tv Democracy Now LINKTV July 18, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PDT
07/18/17 07/18/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! pres. trump: i decided rather than terminating nafta, which would be a pretty big shock to renegotiate.e will amy: the trump has released plans to renegotiate the north american free trade agreement. they look surprisingly like the transpacific partnership, which trump withdrew from in one of his first acts as president. as the white hououse kicks off s "made in america week,k," labor
leleaders say thnew w nafta plan worsens s protectionons for wors and would be the ultimate in hypocrisy. we'll speak with public citizen's lori wallach. then, at any cost. the civilian catastrophe in west mosul. amnesty international says the u.s. coalitition may have committed war crimes there. wasn the one hand, isis systematically moving thousands into the fighting and then they trafficked them there. on the other hand, iraqi coalition forces bombarded the same areas with a relentless series of attacks that killed and injured thousands of civilians. amy: we will speak with the researcher behind the report. then "life on parole." >> with unprecedented access to parolees and her supervisors -- >> i only care about you. >> you don't care about me. >> i am in charge of your supervision. >> the make or break relationonships between ththem. >> serioususly, i'm trying to se
your ass. >> some people think being on parole is you are free. you are not. amy: as more states try too reduce their prison populations by putting more people on early release, "the new york times" and frontline profile four former prisoners as they navigate the chahallenges of thr first year on parole. we will meet some of them and speak with the director and reporter behind the documentary airing on pbs tonight. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the senate republican plan to replace and repeal the affordable care act has once again collapsed. for now. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell made the announcement monday night. republicans' inability to push through their healthcare plan is a major defeat for the party, which controls the house, the senate, and the presidency. on monday night, republican
senators jerry moran of kansas and mike lee of utah announced they would not support the latest senate version of the bill, ensuring republicans would not have enough votes to pass it. their announcement came at the same time president trump, who has heavily backed the senate bill, was meeting with seven republican senators who did support the legislation. later monday night, president trump tweeted -- "republicans should just repeal failing obamacare now & work on a new healthcare plan that will start from a clean slate. dems will join in!" the legislation would have cut $700 billion from medicaid. it faced opposition from all senate democrats, a slew of governors from both parties, the majority of the healthcare industry, the american medical association, hospitals, doctors, nurses, patient advocacy groups, and the u.s. conference of catholic bishops. majority leader mitch mcconnell says he'll now try to push through legislation to repeal the affordable care act and wait until after the 2018 mid-term elections to propose a replacement.
the director of the office of government ethics, walter shaub jr., says the trump administration has so undedermid ethicacal standadards that the united states isis "pretty close toto a laughingstock aththis point." shaub is resesigning today. he has bn n critical off presidident trump on a slew of isissues, including trtrump's failure to releaease his tax returns, hisis refusal to sell s assets, and his frequent visitis courses, which shaubub says "creates the appearance o f prprofiting fromom the presided" in his intnterview with h the "w york timeses," shaub alsoo crititicized demococrats for trg co-opt his work, saying -- "i don't like the fair-weather friends who are supportive of the ethics program only as a political tool against this present administration." the white house has released its plans for renegotiating the north american free trade agreement, known as nafta. the 17-page document says the white house seeks to reduce the u.s. trade deficit with mexico and restrict the amount of imported material in goods that qualify under the agreement. labor leaders and workers rights
organizations criticized the plan, saying resembles the sweeping trans-pacific partnership. that trade deals faced years of global public resistance by those who said the free trade deal benefitted corporations at the expense of worker rights and health and environmental regulations. trump withdrew the u.s. from the tpp in one of his first acts as president. the release of the nafta renegotiation plan on monday came as trump kicked off his "made inmeririca"-thememed wk. the vast majajority of t trum'sn compmpanies' proctcts are manufactured overseas. we'll have more on nafta after headlines. the united nations is urging the iraqi government to stop collective punishment against civilians accused of having had ties to isis. the u.n. says family members of isisis militants are f facing fd displacement, the confiscation of their homes, and the fear of retribution. this is umm suhaib, whose husband joined isis. beginning, -- he
relies to was wrong when he saw them withdrawn from east mosul have they said they would looked in iraqi forces could not recapture the areas. he saw their injustice and he regretted their decision. but he cannot leave because the executed anyone who would have left them, even if it was a child. i have not heard from him for two months now. i do not know if he is buried under the rubble. amy: this comes as amnesty international says the u.s.-led coalitioion and the u.s.-bacackd iraqi forces violated international lalaw and may have committed war crimes during the battle to seize controof m mosul from isis. we'll have more on iraq later in the broadcast. in a sururprise move, south kora has reached out to north korea withthn offer toto hold military talks this friday at the demilitarized zone between the two countries. the u.s., japan, european union on the other hand are pushing for heavier sanctions against north korea.
the south korea overture comes as south korea refused to allow peace activist christine ahn, who was born in south korea, into the country, where she was slated to meet with women's peace groups. south korea said she had been denied entry on the ground she might "hurt the national interest of public safety." this is christine ahn, speaking earlier this month on democracy now! about the prospects for de-escalating tensions between south h korea, north koreaea, ad the united states. viablet now, the most proposal that is on the table that has now come as you mentioned earlier, is backed by both china and russia, but originally came from the north halt then 2015, was to u.s.s. and south korean milility exerercises inin exchange for freezing north korea's nuclear and long-range missile program. that is the deal that should be seriously considered, but the trump administration is not accepting it. amy: in gaza, israeli-imposed restrictions on electricity continue to limit electricity to
barely two hours a day amid the stifling summer heat, making it impossible to sleep or keep food from spoiling. the united nations has warned gaza has become unlivable for its 2 million residents. meanwhile, in jerusalem, israeli security forces attacked palestinians with stun grenades monday amid protests and clashes around the al-aqsa compound. over the weekend, israel installed metal detectors and closed-circuit televisions at the entrance of the holy site, drawing widespread condemnation and protest by palestinians. in japan, a top official with the tokyo electric power company says he wants to dump more than 700,000 tons of contaminated water from fukushima's nuclear powerr plant into the pacific ocean. local fishermen are protesting against the plan, saying dumping more radioactive w waste into te water will imperil the fishing industry. the water is contaminated with tritium, which can cause cancer when ingested in high concentrations.
back in the united states, tens -- back in the united states texas, , white former balch springs police officer roy oliver has been indicted by a grand jury on murder charges for killing 15-year-old african-american student jordan edwards earlier this year. police body cam video shows officer oliver fired his assault rifle into a car carrying five black teenagers as they drove away from the officer. one of the car's passengers says the officer never even ordered the boys to stop driving before opening fire. meanwhile, in minneapolis, hundreds of people attended a vigil and d rally sunday to dedd justice for justine damond, who was killed by a police officer saturday after she called 911 to report what she thought was a sexual assault occurring near her home. damond, who is white, is from australia. she was planning to marry her fiancee next month.
she was reportedly wearing her pajamas and in the alleyway outside her apartment when she was shot by the officer and she approached the police car. the officer and his partner's body cameras were not on at the time. d's father.ustine damon >> we got yesterday was our worst nightmare. but we woke to the ugly truth and it hurt even more. justine, our daughter, was so special to us and to so many others. we went down to the beach this morning and saw the b blackness change a light. justine was a beacon to a all of us. we only ask that t the light of justice shinine down on the circumstances of her death. thank you. and d tens of thousands of peope may have their student debt erased as private creditors are realizing they don't actually have the paperwork required to prove they own the loans. as much as $5 billion of student debt is at stake in the ongoing legal battles, which centers on
national collegiate student loan trusts. dozens of students have already had lawsuits against them dismissed amidst revelations national collegiate student loan trusts had mass-produced documentation and kept incomplete records. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeneres and viewers from around the country and around the world. we begin today with monday's highly-anticipated release of the trump administration's goals for renegotiating the north american free trade agreement with canada and mexico. the 17-page document outlines trump's plans to reduce the u.s. trade deficit with mexico, and eliminate a controversial dispute settlement mechanism. u.s. trade representative robert lighthizer said, "too many americans have been hurt by closed factories, exported jobs, and broken political promises" and vowed to negotiate a "fair deal."
trade analysts say the plan is vague and draws heavily frfrom e trans-pacifific partnership, a 12-country trade deal that included canada and mexico. on the campaign trail,l, trump called the tpp "a continuing rape of ouour country" during gs -- and then withdrew the u.s. from the deal in one of his first acts as president. meanwhile, labor leaders criticized the new nafta plan, saying it worsens protections for workers. afl-cio president richard trumka said -- "small changes around the edges -- or the insertion of disastrous trans-pacific partnership provisions -- are not acceptable and would be the ultimate in hypocrisy." amy: the release of the nafta renegotiation plan comes as the white house kicks off its "made in america"-themed week. speaking monday trump lashed out against trade dealals he said de hurt u.s. compananies. pres. trump: i want to make a pledge to each and every one of you, no longer are we going to allow other countries to break
the rules, steal our jobs, and train our wealth. and it has been trtrained. it hasas been trained. amy: trurump campaigned on t the promise of either leaving nafta or r renegotiating the agreemen. in aprpril, he said u.s. will remain and seek to renegotiate using fast-track authority, which mandated monday's release of detailed objectives for renegotiation 30 days prior to the beginnnning of formal tatal. trump will now have sweeping authority to independently broker an agreement before submitting it to congress for a wallach, director of public -- for more, , we're joined by lori wallach, director of public citizen's global trade watch and auauthor of "the r rise and falf fast track tradede authoririty." welcome back to democracy now! tetell us what were in these plants released by the trump administration and why labor ofders ours oh skeptical what the trump administration has proposed. that camehe document out yesterday certainly does not describe the revolutionary
transformation of the nafta into something that is much better for working americans -- which is what president trump promises -- promised us as a candidate. on the other hand, the document is fairly vague. i think there are a couple of reasons for that to be the case. he remains unclear from this document if on the one hand, some real improvements might be in the offing relative to the current agreement or, looking at this document, you can go either way, a lot of what was in the transpacific partnership is going to get added on to the existing nafta. the bad stuff is not going to get cut. as a result, the agreement is going to be worse for the people and the planet and all three countries. there is enough vagueness in the descriptions that it is unclear if the things that simply must be done -- and there is a short list of them that must be done
-- if we're going to reduce the off shoring of u.s. jobs, pressure downward in the countries. the language is so vague, does not their fair doing that. and it is also unclear exactly what the labor and environmental standards will be. one of the goals would be to reduce the trade deficit ,etween the u.s., especially and mexico, but there is also this stuff about currency manipulation. i don't think anyone has ever accused canada of -- or mexico being involved in that. >> it is super interesting. so when president trump was a candidate, he talked about making nafta much better for working americans and he described what that would mean as bringing down the trade deficit, which was $173 billion trade deficit with
mexico and canada last year. and he said he would make sure more jobs are created by renegotiating. on the one hand, it is pretty interesting and has never been the case single of the negotiations is to try to get the trade more in balance. that is a good thing. the flipside is, it is unclear whether the objecectives will deliver on that. now, the fact that that is the goal -- and the guy who's the trade representative is a guy with consistently five for u.s. companies and u.s. workers. he is a fairly -- he is a guy i am hopopeful about. that makes me wonder what the vagueness is about. are there things they have not still decided in the administration? smarthe is just being thinking a big fight on some of the issues that could make it better. who knows? the currency stuff is interesting because in fact, right after nafta went into effect, mexico devalued its currency enormously.
the peso crisis. that wiped out all of the benefits of the tariff cuts. so the devaluation was bigger than the general -- the average drop in terrorist u.s. products had faced. eliminating benefits with that. i think part of the reason, and the trade representative saidd this, they're going to do the currency language in this agreement to set a model so that it is a basic element of every us agreement. which is not a bad thing. the bad thing that is disappointing is in order to bring down the trade deficit and to create more manufacturing jobs in the u.s., to counter the race to the bottom, there are a set of things you simply have to do. it does not matter if it is democrats or republicans or mars. this is the only thing that will change the numbers. getting rid of the intensive'ss -- incentives and nafta, getting rid of the ban on by local and american, which offers our tax
dollars instead of reinvesting them to create jobs and homes, putting in environmental labor and wage standards that are strong and real, and enforcing them so you actually have to meet the standards before you get the benefit to the agreement. thee kinds of real changes document yesterday is not clear about. i would not totally say none of that is going to happen, it is a little worrying it is not necessarily going to happen. in fact, is buy imac and week and the language on the procurement issues was particularly disappointing. it does not get rid of nafta's ban now. that seems pretty hypocritical. amy: during a press briefing monday, a reporter asked press secretary sean spicer if "made in america" week will apply to trump brands manufactured internationally. >> i am wondering whether you
can tell us if "made in america" week will include the trump organization or the ivanka trump brands? >> i'm sorry? >> as part of "made in america" week, if the truck organization or evocative's brand will make any cut of commitment to stop manufacturing gives," and other things abroad? >> there are a couple of things interesting about that question. first, the president question yes agenda -- the president's agenda are focused on trying to make sure all companies can hire here, expand here to manufacture here. that is something he wants for every company. with respect to his own , it is inappropriate to discuss how it would affect their own companies. i can tell you in some cases, there are certain supply chains or scalability that may not be available in this country. i'm not going to comment on specific products, but the overall arching goal is to grow
manufacturing, grow investment in the u.s., and to grow u.s. workers here. that remains the overall objective. amy: so that was sean spicer will stop we could not show you video because, once again, for at least eight days, the trump administration is not allowed video to be shown of the press briefing at the white house. but that is sean spicer requesting -- responding to the question whether "made in america" should apply to trump brands. lori wallach? only is that an import question, but it raises an important problem with these nafta negotiations, which is the president has refused to divest his business interest, to disclose what his full investments are in mexico and canada. so when these t tlks are ongngog -- and they can start in 30 days that even though we do not have the details of what is going to be demanded, with the opening u.s. documents are.
a lot of members of congress have demanded the trump administration simply do with the european union does, which is before it officially tables a document making demands of another country in a trade negotiation, they publish them publicly. so with this investment in mexico and c canadaa iv,anka is making goods in mexico, some of the trump clothing line was made in mexico. the direct conflict of interest about in whose interest some of the state negotiation's will happen. so i respect and trump the guy who is the united states trade representative, but he is part of a big administration that conflicts ofe interest with the trump organization, including the secretary of state rex tillerson who was the head of a company that has used the investor state corporate tribunals -- which this document does not make clear we are getting rid of in these renegotiations. oil anand gas companies are the ones who are using this mechanism where multinational corporations are empowered to
attack governments in front of tribunals of free trade attorneys who can order us taxpayers to pay unlimited sums come including for the companies lost expected future profits. if some company saying consumer law undermines their nafta privileges. in nafta, this is not hypothetical, the reason why the environmental label consumer groups say nafta needs a total redo simply to stop the damage is already $470 million paid out to multinational corporations. on mining rules, toxic banes, water and timber policies. so just to stop those corporate attacks, to stop the ongoing off shoring -- if you want to talk about the trump trade hypocrisy, put your head around this one. remember hearing them say, i'm going to make copies that
offshore suffer. carrier is off shoring thousands of jobs. has anything happened them? not a punishment, but 15 new lucrative government contracts. deepwould say there are politics and conflicts in an administration on not just the but whatca week, happens with the nafta negotiations, that make the concerns about in whose interest, what is going to be on the table, very real. on that note, i would say, a lot of folks are going to see the members of congress in august and should talk to them about making sure nafta is either replaced or we get out of it. juan: where do we go from here? is there a time limit that would -- republicans won a deal wrapped up by the beginning of next year? pushe goal is to tryy to
negotiations by the end of the year. i don't think that is feasible the way fast track works, they can start the talks as early as august 16. during august recess, it is totally worth at a labor day picnic or parade or if you happen to run into them at some event, to grab your members of congress and and say, i am concerned about the nafta negotiation. will you promise me you will oppose any agreement that still has investor state dispute not a goodin it, trade agreement for people, just for corporations? he getsprocess up when decided and when it gets finished will depend on us. if we basisically insist on holding accountable trump to his promises to make it really better for people, not just corporations, it could stretch out. amy: lori wallach, thank you for being with us, director ofof public citizen's global trade watch and author of "the rise
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: the journalistic monitoring group airwars is reporting that the u.s.-led war against isis h has killed at let a dozen civilians every single day since president trump took office. their investigation found that u.s.-led coalition airstrikes and shellingngn iraq andnd syria killed more than 2200 civilians during trump's six months in office far higher rate of , a reported civilian casualties than under the obama administration. amy: this comes as amnesty international reports the u.s.-led coalition and the u.s.-backed iraqi forces violated international law and may have committed war crimes
during the battle to seize control of mosul from isis. lieutenant general stephen townsend, who oversees the campaign against isis in iraq and syria, has denied the u.s.-led coalition broke international law, claiming instead international law, -- the campaign against isis is the "most precise campaign in the history of warfare." thousands of civilians were killed during the nine-month battle in mosul and nearly 1 million residentnts were forcedo flee their homes. for more, we go to beirut where we're joined by nicolette waldman, who is an iraq researcher at amnesty international and co-author of the new report, "at any cost: the civilian catastrophe in west mosul, iraq." welcome to democracy now! talk about what you found. thank you. what we found is that both isis and the iraqi coalition forces inflicted massive harm on civilians during the battle for west mosul. on the one hand, isis systematically moved thousands
of civilians directly into areas of active fighting, then they trapped him there. on the other hand, iraqi and coalition forces been subject of these very same areas to relentless attacks. these attacks used explosive and imprecise weapons that killed and injured thousands of civilians and left the city flattened. juan: were you able to interview people in bothth east and west mosul? and what were some of the things that they told you directly, civilians trapped inin these zones? this report focused only on the battle for west mosul. we had cover the battle in east mosul in previous outputs, but this report really focused in on the battle that took place between february and then just ended officially days ago. and for this research, we visited west mosul, east mosul, and then we talked to people in camps around the city who had
fled either days or weeks before we spoke with them. and what they told us was that this battle was horrific. basically, they had been rounded up and forced into the battle, then they had no way out. what actually happened for so many people is that becausese ty were forced to move into the city and then as the battle continued, they were forced to fall back. so as the frontline went back, the civilians moved that with those front lines. the area in west mosul became increasingly packed with civilians. so because isis was preventing people from escapipi, this meaet inyey only had one way out most cases, and that was directly through the front lines of the battle. what people told us time and time again is that they did not wait for the battle to subside or the fighting to call down. instead, they waited for the fighting to reach its peak and
thatat was the momoment they r t into the middle of the street, usually, sit down, raise their hands, and with a "civilians. families" and sit and wait for the iraqi forces to motion in forward. only then were they literally make a run for it and they get out of this battle. the cost to civilians was extremely high. what we want to do with this report is bring attention not to the victory that so many are talking about in the last few days, but to the tremendous cost that civilians suffered during this title. amy: speaking to npr on thursday, air force brigadier general andrew croft responded to the findings of the amnesesty report. is an unfair accusation. they are not coordinated with the coalition. i will tell you, from the way we do our airstrikes, we use the most precise and discriminate weapons we can ever use. worlde available in the to avoid targeting civilians. if there's ever a doubt of
whether or not there is a civilian involved, we will not strike. this is the most precision, low collateral warfare, especially in an urban environment like this which has not been seen since world war ii, that you could ever construct. so what we have done, in my view, the absolute best job we can to avoid any civilian casualties. they are going to happen just based on the nature of the war, but i can tell you to be effective, we have got to support the iraqi security forces, and that is what we're done. amy: nicolette waldman, can you respond? that is not what we found on the ground. weeks withwe spent families, talk to them. it seems as if every third family we talked to had lost a family member in one of these iraqi coalition air force airstrikes or ground attacks. it was so common for people to
be full of shrapnel -- i met whole families who were full of shrapnel -. to his claims this was the most precise campaign in the history of warfare, i would respond just with my experience with the civilians experience of what they went through. and basically would call on the iraqi coalition air force is to use their great technological advantages to better affect -- better protect civilians in places such as west mosul. because what we found was quite the contrary. we got iraqi forces, in particular, consistently using irams. these are basically flying ieds. ththat a massive warhead. they cannot be precisely targeted. so these were being flung into neighborhoods where people were trapped. were they had no way out. and often where people were packed in one house in groups between 15 and 100 civilians.
of weapons that cannot be targeted are launched into areas like this, the cost of going -- the cost is going to be high. we would call on the u.s. and iraq coalition, the coalition and iraqi forces, to do better in the future to prioritize civilian protections and to uphold obligations which requires them not to use the type of weapons they did, these imprecise explosive weapons in these very densely populated areas. juan: what did you find out about the reports from the coalition forces that isis was using civililis as humanan shields?s? how prevalent was that from what you were able to find out? it was absolutely prevalent. and to a scale even we did not expect. what was happening is they were not just using humans as shields
to protect their own forces, they were moving people in to the battle. so starting even in the month before the battle for west mosul started, they rounded up civilians in buses, and trucks, and forced them sometimes to move by foot by the thousands. so they moved them into west mosul. once they were there, they moved them back and kept them with them from ever did neighborhood. so this could have been one of the most prevalent use of human shields or using civilians just protect their own forces, in modern history. what happened then as well, they did not just put them into this amazing risk, they kept them there so that people who would try to escape and save the lives snipers asecuted by they were running to safety. then the bodies of these people would be hung by isis and public areas as a warning for those who might just consider trying to escape.
so this meant that people who could not escape -- in some cases, not just here or there, but again and again -- we heard people were being welded into their houses. their front doors were being welded together. we're people have booby-traps set in the exits of their houses so they could not leave. this meant that huge groups of civilians were sheltering in these homes and being used as human shields in such an egregious way and deliver away. within what was happening is these very same areas, where these people were trapped, these areas were being barraged by air attacks and ground attacks by the iraqi coalition forces. most attacks were were not killing the high number of attacks like the mosul attack on march 17, but instead killing between one and 20 civilians. most of these deaths will go unnoticed. and so far, have not been acknowledged.
because actually in mosul, west mosul, isis headband these of mobile phones. they do not have the kind of infrastructure to rescue people to go after and document these deaths. what we found when we were doing this research is the scale ofof death was much higher than has so far been acknowledged. airwars estimated that between and juneuary 2017 2017, as many as 6800 people were killed and attacks by the iraqi coalition forces. and just during our research, during the 151 interviews we conducted, we documented 45 unlawful attacks. these attacks killed at least 100.ivilians and injured so the scale of suffering and death and injury has really not been grappled with yet. and i'm afraid we will be finding out in the months and
the we want to thank you, iraq researcher at amnesty international, co-author of the new report, "at any cost: the civilian catastrophe in west mosul, iraq." when we come back "life on parole." a new frontline documentary that airs tonight on pbs, looking at how states are trying to reduce the prison population byby puttg more people on parole. we will meet some of the former prisoners as they navigate challenges of their first year on parole and speak with the director and "the new york times is what reporter behind the story. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we end today's show with a fascinating new collaboration between frontline and "the new york times" called "life on parole" that airs this evening on pbs. >> tonight on frontline, hundreds of people are put on parole every day and many of them wind up act behind bars. >> it is not unusual for parolees to come back once or twice once they are out.
>> they did not commit a new crumb, but there are violating rules of supervision. >> even going into this store, i can end up in jail and i'm only getting coffee. >> many are trying to break the cycle. >> i really did not know it was that serious. >> you're going on gps. >> filmed over a year and a half -- >> my life is pretty much ruined. >> with unprecedented access to parolees and their supervisors. >> i only care about you. >> you don't care about me. >> i am in charge of your susupervision. >> and the make or break relationships bebetween them. >> you understand what you have done? i'm china a save your ass. >> some people think being on parole is you are free. you are not. >> i have to believe she is going to do good. i believe in second chances. juan: "frontline: life on parole" was filmed in connecticut, which like many
states, is trying to reduce its prison population by putting more people on early release. it follows four parolees and their parole officers as they navigate their first year out from behind d bars and try not o violate their terms of release. today, we e will meet some of them. we b begin with erroll brarantl. >> i i am home. i have beenn waiting for this fr too long. open. open. erroll was c coming home, i was more than excited. we were waiting for him to get out on parole and to come home. left 70 and want to make a future with them, you kind of feel like all of that is on hold. is being brantley released from prison early after serving 20 months for drug possession and burglary. >> i got a bunch of hugs for
everybody. >> to be able to put your arms around somebody is a huge thing. >> i got to go to parole. -- 100ldren street sheldon street. i don't feel like i woke up in prison this morning. you know? i have been coming to prison since 1999 now and i've been in and out of jail 11 times. >> this time i got out was the first time i was on parole. >> brantley. >> i was definitely frightened. i did not know what to expect. >> released from colorado, correct? parole sentence, a little less than four years. >>'s parole officer has been a parole officer for 18 years. >> what was your crime? >> burglary.
>> is that kind of your thing? >> not at all. drugs. heroine. >> mr. brantley, you could read had a long, long history of opioid addiction. if you're in this s business log enough, you know the c chances e itsome point it will rearr ugly head. now he is on your watch, see have to make sure you are dotting i's and crossing t's. >> i'm gogoing to have you reviw these conditions. a one to make sure e you understandnd each condition and sign at the end. >> among his conditions, you'll act undergo mandatory drug teststing and he is barred from contact with prior victims, which includes his girlfriend catherine. >> long-term planning with your mom at that address? >> i want to go back home. i live with my girlfriend. but there was a a problem at the jail. she saiaid -- they said she wasa victim and took her off by visiting was for like 17 months. >> who was the person?
>> katherine eaton. >> was she a victim? >> no. >> what are they saying she was a victim of? >> or glory -- burglary. >> the department of corrections has a policy. when offenders are released, withcan have no contact victims. she called the police on him. she then createded the situation in the department's eyes that she was a crime victim because he took her tv set. there is no staying overnight or know nothing. >> yes. >> he leaves and goes home with catherine, violating the terms of his parole on his very first day. >> i just want to stay close to the people i love and feel protected. understand parole, that to do with after do, but i was happy.
i was home. it is all i have of your. it is all i need. welcome home. absolutely. it is a good place to be. i have been trying to get here for a long time. amy: that is erroll brantley, one of the parolees clip featured in "life on parole," a documentary by frontline with "the new york times." it airs tonight at 10:00 in local time on pbs stations around the country. yoyou can also watch it online. for more, we are joined by matthew o'neill, who is the film's director, and by shaila dewan, the national criminal justice editor for "the new york times." her related report on erroll is headlined, "she's his rock. his parole officer won't let him see her." it was the cover story of the monday "new york times" the top of the fold story. quite an amazing front page, then full page spread, shaila dewan. this incredible dilemma for erroll who c comes out of jll ad he is not allowed to see his girlfriend katherine eaton.
if you can extend this further frfrom what t we have e watchedd also in ththis piece. >> sure. he was actually told at his parole hearing "we won't list katherine eaton as one of your gotims." the plan was to back to living with her as he had been before he went to jail. sudden, they get told me you what? she is a victim? someone is going ovover the records. you can't do it. we're not going to approve this plan. so the whole thing is thrown into turmoil. the thing they have been waiting and this isyears because of this phone call she made to the police in 2014 saying "my boyfriend is out of control. he needs help. she says she made the call in order to force them basically into rehab. was afraid of the
heroin -- heroin deaths in their life, so it is a reality to them that this can happen. juan: how was it? >> at the time he was on probation, so he violated probation just by having her call the police. so he is arrested and -- but the charges that involved her being a victim, which is the theft of the television, or dropped. so there is never any ruling that he has victimized her. there was no violence and that incidents. he eventually is convicted of an unrelated break in. so that is what he is now on parole for. amy: goes to this larger story of the state -- i mean, i'm sure all studies show when you go home to a solid home life, it is going to increase your chance that you won't return will stuff you won't be a recidivist. yet he is not only allowed to
not live with her, but contact her in any way? the girlfriend was written to him, visited him, nonstop to his years in prison? trucks you see a lot of these the criminal justice. just the fact they make phone calls so expxpensive gum or any kind of contact so difficult, undermines a strong family relationship is a motivator to get people from getting in trouble again. >> we've heard about the 2 million people in prison or the gels across america, but it is 4.7 million on parole or on probation? > and the number of people wo are on parole is growing, as we lower the number of people who are incarcerated. i think at this time, it is important we look at the entirety of the criminal justice system because as it plays out once the's story,
criminal justice system touches you or you touch it, it is very, very difficult ever to get unstuck. you see these evevents chase people throughout their lives. amy: wattage you look at connecticut? >> connecticut is trying to reform any aspects of its criminal justice system. we were focused primarily on what happens after release. what are the challenges people face when they are released from incarceration. he quickly understood that parole plays a huge role in orple's ability to succeed the obstacles they may face. and most people who are released from prison are released to the supervision of a parole officer. so these relationships were so central to the lives of everyoye we were following, that we realized parole was something important to look at. connecticut is trying to change the way parole works. traditionally, it was, you make a mistake, we throw the cuffs on you and bring you back to prison. as you see in the film, parare
officers arere more and more beg asked to play multiple roles. investigatorcutor, -- as traditionally done -- but also drug counselors, social workers, even housing advocate. i think you begin to understand by seeing these otherwrwise invisible meetings -- parole officers have enormous control over the lives of the parolees, and very few people analyze it. juan: i want to turn to the story of jessica p proctor, anotother person you featured in "life on parole." >> on parole, , you're still sot of in the department of correction. you're being monitored in the community by a parole officer, but any day, for any type off violatioion, they can take you directly back into prison. you're still technically serving or s sentence. >> mike lawlor is one of the offificials trying to turnrn ths aroundnd and g give parololees e chahances oncnce they are out. >> it is not unususual foror parolees to come back once or
twice once they are out. they did not commit a new crime, but they are violating the rules of their supervision. >> one chhanges been the creatin of a special unit devoted exclusively to the needs of women parolees. officer katherine montoyaya held start the ut. are different population. they havave differenent needs.s. their superervision is differen. oftentimes, are majo main caretakers of the children.. it is hard.. jessicaca, i have not met her yet but i read heher case. she came in when she was 18 years old. she is going to be doing five years of parole with me. this is a pivotal time for her. she makes a decision right now if this is a one-time deal that
happened in her life and move on from this, or whether she is going to be a returning customer. someone he keeps coming in and out of the system. years.d 10 i was young. i was 18 years old. i should be under nobody else's supervision. i have been watched for 10 years. -- ie have stripped me don't think i need to be on anyone's parole. >> jessica proctor went to risen for/in other girls face with a razor blade. >> i did not kill nobody, but you would've thought i did tell somebody. 10 years, five years parole? i think that was a bit excessive. i do hold some type of resentment. prison sixout of days ago. this is her first meeting with officer montoya. >> hi, jessica. i'm your parole officer. when you come here, yet to clear metal detector. >> a lot of people think you are
free. they are notot free. this will be a measure of freedom. it will be five years. we have to work togogether. the e better you and i get alon, the chances are this will be a success. youngng, got in trouble, w when to jail for a certaiain amount f time, came back ouout. she really wants t to reconnect with her son. that is one of the biggestst gos and her life, to be a mother to her son. is my cousin jessica. this is when she first went into prison. custody togave up her son dante. for now, they're not living together. >> i think for a lonong time, he thought i was his bio momm until my sister got pregnant. and he said, i was in your stomach like that? no, youi was like,
weren't in my stomach. you were in mommy jessica's stomach. from t then on, i would just tel him, you are different than most kids. because most people only have one mom and you have threee mom. >> when i was growing up, killing thing i really knew was, she was locked up. when is shshe coming out? when canan i see her? >> reconnecting with family is so difficult. i was advocate for family counseliling, not t only the offender, but the family and everyone together. there is a lot off hurt feelings and anger. anand people don'hahave a lototf to maintain able situation like that, so they will go back to their behaviors, which is likike drinking oror dg use. jessicahat was
proctor. matthew, to what degree are the people you film tear reflected the general population you're dealing with? honestly, everyone was on camera, the parole officers as well as the parolees, so they are very aware of the situation and perhaps on their bets behavior. i'm wondering if you got any other stories from the parolees, the parole officers? were they as guys off-camera as in the interviews? >> people both on the parole officer side and the paroleeees are remarkably unguarded. we see a lot of those relationonships exactly as they play out. because we were there so consistently. we were in every parole meeting we could have access to. we were with the people we were following on the streets and in their homes, at their place of work when we got. we became very much part of the
fabric of their lives. so i think you will see in this film, things -- if you are tryingng to perform for ththe cameras him you would not put on camera if you were a parole officer or a parolees. of theaila dewan, one pieces of coming in "the times," is about rob, who is on parole. we don't have time to play the clip of him, but can you talk about the challenges he faced and what this says about the parole system, which increasingly people are on? you look a guy, when at his life story, he's a child of an addict. there is addiction and death from addiction throughout his family tree. you kind of looking go, or you destined for institutional they? like how do not have had this life trajectory? bytry to quantify that giving some of our parolees a survey that ranks childhood trauma from one to 10 and four
it consisiders a high score. rob scores a nine. apartreally tried to pick this cycle b because rob has children, including one young child, and we're trying to look at how this cycle perpetuates itself and how it can be interrupted inin rob's. case. we now have many, many children of opioid addicts. one to what most surprised you? >> one of the most surprising things, he said to me, the people we were following the longest sentences, like jessica, are the people who are doing the best now. it makes you wonder whether short prison sentences even make any sense or if there should be another approach, a different kind of intensive individual -- amy: what you mean, that whether short prison sentence --
>> it is uprising because we talk about how long are sentences are in this country and out over incarcerated we are compared to other places. but just to hear, you know, spending a long time in prison gives you, it you come out, a sort of more determination and littleo do better is a surprising. then you have to think about, what about the short sentences? do they do any good at all? spending a year in prison? juan: matthew, those who were on parole and probation amid those are not familiar with the criminal justice system, what is the difference? was there any difference in thte outctcomes? >> when you talk about the criminal justice system, it is hard to make generalalizations. in the u.s., we're talking about 5050 different criminal justice systems. each state is complicated in the way they run parole and probation. they are different. in our particular group, generally am a the probationers
did not come back as frequently because the parole officer can remand you, take you back in a prison directly, where as a probation officer will issue a warrant for your arrest if y you are in violation. parole is generally stricter and probation is generally looser. i think that tension that sjao;a the spring avenue between a desire to rehabilitate as papart of the criminal justice system and his desire to punish part of the criminal justice system, which are both in their, is really fascinating. a you see that rehabilitation aspect play out. amy: and people can see it tonight. 2 million in prison, 4 million people on parole or probation. matthew o'neill, "life on parole," a documentary by frontline with "the new york times." shaila dewan is the national criminal justice editor for "the new york times." you can go to democracynow.org to see all of the links. area tonight in your local
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