tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 7, 2015 6:00am-8:01am EST
ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming. i'm a visiting fellow at the american enterprise institute and a columnist at the washington examiner, and i think that you've seen erupt around the country especially this last year a discussion on criminal justice reform on over criminalization and all sorts of things we will focus on a specific aspect of that. my thoughts on why i picked this i have libertarian leanings and justice and mercy need to play
up. i don't think we will get into a question of are we locking up all the millions of people that we lock up makes our country safer that is a tricky question to debate. once we put people in prison, are we doing anything to help them or just burning lives. when you having prison sentences that serves a deterrent effect so it serves some good. it keeps criminals off the streets there's some good there. we call these correctional facilities. are they just making things worse? so given the debate for some extent of criminalization although that will be relevant. can we change anything going
forward. i ask them asked them who they felt within their lives and i write about lobbying and politics and i run a former lobbyist politician. on mine right is my right is a lawyer and fellow republican congressional republican study committee. he passed through the revolving door and became a lobbyist in 1999. he wrote a book which was big reading in my house with my brother when he was in law school it was scalia's dissent. it was an excellent book to get your final up and running. it is was against mandatory minimums and on my left, jeff smith former missouri state senator congressional candidate who a lot of us stumbled upon in a documentary called ken
mr. smith still go to washington and he is now an assistant professor at the new school in new york. the reason i bring them here as they both have served time in prison. so before we get to the substance quickly. i was a lobbyist and the leader ended up being the scandal in the bush administration, and i was basically charged with honest service fraud.
in a federal prison camp in maryland i forgot to mention i said the documentary name is ken mr. smith still go to washington and what i have in my hand is the brand-new book for sale in the lobby called mr. smith goes to prison which tells his story very well. can you quickly tell us? >> sure. i was in the senate in missouri and the moderator asked a question i found too intrusive and i took the end. no. [laughter] i will try to convince this as much as i can. russ carnahan who was a successful two-term governor and senator and sister and secretary of state. about three weeks before election day to the consultant
billed himself as a practitioner of the political dark arts. he told by aides he wanted to put out a postcard detailing my opponent of the race. he wants to do this, should we give him the information and what should the voting record tell him and i replied i don't want to know what you do. so does that mean we should do it? and they said okay so they gave him the voting information which was publicly available. about a week after the campaign my attorney prepared an affidavit for me to sign in response to a federal election commission complaint.
it provided any knowledge about the postcard even though i knew my aides had that with the person who figured it out and i found a false affidavit. my best friend called me and told me that the man who had done that five years earlier had just been picked up by the feds for mortgage fraud, bank fraud, illegal weapons possession, spousal abuse, cocaine distribution, human distribution i let my aides get mixed up with this monster and my best friend and i said what are we going to do what they come but if they come and knock on our door because this guy says five years earlier i can deliver something
to you that a state senator so my best friend and i talk about that for a couple months and little did i know that entire time he was wearing a wire; a chance to stay out of prison was to do something similar and i didn't do that and i was sentenced to a year in federal custody for about ten and a half months. >> part of where i want to start here is from your experience and your knowledge professionally, does prison do anything to help criminals and can it can if your dose if it or does it just sort of ruined lives. they should be kept away from civil society. there's no doubt about that.
i don't think anyone would disagree about that. they have a problem where they would keep offending person may be the only solution. for some there's a lot of people that were uneducated. these are not master criminals. if we ratchet up the penalties people will be more inclined to follow the law and that is in the population might not like -- i met with and read the code to figure out what they were and to cost-benefit analyst us. they sold drugs because they wanted extra money. and i should say it captured my experience almost perfectly. there is a method called
white-collar prisons because not only are we white-collar but there are no white-collar prisons anymore so most people than my camps for violations serving minimum mandatory for drugs so it was a wide array of people. some people needed to age out. they had just limited to brain functioning and they needed to grow up and mature. other people who didn't speak much english and limited education were able to get their ged while they were there and they have helped. for most of the people though it is just killing time and people would say that's okay if you're bored your board doesn't bother me. but it should because while you are sitting there like a can on a shelf in the job market is advancing, technology is advancing, your family is moving on. everything is changing and you have no responsibility when you were in prison. you may have a job that's a lot of makeshift straw this.
man is a creature that can get used to anything and that is what happens to prisoners you'll hear they get institutionalized so you will hear what it takes to become a decent prisoner. you stay out of fights and arguments and you don't touch people's other laundry so it's just that sort of stuff. but you go to the commissary and have a limited amount of things you can buy. you learn that lifestyle. there's a comfort in that that and when they get close to leaving to get nervous because they are afraid of the choices. so, for a lot of people, long sentences without any meaningful programming, and i will address that, because unless you were able to get a drug treatment, were you -- or you get your ged, there's nothing else available that will help you react when made and that is a problem so when you look at recidivism rates and people come out and
reoffend the people who will do the right thing. some people will be fine and will try to do the right thing. after a few years they are not going to be up to make ends meet. they have their family to support and they are at risk to go back to the lifestyle that sent them there in the first place and so i do want to talk and say there's so much more that can be done on the programming side of things but it has to be coupled in a way that not only do the do more to treat them while you're there because his compassionate and in our interest and reoffending but also we have to shorten the sentences to satisfy some of the ten or 20 years living in that kind of confinement. connected you see anything where you thought people were being helped or improved or anybody that left sort of better impulse control or more prepared for the world when they came in?
>> i wish i could tell you differently but in my experience , presented a lot to create criminals and almost nothing to rehabilitate people. if i'm going on for too long just to stop me. but the first way is the prison reinforces people's tendencies to operate outside of like the rules and outside of the normal economy. when you get roughed up -- locked up most prisoners are destitute. they get into prison, they don't have someone on the outside to put money in their books. maybe some of them do for the first year but then people say they kind of forget about them and so the problem with that is you don't have it made coming to your soap computer and cut-and-paste to the basics of
personal hygiene are when you're looking virtually on top of hundreds of thousands of other people and hygiene is a really important for a lot of reasons i could get into later but the point is if you want to have a normal lifestyle where you make you have to find a helpful indicator range from things that are totally legal like those that develop their artistic talent and those that go portraits of other guys do things the hard little bit less legal like bookies who make book on the prison basketball games to the guys that run barbershops which the business is fine with to those that run tattoo parlors which i'm fine with. to them the most too bad the most lucrative hospital which is used for smuggling contraband.
so, there's all types of -- and i would tell you i agree with almost everything you said except i found some very skilled men and i would say that in my experience there's not a single concept you could learn that you could learn inside the prison new product launch, quality control, territorial expansion, mismanagement, barriers to interest. i heard every one of these elucidated numerous times using so much different lingo. unfortunately there was no training at all in the business world but they have we have learned through success in the drug world, no training to turn those into formal enterprises on the street.
there was a computer course that was offered. there were three courses while i was there, one had a prisoner teaching so that prisoner didn't really care that much from most of the time and so if you did in 20 go you didn't have to go into them there was the course because what better way to compare someone for successful reentry than to learn how to code tomatoes and water for two weeks. and then third is a further with the computer skills are supposed because to course for everyone on their way out. finally, we have been salivating the whole time over this room 12 brand-new computers but no one ever got to go in. it was locked the whole time. i sat out the computers and i was an aggravation and southeast kentucky and the ceo tells us sign in so the sign in the form and he's as we all sit down and he's a youth event button on the bottom rack, push and.
so the computer turns on and we sit there for about 90 seconds. a prisoner says custards playing with the mouse and says if you push the -- shut the f up. so we sat in silence in about 40 minutes and he says you're a member that little button, push it again and didn't get the f back to your cell. but since we had all signed in, they could tell them that we have successfully completed a computer skills course and now the prison could get their stipend from the federal government for having done that. so that i would say was sort of the indicative of the amount of reading the petition going on. so that's where i want to go now is with programming that it does
happen. it's supposed to be part of the federal system for the state system and do they try it and what can work? it seems like a good thing they would learn because that is a huge part of what sort of creates a coming apart at some go to computers and others don't. are they care they are based, are they just -- can you teach somebody something .-full-stop or is it to lead by the time -- what would you want to see? these are eight discourses. they are taught by inmates. most of the program is taught by inmates and so i didn't take hydroponics but i could take a class on current events or crochet and get credit and it was all busy work and it was just the prison administration wanted to show that they were
keeping us busy. when they go to the review you would give them a certificate i'm so busy working hard rehabilitating youth. they felt so good about this column of the road and on. but i talk about it and i think that it's so corrosive because these are people that need to learn the rules. check was saying there are people that do these things that are -- i didn't really care about tat. ust iho it's just i thought we have broken the rules and this is the one place where you really wantp to get on board into theri right right thing. the prison doesn't care, so i'tr don't mind, i don't hands.luste. the program is lackluster in o terms of the things i fthought. there's there is tried today, but theren
are fewer addicts then peoplee would think. there were only a couple peopleh that work in and reallye strung nt and needed help.apbably is not necessarily why they committed their crime.eir they were trying to make money if they were selling drugs were funds, but the thing i thought was missing the most was some sort of behavioral therapy, som sort of psychological work, some therapy. a lot of these folks come fromdo communities where that is frowned upon and there are the o people everywhere who frown on this, but the lack of impulse control, that just-- that lootional disconnect, a lot ofte the behavior is antisociatsl anw that's whath got them in thisthp position and now they are going through the most antisocial place in the world where you walk around with headphones on screaming your music to know what i know i can tell you to be quiet because no one will screw with you and it's just perpetuates the worst behaviors and so i think-- the fights you
see would be overturning the tv channel or someone calling aba foul in a basketball game in hand those are things that you s have these people in a fishbowlo they may not seek this help otherwise, but while you have been there, there are certain things you couldg do to work wih them to get them thinking abouts their thinking patterns andts o thinking about the behaviofr and th the choices they are making andt the roots of those choices.d people do what they were raised to do and they are not thinking inout it otherwise through evenh those of us who tried stillthata struggle it have to nremindthat ourselves why we think that way. these guys are not thinking of any of that and it's not cool, sither.the prisoner we had 250 prisoners and onewe trained psychologist and she was aheadps of the drug treatment program. she didn't want to do any more t work than that, s so when i was
thereafter a while and i had two young girls i was missingwe t terribly and i knealw other guys were missing their kids and we talked of bell putting together a group for aaa or differentethe support groups and i said let'sa put together a father's groupt o talk about ideas to stay in touch with our kids and how user minutes and use things like finding out the guy who creates pictures that we can send, to anything you can find to staynt close to your children that's what you want to duke and youbud also want to be on to say i had a visit this weekend and am really sad. you don't go cry on your bunkmate's shoulder. be a it's a men's prison, so to have a group like that i thought this will be a sure winner and a psychologisti wanted no part ofd it and would not even respond to my e-mails. so, there's a lot of lip service and talk about familydone and le reunification and how important is to stay close, but not a lot gets done and as jeff said, that co who just said now you can
leave, that's the level ofnyt concern. it sort of i checked the box he gave you your computer training and it is a matter if you >> i goingything. there are things that can be som done that are etnot being done d i understand some states to a better job, but the federal government is very heart-- far behind. >> i think you used in your book the phrase convict coated aboutr how you have to behave to not have other prisoners make your h life horrible. but, before you .-ellipsis i want you to sthatay what you cay about programming. do you think psychological help as possible, helpful, what areyu your thoughts? >> i agree with everything kevin said. you guys are crocheting works wow, we had that. prevents? i applied to current events.rses i was put to work-- i see a couple of you have the book and if you turn the book on the bac you can seea what my job was.
i was. i worked in the warehouse on the loading dock and you can see my crew that i worked with. you can probably tell which when i was. him him anyway, no, i mean, i'mb not trying to be a martyr. time you do the crime and you do theh time and you doe the timing yout to the time now they want you ti , not how you want to do the time, so i won't complain aboute my job, but i definitely think had a decade's worth of teaching experience and i had been a a state senator and i would have loved to teach courses. a blacky study ma i applied first to teach a black history course because i was a black studies major in collegean and most of the prisoners were black and i thought that would have been interesting. i wanted to teach a currentat events course. and i i applied-- then, i realized a thing that political ori ideological charge would never fly. so, i applied to teach like aeai job interviewing course and resume writing that could teacht guys format that, but t they ignored everything. although, about three weeks before i gaot out they did
finally moved me. which, was interesting. i had fallen-- i worked-- we moved about 35 or 40000 pounds of food ar day into freezers tht are bigger than this room and i fell off the top of a freezer. w then, i don't think they were going to move me, but the t lieutenant governor of missourif happened to visit the next dayg and then they figuredh he mighth have come in responsea to mehino falling even though it wuas totally a quince since and thene have juiceed if you behind you, then they did moveth me and set eme to the educationn department and then i wasened hardened at least he wasn't at g going to be long, but i hopeteay that we get to teach and the guy in charge of it said, in may,l i which are education level and i said phd. he said all right, we will starr you off sweeping the classroom, so i swept the classroom for myo last month. >> one thing int would say not s
put too much on the bureau ofg prisons because i was going tobe teach a writing class aas well course because a lot of guys asked me to edit things they were doing in a court filings or coursework with correspondence coursess at they w iould ask me to write ani think writing is a lost skill anyway, but imprisoned it's pretty miserable, so some guy said why don't you teach it class in writing and thinking, resume, cover letters, basicd ia stuff rtand i have to say part the problem was no one would have come.f a couple of the guys with seeklr bail privately, but they would not come from five to six at night because the prison were not make them. so there were some guysthe interested and-- but, i don't want to put it all on the prison. the prison should have made the come.tha the head of education i said-- he said while he studied anothee class he said that room does seem and hold people.eopleithin
that's electrical class and hei. said right, they're not goinger and he said the why my givingth them all certificateser and he said because you don't know ifnd they are there not he said will how to i acheck that and i said you stay and he said all right, forget it. >> is what you said really spoke with volume spirited people would come up to me and asked m for help, but they wouldn't go to a class. like all the time people wanted help, tutoring on their ged, helpful writing a resume and they would quietly come to my cell and ask, so there is afinitely interest and i wouldo ask lysate like pretty insatiable search to like figure out what they are going to doyen next and how they will acquire a skill, but yeah, doing thingslte formally, prison was not interested in that.actual ohere's a lot of rlyesearch axi prison education. they did a meds-- mega study of educ dozens of other programs run the country and it shows that first
of all, there is 40% reductionei in recidivism for prisoners whoc advance educationally while they are incarcerated and secondly,nd for every dollar we spend on prison education programs ofl tg vocational training there is an almost fixed dollar return inre the reduced costs related toat a that recidivism and that makes sense if you think of 42%$31,00 reduction and you think isa causing on average about $31000n a year to incarcerate somewhat,f then you can see how much money we could say that doing it, so you talk about therapy. i mean, therapy would be so important because people don't have an outlet a nd like what i prison-- prison teaches you so a many things. it teaches you a way to behavelt like to suppress all emotion all the time. >> that's my next question, youe talk in the book about theye convict code that making eye contact or seeming to friendly,y but there is a way you have to behave, which is antisocial in way, that you have to learnrn
rules of survival that probably are counterproductive outside.i i mean, i can imagine that bein something that at all would beey easy to fix. prison or, is it rooted in the factrs that it sort ousf the prisone a versus prisoners? is there anything that could be done-- if you are just dreaming is there anything that would not foster that code that pushes people towards antisocial behavior? >> i would say yes there is in that code, what results is number one, a tendency tosupprs suppress all emotion because yoy learn quickly that any show of emotion is a show of weakness.' like i'm so excited for this visit i will get this saturday. you don't long-- you don't tell anyone else about your family.ur you don't tell everyone how youn measure kids.'t
you don't do anything because they may know how to get to you and a lot of people play mind games in there because that a lot of time on their hands.he se they have developed acute senses for other people's wicket--p weaknesses and they will prey on that, so you were not to express emotion and you tend to overreact to small slights because if someone sliteps ins front of ytou in line and you don't step to that than you are weakened people know you arethas weak and they will try to findtr ways to exploit that, saudis thi tenancies are totallys dysfunctional in society and a p that is the root of the problem here it doesn't have to be this way. i've been in a prison in texaspl that was the most positive place where the camaraderie and the te enthusiasm for learning is more l.hoo than anything i've experiencedi my pc candidates inbe school and i'm being honest.alled the it was a nonprofit called the prison onto an ownershippr program, which i'm on the board no w and it operates inside to prisons in texas.ine-nt
they run a nine-month long nba level curriculum where it culminates in prisoners who compete in a shark tanklike business plan competition andlle they have nine months with the help of visiting executives andh m the eight students all over the world who advise them on hih business plans and the sort of puzzled positivity and just genuine like care and concern and even love for one another was, i felt like it was similar to that. it was like a great wenning high school team or college team andu the recidivism rate fort 11 graduates of the program over the past 11 years, 6%, less than one 10th of our national recidivism rate and several men have started multimillion dollap businesses as well, so i think there are ways and we seea examples of ways to create an atmosphere that's very differenl
>> there are examples of things being done right. o >> yes and i don't want to disagree. when i read the book, i stared everyone telling my story because he really told a perfectly well. the one thing i would say about this i s, my sense of some of tr folks there n is that there were too many bill gates just waiting to be born and i'm afraid sometimes we romanticize the ths prison population and think wouh these are peopleave you have tr dinner party. this is every-- everyone's lease valuable players. it's not a grape-- great group of people to hang around with. i mean, i was there, so i'm not trying to be above that.of he th if ii said things there, which i would do, people withgh way baco on me than i was with him and io get that, but these are lowd sok skill, low education, bad sociai skills, all of which i can can be dealt with, but i don't want to mislead people to think that they are all letting hodgmanis w
yours because what worried me the most is when people would come up and say i have this usiness plan and i will come out with a nap. they didn't even know what anip iphone was, but hthey hadn't tht was going to sell and it wouldgb be like gangbusters.theye been they have been sitting there for six or seven years.research r they didn't know market researcy or anything like that.houldn they didn't know what theyur o didn't know, so iwn felt like wh some people, you shouldyo notcaa worry about being your own boss and you can out, just hope to be a cog in a machine somewhere. like you don't need to compete with walmart, just be a greater by walmart's. just hold a job and get something that pays the billssh and supports you and don't crush your dreams, but you are going out with a felony conviction. you don't know whatt the job market is like, so i thoughtch prison could give people a little realism also by gettingt so much space they l et peoplert
dream unrealistic dreams and i h thought that was really out counterproductive for the people who really needed a .dose ofi reality as to what they would face when i got out. knew i was the exact opposite and i was so fortunate and myot circumstances are so mucho different, so i kick sounddon't myself from that. i knew what i was going to dothy when i got out, but a lot ofream these guys don't get scared and they dream unrealistic dreams that i don't think that is a helping them. >> i want questions from all the guys in a minute, so i've one last topic for these two.ey getf reentry, when they get out of prison, are there existing trograms?lot of ings tha i mean, you studied a lot that work and also just so that i mean people here who have the had anyone to them: and come out of prison, what are the challenges besides not having seen an iphone? iph >> so, a huge challenge hisrtbr family and community support. we talked about howto heartbreaking it is to watch tht
men who work-- i don't know whae your wage was for your job, but i made $5.255 a week, which a lt of people say that is not badmy and i tell them that was my monthly for 40 hour a week inutf the warehouse, but of course, i like you i was lucky.mo i had money. and didn't have a 10 of moneythe and most of it went to myf i lawyers and then i had to pay a big fine to the government, butt i still had enough to like how someone send me a hundred bucks here, a hundred bucks there, flat always had money in my books i needed it. you're making somewhere between five and $25 a month and not only do you have dubbed by the basics of like personal hygiene, but sometimes you have child support it cumulative while inuo prison and just to try to stay ne prison-- in touch with yourho family, interstate phone calls were like a dollar and a half a minute for me tomo call home ani otherwise it was even more.
thanks some prison as much as $14 a minute. the fcc just change that ina akf ruling last week thanks to the great work of kevin'ss as wel organization and otherl. organizations as well, but this is a huge problem with reentrys and the resentment a lot of family members have because guys didn't stay in touch and theyth don'tdo fully understand just hw hard it was to get the resourcen to stay in touch.. you have her tell people how bat it is there to read you don'te tell people howng hard it is spirited you don't want peoplet feeling even worse than theyfe already feel, so you say. everything is fine.ing e fami family lyand getting back togetr is a challenge. 90% of employers perform back--a background checks and that's a huge obstacle.out i'm not saying everyone can dop. an up and i don't want to be misunderstood. i know we might have a slightly different agreement about thistg
stuff, but these guys like could run their own trucking company if they gety a cdl or run thei own landscaping business or runr their own barbershopsh. their own janitorial business, like they have that spirit anda that is in many case what led them into the drug trade because they didn't want to work at mcdonald's, so the challenge ise channeling on energy intohat something that's an enterprisein and also like literally like figuring out a way to get themo just the basics like a halfway house. was by halfway house was worse than my prison. i don't know what years was like, but mine was crazy. when you put people right backpt in that place, 650,000 people every year come back to the doorsteps of their communities a
the same communities where they have already failed except now yhey have a prison record andpa there broke and it have to pay for their drug testing and theye have to pay for tw ransportation and close to look decent at a job interview and it surprisesta me sometimes that one out of, you know, three people don't reoffend. how they're able to back n on their feet, so we need therapy, therapeutic resources, not like the here, be hthere at this time and if you are late i will violate you. say summary should counterbalance that and say how are you feeling about being back here and whatph do you need tha t can help you?s can we help you with bus passesn can we help you with learning t use the internet? you c you don't have any employers to use as a reference than we have people you can talk to. to a database of like second chanca employer spirited it's great tod see coke and walmart, but wey an also need proactivity and people to step up and say what research
does it take to identify, recruit, hire and then support and retain people who were incarcerated. >> again, i'm a conservative libertarian chai, but i'dv is perfect for a nonprofit by local bistate level to do. do you think that should be pare of the criminal justice system to do that or could you see that being done outside? >> there's an amazing company has started a foundation called dave killer bread. dave was not a killer, but he was incarcerated and he was the. brother of the company owner and he came out and they said we know the want to help you, can you bake bread. he started baking bread and there are some good cooks. >> isn't there? i miss the nachos. >> but, he made the bread likee totally different and experimented with all kinds ofen
new stuff and it went nuts and everyone wanted and it grew likd hundreds of percent and now it just got acquired by much bigger company because it has been so e successful and they codecided ty would make it their mission toeo be a second cyehance employer. almost 40% of their employees are people who came out of pri prison and they just put on anot big summit for employers alldoig across the pacific northwest to learn what they're doing and so yeah, i mean, i think government could have a role in connecting people and giving more than 20pe bucks and a bus ticket back to r wherever you are from and connecting you to thosehis mind resources 30 i'm not optimistic given my prison experience that they will take that seriously because frankly, one of the ceok when people would leave is i will see you in six months, it's jackasses like you that remind me i will always have a job. >> the halfway house as you are
still under the department'sso control and mean we-- i i wascon still serving my sentence when i left, so i had combined for a couple of months and i got to gn oo roxiod and to quickly get tg home confinement, but if i need to go to hope village in dc ande its way worse in prison for most people.mates i mean, ceos are stealing things from the inmates and people at dumberland would pass up theira halfway house time even though they wanted to be closer toand s their family and communityt andl is targeting a job they didn't want to go to the halfway house because they didn't want to deab with it, soe i think there coul be minimal standards that couldy be set up your roxio, even though i didn't have to spendhe time there, they have a good reputation because they really spend time people gettinge peopa on the phone.t that is their whole focus is yoo have to apply to 10 jobs a dayof and so there's a set time with y make them do that, so they areti really on them, so i thinks
that's a good thing. you mention coke and walmart and i would just say this is one of the cultural changes that needc, to happen. >> explained more. trget >> so, coke, walmart, target have voluntarily said we willn not put our application if youml could look conviction. we will find that out through aw interview process, but we don't want to knock you out ofone consideration based on that one fact alone.own. so, that's a smart move and they did that on their own. no law that requires that.contrr preston obama just announced he will ban the pot-- box for j federal contractors.u as a conservative, i think it employer can ask whatever theyan want, st o this i did to me isib less about what it will actually do because if, i mean, all the guys i served with could not get passed on application. they will submit their resumegur and there will be a 10 year, so people won't take long for so lmeone to figure out where you have been.b some people is there is an jobsd
because they don't want that gap.cond it has to be a cultural change. there is no moderate will do this to make people hire a fenders and give them a second chance. we have to do that. i have to do community serviceon because i couldn't afford to pay a fine, so i have to do to uttered hours of community service. i live in nmontgomery county. if there is a more a proud aggressive---- hillary is a flashes up there, so this is th greatest place you should be able to come home to an yet i ctt turned down by threei different places to do communiti service because of mys felony conviction.ju they had blanket policies not tl hire felons. i have a lot agree and i just want to stack books in your book store, but they will not hirefog me, so forget than the boxet.
how about getting rid of policies that don't even allow you to consider me in all and so again, i think it's cultural.a i think it is as sane and no more people who have gone to to pri prison say i won't write you ofe because you served time and in will judge you as an individual and get to know you and i think that is what has to happen. that's not a government >> ution, though. >> one possible government solution, i think people on the right might find this reteresting. remember what i said the ceo said when people got out and i that really embodied the incentive structure as operates for prison wardens in prison ministry terse ncos. they have a job because theywha know there will be a constant supply of us. what if we turned it on its heac and gave siphons or bonuses toof ceos who work in prison, if we trapped everyone who came out of prison and if they went five years without recidivate usinglu that we get up i thousand dollars bonus to the ceo at then
last two prisons where they were held. maybe if we turn the incentive on their head then prison guards would be more focused on boostingt you up than terry newn dance meant i agree with thatm c and ri would take the sort of wharton or the head of thewou facility and put it on him to create that culture. i certainly, i mean, i think wardens chose themselves now on no escaped today. i mean, that's like, all rights but everyone who goes through prison is reoffending and we want to know that, so the burea of prisons could at lleast track that information here at how our facilities doing because we also build these prisons in dogpatch usa and a lot of the people that are guards as jeff has imitated very well or the type of people heading cumberland and they were this close to being inmates themselves and i didn't find them anymore moral or educated. so, what is the training for
them? i mean, what is theirm background? why is the head of my prison-- why don't they know something about psychology and motivation? instead of insulting people, try to build them up. >> is there any location whereco there are sort of good incentives or wardens are given a job to help people? >> i have not heard implemented. >> i will be the commit somecom liberal apostasy right now. >> if i hadn't said republican study committee and told out five minutes ago you could not have told he was republican and he's a liberal and now i'll come forward. >> like the people who have done perr this the best over the last few years are like nikki haley in south carolina, rick. texas, the texas recidivism rate is like just a bit more than one third the national average texas recidivism rate is liketh 10%.
the liberals and cynics mightlo say the reason the recidivism rate is so low it is becausema they execute people and there are 236 people who couldn't possibly recidivate, but i will say this, conservative republicans and southernled thea especially in the southy governors have really led the way over the last five or six years on both the front end on sentencing reform and then on trying to be more compassionate inside of prisons in a way that. will reduce recidivism and it's a credit and nathan made this ao focus of his governorship. john kasey kahne ohio, not only reelection did he focus on this, but he ran for reelection specifically on this issue, which is pretty encouraging to me. >> audience questions. yes? we have a microphone and we will
come to you. >> my name is dave price, retirement journalist.'s gentlemen, thank you for yourat i'm sure there are times you kind of regret whatu happened t you, but i thinki it's been my impression working in urban schools in areas that the one population that probably is least represented his prisoners both while in prison and even more so while they come out.d yq my question kind of comes along with that.g can you tell us a bit about what has been the reaction, not soimr much to you personally, but here message. i think it's important message. do you think people amre hearing you and if they are screen you,. are they beginning to act--obouy obviously is going to be a multiple of things, but just the message, how is it received out there now that you are giving as an expert? >> also, along political lines fs it received differently?di >> yeah, just as you imagine.e ' some people-- i did not want to be the guy came out was the
expert, and that's because io didn't want to relive the experience. t i was involved in these issues,n i had been on the wrong side of these issues when ic was a staff on capital hill and i w rote soi mandatory minimum loss as a senate staffer and part of thise was a little bit of penance and i did it did not appeal to me ay a conservative anymore that a politician would drop sentences for cases they knew nothing about, so i wanted to get that message out and i'm lucky that ny o there are so many otherdoing th conservatives doing that. at a personal level,s you thinkf you are getting so much support because those are the people who are talking to you and it sort of a self-selecting process.cont i know of-- what i don't like is any other walk of lifehe epa experience matters. especially as a conservative if you are businessman complaining about the pat people would says you know because you are outar u there and if they are screen with your business we want to hear your viewpoint.ey
woul if i set my experience with the justice department and they wilw say of course she said that because you broke the law.sa i mean, no one has done more to fight crime then brooding. he character he was the nypd chief during 911. if you are going to dismiss hime because he has has a convictionj by the way, jeff never talkst je about reformingve the lower hisl conviction was i talk about mandatory minimum spirit berniew does not talk about tax reform. we are talking about the system was hot and unfortunately havec experience.it's di that experiences discounted because people think it's a motive i have to read i would just as well not talk about this, but i was there and i saw and helps create a bad system ai part of being a staffer. so, the reaction is mixed. >> people to come to the eventmy where i am selling my event
probably predisposed to the message, but the most heartening thing i think is that i have tried to go to places that are unexpected. i go on conservative talk radio and i go wherever i can you people invite me and i have had very very few people come back to me and say, well, what about camino, what about rapists and ask aa talk about i think it'snk important to talk about because there's no clearer example of how we operate our prisonsultur driving recidivism than rape. a we tolerate rape culture insidea a prison.in there are more rapes in prison and happened on the street. how do we handle that? we laugh about it, like our pop culture is a staple of our detective shows, law and order to say the prosecutor says don't drop the soap to the perpetrator
is going away. i mean, how calloused you have to be to tbehink that no matter what happens to you on the insiden you deserved it becausu you broke the law. that's crazy. unfortunately, a hugely disproportionate number of men who are raped or gang raped and repeatedly so on the inside comy out and tragically attempt to reclaim their manhood in the wan they perceive it was stolen from them on the inside and so i am trying to talk about issues that a lot of people don't want to talk about. in some ways i'm a goodas a messenger for it because i was y policymakerma and i actually worked on criminal justice reform is a policymaker and then im a researcher and i can bringi that angle. a in other specs are not the right messenger.rieuc i'm invite highly educated-- i'm not represented of the pivot-- present appellation, but in a perverse way i could reach people other people cannot reacr
and i'm hopeful that i can peaking of message. >> speaking of light, you may have noticed we are all whites.n jeff w jas attacked in his campaign as a well-known caucasian when he was runningn s >> known caucasian. >> known caucasian in a districe wat wasop largely black.peoplei we try to get diversity and some people say yes and some people say no, so i went to apologize for that. >> hello i'm a lawyer and a writer.we we have 6000 federal prisoners that are being released and jeff reas talks about in hison book thef a reason why-- one of the reasons why he was doing come i think you are doing inventory on thern loading dock is because he had- he could read and hand math skills. so, i'm curious. there has been a lot of reports about how limited number of't
books in prison libraries. they don't allow newspapers. 6,s so, what are these 6000 prisoners going to do if they can't even read? ifth and they have minimal math skills, i mean, you can't evenhe back at the grocery store withog without having literacy skills. or math skills. >> i mean, either of you experience this also, illiteracy >> we had newspapers.le we had a library that i worked in for a while., rt of again, part of this is not everyone in there is dying to read. some people can't.s. is some people use that time to self educate because there are no classes. >> that's not the norm. >> no, that's not the norm. that's honest. if these guys were starred for education, i mean, some of them went up in the position they are in, but--o so in terms of theou
6000 coming out ti just want to say because they him has been i having to respond on this a lot, this was not the obama s administration's position and if we cannot tolerate this 6000,f e really the lowest-- >> say more about-- >> yes.early fr of theomirs in news reports abot 6000 people being let out earlyb from prison huard drug offendert and if youo listen to billlock o'reilly you would think you'dt need to run to your basement and lock your door because they are all violent folks. got they are not. i was in prison.ir i just got out six months ago. to r i was there when people goti their level-- letter.s ouses weo the commission over a year ago said the drug sentences were too high and censures sentence isy driven by the weight of the drug involved they reduce thep trigger, so for most people they have a just got a slightly shorter'sear sentence. if you had a love in your would get a nine-year sentence and set they made that change goingf s
forward, but it said it's note e fair to not include for the people who are already serving. let's get rid of some of thee ao listrowding we have and a this way, so people were allower to go into corpulent they had tr have a good record and the prosecutor was allowed todg to a object. the people that are ctooming ou, there is this scare and fear mongering going out about 60000p prisoners. a state prisons let out more comm please her like a handful in each community and these areerv people who are serving druofg offensesam who serve substantial amounts of time who are coming out anyway, so if you were year worried they were not ready for society than they would them ber ready in a gear and a half either. is the biggest nonissue, but it's been turned into something big and what scares me about is if we can't welcome these people back, then those who want toe tackle bigger person issues whal a hard time because these aree e the lowest hanging fruit we have >> what are we doing to help them?
even the ones that have muchr bigger problems, i mean, thesee guys are the lowest of tofhe lowest, but do they have literate skills? >> we are doing with them what we do with everyone and it's not enough. so, for the past year these people could transition to halfway houses and look for work and it wasn't as if on november 1, 6000 people walked out the prison door. if you are talking about what we are doing to prepare them, canfr you guys are whole point, notm enough.yo >> you guys have mentioned some examples of things that have worked in some cases and a lot of them, you talk about the texas case or other reentry programs, rockville having good programs that a lot of these guys, i'm almost feeling optimistic that we have a solutions that worked on a locan level.t on but, on the question of peoplee who are in the ready getting ano education in the present--n prison, is there any example of
that being done well that you has not? >> well, the problem is it's anecdotal and i think there's a problem with the criminalf justice system overall. we don't have good data aiand is crazy.vi if i said what is the recidivism rate you would give a number that was heard and i would say is that the number people goinga back to jailt or juste reoffending? you would start to tha drop offd ha not know, but a lotve ofn we researchers don't know the answer either. we don't have good data, so eves when we talk about programs that work, what we need to do is for assess the programs. i am all for them investing in programsth and education is a go example, but i want this measured and if it works sort oi spread elsewhere in the countryu >> the answers we need morele. data. >> yes. >> in the front table here on cn the microphone is coming fromht behind to. >> good evening.ening. name is elizabeth charity andriy
the ceo of reentry services. i was in the corporate world and then what i did was i lost my job. i started a volunteer in the juvenile justice system, the juvenile detention center andwhs while i was there i volunteer for-- it had been for about 20ae years and what i did was rotate grant and gave it two-- submitted to george allen and i started a 12 week job readiness program, but during the time what i decided to do was come and go back to school to george mason university and i did a study on transforming the ex- offender to a social on-chip your and i put together the 12 week curriculum and have submitted it to george mason university and what we are
planning on doing is getting college students to command and help us teach the 12 week job readiness mentoring program, but we wanted to go into the juvenile detention center. we have been given the opportunity to be able to go before the department of juvenile justice to introduce-- i truly would love to have some of your statements included in our seti. this could be like a two to three year study in which we can get that data and all of that information. >> my question following up on that, incredibly interesting sounding project is, on the juvenile level have either of you done research girl looked into that? that seems like that's a whole different set of needs and problems for juvenile offenders. >> it does and i have a-- it has a whole different set of needs
in one of the most disturbing things that i am covered in my research was the number of states that put juveniles in solitary. i mean, juveniles are so ill equipped-- i mean, no one should really be in solitary except extreme circumstances. across the civilized world they have decided this is basically slow-motion torture to do this to people, but where i was, i don't know if you had this experience, but you would have a guy on your basketball team and like he would it show up for the game and you would be like where is he and they would be like he's gone. where his he, he's in the shoe. like he's gone. you don't know why people leave. there in solitary and never see them again. like the people who came out of solitary were broken people. it had broken them. so, i mean, the number one thing i think we need to do in terms of juvenile justice in this country is to absolutely for bid juvenile solitary because no young person especially given their neurological development
at that juncture should ever be put in solitary. that's the first thing. but, i think we need to look further back. everyone now is talking about the prison pipeline and it's real. there's a professor at columbia that just wrote a book on this and she looks at just the way that like poor kids, mostly of color in our society from the minute they go to school there five years old and they areand accustomed to like metal detectors and the sort of things we know as like the-- we just-- we nee i think we need to even go further back than the juvenile justice system and make it so that it's not considered andncet stop nioormalizing the experiene of the criminal justice system n for big subset of our population. >> again, i want to know if iude can maybe get statements fromert all of you? >> we can talk about that afterr
>> mayhem over there in that salmon colored shirt. >> thank you. i serve onio thefell board of td advocates for prison education partnership, which offers programming on a kite and we support college offering therinr full arts degrees at the only te prison for women in maryland. i want to ask about, here we have a friendly audience, butce, talking to people who are much less sympathetic when we are talking to a ceo who might have only ged and no longer get the subsidy from the department of a corrections to take a community college course or taxpayers who are struggling to finance their own kids college education. how is it that we talk and we saw the troubles with the state of new york about offering whether it's college education or other education and spending yet more money on incarcerated people and help them see it's
really worth it because-- have-- how do we talk to the skeptics? >> i talked to the skeptics a lot because i was once one of them, so sometimes it helps is e how to remember what i was thinking when i was at thatememe point and it is still helpfulhap sometimesoi to be working on the issues and talk to someone on the hill who is like i would i ever shorten a sense for anyone who committed any crime and you think weight, because there is no evidence that it's reducing crime. it's like not helping recidivism. i mean, there is still-- turn o, fox.n on fox. >> especially amongong conservatives there is this ingrained sense that justice needs to be served and that these people do not deserve our ju sympathy or our help.st >> until they know someone who runs afoul of the lot and that's happening more and more, so some of these people who have come out and are now supported on thf rights just look through their e
family tree for a minute and you will find someone went to jail and all of a sudden and aree and first-hand experience with the fi criminal justice is them.ndjust. some just weren't around duringn old prima sites of ths.e '90s and they don't have those scars. that will disable debates and so -- but, how to talk to them i really think it is aboutyou knot appealing to their self interesb because you can't make someoneta feel compassion.cannot me someo they talk about personal storien and that reaches people inal a t it'sses, but sometimes not-- i don't want us to not be tough on crime. i just think what we're doing is not tough on crime.amomeo it's tough on criminals,ne t individual criminals and so if i want to show our top i am and i ju send someone to 20 years i mayfd feel good how tougher i was, but if i just made them a worse offender, if i destroy their
family and now their kids are more likely to go to jail, if i'm just driving up the cost across the board of what i have been then that is not being tough on crime. so, can i think this is a cultural issue that is not so much legislative. i think we are vengeful. i will give you an example, there were lobbyists doing just what i was doing and half ofilly them will say gosh, but for the grace of god go i and the other half even though they knew thath i was doing what they were doing they were like us for and we have that. there is something weird in our society where if all of a sudden speeding on the beltway kite you 10 years, we all do it, but the person who got caught we would have zero sympathy for and to so there is a quick, it's never later-- evolutionary thing we have that once you break the law you become the other and we don't have to feel any sympathy or empathy for your match is going to take as growing out of a and part it is when i grew up i didn't know anyone who went to prison. i don't think my kids know
anyone who doesn't know someone that went to prison and we will get to a point where we will jail so may people that we will all have more firsthand experiences and that may be what it takes a. >> quickly, i totally agree with kevin. money and public safety is how i talk to conservatives. do you like spending $80 billion a year of your money? >> then they say that's because they get plasma screen tvs and comfortable beds. >> you got the comfy year bed. >> my bed wet from this that too like that take.safe a lot. i talk about public safety a lot, which is these people like 93% of prisoners in this country are coming home and what we do to them like we are [bleep] our own nest, right?own nest these are americans. we will see them and maybe theyh won't live in your suburb, buthr when you go downtown for the
opera or the baseball game like and you will see them. if you want him to come out eve, more damage, broken and angry than when they went in, then yot have the correct recipe. >> yes, sir. >> good afternoon.>> good ternoo great talk. obviously very entertaining, but speaking of entertainment beforn i ask ate question i want to kne are you familiar with the comedian kevin hart and that guess. >> i went to see him recently and i can relate to him because he's under 5'9". he does this joke about how-- a series of monologues about what it's like to avoid fights andesg why he equates flights. it'sna interesting to hear the rationale he uses because he
basically says i'd know what the consequences will be if i get into a fight with this person and so i tfight with this person and so i think it's the difference between the way some people think.fe and it will come out okay versus someone who says know it willson come oute bad and i think i net to walk way. so, i have been able to stay because i've avoided a lot ofnd situations where i could havebem made the wrong decision and maybe it was because of my mom or dad or going to i would b the whitest guy in prison. i would be the guy they would pick out and say you uncle tom, i'm going to do this to you. do you are people you spoken to actually believe the things they did that got them put into prison were wrong? 's i think there is a.where you decide maybe i'm wrong, maybe i should have been put
in prison, there is no perfect answer. do you think -- because i don't understand what you said the supposedly got put in for. >> i lied. does not matter whether you lie about jaywalking or structuring financial transactions are killing someone, you still lied to the fed. i did know about that. so it sounds sort of technical comeau but the underlying crime was a campaign finance violation. and then the obstruction of justice was signing a false affidavit saying i didn't no anything about the meeting. so that is what i did.
do i think i did anything wrong? i think i broke the law, and therefore in this country i've done something wrong. i also have perspective on it and you get a lot of perspective on it by watching the presidential campaign i don't want to get into too many details, but he has a super pack. his political alter ego is running the super pack. they don't need to coordinate because they spent the 1st six months figuring out exactly what they were going to do with that hundred and $60 million.
i was an amateur, naïve, stupid. as a neophyte i made the mistake of doing it and illegal way. with some politicianwith some politician has done since we came here together on sunday. the fact is i did the crime, so i had to do the time. one of the biggest misconceptions is that prisoners all say, i didn't do it. they will tell you they did. it's a long story. there are going to plan raw meat in my freezer jacket because they were going to give me in trouble. i was not ceiling and so therefore they thought i was a rat. i had to start ceiling.
it was aa threat that i would have to utilize security prison. and this guy is like comeau what are you afraid of? they are murderers there. the only differences i missed. >> very smart and thoughtful and he had shot at people. he was in the drug trade and had shot at people and freely admitted everything. i believed he was intelligent enough and ambitious enough and hard-working enough. it was prison. it did not matter if the boxes were stacked perfectly adding care. he was like, that's not right. change it around. he had pride in his work.
i think he would be fine on the outside. even though, sure, there were guys already plotting. but that was not the norm. most of the guys wanted to fly straight. >> that was my experience as well. he knew what you are doing, with the penalty was. he had no idea what the penalty was. or you thinking? he wasn't. he made a decision in the spur of the moment my charges, lobbying charges, essentially bribery charges because i disagree with the theory of events ultimately
in the hope that they would do something for my clients. that was lobbying. it was what was my intent. i would have done anything to stay home with my daughters. i was going to have to incriminate others, testify against people i work with, members of congress. so that is my sob story. i live with it comeau what to prison, and did not seek sympathy for people who were serving much longer sentences for similar mistakes, things. so i will take my lumps. you asked for it. watching you hang out with. the people there did not think about the conduct, and if you had said the penalty is five or the penalties for
25 it would not have altered their behavior because they were not thinking about doing cost-benefit analysis. this growing field of behavioral economics would inform more policies because there are things that you can do to prime people to make better decisions or to at least punish them in ways that respond, story justice, likable person whose fall drugs, be accountable, go to a clinic where people are trying to get off drugs and let them see the repercussions of what the drug trafficking did, don't let them sit in a cell for ten years with a have no face-to-face conduct. there are other things that we can do, but the whole idea of these people made mistakes, they are not innocent. every black guy in the system would say this system is racist. no one was in they're fighting trials.
what matters is not whether they are guilty. the question is, isis, is the punishment proportional to what they did? and i don't think it is. that is what we need to reevaluate. >> i think this has been a great discussion. most cheerful thing to me is that there are programs and smaller scales that have worked. this is now been taken up across the ideological spectrum, criminal justice reform broadly. i would like to go on forever, but we are incapable of doing that. i will say just book is available outside. just a quick note. i got the book and still have the dust jacket on. my five -year-old said what he says about every person in the newspaper, is that your friend? what is the book about.
suddenly all the older kids gathered around and thought it was an interesting story and informative thing me talk to them about. my oldest asked if she could read it. by it, don't buy it. but i thought that was an interesting thing, the exposure to that. but you're supposed to visit and care. i see it getting picked up across the spectrum and hope that the solutions on the local level bubble up. >> speaking of located in the book, four -year-old son is very gregarious and walks around to everyone says, high command you read dan i went to prison? [laughter] thank you for coming. [laughter] [inaudible conversations]