tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN October 21, 2014 1:00pm-3:01pm EDT
they have released some preliminary guidelines which we also use. we have an advisory committee that has an infectious disease doctor to assist us in prioritizing patients based upon medical needs. hepatitis c and hiv, they don't work well together. when you have both illnesses, your disease goes much faster. so they are put at the top of the list. we look for worsening clinical courses. and we put them to the top of the list. pry prioritizing. there needs to be discussion between local, federal corrections and public health on this discussion. we really need to find a solution. but it's got to be collaborative. >> okay. well, if you could put that slide back up, i would appreciate it.
just for your use, our staff had put together a summary of the evaluations that several of our speakers today had put into their presentations. so when you are looking for things that you can work on, we have put it all on one page for you. so take that as grist for your legislative mill or your policy mill. i want to thank you for your attention to a really under underappreciated set of issues that we were ai belieble to add. i want to thank our friends for allow us to put this together and helping us to recruit some of the folks you have heard. i want to thank our panel and
particularly i want to recall the eloquent testimony that we heard from deborah rowe and jacqueline craig bay as well as the panelists you see up here and ask you to join me in thanking all of them for a very useful discussion on a very difficult topic. [ applause ] >> thank you, ed. tonight on cspan3, an interview with michigan state's university. it's part of our special sear on universities in the big 10 conference. we will bring you a discussion on the future of the republican party. and then selections from this
year's western conservative summit in colorado. plus ben carson speaking earlier this year at the national press club. see that at 8:00 eastern here on c-span3. i'm jeanne shaheen. >> scott brown says he's pro choice. he sponsored a bill so employers could deny women insurance coverage for birth control. >> i can't believe scott brown supports limiting access to birth control. >> and brown pushed for a law to
force women considering abortion to look at color photographs of developing fetuses. no wonder anti-choice groups in massachusetts endorsed scott brown. >> i don't trust scott brown. >> you may have seen that senator shaheen is running an ad calling into fact my support of women. i believe women should have an access to contraception. after six years of voting with president obama, senator shaheen has resorted to a smear campaign. she knows better and the people of new hampshire deserve better. i'm scott brown and i approved this message. >> i approved this message. >> the big oil companies are the most profitable. scott brown voted to give them more than $20 billion in taxpayer subsidies. >> this guy is not for us. >> i don't trust scott brown for a minute. >> big oil give scott brown thousands of dollars within days
of his votes. >> scott brown doesn't care about new hampshire. >> and now big oil is spending millions to get him back to washington. >> scott brown is in it for scott brown. nobody else. and not new hampshire, no way. >> hey. i know what you are thinking. another ad. hear me out. senator shaheen says she puts you first. she votes with obama 99% of the time. that's for more spending, more debt. obamacare? come on. we have to put up with owe be b ma for two more years. let's fire jeanne shaheen. see tonight's debate at 8:00 eastern.
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war's 150th anniversary, visiting battlefields, american after arty facts, history bookshelf, with the best known american history writers, the presidency looking at policies and l legacies, lectures in history and our new series, real america, features government and educational films from the 1930s through the '70s. created by the cable tv industry and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. . washington journal conducted interviews. the conversations focused on higher education challenges, including student debt, admission policies and campus safety. this interview with indiana
university president michael mcrobbie is 45 minutes. >> this week we continue our month-long series of interviews with university presidents. this morning, the c-span bus is on the campus of indiana university in bloomington, indiana. on it we are joined by the president of indiana university, mi michael mcrobbie. thank you for joining us. >> delighted to be here. welcome to indiana university. >> thank you for the invitation. can we start with your general thoughts before we talk about the details of the unit, but your thoughts on the greatest challenging facing those in higher education today? >> i would say that probably the greatest challenge in front of us is to continue to provide a quality and affordable
education, personally to the students within the state of indiana. we are a state university, after all. and keeping that education both affordable but also ensuring its quality so that our students are graduating with very high level skills that will enable them to prosper in the workplace, i think is one of the greatest challenges. of course, that involves a whole range of factor to do with funding for an institution of a budget of $3.3 billion. >> what steps have to take place to balance that affordability with quality? >> i think one of the key things that we are doing in terms of affordability is we have really focused in laser-like in the last couple of years on the
issue of student debt. you are probably aware that this has got -- i'm sure you are aware that this has got enormous and appropriate national attention. it has been a concern of ours. so last year, we introduced a comprehensive financial literacy program that involves things like modules that all entering freshmen have to complete on financial literacy, courses on financial literacy for credit, a variety of administrative matters that give students much better control and knowledge of their student debt. what is remarkable about this is that we saw an 11% drop in the amount of debt that students took on this year. and that amounted to $31 million. what i think is remarkable about that is that if you multiply that across all the institutions
of higher education in the country, and there are 4,500 of those, if you multiply that, you could see how one could have an enormous impact on the amount of student debt that students are taking on. of course, that is a critical component of affordability. can one actually find the resources to fund an education? so that has been a really major program that we have been focusing on, aimed at an affordable indiana university education. >> what would you tell students who possibly are looking at mounting debt to get an education? what if they ask the question in college was worth it. how would you answer? >> well, i don't think there's any doubt that college is worth it. i mean, study after study after study shows that your prospects in the workplace in general are
better with a college degree than without a college degree. now, it certainly is the case that there is a growing emphasis on the kinds of skills that students are graduating with. and we have put in place -- i announced this last year -- that i asked all of our schools to comprehensively evaluate opportunities for creative combinations of degree certificates, associate's qualifications, master's degrees and so on. and just last week we announced a new program between our very highly ranked kelly school of business and a college of arts and sciences that will provide an accelerated bachelor's plus master's degree that will provide a bachelor's degree in a field like economics, mathematics and so on and a one-year master's degree in business.
so that's an accelerated process. that one-year master's degree can be completely completed online. you can see how students in a number of different fields can graduate, go into the workplace and then complete another master's degree -- complete a master's degree online in obviously a very practical applied area of business, which is a skill that is always going to be marketable by our students. we're looking at initiatives like that across the board at the institution. we have a program already that provides a certificate in business on top of a variety of bachelor degrees as well. we are very mindful. i think we have a responsibility to our students to be concerned about their welfare after they graduate. i mean, we simply cannot as an
institution complete a student's education and wave them good-bye and not take -- not be concerned about what happens to them then. so the programs i have described to you are really focused in part on responding to the need for greater schools to go along with the classic kind of liberal arts education that we provide at indiana university. and we're also mindful of the fact that in spite of the fact that unemployment is still relatively high though falling, there are by some estimates 2 or 3 million unfilled positions because not enough graduates are graduating with the right kinds of skills. so all of that is what we're focused on. a final part of that is a comprehensive approach across the university to improve career consulting. career advising, sorry. we're focused on ensuring that
all of our students have access to top quality career advising to help to maximize their opportunities to find employment once they graduate. >> the bus is doing a big 10 college tour. presidents are joining us to talk about higher education. we're joined by the head of indiana university, michael mcrobbie. he is here to take your questions on issues of higher education. here is your chance to talk to him about it. students, 202-558-3880. parents, 202-585-3881. an educator, 202-585-3882. for indiana residents, 202-585-3883. 46,000 students at the indiana university in bloomington. 36,000 of those are undergraduate, about 10,000 graduate students and faculty and staff of 8,300. president mcrobbie, when it -- when you talk about cost of
college specifically for indiana university, how much of your cost is taken up by employee salaries, staff salaries and facilities? >> personnel salaries are the largest single component of the cost in the university t. would be around 80% of the total cost of the institution are personnel-related, salaries plus benefits plus healthcare and so on. we are a personnel intensive organization like most other universities. we are very much focused on that direct interaction between students and instructors in the classroom. although i think we're seeing a greater and greater impact of online education, i still don't think there's an enormous amount of evidence that it's going to completely replace that
fundamental student/teacher relatir relationship which has existed for as long as universities have existed, which is over 25 centuries. >> the annual budget for the -- for indiana university, $1.4 billion, an endowment of $2 billion. as far as your annual budget, you talked about personnel. what about facility snz hies? >> well, this is actually -- this is my eighth year as president. this has been a major focus of our board of trustees over this period. like many institutions, i'm afraid we actually had a very large deferred maintenance bill. this is the stuff that's not grammarous. it's the roads and sidewalks, but there's a rule in business that every dollar that you don't spend now you will have to spend $4 in the future to rectify
that. so we have been putting over the last seven odd years or so an enormous amount of effort into trying to at that level catch up with the significant burden of deferred maintenance and more recently we have had just excellent support from the state. now, on top of that, we're also looking at renovating major buildings on the campus and bringing them up to the kinds of standards and to provide the kinds of facilities that are required to support the type of research one expects of a 21st century university. in the last seven years we have constructed or have under construction at the moment or in planning over 50 major facilities. and we have spent about -- this has cost about $1.5 billion. only 30% of that has come from the state.
the other 70% has come from a variety of other areas, including a considerable amount of individual philanthropy. let's start with ann from ohio who is a parent. good morning. >> caller: that's a beautiful campus and town, bloomington. i want to talk about my direct experience as a single parent with three daughters and with not much economic help with my ex. i have encouraged my daughters -- they are in their 30s now -- to be excellent students and that was their job. they did. i was middle income. they qualified for great scholarships at small, private schools. my oldest, i had to pay $4,000 for her. then the other one went -- got into loyola.
they got into small private schools. what we experienced -- the youngest decided to go to the university of colorado. they didn't give great -- a great package. we found out after her first year, you know, and we went into debt for first year, that we ran into a lot of extremely wealthy kids who were lying about being in-state status at a large school. and then getting in-state pay, which she did get after jumping through all of hoops of living in state after her freshman year for a year. so do you have that same kind of thing where wealthy kids are claiming to be in state actually getting money from parents, which has happened at the university of colorado big-time. talk about small schools and giving, i believe, about thor scholarships and funding than large state schools. and i hope c-span goes and visits some of the small private
schools. if you could address that issue, thanks. >> thank you. president mcrobbie. go ahead. >> yes. firstly, let me say that we take very seriously and are required to by the state the distinction between in-state and out of state students, we have a pretty rigorous requirements as to what the residency requirements and other requirements are for a student to be regarded as an in-state student and to get tuition at the in-state rate. we have committees that deal with appeals and requests to be considered as in state on a regular basis. they are very hard-nosed about what the criteria are. we pride ourselves on applying them consistently across the whole university, all campuses. with respect to financial aid and scholarships and so on that you were talking about, i mean, we're a very large university.
we have on this campus over 46,000 students. and 36,0$36,000 undergraduates. we pride ourselves on the fact that for students with average family -- in-state students with average family incomes of $50,000, they pay almost no tuition because the combination of state, federal and university-based financial aid pretty much covers the total cost of their tuition. for students with family incomes of $100,000 or less, they pay somewhere in the vicinity of about half the total cost of tuition, again, because of all the different sources of financial aid that are available to them. in fact, on this campus bshgs two-thirds of our students get some form of financial aid. it was a major focus of our last two campaigns. it will be a major focus of our upcoming campaign. in our last campaign for
bloomington, we raised over $200 million. if you include graduate scholarships, closer to $300 million in support of scholarships, fellowships and so on for undergraduate students of both need and ability to come to indiana university at bloomington. >> president mcrobbie, what qualification do you look at in accepting potential students? >> firstly, we look at obviously the kinds of things that all institutions do, s.a.t. or a.c.t., class ranking, what extracurricular activities. we also use what we call holistic evaluation, that is on the whole most students, a decision is easy to make yes or no. there's a significant number of
students who fall in the middle where you want to actually take into account everything about that student. maybe the gpa is not that great, but if you look at their gpa, it started low in their freshman year at high school but by the time they got to the senior year, it improved. a sign of maturity and so on. or maybe in extracurricular activities they have been leaders or innovators at their high school. we want to take all of that into account and ensure that as a large statement publ public ins that we are doing all we can to identify and find those students who we think will prosper at indiana university. >> what about students who may need some remedial help once they enter the university? what kind of assistance are they offered? >> in indiana, as a state, most of the remediation is actually
carried out by a community college system. we actually, on this campus, provide very little remediation anymore. that is actually provided extern externally. we find that our students on the whole arrive pretty well qualified for the courses of study that they are intending to undertake. if they need remediation, they take that in the community college campus in which there are 20 around the state. >> how many of your students are taking humanity or social science versus professional and technical? what's the breakdown? >> i don't have an exact figure in my head. i think in our college of arts and sciences, probably something like a third of the students there are taking courses in the humanities and social sciences. we actually are a university that is very strong in the
humanities and in the social sciences with some very highly-ranked departments in those areas. this is probably an opportunity to add to that that languages has been an area that we have been particularly strong on. we teach in any one year somewhere between 70 and 80 different foreign languages, which is probably makes us in terms of the number of languages taught one of the top institutions in the country. there are a few other universities that teach that many foreign languages. we teach foreign languages in just about every part of the world. but also a lot of the less commonly taught ones as well. we also teach the culture and politics, economics, history and so on of most parts of the world. we have a series of title 6 centers that cover the whole of the world as well. but we decided that we needed to
bring all that together to try to increase the kinds of he hads indicational opportunities that we provide for our students. so now about two years ago, our board of trustees approved the formation of a new school of global and international studies. your colleagues on the bus will see the large building that we are building at the moment that will house that new school. that school will house language programs in 70 to 80 different foreign languages and all the associated programs in the culture of those particular culture, history, economics, politics, those particular regions of the country. we appointed a new dean of foundation for the school last year. he has just commenced his position here. he is a former u.s. am bbassado to poland and has worked in the
white house and elsewhere in washington. our goal is to become one of the top international study schools in midwest and consequently provide not only specialist qualifications in international studies but to expand and enhance the majors that we can provide to our students. because in my view, it's been a priority of mine and the university and our trustees, one of the most important things that we have to provide as a university is international literacy. >> george from indiana, a parent. >> caller: hi. my question is regarding the endoe endowme endowment. what is it used for? my second question is, i see a lot of date rape and alcohol use on campus. what is the universitying doing
about that? >> let me deal with the second part of your question first. there is nothing more important to us as a university than the welfare of our students. we are obviously deeply concerned about the welfare of all of our students. so earlier this year, we announced a student welfare initiative, which is a comprehensive approach to problems of sexual violence and other kinds of issues that you have raised across the institution that is actually managed anded astraighted at the very highest level. two vice presidents co-chair an executive council had a is responsible for the comprehensive evaluation of our policies, their improvement and implementation of new policies
in the area. i should add that one of the things we're most proud of on that campus, on the bloomington campus of indiana university is the fact that our students -- we're not sitting around waiting for the administration to do more to address these issues and so on. our students a number of years ago completely of their own formed an initiative, which is a student-led initiative that is completely run, managed, initiated by our students, which is focused on students helping students. bystander intervention, awareness and so on as well. this is something that i have nothing but praise for the work of our students to put this program in place. it has had a significant impact. i know it has been widely praised and looked at by other institutions. returning to your first part of
your question, the total endowment of the university is across all campuses is $1.8 billion. i should note that though we're very proud of this, this pales compared to harvard, which has a total endowment of $35 billion. the $1.8 billion endowment that we have goes toward a variety of different purposes. those are defined by donors. i'm a donor to the institution. my wife and i support four different graduate fellowships there. those graduate fellowships are define by a formal legal agreement between me and our university foundation that's responsible for this. that's true of tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of other people. so though is sounds like a large amount of money, the great bulk of it is all identified for specific purposes. undergraduate, graduate fellowships, endowed
professorships, funning to support research programming in the very schools within the university and some to support the building and construction of new infrastructure. >> our guest joining us on the c-span bus as it continues to visit big 10 schools is michael mcrobbie, the president of indiana university, a native of australia. how did you end up the president? >> how did you know i was a native of australia? i was recruited here for -- i'm a computer scientist by background. i was recruited here over 18 years ago. i came here as a vice president for information technology and computer scientist, and i then became vice president for research and was appointed president. i never expected when i moved here that i would end up
president of the university. but i'm honored and delighted to be in this position. i must say, as much as i enjoy visiting my home country, i'm an american citizen now, i never regretted the move for one second. this is home. indiana, bloomington, wonderful place. indiana university is a wonderful university. i enjoy every moment of my life here. >> let's hear from lawrence from pennsylvania. >> caller: hi. president mcrobbie, i'd like to get into your general education program. i'd like to know, kind of a follow-up to an earlier comment, what kind of humanities, philosophy, history, english a student -- all student are likely to get in those important first two years of college. thank you very much. >> yes, we have a general
education program that with some variations applies across all of the campuses of the university, all seven campuses of the university. but on this campus in particular, a student, baring in mind it's a large campus with many different courses and areas, in summary, students are expected to have done a series of consecutive courses in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics and also to have done a number of years of a foreign language. this was put in was put in our faculty through their initiative now about eight years ago. and has recently commenced -- program in the
general concept of general something that has my complete support. t is, to me, one of the real fundamentals of american higher education, it's what's called liberal education. education get an education in certain ofu areas, areas which you major or minor, you get an education in some depth. that model, the american model of liberal education is the besh in the world. i speak as somebody who came from hoot part of the world and have seen other systems of s education around the world.the it's one of the most envied things about the united states is the quality of education, the liberal education that you get at an american university.s i will give another example. i was in china now maybe five years ago meeting with some university presidents. f and they told me, we have
looked -- we have studied your e system of education.m of we have poured money into higher education in china. we're not getting the right kind of graduate who is so creative and innovative as the kinds of o graduates that come oust e as american universities. tha we believe that the key thing ii we're missing is the system of liberal education that you have in the united states. t so you will now see some of the major chinese universities have been developing that kind of an approach because of what they see as the enormous success that this system has had in the united states. mr. president, i'm sure you are aware of the job situation here in the united states. for for what you talked about nts, getting a liberal education, i'm
sure you have hearded argument a you should go to college, get an education that will guarantee you a job.go >> well, i would go back to whaa i said before about the fact that we're certainly aware of that concern.rtainly as i indicated and gave an example of a major new initiative in the university that we just recently announced, which provides both a bachelor's degree of the classic kind that i was just describing with a one-year master's degree in business and provides it on an accelerated basis. provi normally that would take six atd years or so. we provide this in five years andwoul provide the opportunity that last year to be online.be i that's in direct response to that concern, which i think in some cases is a legitimate one. as i also said, we are -- have looked at and are looking at expanding that across all of our
schools. for example, our school of of u information and computing isr i the process of developing the ee ame p kinds of accelerated bachelor's degrees plus master's degrees that provide somebody o with a qualification in information and computing on top of a bachelor's degree of a more classic kind a.nd we're very much aware of that. but we think that there are enormous benefits of the classic liberal education or the kind i was just describing. but then when coupled with an additional qualification in business and so on, really well positions and well qualifies a student to be successful in the workplace. >> what competition does the university get from for-profit
universities? >> i don't see very much competition at all, frankly, ve from for-profits, very little. i think our major competition is from the rest of the big 10 or my colleagues you were visiting around the midwest.ou're we all compete among ourselves ineral jn general in a healthy best students and faculty.studes the universities you are visiting are in some ways i think one of the real unheralded strengths of this country. o people think more of the west coast and east coast. but the big 10 universities thae you are visiting, of which there are 14, the big 10 universities you are visiting collectively do enormous percentage of all of the research, train an enormouse percentage of graduate students, ph.d. students in the united states. something ofin which in the bigo we are very proud.
think about the what quality of for-profit ersities universities? >> sorry. could you say that again?sorry, ag what do the think about the quality of aifor-profit f for universities? >> i'd leave that to others. obviously, there's been quite as bit of controversy about that question. but i think the key thing is we see -- for-profit, not talking private institutions, which arer not ivfor-profits but different from a public university, but wr see very little competitionom fm them. >> lou from virginia beach. >> caller: i'm trying to ask tho question that -- about he explained that -- mr. mcrobbie explained about being a liberal education.s. how does he mean liberal?ing what does he mean by liberal?
hopefully, it's basically in hol english. okay? and basically he is teaching foreign languages for basically understanding but not teaching r in those foreign languages. >> we will let our guest respond. >> yes. i quite often have to say that when i talk about a liberal education, i do not mean in the political sense. i mean in the classic sense of both breadth and depth in an education. that's what i mean by that. and that does involve, as i said in response to one of the other questioners, being able to have done courses in indicative areas of the great breadth of human knowledge, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, biological sciences, mathematical sciences and languages.
>> mr. president, a question about academics from twitter saying -- a viewer asking, should college athletes be paid beyond a scholar for for bringing in millions to the university budget? >> i think that -- this is an area where we really have responded vigorously. i'd like to think we have become a national leader. earlier this year we announced our student athlete bill of rights. there are some very fundamental new innovations in that student athlete bill of rights. firstly, we will cover the full cost of attendance for all of our student athletes.udent everything that's involved in at their education is covered through the kind of skocholarships we provide. more ide.importantly, we are go to provide full four-year scholarships.
as a student comes -- a studen athlete comes to our u and te cm startses and even if for performance reasons sreasons, reasons they are no longer competing in athletics, we wills guarantee them a, scholarship r the four years.ship f it orremoves from their concern anything -- any worries about the future of their education. then on top of that, we're also mindful that for reasons sometimes the family-related, sometimes other reasons, a student may leave before they rn graduate. we willtime guarantee that at s point in the future that that cover we'lt we will then the remaining cost of that nt student's education, - assuming their in good economic standing. think about that.ucation a student comes to our u. he or she has beenth a fantasti athlete. fter two years they get recruited to go into the professional in whatever their o sport is.re they don't finish their degree. they break their leg and can dver play again. what are they left with?
probably very little.what a we will guarantee the cost of their education back at indiana university to finish their degree so they now have a chance to kind of re-establish th themselves in another profession with that qualification. there's a series of other major components to our student athlete bill of rights there are ten major components to it.entso but it's very much focused on a cally comprehensive approach to improving all aspects of our engagement with student athletes at the university. >> mr. president, what do you see the future of the university not justity. yours but universie as whole? o what do they face as the futuree continues?e >> well, i have had a particular interest in the history of universities. i'm fond of saying that with the exception probably of the parti catholic church, universities
are the longest lived human institutions on the face of thit planet, and in fact there's a ta university of inre china that tn claims to have been founded in 200 bc. so it's older than the catholic. church. you look at the history of someh of the great universities inur india and so on.ry of theyso existed for 1,000 years before they were finally -- came to an end and what have you. universities really have the seeds of being very long-lived within them. now that doesn't mean that there aren't fundamental changes at de coming in terms of already herea in terms of the model of education that we provide. as i said, i'm an information technologist. i have seen the impact of information technology on education for the last 40-odd years of my career. information technology is having a major affect. but it has had a major affect for the last 40 years.it to me, that affect is more
increme incremental. i don't believe it's going to collapse tomorrow and become a new model. a i do think it's going to change and keep changing. the chairman of our board says -- and i think he's right -- that all administrators should wake up scared every day about where the changes might ue go. but i think so far what we're seeing is incremental but t constant change ashe opposed to complete paradigm change within the institution. oppos >> if had you toed look at one m going that you would say universities have dos. to say on competitive, what would that be? >> well, i think clearly where we started the interview, they have to remind affordable. i give as an example of that the fact that we, last year, had oue
lowest ever -- at least for 40 years -- tuition increase. we are focused on keeping our education affordable. i think the other thing is we also at the same time have to be able to compete for the very best intellectual talent out there.tual if by universities you mean . american universities, it is a white hot competition for the very best intellect actual talent out there. we compete now -- i have seen . this happen in recent years. very good faculty from asia or europe who probably would not have considered going back to b theirwo home countries ten year ago who have returned to their home countries bought because he they have got better to havers there. it's the very best faculty doing the very best research and the great teachers.
it's these people who are really fundamental to our institution in both retaining them and recruiting them to us, to indiana university is a critical part what have we do. >> let's hear from kathy. we're just about go to go to the house. if you can jump in with your we question. >> caller: yes, sir. kathy i'm a cosigner for all of my daughter's student loans. she's a graduate from iu. it's crippling to our family what's happening. i've been served seven times from the bee sheriff's office w have been late on the loans.e or what can be done? we signed up for the 21st ne abo centuryut scholarship. when it was time to go to ips. college, it all fell through.sus now, her american dream is not realistic in any way, shape or l form. she will never be able to get married, buy a home. we are so far in debt. be the job that she has now has uya nothing to do h with her colleg degree. she doesn't even need i agree
for it. nothi the economy tanked. we're just sunk. >> i think that the kind of story you tell is, i'm afraid, all too common.i'm we are very much focused on trying to reduce that kind of problem in the future. kind that was i think earlier in the interview what i described was i comprehensive approach to financial literacy at indiana university. an approach that both educates i students in personal financial management. it actually educates them in the consequences of taking loans. it helps to educate them in eda understanding what they really need money for as opposed to s just being given what's the equivalent of a credit card with a big limit on it.
we certainly are aware of the fact that a lot of the studentst are getting loans beyond what they need for their education. so getting a handle on and manag student debt is a one of the mo important things we are doing as an institution. the impact of this as i indicated before, 11% reduction in the amount of -- the amount of money borrowed by indiana university students in the laste year. $31 million reduction is at st least the beginning of a way of reducing the kinds of problems o that you have just described.rei all of what i described is in ae place, will continue in place. we'll enhance on it, build it. i expect us to see a continued ' decrease in the amount of student debt at the university combined with an increasing
amount of funding for scholarships, fellowships, student financial aid coming things in the campaign and institutions. it will be a major focus of the next campaign which we'll be ly. announcing shortly. >> what do you do to keep in touch with the student body? how often do you meet with them directly? >> let me think. i spent probably three hours last friday afternoon with a la group ofst student advisers to e president. we have had this group of student advisers to the ent president now for nearly a roug hundred years. i meet with them on a regular basis. that's just one group i meet with.n later today i have lunch with all the student leaders on rs o campus. i'm probably interacting on a weekly basis with student week
leadership in some form. i have a number of student interns who work in my office ie a variety of different areas. o i should add that we have a large institution with seven hv campuses across the state. with 115,000 students in total t for indiana university. a big sense of the feel from the student body. i have to sa by thaodt the kind work that's cometo out of the students. i h mentioned the care initiati before.ed the advisory group i talked about.tiat they provide annual reports on a variety of areas we agree on. quality of work that comes out of the students. >> mr. president -- >> it'srk as good as any work coming out of faculty. >> i apologize. we'll have to leave the conversation with you.
michael mcrobbie of indiana university. mr. president, thank you. >> tonight on c-span3, washington journal's interview with michigan state university president luanna k. simon. that will be followed by events featuring conservative political figures and journalists. we'll have a discussion on the future of the republican party moderated by david brooks and selections from the western conservative summit in colorado. plus, ben carson speaking this year at the national press club. you can see that starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. coming up later today on c-span, a forum on college athletics with university officials, athletic directors and sports reporters discussing collegiate spending. that's live at 3:00 p.m. eastern. then at 4:45 the forum concludes with a discussion on whether student athletes should be considered paid university
employees. we'd like to hear what you think about college athletes. tweet us @cspan and like us on facebook.com/cspan. here are a few of the comments we received on our ebola virus coverage. >> why can't we all get behind the president and what he wants to do for the good of the people. that's this ebola thing. i think it's overhyped by the media. the time they give it, 10 to 12 minutes every morning when it first came out and they are still talking about it. there are other things that are important to talk about, too. >> i would like to see a question on c-span is this the ebola virus a chance we need a national one-payer health care
system. we have seen what happened in texas that this capitalistic health care system. >> it could have been eight, nine years ago. i forget the author's name. she wrote a book called pandemic. she went into how the hospitals weren't prepared. it was worse under the bush administration. there was readiness for nothing. we had a shortage of doctors and nurses. i wonder how that fares today. her book "pandemic" said it all. we were not ready then. we are not ready now. you should have her back on again. >> let us know what you think of the programs you're watching at 202-626-3400. e-mail us at
firstname.lastname@example.org. or send us a tweet at c-span # comments. join the conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter.d like the u.s. currently uses solitary confinement more than any other country with some prisoners spending up to 24 hours a day in a cell with a limited human contact. a senate judiciary subcommittee looked at the use of solitary ct confinement and one of thete ue witnesses at the hearing confin includes federalem bureau of prisons director charles samuel. he testified for a little more than an hour. including feder. he testified for a little more than an hour. good afternoon, this hearing will come to order. today's hearing is reassessing solitary confinement, the public safety consequences. in a moment i will make a public
statement. then i will recognize senator cruz when he arrives and as the subcommittee ranking member for his opening statement. thank you to those who are here in person and those following the hearing on facebook, twitter and using the hash tag solitary. there was so much interest in today's hearing, that we moved to this larger room to accommodate everyone. if someone can't get a seat in the hearing room, we have an overfloe room in 226 dirkson. it you look around the hearing room, you'll see a number of pictures of children during the course of this hearing who are being held in solitary confinement. i would like to thank richard ross for letting us use those photos. we're addressing solitary confine mblt around the world. we have an obligation to honestly consider our own human
rights record at home. the united states has the highest per capita that rate of incarceration in the world. we have close to 25% of its prisoners. african-american and hispanic americans are incarcerated at much higher rates than whites. and the university holds more prisoners in solitary confinement than any other democratic nation. these are human rights issues that we cannot ignore. congress has been unable to find common ground on many important issues, but criminal justice reform is one area, where we can show the american people that our government still functions. just a few weeks ago, i'm sorry, we have made some progress, in 2010, congress unanimously passed the fair sentencing act. bipartisan legislation that i co-authored with senator jeff sessions that greatly -- justify a few weeks ago, the judiciary committee introduced the legislation act. federal drug sentencing and
focus law enforcement resources on the most serious offenders. i want to thank my ranking member for so con sporing that smarter sentencing act as well. i also want to thank senator cruz for putting this hearing together today. almost two years ago, this subcommittee held the first ever congressional hearing on solitary confinement. we learned that the vulnerable groups like immigrants, children, sex abuse victims and individuals with serious and persistent mental illness are often held in isolation for long periods of time.
we heard about the serious impact, fiscal impact of solitary confinement. it costs almost three times as much to keep a federal prisoner in segregation than in the general population. and we learned about the human impact of holding tens of thousands of men, women and children in small, windowless cells 23 hours a day, for days, for months and for years with very little if any contact with the outside world. this extreme isolation can have serious psychological impacts on an inmate. according to several studies, at least half of all prison suicides occur in solitary confinement. and i'll never forget the testimony in our last hearing of anthony graves, who was held in solitary for ten of his 18 years in prison before he was exonerated. mr. graves told this sub committee and i quote, no one can begin to imagine the psychological effects isolation
has on another human being. solitary confinement does one thing, it breaks a man's will to live. now, i've been chairman of this sub committee for seven years. i cannot remember more compelling testimony. at the last hearing, we heard from director of the bureau of prisons charles samuels who is with us again today. i wasn't particularly happy with the testimony at the last hearing and i think i made that clear to mr. samuels, but i want to commend him and his team
because they heard the message of the first hearing. at my request, mr. samuels agreed to the first-ever independent assessment of our solitary confinement policy and practice. this assessment is underway and look forward to an update today from mr. samuels who is with us. at our 2012 hearing, we found that the overuse of solitary can present a serious threat to public safety. increasing violation inside and outside prisons. the reality is that the vast majority of prisoners held in isolation will be released someday. the damaging impact of their time in solitary or their release directly from solitary can make them a danger to themselves and their neighbors. i want to note this is the one year anniversary of the tragic death of federal correctional officer eric williams who was killed by an inmate in a high-security prison in pennsylvania. we owe it to correctional officers who put their lives on the line everyday to do everything we can to protect their safety. make no mistake, that means that some dangerous inmates must be held in segregated housing. but we also learned from states like maine and mississippi which reduced violation in prison by
reducing the overuse of solitary confinement. i made a personal visit to a prison closed in illinois called tams. our state maximum security prison. i asked that they take me to the worst of the worse. the most dangerous inmates. they took me to an area with five prisoners. they happened to be going through some unusual classroom experience while i was there which i never quite understood, but each of the prisoners was in a separate fiberglass unit protected from one another and from the teacher. and i walked to each of them and spoke to them. trying to get an understanding of who they were, why they were and how they perceived their
situation. it was much different for each one of them. but there's one in particular that i remember. he looked to be a community college professor. a clean-cut young man. and i asked him, well, how long are you sentenced to prison? he said, originally 20 years. and i said, originally? yes, he said they added another 50 years. and i said, why? he says, because i told them if they put anybody in a cell with me i would kill them and i did. now, that's the reality of prison life in the most extreme circumstance. i know that we want to make certain that those who work in prisons and those who also are prisoners are safe and we've got to balance that against our concerns about humane treatment of those in solitary confinement. we must address the overcrowding crisis in federal prisons that made it more dangerous. that's one of the reasons i want to pass the smarter sentencing act that will reduce overcrowded by inmates who committed non-violent drug offenses. i want to open a thompson correctional center in my own state. i look forward to working with the bureau of federal prisons to help it alleviate overcrowded and that all prisoners are held humanely. children, according to the justice department, 35% of
juveniles in custody report being held in solitary confinement for some time. 35%. the mental health effects of even short periods of isolation including depression and risk of suicide are heightened among youth. that's why the american academy of child and adolescent psychiatry called for a man. we heard about many promising reform efforts at the state level. state governments continue to lead the way. let's take a few examples. last year my own state of illinois closed the tams correctional center. relocating the remaining prisoners to other facilities. in the ranking member's home state of texas, they passed legislation requiring a independent commission to conduct the comprehensive review use of solitary confinement in state prisons and jails. new york is just announced sweeping reforms that will greatly limit the use of solitary confinement for juveniles and pregnant woman. there have been other positive developments. u.s. immigration and customs enforcement limiting the use of solitary confinement for immigration detainees. this is a positive step for some of the most vulnerable individuals in detention.
i want to thank ice for this effort. the american psychiatric statement issued a policy statement opposing the pro-longed isolation of individuals with serious mental illness. more must be done. that's why today i'm calling for all federal and state facilities to end the use of the solitary con confinement for pregnant women, juveniles, and mental illness except in the rarest of circumstances. by reforming our solitary confinement practices, the united states can protect human rights, improve public safety and be fiscally responsible. it's the right and smart thing to do and the american people deserve no less. senator cruz has not arrived yet, so i'm trying to turn to our first witness. as i mentioned earlier, senator cruz and i agreed on a bipartisan basis on all of today's witnesses. i want to note that i invited the justice department, civil rights to participate in today's
hearing but they declined. we will follow up with them to make them aware of our hearing and to ensure they are enforcing the federal civil rights laws that protect prisoners held in solitary confinement. also, at this time i ask unanimous consent to enter into record the written testimony of kevin landy without objection it will be included. our first witness today is charles samuels, director of the federal bureau of prisons. you'll have five minutes for an opening statement and your complete written statement will be included in the record. please stand and raise your right hand to be sworn as is the custom of this committee. do you swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give before the committee will be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god. >> i do. >> let the record reflect that you have answered in the affirmative and please proceed. >> good afternoon, chairman durban and members of the sub committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the use of restrictive housing. within the bureau prisons, i cannot begin my testimony without acknowledging that today is the anniversary of the death of officer eric williams.
officer williams was stabbed to death last year by an inmate while working alone in a housing unit at the united states penitentiary canen in pennsylvania. we will always honor the memory of officer williams and all the courageous bureau staff who lost their lives in the line of duty. these losses underscore the dangers that bureau staff face on a daily basis. our staff face the same as other law enforcement officers throughout the country. we house the worst of the worst offenders to include some state inmates who we house at the state's request. and we do so with fewer staff than most other correctional
systems. it is extremely crowded. operating at 32% over capacity system wide and 51% capacity at our high security institutions. both the high crowding and low staffing levels contribute to the rate of violence in our prisons. last year alone more than 120 staff were seriously assaulted by inmates. most often in our high security institutions. in addition, nearly 200 inmates were seriously assaulted by other inmates. despite these challenges, our staff interact with nearly all inmates in an open setting without weapons and physical barriers. it is not uncommon for one staff member to be on the recreation yard with hundreds of inmates who are engaged in various activities. our staff encourage inmates to take advantage of their time in prison to improve their lives by participating in programs suches a education, job training, drug treatment, and other available programs. since the hearing held by this sub committee in june, 2012, i have focussed attention and
resources on our use of restrictive housing. we have accomplished a great deal over the past 18s in terms of reviewing, assessing our approach to restrictive housing. we understand the various negative consequences that can result. such placement can interfere with re-entry program and limit interactions with friends and family. however, please note the large majority of inmates remain in general population for their entire prison term. in response to concerns you have raised and because it is the right thing to do, we have implement numerous measures. we continue to experience decreases in the number of inmates house in various forms of restrictive housing. this reduction is attributable to a variety of initiatives we have put in place over the past 18 months. we have had several nationwide discussions with wardens and other senior managers about restrictive housing. mental health of inmates, the discipline process and other related issues. we respect to specialize mental health treatment with respect -- we recently activated a secure mental health unit that provides
treatment for maximum custody inmates with serious mental illness whom might otherwise require placement in restrictive housing. we have plans to activate a treatment unit for high security inmates suffering from severe personality disorders that make it difficult to function in our populations. we have activated a re-integration unit to help inmates adapt to the general population after an extended stay that was often prompted by their perceived need for protection. in addition, we implemented a gang-free institution that allows inmates to safely leave their gang affiliations to work toward a successful re-entry. we are in the midst of a independent comprehensive review of our use of restrictive
housing. they have completed half of the site visits. we expect a report to be issued by the end of 2014 and we look forward to the results of the evaluation to consider making additional enhancements to our population. i share your commitment to providing federal inmates with safe and secure housing that supports physical and mental health. the mission of the bureau prisons is challenging through the continuous diligent efforts of our staff who collectively work 24 hours each day, 365 days per year, we protect the american public and we reduce crime. again, i thank you chairman durbin and mr. cruz and the sub committee for our support of your agency and i will be pleased to answer any questions you or other members may have. >> thanks, mr. samuels. there's several year and i want to give them all a chance to ask. let me zero on two or three specifics if i can. children are supposed to be
treated than adults. when it comes to solitary confinement, we know children are particularly vulnerable. at our last hearing we heard a devastating story of a young man james stewart who committed suicide after a very brief period in solitary confinement. many have called for a ban on juveniles. nowhere is the damaging impact of incarceration on vulnerable children more obvious than when it involves solitary confinement. i commend the state of new york for its strides in this area. i i don't believe juveniles should be placed in solitary confinement exception under the most exceptional circumstances. i know the federal prison has a very limited of juveniles under your jurisdiction and generally sent to juvenile facilities.
what policies and guidance do you have to ensure the juveniles under your jurisdiction are not placed in solitary confinement except in exceptional circumstances where there is no alternative to protect the safety of staff and other inmates? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i recognize the unique needs of juveniles. in the bureau prisons, we have 62 juveniles who have been sentenced to our custody. these individuals are placed then in contract facilities. and part of our requirement with the agreement that we have with these facilities is to provide 50 hours of various programs. out of the 62 inmates in these contract facilities, we
currently only have one individual who is in restrictive housing. and the requirement that we have is that any individual placed in restrictive housing who is a juvenile, there should be 15 minute checks done. we are ensuring that they are also working with the multi-disciplinary committee to ensure that all of the issues are assessed, addressed and that we are removing the individual out of restrictive housing at the earliest date possible. >> are there any limits to the period of time that a juvenile can be held in restrictive housing under the federal system? >> there's no specific limit. but if an individual is to go beyond five days in restrictive housing, we require that there are discussions held to at least justify why there's a continued need. as i've indicated, right now we only have one individual and it should only be used under the rarest circumstances when there is the belief that there's going
to be potential harm to the individual and/or to others. but we do not support long-term placement of any juvenile restrictive housing. >> i would like to ask you about the issue of mental health, which i think is directly linked to this whole conversation. our last hearing, senator lindsey graham asked about the mental health effects and how this practice effects prisoners. you responded that no study had been conducted within the bureau at that time. that troubled me because the federal bureau uses segregation regularly. but it had not been studied as it should be. one of the five key areas of the independent assessment mental health. i would like to ask you basically two questions. do you anticipate that the assessment will help provide bop with a better understanding of the mental health effects of segregation and without getting into some of the specifics,
heart breaking gut wrenching stories of what people do to themselves in solitary confinement, do you agree that people who exhibit this type of behavior generally need more mental health treatment and not just a lockdown? >> yes, sir to our first question. i believe an assessment is being done will provide us a road map to further look at our internal operation relative to mental health treatment that's provided to our inmate population when they're placed in restrictive housing. and as i've indicated since the hearing that was conducted in june of 2012, long before this assessment has been put in place with the audit, we have been internally looking at our operation. and we are very much in agreement with the appropriate number of mental health staff being provided to look at the specific population when individuals are placed in restrictive housing and are suffering from any type of serious psychiatric illness and this is something that we will continue to do. and i can report since the last hearing in particularly with the concern that was being raised at the adx, we have increased our staffing for psychology services to include assuring that our
psychiatrists within the bureau are making visits to the facility. i know that was a concern you had at that time when it was reported that we only had two psychologist responsible for treating that population. >> has that changed? has the number changed? >> yes, sir, it has changed. we currently have five individuals who are devoted to that population. we're in the process of recruiting to hire a full-time psychiatrist there, but in the interim, we are also using tell psychiatry and i have ensured that the chief psychiatrist for the bureau in our head quarters is also visiting the facility as well and there are a lot of things we can do remotely, but we have increasing the staffing and it's something that we will
continue to stay on top of. >> has there ever been a time since you've been in charge when a person has been released directly from restrictive housing to the general population, released from prison? >> yes. and that is also something that from discussion we had in june of 2012 we have discussed extensively throughout the agency with leadership. and i do not believe that it is appropriate. it is something that we will continue to address. no one should be released based on the concern that was raised directly from restrictive housing into the general population. and we will do everything possible to ensure that we have procedures in place.
one of the things that we've done, sir, is we have implemented a step down unit. and definitely for those individuals who are suffering from a significant mental illness that we don't have those individuals going out without some form of treatment and assuring that there's a transition period. >> the last question i'll ask relates to testimony. we have some excellent witnesses coming at the later panel. testimony about women, particularly pregnant women who are placed in restrictive housing in solitary confinement. what have you found and what are your policies when it comes to these prisoners? >> with the female population, i can definitely tell you out of 1408 female offenders we have in our system, right now only 197
are in restrictive housing, which is like 1.4%. and if an individual requires placement, again, under the rarest circumstances, either tone sure that there's no threat to themselves and to others, we're not looking to place individuals in restrictive housing. and i would also add for the record that individuals who are placed in restrictive housing, the majority of the time is for temporary, temporary period. these are not individuals who
are placed in for a long period of time. >> could you define those two terms, temporary and long period from your point of view? >> if an individual right now out of our entire population for individuals who are in restrictive housing -- i will start with our special housing unit. we have approximately 9,400 individuals who are in restrictive housing. only 15% of those individuals are in there for periods longer than 90 days. that would be based on sanctions relative to discipline and/or administrative detention, which when you look at the two categories, discipline is a sanction imposed for violating a rule, which we definitely need to maintain order within a facility if individuals do things that warrant them being placed in restrictive housing, which that's temporary. and for individuals who require long-term placement within restrictive housing which we can look at individuals for various reasons due to threat, to the facility, harm to others, and ensuring that we're doing our best to keep the individuals safe, that sometimes require longer periods of incarceration. specifically when you look at the control unit where we have in that population a significant number of individuals, 47% to be exact out of the 413 inmates who are at the adx, 47% have killed other individuals and that is a combination of them murdering individuals before they have come into the system and they have either murdered other inmates and/or staff within the system. those individuals require longer periods of placement in restrictive housing. however, for those individuals i am not saying -- and i would never advocate in any way that we are saying we are giving up on those individuals, this is where the intensive treatment
and ensuring that those individuals are being given adequate time out of their cells for recreational time and other things that we deem appropriate to ensure that when those individuals needed to be pulled out that the assessments by our psychology staff, psychiatrists that we're taking all that into consideration. and i am 100% behind ensuring that we're not causing anymore damage to an individual who is placed in that setting, but i have to state that to ensure the safety of other inmates, to ensure the safety of our staff,
these are individuals that only represent, sir, a small number within our entire population. it is less than one fifth of a percent when you look at the 215,000 inmates in our agency, the number is very, very small. even when you look at the discipline for as large as our population is, you're only talking about 1,500 inmates out of a population of 215,000. so it's a very small number. we will continue to reduce the number as best we can. and i am committed that in our population it is better for us to manage inmates in general population. it's better for everyone because those individuals need to have the opportunity to participate in programming and when we're looking at recidivism reduction, we want them to receive all the intensive programs that we can provide. and when the inmates are not being given those opportunities,
you are looking at the issue and concern relative to threat to public safety. and we do not want to be a part of anything that causes us not being able to carry out the mission. that is one of the most important things that we're responsible for the bureau of prisons. >> thank you very much. senator cruz? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you for holding this hearing. i think everyone here shares the number of common objectives wanting to ensure that all federal prisoners are held in a humane manner, that respect is their inherent dignity as human beings and at the same time upholds the objectives of sound penological policy both allowing an opportunity for rehabilitation when possible and ensuring to the maximum extent
possible the safety of other inmates and of prison guards entrusted to guard sometimes some of the most dangerous people in the country, if not the world. mr. samuels, i appreciate your service and your being here today and engaging in this important discussion. and i would like to ask some questions to further understand your testimony and the scope of solitary confinement within the federal prison system. you testified that roughly 215,000 inmates in the federal system and that compares to
about 1.2 million incarcerated in various state systems. and am i correct that the overwhelming majority of the 215,000 in the federal system are in the general population at any given time? >> yes, sir. the majority of the inmates are in general population. also, the majority of the inmates in our system spend their entire period of incarceration in general population. we're only talking about a very, very small percentage. right now, 6.5% out of our entire population is in some form of restrictive housing. when you break that number down, as i've mentioned, administrative detention, which is temporary and also with the disciplinary segregation, they're given a set number of days and/or months that they have to serve. in a prison environment -- and i would hope that everyone understands -- it's all about order. and if we do not have order, we cannot provide programs. we're constantly locking down our institutions. since the hearing in 2012, we have reduced our restrictive housing population by over 25%. within the last year, we have gone from 13.5% to 6.5%. so the reductions are occurring. we are only interested in placing individuals in restrictive housing when there is a legitimate reason and justification. with our system being so large, we have over 20,000 gang members in our system. they are watching this hearing. they're watching our testimony very, very closely for the reason being if they see that we will lower our standards, we will not hold individuals
accountable, it puts our staff at risk, it puts other inmates at risk and this is why i mentioned in my oral statement, that not only are we looking at staff being injured and harmed, our staff are putting their lives on the line every single second of this day to protect the american public. but we're also having inmates within the population who are being harmed by these individuals who have no respect -- i mean, no respect for others when it comes to their safety. we cannot afford at any time to say that for those individuals who assault staff, assault inmates there's no accountability. this is no different than in society. if individuals violate the laws and they hurt citizens, they are removed from society and either placed in a jail and/or prison. if these individuals attack police officers, they are
removed. they're not given second chances where we say do not do it again. my staff, as i've indicated who are putting their lives on the line every single day, they have to know that there is accountability for the actions of others. now, for treatment and working with those individuals, we are going to continue to do that. that's our mission. 95% of the individuals within the bureau of prisons at some point will be released. we have a duty, we have an obligation to do everything, sir, to ensure that for that captured population, we are working to change their behavior. many of these individuals come in with significant issues. we have to address those issues and we will continue to do it. i also believe that it's very, very important for this sub committee to know, when you look at the care levels for mental health, we have approximately 94% of the inmates within our system who have no mental
illness, 94%. that's 187,264 inmates. we have the care levels one, two, three and four. when you take it to level two, you're talking about 10,809 individuals who have been diagnosed with some type of mental illness that would require on average our mental health staff engaging with these individuals once a month. when you go even further, for care level three, we have 555 inmates who would require intensive interaction and treatment. to the concerns that were raised earlier, we need to make sure
that we are -- these individuals are receiving access, that there is quality time with the mental health providers, and for the most serious cases we have in the bureau, out of our entire population, 286 individuals are diagnosed with an acute mental illness. same thing for that population. but i think everyone needs to know that for our entire population, the majority of these inmates do not suffer from a significant mental illness. and they are programming. they are in our institutions doing the right thing and not causing us problems. but it's that very, very small number who will do anything, i mean, anything to hurt others. i've been in the bureau of prisons now going on 26 years. i have talked to inmates -- i have had inmates tell me, if you release me to the general population, and/or if you take me out, i will kill someone. i have a duty and an obligation to protect the staff, to protect the inmates.
and when someone is willing to tell you, if you do it, this is what i'm going to do, i mean, there are huge issues with that. >> mr. samuels, and i appreciate your decades of service and as someone who spent a significant portion of my adult life in law enforcement, i certainly am grateful as i'm sure is every member of this committee for the service of the many employees of the bureau of prisons 34 of whom risk their lives to protect innocent citizens every day and it's not an easy job that you're
doing and it's a very important job. i would be interested in the judgment of the bureau of prisons, what is the affirmative value of solitary confinement? and what circumstances should it be employed and what are the risks and what are the down sides of using it as a tool in our prisons? >> thank you, senator cruz. the value of restrictive housing in the bureau should only be used when absolutely necessary for those individuals who pose a threat to others and the safety and the security of the facility and that's to ensure that we're protecting staff, inmates in the general public. it should never, ever be used as a means of being viewed as we're
retaliating against individuals. we're trying to correct the behavior. i strongly support ensuring that we do not use it just for the sake of we can. and we are not being held accountable, no different than the state systems who are also looking at this issue. and the one thing that i do appreciate with this issue being raised is, this is now a national issue. it is a national discussion. the association of state correctional administrators, which i'm a member of, immediately after the hearing, we all met. we talked about the best practices and what we should be doing. because when you look at state systems, the federal systems and even at the local level, you have many, many, many definitions of what restrictive housing means. and so we are working together. at some point, the association of state correctional administrators will be releasing a survey where they're reaching out nationally to all the 51 jurisdictions to ask everyone, provide us your best practices and this will be posted on the website. and i know just from the
discussions that we have had with -- when i say we, my colleagues the secretaries, commissioners and the directors for state corrections, we are moving in the right direction to define what we believe for our profession is appropriate. we are also looking at the issue regarding cultural issues because you have to understand, where we're moving and where we're headed, we're trying to change a culture and not just within the bureau of prisons, of practices that have been in place for long periods of time. i've gone out at your request, mr. chairman, to visit the states where practices have been in place, to look at what they're attempting to do and what they're doing. and i'm very, very mindful of the concern. and i am the director who firmly believes in treating inmates respectfully, ensuring that they are living in a humane environment because our actions will dictate to these individuals what our country is all about.
and we are not there to judge these individuals. we are there to ensure that they serve their time, they pay their dues to society, and hopefully put them in a better situation so when they're released they are productive citizens. and the goal of them never returns. so i don't see a downside with with individuals who are not abiding by the rules because if they are not abiding by the rules within the prison, i mean, at some point when they're released, there's no accountability. so we have to hold them accountable because if they go out and they continue with that behavior, guess what, they're coming back. and we will do everything possible to try to get them to turn and move away from that negative behavior. but it requires intensive treatment. i'm also looking at ensuring that we are developing a
cognitive behavioral therapy program for those individuals who are within our restrictive housing unit, so they're not just sitting there. we want there to be active engagement of showing them, hey, we can offer you this but they have to be willing to accept the olive branch. we don't want to just leave individuals sitting there. >> very good. thank you, mr. samuels. >> thank you, senator cruz. senator franken? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to welcome damion tibido. mr. tibido, you've turned your tragedy into a story of hope and courage and i want to thank you for sharing it today. i would also like to thank the chairman for holding this
hearing and all the work you've done on this issue over the years. this practice of solitary confinement or restrictive housing is a troubling one for a number of reasons, for moral reasons, economic reasons as the chairman said in his opening statement, for public safety reasons. one of the aspects of this that concerns me is the mental health aspect of the problem as we've been discussing. over the years, we've seen the corrections in law enforcement systems take on more and more responsibility for responding to mental illnesses in our communities. last winter i hosted a series of round table discussions with law enforcement personnel and mental health advocates in my state of minnesota. the sheriff who runs the jails in hen pen county, that's our largest county in minnesota, told me about a third of the inmates in his jails really belong in mental health treatment programs and not behind bars.
and we've been -- you've been talking about treating people behind bars, maybe that's not where they should be treated if it's possible. there are people with mental illness who have committed some crimes that they need to be behind bars, but there are a lot who probably should be elsewhere. i have a bill called the justice and mental health collaboration act that will improve access to mental health treatment to those who need it and i think we're leaving the purposes to relieve some of the burden on law enforcement personnel and on correctional personnel. the bill also funds flexibility and creating alternatives to solitary confinement in our jails and prisons. i would like to thank you senators, durbin, lahe and grass and others.
i would like to ask others to join that effort. i want to ask you a couple things. one, about crisis intervention training. director samuels, last march i visited the federal medical center in rochester, minnesota. they have -- they're kind of a psychiatric unit and also behind bars. and they said they've benefitted tremendously from cit, crisis intervention training. and they said they've avoided serious injuries and i think incidents that may lead to inmates going into solitary confinement when they act out and become violent. we see these on these weekend shows that show people behind bars and the guards have to strap on all kinds of protective ware. they said they can avoid that by understanding when and talking someone down instead of, in a way not provoking terrible conflict but also not stopping it.
can you talk a bit about the role that c.i.t. or crisis intervention training plays in the federal prison system? >> all right. thank you, senator franken. i'm glad you raised this question. the national institute of corrections which is also part of the bureau of prisons actually provides the training for crisis intervention. and it is based on the requests of state systems. we've ensured that our staff, specifically the bureau psychologists have participated in the training. as a result of what they've seen, we have implemented our own protocols relative to the training to use various elements. and we have field tested this
training in one of our institutions. and as a result of it, we are obtaining a feedback. it's something that we are considering to look at actually adopting within the bureau based on the federal system in our unique needs. so, to your point, it does serve value. we're looking to explore doing more with it within the federal system. >> okay. i kind of want to -- you know, we're -- you've provided a lot of statistics about solitary or about restrictive housing. i just want to get more into the human aspect of this and i kind of want to on the crisis intervention training. how big is a cell? how big is the average cell in solitary? >> the average size? >> cell, yeah, the size of the cell, how big is it? i'm trying to get this -- this
is a human thing we're talking about. we've got a lot of statistics. how big is the cell? >> the average size of a cell is -- i guess i'm -- you're looking for the space of what -- >> yes, the dimensions in feet and inches. the size of the cell that a person is kept in. i want to get some idea of -- i don't know. am i asking this wrong? is what you're saying that there is no such thing as an average cell for solitary? typically in your -- in the bureau of prisons, if someone is in solitary confinement, how big is the cell typically? >> the average size should be equivalent to 6 by 4.
>> okay. that's an answer. 6 by 4. does the person in a cell during months and months of this, do they have the ability to talk to family? >> yes. >> they always do? >> it's not on a frequent basis, but we provide individuals who are in restrictive housing on average -- i mean, they're receiving one phone call per month. and this is something that we are looking at when i talk about reform for our disciplinary process for those placed in restrictive housing, we need to change.
and that is something that we're willing to continue to look at to ensure that we're providing more access for frequency for those phone calls as well as visits. >> well, i've run out of time. we'll have some witnesses who maybe little more descriptive. thank you. >> it's 10 by 7 for the cell size. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator franken. senator hirono. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director samuels, thank you for your service and all that you're doing to address what is really a troubling situation. we do have someone on the second panel who will testify or talk about women being confined in solitary for reporting abuse, including sexual abuse by bureau of prison staff. i have a series of questions regarding this situation. my first question is, are you aware of this happening in the system, rare as it may be, we hope.
>> yes. >> second question, then what do you have in place to prevent this kind of abuse from happening? >> well, what we have in place is our staff being active in assuring that rounds are being made. we have also addressed concerns with ensuring that the inmates are able to reach out and to let us know and being comfortable with that. but we have zero tolerance. >> so, you have zero tolerance, so does that mean that the inmates that this is happening to feel free to come forward and report? who would they report this to? certainly it shouldn't be the person that has power over them and who is actually the abuser, alleged abuser. >> yes. they're able to report any allegations to staff. and we also have a hot line number that the inmates are
given. they can also report it in that manner. >> and in terms of getting this information out to your inmates, do you do this in a written form? how do your inmates know, regardless of whether they're in solitary or in the general population, that if they are faced with this kind of abuse that they know what to do, where to go? >> it's provided to the inmate population verbally during discussions as well as in writing. >> mr. chairman, i would -- i think it would be good if he could provide us with a sample or, in fact, the directive regarding what they tell the inmates with regard to this kind of situation so that we can -- >> we can provide that, for the record. >> so in terms of the enforcement of this policy or this directive, how do you go
about enforcing and making sure that this is being followed by your staff? >> well, a number of things that we do. at the local level, obviously something that the leadership to include management staff are focused on ensuring that we're doing quality control reviews. we utilize our national office when we go out and we conduct audits of our facilities, we look at the operating practices and procedures to ensure that we are following the expectations of our policies. >> how long have these policies been in place at the bop? >> these policies have been in place for decades. we've always had a zero tolerance for any type of activity and giving your staff the guidance to carry it out. >> so when this does happen, what happens to alleged abuser or the violator?
>> if -- for the individuals who do this, we quickly take all allegations seriously. those individuals are removed from general population as well as the individuals who have been victimized to ensure that we're looking at the safety and security issues on both sides. and we ensure that the investigation relative to the allegation that we're doing it in a timely manner and holding those individuals accountable. because, as i mentioned, senator, we do not support nor do we want anyone victimizing others. and not being held accountable for their actions. >> and is this kind of behavior considered a crime for which the perpetrator can be prosecuted? >> yes. and if the investigation leads to the individual being charged, which we refer all of those issues to -- the fbi.
then they move in and do their investigation and ultimately it's determined whether or not a crime has been committed and we believe in ensuring that those individuals are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. >> and do you have the numbers ending prosecuted. >> have there been studies on the effects on the information on recidivism? >> in 2012 it was reserved to participate in any type and the studies and we will have some
insight, but i would have to add when you are looking at recidivi recidivism, that will require a long period of time to resesz and also a resource issue for ensuring that if we undertake something like that, there will be substantial cost, but currently we do not have anything like that in place other than what will be looked at. >> i recognize that it's not that easy to determine cause and effect in these situations. are you aware of any studies that show differences in the effects of solitaire convinement on men and women? >> no.
>> that is not part of the assessment and it's something we should continue to look at and also as i stated, when you look at the gender issues for restrictive housing, the number for us is very, very very low for the female population. they are not as likely as the male population to be engaged in behavior that requires them to com place the restrictive housing for long periods of time. >> you have 198 women in restrictive housing. how many of them are in the adx facility? >> we do not house any females nor do we require for the record to have that type of housing for female inmates. only for males. >> thank you.
>> that is here and he is the executive department of corrections. three decades of experience and he was the secretary of wisconsin department of corrections and he also served as deputy secretary. previously he was a sheriff at dane county, wisconsin and served as assistant u.s. attorney and district attorney as well as under cover narcotics executive and depp deputy sheriff. thanks for being here. piper sherman is the author of the "new york times" best selling memoire about her 13 month incarceration and it was adapted into a netflix original
series. she works as a communications consult act and serves on the board of the women's prison association and she spoke about prison issues and many media outlets. she received the 2014 justice trailblazer award from the college center for mead yao crime and justice. thank you for being here. president of the justice fellowship and the policy affiliate at the prison fellowship for advocates for reform based on principals of restorative justice. he served as the organization's vice president and director of external affairs. earlier in his career, he served in the michigan house of representatives where he was elected speaker. i thank you for your appearance today. mark levin is from the center for effective justice and played an important role in the juvenile justice reforms.
previously mr. levin served and staff attorney at the texas supreme court tanks to the texas public foundation's work meant to reform the law and particularly i want to thank you for your support. all the members here are cosponsored. damon is witness before us and in late september, damon became the nation's 141st death row inmate to be exonerated on actual innocence grounds since the supreme court reinstated capital punishment in 1976. he was released from the state penitentiary after 15 years in solitary confinement. his release was supported by the district attorney's office which was responsible for his original
prosecution. following his release, he relocated to minneapolis where he obtained his ged and january 2014 he began his truck driving career with the transportation company. i'm sorry for what you have been through and i comment you for what you have done to rebuild your life. it's an amazing story. thank you for having the courage to appear here today. you have five minutes and your written statement and i read them all and i commend them. these are extraordinary statements. five minutes to summarize and if you would, we will ask a few questions after the panel. >> thank you, mr. chair and ranking member crews and distinguished members of the committee. it's an honor for me to be here. i am rick ragish and the executive director of the colorado department of corrections. i was appointed by the governor to fill the vacancy left by the former executive director who
vision. having spent time in segregation myself it reinforced my feelings about it. i will summarize my questions. 30 years in the criminal justice system that administrative segregation is overused, misused and abused. what i feel is that we are failing in this particular area in our mission. it is not running in certain institutions that something that we want to do and need to do. that's in our mission. 97% of all inmates returned back to the community. of those 97%, some of them have been in administrative segregation and our duty and primary mission is simple. to make a safer community. the way we make it a safer community is by having no new victims. the way we have no new victims is by ensuring that we have people back in the community are
prepared and dedicated to being law-abiding citizens and being worse when they came in. that's where i feel we are failing. some of the things we have done, i was charged by the governor with three tasks. eliminate or reduce the number of mentally ill. what we were able to do last string is an example. 50 were in admin seg and this january there were four. the second challenge was to eliminate or drastically reduce those released from segregation into the street. i might ask or ask anybody in the audience to stand out if they feel like they would like to live next to someone who has been released into the street and i'm sure people will stay in their chairs. what we were table to do and
inned shsd are bsd yaub released. we've done that. that was srt thafs started and continued by me in january of 2011. we had 1,451 in admin seg as it's called. in january of 2014, we had 597. in a sense, i don't feel i'm replacing mr. clemens. i feel i am fulfilling his vision. i respect him and i have known him for quite sometime. working with the association of the state corrections administration. we have done a lot of work and let me throw things out there as i am running o