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tv   Variety and Rolling Stone Summit on Criminal Justice - Governors Edwards...  CSPAN  November 27, 2018 4:19am-5:00am EST

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system. next, governors from louisiana, oklahoma and connecticut talk about what they've done in the states including reducing incarceration rates. [applause] >> let's have another round of applause for derek in the naacp. [applause] i'm joined today by incredible group of governors. they have accomplished a lot in their states. each of the states are unique geographically and very different parts of the country. each of your states basis challenges and approach him from different perspectives. but your vault succeeded in moving your states in the right direction. abner, i love to start with you. interstate part of what is so interesting as you've approached reform from so many different angles. your present preparation and you publication is at a 20 year low connecticut is poised to be potentially the first state to effectively cut 50. [applause]
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it would be wonderful if you could share us about how you would achieve that production imprison publish and what impact that had on public safety. >> i did approach it from a particular angle. i was a former prosecutor in new york city and i thought injustice and came to understand that if things were happening in one community that was happening in another community that never would have been allowed. usually those divides were based on race or income and when i became mayor years later i addressed those difficulties in a police department we started keeping data and making data decisions. when i became governor it started right away and ended the death penalty your one and also decriminalized wanna print why? because he knew it had a disproportionate impact on brown and black people with respect to
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that first thing on the record, the thing that ultimately would mean if there was another they'd be in trouble and convicted of a felony for instance. then we work day in and day out to make sure that we changed our approach and understood this disparity along racial lines and wealth lines and took it on year after year so i'm finishing my eighth year as governor and every single year we've done multiple things that allowed us to take our present preparation down by 5000. when we fall below 13 he will be the first time in 25 years that we will have been below 13 and have our present population but our emphasis has been on. one of the great statistics about connecticut is that we are
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now have dark publish and people and 21 or younger coming into the system by 65%. when i heard that we are at 50% i said let's take a look or analyze everyone in prison today and analyze how many of those folks in prison over the age of 25 were first incarcerated before the age of 21. 70%. what we are talking about in crime reduction because rather 50 year low will be sustained for decades to come based on the fact that we built a system designed to do everything we can to keep people out of jail and understanding young people will have to go to jail but if we put more time and effort into doing the first we will be in better shape. >> you mentioned when you started you are worried about the disparity and as you build out your agenda over year accomplished a lot in those years imagine how many different
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things you've approached. how did you prioritize those we start with one problem how to figure out what the next one is you need to address? >> we always have multiple things on the agenda and practically you do that in some sense see a bargain to get parts made to go back the next year. it really is a little bit like playing chess and keeping the ball rolling and making sure people understand that as their crime is reduced -- for instance, connecticut reduced violent crime by more than any other state in the nation at the same time we were doing all the things you are talking about. i will point based on your three we were 30% further down in violent crime than the next your estate. you have to convince the public the people who represent them these more progressive policies actually are improving the situation and lowering crime doing it now on an
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intergenerational basis. >> governor you come from a different perspective. you been in service for quite a while and tell us a little bit about your background and why that is motivated you to be so outspoken and evolved. >> is a topic long time ago because of my mother. she was a social worker in the state of acoma and had 17 different counties of acoma under her purview. she was in charge of fostering children and child abuse children helping with families in distress and i watched as a young girl no one helped families and children that might be in a bad situation the family. when i became lieutenant governor we were rated number one in the causation of women and have been that way for 30 years. when i became lieutenant governor is working with the women in our state and i let a panel to look at why are we incarcerated women. i told people as a joke we don't
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have the meanest women in the nation but just have problems within the system and problems with art women. look at statistically the evidence-based data what was happening and what we found is large majority of the women incarcerated at some type of substance abuse conviction. maybe your substance abuse conviction or another crime because they were on substance abuse at the time. we also found women had a sexual assault in some type of domestic violence in the background and of course we would take a plea deal because the husband or partner or boyfriend is in trouble so they negotiate a deal so they can get that. the other side of the coin was when i became governor i looked at the fact that at the time we had 12000 children in state custody were away from the families and we know that a lot of children were in state care could have parents in the prison system, one or two, maybe both
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at the same time we had 12000 children in state custody and wanted to know why we had so many. why so many abuse children or children without the parents. many were in prison. many years ago we started criminal justice reform and brought in all the different players and it's hard. we brought in the advocates and crime victim advocates because we always want to keep people safe and brought in the judges district attorneys and lawmakers in any type of victim advocacy group be involved and we had about 18 months panel to work together from sentencing to how do you keep people from going to the correctional facilities in the first place and veterans court and mental health courts and those various things and we rolled out 27 pieces of legislation and we did not get
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on that first year but it took many years to educate the public and to work with all the different people involved in the system to find agreement and a bipartisan way. you find this issue is one that both republicans and democrats care about. it's important to our society. we started out and got some of the bills passed and more past and then be passed 17 and to state question and be able to address things that used to be classified as felony and were talking earlier about getting depicted on nonviolent load of crime in -- if you have some time drug
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tell us about why you've taken on these issues and what you achieved in the last three years. >> i appreciate the question. my story is not that dissimilar from dance or marriage. my dad was the sheriff and my brother is the sheriff today and my grandfather was a sheriff but for consecutive -- this is what i know about the great state of indiana. for decades we held the distinction of having the highest incarceration rate of the nation but i love my state you know we are not more evil or more criminal until wife for decades have you done that why are we spending so much money to have incarceration rate that is almost twice the national average and we are not favor as a result because the cynicism
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was high, crime rate was high and this just does not make sense. when i ran for governor one of the four major things at the end of my first term we did not have the highest incarceration rate. we were able to marshal support that i signed into law in june 2017 that did not make a difference and it was very bipartisan. two were democrats and one was an independent. i will tell you that we have good experience from that reform and just this past year, for example, we realized the incarceration rate is down and we have saved come in dollars and we are directing 70% of the savings to reentry programs and to services for crime victims. we been able to get support
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across the spectrum because we did it in the way that no one could question the reliability that we were working on and i best practices -- we did not do anything new in louisiana but just thought would work elsewhere and brought that to louisiana and focus primarily but not exclusively on nonviolent, non- sex vendors and the result as of today. i'm happy to tell you that louisiana, as you mentioned, no longer has the highest incarceration rate in the nation. and most importantly, we will be safer as a result. this is the whole part because it's counterintuitive. we were driving our crime rate up because we were incarcerating too many people. i 5% of people -- we were warehousing those individuals and doing nothing to help them
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closely reenter society and that aggression itself prevent those individuals from ever been able to be gainfully employed in support themselves and their families and you saw it drive those people back in the crime when they would've benefited from a pretrial and maybe a specialty court on the front end. they certainly did it for more reentry training and education in substance abuse treatment for mental health treatment. that's what were doing in louisiana that commenced we are on a much and i'm so proud -- >> governor, what is interesting about louisiana is one of the arguments is that one of the biggest challenges the way the criminal justice system works out is such a waste of resources. if capital talent and read people's lives but waste of
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government dollars. in louisiana he went through a process tell us about that process and how you have looked at justice reform not just in terms of coming to more outcomes in a fair system but also in terms of investing $1 things that are truly added to society. >> we talk about return investment, not just private-sector but as the government, quite often you hear that apply to investment in social services but also worked with criminal justice system. we were spending $700 million a year, smallest state of louisiana, $700 million year to have the highest correction rate and we were not getting a good return on that investment. our crime rate was no better than state that were sending people to jail half as often. it was all about the return on investment and business community understand this. we put this down to the coalition of people due to a year-long study we had business
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people on their district attorneys and judges the chairs and religious right and crime victims and we were across the spectrum to study what we're doing in louisiana trying to make sure we would get return on our investment and that is why we invested the family today invested more wisely and more effectively. we were able to take that process and build support for criminal justice reform and i'm happy to tell you we passed all the bills the first year because of the way we introduce him. i have a republican house in public and senate but the fact of the matter is the vote on these bills was overwhelming and supported by the republicans and democrats alike as he focused on the best practices on the incontrovertible data and we were transparent about what we did talked about a return on investment.
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we were probably -- in louisiana because i inherited the largest budget deficit in the history of our state and exceeded $2 billion and one of the things was one 100% department of corrections and we talked about getting a better return on what we were doing third-largest expenditure item we had representation. we were in a better place today serving the state and in a lot of ways and fiscal management with respect to corrections was better but also our crime rate is getting better, recidivism rate is falling you know about the incarceration but what this means is we were able to keep families together in the community are stronger. that's the biggest return on investment and is not the dollars. it's what were doing inside families. >> governor, you've known pretty well that you worked with legislator is not always the easiest thing in the world and
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part of it what has been so fun about your stories and how relentless you have been in pursuing reforms of criminal justice and if you could share with us some of the stories and in navigating on those issues. >> jeff, i had the opportunity to be in public office for 20 years and discussions on those particular issues and we went through a phase in the '90s where you lock them up, throw away the key, three strikes you're out, all that political jargon and we were at the same point and we had known what we also knew that the rate of incarceration growth in our prison systems was going to leave us need to build three extra prisons at the cost of one
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point to billion dollars and we cannot afford to do that but the societal incarceration so first of all prodigious kernels but secondly we realized we had a problem with substance abuse in our state and with how we could do a better job of different programs. [inaudible] i would go around the state and give speeches about criminal justice reform and asked the audience is anyone in this audience never met anyone that had a substance abuse issue someone with high school or college or is there anyone in the audience that does not know would that has is
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issue? not one time did anyone raise her hand. not in this audience either. i would visit recovery centers and we have great women in recovery talk programs in our state where if you decide to go into if you get help with substance abuse and work-related skills and work on learning how to be a good mother in the system and be a good mother to your family we could not put you in prison but put you through this program we have great success rate like 80% success rate in these programs plus it saves the state money because it's less offensive to put people through those programs. he also began working on it direct course and getting funding and some people believe it didn't work but it's less expensive interstate and even formed better in court for ptsd
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problems or might have committed a crime because they had something going on. educating the legislator was a big part of it but a committee chairman said no way i will not let your hills be heard. that went on for a year and i cap pounding the media and one of the legislators that me a big survey before the questions were written to they would make everybody look bad or soft on crime and he was a former assistant attorney before he ran for legislator and all the people did not respond him into knots on the survey. it was a setup but then he made a big deal from the press conference and no one else did either and governor will not meet with me and so this is the story you're referring to. i sent him back a letter and said i give it to the press to an inside here's all the different times we met with you
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specific dates and we met with limited and of course the press started picking up that i had been trying to work with him but he just did not want to work with us because he had a different agenda. it's a mic drop on him that finally knew what his agenda was. wasn't about getting things done but stopping things. that was in the stories and they were there at graduation and it brought children to the capital and had a press conference and visited with his children that had a parent in prison and i interviewed and asked him what it is like to have a person or parent incarcerated and how the life is going to school is going and we had releases to do that and it was an interesting experience for the public site to see what goes on. >> governor malloy, one of the
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unique things about being a governor is you play a critical role in the legislative process but as chief executive is that you power weather over prisons or over who might be released that's already incarcerated the big part of your legislative agenda has included second chances. tell us about your perspective on second chances and how that has been a critical focus point for you. >> i begin with anyone in the room who is not done something they would be embarrassed to tell other people about, raise your hand. everyone makes mistakes but that is the point. the idea that one or two minor mistakes ultimately leads to an incarceration which means never get a good job or most people won't qualify for decent housing can't get a student loan does not make a lot of sense. we have to rethink the system from the fundamental part of it. what do we do? we changed our part in parole procedures to go to a data-driven decision-making and require people to write down why
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they were or were not granting pardons or parole based on the given tax. it's amazing how the changes the dynamic because all of a sudden people realize they make different judgments along lines of what some of his past history was based on community they came from. [inaudible converstations] color they were, how poor they were or how young the first mistake was. i think a lot of what we have to do and can do on the executive function is full of a mirror and say why are you doing this? this is your picture in the mirror and someone who did x, y or z why are you doing that? is examine at our very court all of our presumptions about crime and about the assumption is that our society in america generally makes is that if you've committed one or two crimes will be a criminal for the rest of your life. that is not true. people grow up. they mature amateur at different
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ages come back fundamentally we have to examine sweepers that in pardons and parole's and pushed it in correction and why does it take so long to get a decision when someone is eligible for release early why does it take so long to make that decision. it cost about $200 a night and were not a cheap hotel. it doesn't make sense to be delaying decisions like that particularly when you're causing monies to be spent in areas that have no positive impact another area. we have it. it exists in america this high school suspension to prison pipeline. understand that judges and prosecutors will look at whether someone was suspended from school to make a decision about how they will proceed someone. understand that being out of school for as few as two days further sets back that student
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and the possibilities. understand it separate that student from the support that they may have outside of the family and that they rely on. we gone a long way to make sure that were spending more money on treating trauma. if we treat, in young people whether sexual abuse or physical abuse or being a witness to physical abuse or other traumas we would have your people committing crimes because they commit them out of anxiety and commit them out of depression and put them as a reaction to an untreated ailment which society refuses to admit and if your mother was a social worker i visit prisons and a prison in germany and there are more social workers working in the present that there are prison guards. we need more social workers in our middle schools, high schools and we need to address the fundamental reasons that people
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are having these difficulties and if we do a better job of that and we will be in a better place. ultimately we need to start treating 1819 and 20 -year-olds was like we treat juveniles. that is what we really need to do and that's the big picture and the other big picture we need to get to his idea that you are drug addicted and committed a crime and you go to prison and you get out and are still drug addicted but not committed crimes of authority back in jail. the average person will fail in treatment eight times and it makes no sense to simply extend someone back to prison because of making the failures that other people who don't have the background are having. we just have to change examine our fundamental beliefs about what we're doing to people and whether it's good for them and on longer basis good for society and someone has to be the voice of that movement. >> governor, not shy from the
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executive power either in clemency is almost a couple things a governor can do but the next day they get their fair hearing and they are released. lot of responsibly because of that. tell us about how you have approach that and how using that response ability. >> to apply for clemency yet to apply for paroled and have to go to the back context investigators to the person check out the history and then it comes to me at my desk. how long they have been serving what is a crime what do they do and how they acted while they been in prison and have they had goodtime credits and have a continued to seek their education and get high school college courses and have a taken counseling classes or done substance abuse and have they taken college courses. as they taken what have they
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done to better themselves. if i see that they have tried to change their life and is a different person that the government was just about then i will consider giving them a second chance. i've done that during the term even for people that might've been convicted on manslaughter or something like that involuntary manslaughter, and i have given people second chanc chances. >> governor edwards, one of the stories is the story coming out of florida. the story of voters more than 60% of voters voting to restore the voting rights of their fellow citizens ventured because they been convicted previously with felonies. [applause] more than 1 million floridians were banned from the opportunity to vote. in louisiana you had ballot initiatives of wealth and would be interesting to hear what
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developments of people of louisiana had seen to in last year and also tells about what's been going on with the voting rights. >> sure. the ten bills i signed into law or in 2017 but in 2018 that the most recently concluded regular vegetative session i was able to sign into law the restored voting rights for felons. we do not put that out to vote but the legislator passed that and we will have tens of thousands of louisiana and now in individuals who serve the time and pay their debt and one of the things you have to do is allow these people to be reintegrated into society. they need to feel of vested interest and if you tell them we know you've done everything you were supposed to do with respect to the punishment but still going to be tweeted as a second-class citizen it's much harder for that reintegration to take place. restoring those voting rights incredibly important we were able to do that but i'm also
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proud and this gets back to something derek johnson talked about a while ago. after reconstruction in 1890s we had a constitutional convention and there were minutes taken and we know exactly what happened but they decided in louisiana for a criminal conviction that the jury only needed nine out of 12 individuals because they knew that african-americans would become voters and sit on juries and wanted to make sure that they could disregard one, two or three of those so get a conviction. the minutes of the constitutional convention said this is being done to preserve white supremacy. i'm embarrassed to tell you it took until last tuesday but i'm happy to tell you that as of last tuesday we voted that out and will require unanimous juries in the state of louisiana to have criminal convictions. we are moving forward and i'm proud of the work we have done but we should not have taken
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quite so long. [applause] that should've been taken a few years ago. >> you had eight years in office, three years and more to look for two but if you think about what your successors what you think it should be on their agenda and governor edwards, for you. [inaudible converstations] are you hoping to accomplish over the next five years? >> i will tell you that when you make the changes that we make all at one time with those ten bills you have to continue looking at the data and make sure that it's having the impact you wanted it to have. you might need to tinker with things and we will not hesitate to sit down with all the stakeholders whether judges, sheriffs, da or other individuals in the religious community and make adjustments going forward. that is what we look to do is just make we are getting the results we wanted. making sure we continue to save
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money and make sure that we are disciplined enough. this is the most radical thing we did. we reinvested 70% of our savings into our criminal justice system to ensure that we got the results you are looking for because in previous times in louisiana that might have been the stated goal but at the end of the day the savings were pocketed to deal with budgetary constraints. if we ever go back to their we know we won't be as successful as we need to be. it will undermine confidence in the reforms he made them push people to go in the opposite direction and bring us back to where we were. we've got to be disciplined and we will be and that is one of the reasons i'm will stand for reelection to make sure that we continue to do what we have done thus far. we've got a long way to go. look, we're no longer the incarceration capital in the nation but we are number two. >> you have to start somewhere right? >> we need to continue to move forward.
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we need to make sure that people understand that they are safer as a result of it. we are spending money more wisely but the biggest return on investment properly done criminal justice reform is you have safer communities and saver families. that is what this is about. >> governor phelan. [inaudible converstations] next and obama? >> i am out in six days i don't know how you have left but i am counting mine. [laughter] in all seriousness, one of the things we been looking at in my step in my cabinet is how to meet picture the good work we have begun will stay once we leave. how do we sing with that foundation so the public is educated enough and different groups coordinating and collaborating and working together that will keep this movement that we started many years ago going in the state of oklahoma and we have made great progress. but we still have a lot more work to do. couple things we did it this year i signed a piece of legislation that was establish a
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committee that would look at the classification of crime and the length of service. one of the things we had this past year was that we had a lot of things that should've and a misdemeanor but classified as felonies so the public overwhelmingly supported that and the savings we have from not having too many people that many will go back into abuse treatment and mental treatment and that has been in one part that we been able to initiate a wide period the other thing we need this year as we signed an executive order that will set in place a group that is appointed by different elected officials, including myself and speaker pro tem and different officials, and they will be there to have oversight over all the legislation we passed over the past several years. to make sure that it is working for small that we use evidence-based policies and have
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data driven policy and make sure we are implementing at all. if you pass legislation or policy and don't do anything with it it does not do any good. those are a couple things we're doing to make sure the next governor hopefully in the next legislative bodies that will come and will continue some of the things we thought and funding has always been a big issue so we have enhanced our funding, ask for support mental health -- i remember when i first started back in politics i would talk about more mental health funding and people said they just need to get over it we need to change that sinking and allocate more money toward mental health and substance abuse programs and human programs and diversion programs and we have the first and only program in the nation that is called pay for success which works with a group out of tulsa oklahoma called women in recovery instead of having people that event sentenced to prison, go to prison, we take women into the recovery program
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and diversion care type program and if they are successful in staying out of prison over so many years we pay this nonprofit because it's cheaper to pay them to pay 20, $30000 to keep someone in prison. that's a program we have and those things will be there and funding we will educate people and probably will have a lasting effect. >> governor malloy. >> referencing the last time i had the microphone -- three years ago i propose we treat 18, 19 and 20 euros who commit most crimes as if they were juveniles which means you can have no record or their record is upon reaching a certain age would be expunged. i think if we could do that we can make more progress in our country. one state has agreed to do it. i hope that new majorities and amongst both republicans and democrats a new willingness to look at what is beauty college
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that perhaps connecticut will move in that direction. the other thing i would do is take programs that we have highlighted in some of our prisons and make them available in all of our presence. i've closed full for prisons and half of another. i think every time you get to close a prison -- remember, american was opening a new prison every week in the 1990s. i've had the pleasure of closing for and soon a fifth will be close. that is about work because you're taking that $200 a day and spending it elsewhere. one of the places we spend that is the work unit in connecticut where we have long-term long time if not life prisoners mentoring younger prisoners, not in the way normally to get meant toward in prison which an advanced degree in criminal behavior but what you need to do to enter what you need to make sure that when you leave prison you can be successful. if we have that now at one male
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prison and only female present in the state and if we brought that to single person we meant toward young people who are incarcerated but don't needa permanent basis if they turn their lives will a recidivism rate and dropped faster. we are seeing that happened and in america we know what works and we normally what is popular. if we could break the cycle of doing what is popular or acting out of fear that you might be criticized because someone got out of prison and committed a crime -- by the way, that will happen. that will happen. it will have a goddess of whether we have programs to get people out earlier than they otherwise would. she's coming over here to tell us to stop. [laughter] but that is what we need to do. we really need to fundamentally rethink and be stronger in understanding that at the big
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statistics that is important, not the little one. whether all crimes fall, not just whether one kind gets committed. quite rightly, that's where democrats have not led because democrats are afraid of that attack. particularly, in the northeast. we need to be braver about that on a partisan basis. quite frankly, we need to understand we need to do what is right for more people


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