tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 23, 2014 11:00am-1:01pm EDT
stories. >> and eric garner was choked before the michael brown shooting. so local coverage really is local. and there is national coverage at all of the local media have national coverage, but, you know, if it's me, i'm going to spend my money covering local because there's plenty of national people. [inaudible conversations] >> why was the post-dispatch to cover the date -- the only one to cover the date officer wilson testified, we covered that. how useful is utilizing ferguson as a moniker, has there been any discussion about giving recent events a different designation? i mean -- >> that's where all the stories are kept, is at a hashtag. so we want to keep all the information to that one hashtag. >> it also gives you a way to catch up. >> hashtag -- [inaudible] and you see all the tweets and stuff. >> i'm trying to find questions we haven't asked yet.
can the media still be considered unbiased based on the coverage they convey to the world? oh, wait a minute, that's the second -- if responsibility of the media to convey unbiased information, why does it seem that media footage does not cover events that general residents are able to cover? be the community sees -- [inaudible] but chooses not to cover it. we all make decisions on coverage based on, you know, journalistic experience. you might think it's a really big story. like, at my radio station -- [inaudible] be who caress? if it's one thing that cares as opposed to a whole market, we're going to cover the story that the whole market wants. >> and then that's where i think you should tweet it or facebook it. >> what's this? why no coverage of -- [inaudible]
powell? i don't know who that is, i'm sorry. >> he was the guy that was shot in the -- killed in the city holding a knife. >> oh, the knife. >> did you say why -- >> why there was no coverage of that. >> we covered it. >> uh-huh, there were several stories about it. >> we wrote about it extensively online and in print. >> what also makes that a different story, it's also controversial, but he did have something in his hand, and he wasn't completely unarmed. >> but, i mean, we even took it to the next level. we even found out the same type of situation happened on the south side, and the roles were switched. it was the white officers and -- the black officers and the white guy. so we definitely covered it. is it to the extent of ferguson? no, but i think more so of what our coverage was with ferguson was not only the facts, but it was just the emotions and all the protests and stuff like that going on. so, of course, we covered it. but that wasn't happening with the stuff in st. louis. that didn't stop us from covering it. i know if you searched us, three
or four stories will pop pup. >> if you can possibly respond to the medical examiner on the news that michael brown's body could not be picked up was there was fear from -- fear of life from the crowd. i guess they were afraid -- the crowd, did the crowd prevent them from picking up body? >> that's a controversial statement right there because the fact that, the fact that he laid there for a while actually made the crowd more embattled. so i think by them saying the crowd was -- they actually made it worse, in my opinion. that's my opinion. they made it worse by letting him sit there longer. >> are you saying police? >> yeah, yeah. >> and i think there have been clear statements by police experts that there was no justification for him to have lied out there for that period of time, no police justification. >> we have run out of time. we have answered a lot of questions. i think we've got a lot of information. i can't thank my panel enough,
mariah stewart, christopher, bill, patricia wines, brad -- bynes, bradley and brittany noble-jones. thank you very much. [applause] >> and we have more on the ferguson police shooting with a washington post story this morning. ferguson, missouri, police officer darren wilson and michael brown fought for control of the officer's gun, and wilson fatally shot the unarmed teenager after he moved toward the officer as they faced off in the street, that's according to interviews, news accounts and the full report of the st. louis county autopsy of brown's body. more than half a dozen unnamed black witnesses have provided testimony to a grand jury that largely supports wilson's account of events of august 9th. according to several people familiar with the investigation who spoke to "the washington post". coming up at one eastern, a former israeli security officer talks about security, the threat of isis, this all takes place at
the wilson center this afternoon at one p.m. eastern. we'll have it here for you at c-span2. and then defense secretary chuck hagel and his south korean counterpart will hold a briefing at the pentagon to discuss their meetings. that starts at 4:15 eastern. and one and a half million people are in prison in the united states, and the number is rising. according to panelists at a recent discussion on incarceration rates, two ex-convicts, a former san quentin warden and a criminal justice investigative journalist take part in this forum. ♪ ♪ >> good evening, good evening, good evening and welcome, welcome, everyone. in particular, if this is your first visit to the california endowment center for healthy communities, we welcome you for
the first time. for those who are return visitors, welcome back. always glad to have you. my name is dr. bob ross, the president of the california endowment. this is one in a series of evening conversations that we have about issues of the day. typically health and civic-minded issues of the day. this particular conversation tonight is timely and compelling and powerful. this issue, the topic of this issue and the timing of it is interesting for me personally. it goes back 30 years for me when i was a practicing pediatrician in a clinic in camden, new jersey. 1984 is when crack cocaine hits the streets of urban america. and when some evil genius invented crack cocaine, it made
cocaine -- which is an intensely addictive, intensely euphoric, short-acting drug which was previously not very available to low income people and low income families because it was too expensive -- but when crack was invented, the affordability of crack are, of cocaine went down from hundreds of dollars, a hundred dollars and higher to $5. and crack cocaine swept the nation and influenced the neighborhood that i practiced in seeing more premature babies and more infant mortality and youth violence, homicides and assaults and sexually-transmitted decides and all kinds of things just exploded and went through the roof not just in camden, new jersey, but across major urban centers in america. but the reason i share that with you is because that was the very
same time that gave us the war on drugs, the so-called war on drugs as well as three strikes ask you're out -- and you're out, as well as the zero tolerance culture that has permeated our criminal justice system and our schools and law enforcement. and so here we are 30 years later, and we still have this problem. and so the conversation tonight is with some extraordinary experts, and i want to introduce the person who's going to bring up the moderator and the panel, and that is the great visionary, extraordinary founder and director and publisher of zocalo public scare. a round of applause for this great civic leader, gregory rodriguez. [applause] >> that was uncalled for. appreciate that. thank you, dr. process, thank you to the char -- dr. ross,
thank you to the california public endowment. this is an ideas exchange. our mission is to connect people to ideas and to each other. we partner with educational, cultural and philanthropic institutions as well as public agencies to present public events and to publish journalism, daily original journalism that we syndicate to 150 media outlets throughout the country and the world including time.com, "the washington post" be, smithsonian.com and "usa today" all out of our office in santa monica with ten people. all our journalism, which we publish seven days a week, is free. and all our events are free. last year we presented events in 30 venues in 15 cities. we invite you to join us at zocalopublicsquare.org for what we think is the most thoughtful and intelligent idea journalism in southern california and beyond. more importantly, you might know us as the guys who put on events and who serve you wine afterwards. [laughter]
we want you not only to listen, we want you to engage with the speakers, we want you to form communities that you may not have ever formed afterwards right behind us in the courtyard. you can fan us on facebook and follow us on twitter on @the public square. we'll be using the hashtag whyprison. we'd also like to let you know of a few upcoming events in los angeles, does corporate america know too much about you? okay. [laughter] what could speed up traffic in l.a.? will young californians ever be able to retire? these are all yes/no questions. [laughter] will downtown l.a. rival the west side, the real big question of our time? if you haven't already, please take a moment to silence your phones and, again, after tonight's program is finished, i hope you'll all join us to meet with each other in the courtyard. before i end, we are very happy that c-span is here recording
tonight's event to later play for national broadcast. and now i'd very much, i'm very happy to be introduced mr. tim golden. applause. [applause] tim golden has worked as a journalist for nearly 30 years, primarily as an investigative reporter and foreign correspondent. his forthcoming book is about the history of america's attention of terror suspects -- detention of terror suspects at guantanamo bay. he is currently with the marshall project, a news organization dedicated to covering america's criminal justice system. please give a warm welcome to mr. tim golden. [applause] >> thank you very much. i'm a native californian, and so i know that this is a place that prides itself on tolerance, including a high tolerance for self-promotion. so i would like, first, to lean
on that virtue to say that if you had enough interest in our subject tonight to make your way here through rush hour traffic, i hope you'll all become readers of the marshall project when we launch in the fall. we'll be delivering a steady diet of news both daily coverage and ambitious investigatorrive reporting -- investigative reporting that will, hopefully, cast some new light on problems in the criminal justice system and also solutions. and aftermany years of relative -- after many years of relative paralysis, this is a time of a lot of policy experimentation in almost every facet of the system. so much so that it's hard not to be hopeful on some days that the system is starting to change in some pretty fundamental ways. but today is not that day or one of those days. this morning the big, striking news in criminal justice was that the number of people incarcerated around the country is actually going up rather than done, which had been the trend line in american prisons over
the previous four years. so the idea that we had really turned the corner after three decades of a steady rise in the incarceration rate was maybe overly optimistic. california was right in the center of this, of course. for the last few years, it's been helping pull the national incarceration rate down, but year -- as people have already noted -- california's numbers were up, and once again so goes the country. the number of people in federal prison did decline for the first time in memory, and that's perhaps the best news given that the the bureau of prisons population had been rising much, much faster than that of states over the last decade. some states -- new york, new jersey, hawaii -- were all down and have been steadily down for a decade to the point that they can claim the distinction of having an incarceration rate lower than cuba's which is better than most of the country or many of the big states.
but overall, things were bad on both ends. more people coming into the system than in the previous year and fewer getting out. tonight we have a great and rich panel to help us try to unpack that and make some sense of it. susan burton lost her son in an accident when he was 5 and then spent the better part of two decades stuck in the criminal justice system before she made her way out in 1997. she's been focused on reentry efforts ever since, founding a new way of life for reentry project which provides resources like housing and case management and legal services to people who are trying to rebuild their lives after being incarcerated. jeanne woodward had a long career in criminal justice starting as a correction officer in san quentin in 1978. she rose through the ranks to
become the warden in 1999 and five years later was brought in to direct the california department of corrections and rehabilitation and became the department's undersecretary the next year. she's worked as an advocate in opposition to the death penalty, and she is now a senior fellow at the berkeley certain for criminal justice. prophet walker was a different kind of insider in the system, having been sentenced to six years in prison for assault when he was 16 years old. he helped start a two-year college degree program while he was incarcerated which gave new opportunities to young inmates, and he's a founding member of the anti-recidivism coalition which helps young people get a fresh start after incarceration and was an important force in lobbying for changes in juvenile justice laws in california. he's currently running for the state assembly in the 64th district which runs from compton
and watts to north long beach. and keramet reiter is with the law school at the university of california, irvine. her research focuses primarily on prisons, prisoner rights and the impact of punishment policy on individuals, communities and legal systems. she's also going to be the author of a forthcoming book about pelican bay. so welcome to all of you. [applause] just to start, i'd love it if you could give me a, give us a sense of what you made of the news today. was the optimism misplaced that things were starting to change in a fundamental way? >> i think for me what i began to see, it was twofold.
so there was some optimism that dwindled just because we want to see constant declining numbers, but i think there was a new optimism that arose in me which is targeting of the second strike within our two strikes law. we've built a huge campaign for the third strike within our three strikes law, but the second strike doubles the amount of time that people actually get once they commit a second strike bl offense -- tykeable offense which what's happened now in california has increased the length of time that each inmate is actually spending in our prison systems. ask so i think that -- and so i think that because of these numbers, we'll be able to open a dialogue on how do we now reform the second strike as well and continue to take these incremental steps to see real reforms. because one of the things that the numbers pointed out is that
california and texas largely impacted the overall percentage, right? and so if we can make real change within our policy and our laws, i think we'll see those numbers decline again. >> and i think there was some good news in the numbers. as you mentioned, new york continues, their incarceration continues to go down, and they've been at it for a long time. their strategy has been multifaceted. it included sentencing reform which, you know, california's just slowly doing and we certainly need to do more of, as you mentioned, the second strike law. there's an initiative on the ballot that's also looking at sentencing, it's prop 47 which voters will have an opportunity to vote on. but overall, i think we need to look at states that have that kind of success like new york and, hopefully, at some point have our legislature look at sentencing overall. i think we're still head anything the right direction. realignment was a step in the
right direction, but many of the counties have not embraced the spirit of realignment which was not just to continue to reincarcerate people, but to utilize the money the state was using to find alternatives to incarceration. we need to look at those countries in california that are doing that well like san francisco and some others and really try to implement policies that hold the other counties accountable for using that funding in the way that it was intended. >> you know, i think that polls have shown us that americans, the people no longer want to see these numbers and these institutions built. they're looking at other ways in order, other ways to handle people with mental health issues and drug addictions which really drive the numbers in our prisons and in our jails. but i think that what we've done over the last three decades is
really built this mass incarceration vehicle that has driven and driven and driven the numbers of men and women and children subject to these systems. and now we're realizing we no longer -- that it's not working, it's broken, it's too costly, it's taking lives that we could handle differently. so that's where we've landed. but the system keeps churning away. and i am very happy to see a proposition in california like proposition 47 that the people can cast their vote,
to the adult court system. and then likely are convicted and sentenced to prison. and so that, like, increases our prison population as well. and i think we need to go back to what the premise of the juvenile justice system was meant, which was rehabilitation and focusing in on the mental health and trauma that children face as opposed to mass incarceration. >> i think when i look at these numbers, it's just really -- the academic here -- it's really important to step back and take a long view and think about the fact that in 1980 we had a few hundred thousand people many prison, and today we have 1.5 million, and we're not going to see that decrease overnight. these will be have been incredible increases over the last 25 years, and what we saw today was a couple thousand numbers, right? i think it's 4,000, right? roughly less than -- more people in prison this year than last year, and that doesn't even
begin to compare what we were see anything the '80s. so i think it's important to keep that long perspective that we're not seeing the kind of dramatic increases that got us here, but we're also not seeing the kinds of dramatic changes that are going to get us out of here, and it's nice to hear people starting to brainstorm about how to get there. >> how do you think california has done at harvesting the lessons of other states and the programs that have worked in other places? >> or worse, how has california done planting seeds in other places that have been destructive, i think, is the three strikes, juvenile life without parole, solitary confinement. but, no, i think there is a better dialogue. jeannie pointed to new york and the progress they're making, thousands of people in long-term solitary confinement in california, really tough drug laws. we're starting to see those conversations in california also. so that's exciting. it would be nice the see california be the trendsetter it was in the '60s and '70s in
terms of progressive policies. i don't think we're there yet, but initiatives like prop 47 are steps in the right direction. >> maybe we should explain exactly what proposition 47 will do for the audience. so proposition 47 will be on the california voter -- it's the california voter initiative. and it reduce cans six low-level felonies to misdemeanors. it will transfer $250 million a year out of the adult prison system into schools, into rehabilitation services, into victim services. so if this proposition passes, the people, the voter will shift many resources and lower the amount of time that people can spend in prison for substance
abuse, for petty theft or theft, for receiving stolen properties. there's six low-level offenses that will change. and it will also make people who have went to prison for those crimes eligible for an an expungement. and i'm really excited about it because after being released from prison 20 years, after rehabilitating myself and hundreds and hundreds of others, jeanne, i'll will eligible to get an expungement. i'll be eligible to clean up my record, to not be punished anymore for medicating my grief with an illegal substance and incarcerated when i lost my son. and that's not just me. those are hundreds of thousands of more californians. so i'm really, you know, like,
gung ho. [laughter] gung ho for prop 47. >> you, prophet, i think you mentioned a little bit the political shift that's going on, and you saw that in a very close-up way when you were lobbying on the two juvenile justice reforms that passed. what's your, what's your reading of how much that has begun to change just in california, how much -- the confluence of compassionate conservatives, christian conservatives who have been interested in prison reform for a long time with tea partiers who are suspicious of the government's involvement in these big, giant programs and, obviously, libertarians is starting to make a difference here. >> right. i, first of all, wasn't lobbying. [laughter]
i'd get in trouble for that. i was advocating. [laughter] be clear. no. but, so the two bills we're speaking specifically about is s.b. 9 which disallowed california to sentence juveniles to life without the possibility of parole and s.b. 260 which says if a juvenile is convicted to, i think, 20 years or more, after 15 years or so the board of parole can revisit their case and determine whether or not they've successfully rehabilitated themselves. and what we saw was, first of all, the power of story is actually being utilized a lot more effectively these days. and so myself and a few other individuals who have had a successful transition from prison, you know, went to sacramento to advocate for these bills. and what we found was it's not
as adversarial as many would think. and it's slowly coming together. and so we had, you know, support from different law enforcement groups, different victims' rights groups, we had support from -- we had a letter from grover norquist and newt gingrich, just different conservatives and others that you would otherwise think they're just completely against this. but i think people are seeing not only has our prison system been socially irresponsible, it's been fiscally irresponsible as well. i was, i was telling the group in the green room that, you know, just this year alone our legislature passed a budget of $9.8 billion for our prison system. which serves about 130 plus thousand people. we only passed $9.6 billion for our cal state system which serves about 5-600,000 students. we are clearly on a path or have
been on a path that we scare ourselves, you know? in the '80s and the '90s, it was tough on crime. you were elected if you said tough on crime, right? we scared the public into believing all these myths about supercriminals and the whole deal. but i think now conservatives and democrats and everyone are saying, you know what? it's no longer this idea of tough on crime, we actually need to be smart on crime. and if you're a conservative, right on crime. and we're seeing a transition here. >> do you share that sense of fundamental change going on? jeanne and -- >> oh, i do. even researchers who predicted these superpredator kids that really led to these long sentences are saying we were wrong. >> right. >> and, you know, the science that's coming out about the maturity of brain and all of those things and how much the
costs are coming together. i think people on both sides of the aisle are paying attention. they realize we've headed in the wrong direction, we're spending too much money on incarceration, we're not getting anything for our money really. and that our money could be better spent in helping people return back to society, keeping them from going to prison in the first place. and that's really what public safety is about, right? it's people didn't understand the collateral consequences of putting people in prison. we took mothers away from their children. their children ended up in foster care. the whole idea that we were sending, you know, people to prison really were minor crimes led to the growth of gangs in our communities. and so as people are beginning to understand these collateral consequences of locking people up, i think that they're onboard with trying to figure out what we need to do to stop incarcerating so many people. i think that's the good news. now, the devil's in the detail,
and that's where we get into all the debates about, you know, what should be the length of prison sentence ises for different crimes, and it's going to take time to unravel that. >> but people are here talking about it. the marshall project just started. it's a big sea change, to me, from five or ten years ago when people weren't talking about the details, right? i mean, i open the paper almost every day and see something about solitary confine bement which is what i study, and i see something about juvenile life without parole, and i see people from a whole entire political spectrum and from a variety of religious perspectives coming together and talking about those things and really debating the tough questions, and that gives me hope. whether we'll get to the right answer, i don't know. ..
so the double truly is in the detail looking at those local policies and things we do that need to change so people can be more successful when they leave our jail system. >> think we're realizing we can keep everybody there forever. i realize sitting in soldier confinement people get directly from decades and total isolation again with no resources come in the middle of the pakistani on a street corner, and that sense that we can't come even if it in isolation we just can't keep
that in there forever. it doesn't work, we can't afford. we do have to think about presence not just in isolation at in the context of our community. >> can you tell us a bit about your experience and what it is taught you about what people need when they get out of prison and it's missing now from the system? >> i just want to say yes, we are talking about it. i remember when no one was saying anything about it, and very few people even knew anything about it. so when people come home, they need to have an actual exit plan, a place where they can go to just detox the whole prison experience, a place where they can be stable and get their id, get their social security card where they can feel welcomed and they can begin to get back in
touch with why am i here. what is my purpose? even though i've been through all of these things, what do we do with my life tomorrow, next year, next decade? how do i reconnect with my children. you know, some of the same things that we think about for our own lives, as far as the further development, what will i be doing in 10 years? where do i want to work? where do i want to play, and how do i get to rebuilding my life? how do i become a part of a policy system? how do i become a voter? you know, how do i get my life back, my dream back, my goal back? so some of the things that we need to be thinking about is what do we do to support those
coming back home to become constructive members of our communities? to be useful and productive our world. and in a new way of life, that's our whole purpose. that's what we do with the women that come there, but it's just a small nonprofit in the smallest little city in the world. we do what we do. i said we'd do it really, really well, but there needs to be organizations across the county, across the state, across the nation that are bringing people back in and supporting them to become engaged in their communities. >> why is it so hard to thank to get money the shnide interesting conversation recently with a prison warden who told me if somebody gave him $100,000 or a million dollars, and it was
discretionary money to spend any were on this prison, he could, he would spend outside the prison on reentry programs. >> why is it so hard to get money? >> yeah. >> you know, there such a limited amount of resources. i think that's the hope with realignment. before realignment, counties to put their problems to the state. and now with realignment it's kept locally and it's hopeful that the money that the state is giving counties will be utilized with more emphasis on reentry and providing those services because it's so critical. there's been studies that show that these people when you leave a jail or prison the whitaker to spend their first night out, they can be more successful. if they have a place to stay for 30 days, the successor continues to go up. and so we know what works, but it's just really getting people committed and the resources behind those things.
again, i live in the san francisco area so i know what they're doing there, and they spent a lot of the resources on making sure the people have the services they need to be successful. and so other counties need to hold their probation departments and their local communities responsible for doing the same thing. >> a real visceral social sense that it's not fair to give people education resources, job training resources if they've broken the law. if something went to confront and overcome and realize how expensive they become if we don't as a society try to lift everyone up. i have taught in prison education for years. i thought a college program at san quentin and again to limit times i've answer the question, why should you provide higher education services for those people who broke the law when you have college students who are paying to be in your classroom? why are you taking time away from the? my answer in california is dco expensive it is to take of these
people in prison as opposed to in the college classroom? my tuition as a graduate student in california went up because we spend so much money. my students tuition is continue to go because we're taking money away from them. it's both making investment and committing to it but stepping back of the bigger view, perspective, to understand if we are not educating the people in prison even if we think they might be less deserving than the college student in my classroom, that we are really going to college students in my class and also because we are taking resources away from them over the longer budgetary system. >> i heard a commercial a few days ago, and the commercial just made really, really good since. i think the buttons out there and the stickers, they do the math. and it said it, you can spend a dime no, or a dollar later. and it was just really, really simple. like, do the math.
are we going to keep spending more and more and more? 60, over $60,000 on a person in prison, in jail, and no services, no education? or 9000 on a person's education, a kids education. it's like a dime now or a dollar later. >> i think it's a very difficult conversation that we also have to address, which is when we're talking about reforming our prison system, wha but we were o talking about is inevitable loss of jobs. and i think no one's actually facing that conversation as well. so when we continue to decrease our prison population, that means we're going to get less and less prisoner guards or administrative staff and what
have you, and we also need to figure out a way to utilize the population as well and get them tto point to become educators ad social workers that can actually wean us off the prison system and put us back into more education induces system. when the warden, when you said if he could have $1 million he would do reentry, one of my personal views on a heard a gentleman said this before, van jones, and i've taken it on sense, which is we need to incentivize wharton's to reduce their prison population. currently, you have wardens like jeanne who are incredible, and they have absolutely no incentive to be incredible other than from the goodness of heart, right? what our prison system as it stands right now with privatization and other things out to introduce more people to be locked up. we need to switch that system to where we are actually
discouraging people being locked up and encouraging wardens and with us to reduce the prison population. i think then we strike some sort of the ballots because yes, the numbers on their surface show that yes, it's easier and less costly to educate folks than it is to incarcerate, but we are also talking about losing a substantial amount of jobs that this system has unfortunately created. support of this dialogue is how do we replace those jobs as well. >> i think have a performance-based funding is really a way to get to that. when you give the money out, whether it's counties or to the prison system and tighter performance measures, so the more successful your, the more money you get, the more good you can do.
we had some of that. as an example, the state gave money, more money to counties are reduced the number of people they're sending to present. so counties really worked hard to reduce the number of people% to state prison, and as result they're given, i think san francisco received $1 million after one year. those are the kinds of policies we want to see put into place. the better youtube or more money you get, the more good. >> the one thing in terms of reentry, it's very small, and i'm not sure if people realize how big it actually is, but just getting a social security guard, a driver's license. i personally think that should be done within a few weeks before he even stepped out of the prison system, kerry did, because i can when i was released if i didn't have the family and the support around me i would not be on this stage.
i guarantee you. because i was released with $200 was told to forge a new life, after being imprisoned from the time i was 16 to 22. no fundamental training within that time. so that's certainly a point of failure where we can clearly target and say, here's some tangible things we can do to change it. the legislative side of things in terms of former inmates getting housing and those things, that's a larger battle that hopefully in november i will be fighting, but it's a service something that can be addressed before folks can be released. >> this is all very optimistic, and i want to throw a little cold water. what do you think the possibility is a backlash? these counties are also getting dumped with a lot of prisoners who were not their
responsibility, and the recent history of social policy is not necessarily that the best decisions are made as responsibilities devolved to the counties and the states from federal government. >> you see a very different view of realignment if you read the "orange county register" and if you read the "l.a. times," right? there's fear in california and real, he was reporting, time is up, realignment is causing crimes. more sex offenders, more murderers. there is evidence of that. realignment is too new to study that. but when one person comes out and commits a crime, that israel potential i think for there to be backlash and it's a real danger as we look at the policy. one thing that's important think about in criminal justice reform and prison reform is we have an expectation we can get it perfect. that's where a lot of reforms have failed in the past is if we
just got the right sentence, if we just understand the right risk assessment, no one would ever commit any murders, never let anyone out of prison who did anything bad. we are just a perfect at anything. one thing to get better criminal justice policy we need to be willing to accept a little bit of air. not that there people running around murdering people let down by the sometimes we will get it wrong and that's okay. it doesn't mean the whole policy is wrong, that we have to think about all the success stories also don't condone as often. i'm afraid of backlash because i think when you look at the history of prison reform, anytime there's an attempt to be more humane come to get more people out of prison, there are stories in the news like willie horton, someone who commits a really gruesome crime and it's hard for us to put that behind us because it's more memorable than a thousand people who came out and did really well. i think you were right. we have to think about how to tell the stories of the people succeeding better and get them in the news more.
>> create a counter narrative to all the negativity that's constantly pushed, is so vital to the success. like we can change all the policies you want. we can realign the resources to different places, until the narrative is changed, though wanted is for someone who has committed a crime. because i can say through and through when i was 16, i committed a crime but i wasn't a criminal. i think that that's a dialogue that we have to begin to have with the public so that when a person commits a crime, they are not forever wearing a scarlet letter in society, and the actual have an opportunity to succeed. and an opportunity to go back to their communities and make it a lot more successful. i think we just have to bite the bullet. like she says, everything isn't perfect. we are going to make some mistakes and have some steps. and some individuals are going
to commit crimes and we will not be able to catch that. but the clear direction i think we should be on is how do we treat mental illness? how do we successful treat drug addictions? because that's not a crime. it's a serious illness and a limited, and i think those are two things -- ailment. two things are huge for this. mental illness specifically general chilton who have ridiculous amounts of trauma, who grew up in unthinkable violent, impoverished neighborhoods and then are expected to some of the the golden child. it's just unrealistic. we need to certainly bite the bullet and focus on that spirit accept imperfections individuals and for institutions. >> for me i think information is power.
i've advocated for a long time for a public report card by county, you know, how many mental health beds do we have? how many drug treatment beds, each county putting those numbers out. and then we can compare that with how will people are doing. we want to put our money on what works and not go back to, let's just lock people up. we know where that has led us. something to public report card is really important. it's a concept that when you take hold in this state. we have 58 counties and we get 50 different ways. what's working? let's do that. what's not working? let's stop doing that. >> do you have any thoughts of the sides, prophet, on how the hard pieces of this is how you start to build that tolerance for risk which is inevitable, and shifted some i do it, you have to create some level of strategic patience in a society that it doesn't have, and to
look at what's and hasn't changed in the system. parole boards operate very much the way that they always have when there's political pressure on the willie horton. the system kind of expect into its old instincts very quickly. do you have some sense of how to change that? >> i think, i think you're part of an answer, which is one -- i'm pretty cynical about change of backlash but i think the movement for greater transparency is really huge and you're doing incredible work on this front. when we have, part of the problem with stories like willie horton or the guy who commits the crime because he's released under realignment or someone who was paroled and commits a murder is that we don't have the data to counter that really powerful individual narrative. we don't have the numbers to say yeah but, 500 other people were paroled and didn't do that and look at where they are. or look at the numbers around
real london. look at what this county did. if we don't have the data we can councounter the narrative. i think that works to create better database is the issue is exactly what produces -- criminal justice its are doing, where people are and how they're succeeding or not is a really important way to counter those narratives. >> the stories that are being told that are being captured, what people are actually doing. it's amazing to me some of the work that people are engaging in after spending some time incarcerated, but we never hear about it. we never see it. one of the women came to me last week and told me about a child she grabbed out of the street and was about to get hit by a car. you know, this is something that she did that saved a life, which any of us would have done it, but that's what she did that day. but there are amazing things being done daily by people who
have been incarcerated and want to come back to their communities and just be useful and thoughtful and want to give, make their lives count for something more than the number of the time they spent. there's a deep yearning within people to be that person. so i agree with you that there needs to be more stories put out there of what people are doing, not just the willie horton's or the newsflash of what the personal paroled did. one person. >> the articulation of policy at the federal level has changed dramatically in the last several years, and it's almost not been noticed for as big a deal as it is. but you sort of wonder today,
where was the impact of federal drug sentencing guidelines that changed and now going back four years on these incarceration rates. is there sort of a less of a role for the federal government then maybe people thought? is this one of those places where the power of the presidency is a lot less than people thought? >> so, the national prison popular to overall went up by the federal prison population has continued to fall. there's some impact there. i think people forget when you say 1.5 and people in prison, less than 200,000 in the federal prison system. in a reform that is implemented isn't targeting the 50 individual criminal justice systems that exist in our state. it's a bifurcated system. i think there's a question of other reform struggling down or are there tones come with eric
holder says stop sending people for crack cocaine, does not have an effect? i think probably it does but it takes time to change that legal culture. i think one place where we see federal changes and litigation to its federal courts have said the california federal prisons are overcrowded. that will trickle down. i think there is room, and similarly when mandatory sensing gets declared legally -- illegally, that will trickle down but that's a very slow process. when you look at the criminal justice policies and yes, they are coming at the state level. three strikes is coming. is a lot of stuff percolating from the local level and states like california and texas are having a big impact on the federal system. not an easy answer. >> we started out talking about how california was doing at harboring the lessons of other places. we are are there other solutions out there, other programs that
haven't jumped out at you as models that should be looked at at least? >> so i don't want to give the wrong state but i believe it's massachusetts veteran's sending mentally ill to treatments and as you tremendous success. i hope it's massachusetts. i just read about this recently and it's a model that lots of states are looking at. new york, again can we talked about their prison population going down but it's important to note so has the crime rate dramatically for more than california. hawaii has had a lot of success with their hope initiative and some of their other programs that have been in place. i think there's just bright spots around the country, and people are really beginning to look at what's working and trying to duplicate that and i think that's good news. again, it will be slow though, a slow transition. >> i was going to say in boston
as well there's a program that for every day to keep someone out of prison who would otherwise be in prison, there's a certain percentage that the government gives to the employer. it's like this constant trade-offs of jobs versus imprisonment, and it's just constantly turned out to be cheaper. similar to what you said. i was in new york a couple of weeks ago and it was a national conversation of different organizations of how we affect the justice system. and i think there's always a bright spots and there's a lot of them that are correlated with one another now bringing everyone together, you know, working cohesively i guess. >> there's an argument that the kinds of success that you had with juvenile justice is getting at the low-hanging fruit, and the much harder problems have to do with people who are in prison
and are not sympathetic characters in any way. who represent bigger numbers in some ways, and harder, more allusive solutions. can you talk a little bit about that? >> this is something i think about a fair amount. again, in solitary confinement there's been some reform slightly to get the mentally ill, all the fittings were talking about, getting the mentally ill, juveniles, pregnant women at a long-term isolation. sounds like a no-brainer. and then you're left with this core of people but isn't it significant that it's pretty hard to advocate for. there's a similar fear about the presence of as a whole. on the one hand, i was a juveniles on a really great place to start because they're so young and there's so much hope in the cases that make me the saddest are the 22-year-olds who are facing the rest of their life in prison and they did
something when her 15 that they didn't even understand fully what was wrong. if we can get them out we can demonstrate people having successful lives and we should start with the low-hanging fruit. at the same time we do have to start the much harder conversations about what to do with those tough cases. what to do, if we don't as a society believe in solitary confinement and people are starting to say long-term solitary confinement is torture no matter what, the international human rights committee says that. then we have to talk of what to do the person who murdered a prison guard and isolation, and think about that and whether that person can ever get out, whether that person is mentally ill and needs treatment. whether that person is so rare, that's the other cases that there's maybe one person and isolation in california who murdered a prison guard. there's probably 100 committed violent crimes that need education, mental health care, been less restrictive conditions of confinement. i think you raise the whole system to be more humane we have to talk about both, the easy and the top.
>> jeanne -- the easy and the tough. spent your prison brings out all across california and the nation for the work and program that you did across the board with men that were incarcerated, that are incarcerated there. so you might be able to talk about how you implement it and talk about these programs that raise the consciousness of everybody. >> well first, i need to say that i was very fortunate to be a sin quit because it's located in the bay area. our ability to bring in volunteers is just so tremendous. my last year there were 3000 volunteers. volunteers professors from uc berkeley, stanford. how to be better than that. and then just me or positions around there. i was just fortunate to be there. try to duplicate that across
telephone is difficult because of where we built our prison. but it doesn't mean that we shouldn't try. the presence of done a better job of opening up their doors, and there are more programs coming into prisons around the state. but i also want to comment to what you said. i think the point really is that we need to look at people within these systems as individuals. what are the risks? what are the needs? can we meet the needs of many of these people? and the truth is we can. are there so hard-core people that probably shouldn't ever get out of prison? the truth is there is but we haven't looked at in that way. we decided to take people and throw them away. he can't continue to do that. i think the point you made is about looking people, what are their issues? are the mentally ill? there are so many veterans in her prison system. it's so sad to see veteran
facing a life sentence within our prison system. many of them have ruled now under governor brown, and that's good news and they're doing well. so i think that is the point. >> i would like to add, to, the conversation of low-hanging fruit. i suggest that it's more than just low-hanging fruit. projecting 20, 30, 40, 50 years down the road. because the reality is that many women who are currently in prison who we are unable to look at with the same sympathetic eye as a child, started off as a child, right? there are very few psychopaths in the world, very few, and that suggests that every child actually had an opportunity to not be a victim. and, in fact, most of the men who were in prison currently started off as victims. and so it's to conversations
that have to be had at the same time, and the juvenile conversation has to be pursued with extreme tenacity to project over the next 40, 50, 70 years that we are not having the same conversation in 100 years. it's like we see what's happened now. most of the children are direct effects of our crack epidemic and war on drugs and vietnam war and all these different things that occurred in our history. most of these men who were now able to say i will never let you out, started office children. it's like is only come if only we would have invested in. now we have an opportunity to do that and kerry both conversations on. >> where to look at people individual and think about those long stories but we have to acknowledge that the worst possible conditions we put people in our very hard to
control. it was okay this is the worst person in the prison system so we're going to treat them, leave them in total isolation in a dark room forever, it's hard to do that to only one person once you build a structure that does it. that's another important piece of the story. the way we treat the worst people still needs to be something we as society have thought about that embodies our democratic ideals and we are comfortable with the possible it might expand to other people and they might eventually get out of prison and really think about it from that perspective, the backend forward. >> we are going to cause him no to questions. >> we want to leave time to take questions from the audience. they are two of us going around with microphones. please raise your hand. we will come to configure a. we are recording this but it will be up on a website first thing tomorrow morning so you can share with friends, family, students, colleagues who could not make it out tonight. if you please say your name before you question i would be grateful. also we want to remind you that
c-span is here as well and they will be rebroadcast for a national audience at a later date. >> my name is mary sutton. i'm a member of the critical resistance, and curb, california's united responsible budget which is a statewide alliance of over 70 organizations fighting prison and jail expansion in california, and writer in los angeles. so my question is, does the audience know that there's a billion dollars in jerry brown's new budget to delegate out to counties for new jail expansion? does the audience know that -- yes, you know that to .000000000 dollars is being spent on a project for l.a. to expand the jail system? and what do you think of l.a. county getting over a billion dollars over the four years of realignment and giving 90% of it to the sheriff's department and almost nothing to community
organizations? >> i would actually to address that. i'm probably one of the most staunch persons, people against building additional prisons or expanding our prison, our jail system in any form. however, we have to focus on what happened with realignment. with the realignment we push more people into our jail system. that, unfortunately, are mentally ill that need more rehabilitative and education programs, and they are there. i don't know how many people who have visited our current jail system, the l.a. county jail, but it is horrid conditions that existed there. and so i'm okay with a situation where we are having better facilities to treat people in. i'm not okay with expanding bed
numbers under any circumstances. i think that that has to be cleared. like, if we are building facilities to treat people, those that are no longer deemed usable for treatment need to be shut down them and under no circumstances should we continue to increase the amount of beds. i want people treated to tackle the systemic problem. >> next question over here on the left. >> my name is todd kerner. i wonder if you could comment on the relative impact of things like a private industrial prison complex and a huge number of plea bargaining's that take place on prison sentencings? >> i'm going to take that plea bargain peace. as a person that's been through the system and working with
people that are currently going through the system in coming out, it's not a plea bargain that people get your it's a threat. and that's the real bottom line on that. if you don't take what they offer you, they threaten you with three or four times the number of years that you're going to be behind bars. so it's a processing way of processing people through a system that we call that justice system. but there's no justice in that system for people that don't have attorneys, for poor people essentially. so what i say, it's not a bargain. it's a threat. that's just the way it is. >> an important topic, the lack
of attorneys and representations. county supervisor thomas is focusing in on this, and when it deals with plea bargain, a lot of the people who are represented in our court system, because we have a lack of resources for the state system, do not even have public defenders. they typically have panel of attorneys. panel attorneys are often given three or $400 for the life of a case. so with that being said is that i can get this case out of my door in the next hour, i'm going to get $300 an hour. but if i do my due diligence doing an investigation, like what it takes to defend the case, which could be months, i'm only getting $300 still. so there is again a disincentive to push people to plea bargaining. county supervisor right now is actually working on an initiative to get more funding
for things like this. >> and private prisons are similarly an example of a perverse incentive you're talking about we change the incentives of the system away from justice and towards efficiency or financial gain, and that creates real problems. the u.s., the private prison system of push have 34,000 is mandated to be filled by undocumented people every day. that was lobbied for by the private prison system and requires those beds remain filled. similar with a plea bargain. >> next question on your right. >> steve goldsmith, unconnected with services, a funding program where we set up meetings between victims and offenders, youth offenders. very effective. very evidence-based, but i don't imagine what to me people from the juvenile justice probation or law enforcement here.
so how do we educate them? because that's really the folks that need rehabilitation, those front-line workers, because they don't make referrals to programs like that. they have this idea that impact probation department has a number of employees whose job it is to go out and violate people. that's all they do, sending it back to prison. so how do we change that system at the outset -- outside source to reduce people going in to begin with? >> create dialogue. i think is step one is to create dialogue between these two different groups and see that there's more commonalities than there are, you know, this interest. interest. >> not every county is like that but many of the counties particularly in the bay area have council were everybody is at the table, the committee-based organization, the district attorney, the sheriff, the probation department and they are all working together.
some of the counties have mandated that huge percentage of the funding goes to programs. they've done a lot of training with their probation officers to make those referrals, and their performance reports are based on those kinds of referrals. you have to change the model of the probation department and your whole system has to be at the table come in my opinion, along with the community based organizations who are there to help. like san francisco, 33% of the funding they receive from the state must go to programs. that's what they voted to do. i think you have to do that at the local level to make that happen. >> good evening. y. name is barry marlon. how do you get the for profit motive out of the prison system? we really haven't talked about that this evening. it is a business. it is a business upon which people are making money, whether they are the lobbyists directing political contributions to
congress members who or approving fast growth in the private construction and private operation will prisons. how can we conceivably direct the profit motive because that's what this country works upon, to the rehabilitation effort and to the restructuring efforts to get these people back into society where they belong. how do we stick the pin in the balloon of the profit motive of the prison system? >> i would just throw out, the balloon has already been stuck in some ways i think, and you already see private prison corporation's pivoting very quickly and very nimble and to move into probation services, in to bail, into a whole series of post-incarceration services,
with the exception of immigration detention, private prisons are not really a growth business at this point. >> i think jeanne mention of his earlier, just the restructuring of what we spend our resources on. so if we are encouraging social impact bonds, for instance, we are saying if you're successful with reducing this population, then and only then will he be paid. i think that we are encouraging a profit model where, yes, you can still make money but you will do so by reducing the prison population. >> we will even pay bonuses. >> right. we will give you more money. >> this is in a way think there's some black and white that it is inappropriate to let anyone to profit off of punishment. that's what we've allowed when we since people to probation and have them pay private companies high interest loans. they agreed to be on probation.
people are profiting over punishment. profiting over rehabilitation is made a great idea. the art many think that a black and white to me but that one has. >> i think we also need to decide what we want the purpose of prisons to be. the penal code still says punishment. the purpose should be rehabilitation. i think we have to really be clear about what we expect people to achieve. >> next question to you right. >> my name is thelma. i went to the program at uc irvine. thankful to be here. my topic is poverty. whenever i read books by civil rights movements back in the day, you know, martin luther king, doctor thurmond and i read from justice books also it seems i could have the same common theme of attacking poverty.
the rich get richer and the poor get prison can write? the state has no income, people make money, the higher the prison population like california. doctor thurmond says people are in survival mode. martin luther king said empower somebody. let them know their voices mean something. i wonder if this ever thought of fixing crime ever becoming like a civil rights type of movement, seems like people structure violated in american seems like that becomes part of the problem i guess, urgent, like how could we, could ever go that route to where we are hurting our own citizens by not empowering them and educating them and treating them like a human being when they come out of the criminal justice system? >> mass incarceration is the final frontier in the sub rights movement? >> maybe i will say something nice which i think it highlights for us that in a way being free
from some of these things is a civil right. when you read about people in ferguson, missouri, not be able to pay the fines and being imprisoned and being debtors in imprisoned. then we see that we have violated a civil right and women a much harder time when it has been privatized. thanks to privatization at least for enlightening people that way i guess. >> we haven't touched on raised in this whole conversation. [applause] we haven't touched on race. we haven't touched on the 13th amendment where you are okay if you're imprisoned. that really needs to be in the depth come in the heart of this conversation. when you see so many black men, so many black boys, the numbers are astounding. the numbers that are incarcerated. when you're in that place and you're getting 8 cents an hour
for raising chickens are picking pecans or making a desk, and you get out and have these fines are you get out with a hot $200 make it from there. but we have not touched on how race is driving this. 70, 80, 90, 100 years ago being black i was pushed out. but now today having a criminal history i am pushed out. and so many of our young men, so many of our women of color, men of color are pushed out, and incarcerated and worked as a slave under the criminal justice system. so we, you know, deep in this conversation but we must put race into this. and mass incarceration of black
and brown folks in this conversation. [applause] >> we have time for one last question. we have run out of time, but i want to take the time to thank all of our panelists for sharing the evening with us. that was wonderful, and all of them are going to be at a reception where everyone is invited to go up to them individually and ask for the question. also want to take a moment to thank the california endowment for hosting us and co-presenting this event with us. and now our last question. >> hi. my name is joshua. i'm from south central los angeles and i knew to talk about rehabilitation. so my brother just got out after 10 years and he basically went to joe because he was trying to feed his family. he shot a man and the judge told my brother he would've got less time if he killed the men to i don't really believe it but i
was there when he said. so i'm just can't figure out, once you get out of prison, let's talk about rehabilitation. like what's next? once you're a felon it's no real opportunity of access to jobs from special as a black male, you know, i'm in the committee, south central is hard for me, too. what's next for us? we have all this money but no one is getting jobs. my brother is a felon and as a child and has a child on the way into can't get any work. >> so having been a cofounder of nrc which is anti-recidivism coalition, we are two-pronged. one, 50% of our time is dealt with advocacy in sacramento on better policy. the other piece of it is looking for individuals who are going to commit to being drug-free, crime free, of service to their communities in search of employment or education. we've just created a housing model that is right across the street from an existing -- from
pierce college, and it gives folks opportunity to live. they pay a certain amount of rent but it goes back into when they leave out of college or they can actually have more money once they are successful with a college degree. and i think for your brother, unfortunately we do not have an immense amount of reentry programs today. i think that's the point of this panel, talk about how do we get there. in the meantime, a rc is a source of hope and something your brother or others can utilize but if we don't have the resources, we can try and connect. i would encourage anyone who is a ceo or president of a nonprofit organization, it is vitally important that you will communicate with others,
nonprofit organizations. because what's happening is, people like your brother will come home and there is this only one small organization in south-central they can't fulfill his needs, but there may be others. and there's no communication between the two to actually get the help. >> if i could just comment. i know there's someone in the audience that provides jobs because they e-mailed me. there's a hand. is if you? [inaudible] >> hold on one second. >> let me say this. i know there are many organizations popping up around the state to help people get employment. i have gone out and spoke to the employer groups to explain why they should hire somebody coming out of our prison system. we are also educating employers as to the benefits of hiring people. there's tax breaks, all kinds of things that the state is offering when you hire somebody
that's been in the criminal justice system. go ahead. >> we are from a recycling company, we are here in chinatown and we hire the population and we trained them. brian has worked extensively with them. so we are trying to have a good story instead of, you know, you getting out of not able to find work. we need more e-ways. the more e-ways we get the more justly to provide. we are working with large corporations to try to get the message out. >> and i would like to connect with the young man at the break time. i'm in south l.a. we do organizing with formal incarcerated people and worked extensively with both male and female on the organizing side. we are also working with the mayors office. so let's talk during the break. >> lets everyone talk during the break. let's go out and see you at the
reception. [applause] ♪ ♪ [inaudible conversations] >> later today a former israeli intelligence officer talks about security, violence in iraq and syria and the threat of isis. this all takes place at the wilson center at 1 p.m. eastern here on c-span2. defense secretary chuck hagel will hold a briefing at the pentagon to discuss their meeting. that starts at 4:15 p.m. eastern life. coming up from this morning's "washington journal" a discussion about yesterday shootings at parliament in canada.
what it might mean for capitol hill security. >> in a we could just as parliament hill in ottawa we are joined by terrance gainer served as both senate sergeant at arms and the chief of u.s. capitol police and lots of facts still to come out about yesterday's shooting of what you think the attack on the canadian capital is going to mean for security and rethinking security in washington, d.c.? try to we concert look at those things across the globe to make sure we're doing the right thing. i think the chief and the sergeant of arms in the capital want to have more information about the shooter and what happened and lessons learned. and we'll see if we need to make some adjustments up on the hill. >> host: are these the kind of threats that most worries you during your time leading security on capitol hill? >> guest: they are one of the threats. the great thing up on capitol hill is a great partnership the fbi, secret service or others to see if we can keep the problems off the hill. but what is chief, you worry
about the right things, improvised explosive devices, car bombs and these lone gunman. i think those are the toughest ones for anyone to handle. >> host: those concerned, an article yesterday before the shooting incident actually happened came out in the capitol hill newspaper roll call. former top cop suggest the capitol complex is to open. what are your concerns? >> guest: i think there has to be a great balance because citizens have a right to the end and among the members, and we have some two or 3 million visitors each year, 30,000 employees. somehow you have to strike the balance but i think the capitol police do a great job a lot of time and energy has been put into physical barriers in cameras and screening process of i think there's still some of those and i think we can do some measured approaches to that that make it a very open campus but safer. >> host: you get into the
article one of the suggestions possibly a fence around the united states capitol. >> guest: it has to be looking global. as soon as you name a fence or rerouting streets, people don't slow down and see the whole impact. one of the things we need to do is reduce the number of cars traveling on independence and constitution or in the district and gemma. >> host: for those no not in independent, those are the two streets on the north and south side of the capitol? >> guest: correct. a lot of restrictions especially to truck traffic and the size of a vehicle and inspection of us is but we still of suvs and the goals and other things. as to the fence if you picture around the larger four corners, which is where those out in america, about a block around the capital -- >> host: we are showing a map trinity you could put up a tasteful fence that would allow people to be screened and then get onto the campus and they will be free to roam the campus and the steps and it would make it safer. it's not closing the capital off. it's making the entrance to the
capitol different. >> host: as the white house fence jumping incident, another incident last let and reportedly with the attack in ottawa, the shooter they're jumping the fence surrounding the parliament hill complex change the thinking about how think his work in securing federal and these high profile facilities? >> guest: we never thought one thing is the solution but any impediment you can give to slow people down and nicobar difficult as a positive. i think especially with the secret service, notwithstanding the fact the fence jumper before last has caused a lot of heartache and then to re-examine what they are doing. they have been very, very successful over the years as they were yesterday in and responding to those fence jumpers. trying to keep the place open, with its the capital or the white house in a midst of such a free society where people are intent on doing something is a tough task and it usually falls onto the backs of the men and women in uniform. they are the ones who are the
last line of defense, but we have an obligation to try to mitigate all those things that could put him and others in harm's way and whatever views want to talk with terrance gainer, former chief of the u.s. capitol police our phone lines are open. republicans can call (202) 585-3881, democrats (202) 585-3880, independents (202) 585-3882. if you're outside united states is (202)585-3883. noted your the former senate sergeant at arms served in a position for seven years but can you talk about the role of sergeant at arms, particularly in light of the canadian sergeant at arms possibly being the hero in this situation yesterday country god bless and. form of the royal canadian mounted police. that's the trending being done in the house and senate. just a bit before 9/11, with the members of congress have done, the leadership have appointed
sergeant of arms of the deputy sergeant of arms, men or women who have a deep background in police or security or the military because of all those type of issues. in the senate is a unique position because not only are you chief law-enforcement officer of the senate which are like the city manager. the sergeant of arms office has about 1000 police, a couple hundred $9 budget and they're responsible for such diverse things as a parking lot and id cards, the tv studios, the printing, the rules on the senate floor, the barbershop, judicial. it's a combination between the chief of police and the city manager. >> host: the canadian sergeant of arms, a picture to post on twitter, did you carry a weapon treachery i didn't do it all the time. i had a close at hand. in a locked compartment. i rely a lot on the work of the men and women of the capitol police. we have circles of security so
the of the first line of defense but as the chief law enforcement officer i was armed when i initiative or thought it was appropriate. >> host: that map of the capital we're showing, 276-acre capitol complex. you were in charge and one way or the other of security for over 10 years. how concerned that facility about the buildings themselves but the memorials and the outdoor areas that are part of a complex? this incident yesterday in ottawa started at the war memorial near parliament or on parliament hill. >> guest: is part of the portfolio security up there, but again through the united states capitol police we are working conjunction with the park police or the metropolitan police department of washington or the metro transit police because we all have little piece of the campus. i think we have a secure, good security mechanism that employers both static police officers mobile police officers, officers on bikes and a lot of technology in addition to a lot of areas we put up.
>> host: a timeline yesterday, this from today's "washington post" would have been in ottawa. the canadian soldier was shot and killed while in ceremonial guard duty at the canadian national war memorial. that's the number one spot. the suspected shooter from that incident jumped the fence surrounding parliament hill and moved towards the main cinderblock building and then three, and made a flurry of gunfire inside the building, the shooter -- entry was shot and killed. we are joined by terrance gainer, former senate sergeant at arms and chief of the illicit capitol police here to answer your question, take it comes as we're talking about the cutie of what the incident in canada could mean for security here in our nation's capital. .. to you. >> caller: quick story. i work with a guy who had a nervous breakdown. could no longer drive a
truck. down to the federal building in buffalo, there he is. with a 45. my question is, private contractors on the safety and security. and should there be a concern about that? >> host: are they part of the security picture here in washington, d.c.? >> guest: not the security >> guest: not the security and other federal buildings.t o remember in the capital no one can get into the capitol without going through screening except members of congress. so there is a way to defend against that. but listen, the concealed in a kerry issue and a variety of states does compound of the challenges of law enforcement about who is on and who isn't a close liaison between the u.s. secret service and capitol police or the state department is very important to us.
who is carrying the weapon into is not? >> host: what are the rules about who can carry a weapon? >> guest: only the united states capitol police officers they would have to have permission and be marked by the u.s. capitol police but they are armed and as a rule they would have an escort so there will be no long -- excuse me know on armed law enforcement officer in the capitol complex without a capitol police officer with them. and it's good sense. it's the same thing that happens if the police officer goes into the white house complex or fbi headquarters. everybody needs to know who is armed and what they are going to do. >> host: who comes up to the capitol and the capitol police screening facility?
>> guest: they would not be permitted into the building and it would be a violation of a district law if they tried to enter the building. there's different rules on the capitol ground and one of the things the capital community tries to do is give notice to everybody about that. so when you go onto the architect of the capitol website that is pretty clear as to what is prohibited and when you enter the complex in the various visitor entrances that is well marked but there have been incidences where people or even staff have brought a weapon and that doesn't appear to have any ill intent but they forgot in the appropriate action was taken and in most cases they've been placed under arrest. >> host: joining for the next 25 minutes or so to take your questions and comments. framed in alexandria virginia on the line for democrats. good morning. >> caller: yeah i would like to ask your guest what he thinks about installing a different kind of fence at the white house that would curb bulletproof and
bomb proof glass in front of the white house and if he thinks there would be any kind of a drawl down for that? >> host: are their proposals being talked about in the wake of the fence jumpers? >> guest: we believe that the secret service to decide that it is the same questions we wrestled with in the capitol. and capital. and i'm sure anybody involved in the security business is, from the security point of view having those entitlements makes it very secure but we also have the balance to look at the politics and the cost to somehow there has to be a better balance between how you secure a place and all the impact that has. >> host: can you talk about the history of the proposals here on capitol hill and around of a complex? >> guest: i've been talking about it or it a while but even back when i was chief and talked about it there was appropriation language inserted that i shouldn't use the term fence or
expand any funds to do that so there is a reluctance and i get that as to why people don't want a fence around the greater capitol compound but i think in this day and age. but there is a way to do that and do that tastefully. people in washington would recognize that in the constitution, the gardens over there. if it is done in a thoughtful way and people understand what actually gives greater access to the united states capitol that yes it would change the look of it. but even when it was designed i don't think anybody envisioned by the constitution and independence the roads on the north and south side of the capitol would be the main heavy traffic that it is.
that wasn't envisioned that we would have people trying to attack and blow the place up that i think we have to reach a reasonable balance of long-term planning would make it easier for people to come into the vehicles. >> host: the capital of police from 2002 to 2006 and sergeant of arms from 2007 to 2014 and before that served in the metropolitan police department here in washington, d.c. and before that joining us to answer the questions kenneth is in alabama on the line for independence. good morning. >> caller: yes, the questions that i have are very simple. because you have a whole world of basic gunowners, you look at
the time gone back since the caveman. they are basically killed with sticks and stones since the beginning. the way that i anticipate things to come if you take away the human rights of our forefathers -- >> host: are you there? i think we lost kenneth. a question though on the twitter page for you. in what way did the war on terror improved our security if you want to specifically talk about capitol hill? >> guest: well, it caused congress to rethink what they were doing and they did indicate a lot of money to both physical improvements in the capital and to expand the capitol police department. so anybody that has been in the washington area will know how things have changed since 9/11. whether it's getting through an airport, federal buildings were coming up to the capital. the good news is the capital is very wide-open. and again we do about 2.5 million visitors, 25,000
employees, the legislative process hasn't been interrupted. succumb in balance with the hard work of the capitol police officers and the other sister agencies, i think they've done a pretty good job on security. >> host: a quote from one of your former colleagues, the former house sergeant-at-arms from the 2007 and saying that further that the further that you get away from 9/11. i worked for bell lamented the capital of the police and with him when he was at the house of arms if you correct the further away that you get, the less of a threat it seems to be. incidences at the white house draw attention and everybody says is there something that we missed and is there a way to prevent it and what lessons can be learned. >> host: on the line for independence we are on with the
former senate sergeant-at-arms. >> guest: he refuses to give us a security fence for our borders. we have terrorists coming in here trying to get into the white house and trying to kill people in the country if he refuses to secure the borders. >> guest: there is a fence around the white house already so i don't think that's the issue. and there are two different things. we are trying to have a lot of things on the border. i think the border protection agency is doing a tough job, but the politics of that i will stay away. others decided i implemented or did implement and protected. >> host: what are you doing now but you lost your job on capitol hill? >> guest: i'm working with the security task of america as one of my major clients to try to
give advice to the private sector on their security issues and to work on on that whole public-private partnership that helps make everybody in favor of the >> host: patricia is next on the line for independence. good morning. >> caller: good morning. this is nothing to do with politics. i am just curious why we never hear a follow-up on what actually happens to the strange people that try to jump the fence. we hear about the incident when it actually happens, but we never hear what happens to them. and my concern is they mention on the news they had to take the dogs to the vet afterwards because they were injured. i just think the whole thing is really ridiculous that nothing seems to happen to these people who deal with the same way as somebody trying to climb the
empire state building with climbing gear. it's a more security thing than just some big joke that somebody's trying to do. i will take your comment off the air. >> guest: i think patricia has a good point about mental health issues and people don't realize that you are one of the most adept at dealing with people who either are off their medication or should be on medication or otherwise in need of assistance. that is the type of threat stream that the president and other elected officials get or that we had coming into the members of congress and so getting access to mental health care is very important. you will hear chief stalking across the nation about the consequences of the failure of the mental-health system to try to do something more about that. it gets into the whole enacting the box. so people do the forensic autopsy, psychological autopsy to find out what made that person take and what we might
have missed after we did each one of these shootings which a large part of what all of us in the business or trying to do is the prevention aspect. what we see now whether it is in canada or we have two officers murdered in the capital or other things is the consequences of some failures and we concentrate on that. on a day-to-day basis we try to figure out how to prevent these things. >> host: in the mental health issues playing into that incident in 1998 you prefer prefer the officers being killed, jacob chestnut and john gibson. here is a picture of the lion and state of those two officers from july 24, 1998 after that incident happened. how did that incident change security on capitol hill? >> guest: it was one of those dramatic contributors. congress allocated money to increase the size of the department and then it was increased further after 9/11. so it added more officers which gave the capitol police a better opportunity to prevent such
breaches at the door. a lot of the capitol police and put a lot more money into the technology were the dollars that are around the capital. it led to a greater link between the capitol police and united states secret service because that particular offender had been sworn in on the side of the secret service before he came up here, so it caused better communication and tracking of people who want to do harm to elected officials. >> host: where is he now? >> guest: he's still in saint elizabeth as i can recall. it's been a number of years but i don't think it's ever been tried for that but he's still incorporated into being medicated. >> host: frank is in troy new york on the line for republicans.
>> caller: i think it's a good idea that you increased the security around the perimeters. do you dove dove instead of the openness and it feels that the government is not on such a lockdown. it is hard. there's nothing you can really do. it's just an everyday occurrence so everybody does their best. i think this man here, the sergeant at arms he has done quite well and he will keep doing it. >> i appreciate your comment. when you think back at the capitol, the fourth of july celebrations or the memorial day or even the inaugurations where we had 1.8 million people at the mall there are ways to keep the debate of people secure. one of the primary goals of the sergeant of arms in both the house and senate is to make sure
the legislative process can continue. so that is the center of what we try to do. and getting the public access to their elected officials. so there are ways to do that is to make the campus more open and have the screening areas further away from the skin of the capital. that would be an ideal goal but again it requires the money, the vision and time when you expand the campus. think back about how he eventually over the years although lafayette park eventually purchased that and expanded the an expanded the campus, college is in almost every city continue to slowly expand the campus is by not knocking down buildings necessarily but by property and changing the way streets are. i think we can do more of that around the capital. so combining the parking that's off the campus for instance at the stadium, getting great transportation out of the capital and into the city do joint screening of vehicles by
all the different federal agencies we could make this a more open city and not to be duplicating the way we are spending money. >> host: when you were leading the capitol police, you said that your goal as your time as the chief of police was to keep the fight open and running and free from attack and we did that. if the capitol complex open today as it was when you left the police department? >> guest: i do think it is. the men and women of the capitol police under the leadership of the chief do a great job. they have a tough, tough job as do the officers at the white house. whether it is a used force or not. whether it's a pop-up barrier or not to hold someone in the beer in a tough position to make the campus open and accessible and i think they did a good job. >> host: columbus ohio on the line for republicans. you are on the line. >> caller: yes, i'm here. >> host: go ahead.
>> caller: i'm calling about the gun situation for the capitol and everything else. i think they should all be armed anywhere near the capital looking out for the capitol. and as far as guns in our homes to protect ourselves, they should be allowed because the criminals have guns anyway. whether you make them legal or not, they have guns to read even get even if we can't get them they can't. so, i'm legalized with a gun the right way. and to protect myself and my home, you know. and as far as this illness thing, any time somebody does a crime committed get off because they claim elvis and i think that is going to come to a head.
>> host: she touches on a lot of things but let's touch on the illness because that is the elephant in the room. not everybody that gets charged with something. those that have mental problems that should be treated as mental problems, the goal of this is not to have everybody armed and get everybody in everybody an issue that whether it is a private citizen or a police officer. the goal of the security is to prevent these things. and that's what i think every chief and every police officer that i know of around the nation, and i've been up for great agencies, is trying for. the last resort is chasing someone down at the last minute and either tackling them, turning the dog on them or shooting them. i mean, we don't want to do that. but if push comes to shove the men and women in the capitol police or the united states secret service or the npd, they are all prepared to do that but it is a tough decisions to make in those few seconds.
our job is to make it easier. >> host: airline a west virginian. you're on with the sergeant at arms. >> caller: yes, i have a different approach. i do bb than having our guns but we have problems here with welfare and everybody feels entitled. we have jobs in the community that nobody will do. it's a little bit of money but they won't do it because they get it anyway. so, my approach is to make people have pride in themselves. we need apprenticeship desperately in this country and we need a boot camp. and we need young people -- the parents don't know sometimes what is needed. so, they need to get it from somewhere else. and that is my approach. >> host: we are going to be talking about some of those economic issues that you bring up and how they are playing in
the 2014 midterm election. diane is up next in winchester ohio on the line for republicans. good morning. >> caller: good morning. thank you for having me on the show. i have a couple comments. i think extending it out is not a very good idea but it makes sense. why not chalk somebody that's trying to climb up over the top. mental health is the biggest issue. years ago they shut down the mental health institutes because they had the government helping fund that and they were not getting the appropriate treatment that they need and i think that needs to be looked at again. my third is probably one of the
most frightening things to me and i really think that our countries have gone overboard for having assault rifles in our communities. and i apologize i have one more thing. >> host: starting with the concern about the assault weapon bans on the streets of u.s. cities. >> host: >> guest: i wish that there were fewer. i support the second amendment. i understand concealed carry providing high because of the assault weapons in our inner cities is inappropriate. again, she touches on the mental health issue. we can't talk about that enough. i think that more has been done to try to address that but it's still a problem.
that is a subject of debate. i think that there are tasteful ways to do that and we could have a whole other show on that. >> host: on the mental health issue are capitol police officers and security officers here at high-profile buildings in washington, d.c. trained on how to deal with somebody who may be in these situations and who may have mental health issues? >> guest: they are. the capitol police and the secret service both our agents in the uniform and our very much aware of the behavioral issues that might indicate someone's stress and if that's the situation for instance, the uniformed officer or undercover officers or the plain clothed officers can call for assistance. the agents of the officers have a follow up on follow-up on e-mail threads or telephone threats and are very adept at talking and interviewing them and working with the fbi outside of the area or in the secret service trying to get the mental health of the need.
the capitol police have on staff some wonderful mental health professionals that not only help educate the capitol police officers that work with the agents when there is a threat from someone in need of help. some of them just need to get off the medication and get referred into the mental health system to eat we go a long way to try to do some of those things. >> host: baltimore maryland you've are on. >> caller: yes, thank you. it's funny that these people are all getting right into the white house and all these secret service guys are stunning them down. about a year ago that black black woman from connecticut with a little child in the car, they murdered her and she might
have done no more than made a wrong turn and they all jumped down on her with guns pointed at her. what would it be be the response to get attacked like that by a gang of people? of course you are going to flee. then they murdered her. it's funny now you've got this guy running right into the white house, no shock, no nothing. it's almost like it's staged or something. >> host: the question is on when security officers use deadly force. >> guest: they are likely to use force to cause death in a variety of circumstances that i want to emphasize that's the tough part to read even after the incident the caller was referring to, the shooting
appeared there was a lot of criticism there was too much force used and then a month and a half ago when an intruder gets over the fence and into the front door of the white house, there's a criticism that there is not enough deadly force used. i think that is the challenge and the dilemma of a uniformed officer or plain clothed officer when they are confronted in those type of incidences. so there is no officer i know, and i've been a police officer or in the military the past 47 years who want to shoot someone in the prevention business. and there's a lot that goes back. there's a lot of layers in the security both in the capitol and the white house in order to prevent the ultimate human on human confrontation and in a split second, our officers have to decide what to do. the threat at the capital of the white house is a bit different than the uniformed officer might have in responding to the robbery in progress because we are very sensitive to the improvised explosive device
being carried by people and in vehicles so we studied very closely with abandon israel, northern ireland, ireland and england and how to respond to those things. so the use of force policy on the capitol and how we address those things is very different. but there is litigation going there's litigation going on about all that and all that will be ironed out. i think that our officers in the capitol police and secret service are well-trained, they have the right equipment, but ultimately they've got to make those decisions in a few seconds and that's not an easy call. the sergeant of arms at canada did the right thing. everything we could see he made it you made it easy determination and thank god for him. >> host: arthur next in chesapeake virginia on the line for democrats. good morning. >> caller: good morning. i like your comment about the assault weapons. i think they should be banned.
they don't need them and into the security in the capital building i think everything should be done to broaden the distance from the white house and i will be glad when president obama's time is up because of the right-wing extremists are determined to do everything that they can do, i think that he's been the best president that we've had in my lifetime. >> host: calling for more physical space between the public and the white house and the united states capitol. >> guest: i appreciate the comment. it's a bit complicated. standoff is important in the
security business, standoff on the vehicle one explosive devices were people carrying backpacks. but again, i want to emphasize we wouldn't want to close down the capitol. we don't want to close it off. we want it accessible to the public, constituents getting elected, but getting the standoff screening than the skin of the capitol is a lofty goal. people have to keep an open mind about what that means. it doesn't mean less access it needs different access. >> host: the niagara falls review after a soldier is killed and this is from fort mcmurray today the attack you can see an armed officer responding to the parliament hill attack. how much cross training with other countries specifically does the united states police
into some of the other forces and does vc actually have? >> guest: when i was there as the chief and sergeant of arms we did this and we talked about how we were doing things and how they were doing things and i talked to the chief yesterday and i know that the canadian officials had been done in the past year to the capitol. so we are all in the midst of trying to figure that out. we've been to jordan and iraq and some other places to try to make sense of that so it is very common for all of us to take a look at the other person and what lessons there are to be learned that each of us is operating in a little different way that the government is run through there is different restrictions. i think so far the canadian approach has been moderate, and i mean they are slowing down. they will look and see what the cause of this was and i'm sure they will look and see if there's ways that they should do
some security difference as we well. >> host: david is in very indiana. you are with the you're with the sergeant of arms at the u.s. capitol. >> guest: >> caller: [inaudible] >> host: i think you are going in and out. we will get the tranquility from twitter to read how would you describe the communication between the different agencies involved in security here in washington and how would you say to improve its? >> guest: know it industry could handle any of these events so we are all partners to be federal and city agencies there is room for for improvement but at theom