody that has gotten have have told deal with them. i do not know why it would be different two years now than it is now. ms. kelly: thank you. ms. pager: it is important to recognize only about 10% of the prison population is housed in they have aons, but disproportionate impact in terms of lobbying and political power. i think prison unions play a strong role. where i want direct attention and were i see troubling developments is the increasing in of private facilities community corrections, and as we are thinking about decarceration and increasing community supervision, that is were i think there is troubling evidence from private corporations that are running these community programs where
in order to provide the kinds of services and support that will keep people out of prisons, product motive is not consistent with doing that well. -- cartagena: 34,000 beds that is the total that has to be filled very by law, by contract. that is about the most perverse thing you could ever hear very 34,000 beds. ms. kelly: it is an important point and a great one we do not hear as much of as we should. an industry that makes money. we have time for one more. good morning. i work with various organizations on issues of police brutality. that we are not facing the fact that the institutions are not failing, they are working. if we look at the relationship of race into the political
economy, racism serves a purpose in many ways in our system where process is the major reason for making certain economic decisions. and the more you can isolate a given community through cultivating and maintaining racism, a more easy it is to exploit them and actually hold whites hostage to the working class. we are in a situation now where there is very poor employment for all sectors of this country. the major source of employment in many world white communities is a huge prison complex where you have people of color, particularly african-americans, latinos, indigenous peoples, and they are giving employment by their presence to the white
workers in the community and keeping them pacified. i think if we do not look at the overall political economy and purpose that racism serves, we will fail to understand what we are dealing with. thank you. [applause] mr. cartagena: one of the first mr. riley: what of the first questions you asked me, was that we have an incarceration problem. 1960's,the 1950's in the black incarceration rate was lower. at a time when when there is obviously much more racism, more black powder, you have a lower crime rate and lower incarceration rates. i think the trends we see today could be turned around, can be turned around, we ought to focus on doing that. crime often gets connected to poverty as being
causing crime. the truth is closer to the opposite ms. kelly:. how so. jobs go with them. the goods and services go with them. you have to travel further to buy bread and milk at a decent price. housing values decline. the truth is think closer to the opposite. ms. kelly: you get the last comment. ms. pager: it is important we keep in mind in addition to the consequences for families and communities, we have an upcoming and the racialized image of that is a critical piece of our democracy. this is one thing i want to leave for us to think about them even if we were successful in eliminating incarceration and reducing our prison population to the levels from 1970, if we
continue to issue convictions at the rate we are, even if we are supervising people and communities on probation or parole, a criminal record will continue to be a massive source of disenfranchisement, and we can think more about something other than a criminal justice system to manage issues of permanent trust. ms. kelly: thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪ >> hello, again. i think they are going to cut the music often a second here. there we go. the music was good. it is an honor to have us this morning mayor mitch landrieu of new orleans. in his
second term. actually a lawyer by training, and previously lieutenant governor of the state of louisiana and before that a member of the state house for 16 years. i think what is particularly great about having you here today, you are attacking the entire problems that we are talking about. cut the jailg to population in new orleans, you trying tong down, root out violent crime for the same time, and i would like to talk about the actual formula, beginning with the incarceration rate, which is the fancy word for this process. before katrina hit, new orleans was incarcerating people five times the national average. it is still really high, but you
brought it down by two thirds. mayors that happened : wii fit right in the sweet spot. before i came here, i was lieutenant governor, and i oversaw reform of the juvenile justice system in new orleans. -- we found, in pretty much the same thing. we were putting too many of the in a prison environment, not enough of the right kids, and the kids that we were not treating well. there was a convergence between conservatives and liberals and moderates that nobody was getting what they wanted. we were not getting the safe streets, we were not getting a reasonably priced citizen that
produce a result that was really good, and the kids were getting worse, not better. it is a prescription of what you see in the adult system. even with the panel before, you see this false argument, how can we fight violent crime unless you keep the prisons high, and one of the things we have to do, is understand that nobody in america is going to not want to be tough on crime. this is true irrespective of race, creed, color, or financial space. in the city of new orleans, which is 65% african-american, most of the citizens are living a family member, making $35,000, even in the darkest, toughest environment, where people are not feeling good. everybody wants to be safe. the issue that people are talking about in terms of reducing incarceration
sometimes gets lost about violent crime versus nonviolent crime. be smart aboutto how we do it. in new orleans, which does not penal policy, we have 12 members on our bench, nine of them out african-american, a do not set the policy. the policy is set by the state. the numbers you are talking about is the federal government, talking about that, and that wayly has in a meaningful if the state levels. arephilosophy and arguments beginning to move down to the state level. we have raised the issue overtically that we are incarcerating, and we are not being smart about individuals have in jail. for the city, besides being a moral issue, it is a financial issue because they had this thing where the state gets to
is in jail and the city has to pay for it. i cannot find all the things communities could need. who actually is in the jail, why are they in the jail, why for that long, and is there a better way to get it done? when we started to get into that, we started to come out with thoughtful ways did not arrest everybody, that we did not have to. gotew orleans, when i there, we pulled you over and you do not have your drivers license, we would actually take you to jail incident giving you a summons to go to municipal court and figure out why you were driving about a license. he had a bucket load of thoughtless processes that were increasing the number of people were in the jail that was costing the city more money. there were financial incentives driving that, too? mayor landrieu: is about money and safety.
those are the two things. there is a strong moral argument made. by the way, there is a consensus forming in this country right now that we're not doing it the right way. you see this on a presidential level, in the senate, it when folks on the left and the right are beginning to acknowledge for whatever reason -- you and i talked about what moment -- and we ought to seize the moment. we ought to have open ears and eyes and listen to each other, because i am in the business as a mayor of finding a solution to a problem. efficacy is really important. i am much for changing it. the issue has been raised where we need to spend a lot of time figuring out is how to, and how-to is not just what you want, it is what the other side will take as well. you have to find a way to get them to say yes to what it is unique. if in fact it is about money, the question is, who has got the money and who needs it and how from there tog it
here and how are you going to spend it in a way that reflects that you are actually producing a more meaningful result? that is why the conversation does not have to shift, but it has to expand to include a pathway to a different place that i think all of us want to go. mr. bennet: how have you been politicalild support when the crime rate was pretty high this approach? mayor landrieu: when you talk to folks in labor meetings, when you get this information, they will tell you, and the public is pretty smart about this. they know, and everybody knows, the more that money that is spent upfront about the less money you have to spend on the backend. the gentleman who was up here who was talking about the cost of crime versus the crust of the cost ofn, -- incarceration, the cost of somebody who kills somebody versus the person who got killed
him and to society him in jeopardy rest of his life and the loss of income for the rest of his life, his $7 million. user that into the mix them your life if you have spent money on early childhood education, you may be would have had -- [applause] mayor landrieu: it gets tougher. if you would've spent it on the front and in terms of early education, enrichment programs, recreation, and you nurture that soul into a better place, you form, because all this need to be formed by parents or the church for some form of fashion, we are formed into a great place and have a great opportunity, we produce a better result. what we're talking about, from the perspective of fiscal, is are we spending the money we have been advocated in a thoughtful result?
what is it now the conservative side of the argument are beginning to think about this, is from their perspective, it is monetary, any interest of louisiana, we went from spending $200 million from putting people in general to $750 million a year. we put less money in childhood education, and we are producing a worse result. if you want government to work wk, you a fiscal ha think that is a make sense. i would encourage everybody to be very thoughtful about this, there are victims involved, and the victims and i promise you, the african-american, white, four, original want to make sure retribution,about there is a sense of that, a sense of punishment from justice on that side of it, and there is
a sense that we want to be safe. one of the dangers politicians face, elected judges, mayors, governors, is if you release some of the and that person goes out and kill somebody else, not only is that a politically dangerous place to become a but you may a decision that hurts something else. you have to think through that in a hard way. it does not meet we should go slow, but we should be intellectually curious and tough about how we get this done, and that does not mean we should wait or should go slow. it means we should be smart about it. mr. bennet: let's switch this subject of violent crime. yet been issuing a strategy in new orleans to cut the murder rate. what have you learned about the source of violent crime? mayor landrieu: couple things. so as not to be misunderstood but anybody in this room from the nation is over incarcerated. we do not do the penal workings e shouldwell, and wis
spend more money on the front and then up back in. the lack of procedural due process and equity in system should be self evident, and had to be working hard on all of that, especially in the relationship between police and community. while everybody is working on iat, which is important, what have been not singularly focused on, but i would have to say most is theately focused on, number of young african-american that are being killed on the streets of new orleans, and america. america purports to feel good about herself because since the 1990's we have reduced the murder rate by about half. 40,000.t about that is a dramatic drop, notwithstanding the fact that 40,000 is more than any
industrialized nation in the world. african-american men are 40% victims of violent crime. you look that young men are killing each other and they know each other, the country wants to look away for this are different reasons. in new orleans, it is somewhat of an epidemic. , 75 euros in about 74 in the country. you saw in jakarta the other day a nine-year-old boy was killed. to young men will be sentenced to death for the death of a girl. when these two young men decided -- the father was arrested and now he is in jail for the rest of his life. that level of violent activity on the streets is something that has to be looked at and
addressed. it has a lot of different reasons why it exists. it has a lot of different answers to it, but that kind of thing that support for kids in the neighborhood to get up and get to school and move on to the places they are to be going, and otherarvard places. and i am spending a lot of time in the neighborhoods talking to these young men. ae of the things we do is call-in, where we at these young men on probation to come into there, iroom, i am have a u.s. attorney district attorney, atf, fbi, every bit of mike in the world that the united states has standing behind on my left. on my right i have sister mary sue, i have mental health professionals, job professionals, and we look at these men and say you are important to us, we love you. mica makes bad decisions, is ok. but here's the thing, you got to stop the violence. toyou do that, i am going
put you first in line in front of every citizen in the city. you will be the most of thing in my life, and i will give you what it is that you need. if you choose badly and go back out and you pull out a gun, i would not be much of a mayor if i was not responsible for the safety of all of the children. after have to incarcerate you, and we will incarcerate you for as long as necessary for you to decide that you cannot do that. we will try to let these young men know they are critically important, we know who they are, where they are, and that has been working. the editing is helping raise consciousness level of violence in all of iterations is bad irrespective of what community it is in. getting that to the higher-level is somewhat of a challenge, because not everybody cares in this country about poor young african-american men who are being shot who are shooting. we care about a lot of other
stuff, but i do not find it is as easy as i thought the if i 625,000ple that citizens were killed in this country since 1980. that is more than all the wars in the 20th century. when i say that, people you on 80 because they that people yaw n. it is a moral outrage, and i need to focus attention on it. about you: talk more said a moment about it is working to his accent. -- to a certain extent. mayor landrieu: i increase the amount of money on reparation. i have invested in art, music, anything we can do to touch kids. like food, using.
if you come to the city, everybody has a horn in their hand. that is part of our culture. one of the great musicians giving the world a great gift -- towe can't find a way educate our young children, either through music, arts, sciences, all of those things, massive investments in that. we are physically rebuilding every school in new orleans. where rebuilding 38 schools to give children great phrases to be in. i have job training and trying to identify all. the city working, creating pathways to a job, to anchor institutions in the city. you live in a place that has something like johns hopkins bayou, but in the shadow of these major institutions, you have people living in the neighborhood who do not work in the institution. we're taking universities, hospitals, and say when you come to work, driving in from suburbs
and go to the parking lot, look around the neighborhood and identify the people that live in this space. -- theyp property taxes pay that property taxes that give you the tax break. you have a problem if you enough people to work and they have a problem that do not have enough people to work, can't we build centers, andal they are just didn't to people who do not work. in those institutions, you can tech, can be a physical therapist, you can go xavier, and we are trying to find a person with human resource person and creating a pathway where they can get from here today. mr. bennet: what is the bottom-line in terms of the crime rate? mayor landrieu: the murder rate
is as low as it has been since 1971. that is a good thing. highere is still a times than the national average. one of the things that mayors of america are talking about, and we visited with justice about that, you have to focus time and resources. i will give you a couple numbers. congress used to invest more abuse, mentalance health. everybody talks about community policing. it is easier to do when you have officers who are trained well. if you do not have a lot of officers that are not trained well, they create stress and strain. the cost program -- the cops of front- if you think end and back end, there is a targeted investment in helping human beings become better, and you had targeted investments for
early child in education, head start, the kind of things that helped families stay together and be strong that give them opportunities and economic opportunities. .ou have less of a problem officers were trained in the right way, and the kind of procedural justice we should have now, you would begin to produce a better result. we have -- this is a very serious problem a very deep problem, one that will take a long time. i would caution not to get stuck in the argument about whose fault it is that we got here. as i would like to say, i do not who will win that argument. i do not whose fault it is, although i have my ideas. se responsibility
it is to fix it. because we're we are in the moment where the country seems to have an open mind about it, the conversation should be tough and constructive and we ought to move all forward dramatically, and have that opportunity if congress can do it. we are to take them up on it over and tried to get them some really direct answers to questions of what am i supposed to do about it. let's go to the audience here. is there a mike? >> good morning. my name is charles curtis. i work at a public charter school. the quick context is "the atlantic" ran an article that focused on charter schools in new orleans in particular. about the content of that article and how the andr's position on that, quick background, the content of the article talked heavily about in many wayss,
exclusionary policies of a lot of charter schools in general, and it talk specifically about the practices intro schools in new orleans, and i'm curious what the mayor's position and how those policies, inclusive of suspension, they relate to that front end, back and discussion of prison and what we do on the front end in terms of what we do. mayor landrieu: you say you work in a charter school? yes, sir. my question is about the mayor's position on the position policy, which is much more around the mayor position''s position. mayor landrieu: a things, because it was a big fight and because what is the proper governments model that will give nce modelverna
that will give our kids the best opportunity. post katrina we went to a different system of educating. before, we had a school board from a centralized system. the board did not function well. a result of kids were going to schools that were not teaching. the schools could not get their brains off of adult issues. they wanted people to think they should focus on, generally employer -- employee relationships. it was a union if i could before the end of this are, what hundred percent of our schools will be intro schools. i will give you the results. the graduation rates are going up, dropout rates going to the whitesment gap between and bikes has closed and the over five years. the reasons those things are working is not necessarily charters, butre because there's some level of
parental choice, accountability. the principal and teachers can run the school, and it seems to resultucing a good what. he is outinto is the suspension policy that existed in public schools and charter schools, and he is right about that. this is about justice for. it is about how a kid gets in trouble and is suspended first, and asks questions later. that is wrong. you should not do that. what we are doing in the schools in new orleans is reworking this policies because you have to make sure that the children have the resources they need to learn how to have their behavior formed in a positive way. that is separate and suspend first rather than have the ability to work with an overtime is just wrong. on in the charter schools, one of the challenges was how you deal with special needs kids. they were not handling that very well. they were handling the expulsion policies well. that has less whether they were
charters or typical schools, as warehouse schools treat children who are in trouble and he help. all schools across the country need to get better with that. what is happening in new orleans, nothing unique about us, except we and better food, music, and fun than anybody else -- [laughter] mayor landrieu: getting else pretty much the same. mr. bennet: can we take one more quick question here. >> thank you very much. i do not work in the sector. i'm just here to learn. very impressive presentations. thank you very much. the risk of taking us off topic, i heard about your experience as running agislator, state, a city. any plans for the future, congress, white house? mayor landrieu: no, not thinking about that month. but thank you for the offer. mr. bennet: let's go back here.
somebody told me she did not like me, she will not vote for me, she was waiting for me to get out of office. >> hi, i with a lawyers'committee, also a fellow louisianan. about constituent support. what are your messaging strategies when you're talking about your constituents and trying to build consensus about the reforms that we all know are necessary, but there is high crime levels right now? mr. bennet: we will have to leave it on this question, and it is a great one to end on. mayor landrieu: i will go deep. this room is full of really smart people who have researched a lot and i would put in the category of advocates for a big idea. that is really important.
when you get to level i work on, which is really low and is on the ground, that is what mayors do. unlike a congressman or senator president, when you are away from policies, when a policy is enunciated on the city level, you get fomented and you see the people who get ef affects. if you do not believe me, try to raise the parking rates in new orleans. he went to see people get emotional about something in america? ir --o take away thei when im messaging, i am that when i am messaging, i going to tell you something that i know. if you tell anybody in the city and it does not matter whether they are ritual poor, african-american, or white, especially in poor african-american neighbors that you are going to' something
that will make them unsafed, they will say take them. it is not a theoretical thing. me from ange is for messaging perspective how to get people to think about theoretically what is right, practically, and what makes them safe. if you ask some of it that is an idea he wanted to they say yes, and using now i will raise her property taxes to do it, find early childhood education, do something else regarding drug or substance abuse, i will build a , all of apital sudden when it is not theoretical anymore, you have to figure out how to do it. that's the hardest thing. that will be the biggest challenge. in this country we have a moment where there is an open-i get
-eyed mind to fix this problem, and i would encourage both sides to listen and hear each other because you can move the ball. generally we do not move in huge footsteps. we moved in increment of ways, and then we look at what we did and if it was good, we keep going. moment, bute that in order to do that from the advocates on both sides are will have to not just advocate, but come up with a how to, the who, when, and how much, and who is going to pay. if you can answer all those questions and you can get the large a good sense that you will produce a better product, they will say yes to that every day. is getting through that forest of very difficult tickets and weeds in a way that does not vilify the side that will get you to a better place, and at
the end of the day, it is about making those citizens that are cerated, a lot of them can come back to committed, but they have to have a place to go, and it takes money to get that it is a problem that should be solved. now is the moment. we should seize it. let's see if we can get somewhere. mr. bennet: thank you very much. mayor landrieu: thank you. [applause] >> thank you, james. thank you, mayor landrieu. it confirmed that the mayor is not running for president. as i mentioned earlier, conversation would not be possible without the support of our underwriters. ycong them, the joy foundatione. i'm so pleased to welcome the president, here with the mayor
of gary, indiana. [applause] >> thank you. foundation is based in chicago. one of our concerns has been that of gun violence, and we focus on reducing access to guns . we believe that is one of the solutions to reducing violence in our communities. i am pleased to be here, so please to be able to be able to partner with "the atlantic." i wanted to open with a video. it is a news story from wgn. if we can get the video to run, please. [video clip] 15this person was just years old, shot more than seven miles away at seventh and -- >> everything we heard about the victim has been policy.
>> they were riding in the back car.they friend's heard shots >> fired. the driver went back and the victim was bleeding. rushed her to the hospital, where she succumbed. those near the crime say that is an nice area. >> we have been complaining, trying to get something done. police have been out here so many times. we thought the next step was somebody was going to be shocked. >> my heart goes out to her family. i do not care what she may have been into. she did not deserve this. no one deserves this. especially at such a young age. a have not even begun to live, and they are dead. that is heartbreaking. that is heartbreaking.
>> thank you. we just heard mayor landrieu talk about the fact that mayors may have the best job in the world, but it is one of the hardest jobs of the world. you are on the front lines like the else is. i want to take this conversation on the specifics to the personal, because we have with who is morning a mayor very focused on the top level policy issues, but also very personally engaged in the challenges of violence in her community of gary, indiana.
mayor, i want to hear from you about what this particular case meant to you and your own personal experience with the issue. >> absolutely, and thank them for the opportunity to share with you and all of folks here. you are right. it is one thing to talk about it at a theoretical and policy level, but to go and stand as i look athe funeral and her family, many of whom i have gone to school with, and talk about the significance of her death, not just individually, to us as a community come stand in an emergency route with a mom who is in fact questioning her dead son, because he was supposed to be at home, and he had snuck out of the house. to stand at a funeral and see a teenage sons who
had been walking to their grandmother's house, and then for me to be robbed at gunpoint, it gives you a much more practical view, even more of a practical view than i had as a prosecutor or a judge, as a understandnder, to violence is really doing in our community. havee of the things i learned from a is what mayors do for each other. have you tried a similar approach? mayor freeman-wilson: to see it from a theoretical standpoint, -- we are preparing
for our third call-income and it does have an impact on the community to say to the young man who are most likely to be involved in violent acts to say to them, we want to help you. we would rather that you achieve your greatest dream, and we would give you the tools, we will send you to the front that line. but at the same time, we have to stop you from making the wrong decision. if you make that wrong decision, we have to hold you accountable. and send you to the front of that time as well. >> one of the things that has got to be really hard is that people in the community, when they see a certain level of likely are i would canbe surprised to say they do whatever they want to do to stop the violence in my neighborhood.
is that what you hear from certain folks in gary? mayor freeman-wilson: that is absolutely the case. economy this the between the police and the unity and the lack of trust. not everyone in the community feels that way about the police. not everyone in my community feels that way about the police. to the extent that we have different types of expectations, different types of relationships , that is why i really refer to community as restoration so we can have a toll-free dialogue about what it a parto have police as of the community solution, but the solution really is about education, it is about housing, job opportunities, it is about neighborhood watch and other block clubs and things that have historically happened in communities to allow communities to really police themselves. >> how do you mediate that
conversation we had folks who say let the police go at it and other from saying we are being harassed and being unfairly so? mayor freeman-wilson: but i remind people is that there is currently a handful of folks who are wreaking havoc on the rest of us. we want to not just stop that handful, but we want to provide opportunities for them, and at the same time that they have a responsibility to make their community better. whether it is cleaning up on an abandoned property that is adjacent to them, rather than waiting for the city has limited resources to clean up those properties, whether it is having tutoring programs for some of the young people who have had challenges in education, there are things that the community can do to improve its own plight. >> let's close with my interest, is the availability of guns.
indiana has some of the weakest laws in the country. there's a pipeline of guns that come into our committee. how do you feel in gary about the role of the state and federal legislation as it pertains to easy access to guns? mayor freeman-wilson: that is a real challenge. you can go to a gun show in indiana, and get whatever you need and sell it and peasant to whomever -- and past it to human whomever. to as we look to trace guns, as we look to limit guns, there is a vital role of law enforcement in gun safety. >> and prosecutors and legislators? i wouldeeman-wilson: say prosecutors and law enforcement because i am not very hopeful about the
legislators in the state of indiana. [laughter] >> there seems to be a shared thing. i relate to close with that comment, that i would like to close with that,, and thank you for the tough job you do. it is a tough job, and we are proud to support you in any way we can. plus for the mayor. thank you. [applause] ♪ >> good morning. i am looking forward to a lively conversation from our talks backstage. i'm that he the editor of atlantic.com, and i have with me a distinguished panel.
one of many of us would agree the most significant in the most least visible has been what happens in the interplay between defendants, prosecutors, and judges. so i have with me here this morning two prosecutors and a judge, former judge. to my far right is adam fox, an assistant district attorney for the suffolk county in massachusetts, working primarily juveniles. also a judge who was the outset when the crime rate began to 1990's, and cyrus fans, the district attorney for a county in new york. both of our prosecutors come to us with an interesting history. both i believe were defenders at
one point. briefly, for adam. i am going to ask, what drew you to the dark side? i will start with you. >> an easy one to start out with. i wanted to be defender for all arereasons that we sitting here today. i knew geo was not working, i knew that the people who were in their looked a lot like me, and i thought the way i was going to help that situation was to become a defender. and i learned two things while worked for a defense attorney to law school and being a certified letter as a student. a leastis you have theunt of power in courtroom.
that was the one thing either. the second was i was not fixing any of the ills that brought my client into the system by 20 absolve them from guilt. i wanted to help those individuals make sure they were not come back to court, not just on that one individual case, but in cases that came along in their path. >> this is what we would expect. you said thatve prosecutors are the stewards of the integrity of the system. you have recently overseen the new york state commission on sentencing and made in american nations were house and think should he changed. islicit in those ruminations an idea of -- in those recommendations is where something power should accrue within the system. --re do you think
>> it accrues to prosecutors differently in different jurisdictions and different than the federal system. new york state sentencing laws are not like those in washington state. the powers of the prosecutor really rest principally in discretion, whether a prosecutor decides if he or she is going to charge this crime versus another or whether that prosecutor decides a charger not be brought. but where i think sentencing should land is i am comfortable with having judges have the power in broad ranges. in new york have some of the dest ranges in the country. judges have the discretion to give one to 25 years, and i think it is
important to advocate for that. i was a defense lawyer for 25 years, and i understand the importance of their work. they have to advocate for their clients, and ultimately the just has to decide, and it rests on shoulders at the end of the day. they take the weight of the decision, because they have to make it at the end. >> name to, i will put the question to you. as it stands, we have two different prosecutors, many folks who would agree that prosecutors have a significant role in determining the outcome of cases where defendants' lives -- where do you see the balance of power in the courtroom and where should be? >> i was in the federal system where the balance of power is in favor of the prosecutor. offerave the ability to
someone six months if you plead guilty and 20 years if you go to trial. it is essentially a system of pleas. i was supposed to be there. i love the moment when i meet over to a defendant, has anyone curricula the pleading guilty, and i knew it was a kabuki ritual. of course they were coerced. hanging in the balance was an extraordinary mandatory minimum. so the source of power overwhelmingly, vitamins bring power to prosecutors, and when someone gets that minimum, i was a potted plant. i was the last step of doing what was the obvious. i love the notion of judicial discretion. one of the problems of having been around for a while we see swings. a set thing inot policy. it tells you where the location
of sentencing policy should be. that is not a policy. i want people to talk about the things that the conference is talking about, which is evidence-based programs, what to do with addicts, what should we wereth kids who i sentence taken out of school in 10th and 11th grade. it was great to give me discretion when i was a judge, want guidance about how to exercise that discretion, guidance about real meaningful programs. >> to step back for a second. reading the mood of the room, i think we have heard broad consensus or agreement from all butspeakers this morning, we may have reached as a country in sentencing, and a length of sentences and that nature of some of the sentences and not paying enough attention to potential alternatives. but there is a sense that is
going over this whole conversation that the conversation is quite fragile. what happens if crime goes back up? how does this conversation change? >> let me give you an example of a case in new york, and this is public because the individual is in court. we have an individual who has not been indicted for killing a police officer several weeks ago in new york city. -- that individual had a significant drug record and heads of other conduct that ultimately was not charged, but was relevant. while out on the diversion and whilee skips, out, he is alleged in the prices to end up killing a police officer. there is an example of you obviously want to support that diversion, which can
be incredibly productive, but if if the not work out, and judge does not see in a crystal ball what is going to happen five years from now and something terrible happens, yes, to answer your question, these can snap back frequently, which is why i think following nancy's suggestion, we need to be evidence-based, we need to have risk assessments when we do individuals in sentencing. sense of theve a efficacy of the programs we send people through and have a good sense that the dollars we are investing are good dollars, and from my view, i want to spend my law enforcement dollars for no more days in prison than are absolutely necessary. i want that to be the lowest number it can be to get the maximum amount of safety that we can achieve as well as fairness. flip serious case can
community sentiment overnight. >> you noticed about massachusetts and massachusetts has this great reputation. the willie horton case from, decades ago transformed sentencing. so, in fact, we were regressing in a number of areas. you will say to version may not have worked in this case, will look again at the version. of course, imprisonment never worked. and the response to imprisonment was always, well, you killed, so we must increase the sentencing. worse efficacy than we would have with these types of programs. the public has to know that there are bound to be mistakes. there are mistakes in either end. issue is sort of risk assessment. the issue is risk assessment and
what is more efficacious and stopping,. and to pick up on nancy's point, it is the great irony of being a progressive person in these roles. you are looked at as if you are crazy, the things that you are suggesting are nuts and super risky. the reality is we know what happens in your send people to public jail. you can't just close down shop and stop trying because the alternative is sending them back to a place we know is bad for public safety. you have to take that risk and get the benefit of all those cases that do succeed. sure, there are going to be costs and there are going to be those costs. we have plan crashes, but people get on planes everyday -- plane crashes, but people get on planes everyday because they have to.
i was curious from your perspective, you cofounded a program called the rock street choice. you have been doing a lot of work over the years to try to find alternatives to prison for kids, in particular. what to did that work look like? how do you send someone in a different direction? mr. foss: i just want to back up a little bit because we spent a lot of the conversation talking about please and -- police and prison. a lot of the work we do has very little to do with jail. it is actually on the front end, and that is in terms of the awareness. the new scarlet letter out here is "g." that record that follows you around is the real problem and the thing that is driving this whole system. when you talk about sort of how do we reform this, you've got to
take it from the very beginning. look at this case. if the result of this case -- is that going to lead to a better outcome of public safety? there is something i can do at that point before this criminal -- person gets a criminal record problems to prevent begin with. i run a reading program for kindergartners and first graders. is that me being a prosecutor? i think so because there is a direct correlation between the anditive gap of urban kids suburban kids. we have to talk about probation. there are people -- mass incarceration is often driven by people who are waiting for our violated after a probation violation hearing.
we have to understand what that is. probation is a service people pay for, and is the only service that if you pay for it and we don't get the service you are getting, you go to jail. we need to talk about that. we make them pay to get services , and when they fail at what they are doing, we lock them up. so we need to expand the conversation from just a reentry in prison and policing to all of the players along the way that play into and are complacent in this problem. mr. thompson: nancy is smiling. nancy, being a judge, having been a judge in your state would say adam is one of the good guys. is thinking about this problem the right way. there is an interesting study that you actually open to our books to the very institute if you years ago and said, in and look at how race affects outcomes for defendants in our
system. and part of what that report found was that race did affect those outcomes at different steps along the way, whether cases where dismissed, from charge offers and sentence offers, to whether people were detained and arraignment -- at arraignment. one of the things that was interesting to me was that actually one of the factors in several of those cases that was more significant than race itself was council type. the type of counsel people had access to. we don't hear the word defenders much in this conversation, but how do we -- how do people get a better defense? to resourceou have the defense function. it should be not a last thought funded, but iets think the legislature or the municipality has to find the
defense function. that is how the system works well. the courts and the bodies that look over licensing have to make sure that the lawyers who are practicing in these courts are actually up to speed. and i think that is sometimes lacks. that doesn't happen enough. , a in the vera report not-for-profit criminal justice think tank, bringing vera in to analyze -- analyze bias in our system was a real help to us. and ultimately, it's led me tollowing the report to -- focus our efforts on appropriate diversion, expanding diversion, particularly for young men and women before they go downtown, to divert them before they have
to go to the criminal justice system, and give them the opportunity to reach that, to make smart judgments on diverting the ones who are arraigned and giving them an opportunity to get out of the system. and also in new york city to change the practice of making arrests for summonses, which are extensively tickets -- are essentially tickets. altogether, you are talking about 25,000 to 30,000 people who we hope will have a different route or alternative route through the criminal justice system. and that is -- vera helps me see this is how we can address issues of who comes into the criminal justice system at the bottom because most people come in young, and you have to do a good job when you come in young. ms. gertner: you are dealing with the system that didn't have the kind of mandatory minimums that the federal system has paid
on the federal side, you can give public defenders massive resources and it will make no difference. no material difference, rather, because no fabulous council will take the risk of going to trial when what tanks in the balance are these kinds of mandatory minimums. but it is also -- the funding issue is very interesting. ruleachusetts had a role -- that said they were going to this favor psychiatric puts at antencing unless somebody had mental issue. the kids who came before me were seen as problems before they came to me. not one of them was sent to a shrink. those other cans of things you have to analyze. you have to look at. they didn't speak the language
of psychiatry. people took the social language of discipline to them. i think adam would agree with me that we are capable now of looking at where criminals are involved in their life. it could be that they go to the hospital for some injury. it could be they -- [indiscernible] we have to resource the system as it pertains to crime prevention, as opposed to just crime prosecution. and if we are able to use data and know who is at risk and reach out to that family or that woman, if it is a domestic violence situation and we know she has been to the hospital three times in the last six months, if you had to choose orween prosecuting someone preventing the robbery from occurring, you would choose prevention. but we spoke -- don't spend money on prevention like we do. ms. gertner: the only prevention
was long sentences that would disturb it the people that i was sentencing expected to go to jail. and you add that onto what we do know of people in jail, predominantly between the ages of 18 and 24 years old. in suchn is developing a way that you can tell them you are going to spend the next 50 years in jail, and that means nothing to them. we need to stop badgering like we are on different silos and we just get to these people as they are coming to a spread the police department takes them to us, we give them a probation, probation gives them to the jail. we are all complacent in this. -- complicit in this. we are all complicit in the creation of the problem, and therefore we are all responsible and figure out the solution. from the prosecutor said, that means learning more -- side,
that means learning more than how do i give a closing argument. it requires that we learn about adolescent brain development, about the history of race in this country and what it has done to black people, about the effect of trauma on people and how that -- how that impacts crime. >> [applause] mr. foss: and so that when i am in a courtroom getting a police record, regardless if i have been a prosecutor for a day or 10 years, i look at that report and see more than just the name of the person who is on the other side of the aisle. and if i want to prevent them from committing crime, and using all that research so we avoid that person ever coming back. mr. vance: and that his crime-fighting. ms. gertner: public safety issues. that is right. mr. thompson: i am going to want to give any of you and opportunity to ask a question to our panel -- an opportunity to
ask a question to our panel. nancy, you had proposed -- or mentioned a proposal last week that you have a marshall plan in your community as one of the other forms of addressing the backend of this. what does that look like? davidss: -- ms. gertner: came up with the idea, but the notion is you can't just do things going forward. there are things you have to do going forward to deal with these issues, but there are consequences to the causal state. and the consequences are communities who have been best the mated -- who have been decimated by whole generations of men absent. intergenerational problem, in economic problem, and educational problem -- an economic problem, an educational problem.
we now have to rebuild communities that have been decimated i mass incarceration. it really is a rebuilding process. it is really -- we are at a very crucial moment and a very dangerous moment because we don't take advantage of this time, i really feel we can go backwards. and less punishment is not a policy, although that is fabulous. likewise, discretion is not a criminal sentencing process. we have to talk about evidence-based practices. we have to think about how we got here in terms of what is the cause of the crime. and that was mocked when i was a kid. the root causes of crime was a sort of liberal mantra. when, in fact, we do know much more about brain architecture, the impact of stress on children, we do know much more and if we focus on that we can
make some changes. thatoss: and we need to do by immunizing the public. you don't see use cameras and ending at a haskell saying, there wasn't a gun at the school today. the only go there when i got -- waswhen a gun -- when a gun was at the school. you need to stop using public safety as a shield from the real issues of what we are doing. and the media is playing a large force. he is one of the people out there that is just bringing this conversation out and trying to immunize the public. mr. thompson: don't blame the media too loud. mr. foss: i won't. [laughter] mr. thompson: over here i see a hand. right over here. yes, i am with the delta society foundation. my question really is to adam foss. first of all, really inspired by
all the things you are doing and your prosecutor law office. given that there is structural and institutional racism that is embedded not only in police offices but in prosecutorial offices and court processes, how have you been able to navigate, shall we say, those types of issues in the office in which you find yourself? ms. gertner: you have a right to remain silent. [laughter] mr. foss: i have the luxury of working in an office where there is a lot of autonomy and discretion. i have been able to exercise that autonomy and discretion. it wasn't easy early on, but after a while i had taken these reps and given the people who decide whether or not i have a job, being able to give them nice toys about people we had taken risks and and now are -- and now are thriving in the
community -- mr. thompson: a question over here. >> yes, good morning. and ie is susanna moreno am here with catholic charities. but today i am here as a mother of an incarcerated son. thisusly, we can see that is a national security problem that we are talking about. 2 million people in prison. 700,000 in parole. and about 7 million in probation. the numbers add up. and it is more than just millions like it just said. of lacka problem here of accountability, in my opinion. and so what are we doing at the level of county and different states? i understand that states have jurisdiction over federal matters.
there are some states that are worse than others. for example, my son is in florida. he is 21 and he hasn't -- [indiscernible] if you don't pay your restitution, you are back in prison. and that kind of psycho. mr. thompson: focus on accountability. i would like to focus on accountability. i have a great respect for federal prosecutors, but they are not accountable like elected prosecutors are. and in each election cycle, the people of my community get to decide whether i am doing a good job or not. and i think that makes for a healthier criminal justice system when, as an elected individual, i have to go to communities to understand what they care about, understand stories about their children who they feel should not be incarcerated, and contrast that with the federal system where i think you have honest, diligent,
talented prosecutors, but they are really not a accountable. except through the president. and -- and their boss, the u.s. attorney, who is appointed by the president. so that is not a criticism of the federal side, but a reflection that we do have accountability, at least every four years. ms. gertner: that can work in one or two directions. you can be accountable to a public that once blood in, you know, a particular area. we used to get around about how a criminal justice policy is determined by the crime. whatever hits the newspapers you have to do something about. so you are accountable on the one hand, but you also need some independence. arguably, the federal system have that independence. that gets back really to the mandatory minimum discussion. you need a system in which different players balance each other. so that if a prosecutor comes to
me with a charge that is ridiculous and i find out more about the case, i want to be able to say that charge may be appropriate in the case of a dealer of megatons, but not this kid. so that is where judicial discretion plays in as an antidote to a prosecutor because they have to be accountable, too, for what they do. right now, the system is skewed. i am assuming the war on drugs has skewed this completely. i used to sentence people like a column of figures. by the time i got to a number, i go, that cannot be. but there was no discretion to enable me to say i can't sentence you for this. mr. foss: the problem with the accountability piece is that you are assuming that accountability applies to everyone and everybody who has the ability to
exercise that power. but when you disenfranchise people, either through making them inherently distrust the system and not want to get involved in voting for the prosecutor, people not being educated about what a prosecutor does, and let's not forget to talk about the people who are convicted of certain felonies are excluded from voting, you can get a very skewed picture of what -- >> [applause] mr. foss: -- of who the person being represented is electing. mr. thompson: we have -- we have a very brief question. >> my name is george. i am -- [indiscernible] but there is a lot going on today that is using words that are finite were talking about conscience as if they are finite. we will say society, and society is assumed to be good when it is
this very society that has notuced the product let us just the symptom, but it is not only the problem. we look at hillary clinton. she wasn't talking about banning the box until it was necessary for her to get elected or run for president in the system. you touch on, adam, at looking at, well, so many people are disenfranchised from the system, but really when i say how can i realistically expect the system -- this is a country that didn't deem the morality in a moral sense simply because i was born black. so how can i realistically expect the system that created all of these conditions to really be the system that fixes it? >> [applause] mr. thompson: we are not going to be able to answer that question in our seconds left, but thank you very much. thank you. ms. gertner: thank you. >> [applause]
nancy, adam, cyrus, matt. that it happy to report is time for lunch. you can join us for hot dogs at ben's next door. and thence next door -- ben's next door is actually not next door. we do need you to leave the theater during this break. take all your things with you. the theater doors will open back up at 1:00. come back for this afternoon's program, which starts at 1:15. enjoy lunch. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> [indistinct chatter]
announcer: as you heard, the atlantic discussion will resume around 1:15 eastern and online coverage will as well. a number of speakers this afternoon, including d.c. police chief cathy lanier. and we also expect to hear from presidential advisor valerie jarrett. live coverage at about 1:15 here on c-span. coming up at 2:00 eastern, john kerry, the secretary of state, will be talking about u.s.-syria policy. live coverage over on c-span2. and on foreign-policy issue, a number of congressional delegations overseas, nancy pelosi reading a democratic delegation in china. pelosi needs nancy
a souvenir yes -- leads a senior u.s. congress will delegation, allowing the democratic leader and other democrats to visit tibet earlier this week. >> all persons having business before the honorable, the supreme court of the united states, admonished to give their attention. tonight,low americans, our country faces a grave danger. we are faced by the possibility that at midnight tonight, the steel industry will be shut down. therefore, i am taking two actions tonight. first, i am directing the secretary of commerce to take discretion of the steel mills and keep them operating. announcer: in 1952, united states was involved with a military conflict -- in a
military conflict with north korea. >> the korean war was a hot war, and they needed steel for munitions, tanks, jeeps, for all of those things that you needed it in the second world war as well. it is this deal -- if the steel industry went on a strike, that would be a real problem to the basic things in army and the navy and air force is to fight a war. announcer: to a void a disruption of steel production, president harry truman seized control of the males, and an impending strike was called -- control of the mills, an an -- and an impending strike was called off. we will examine how the court ruled in the case of youngstown chief and tube company versus -- sheet and tub company versus
sawyer. we will be joined by michael gearhart. and william howell, political science professor at the university of chicago. congressional -- checks on presidential war powers. that is coming up on the next "landmark cases," on c-span, c-span3, and c-span radio. for background on each case while you watch, order your copy of the landmark cases companion book. it is available at c-span.org /landmarkcases. next, a discussion on security versus liberty. kristan stoddart talks about edward snowden's revelation and how to balance government
surveillance and civil liberties. it was part of the annual hancock symposium in fulton, missouri. >> [indistinct chatter] >> it is working. i think we will go ahead and get started. everyone having a great first day at the symposium? yeah? fantastic. we have some wonderful because. it is my pleasure to welcome dr. kristan stoddart. from wales, where he is a teacher and researcher. in 2012, he was appointed lecturer inside the security,
and in 2014, he was made security lecturer. member of the project on nuclear issues run by -- run out of washington dc. a fellow of the while historical society. he has spoken at a wide number of conferences nationally and internationally, including the bbc. dr. stoddart is the co-author of four books -- four, really? overachiever. [laughter] his current research deals with the protection of critical national infrastructure against every attack. today's talk addresses and expands on many of the point made in this morning's session. about the civil liberties and historical context of the government data collection.
i will also add that dr. stoddart and i grew up about 200 yards away from each other and wales. it is my distinct personal pleasure and professional honor to introduce dr. kristan stoddart. >> [applause] dr. stoddard: we're showing our age. it is hard to hide. harder on some than others. >> [laughter] : i would like to thank professor bolton for that wonderful introduction. i would like to thank westminster college for the wonderful organization and the hosting of this event which has
been extraordinarily good. it is surprising, well, a little surprising, that edward snowden is being mentioned so frequently in the course of these last few days. it is of course a matter of record that he was the main whistleblower of what are known as the prison revelations which have been a source of much speculation, controversy, and general thoughtfulness by both of the united states and some partner nations engaged in the program. this includes the united kingdom, but many others. right. so, let's look at the gentleman himself. i will say, before i start, we have some details up on the screen.
i find when i looked into his background, some of the ways he got into the intelligence service community and the ways he was recruited and the things that he did and the level that he achieved to be somewhat mysterious. i would ask you to look up, when you get the chance, how he managed to get in this position of authority and was able to access this data. that in itself is revealing of a number of systemic issues in the intelligence community post 9/11. when intelligence sharing became very important to the intelligence community. as you can tell, the family of public service, his father was in the pentagon on 9/11. when he was interviewed by the guardian, he was at pains to point this out. very much didn't see
himself as a traitor. he felt he had a public duty to disclose these activities. two the american public, and the wider world to be able to scrutinize some of the decision-making that went on. he was not a high achiever, which may surprise some. he also did not have a college degree, which might surprise some more people. he tried to gain entrance into the u.s. special forces, he went through basic training, suffered 2 broken legs which ruled him out of military service. the important thing from his point of view is he tried, he wanted to serve his country. it very much is a matter of opinion, i think. whether you see him as a
whistleblower, a traitor, or patriot of some color. he was only 29 when all this happened. he is a very articulate speaker, and is a very bright guy. but this is only 10 years older than most of you, it is nothing, not a large period of time. some of you will go into security services. the world you go into may well of been changed by his revelations. the resulting debates that occurred because of what is -- has happened -- he was, apparently, allegedly, only a systems administrator. but the systems administrator role in computer security gives
you almost unprecedented access because it is where, if you decide to deal with the highest levels of classification beyond those with top security, it is almost subverting the system. but i find interesting is how he managed to access the data. many of your work in secure sites. you cannot walk in and out carrying a data stake. you cannot to gain external internet access. they are what is called airgap ped. they are sealed off from the internet. this is to prevent exactly what happened from happening. one thing that is also interesting is how much data was actually affected.
there were some estimates that it is up to or over 1.7 million documents. that is not a small number. given the fact that there were likely in the form of text only documents, very limited pictures , etc., probably no video, you could do that on sd card and this is how he passed it to the journalist he was speaking to when he flew to hong kong from hawaii. and this was a big story for the guardian and the washington post and various other newspapers that all allegedly hold this data. he himself, when he ended up in russia, and the united states seized his passport, i think before he boarded the flight, didn't have in possession those documents. that is what he claims. of course, the counterclaim is
that the fsb and the russian government would be very interested in what he had in his possession. or what he had up here. similarly to the chinese, maybe some dubious destinations. america's two biggest adversaries -- not at war, big trading partners, but nevertheless adversaries of a different kind. to illustrate some of the context, part of what the national security agency does is analyze all sorts of intelligence on foreign threats.
it signals intelligence agencies. what is being argued is that they did not just target foreign, but also domestic as well. the argument being that it intrudes into your private lives. it scoops up things from your private lives, and everything else in its path. everything you say and do on the internet, having a digital footprint, your browsing history and e-mails, contents, potentially, telephone records -- depending on your usage, and utilization of computer technology, you have a minor digital footprint, or a giant one. and this produces huge amounts of data known as metadata.
thank you. what is also interesting about edward snowden is that he did not work directly for the national security agency. as for as one can tell, he was a subcontractor and worked initially for dell, who are responsible for installing those systems and running them in a classified environment. these are legacy systems getting from upwards of 25 years old. they can't really be modernized very well. it is raining important job to keep the systems -- it is a very important job to keep these systems running. in addition, he then worked for allen hamilton, which is when he
decided to flee to hawaii. he only worked for him for three months, but he did that to gain access to more data and to be able to leave to hong kong. it is a question as to whether the security procedures in and of themselves are sufficient as well to prevent this from happening in the future. one of the issues you might want to consider yourself is that of encryption. since the snowden revelations, the use of something called the onion router, something partly funded by the navy, which encrypts data, has grown exponentially, directly as a
result of the snowden revelations because it was revealed that largely unencrypted data was brought up including e-mail exchanges. in addition, our connectivity, our communications, are global. they may be local in terms of you pending a package of information to you -- information to someone who sits next to you, but that information could be transmitted around the world. so when you think local, think at the same time global. the data that is harvested and andyzed by the msa -- nsa various other agencies across this globe can produce extremely highly accurate pictures of
individuals, as well as social, economic, medical, and political trends. this is called analytics. laterwill be a few slides to detail analytics, but it is one of the most remarkable things you will ever see. if you want to look on youtube or google, and do your own version of analytics, you can. your friends, family, the amount you can find out the amount friend, -- to can find out about your friend, family, associations, it is phenomenal. particularly, when smart technologies really are working. say that they control the power in your house. it tells the individual, who may or or may not be monitoring you, when you are leaving, when you're coming home, when you are vacationing, when you go to work, when you come home, what is in the fridge, whether you are married, children, no children, etc., etc.
this is an example of what can be done with analytics. and from that, you can bruise -- you can produce a huge amount of detailed information of each and every one of you. if you're happy with that, wonderful. how many of you read conditions when you sign up to social media or services? one? one person. really? two or three of you? 30 pages of terms and conditions. ok, you are very keen. sorry, you are the lucky one, i don't have time to read 30 pages of terms and conditions. i was saying to someone earlier that in one of the conditions that i have seen, they have inserted possession of your first-born child. i kid you not.
that is not legally enforceable, but it gives your idea of what you sign up. when you put pictures, chats, etc. on the internet or into the cloud you don't have ownership of it. you lose ownership of it. that ownership passes to google, to facebook, to yahoo!, and so on. it is not private. think of everything every time you step onto a computer. logon. -- log on. it is public information. if you think it is public rather than private, maybe you're a generation that it does not affect, or you are less concerned. i don't know. i would be interested in finding out, maybe it is a generally additional -- generational issue. as some of us worked previously as somewhat of a nuclear weapons
historian, i always assumed that some of what i was saying or doing online was being traced, partly because of the people i was talking to. i kind of expect that. but if i'm not one of those individuals, if it's one of my students communicating to me, be it intelligence related, nuclear weapons related, snowden related, and it brings up these keywords which goes into search engines which gets analyzed by algorithms, which goes into databases, which goes into the er ofn of -- into the draw an nsa analyst, then maybe i would be a bit concerned. i might be very concerned, i would be more concerned if i got a knock on the door, or an e-mail that says would you like to have a chat with us about what you have been doing? i think that is unlikely. but, what it does say is that in a non-liberal democracy, that is
there. i would worry less about the united eights. i would worry less about my own country. but i might worry about other states. because one of the things that encryption does is allow people in repressive regimes to talk more openly without fear of prosecution, without fear of a knock on the door with someone with a gun behind it. it does happen, it has happened, there are good reasons for encryption. there were good reasons for non-intrusiveness, they were -- there were good reasons to think carefully about the principles underpinning data collection programming. part of the releases, or the disclosures, was presidential
policy directive 20 back in 2012. which i would invite you to look at. it laid out, among other things, defensive cyber relations. defensive cyber directions. it is an alphabet soup of acronyms. i get lost, it is easy to get lost. it is also in legalistic and diplomatic language. it has been said that the existing legislation has been extended to cover things that it may be should not or was not intended to cover. both from a legal and political standpoint that is probably what we should be covering.
coveringwe have been since these releases. what you should notice from this extract is the -- i'm sorry, -- ppd 20 required the cooperation of private companies who owned the cyberspace. these are the big providers that you and i use on a daily basis. some of these were cooperative, and some of which were -- had reservations about cooperation because of what it entailed. this debate has been had has been back-and-forth regarding whether providers should actually be part of the policing of the internet. there is no overarching global police force to look at these issues.
it is partly self policed, and is partly also on whether or not you believe in something called internet freedom, whether or not you want the internet to be unregulated, largely uncontrolled by nationstates, largely a bottom-up process driven by you as individual users. or whether or not they should be a level of state involvement. if so, what is the level of state involvement. what is the level of private companies. to what extent should it be unregulated? to what extent should be policed. -- policed? would you allow illicit trade in drugs, and child pornography, in things that we deem to be illegal? it also encourages terrorism, it is a method of recruitment, and it is also a method of
communication. which is a way of targeting individuals involved in terrorist activities. it is partly here that the dilemma lies between wanting to protect yourself from bad guys, the bad people, and if so, what are you prepared to do? are you prepared to give up your privacy? elements of your civil liberty. if so, how much? where are the intersections, where of the boundaries? -- where are the boundaries? at one point to you, as individuals, say stop, that is enough? this needs to be thought about. if it is a piece of legislation, as we have seen in the last couple of days, it is unlimited because technology changes and our attitudes change. we need to think a little more carefully about where this is
all going. and this, where we are right now, is a snapshot. where this technology will head in the next even five years is very hard to predict. biometrics will come along, along with smart technologies. artificial intelligence will increase. this is already being used in both the public sector and the private sector. it is partly government-funded, it is partly private funded. it is partly in the hands of the universities, it is partly in the hands of individuals. biometrics, smart technologies, will all combined to produce something different and change again. but the pervasiveness, it reaches into each and every one of us, and it will be remarkable. either that, or we opt out. we always have that option, turn of the internet, turn off the lights.
there is so much to consider if you are an analyst or looking at it from the protective side of the fence. this diagram is from a cyber primer which was produced by the u.k. ministry of defense. it did so in partnership with the government communications headquarters which is the nsa equivalent. it is an alternative way of thinking, it is the way that the agencies have been trying to -- have been trained to think. it is layered, it is tiered. it is expanding, it can track human interactions.
but if you're going after someone, at some point in time you'll have to find them. and in some cases, you have to either kill them, or place them on trial. in some jurisdictions, that will be impossible. there is so much for can -- so much we can actually talk about in terms of, how many of you have cell phones? i assume most of you, if not all of us. look, it would almost be surprising if we did not. the cell phones we produce can
produce data, which tells are locations, which makes us very own liberal in some senses -- very vulnerable in some sense to being found. if someone wants to find us, how they go about that uses various methods of tracking, trailing, and tracing. if it uses social media, e-mail records which are used by your laptop, buyer phone, buyer netbook, all this is used to build up certain pictures. we also know that the nsa and other agencies, through partnerships agreements, have secretly attached intercepts to the fiber-optic cables that run -- ring this world. these are the architectural
backbone of the internet. they are a key enabler along with satellite technology of the global technology and connectivity that we take for granted. while this provides a high degree of access to global communications, it also subverts us. edward snowden said that he did not want to live in a world where everything he says, every expression of love and friendship is recorded. but using metadata, using the vast resources that are generated by the internet, and this runs into the quintillions of data every day, that was entirely possible. everything you do, or speak, can be recorded, played back,
understood, analyzed, can produce such a picture of your life it is incredible from the cradle to the grave. there are examples of people now understandably putting pictures of their unborn child on facebook. then you find baby photos. birthday, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, growing up. they do it to themselves. i think the age of facebook, is 816? certainly people that i know have children that signed up much younger. it seems like a benign thing to do. what happens over time? that produces such a detailed picture of the person's life, it is something a future employer, whether a government department, or a mainstream business can look at, analyze, interpret, and decipher whether to take that job, employ you, or if they
don't. they may not like certain things that they see. like i said earlier, nobody reads the terms and conditions. you can request to have it taken or requested down to be taken down, whether or not you will be able to, that will be difficult. whether you want an employer to see a picture of you dancing, maybe doing something you shouldn't do, maybe something on the but they decide basis of that, sorry, there is a better candidate and i don't like the look of that person. that is because you did something four or five years ago on one night, for a moment, that is captured. it is a selfie, someone else is taking the picture and take you in it. it is not you, it is not
representative of you, but with analytics, and the depth of data that is found on facebook, twitter, and so on, your life is revealed as a totality. again, are you happy with that? are you fine with that? if you thought about that, fine, good. this is the companies, and external partners, they go through this process. and the governments, including your own, including my own. again, if you're comfortable, fine. if you haven't thought about it, even better. if you would like to question your government about that, that is your democratic right. and it is one i suggest that you exercise. to give you a further example,
there are many dimensions to prison, as you can see from this picture. there are some programs within programs, some of which are still classified, some of which are still not being revealed, and some of which have been moved on partly because of the revelations and because technology moves at such a pace and this is not based to me talking to people in the intelligence community. of those which have been publicly revealed, and which give some smaller insight into what technology is capable of doing, and what the scope of revelations actually reveal, that is an internet targeted database system that is a form of data mining. someone trying to find information about your actively. given the amount of information put out there, including things i, myself, put out, a great deal
of information could be found. a great deal. it is able to draw on everything a typical user does on the internet which includes web and search histories, and e-mail content. used alongside in examining facebook, chats, and private messaging. no one reads the terms and conditions. it is not private. and the legislation is being used to move into this space. to move into social medai, and -- media, and to be honest, if not the nsa, it is the chinese, the fsb, it is other countries. to my mind, this has to be thought about more in terms of a global level issue. you can look at it surely snowden andlens of
all the other programs, but i would suggest this is more than a national issue. it is more than a national security issue, it is something we should discuss in the terms -- if so, where did the boundaries lie? that is probably the main take-home message from this talk, where do these boundaries lie? policing, control, regulation, and internet freedom? to give you some of the justifications for these kind of programs, one you need to look
at which is the 14th anniversary of 9/11. it is like the kennedy assassination, everyone remembers where they were, it was incredibly shocking. nobody wants to repeat it, and it was preventable. that was a big deal from the commission report, it was preventable. we see it on a daily basis now, there are these bad people in the world, they don't respect the rules of the game. we also have to respect our laws, our value system, and this is the state of justice and the degrees of freedom and liberty. but to prevent what has been destroyed by leon panetta --
described by leon panetta as a possible cyber 9/11, that is partially what i deal with through my projects, it is a very high-end level. if these, and others, of a lower order at the intelligence agencies are trying to stop and prevent them. the general alexander, the commander of u.s. cyber command, and director of the nsa, says these programs, together with other intelligence, have protected the united states from power threats across the globe over 50 times since 9/11. that is in over 20 countries around the world. he added, i believe we have achieved this and a relative safety that does not compromise the privacy and civil liberties of our citizens.
they are critical to the intelligence community's efforts to connect the dots. yeah, it is those disparate dots that the programs do, along with human analysis. this is what a human being will do, this is what artificial intelligence will do. these trends will accelerate. nobody wants to see another 9/11, or worse, a cybergeddon scenario. but, where is the balance? would you want to see your data,
pictures, geographic data, when it images taken of you wherever it might be, you can see on facebook across the globe, we know who you're with, we know what you are doing. it is very short steps to produce a detailed mosiac of life from that. but if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide. there are a cascade of facts we need to think about. like i said, i do not think this is solely a national security issue. i think this is to be discussed a globally. if you look at global desk climate change and global health , and other things, where not to good at it. we don't seem to have the tools
in our vocabulary. this is something we need to move forward with, i believe. you will also ask whether or not the oversight has been sufficient. there have been, not only in the united states, but across effective countries, new zealand, australia, canada, germany, particularly, has been shocked by the revelations in the depth of the spying that went on. allegedly, perhaps it still goes on. whether or not the national judiciary court and in camera provisions through is enough oversight for you, or for us as
a community, or globally, is a valid question. it has gone too far for some of us. the people in the intelligence community, and the securities, it does not go far enough. to give you an example, a member of the australian government, this is one of the partner nations in the long-standing agreement, noted that the u.s. may be able to brush aside some diplomatic fallout from the snowden leak, but that may not be the case for australia, china, malaysia, and other countries who may respond to us. it is also judged to have a much greater impact.
they are all part of the same package. those that expose internet freedom, this should not be secret. like i said, this is the break we need to have. the revelations regarding prison intelligence gathering and analysis are shaking the trust between the u.s., the u.k., and other nations, and also in key elements of the private sector. we need to better understand the need to share information, and
to protect that information. we also need to be careful of inside threats, if snowden showed anything it is that they are alive and well. and foreign intelligence to attempt to install agent in various companies in order to obtain access to business information on their systems, or to infiltrate the data for a malicious purpose. risks for the private sector, the government, for us as individuals, are ongoing and growing faster than our capabilities to act. this is partly technological determinism, we can see around the bend, we can see to a limited extent, but we don't see everything and we don't know necessarily where all of this is leading to. this is a snapshot of where we are now.
if we don't have an informed debate about it where we want to be in five years time, you could be in a very uncomfortable position. your privacy could be extremely limited and a way that it is already compromised. if you are happy with that, if nobody says anything, that is probably a bigger problem, and a bigger issue. first, it does not only emanate from individuals, some of which are well-organized, some of which are based in hard-to-reach jurisdictions, they can also be for industrial competitors, foreign services, or simply hackers and want to find out what they can do, there are lots of cases of these people. there are also hackers groups
like anonymous who tend to be of a younger generation, who draw on political and ideological rationales, some of which will resonate with each and every one of us. the growth and complexity of the attacks has seen enormous a growth. and, quoting from one of the intelligence services, what was considered an attack a year ago might only be downloadable than requiring little expertise to use. i would not suggest you go looking for them, but they are there, they are very easy to find, search engines to find backdoors into systems into looking at aspects of critical
infrastructure, to look at shipping, to look at electrical grids, to look at which airline is passing overhead. that is all widely available. in fact, it is very interesting to look at. it can also be used for nefarious purposes. increase your awareness, increase your knowledge, have a greater understanding of the issues that mr. snowden releases and the present program have had. understand your own lives, and the context. we all use these services, they are not unique to us as citizens , to someone in britain, australia, canada, germany, portugal, spain, russia.
the amount of information is incredible. it is insightful, and his it is penetrating. it is almost orwellian. data mining, data analytics, social engineering, can produce such a detailed map of your lives from the cradle to the grave. you need to think now. is this the world you want, is this internet you want, is is the connectivity that the world demands? if so, you give up elements of national freedom, and you pay for it one way or the other. we will all pay for it whether through a reduction of civil liberties, privacy more likely, and also a financial cost. a digital device within the
states is partly generational. the availability, and low-cost of the technology will decrease over time. we are all in it together. it is like a brain, it is an incredible series of connections. it is the greatest human , potentially. i can think of nothing greater. it is precious, it is not solely the internet, but the collaborations it produces, the dent -- decentralization, the capacity to learn, understand, see things, comprehend, the extent to which this is a bottom-up driven process, and the extent to which nationstates
should be able to regulate and police. it is a debate you should be thinking about. and i should be thinking about it, and government should be thinking about it, and the private industry should be thinking about it. we need to be part of that debate, engage it, snowden and prison is one aspect of this. it is gotten stronger, more powerful. i will hopefully leave you with some questions. those would be -- if you have done nothing wrong, and nothing to fear, should you be concerned about what i've talked about today? should you be concerned about the prison programs and the snowden revelations? would it bother you if the pattern of your life was
forecast in the cradle to grave not only for you to see, but for everyone to see or your government to see? that stretches deep, and a wide, and includes medical data, and various other metrics that you can use. would you want your 121 communications, the stuff you think is private, to be -- one too many. the stuff you think is private, to be available -- communications, the stuff that you think is private, to be available to everyone? they are turning it into one to many. the nsa says it needs all the data to prevent another
terrorist attack like 9/11. in order to find the needle in the haystack, they need access to the whole haystack. you and i are part of that haystack. you are part of that map that we looked at earlier. these are important questions, this is your generation, this is your time, it is your power to agree with it or disagree with it. thank you very much. [applause] time for questions? >> i think we have about five minutes of this is session. there is also a opportunity tomorrow. if anyone has questions, now would be a good time to ask. microphones are live if anyone was to step up.
>> first of all, thank you very much for a very interesting lecture. i really appreciated the information that you give us. my question would be, since the government is trying to, or wants to enforce stronger regulating policies either for or for companies to get access to more information, in this case, who will hold the government accountable for all of the information that they would have access to, and protect national security? dr. soddard: for the first instance, we the people. you can say that, or you can sit down. it is up to you. it is, it is always been, for a process of an illiberal democracy through democratic channels. you elected officials, we elect
officials, they are held accountable, and they hold people accountable in turn. but i would question is whether the existing legislation, we can look into whether it is capable, or has caught up with the existing technology. within societal and technological trends, whether or not we need to revisit that legislation. and have a much more informed debate, i just don't think the legislation is capable of catching up with the technologies. it is running at such a pace, and the amount of data you can pull off the internet, and different services -- it is barely touched. it is incredible, it is awe inspiring. it is awesome in its detail, you would be amazed.
i don't think other -- under national or international -- has not about it. we needhis in-depth way to. that is a very good question. thank you. yes? >> how are we a democratic country and yet to our government knows everything we do? if the nsa or government can monitor anything we do? how can we classify ourselves as a democratic and preach to other countries how they need to be democratic when our own government knows every single
thing every citizen can do? >> that is a very provocative question. it is a question i would like to see put to your senators, your representatives and so on. that is how you hold people to account. this is what i was mentioning earlier. this is almost a dystopian nightmare, when everything you say or do is monitored. you lose your freedoms. by not -- the trouble is it is not only your own government that is capable of doing this. if someone were to hack into your computer and take control of it or switch on your webcam to see what you are doing, they can. the technology is readily available. whether the government will do
that on behalf of its citizens and the notions of social contract, it is a real question. because a lot of people think it has gone too far. but, it is a debate you should be putting to your senators, to your representatives. these questions we are asking. because it is not going to stop. >> thank you for coming to speak with us. building off of his question is it the duty of the citizens of the united states or the government of the united states to be responsible for our own cyber security? >> good question. misconceived what a fantastic question. it is misconceived not because
you were wrong, but the conception of cyberspace can't reflect nationstates. it cannot reflect physical boundaries. it is not a geographical entity. to think of it in terms of protecting national cyberspace is nonsense. it is a misnomer. it is like trying to protect companies within national borders. we have seen so many hacks, including sony, probably north korea, the list goes on. ashley madison. we are not capable of policing. it is not like defending national borders when you see an enemy across the border in can -- and he'll can watch a weapon against them. there are both defense of an offense of operations.
i think the thinking days to change. -- needs to change. this is where you get into establishing rules of the game between nation states. that includes russia, that >> looking at race and criminal justice in america, up next. the conversation with author ta-henisi. >> we will talk to the police, we will what happens to children whose families warfare -- families who go to children. we will be taking your questions across the afternoon and you can join the conversation on twitter. rasiejustice2015. it is also the password to the
wi-fi network, atlantic live. we will also have a chance to connect with one another around the theater. i hope you stick with us throughout the afternoon. to underscore that this conversation would not be possible without the support of our underwriters. i want to thank them. the joyce foundation, the fourth foundation, the jacob foundation and our founding underwriter, the open society foundation. i am so pleased to welcome to .he station -- leslie she is here to say a few words. [applause] good afternoon. it is absolutely wonderful to be back here in washington dc. i want to take a moment to thank you for being here today. massiveked in
incarceration and surrounds the injustice. exploring the racial narrative of peoplethe othering of color. we are looking forward to looking beyond the discussion to policy and structural change. change that increases opportunity, not just in theory, but in fact. i hope that today's conversation not only shed a light, a passive approach to these issues, it spurs action and reflection. , and race whether determines what happens. it serves as a backdrop to the issues we are want to discuss today. as one of the leaders of the open society foundation, i want to take a moment to acknowledge the attention and remarkable insight i have heard so far from
this audience. this audience is going to be the engine for change in communities after today. thank you for caring and continuing to demand change. [applause] ♪ >> good afternoon. i hope everyone had a great lunch. mr. coates: i had a good afternoon. and am joining him with npr founder of the race car project. we are going to talk a little bit about something that we spent a lot of time talking about in private. e-mail, the phone, we are both
parents. we both have teenage kids. both african-american adults who were once children ourselves. childrenw giving our this thing called to talk. preparing them for what they need to know for when they go out into the world. we are thinking about all of the things we were told. come at this from different perspectives. is that fair to say? mr. coates: yes, that is different. ns are the sameo age. you have a son and a daughter. you find yourself in conversations, are the differences in terms of how you talk. is it always that jane -- the same general philosophies. changed.k has
i am amazed at how much i have opposed -- now, as around this age. some of the things are the same, some are different. fear.all born out of when my children leave the house, this worry that they can point themselves in the right way if they encounter someone in a position of authority who questions them based on who they are. on the reality that is, my kids go to school in bc, they have a rainbow of friends. they go to the store, there are the ones who are likely to be followed in the store. when they go out, if someone is -- the fear of
out,ng -- when they do go when they are behind the wheel of a car, the advice you give them. i used to think the advice was different for my son and my daughter. i realize, it is the same. they both have to have that armor. they both have to carry with them something that unfortunately many of their friends do not have to carry. i used to think when they were younger, i'm going to have to talk to my son differently to my daughter. i do not think that is the case. mr. coates: i think that is interesting. we started talking off that she started talking about the generations. -- generations. as you said, it all boils down to fear.
one of the things i kept going back to, is the way -- particularly young african-americans. the way in which you have to modulate yourself. there is a way of modulating yourself when you're talking to police officers. how to conduct yourself. when i was in school, their way -- there was a way of advising yourself in school. one of the most disruptive aspect of it, there was a different way i had to learn to modulate. the neighborhood i grew up and having to deal with my peers. there was not much overlap between those two. >> helped me understand that. mr. coates: he says it was very important that we do not leave site of violence in the neighborhood.
we know the police are acting in ways in which they should not. i concur. when you lift in neighborhoods with high degrees of violence, that could be traced with policy issues themselves, you a. a certain framework. people do not -- you put on a type of armor to shield yourself from violence. among young poses afro-american youth. we see it as anger, all of this extra stuff. , securing your body. creating space. the entire -- modulating myself is an entirely different light which. that is not appropriate here. that is exactly what i mean. twist wes the pretzel go through as presence. my father was from birmingham, alabama.
every time they sent me to birmingham, i would get the version of the talk. carry yourself in a different way, do not call attention to yourself. i did not think that in 2015, i will be telling my 15 year old not to look someone in the eye. i thought that would not be necessary. we do not presently live in violent.oods that are you want to send your children out into the world so they know how to roar. you want them to be confident and step up to the challenges. at the same time, you have to teach them for their own safety and your own comfort. how to modulate themselves so that they know when they can step up and be confident. at the same time, when they have to dial it back. i am positive, not all of the
kids that my children attend school with have to deal with the same thing. i tried to tell them that it will teach them that they will benefit from that. move in different spaces and different ways. it is virtually hard for me. i was going to tell you my age, i have to stop right there. [laughter] difficultto be really for a 15-year-old or a 16-year-old to deal with that. then, we have the added dimension of the year we have lived through. our kids have seen a year of seeing black deaths. in all likelihood, we will continue to have that. you will continue to see that. the reason it is continuing to happen is deeply rooted.
we have the policies -- assumptions we have made in our society. you see it compounding and coming here in terms of how individual people have to conduct themselves. i was listening to you talk about the ways in which you have to talk to your children. i can remit were coming to washington dc -- my real world, ito the white remember a reporter talking to me about how he had got pulled over for something you thought was wrong. he had cursed the officer out. [laughter] and you just talk to me about it without a black eye? for certain people, he does. that is not to say there are no white victims. me thatt clear to
cursing somebody out there something you should be doing in the first place. i am not condoning that. you use this term earlier about creating space. there are people in our society that do not have to create a space. it exists. it is a privilege they inherit. we have law enforcement officers in our family. i have so much respect for people who do protect and serve the community. i think about that all of the time. view law kids enforcement? what is their view of the system of education. what could it possibly, given that they have watched -- this is an important point that we have to consider about young people. something happened in the news, it have to think about how i'm going to talk about it with my kids. do i present them with them the .- with the news
i don't get a chance to filter that. they have already seen someone perish in front of their eyes. i go back to alabama, my father talked about living in the jim crow south and how people would disappear. they talked about physical encounters with law-enforcement. they always talk about people who actually saw something happen and just were not right again. it is different from when you actually saw it. initia tissue bruises. that was a kind of terrorism. it was a political act to tell you to stay in your place. that was supposed to scar people, to discipline. .> now, we see it
that is where there is a conflation. the idea of seeing things happen to people who look like you. mr. coates: let's not describe any sort of content -- intent. you talk about a fact. whether the officer should have been prosecuted, like eric arner, considering what nine-year-old or 10 year old -- seeing.what folks are sayin this is like a social contract issue. folks should feel protected by police. i wonder about this era. if the area is
revealing that there is more violence, but to see it, as you say, i think it does something to you. like folks who saw it back then, they were not right. i wonder the relationships to our police officers who are representatives of our society. the change is not in them. our kids are right after seeing that. they have a relationship with people who were supposed to secure their safety. >> we have to figure out how to interrogate that space that people -- whether it is our children or other people's children, even police officers. right now, in order to process , maybe especially police officers because often their voices are missing in this discussion because they are not allowed. , there kinds of reasons are not able to talk about what it is like to be a police officer. journalistst how
invade that space and as humans invade that space and try to understand the impact of all of this. often, it is not shocking anymore. mr. coates: yes. from the police perspective, i think from -- i think it is important to talk about how we got here. if we are having police officers that judy kate -- things that society does not want to deal with. i talked about this for the past couple of weeks and i will continue. the young girl in columbia, south carolina flipped over and right across the floor. angry at thes police officer. why did the anger stop? an imageat there is
data right there. [applause] to focus on the call, that is easy -- police officer, that is easy. south carolina has a criminal law -- disturbing school law. as society decided at certain points that it was going to criminalize certain behavior in schools. what do we think that looks like? shock whenally see you see the actual -- not to go too far. it is very similar to the problem with domestic violence. out and they come are horrified about the video. what do you think this looks like? when we say we are going to use police officers -- that happens at other times and certainly other communities. we order institutions to deal
with -- >> there will be other ways to take a student out of that situation. foundations about police reform, how do we talk to our kids about this? -- we are having a talk about our children. about how we got here to begin with. talk andnk about the it has now become code. as if it is something that happens just once, like tuesday, november, 3:00. mr. coates: like all african-american families. >> the fact that it is always going on. it is always going on and people are passing on things back and forth.
you dropped -- your daughter is about to drive, make sure that she keeps a copy of her drivers above --n the visor the sun visor so that if she is ever pulled over, she can tell the police officer, sir could you please reach into the visor and pull out that copy of my drivers license. so that he or she does not have to reach for it. people actually pass on information like that. it sounds little. we are doing this in a million different ways. we are talking about our children and once they go into the workplace. yell, but youn cannot and should not. it is different. we are having several talks.
one of the things that upsets me, it is a wait. and tell yourhild child you cannot control that. you are around people and it is very clear that there is not equality in terms of the weight that you have to carry. i cannot actually change that. i can talk to you about that. i cannot change it. an optimist. it is what gets me up in the morning. i believe that when you push against the weight, it makes you strong. if you are spending time in the gym, you are going to have a different results. i tried to think about that in terms of the messages that i pass on to my kids. we were asked to talk about how you conduct the talk and how you
talk to your kids. messageit is the best that we can get to the audience. talk to your kids. no matter what, talk to them and listen to them also. that is maybe the difference between our generation. we listen more than talk back. young people are caring so much right now. it is important to make a space for them to talk. mr. coates: i think that is a great note to end on. give her a hand. [applause] >> we are going to hear from a family. yes, they have had the talk with their two sons.
we are going to see a family, husband and wife. sons.eir two they are going to learn about eveningened on an when they went to visit a family member and things spiraled out of control. encounter with police officers. we'll talk with them about what happened that evening that could have prevented it and lessons we can take from that. we are going to begin by listening to a clip of a film that asks us to think about what happened. [video clip]
>> me to at your mother's house -- meet you at your mother's house. we were sitting in the backyard, jumping around. asked me if they could ride their bikes around for five more minutes. i said fine. mom banging on the door and say the police is outside. as we are coming out of the door, you see three white police officers walking towards my son putting their gloves on. >> the gloves that you put on when you want to rough somebody up or frisk somebody -- his work gloves. he walked over and points to here. and says, you come
dad, walks over and says hold up. >> he says he you are not going anywhere. >> he was like, who are you? i said i have his father. -- i am his dad. he said, first of all i am not calling you. fleeing theo of him scene. fleeing, you guys were the scene of what? he said he did not do anything, but when i called him to come here, he kept on going and did not stop. --he is riding a big like bike. steady pace,g at a like a pace that if they wanted to get me, they could walk out of the car and walk at the same
pace. , they saidturning that they told me to get off of my bike. i heard no police. i did not see a car. --the other explanation was >> that gives us the right to stop and search your son. that is not probable cause to stop somebody child. say ok,ou supposed to fine, you can search my couch. you say no, why? >> since you are getting in my face, i should lock you up right now. i said, well since you feel like i am in your face, i am going to back up. said, could you
just call your supervisor because this is getting out of hand. the station is across the street. i would appreciate it if you would call your supervisor. i need someone to talk to who is not angry right now. >> i do not know what kind of distressed single he best signal he sent out. led to 30 or 40 police cars in front of my lawn. [indiscernible] >> please back up, please. a 15-year-old. excuse me, everybody. goodyear-old, for a 15-year-old, made the honor roll.
again. i was backstage with you and i watched your shoulders and your ears in particular. it was so emotional. is so emotional every time you see the film. >> when you look back and think about what could have happened, is there anything in your mind to think, what is the one thing that might have stopped this from escalating to the point that it did? >> when i was back, the only thing i could think that could have changed it is the police officer actually listening to us. itjust wanted to know why is that you want to search our son. talked to us,st then we might have said ok. then again, i do not know because i do not know what the reason was. it is so frustrating. we see all of this
is because your sister was filming. >> as soon as it happened, she started filming it on a cell phone. it was the way the cops approached us. kelly, you have asked we had a relationship with his family for some time. you were not drawn to this because of this incident. in fact, calvin was the last person on earth i would ever expect to be arrested. we were already filming the family and continued to to follow him for his growing up years in high school and beyond. filming his cousin and his parents. it just happened. since i already knew the family and i heard the story, thank god there sister felt it. i do not think that would be able to tell it if she had not
taken a video of the actual arrest. wondering if it would be hard for people to -- if you were just the it,not but listen to the discourse. listen to how people were actually talking past each other. someoneyou hear assaults the police officer, that means -- that brings a very specific idea. he spoke to the police officer. he said why do you want to talk to my son, why do you have a gloves on? why did you follow him on his bike on the sidewalk? is that illegal? is that assault? >> we need to understand the epilogue. what you did not see in the film is what happened activists -- what happened after this. >> you were actually taken into
custody. as the case proceeded, you are given a choice. you were offered a deal. do 32 deal was that i can -- i of community service took the 32 hours of community service. >> why did you decide to do this when you felt that you had done nothing wrong? court, theynt to appointed me a court appointed lawyer. i thought this was a small case and i will take the lawyer. , itlawyer, his words were is your words against the police officer. 10, you cannotof beat them. i would take the 32 hours of community service and get it over with. >> did you wrestle with that before you decided to do it? but did you have to answer right away. >> i talked to him about it
because i only had a week between the time. me to fight it. but, i grew up in washington dc my whole life. the interaction between minorities and police officers from what i have known and experienced, is never good. to me, i just wanted to get it over with. just be done with this part of it and go on with my life. after the 32 hours of community service, but done with it. >> where did you do your community service? >> a landfill. the department of public works landfill. on michigan avenue and they gave complete 32s to
hours at my own pace. i think i finished it within the first month prior to going back to court. four eight hours for second -- consecutive weekends. so you fulfilled your community service. the deal was that it would -- your records. has it been removed? >> not in a sense. me and my wife recently with your family changes that have adopted towo more boys. two twins. [applause] the process of adoption, i do not know if anyone has been through it, it is a strenuous court part of it. they do a full fbi background check. it came up.
luckily, -- >> how were you informed that it came up? >> the fbi background has a fingerprint check. luckily, it was not one of the things that will stop them from doing the adoption for the twins for my wife and i. social worker let me know that it came up. and i had a chance to ask point are. --aulting a police officer specifically to meet his physical violence against a police officer. i got a chance to explain my part of the story to the social worker. >> how will you eventually get that removed because it is overdue? >> it is in the works now. you have to physically go to the courthouse. what i've been told and
investigated myself, you have to go to the courthouse and set a date. you can get a travel day or sponge -- all of your records. >> michele: you plan to do that? >> of course. >> it will never be removed from your record. that will always pop up on his record. >> it is not expunged. it is sealed. only certain people can see it. if they want to do an extensive background check, it will come up. if you want to do just the local police check -- michele: if you were going to apply for a job, it will come up. -- would yout was , if you were asked
if you have ever been convicted of a crime? >> i don't think on the tendwork part, because to believe -- technically i wasn't convicted, but just for safe purposes i would say "yes," so if it comes up i could explain to the employers -- dohele: once you put yes, you have an opportunity to explain that to an employer or do you go on that pile? >> that is what obama is doing now. armonta'e, i want to hear from you. the police officers will be on soon and i'm sure they will have something to say about what we have seen in the film, but the police officers patrolled the neighborhood, which means some of the gentleman in that back alley are people you might see as you move around the neighborhood. what have those encumbers been
like -- encounters been like for you? i haven't: really encountered please officers like those in the video lately. school, homework, my brother, that's all. michele: and we had a chance to talk backstage and you said you never ride a bike anymore. armonta'e: not necessarily never ride a bike, but when it gets walk.i would rather just michele: so you won't get on a bike at all that night? armonta'e: just take a walk. michele: how do you as a young person process something like this? you live in a community where, as you said, many people feel like they're encounters with law enforcement are prickly, are negative, leave a bad taste in ead to going to
jail for reasons that are curious. at the same time, there are people in the community who say "make our streets safer. there are people who need to go to jail and we need to make sure the police come down hard on them so we can sit down on our front porch and enjoy the summer evening, so the kids can go ride bikes at dusk and play kick the can and kickball and things like that. what you say to those people in the community, because there are some, who say that this kind of aggressive policing is needed? >> it is needed for the situation it is needed for. bike at night, i don't think that is a situation it is needed for. [applause] someone getting hit by a car or that is where they should be, but they are not there when something like that happens. [applause] day, i am on my way to
school, and me and my friend, we are walking in the of us are just the officer --the officer stared at my friend, and he asked my friend, what you looking at? it was uncalled for. a situation that is not called for. that is my first time hearing this because i would be like "what i-- where is he?" [laughter] armonta'e: he told his mom and his mom is a judge in the d.c. courthouse, so she says she is on it. [laughter] [applause] michele: have your parents given you the talk? armonta'e: what talk?
[laughter] michele: when you leave the house, particularly now, after this encounter, do they tell you -- do they give you advice -- sun, this is how you should carry yourself, these are the do's and don'ts? armonta'e: every day. get your work done, come back home, family first. keep your pants up. ok, why don't you just give him the talk right now? [laughter] carlet: an eight-year-old who mimics everything he do -- he pants -- hehe thinks that is foolish. but since this happened, my eight-year-old tells him that he is terrified of the police. -- "is look at his mommy
the police behind us?" he is likely terrified. so how do you inoculate that? do you want your son to be afraid of the police? carlet: i don't want him to be afraid of the police, because it is a situation where you do what police in your neighborhood because you do have those young kids committing so many crimes and youg so many things need your child to go up and speak to the police and let them know that the police is here for you, but after he was in this village situation, how do we ?ell him that matter.t doesn't i'm your mom, let me know, i will handle it.
do you know any of the police officers in your community by name? no. michele: i'm not asking it to be provocative. what does that say? >> it says a lot, actually. i was having a conversation with kelly the other day leading up to this event. when you get those officers in duty neighborhoods, your is to protect and serve. and i was telling kelly, talking to kelly the other day, and we are having a formal conversation , and i said when the officers come to these neighborhoods, it seems like their whole duty is .o seek and destroy
to me, really, that is what is seems like. the encounters, there is no positive encounters -- michele: how do you fix, because when you talk to police officers, and i talked to many of them, they say they face of all of distrust and hatred and they would like something different. they want to figure out how to bridge that gap as well. there are people doing innovative things. policego, officers interviewing young people in the community. it is interesting what they can say to each other if they are alone in a room and have a chance to talk. in birmingham, alabama, police chief was sending police officers into schools and a very young age to read to students so that students would see a police officer's badge and a name and it would get to know young people and as they grow up, he would remember -- oh, i remember montae, he liked "curious
george." soft approaches to policing. to those kind of things make any sense to you? calvin: they do. those things -- out,: i want to point prior to the incident, both calvin and carlet were raising their children to be respectful of the police. 'e cannot remember how many times he has been approached by police in d.c. -- walking his dog, riding the metro -- and as you get older it gets a little worse. idea, theant the police are here for you, they are the good guys, and in the rest of the film you hear them talk about that. i think when you talk about having the community -- there is no accountability right now --
the only reason we know this is because somebody put it on cell phone footage. but even after he was arrested from even after the sergeant in charge found out what actually was happening and what had happened, he still signed off on calvin with twowa crimes. where does it stop? how did everyone watch this and allow it to happen when he got arrested? "he will be let out tonight." i remember them saying "he will be let out tonight." but then when he had the interview, they said, oh, no, we want you to stay tonight. it was actually two charges. something up -- assaulting a police officer and tampering with evidence. i wanted to know what the evidence is.
are you calling my son the evidence? michele: kelly, you spoke to the charge of assaulting a police officer and it is not always physical in its nature. kelly: in the process of making the film and editing it, i read , a report about an a police a song on officer and how the law is so vague in d.c. 4000 people have been treacherous assault on a police officer in a d.c., or were charge between 2012 and 2014. 93% of them were black. the majority of them were not charged with anything else. by can use a law that just talking to a police officer you can be charged with assault and there is nothing else. what is happening? and they are all black citizens. 'e toan you expect monta believe an institution that treats his father like that, treats him like that? michele: this is something that
is discussed with the police force and it will be interesting to hear from law enforcement officers when they take the stage. we don't have much time left but i wanted to make sure there was time for a couple questions from the audience. you had your head up so -- hand up so -- >> thank you very much. this has been a very heavy panel. i want to say as a citizen, i'm sorry. , ifnted to tell ms. norris you have to teach her children, tell your children to not look some of the in the eye, i'm sorry about that. that is very wrong, that is not american. i requested. -- i have a question. for the young man, what do you want to do when you grow up? what do you want to be, what you want to study? congratulations to both of you. michele: thank you for your
question and your observation. armonta'e: actually, this is my senior year in high school right now. [applause] playing rugby and i would really like a scholarship for that. [laughter] but i have been really thinking about going into the d.c. fire department, but still taking college classes at nova to get my degree, because i still need my degree. [applause] michele: we have another question down here in front. hard for me to see come in case anyone -- and then we will go over there. >> hi! armonta'e, hi,
everyone. i taught armonta'e last year. [applause] i was surprised when i saw you in the gym. my question for you is how does this affect you at school? is there a parallel structure to what you see with institutions of the police? is there a parallel issue with education? yes, no? how do you see it? armonta'e: i mean, i don't really see it as a problem. but it gets in the way. i mean, i understand the question. but as far as -- i don't feel as though being judged by the police -- that is every day. you don't get in the way. you just have to be stronger. you got to want to go to school. you got to know that when you go
to school, you might get into one of those situations and you have to just the above it. michele: since we are going to have law-enforcement officers on stage soon, and we could go on, but we have to move on to the byt panel, i want to end asking you to pose a question that they might consider answering. calvin: as far as law enforcement? michele: if you had a chance to sit down and speak to a law-enforcement officer, what would you want to know about how they do their job or what question would you post to people who work in law enforcement? one was my stepdad arrested that night? why was my little brother charged with a crime because i didn't have a light on my bike? michele: is there something you ask them about how to do their job? calvin, what about you?
calvin: what question would i have? kelly, after the case i've been doing research about within the u.s., 2007hey change that law in , that assaulting a police why in -- i want to know 2007 was a change to be so vague? prior to 2007, that law was specifically assaulting a police officer, hands-on assault with a police officer. just want to know why the law became so vague where people can actually get locked up for a long time lose your job, and not be able to get a job because of that law? what happens in 2007?
right, what led to the law -- [applause] michele: thank you very much. thank you. [applause] ♪ ta-nehisi: hello, everyone. i'm really excited to moderate the panel because i think in much of my writing, i deal with police misconduct and brutality, i deal with people on the other end of it, and i tend to hear one side of
it. i'm very, very privileged to be here to talk to actual police officers who are actually dealing with the work, and i'm hoping we can get a different perspective and get to the roots of some of the things we have been seeing and talking about in this country for the past couple years. davis, all with ron the way to my right, director of community oriented policing services at the department of justice. cathy lanier, chief of police for washington, d.c. a policenia matias, officer on the beach in camden, new jersey. i have a lot of questions for you. with chief to start lanier, because i want to get this right out of the way. we had a panel of folks -- people viewed a video and i reviewed it myself and for
citizens, it is disturbing. i want to give you an opportunity to respond. i've seen the video, i've seen parts of the video, not all of it. i know there is some production going on with finishing this film. of course, my thought, i tried to do some research, and i just side recently -- saw it recently. it happened, i believe, in 2012. the first thing i did was see if there was a complaint filed, what happened to the charges, so on and so forth, and i reached out to calvin, because i felt like i should reach out to calvin and offer an opportunity to speak with the family about the incident. i always say, because i've learned the hard way in my career, when i see video of something, and interaction with police and community members, i am not going to comment on that specific piece of video. there was no complaint filed, no investigation done, and i don't
have the benefit of hindsight that this was all looked into and there were statements taken all that other stuff. don't comment on those things anyway because as soon as i make a comment on a piece of the another, inevitably piece of video or something else will surface. but i will say this about that interaction. anytime i see and interaction between a community member and a police officer that ends badly -- there is a lot of ways it can end badly, and in this case you have a family, or father saying my kids are now afraid of the police. to me, that ends badly. anytime i see nothing like that, it bothers me, because there is too many positive things that police officers do every and interact within the community for one incident to change a family's perception, and we have to make sure that doesn't happen. i also think in terms of
watching the snippets of the video that i saw of calvin, it takes one or two small things to change the tone of an encounter with a police officer, and sometimes it is the tone of the police officer, sometimes it is the way you say something or how you say something, or the way -- your body line which when you approach, the circumstances at the time. but once that tension starts, it tends to not stop. and so i think the important thing for us as police officers is to remember that you have to be very, very conscious of the way you approach people on the way you speak to people. most people get defensive if they feel like you are being offensive. inng very respectful encounters and requests -- if it is not a crisis or a dangerous situation, a request versus demand, those things change the dynamics a little bit worried that is kind of what we tried
and educate our police officers the importance of encounters. you don't have authority and respect just because you wear our uniform. you just don't. [applause] the uniform is when to represent either fear and oppression or hope and safety. view thee how people uniform. the uniform doesn't decide for you. ask you,: i want to someone who is actually out there right now, when you are in an interaction with the community member, your not sure what is going on, do you try to communicate -- what is your approach when you are out there on the beat? virginia: my main approach is to engage the community, along with walking might beat on a regular basis, i try to engage in say, hello, how are you going, how is everything with you, and we are engaged in a conversation. get intopproach is to
my community where i work at, because if something happens there, they are more likely to speak you because they already theyyou did ok, maybe might not speak to the opposite because they don't know them, but officer matias, she works here, i know her, and a few more culpable. ta-nehisi: tell us a little bit -- i think this is appointed -- about why he wanted to be a police officer. virginia: several things happened when i was younger and older. when i was growing up, my mom owned a convenience store, and i was around kindergarten at the time, but she was robbed at gunpoint at her bodega, which is like a little grocery store. she always tells us a story about that and it was scary, because i could lost my mom that date. as time went on, a lot of my , and one of members my uncles, he owned a small grocery in north camden, and it
was around 2003, and he was robbed and shot, and he died from that room. wound. that impacted me, that really hit close to home, because they lost a loved one from an act of violence. i knew from there that i needed to make a change in my community, and i felt like i wanted to help make a difference. ta-nehisi: do you feel if you are making a change? .irginia: yes, i dovirginia: when i speak to, especially the children and change their perspective, i don't know what type of encounter their parents might have had, but when i speak to them, and they are like "hi, officer, how you doing, i want to be an officer," i think that is great. and also, when you engage them and change their perspective, so they can feel it for themselves how they engage. ta-nehisi: you know, i'm interested -- i was listening to
you talk a little bit, and i wonder, as young person, i don't know your background, but as high-tech prison, what your relationship was like with the police come when your perception was of the police. did your parents have a talk with you? i don't want to put anything on you, but i want to know what your experience was like. do you come from a law-enforcement family? is beingfficer matias very modest. she recently had a meeting with president obama and other officers to talk to him about what it is like to be a rank-and-file officer and what community policing looks like, and it helped shape the views of the administration of what good community policing looks like. she is making a difference here. [applause] now, for me, my father was a cop. that -- and bad side of get myself in trouble here -- i had protection that a lot of young men of color don't have.
my father was a cop and i could invoke that privilege, and that is what it is, privilege. yen i decided to be outhful and a knuckleheaded, like most young men are. cathy: young people. ronald: i have 2 young daughters, i stand corrected, absolutely. administration, and now that i stand here as a father, my son started his freshman year in college. i remember when he first got his license, i was faced with the dilemma that every parent, especially of a young man of color, to have this talk. i think this talk is a mandatory course for young men of color in the country, what to do when stopped by the police. i see that thinking that the overwhelming majority have done a tremendous job and continue to do a tremendous job i say that as someone who is proud to have won the badge for close to 30
years. but as a father, i still have to have that talk. now that my son is in college, i have multiple worries now. one is that you get stopped and there is an implicit bias that makes him a threatening person because he is a young man of color. he recently got stopped after we had this talk and he said the encounter one very well. he was speeding, got the ticket. that part didn't go very well. [laughter] nonetheless, he got the ticket. he is going to northwestern and he is in a major metropolitan area and i have to worry about violence, have to worry about him getting caught up, going out and having a good time with his friends and getting hurt again violence. father worry that every has, that the he does not give me a grandchild until i'm actually ready. i was not really -- when i grew up i did not have to face the same challenges so in that case i grew up a little bit more privilege, if you will. but as ae of --
father, i'm concerned about it, and as a society, it comes down to one question, if i may say this. the number one question we have to ask, whether as police chiefs or community numbers, white, black, across the board, is how do we see our young men of color? if we view them as a threat, then a lot of things become different. reaching for a drivers license is no longer a furtive movement. it all longer becomes youthful exuberance, it becomes will hold defiance, it becomes crime. a lot of things come out of our fear and implicit violence -- implicit bias. how do we view young men of color, to make sure we treat everyone with dignity and respect. [applause] know, one thing we were talking about behind the stage -- and this is just a pet theory of mine -- we live in a society right now where it strikes me, as an observer and a
citizen, that police officers are called into situations in sayh maybe -- let's just may be someone into the criminal justice system, invoking the powers of the criminal justice system, are not the best answer. as i said to you, ron, i particularly think about that case in columbia, south carolina, but there are so many cases like that where you can see other societal things going on, be it some sort of drug issue that can be thought about from a public health perspective, walter scott, where the child support system -- and that is not to excuse the officer, but that is their. for a mental health issue which is behind it. i wonder, what your perspective is -- are we at the point where police officers do too much? cathy: you know, policing has been pushing back on that for years and years. really, policing has become --
the analogy, policing has become the drive-through 24-hour mcdonald's of services, because 7, are the only 20 47, -- 24/ 365 days a year, whenever that crisis hits, or if some thing there be solved, and when are not other resources for it, well, the police will handle it. to some extent the community, they don't know who to call, are going to call the police will stop yes, i think there is a lot of things that we in policing try the best we can to train and prepare for, but we know that there is other people who are better providing that service, and if we could get police out of that business, we would. i think that is part of this. we really have to look at laws and enforcement and enforcement vs. regulation in some cases. regulation is one thing. you don't need a badge and again-- and a gun to regulate
things. ta-nehisi: concretely, what do you -- cathy: there are some things that are violations that officers are sent out to enforce. like minor violations of business regulations or maybe even minor or criminal in some cases, sales of cigarettes and things like that. are these things you need to have a badge and a gun in forcing? are these things more revelatory that could be handled through a civil process and eliminate the potential for things to go bad? i think there's a lot of things. we certainly need a mental health training. we are going to deal with people in mental health crisis. i would love it if people in this country knew that they had a loved one with a mental health crisis that they could dial another number other than 911 and get a mental health professional out that knows how a policeh that, vs.
officer who is been trained but has been trained in a 40-hour course to do with that. ronald: can i add one thing? let's make sure when we have the discussion we go beyond arrest. for the first time in 2014 we saw that our crime rates and arrest rates went down at the same time. as a community we have to accept that arrests do not automatically equate to public safety. we have to look at our sentencing and how long we throw people in jail. this is an area that we are seeing very bipartisan support, that keeping people in gels for of timetended periods cost us $80 billion a year. that is the kind of money that can be reinvested into providing services to $60,000 for treatment, $60,000 for incarceration. we are spending more to keep young men in jail than to give them's full scholarship to harvard. we need to prepare our young people across the board for society, and we need to convince ourselves that we don't fall for
the temporary satisfaction that comes with -- some of these problems were not created overnight, will not be solved overnight. they require you, require the police department, working together to make our communities safe. if you ask the police to do it, it means all i have to build a house is a hammer and that means everything looks like a nail and that is one direction. cathy: i was in a discussion with criminal justice partners the other day, and there was a discussion about investing in drug treatment, once people get into the system, and really, the solution for criminal justice partners is for us to put ourselves out of business. isn't that ultimately the goal, that you should have investment long before the person gets into the system? how about investment before you are incarcerated, not after you are incarcerated? now it makes the challenges that much more difficult. [applause] i hate to say my profession, but
more investment in social services and less investment in police and incarceration is probably the long-term solution. ta-nehisi: right. i know i have to open up to questions really quick. you alluded to this bipartisan moment that we find ourselves in from various perspectives and there is a lot of interest in the overall criminal justice reform, not just the police. i wonder -- not i wonder, i think that that consensus is actually built on very, very thin ice. we are in a moment where compared to 20's ago, the crime rates are much lower than they were, and even still, we have heard quite a bit about this black where you have the lives matter movement, activists observing police officers, filling police officers. it affects some of the crime rising of c in our cities. there was a direct relationship between those 2 things could we have heard this from very high places in our government.
and i wonder what you guys make of it. ronald: we are starting to see spike in violence in certain cities around the country. we have an obligation to do the toearch to find out why, go with empirical data to find out the root causes of it. the notion that suggests that america's finest you are looking at understated somehow don't do their job, i reject. the automatic connection between an activity and crime, we know through history we should not make that connection. we need to find out more data, we need to basically research, we need to ask the tough questions. but we need to have conversation to have the courage to ask the tough questions and come up with the answers. although we are seeing a spike, this is still from 40-, 50-year lows in crime. for we assume there is a national epidemic of violence, and all violence is some thing we should deal with them we
should take a look at what got us there. what is most heartening for me is i am listening to my colleagues like kathy and others dounderstand we need to evidence-based scenarios, we need to build. services and options. the idea that policing in a democratic society means that public scrutiny is not a threat to policing, it is the foundation of it, that you must demand that the community hold the police accountable. [applause] that is the only way it works. the greatest exertion of authority is use of force by police so it has to be criticized and scrutinized and evaluated and we have to do it fairly so that officers treat you with different and respect and all sides of the story are heard before you make the assumptions. cathy: i agree with him. ok, before we go to questions, i will put this to you quickly. as you walked out and you are doing your job and you see folks you on the camera phone,
does that affect your willingness to go do your job? virginia: no, i act the same way if i'm on camera or off-camera. i'm always professional and treat everybody with dignity and respect. ta-nehisi: ok, all right. i think we have time for maybe one question. i can't see where we are going. all right, here we go. beautiful. if both officers were in the video, what would you guys ?o differently what would you do? cathy: you are asking about the calvin video? i have only seen bits and pieces of the video, and i saw just a .ew days ago -- i will say this in 25 years i've been policing here, and i started policing here in 1990, when we really had a huge violent crime issue in the district, and relationships
were not very good with police. i learned very quickly that sometimes the simplest of things can turn a normal encounter between a police officer and a badunity member in a direction very quickly, this list of things, just the -- when i say send list of things, it is just the tone of voice, the way you approach a person, the way they perceive the way you respect them, and that goes both ways. i've seen a perceived lack of respect from the community member by the way or the tone and officer uses, and i've seen the same reaction from a police officer reveals they are not -- and so you just have to -- i've spent the majority of my career making sure that i am always conscious, especially when i enter a situation where there was already a crisis going on, something is already in a crisis situation, that i'm very respectful of the fact that i'm entering someone's home or someone's community, where there is always something bad
happening, that i have to be the one that makes the effort to respectful, and bring things back down to atone where we can have a reasonable discussion first. ta-nehisi: ok, i think we've got one more. we have time for one more. >> the question is largely for officer lanier. i am a community organizer and i as in anacostia on sunday for community event, where we were harassed by police on business and we had a sergeant called to the scene, and the sergeant continued to cross the other officers. i asked the officer about his tone and level of respect and i said sir, i've been in yes collision training and i've never been in one where matching tone is a de-escalation techniques, because he was yelling at the citizen, and he turned to me and he said "we don't have de-escalation training. we have verbal judo."
[laughter] i would like to ask you what verbal judo is and why we don't have de-escalation training. [applause] so the first question i would ask, and you don't have to answer -- if ever you have an interaction with a police officer and you don't feel it was appropriate, for any reason, i would encourage you to file a complaint so that the police can look into those things. you don't have to file with the police department here. some of the outside can take a look at what happened to address issues. i have to say -- >> e-mail -- cathy: before de-escalation was called de-escalation, because yes collision has been taught in police academies since i have come on and it has evolved over it years and we try to teach while we are in defensive various different
scenario-based training, but we have been doing it for many, many years, and this officer had to be a 10-12-year veteran, judo was one of the best de-escalation trainings out there, and it was taught nationwide, and it was very effective. i don't know if it was sarcasm or what without having no of information -- >> could you tell us what verbal judo is? cathy: de-escalation training. i'm sure you know -- ronald: it has been around since the 1990's. the concept of judo, redirecting energy, talking your way down from the situation. that is what it was designed to do. since that time it has been updated and modified, it gets more into real based scenario training, escalation where you can test it. we both kind of smile because it is going back a few years. cathy: going back a ways.
when they go through their annual training, we still put them through the escalation training as part of their ongoing training. a summarye not talked about that encounter or you want to give me the information, i would include u2 so we can look into it. >> [indiscernible] ts and it savese them money in training and all of that. is that the reason why it appears that black people and others are being treated less than human, as enemies? ronald: let me start with that one. , happyot of people belated veterans day. my office, we provide a lot of grants for hiring, and we absolutely support the hiring of veterans, not because it saves costs, but these are young men and women who was sacrificed a lot for their country and we have an obligation to help them return to the community and
provide support for them. we also know in many cases that the military understands the disciplinary process. i think it is the training, not the idea of the veteran. also keep in mind, the voluntary veteran force is pretty strong. one argument is that many of the volunteers are young men and women of color. i would be cautious about making that assumption. where i agree with you is making sure we don't militarize the police. even the military will tell you -- cathy: the military's teaching community policing in communities, and the military prior service does not afford any opportunities -- you still go through the -- you still have to have the same hiring requirements, you still have to go through the same police academy. it doesn't lower the standards. what it does for me in washington is we have the 60-college credit requirement, and some of our young men and
women go into the military and they don't go to college, and this affords those folks an opportunity to come onto the police department using their service in the military as opposed -- in exchange for the 60 college credits, which they can get when they -- >> [indiscernible] ta-nehisi: you going to let us talk. come on, you got it let us talk. these are local committee members, and they are -- the military is been teaching community policing for the last eight to 10 years. ronald: if there was a feeling that communities are being treated as the enemy, i don't think we are pushing back on your feeling with a bathroom and that may be the case where you are living, and the challenge we are looking at with community policing -- the only thing i would say is i don't think it would be accurate to attach it to one segment of policing being veterans. what i would take a look at him wherever ever there is this feeling, is the training of all your officers, how they are held accountable, how you are relating to the community, because i know as a former
police chief that looking at the men and women who have come from service, and i'm a veteran and my daughter is a veteran, and their sense of duty can be very positive. but that does not excuse the department not engaging in a supporting and treating the community right. i just think we should be hesitant, may be cautious, before making that automatic link. but i understand the concern. ta-nehisi: thank you. thank you. [applause] cathy: thank you. ronald: outstanding. ♪ scott: good afternoon. i'm really thrilled to be sitting here with danielle
encompasses work contradictory threads -- what is diverting violent criminals from the prison system, and the other is helping victims heal, which is kind of an uncommon combination. the vstice initiative at era institute divers them from prisons, but only on the condition that the victim agrees to this. reading about your work, i found it completely, radically original and generally fascinating, and i think you will all, too. i want to cover a lot of ground here. i want start by asking about your own background and how you came to this work and had to talk about the truly remarkable work you are doing through the common justice solution, which will blow the audience's mind. let me ask about your background. how do you come to this work? you have got skin in this game in ways that are unusual
facility in your position. .anielle: sure so thank you, it is an honor to be with you all. i grew up in chicago in the 1980's and 1980's at the height of what we call the crack epidemic, but also the beginning of the emergence of mass incarceration in this country. i saw the ravaging impact that had on communities, including communities i lived in. i witnessed harm, i committed harm. as a white woman, the pain i survived was met with outrage and compassion, and as a white woman, the pain i caused was met with mercy. and so i came to understand the racial disparities in the criminal justice is done someone who benefited from them. and there were 2 things that flowed from that. one is the sense of obligation to remedy that in equity, and the other was a sense of possibility, knowing that if a system was capable of seeing me
as a child who made mistakes and capable of being something different and better, that the mechanisms were in place to do that for everyone, and that i couldn't be persuaded that we didn't have been evident. scott: i don't want to do well on this, but to put a finer point on it, you were arrested at age 15 for grand theft auto and you got six months committed to servicing and an african american male got six years in prison. imagine that would provide a stark sense of the problem of racial disparity in criminal justice. danielle: that's right, and one of the natures of privilege is those of us who have that privilege concealed from us so we can experience it as merit, as the product of our hard work, our good values, our qualities. i am a hard-working person with good values and good qualities and so was my codefendant. i had the blessing very early on of coming to understand my privilege as privilege, to have
that curtain taken away. i think when that falls away for any of us, it puts in place a lifelong series of commitments. wett: i want to make sure get down to a granular level about the work you are doing, which is truly impressive and innovative. but to talk in general terms, your program, you decided -- your belief is too many people are incarcerated, but you decided to focus squarely on the problem of violence, and the intersection of the perpetrator of the violence and the victim of violence. while most programs designed at rolling back mass incarceration youaimed at perpetrators, talked about it in a very significant way about the victims, which is a little bit counterintuitive, because you are telling me backstage that there are lobbies that are based whoictims rights movements are pushing for longer sentences, more draconian punishment. why focus on violence and how
did you end up with this bringing together victim and perpetrator? danielle: so i don't actually believe as a country that we have demonstrated a serious committed to reducing violence and there are three main things that would be different if we had that commitment, and there is evidence that we don't. the first is that if you look at the national crime victimization areey, which everyone knows underestimates of victimization, a full 50% of the victims of violent crime say they didn't call the police when they were hurt. sustainedtims who serious injuries don't call police. we know the numbers are vastly higher because two bridges of great in that survey, you have to have a stable phone line and you have to stay on the phone when the federal government calls with the survey and you have to self identify as a victim. the vast majority of people who survive violence prefer nothing to everything we have on offer. if we really cared about
violence and really count about victims, we would regard that as a moral crisis, and we would treat it as such. the divestment is not only about policing. i think that is the mistake we make. it is that people know that the best result that system can deliver is the incarceration of the person who hurts them. and they do not believe that that would deliver them the safety and justice they deserve. that problem of the enormous portion of the victims who say what you have for me is worse than nothing, if we actually get about their pain, it would animate us to action. the second thing we would do differently if we actually cared about reducing violence is we would ask who are victims and what do they want, what do they need to be safe? we would find that a young man of color is 10.5 times are likely than i am to be wrought resulted. -- rob and assaulted. and we would find that the vast majority of the victims, when you ask what they want, ask for
things that are entirely supported in the literature of post trauma and violence intervention and things that help people heal. they want answers. they want their voices heard. they want control relativel to the event and to repair the harm the best they possibly can, and to believe that the person that hurt them won't hurt anyone else again. the system we have in place fails to deliver victims any of that. we should be unsurprised by the pain in the face of our inadequate response. we have abdicated our responsibility to them. if we asked what it would like to build a criminal justice is done in which the greatest portions of victims experience justice and safety when engaged with law-enforcement, that is not a radical question, it is not an anti-police weston, but he would give us a completely different set of answers than the one we have arrived at the third thing we would do differently, if we cared about reducing violence, is we would have responses to violence that in any way had any bearing on
what we know about because of a violence, so when we understood what caused violence, our response to it would be designed to diminish those causes. drivers oforde violence that emerge from the literature about it our shame, isolation, exposure to violence, and diminished economic opportunities. of the keyue that 4 things that incarceration produces our shame, isolation, exposure to violence, and diminished abilities to meet once economic needs. we have developed an intervention that we know is characterized by precisely the things that drive violence. if it were true that incarceration reduce the violence, we would have the safest country not only globally, but in the history of humankind. [applause] it doesn't work. and if we care about violence and we care about survivors, we would stop relying on something that doesn't work. do want to live
time to get down to talk to some of the cases that you have dealt in your work.y that is sort of the answer to my next question. onin, this idea of focusing bringing together the victims and the perpetrators of violent crime. wasn't the response to this from razy, this "you're c is nuts, what are you doing?" danielle: generally, yes. --hink the exception to that no person, no responsible party, which is the word we used, gets into common justice on the consent of the person they heard. these are people who survive very serious crimes, a serious injury, and they are the fraction of people who call police and the smaller fraction who went to juries. they are the jailiest subset you will find.
find me that consensus on anything else. what we know is the part of that is about the things we first think of -- compassion, mercy, but for the grace of god go i, that could have been my child, that could have been me, i believe in second chances. i would argue that accounts for 20 people -- 20% of people who say yes. the rest say yes for practical reasons. a choice about what they believe is most likely to deliver to them a sense of safety and justice, to secure the safety for themselves and people like them. if there is one thing crime survivors want most, it is to believe that the person who hurt them will not do the same thing to anyone else again. they do not believe incarceration will deliver that. fromthey choose to divest that, they are making the most evidence-based decisions anywhere in our system, because they are right about its failure to keep them safe. scott: we will get you one more instion after this, but this
reading about your work, pick what you want to talk about them together, but there were three categories or instances of best dealtdon't with with. you and one victim of a violent crime who actually asked to meet with his violent mother so that the mother could train him in self-defense techniques so he could defend himself against the very chokehold that the mother had applied. there is another one where you had a violent offender and the victim who came together to make a film about what happened. and i think this is more than a single instance -- you have got the victims of violent crimes asking to meet their assailants and to introduce their assailants to their own children, so that they could see these are the children you almost deprived of a parent. talk about that a little bit. that story is the most confusing without context could
we sit together and the people who have caused harm sit with those they have harmed and reach agreements on how to make things as right as possible. one of those processes is the responsible party, he said every man in my family has served at least 10 years in prison. the older brother served 11 years. woneach of those years, he the prison boxing championship, and he is the one who taught me how to fight. that night on the street come i showed you the wrong end of it. he said come he is also the person who taught me how to defend myself, and if you want, i will teach that, too. the stick got around to the victim and he said i would love that. and you are not allowed to talk if you don't have the stick. we respect that rule. it is hundreds of years old, you should respect it. we bring them together, and it is important to understand, the harmed party, an immigrant to
this country, worked in the back of a kitchen for cash come he was robbed on his way home of his weeks wages. after it happened, he was terrified to come home. he took taxis back from the city come which took half of his wages. none of us can afford a 50% pay cut, and he certainly couldn't. and even if a little old lady came behind him, his mind with race and his stomach would turn, and a his ability to go outside, diminished his ability for relationships, to pursue his dreams, keep his job, all those things. he was deeply affected by it. we bring them together based on this agreement in a martial arts studio undertrained supervision, and at first, the young man who -- committed the robbery don't do this at home, i'm not really teaching it. andid it repeatedly come then he switched position, and this young man is being held by the same man who health and that night on the street and he is coaching him this time.
a little to the right -- ok, that is the point. and then he uses more and more until he is holding this young man with all his strength, and repeatedly that man breaks himself free. the next day, that young man who was hurt called me on my cell phone, which is reserved for emergencies, and called to say "i'm telling you to save nothing happened." doesn't tell like an emergency. could you say more? "i just walked by a six-foot man and nothing happened." meeting his heart didn't race and his stomach didn't turn. half an hour before he had to be to work and he could walk by as many people as possible, and he was on the phone with me, and he nothing. "i see another one coming nothing." tell me he doesn't deserve that. and shame on us if we continue to do something that puts them at greater risk of harm, that ed, thatrauma unaddress
increases the chance he will pass that pain to others or turn that inward. [applause] we are out of time and i'm going to deprive you asking questions because i want to ask one final question before we depart the stage. i believe we are about to be followed, waiting in the wings over here, prosecutor and a former george w. bush administration official, who will argue about the need for us to stay tough on crime and the need for long i'm going to give you an unusual preemptively- rebut that. why is that point of view -- and i apologize if i'm creating an
oversimplified story. respect the desire to see a person's face -- i recognize the difficulty of those jobs. one, we have equated punishment and accountability. punishment means tacitly sustaining suffering that someone else causes and doesn't require anything of you. accountability requires acknowledging what you have done and stepping up, answering people's questions, making changes to make things as right as possible and never do it again. this is a far harder thing and you will not find anywhere softer on crime than a prison. i believe when we hurt people, we go it to face them. i think we have let almost everyone who has got caught for causing harm off the hook. when we conflate punishment and accountability, we inflict harm
that is not useful and excuse people from the obligations that do arise. the other thing i would say as people often use high recidivism rate people coming home from prison to justify longer sentences. our prison industry is the only industry that gets to justify its own expansion based on its own failure. if i'm a mechanic and say your car is worse than it was when you brought it to me, i needed longer for twice the cost, you are not coming back. fact cannot look to the that the results incarceration produces for individuals and communities, the devastation cannot become the justification for doing it more. scott: thank you very much. [applause] ♪ ♪
gett's not often that you pre-budded and apologized to. bit to voice his we are going to hear from next, from a lot of the issues we have been wrestling with drought the day from a different perspective and a long perspective of experience. we welcome your voices to the stage. let me introduce john walters, who was drugs are under george w. bush and steve cook, president of the national association of u.s. attorneys. we are continuing on the theme of crime and punishment, particularly talking about drug crimes and considering whether the current push for lighter sentencing and getting rid of mandatory minimums might in fact do more harm than good. let me start with an issue in the news that has come up in a couple of conversations on stage
already and that is the push from the obama administration -- more than 6000 drug-related inmates are being released early and benefiting from this , more than 40,000 are expected to follow. i gather that in principle, you think this is a terrible idea. why? john: i don't think it's a bad idea for the president to use clemency power. the institutions of justice may be not operating as they you can takenk responsibility for the decisions you make and justify them. i think the authority to do this isn't the question. if the larger issue is the question and some of the discussion has been has the criminal justice system then unjust in the way it has tried to handle crime? i recognize you can draw the should what sentences
be, but i also recognize you have to face the fact that some of the current system was led by the victimization of some of the who now the administration claims it champions, some of the people you have heard today. i served originally in the reagan administration in the education department, which is how i got involved working on education and prevention on drugs. i got into the area of drug control first in prevention and then looked at law enforcement. in community meetings in anacostia, harlem and watts and i've and in the neighborhoods and sat with the people who are suffering. i spoke at a funeral of angela heron in baltimore, who had entire family killed, including five children in a fire harming -- firebombing why criminals who
she stood up to in her neighborhood. wasperson convicted of that out and probably not supervised from a criminal conviction. we have to ask ourselves, on one hand do we want mercy and on the other hand, do we want to stop victimization? policewho called the just like anyone else does, in their neighborhood, the police are not able to stop the crime adequately. their kids walk act and forth across areas controlled by gangs and drug dealers and they want the same thing people want. don't want misbehaving police officers. everybody understands that and they're still can be human beings that fail in every institution. the people who are the largest victims are the people who live in larger socioeconomic groups,
especially african-american males. whether or not it's a good idea for people serving sentences on drug offenses, given what we know about overcrowding, about how much it costs the american taxpayer to keep someone in prison for a long time, why not knock a year or two off of some of these sentences and start bringing them down to bring these problems under control question mark -- under control? john: editorial minimums were designed to create a quality across the federal system for people -- in one case you did not happy being treated more harshly than in other cases. in some ways, you are focusing on the wrong things. if you want to stop the number victims ando are
victimizers, you have to stop the point where they go into the system. you have to do a better job with education and be doing a better job about the family. we haven't fixed that problem and it's not just a person of color issue. it's becoming a matter of white socioeconomic issues. if schools don't work, if the juvenile justice system doesn't work and the public health if thedoesn't work, family takes a walk and it doesn't work and we don't talk about that as a mainstay, you expect the criminal justice system to pick this up, no matter what color they are. that's the wrong way to fix the problem and you cannot fix the problem by letting males -- you have to face the fact, you look offend over people and over again.
it's not the first time offender. it's not a matter of we didn't know this person was an offender. we let them in the system and we don't respond effectively. i'm disappointed the president hasn't made this more a priority until he's almost out of office. steve, you made an interesting point as a prosecutor that harsh prison sentences serve among other purposes, from your point of view, they coax witnesses to cooperate. that they give you a tool. steve: it is a critical part of mandatory minimums and how they work for federal prosecutors. a couple of things that are important to know about that -- we are not talking about releasing low-level offenders. the federal offenders are full of significant drug traffickers. 5% of the individuals
incarcerated in federal prison were found by a district judge to have a mitigating role to have a minor participation. they are significant traffickers. the second thing is as you talk about these releases, we're not talking about 6000, we are in the third round of reductions. the first two involve orders of early release. between 6000nd is and 8000 this weekend will be followed by another 40,000. these are not low-level offenders. the people eligible for these releases were eligible regardless of the drug quality, and a criminal history, regardless of their ties to gangs or the drug cartels. caught withual was
213 kilograms of 90 8% for cocaine and $500,000 in cash. he is out as a result of these productions. if anyone is laboring under the impression that these are low-level offenders, we should disabuse them of that. some of them are coming off of a dozen years -- dealing marijuana on the street corner and if we all agree about a pinnacle in the american justice system that the crime the proportionate -- steve: no one is in prison for selling dime bags on the street. reducing: if it's not sentences for these crimes, what do you do? a ten-year minimum didn't
trigger until you deal with a kilogram of heroin. $70,000 to $100,000 worth of heroin. that sets the minimum. the sentences being imposed with respect to those mandatory minimums are not the crazy sentences they are being made out to be. these are not full marijuana street traffickers. would you like to see changed? if we agree the criminal justice system could be better, what do you think about that? steve: i do not think the federal criminal justice system is broken. let me say this. with respect to the criminal justice system, congress passed a series of laws that allowed us to put major drug traffickers and violent offenders back in prison.
we started to fill the prisons up and by 1991, we saw historic violent crime rates that were asked loading and a start to come down. we have continued to put violent felons in prison and as we did that, violent crime continued to come down until right now, and you have heard it from other speakers, we are experiencing historic lows in violent crime. are mosttoric laws beneficial to the communities that were hit hardest in the early 80's and those are areas that were ravaged by these drug traffickers. john: let me also say something. the corrosion in this discussion and the reason it may be unhelpful -- unhelpful is there are embedded falsehoods in this. there was a reference this morning -- i saw some of this on the streaming feed. low-level nonviolent drug offenders are not filling our
prison. that's being repeated by a lot of people. the data i have seen our half the inmates are drug offenders. federal prison is a specific area of enforcement. they were interdicted moving drugs from places like mexico and colombia. let me finish. the decline in violent crime and offensesntration of putting people in state prisons, the biggest single category are violent review offenders. you have had violent crime go down, tens of thousands of people have not been demised since -- have not been victimized since we have had increased enforcement. now we are not comfortable with the number of people in prison. we value freedom. someone goes to
prison, it's a failure in most of our mind. not to to fix that is say we're not going to enforce the law. we did that 25 years ago and we had a lot of crime. we know what doesn't work, so let's not have amnesia. we need to bring people into a situation where they are not going to be bills when they're at risk. we have not done a good job on that. that's not the criminal justice system possible. that is societal institutions, beginning with family, school and health. secondly, we need to take people who are imprisoned in real out -- and allow reentry that works. mental healtholve care and reentry programs and support. intot a lot of money programs like treatment in the criminal justice system, diversion programs and drug courts, working on juvenile offenders, working on reentry
programs for people coming out of institutions. that is not a republican or democratic matter, it something everyone wants to have. but when it comes time to appropriate money, they don't do it. so you don't have these programs when you need it. stayingy: you are not -- not saying it is mutually : after 12-- john years, that person is coming out. you are going to have to do a better job of giving those people a better way of not becoming victimizers. protect angela dawson and her five children from being killed and protect neighborhoods from being infested with predatory criminals and drug trafficking. you may be sensing that you have a little work to do to persuade the audience.
john: i've been to a lot of places in this city and this audience is not a cross section. i'm sorry. they have listened to the other views -- john: i am darth vader. ms. kelly: if you have 60 seconds to make the case to people who believe the system of mass incarceration is a blight on minority communities is exacting a huge cost on already vulnerable communities who think mass incorporation -- incarceration is a pox on amount -- on american values, what argument can you make that it is the solution for the way forward ? steve: first, let's make sure the statutes i'm talking about, the sentencing structure under attack now is one that was put
into wide bipartisan support. pushedude it was being by the black caucus. the reason the black caucus was pushing that legislation was those communities were being victimized proportionally. we see the same thing and john said this -- we are repeating history. as we release these high-level drug traffickers, those very communities are being victimized. we are playing with fire here. ms. kelly: one thing is we are seeing the obama administration pushing hard for lesser sentencing. you see the koch brothers say the same thing. the latest from charles koch --
these sentences are ruining peoples's lives. president obama said it's not often you get the coat others and naacp lined up on one side of an issue, but when it comes to lesser sentences for these is a ship that has sailed. things ronald reagan is famous for saying is that facts are stubborn things. a lot of times people forget their history and forget who's going to pay the price. people thatbout where you want release, they are not going to go back to. you have to protect people like the young father in baltimore who was assassinated the other day trying to protect his children. that is a voice that's not heard. spend a lot ofi time with. with kidslot of time
in treatment and a lot of time with people in prison and we are not going to get there by saying a certain number of people, whether or not they committed a crime should not go to prison. that's going to bring more victimizers and it's not about punishing people, it's about protecting people and allowing them to go on with their lives. there are thousands of people alive today, many of them, arguably most of them, young black males that would have been dead under the old regime's. the fact of the matter is in a certain way, you are criticizing the success from the hindsight and luxury of not they sing some of these problems. i think you do have to reincorporate people from prison, but we're not going to do that by illuminating accountability. by get better performance --
eliminating accountability. you get better performance by encouraging responsible behavior. i appreciate that. we can take this discussion for another hour because you prompt a number of things, but we have one more question and i would like to raise the stakes. setting aside economic considerations, recidivism, blog aboutderations, just the plain old americans value of redemption, that people deserve a second chance? you can make the mistake you can pay for it, you should be able to come out after having served a sentence proportionate to your crime. why not for these drug offenders? john: i don't think anybody as opposed to that. i don't think i've ever met anybody in the government or a nonprofit area that's against that. of course we want people to be redeemed.
that's in our dna as americans. we want to see people use their skills and be successful. we can argue about how long, but we don't think consequences don't mean you believe in redemption. the strongest argument is when you hold people accountable, they see the need to change a beer. portion depending on how you look at it do redeem their selves and go on to read that -- to productive lives. not -- i started on the education and treatment side. i do think the criminal justice system is being maligned and criticized or things it's really not doing. we are doinghand,
things are going to make people's lives worse. i know too much about the people who will be victims when we make that policy, when we allow drug trafficking to go on in people's innocent don't protect citizens. we are making a serious mistake that is completely unnecessary because we have the knowledge to not do it. steve: the only thing i would point out is we have talked about the incarceration rate going up and the impact of violent crime. we have not talked about the early release and sentencing reform and that right now, we have a 20% or higher violent crime -- homicide increase in 35 major cities across the country. we are already going back up.
we will have by the end of this fiscal year by 11%. we have cut back on prosecutions by about 25%. midst of the month -- of the worst hair when an opioid epidemic in our history. the right response is not to reduce the penalties, not to release wholesale thousands of experienced high-level drug traffickers. it is the wrong approach. and many questions about the cause and effect -- do you two want to pre-but who is coming out on stage? we will leave it there. thank you very much. [applause] ♪ ♪
eric: it's good to be with you. i am eric ward, program officer and race at the ford foundation. we are proud to support this important conversation and dialogue and i'm grateful to all the speakers for their truths and ability to help us make sense of the history in such a way as to reveal generations of policy decisions and clinical calculations that have led us to this current reality. not a natural phenomenon. it is a byproduct of systems and structures, reinforced by prejudice and discrimination. masse it in a system of criminalization, but we also see it in educational systems, financial institutions from one community to the next. an 80-year-old social justice organization, we are continuing aligningon, but we are
ourselves to disrupt not simply the manifestations of inequality, but more importantly, the root causes, the ones that have become entrenched and calcified in the ways you have heard today. we stand here and spire by those lack immigrant muslim and south asian movements and networks demanding an end to over criminalization and mass incarceration. the ford foundation understands that the hard work is still ahead, but we are committed to strengthening these movements and networks to take on these challenges. when we see organizing in ferguson grounded in the best protest techniques and aided by the power of technology, there is a ray of hope. when we see immigrant women in texas and california engaged in inger strikes to protest detention camps, we are
encouraged. what we say -- when we see protest at the university of missouri, there is a sense of the possible. though after the last way for hours, nina simone's song might "eed to be changed to "missouri -- we cannot do this alone. we must take a personal commitment. we must ask ourselves what would we have done in 1965? we made?ces have the truth is the choices we are making now -- freedom to live, love, and work, free from fear and bigotry and the opportunity to grow, room to breathe, that is what we all mean. let us each make the commitment to continue building the movements necessary to undo the structures, perpetuating the
quality and know that the ford foundation stands here eager to walk that path alongside with you. thank you. [applause] >> i have with me this afternoon to scholars who have been doing some interesting work at an unusual intersection. title "the state of the black family and mass incarceration." --uick question to the room how many of you have had a parent arrested, imprisoned, or jailed? the themes of this conversation, i have here to my atht, talia thomas, a senior howard university and a double major in criminology and sociology.
i have bahiyyah muhammad professor bahiyyah muhammad --professor bahiyyah muhammad, an associate professor at howard as well. professor mohammed has led a very interesting class that talia was a student in. describe what this program you created at howard looks like. this program looks really unique. we structure classes and as part of my criminal justice class, i required my student to live at a prison for seven full days as part of my course curriculum. that particular experience is .ot out of the norm students are structured buying reading numerous things that govern and prepare them for this experience. it is our way of allowing real life experiences to merge with what we are reading and talking about in the classroom.
let's take a minute and look at the cots that the students sleep on during spring break. and what does the classroom look like. can we see it photo -- can we see a photo of the classroom? you went to a women's prison and spent the week living in a women's prison. my understanding is you were not completely sold on the idea of spending a week in prison at the outset of this program. talia: most definitely. , ia student of criminology was more focused on crime theories and things of that nature. when the class was presented to me, i thought what can i tell a parent about how to be a parent? i'm still a child. i'm still under my own parents supervision. what advice can i offer them on
how to be better parents outside of their current situation? realizeme a while to that it wasn't even about that. it was more about service. it's about service and taking time out of your own life to just the a listening ear or a kind friend to someone who may not have that option as often as they would like to. matt: i pulled the room about how many folks had an experience with their folks intersecting with the prison system. one of the things i think we hear often in this conversation is that there is actually a stark divide between communities that are heavily policed, where there are intersection with prison and jail, where things are ordinary and routine and in some places, constant. whole other universe, a set of
communities were people do not have many intersections with a women's prison other than "orange is the new black." had you ever been to a prison before? toia: no, i had never been prison before and i never had any relatives who had been incarcerated. that's another reason i was apprehensive. i didn't know what i can offer the situation. how do you ground your students in the experience of going to this prison? how do you prepare them and what whenu ask them to look for they meet the mothers and students who will be joining them? bahiyyah: the class is completely structured around this idea of mass incarceration. so we have calls and mail and
visits. i structured the entire class that way. into thedents calling correctional facility and having lecturesions about over the phone so that they could see the frustration and the time limitation and they could see how important every single word is. then i saturated them with a lot of different, exciting and engaging readings like "orange is the new black." we read the book and a lot of different ratings to have a vision in their minds before going to the facility. it was like a culture shock. if you are going to have a degree in this area and if you want to fight for social justice, you need to see how it plays itself out realistically. matt: how many of you have seen "orange is the new black?"
how did your experience of the prison different from the fictional one many of us have access to? is veryhe reality different from what is portrayed on tv. it's not a bunch of fun and games and the women are not -- i wouldn't say anybody is ever really happy to be there. it's not a comedy, it is real life. they miss their children and they miss the lives they once had. that's the biggest difference. outside of that, everything is spot on. the women at this facility were able to move more freely. it was a minimum-security facility, so you see that aspect. the clothing was pretty much the livingd it was like "orange is the new black from the outside looking in.
matt: in 2011, you interviewed more than 200 children of parents who had been incarcerated. how does a parent talk to their child and what sort of guidance who areffer parents imprisoned to speak to their child about this experience? one of the things i identified going in as a young researcher is a lot of the families have dealt with many years of incarceration but had never talked about it. for the first time in 10 or 15 years, they were sitting down with a stranger who is a researcher coming in and they ase upset and frustrated they grapple with this narrative they are sharing with me. at the end of the conversation, they talked about how really good it felt.
i would start by saying just tell the truth. the children are ready for that. i've interviewed children from 17 years old all the way down to seven and they really want to know. i interviewed them in their bedrooms with the door closed. door behind me immediately and just started to cry saying don't i deserve it? don't die deserve to be told the truth? -- don't i deserve to be told the truth? he was upset and frustrated and i tried my best as a researcher to explain to him that is out of protection. a lot of the grandmothers i talked to talk about not sharing the information because they didn't know where to start. they felt maybe they would be thereg pandora's box and would be questions they could not answer. look at thetake a
coloring book. i have a couple of pages of the coloring book. who is this for and why? this is for everybody. this is for everybody. this for the elderly grandparents and younger kids. the prison alphabet. it's a coloring book. it does not arrive with all of the images colored in. bahiyyah: the first is a coloring book for children of incarcerated parents and then there is a picture book. going into these schools, although the teachers are not talking about it, we know large numbers of students are affected by it. it allows the conversation to start their. the coloring book is for individuals who want to engage and interact with the child. things to engage
with then to color? for those grandmothers or caregivers who don't know where to start, you can have the coloring book placed on the bed and that's just the start of the conversation. one of the emotions that children have to deal with as they come to grips with where their parents are is stigma. stigma that attaches to themselves and not just their parents. effects isintended stigma. processou help a child how they should react? should they feel stigmatized? i have an initiative to empower children of incarcerated parents all different nations. i've been in africa, asia,
dubai, all over, to tell them you are amazing. parent in have a prison and still love them. 90% of the children when say i love my mom and it kills me my sister speaks about her in this way, but i live here. this is where i want to be. i told children to accept their narrative. interviewedldren i who were white children were empowered because they talk about their stories often. there were books that talk about parental incarceration and created a book that allows them to be of the same complexion and educate them. because theyowered were able to say when i'm 18 and graduating, my dad will be home from prison. it's like they were able to map out their lives. i work with families to see their lives outside of
incarceration, that they are innocent individuals. more importantly, i highlight success stories. we talk about stories all the way to the point where we are looking at death, we are looking less lifen and having expectancy, but we don't know anything about success or resiliency. i feel we could learn a lot from those examples. children wholowing are born in prison but they have phd's and are attending harvard. a lot of the students are quiet about it because why would you share it if there's no positive side to it? feel free to chime in -- what's the one thing if we were to go to a women's prison tomorrow, what would you want us
to look for? what would you want us to see? i would want you to shut everything you have seen on the media, everything you have read about in newspapers and articles and peer-reviewed journals and see it from the eyes of the child. nature,n its innocent through its purity, see it for what it is. laughter.nd see those things happen there every day. but we are stigmatized by the things we read and write and the pressures of the academy and of society. i tell the students all the time, use your five senses. are you kidding me? what do you smell? what does it feel like? what are you seeing? that's on the level of the child and that is beyond some of the places we are as adults.
matt: thank you very much. [applause] ♪ michele: we're going to continue the conversation and talk about what happens when people leave risen. we have two wonderful people to help us with this conversation. differentard lots of stories, but now we are going to look at what happens when people actually leave. i have all the way to my right .n red, nneka jones tapia she remembers visiting her own father in jail. he was incarcerated and that was an active part of your life, thinking about what would happen
behind bars, talking to him youugh plexiglass and now are the warden at a prison with a very different approach to dealing with prisoners and dealing with the outside community, so we will deal a debt. susan burton is the founder and executive director of a new way of life project. sentence sixth risen in los angeles, she was fortunate in that she was given access to treatment services in santa monica. it made her realize if i have access to this service in santa monica, why can we have it in south l.a. and south-central l.a.? now she runs a new way of life. she helped her first clients in an apartment she was able to get after she left the treatment center. we are going to hear about her story as well.
your father was incarcerated and any people after that experience would probably run as far in the other direction as they could and now here you are as the warden of a very large prison in illinois. why did you decide to follow that path and how was your early experience as a child and how did it informed way you run a prison now? i'm a firm believer in god ordering my steps for me. i did not set out to become the executive director of cook county jail, nor did i set out for a career in prison but i do believe those early experience helped shape and mold a desire in me. i can say i never learned i was an at risk youth until i sat in my first college course in psychology and hearing the definition of that, my reality was normal for me. helped shape and mold
our family unit. even know my family was in prison, we had sunday dinner at the prison. prison was much different. this was in the 80's and i remember her cooking our sunday dinner and we would take it in a picnic ask it to the prison. by not running from that truth, i was able to grow into the .oman i am now i obtain my doctorate in psychology and decided i wanted to help other people and support them to rebuild life and see life he on the part of themselves. how have you tried to change the system so it and make coming to cook county would have a different experience? many in the corrections system would think their job ended once the prisoner left the gates with that brown paper bag.
you say the prison system needs to stop thinking that way. yes.: for a long time, the prison system stopped correcting behavior and we were guilty of letting go once the person left outdoors. what i have come to realize and our sheriff has come to realize is that we know we have to come from a place much different than that. our arms wrapped around those individuals, so we offered therapeutic treatment and give them job readiness skills and education. we have alumni groups where they fall in -- come in -- michele: prison alumni groups? usually word that is connected with higher education. you chose that word carefully. yes.: it's how you see the problem.
what isn't healed, you have to hand it down. you have to know they have a resource in us even post release, so we have alumni groups for people post-release from our jail coming in and talking to men about their experiences and talking with of theher about some obstacles and we have staff members that help them navigate those obstacles while they are in the community. what are the greatest obstacles when you leave a penal institution? leaving a place of incarceration and coming back into the community, you are faced with the challenges of ,oing a job or having an id having normal papers, things we take for granted so often. incarcerated and for the
time you are incarcerated, whether it's one year, two years, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, you are not able to make such a simple decision of what am i going to be able to eat tonight. leave an institution, all of those choices and living responsibilities are given back to you. andan be overwhelming daunting and that's why i started a new way of life. michele: when you say all of those responsibilities are giving -- are given back to you, it seems like that would be a gift. you get to choose what you eat and where you live, but you say that's something hard to take on after living in a place where everything is dictated to you. it is. when you are incarcerated, you can ask something as simple as can i go to the bathroom? once you are released back into the community and there's no support, you are trying to
figure out how you are going to make a good life for yourself thatse everyone i know thees prison leaves with hope and intention of starting a new and better life. it can be overwhelming when there are no resources or support to help you navigate into a you step back place where you are making these new choices and decisions for yourself. begane: and this literally in your home at the kitchen table? susan: yes. after serving multiple prison sentences, i was given treatment in a wealthy area, santa monica. we had a chance to talk in the back. you say multiple sentences --
you were in a spiral at that point. susan: in 1981, my five-year-old by was accidentally killed an lapd detective. my life spiraled. i drank, our communities were saturated with crack. i smoked drugs and i went to prison. and i went to prison over and over again. when i asked the judge for treatment and explained to him my son had gotten killed, i was hurting, i needed help, he still semi-to prison. upon my last release in 1996, someone told me about place in said monica. i made it to that place in santa monica and there i found a community that was treated much community iom the came from in south l.a.. people with the same amount of drugs or more were diverted to
diversion programs and given court cards and community service. prison forot sent to multiple years and it dawned on me like what's wrong with this picture? when i was at that treatment facility, i committed to helping other women in south l.a. find a safe place and begin the process of healing and directing them back into the community. bought a little bungalow and started a new way of life. [applause] michele: who was your first client and how did you decide you can do this? after so much had happened, you kind of get angry. the inspiration
and determination. i would leave the house and go downtown, skid row, where women stepped off the bus and i knew ,hem, they were my community they stepped off the bus leaving prison. everyone comes downtown to the greyhound bus station. it's a stones throw from skid row. and say hey, them girl, i have a house. you can come there and live and and we safe environment have created a community of formerly incarcerated women supporting and helping each other. all of us were successful. 10, we weregroup of all huddled up in there together, supporting, nurturing, to helping one another
overcome incarceration and break the cycle of addiction and incarceration. i want to say what i feel like is the trap of incarceration. just sprung back into the community without any support, there's not much left for you to do but cycle back. i imagine you don't want to see a repeat customers. when people leave cook county jail, what do they need that they are perhaps not getting enough of now to make sure you don't see them again? nneka: support. needone has a different but we know housing, education, many things we have heard about you can't live independently and support yourself, you are destined to return back to that life. to get abut it's hard job if you have to fill out a form and say you've been in jail or explained to a landlord that you have spent time kind bars.
you can't get the education if you can't get a paycheck. nneka: with the program we started at cook county jail, it's called a mental health transition center. we started in august of 2014 and we had a job fair where we reached out to different you bes and said would willing to come in the jail and recruit new employees? to see our gentlemen prepared, we gave them resume writing skills, interview writing skills and upon discharge, many of them are offered jobs when they leave. themt in touch with through the alumni group and many of them are successful. we have not had anyone returned to our custody. [applause] is this emulated in other places? is.a: i don't think it
in speaking to some of the german currently in the program, they challenge me to move this toward our juveniles. ine heard many people speak toer venues about the need prevent this cycle and if we are talking about true prevention, we need to look at our children. we are at an interesting place where reform is being discussed at high levels and there are bipartisan discussions around us. there was an interesting moment where president barack obama visited a prison and you can see print -- pictures you have not seen before with a president sitting down with men wearing prison uniforms and the president walking through a high-security prison. no other president has done that. how is that viewed in the prison community and what you make of this moment? what is at stake?
nneka: it's about time. sees ourt time someone reality and the reality is much different from what i heard the general and before us speak about. we are incarcerating individuals who'd should not be in jail and imprisoned. we are incarcerating fathers who need to be the heads of household and incarcerating women who need to live successful lives and be mothers to their children. when i go into such a venue, i applaud him. i applaud him for taking that step forward and recognizing we have been doing unjust thing for so long and it's time to write our wrongs. [applause] susan: i was happy to see
president obama visit a jail. about -- in 2003, a group of former prisoners met in oakland at the center for third world development and we coined the phrase -- we began to organize under the banner of all of us or none. aboutesident has talked banning the box. michele: you are talking about the box on applications? applications on jobs, applications across the board. we want president obama to ban the box, an executive order to ban the box on applications for federal jobs and contractor jobs. this is just the
beginning. we have had 40 years of tough on crime, tough on our communities, tough on men laws that have driven our criminal justice system to where we are with mass incarceration. i applaud him for that but i believe it's just the beginning. we need four more years of .estoration to our communities years of the war on crime and tough on crime laws. michele: i want to make sure we get some questions from the audience. anyone has any questions, we can get a microphone to you in short order. >> i have a question about the
criminal justice system. a lot of times, the private sector is used to increase mass incarceration keep people down. do you have any opinions on how the private sector can be used to get people jobs and decelerate mass incarceration. could you repeat the last part of the question question mark >> how the private sector in business, what role it play in decreasing mass incarceration? there's an economic incentive to put people in jail but what about getting people out of prison? nneka: i would say we could put a focus in the community and i go back to the children. aat we see in chicago is trauma filled course of life for our children. when you can't walk to the park and walk to school without being
in fear of being killed or being harmed, you know we need to intervene. hour private sector -- for the private sector, i would trust upon them the need to reach out to our schools and communities and engage with them to figure out how we can susan: i would say there needs to be an investment, a deep investment of entrepreneurial economyo stimulate the and build real ownership among business. you can talk about getting a job, making a job, having a business. i believe our communities are going to be revitalized by members ownership among and our community as our whole. i think that will stimulate the kind of economy and growth and
allow our communities to thrive once again. thank you for questions. and thank you both very much. [applause] >> hello again, everybody. we are proud to have valerie with us. she oversees the office of public engagement and chairs the white house council on women and girls. she is deeply involved in the president's initiative on criminal justice reform. [applause] you.ie: thank good afternoon, everybody. i appreciate it.
>> as i was saying backstage, this is the end of what has been a pretty intense day of conversation about the state of policing in america, the state of incarceration in america. i think part of the intensity comes from the fact that everybody has a human set of this. connected to all americans are concerned about their communities. particularly people of color often fear the police. and some connection sometimes to the system. a bunch of ask you questions about policy, but i wondered if we could start at the human level. valerie: i have two stories to share with you. when i was 11 driving through the neighborhood with my mom, we saw a police car.
the police officer was talking to two teenagers from our neighborhood who lived about two blocks from where we live. my mom saw the policeman and said i'm going to stop and see remembering on, and i thinking mom, don't get involved. the police are there and handling this. she said no, i need to get out of the car. i remember being scared to death. she went over and said to the policeman, i know these boys, they lived on the street, leave them alone. and she got back in the car. it shook me up that my mother was so afraid for them that she needed to get out of the car. it messed with my head for a while. fast forward to when i was taking drivers education. i would take the bus back and forth. i took the driver's ed class. when i got out of class, i went to the bus stop. the sky opened up and started pouring down rain. i had no umbrella, nothing.
i am literally drenched standing at the bus stop. a police car pulls up, and i am terrified, just terrified. and the police officers roll down the window and say get in the car. i thought, well, that's it. will ever see me again? i get in the car and they say where do you live? and they started driving in dead silence. it was like the longest 15 minutes of my life. in front of my home and set have a good day. so, those two stories kind of i have.e experiences think of is for the second experience, because the first one really made me afraid. the first experience what primed you to react that way to the second? valerie: it was that when experience. mother manyto my times since then why did you intervene and she said i didn't know what would happen to those boys if i didn't stop.
she said i knew i had to protect them because that's what adults have to do when they see young boys being stopped by the police. james: i know you have been fact gathering around this constellation of problems. you have been to a juvenile l.a. ion facility in i wonder what you are learning. valerie: i am learning a great deal. i am learning about the disparities in our system and how much in need of reform our criminal justice system is. i am learning about the resiliency of the human spirit, people who have had the deck stacked against them from the time they were born. moved by they girls in the detention center, many of whom were abused by their parents from the time they were young children, cast out on the streets, and work telling me
what their hopes and dreams are. one wanted to be a physician. one wanted to be a trauma counselor. these people continue to dream believe in themselves when society and their families, by every measure, have let them down. i was revisiting a couple of reentry programs in new york. one is a food truck that hires people and trains them as soon as they leave prison to drive food trucks, take care of the food service inside the truck, and market themselves by driving themselves around new york. ceo,er one was called center for employment opportunity. both work with her bashan officers to reach people as soon as -- work with probation officers to reach people as soon as they are released from prison us. yesterday, the president visited
who hires people who have been incarcerated. they have extraordinary stories. simple things like only having the close you are wearing when you are incarcerated and they are now 10 years old. not knowing how to use the internet to find a job. not having any money at all. nowhere to live. helped it you into trouble in the first place are waiting for you with a nice little safety net if you want to get back in trouble. just how hard it is to get back on track. the common theme i found in los angeles and newark was having children is a great motivator. shared withe people me that they had a kid and they wanted to be able to provide for
their children, but they couldn't get a job. james: the subject of reintegration has come up again and again today. it has been a long time since this country has seriously invested in that. where do you think the money is going to come from now? there are 600,000 people a year being released back into the community. first of all, just some statistics. spent $80 billion on our justice system, our penal system. good start. just imagine if we had some of that money available for reentry . the president gave what i thought was a terrific speech at the naacp this summer that focused on three pillars. one, the community. what can we do beginning with early childhood education to be sure our children stay in school
and we can break the school to prison pipeline? what can we do to reform our ?entencing the penalty actually fits the crime. , flexibility,mums and what do we do the day people get into prison to start preparing them for when they were released. in a long-term, we will have people reintegrated into society, working, taking care of their families, being productive members of society, which many of them want to be. james: how optimistic are you that there can be meaningful reform with this congress? valerie: it's kind of a leading question. we can't do it without them, that's for sure, but i do feel very optimistic and that is not a word i have used much in the last seven years when it comes to talking about congress.
but we do have bipartisan on a bill that has come out of committee. we have a great coalition of askeholders on the outside well as members of the house and senate. they have coalesced around this, and i think the time is right. james: what explains the coalition, do you think? particularly on the republican side. valerie: i think it is a variety of reasons. the president had a great meeting with members on both sides of the aisle. surprisingly, i expected republicans to vote on the fiscal side of this, but they too were talking about redemption and the fact that you
should get a second chance if you have earned a second chance, and the fact that we have a responsibility to reunite people with their families. the themes were remarkably the same on both sides of the aisle. james: whitey think the democrats did? -- why do you think the democrats did? valerie: i think the air. crime rates were going up. and i an era of crime think there was a fear about reproach. i have heard from judges that mandatory minimums are frustrating to them. they look at individual cases and they go my hands should not be tied. there are extenuating circumstances. this person may need drug treatment, mental health counseling, a whole range of
services that would allow them to get back on track as opposed to being incarcerated. is so high,sm rate and when you start to visit people who are either they look at individual cases and they go my hands should not be tied. incarcerated or recently released, you begin to understand why. we still have a lot of hard work to do, but if we could avoid putting them in the pipeline in the first place, that's the best solution. james: so, what is the emerging consensus? lookwill meaningful reform like? valerie: we want to start with nonviolent drug offenders. begin there. i think everyone can agree that our system is too harsh. i should back up to say that the president has begun laying the foundation for this since he took office. he selected eric holder as attorney general because he knew eric shared his commitment to justice reform, criminal justice , everything from beefing up the civil rights division that had been decimated by his predecessor to putting teeth into the reentry program, the
instructions we give u.s. attorneys. general holder told attorneys, don't always ask for the maximum . use your discretion. you do have discretion. use some judgment. reducing the disparity between cocaine and crack, one we know has racial disparities, particularly, is another way of trying to level the system. i think from day one we have been laying the foundation. did a collection is extremely important. -- data collection is extremely important. this morning, we talked about all of the federal agencies that touch reentry. a lot of the pillars of progress have been laid from the beginning. by severals struck things the president said last week. times has despaired about the magnitude of this problem.
listening to you talk about nonviolent offenders, one of the mind blowing statistics about let allem is even if we the prisoners in the federal potential rate out, we would still have the highest rate of incarceration in the world because the state system is so huge. is this going to be a years long process?-- how do you influence what happening in the state? valerie: we lead by example. that would be our effort is to say this is what we were able to achieve. you are right. the lion's share of those incarcerated are in the state system. we are beginning to see states pass reforms, recognize the financial burden and the terrible problem to society. i think we have momentum going in the states as well is washington. we have to go down parallel tracks and learn from each other .
james: one of the warnings we have heard from the stage today is that if we begin reducing the prison population, we are going to see crime rising again. we are seeing that happen in some cities. there is a boom in the heroin trade and a lot of crime associated. there is a real risk year that we are watching a long pendulum swing, a long arc, ,nd if crime begins to rise this emerging consensus and bipartisan support will fragment and we won't really be able to make progress? seeing crime go up in some cities, level in others, and going down in others. at the attorney general has been instructed to be vigilant and go out in cities where we are seeing crime go up, meet with the mayors and police chiefs of those cities, and figure out
what we can do, the best practices to bring crime down. we have so much support -- and the president was just speaking to the chiefs of police in chicago a few weeks ago and they fully support it, they fully believe that if we have meaningful reform, it will make our streets safer. if you keep people from going to prison in the first place and they are not caught up in the system, they are getting employed, they have ways of taking care of their family, that brings crime down. we have all of the stakeholders fully engaged in the process as a way of allowing people to lead productive lives. james: you guys have a year left. see a smile. valerie: i wasn't smiling because there is only a year left. i was anticipating this question. particular issue,
what do you think the president wants his mark to be and how engaged do you expect him to be in it post presidency? valerie: it's the second half of the fourth quarter, but really big things happen at the end of the game, as we all know. had aast year, we have terrific year. if you recall, not that long ago, the president was being called a lame-duck. doesn't feel much like a lame-duck to me. he has decided, building on the momentum from day one, that he wants to focus on criminal justice reform writ large, the community, the system itself, and what can we do, beginning with the announcement last week that he has a policy at the to ban the box for federal employees. congress can do the same thing at their level. report that was
recommended to the president working on building the strength between the police and the communities they are there to serve and protect. we have an and norma's amount of momentum, and everybody in the room can help. enormousnorm us -- amount of momentum, and everybody in the room can help. it's an onus on all of us to figure out what we can do. knowr post presidency, i the president has committed his entire professional career to justice and bending that arc. i am sure whatever he does post presidency will be consistent with those values and the vision he has for america. james: valerie, thank you very much. [applause]
>> i just realized we are wearing the same shirt. you own more than one shirt. i have been living out of a suitcase. that's my excuse. pastor, where is your church? >> selfies d.c.. we are right in the heart of the community. we have constituents like we have been talking about all day today. >> we come from two different perspectives, but that's alright. i have made my perspective known
at some length in the atlantic magazine, so i want to give you make, as youy to said, the case for hope. i am going to throw that over to you and let you do what you do. >> bring your switchblade. that's fine. it won't be the first time a brother has been cut. the case for hope. from a distinctly christian perspective, my case for hope really builds on the fact that there is coming the greatest, most perfect criminal justice system we have ever known. willchrist returns, there be no more injustice. everything that has then crooked will be made straight.
all of us will give an account, and we will either stand in his or went for our sins, will be forgiven because another has stood in our place. and all those who trust in him will enjoy eternal life. so, in one sense, the case for hope requires us to build our hope on something more permanent to the transient things of this places our happiness beyond the reach of our enemies. so, in one sense, the case for arc to the universe and if it bends toward justice. in the broadest sweep, that is
the case for hope. even in this conversation today, i just want to commend the atlantic for pulling together these valuable conversations and angles on this issue with people of various perspectives, having on issuesdiscourse with an eye toward actually changing the state of things. we have reason to hope there are good people in good positions working at the community level to push for justice in society. that gives us cause for hope at the penultimate level as well. the question i have living in a folks society that we live in where folks are of a different faith, , what do youminds
say to people who don't share the same religious beliefs? >> hope is one of those things that i think is given to us as a .ift at a most basic level, i want to encourage that. at one point, i was a practicing muslim. i was converted. the lord saved me. maybe you have no faith at all, in you put some confidence other kinds of things. i want to encourage that. faith has a kind of power, a kind of currency. it sustains and ways and at times when many other things
fail us. but then i want to come back and only as good as our acts of faith. all of the things we put hope proveust in our going to inadequate. i have great hope and my children and my family, but how many of us have families that have gone on for a while and then hit some sort of tragedy or fails in or someone the family in a significant way, and all of a sudden, the family they gave us such hope is now the family that gives us such pain. we can have hopes in schools, hopes in public policy, but all of those things are transitory. if we want an unshakable hope, an object ofo have
faith that is unshakable. that brings us to god, who doesn't change, who is just, and good, and loving, and wills that men everywhere would repent, and come to him, and be rescued, not just from mass incarceration in this life, but the mass incarceration in the final judgment that is to come. i hate to rephrase and go back to the question, but what i am left is -- left with is that those of us who don't embrace the same believe are left without a firm hope. is that what you are offering? >> i think in a sense that is true. that's an unpleasant consequence of my line of reasoning. now, we laugh and we feel a way about that. but we all have to follow our logic to its conclusion. we'll have to take these positions we hold and ideas we
hold and walk them out. talk to me about the kinds of things you to hope in. what gets youut toward your best hopes in your best streams. here is what i find, oftentimes. many my friends who are not believers, who do not have a religious faith, we have the conversation, and they will go so far, and when they start to peek over the president is and see the despair at the end of unbelief, they back up. -- over the precipice and see the despair at the end of unbelief, they back up. very often, they want to trade in the currency of believe without ascribing to it --
subscribing to it. if we are going to have an honest conversation about hope, we have to push each other to our natural conclusions. ta-nehisi: i think it is important to say something here. one of the premises of this conversation is that hope, as you say, the ark of the universe moving toward justice is the only i guess necessarily for onezing principle to live a productive life. i want to offer a different paradigm. --one who has read my book and i am not making the assumption that people have read it -- but hope does not necessarily undergird what i write or even necessarily how i undergird my life. i think one of the false propositions we have is that one either has hope things will get
better or one falls into a pit of despair. and what that means is the only reason to get up and do anything is because you hope it's going to get better. otherwise, you might as well lay in your bed with your doritos flicking from channel to channel. because there is no hope. and i want to offer something else, and i think there is something that needs to be said for how we walk through the world. this is a great place to bring us back. i spent the last year running the numbers. that in not have hope my lifetime the incarceration weight will inexorably, inevitably reach some sort of civilized number. damage has been done. nevertheless, i feel myself, particularly as an african american, to be the bearer of a tradition, to come from a group whenople who struggled there was no demonstrable hope
at all. that puts on you certain responsibilities, whether you -- one of the things i'm trying to sail the time is that my responsibility when i get up in the morning, i feel it, is to goad do my work -- go do myhe day work throughout the day and at the end of the day be able to look in the mirror and say i was not on the side of people trying to push the world off the cliff. that is my responsibility and the responsibility of the people who came before me who did not necessarily get to see the inevitability of that struggle. it's not that hope is not important. it's just not particularly relevant to that c calculation. quick so, the premise he set out is not my premise. so i would agree with you is there is either hope or despair, we set up a
false dichotomy. that there is a metal. and that's people who have hope in various other kinds of things , whether or not that is religious. notwe have people who are filled with despair who go through this world's best they can. tot i would say in reply what you just laid out is that while you don't have hope that in your lifetime, inexorably -- inn alternately alterably, we will see a reduction in mass incarceration. that's not what i argued. so maybe we won't. that 12 years ago, many of us, about the possibility of americanan president. many people said that in 1850 about the possibility of emancipation. many people said that in 1950
about a voting rights act. of ourys live on the eve disbelief becoming reality. we always live with the possibility of seeing radical, substantial change when we did not see it just yesterday. it may not be all the change we i don't thinknd that he of election of an african-american president is to the change we would want see, nor is emancipation, nor is a civil rights as, but i think it is important as we go into this huge task of trying to andce mass incarceration its impact on african-american and latino families, i think it's important for us to go in remembering that in 1864, most of our forebears didn't see the coming of emancipation. so when you look in that mirror and you have done what you can do to push the ball forward, i don't know how to make sense of that apart from some expression
of hope. i got the stop sign so i have to leave this just when it's getting good. there is an unfortunate flip side to that. the people coming out of the emancipation could not of seen 100 years of terror coming after. the people coming out of the civil rights movement could not see the years of mass incarceration. responsibility is to get up every day at work within the chaos, and you just don't know. >> can i have the last word? you're thesure, guest. >> preachers always have to have the last word. [laughter] just a parting thought. are not as chaotic as all that. all of us experience boundaries to the chaos and order in the chaos. in a disorganized
universe, ultimately. because as one who governs history and governs the there even when we feel is no order to the chaos, my in oneion would be trust who will rule and will bring justice to pass. ta-nehisi: thank you so much. [applause] >> thank you so much. there is nothing i can really add to that, but i want to say two things. when we began planning this said to meta-nehisi: margaret, i just want to make leave here don't feeling just comfortable or
pleased with themselves about having a meaningful conversation. if nothing else, i think we accomplished that today. we examined the complexity of the challenges we face with really deep, really powerful, really important conversations. want to say isi i want to thank the underwriters who made this possible, but mostly, i want to thank all of you for coming. you have been a next ordinary audience, and you make all of this possible for us. audience,aordinary and he make all of this possible for us. i want to promise you beer, wine, and endless delicious cheese cubes outside. and i want to give you a round of applause. thank you so much. enjoy the reception. enjoy one another. thank you so much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> that wraps up our discussion on race and the criminal justice system. if you missed any of it, you can see it online at c-span.org. also, we will re-air the full day starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. over on c-span2, secretary of state john kerry is speaking about u.s. policy in syria. that also at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. , more road to the white .ouse coverage senators marco rubio and ted cruz, donald trump, jeb bush, and others. our live coverage gets underway at 10:30 a.m. eastern here on c-span. congress is out for the
as modern law. hearsay was allowed. there were no lawyers. the court is extremely unruly. to believen't happen in witchcraft or prosecute witchcraft today. quick sunday, author stacy book onalks about her the salem witch trials and the scope and effect to be accusations had on the massachusetts community. >> an interesting part about the accusations, given the way we that seaut salem, is captain's were accused, homeless five-year-old girls were accused, it is not an incident where all the victims were female. had five male victims including a minister. and we didn't burn witches. we hang to them. there were so much misunderstanding i felt it was important to dispel.
quick sunday night at 8:00 p.m. on c-span'spacific q&a. >> up next, former homeland security secretary tom ridge talks about challenges to u.s. national security, the fight against isis, and cyber security legislation. it's from today's washington journal. at our table, the former governor of pennsylvania, first comment security secretary tom ridge. let's begin with tuesday nights gop debate. , aspapers are talking about the washington post says it, fissures on foreign policy. there was an argument between rand paul and marco rubio that showed you had one part of the party that doesn't want to get involved in a fight against isis.the other part of the party says the united states has to be a leader. guest: eileen on the side about
leadership with both our friends and enemies without you there is an absence of leadership, really a vacuum over the past couple of years. i really think it's important for the response ability of the government in addition to domestic policy to provide for common defense. is a legitimate threat. it is not a counterinsurgency. they controlled territory. iraq,terest in preserving we do have an interest. a bigger interest is destroying isil. the focus of this administration has been somewhat misplaced. there has been no leadership and there has been a drip of 12, 15 or 20 a day will not get the job done. host: why is it a threat to the homeland? it is the cause of instability in an important region. we also know they are developing
capabilities that are exportable. responsibilityr as a leader of the free world, thatook at what happened. the ideology, it has created problems for our friends and allies in western europe, it has created problems for friends and allies in that region. i'm not saying we need to go it leader, ore world's to put more boots on the ground, but i think the president has failed to lead a stronger coalition and to direct more aggressive airstrikes. he failed to direct an overall policy. host: he announced less than 50 special forces will be going to that area. the new york times reporting early today that with u.s. air force power backing them, the fors are leading the fight
a strategic highway trying to cut off the weapons and soldiers trying to go from syria into iraq. it's interesting. the pentagon talking about some of these modest military efforts , i want to put something in comparison for your audience. 25 usingrobably 20 or the air force, that is 20 or 25 a day, operation desert storm was 1200 and day. it's like water dripping on a stone. america's airuse power and it had struck the leadership in the white house, i think we wouldn't see the reduction in support from our allies in the region. i did a quick study of the military capability of our friends in the region. five or 6000 aircraft, five or 6000 tanks, a million people in uniform, while they may not want to commit their troops, we have
we have trained effectively, but the fact that we have failed to use air power in support of the locals, not just to cut off a road but to destroy their command and control systems, we know with a pre-positioned supplies. day,e doing 20 or 25 a desert storm we did 1200 today. a difference. you can degrade their capability, if the president wants to do that we are not going to with a few planes and announcing what we are going to do with the rest of the world. to be commencing our allies to be more supportive and include there are forcing capabilities. host: what about the risk of fostering more hatred toward the west? when you go in and go in with that force. then the young men that are there, that hatred toward the west builds and multiplies across those countries.
that: i just don't think equates for me. the people in arab countries and that live in syria and iraq that have been subjugated and repressed, murdered, raped by understand what the united states, our allies, and some countries are trying to do. this group is evil. they are barbarians, medieval. i don't think we have to be worried about creating more recruits for them. they've done a pretty good job. their ideology and mindset has appealed to people from around the globe, fortunately not that many. but i don't think we should be worried about our collective international response to the scourge generating more support for evil. deferred, i would not hesitate for one moment to
be much more aggressive particularly when there are powers in that region that could destroy the screw. host: russia got more involved with their air power you have a bomb on the russian airliner. what they are thinking is that isis or an affiliate took credit. guest: a couple of thoughts i have about that. upsetrld is just really about the potential implications for commercial air traffic. else puts a of the time detonated explosive device perhaps in the cargo area. everybody forgot about the russian missile that took down the malaysian airliner. the passengers in both were in a ense, whether they --- innocents. there is a certain contradiction here. we never held russia accountable.
their involvement in syria has been somewhat problematic because the group that is anti- assad has been as much a subject of their military action because historically russia has been supporting assad. say what you want about putin but he is machiavelli and, clever, tough. think about this for a moment. a severn country and acquired territory. verign territory and acquired power. now he has inserted himself into the negotiations for a problem he created. we have been opposed to assad the we have not done anything to remove them. against western and allied interest, and the interest of allies in that region. he is now inserted into the negotiating team. and rushed toe
the scene to try and put it out. veryy clever on his part, puytitin-like. summit, vladimir putin will be there. guest: i don't think is any question about it, he is certainly demonstrating the atlantic deadline -- alliance of ours that used to be so strong, it appears to be at this point rather weak. there is no leadership. nato underagine a previous buzz this presidents, republican or democrat settling idly by while russia invades a sovereign country. the response from the united states is night vision goggles. i had a meeting with several state department officials and i to put our't want
boots on the ground, which is an interesting expression everybody's using. in't we at least send significant defensive capabilities, weapons, munitions, antitank and aircraft? both state department officials said we don't want to be provocative. the united states is want to be provocative, we don't want to support an independent country that has been invaded by russia. it contributes to that sense globally at how weak we are and how limited our foreign policy is. before we take calls, the risk of a bomb on a u.s. airliner. where would you rate that? what is the vulnerability? guest: since the day that i walked into the white house, it has been and always will be part of the threat stream the united states, tsa, our intelligence and military communities are dealing with. takes a lot more
stringent. i noticed jeh johnson based on this exchange convened a group of individuals that when into the department and will make adjustments, some visible and invisible dealing with security on international flights coming in to the u.s. the two countries that have the most rigorous standards, it doesn't mean they're perfect but i think rigorous safety and security standards regarding commercial airliners is the united states and israel. host: we're talking with the , itt homeland secretary helps organizations detect security risks. we will go to missouri, a democrat. you're up first. caller: thank you for this opportunity. worke always admired your when you are our first secretary of homeland security. , regarding oure
administration, abuse and policy therd iran, because of iranian regime supporting terrorism and my question is about the latest attack on the iranian. cap liberty near iraq, they are protected persons under the geneva conventions. the united states has made a commitment to each other everyone of them in 2004 to protect their safety and security. an active or 29th there was a missile attack on camp liberty in iraq. 24 camp residents including one woman were killed and over 30 were wounded and injured. agents are regime's responsible for the latest assault. my question is despite the condemnation by the secretary of ry, why don't-- ker
they do anything else like of them air cover to protect them? would be your advice to the administration? thank you for your time. guest: if you don't mind a little background based on the back in 2003 and 2004, there was a group of almost 3000 iranian citizens had found shelter and protection in iraq. they had weapons to defend themselves and there was controversy that they were put on the terrorist watch list and taken off because they were supposedly put on for medical reasons. reasons.ical called saw this group the mek.
when they surrender their weapons at our request, they were all given a letter from a united states general pledging that we would provide for their because theycurity were considered by us to be protected persons under the geneva conventions. the iraqi government said we will stand in the place of the united states and provide for your safety and security. i'm not the only one that has been involved in this, this most incredible combination of political, military medic leaders who -- diplomatic leaders. here we have these 3000 individuals. they have been moved from one place to another at our request. we intervened and some of us intervened on the behalf of this administration and state department to move to a place called cap ashcroft. during that time we were making
very specific promises. very specific promises by the united nations and the u.s. government in addition to the promises of the general demanded we provide for their security and protection. the most recent one was on the 29th, there have been previous camp,s that invaded the type people's hands behind their back and shot them. they were murdered. individualsinvolved that were iranian in nature. mullahs detest this people. k has had many killed because of their pledge to a democratic, non-nuclear iran. this isose for all of to get them out of iraq and in harms way because of the united states. the reason i got involved is because i think our word should be our bond.
the united states promised these people, now defenseless, if you do these things we will provide for your safety and security. that this shows administration was doing everything they could to curry favor with the mullahs. in order to get this nuclear deal done which i think will go down in history as one of the worst negotiated settlements of all time in geopolitics. you can invite me back in a couple of years and i might say i was wrong but i don't think so. let me tell you the people that were involved, -- host: you are accusing the administration of. guest: they made, says they couldn't keep. host: to curry favor? they left people vulnerable intentionally? guest: yes, there's no doubt in my mind. or are people on the hill talking about that. these people are defenseless.
we move them from point a to point b, on five different occasions they have been subjected to murderous action. all of a sudden, you take a look at the weapons they are using, they are iranian and it has to be somewhat complicit with the iraqi government. it just shows that they have more influence in iraq and we do. if the united states from a general signing the papers give it to everyone of these individuals, and i won't name the people in the state department but as we were negotiating, on the democratic side you had interested and committed people. mandel, on the inside, rudy giuliani, yours truly -- on the republican side, rudy giuliani and yours truly.
we promised we would relocate them and get them out as soon as possible. five assaults later, dozens wedered, hundreds wounded, have not kept our promise and that is a great concern. america is its word and should keep it. i think it is america's ideal. this administration has not kept their word. host: you think this administration said we will let you attack them in order to get a nuclear deal? guest: i don't think they let them, it shows you how limited of influence we have in iraq. the failed policy of not being aggressive enough. iraqis look to us for financial support and other reasons and we have not use that as leverage to thesee protection for individuals until such time as the u.n. and united states that had promised to relocate them would keep their promises.
whether or not they would end up being involved in the political promise and iran, that is down the road and for others to determine, particularly the iranian people. our promise was to move these people out as quickly as possible and we failed to deliver. whatever the engagement, there has been plenty of excuses. we were told the united states would have a permanent presence and monitor that. a short once in a while for an hour or two so again, distill it down to the least common denominator. when my country gives its word in any form to a group of people to provide for safety and protection, and we do not deliver on that, shame on us. host: we will move on to david in los angeles. hi there, you're on the air. caller: i hope you don't cut me it is an insult to the intelligence of the american people that we keep bringing these people on from homeland
security and the bush administration, talking about honorable principles, truth and what not. i think one of the biggest mistakes that president obama will be judged on is not bringing these people up on war crimes. the whole bush administration lied to take us to war. the mess we are dealing with is up there on making. they come on the air, like him and cheney, they are responsible for these lies they sold to us and these lies they have destroyed -- lives they had destroyed. guest: there's no way i can convince him that president bush and everybody around him based on intelligence they had at the time thought they were doing the right thing. this man obviously, there's nothing i could say to change this gentleman's mind.
him, i think with given everything else that's going on, respectful disagreement ought to be part of the dialogue. i respect your point of view but respectfully disagree. host: we are talking about threats to u.s. national security with tom ridge, former governor of pennsylvania and first -- caller: the gentlemen that just spoke, he said something that was true but are you familiar with operation northwood? you familiar with the operation that the united states military was trying to do to cuba? guest: i guess i'm not. caller: you can go on the internet, there were top-secret papers that have been released by the united states playing on united states citizens and blaming it on cuba.
when you got into office on 2000, president bush won a to find a way to get into iraq. you picked up that plan, you dusted it off, and saying our government believed that those people had something to do with our towers coming down, we went to war on a lie. operation northwood, top-secret papers. citizens of the united states can read that. they have been declassified. planning to kill united states citizens and blaming it on cuba. the world does not trust us because those people have looked at the internet and read this paper. operation northwood. host: we heard you. guest: i appreciate that. based on your suggestion, i will look it up. i would tell you there are a lot of reasons the broader global
community doubts our word, starting with the iranian community that we promised to protect. if you want to talk about our credibility at large, let's just go back and remind ourselves what transpired regarding our relationship with the solid -- a sod in syria. the president was encouraged by military and others to at least .rm this was before the ugliness of isis appeared. this will always bothering from a principal point of view. when you use chemical weapons, america will respond in kind, there are a few things that bother me about that statement. --basically said to a sod
assad. if you think about that statement, we don't care how you deal with your citizens and how many of kill or the means of their destruction and death. if you use chemical weapons, that's when the united states will get involved. 250,000 defenseless syrians are deceased. hundreds of thousands more have moved out. they used chemical weapons and we did nothing. if you want to talk about america's credibility, i will plan thatlook at that you mentioned. forcredibility is at risk many reasons, not the least of which is we have given our word on many occasions and committed ourselves to doing many things. when we had to keep that commitment we failed. in the geopolitical world of diplomacy, this interc onnected world, once they doubt
your sincerity, they get leverage. once they get that, they start moving around. aggressiveyou see movement in the south china sea, that's why you see vladimir putin. america is nowhere on the national stage. interested, u.s. military wanted to provoke war with cuba in the 60's and america's top military leaders reportedly dropped a plan to kill and some people -- innocent people. that the plansay were described by a book called body of secrets by investigative reporter james stanford about the history of america's largest spy agency. ellen in ohio, a republican. an.al caller: did it say who the president was in 1960? what's your point?
guest: president kennedy. caller: ok, democrat. i understand what's going on. it's been a long seven years, mr. rich. i have a couple statements and one question. in 240 years of our country, that's about what it is, we had 9000 -- $9 trillion in debt and now we are up to 18.7 trillion? these illegals coming across the border, how big of a threat is that to our security and the last statement is the guy in california? think about tomorrow. yesterday's gone. in the redline, it turned yellow. thank you. guest: that whole question of immigration, from an economic
side and security point of view was raised a couple of times. i had a pretty good discussion during the presidential debate. i happen to believe this is a problem that has been festering for a long time. there is a solution there. the solution would deal with the economic and security side. i believe in giving credit where credit is due. under this administration, there have been thousands or more, starting with president bush but now under president obama, thousands in customs and troll agents. -- patrol agents. we need more resources and technology, i think the flow of people coming across the border has been reduced but i don't think we will solve that problem from either an economic or security side unless we come in with a boldfaced comprehensive solution that deals with the previous guests here poignantly
about dealing with the 11-12,000,000 that are here. certainly the government can walk and chew gum at the same time. that is building a system for people to come back across the border, it is not enhancing security. it is dealing with the mexican government in a more aggressive way and having them help us. this is a problem that can be solved but right now there is no political will to solve it. we have a lot of people on my side of the aisle that want to focus on enforcement. a lot of people on the other side that want to focus on citizenship. --ould tell you, i guess say dare say if you found thousands of illegal immigrants and ask them to come forward and said we can't make you citizens, you --ke the law and is a there is a line of people going
to legitimately, but we will ze your presence but you cannot become citizens as long as you have not broken the law you can stay. way, this in a realistic president bush, governor kasich, theynor bush, excuse me, say this is a problem, let's solve it. one of the frustrations and reasons so many people view our government as distressed and a there are big is problems out there and people spend a lot of time talking about the problems but there are few people offering specific solutions. immigration is a problem that can be solved. you have to move down multiple paths at the same time regardless of what they say. it can be solved, we just don't have the will and we certainly don't have the leadership to get it done. it's not just about citizenship or enforcement. you deal with the presence, the people that are here, you can do
it in a compassionate way. they don't have to be citizens but they don't want to be anxious about their future under threat of deportation. you have to build a good system so people can come back and forth, let's not be so arrogant to think that everybody becomes a was to be a citizen. agriculture was insulting is number one industry. we had a lot of -- agriculture was pennsylvania's number one industry. we have to understand a lot of people come back and forth across the border, it can be done thee that is employers outside of this base can throw the book at them. there are all kinds of ways we can do with that problem and like a lot of americans i am tired of people taking the political issues. this government should be smart enough and capable enough with the right kind of leadership to solve it and move on. host: let's put cyber security on the table. where does that rate and threats? guest: i think it is one of the
more serious threats. the president thinks climate change is but cyber security is probably the single greatest threat this country faces at this time. areas of five basic space, butand, sea, the fifth area is digital. we know who the actors are. china, russia, iran, north korea, syria, organized crime. we know what the motives are, they are economic and espionage. the list goes on. every single day both the government and private sectors are targeted and subjected to all kinds of important information and intellectual property and pertinent information is used for different reasons. the greatest threat to our ability long-term, our national
security is cyberspace. the senate passing the cyber security information sharing act. he said this, we will name the names of the people that voted in favor because a vote for this cyber sharing bill is a vote against the internet. snowden has no could ability with me, he is a traitor and created all kinds of intelligence problems for the the meta-community. may his -- diplomatic community. if you spend the rest of his days in russia. congress is after many years working with the administration and give credit where credit is due to try to build a pathway so the private sector that gets hit every single day multiple times a day can share information, not personal information but information in regard to the
malicious code they're seeing. and do so in a way that is legally protected. they are victims and sometimes you have government agencies penalizing the victims. i think it is very important that built the better understood -- bill be better understood. digital protection in the united states. host: the cyber attacks we have seen it coming from other countries, are they acts of war? guest: great question. i suspect there have been many conversations within our government. at some point in time. i often refer to an observation by the 9/11 commission after we reviewed the evidence and testimony around the tragedy of 9/11. imagination.ure of it doesn't take too much to imagine to imagine a significant
cyber attack that is so disruptive to our economy and so disruptive to our infrastructure that it has dramatic confidences that somebody in government -- consequences that somebody in our government would consider an act of war. air, land, or see, do we retaliate digitally? the escalation of cyberattacks continuing to grow, the sophistication continuing to grow, the chinese continue to move with impunity despite of said.resident xi it is a theater of war. that will be a difficult decision for either this president or some future president. host: provisions of the cyber security information sharing act are these. it enables companies to share related information and cooperate with one another and
the federal government. it allows companies to monitor certain information systems for site security purposes. this from the national law review about provisions in that building recently passed in the senate. republican from pennsylvania, you're next. tom, i i know you actually have a picture of you shaking my hand. i made a donation to you. guest: thank you. caller: somewhere in the early 90's, not sure what the year was. i was a big fan of yours and have a question. with america on her knees financially, why would we consider increasing foreign aid to israel from 4.7 billion to 9.7 billion? when we are on our knees financially.
i know the usual response i get is that israel is an ally but aren't all the members in nato allies? don't we also give money to jordan and egypt? host: we will take your point because the prime minister, benjamin netanyahu in washington just recently talking to the president asking for more money for foreign aid. guest: i would try to answer your legitimate question with a broader perspective. i'm not sure if you will take my photograph down but our foreign aid is probably 1% or less of our overall budget. some of it goes to support the country of israel. the only democracy in the region. they are a great ally. we are talking a monster budget of less than 1% goes to foreign aid. i'm a strong believer that development assistance, foreign aid, is one leg of a three-part
you should sit on to promote america's interest and values around the world. we do use the military but there have been occasions in the past aggressive diplomacy in conjunction with development assistance in foreign aid that might've made a difference. potentialg our exposure or need to use the military. the military is the last resort. if you can support countries to advance, a lot of this aid goes to people to address real human needs like food, clothing, and shelter. we have some stability several --rs ago in lebanon and we depending on one another, we chose not to give them much foreign aid. iran gave hundreds of millions of dollars to hezbollah. but they have done is provide
food, clothing, and shelter. it speaks to the notion that if meet basic human needs, you build an alliance and create goodwill. i think that's incredibly powerful for us in this country. i am one who believes the judicious use of foreign aid in protecting our interests is an appropriate use of your tax dollars. i've seen it work before. i don't know if you've seen the movie charlie wilson's war, but there's a time toward the end of the movie, you see the russian tanks across the bridge and charlie wilson with whom i served as talking to the intelligence community and the said i would like to get money to build roads and schools in afghanistan. id --f his colleagues sa we did help them build basic
infrastructure and meet human needs. the taliban fill the vacuum. the judicious use of foreign aid and development assistance in the long-term pays great rewards. host: boston examiner reporting on the meeting between mr. netanyahu and president obama. the prime minister asked an increase was the best way to contain iran's aggression in the middle east. israeli officials told reporters that netanyahu had asked for an increase from $3 billion a year to $5 billion a year over the next 10 years. guest: he asked from three to five over the next 10 years. there are reliable accounts that say when we leave iran will get maybe $100 billion -- -- they will get maybe $100 billion.
iran is a central bank for terrorism in the region. they fund islamic jihad, they are supporting rebels in yemen. the list goes on. he has asked for a moderate increase in aid although the risk of iran's continued engagement and deeper engagement because of the release of sanctions and the rush from some of our allies to go in and help them rebuild their energy industry, means israel is at greater rest. if you are in the neighborhood where most of the countries around you don't even like knowledge or right to exist, taking that aid which is to our democracy and our greatest friend in the region from three frankly,in comparison, it might be deducted from the money we get to iran. we are going to get $100 billion, that's the problem in the region. a problem in iraq and syria.
on whon't seem focused the real troublemaker in the region is. we continue to go out of our way to support iran under the notion that somehow because we've agreed to this and will give them their money back, that they will be welcomed into the broader community of nations and act civilized and not subject their citizens that disagree with them with imprisonment and torture and murder. somebody told me this is a moderate regime. they will be moderate in my eyes when the networks are allowed to have a permanent presence and they have a freedom of speech and religion and empty their jails of these political prisoners and acknowledge the genocide they have committed over the past 10-15 years. host: oklahoma city, christian is there. a democrat. don't let this guy grandstand. this is unbelievable.
how can you say israel is our number one ally when they have not gone to war in iraq, or when we fought in afghanistan? --ase the company off, please don't cut me off, how can they be our best ally when they do not send their troops over there into a country that we are fighting and? guest: it's a fair question. allyn't use the term simply by identifying those who send troops to support and promote our interest. we have an ally because a great relationship with them, information sharing, intelligence gathering, it is important and important us. there are an ally because we share values, they are an ally because our economic relationship is critical. because if they