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tv   Gun Violence  CSPAN  March 13, 2018 1:39pm-2:41pm EDT

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was arrested for taking a seat that was reserved for whites. the doctrine that allowed seg regraduation through most of the 20th century. not over turned until the brown versus -- landmark cases monday and join the conversation. the hashtag is #landmark cases. and you can order the landmark cases companion book and find the link to the constitution centers. go to >> and now former education secretary, arne duncan and a group of young chicago residents discuss gun violence in the community. hosted by the brookings institution. it's about an hour.
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good afternoon. we'll jump right in. and i'm arne duncan and i have an amazing brain trust here. i give out three minutes of quick context for the work we're doing and why. we're going to have a conversation on we're always very real. sometimes a little raw. and that's just -- for me t is important that we are honest and authentic on what's working and what's not and why. so context for chicago and why i do this work. when i lead the chicago public schools for seven half years the hardest part of my job was the number of kids shot and i will kd. during the seven and half years one child was killed every two
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weeks. going to the funerals and the kids' homes and schools where there's an empty chair and trying to make sense was the hardest part of my job. and hindsight, i thought we were rock bottom. i thought we couldn't get worse. and seven years here in d. c. things got worse. the past year chicago public schools, 40 week school year, they had 59 killed. kids in school. last year in chicago, there were 660 homicides. almost 3,000 people shot. there's something i'm obsessed call the the clear rate. it's the percent of crimes that get solved. if you kill somebody with a 46% clear rate, there's a 76% chance you can get away with murder. 97% chance that there's no
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consequences. chicago has very strict gun laws but chicago is not an island. we live next to indiana. lots of guns pour into our community from many different places. so for me, going home, this was the crisis facing the city. and the thing that is toughest for me, i think we robbed our kids of their childhoods and the level of fear that our kids live with is extraordinary. they struggle to make it back and forth to school. all my life i tried to preach, think long-term and think about college. if you are trying to survive everyday, that stuff is like a foreign language. doesn't quite make sense. i grew up playing basketball on the south and west side. you can't do that anymore. most parks are empty. for me it is just not fair. in every crisis, there's an opportunity. for me i started to think about, there are two parts of the opportunity that attracted me.
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one was that things are so violent and bad that many of our guys are looking at change and looking to get out of the street life. and two, there's a myth that people selling drugs are making a ton of money. most of them are getting shot and police are chasing them and making next to nothing. we started 14 months ago on the south side and we found guys who were most at risk at shooting or being shot. young black men 17-24. and we hired them and worked in a cohort with them building a brotherhood. some of our guys were shooting at each other prior to that and had to work that through early on. we do hard and soft skills. trauma care, substance abuse. a lot of the guys have gotten high school diplomas and two guys are in college now. we are going to keep them for a
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year and provide a pathway from the streets and the violence starts there into the legal economy. we started in september. we started working with mr. and mrs. jones of march of '17. working with them for a year. a good time to reflect, not just stop there and jump into the conversation. we'll go right down the line. i say mr. and mrs. jones, they are walking saints. we have three south side and three west side, the first team we decide ourselves. every other coheart lead by community partners, churches, nonprofits and social services m the goal is to build capacities to take on and do the work mrs. jones, a quick backgrounded and why you do this work. >> good afternoon. i'm wendy jones and i'm the founder and executive director of the youth and peace in
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roseland. a nonprof organization on the far south side of chicago. i have actually owned that building, former chicago public schoolteacher who wanted to do something different in my community but continue to help young people. i have been there 22 years. my husband and i worked with a number of young people in that community from elementary school up to about 26 years old. and the last 12 years we're working with older youth between the ages of 16 and 26. then chicago c.r.e.d. came into the community and we were excited about helping them. usually, the funding we get is a drop inand four months and then the funding is gone and the kids are back on the streets. with chicago c.r.e.d., it's amazing. we can offer young people a
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wrap-around services and support of the type of services we know they need. it's been really amazing and i'm sure you will get a chance to hear for from me. we're going to move it down. >> i'm roger joans and i sever as a director of operations for the youth peace center and i'm with these guys i'm the dean. as with anything else, when it's new, young men come into the program. they want to know who you are and what you're about. one of the things we give them and the question is are you here to change the direction of your life? if they say they are, they act like they don't know if they want to change the direction of their life. we say stick around with us and we'll see if we can help you. we use a motto, get inspired, make a change, change your attitude and your thinking and then you'll change your life.
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this helps us quite a bit. we try not to take on the mother/father feel of them. but we are listeners. we have to listen to them when they're talking. i want to hear your story. what got you into it. where do you want to go? this has helped us and we are continuing the work. we are grateful for chicago c.r.e.d. this is not new to us. we don't discriminate against anyone. we want them to do better and we're going to work hard for them to reach their goal. >> they work very hard. mr. hicks so one thing that is -- we're trying to do lots of things and there's no one simple answer to what we are doing. one of the most important pieces is we have a life coach for every one of our young man and mr. hicks is a life coach. they have interesting backgrounds, i'll have him talk about his background.
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these are the guys who are thinking about how to help guys move from point a to b and take the next step. transformation is not easy or over night or linear. before we talk about the work, talk about your background and what you used to do and what you are doing now and what changed and put the mic on. >> good evening, everybody. i grew up in a roseland area. same place i'm working right now. went through penal system. came up through gang life. thought it was the best thing in the world at the time. spent over 16 years in four different states throughout the department of corrections. i made a lot of mistakes and i thought to myself when i came home this last time, that before i went in the grave, or somebody kill me, change on my own. start doing the right thing. ran into mr. and mrs. jones
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worked in a program called cease fire. aims at stopping the violence and shooting. they gave me an opportunity to interview for the life coaching job which is a whole different world. i'm just here to give back so they won't go through things i went through. a lot of times you don't understand, you hear it. chicago this and chicago that. it is bigger than the words you hear. it is actualty with us. whether it is gun violence. it is like music to your ears every night. i'm here to help these little guys and found a little love for most of them. we are striving and struggling with them until they get to the point they can make things happen. >> you grew up around guns, using guns, loving guns. >> yeah, i wanted to shoot everything up man, i'm going to be honest with you. if you were not throwing up the pitch forks and wasn't from our
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hood, it was going to happen for you. didn't care who uyou was with. it was a i'm running the house. my momma don't know what's going on until police start running up behind me. it's more of a lack -- it's an addiction. we looking at drug addiction but guns is an actual addiction out there. and it's hard once they get enthused about shooting it's almost like new years. i want to shoot. once they become addicted you have to find the right drug and the right system to get them away from that addiction and that's what we're doing through the program.
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and i'm happy to be a part of its. >> you got locked up four times. what was different the fourth time from the third time to the second time to the first time? what made you decide it's time to do something different. >> i was trying at this point. i got two in my background. i don't know how your law is here but if i was to get into another problem i had 25 years minimum to start with and i don't want to go that route. the 6 to 30 was enough. 85 is another thing and to break it down, that deterred me. your friends ain't your friends at the end of the day when you're in trouble. you're going to go calling for mommy and your relatives. and it's rough, cook county jail, it's rough. it's real rough and we're
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dealing with the actual gang life that has no laws to it anymore. when i came up, i'm sure you heard of this name before, we had certain things i couldn't do. i couldn't be outside on election day selling drugs. i couldn't not be in school. i couldn't even sell drugs without somebody letting me know it was okay to sell them. right now there's no unity, no law, no structure, but these guys are still representing or going to war for some that was already going on before they were born. most of these guys is 23, 24 years old. they are are carrying on through the legacy of their neighborhoods. >> maybe just talk a little bit about -- >> how are you doing?
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about a year ago i was doing a little bit of everything. like shooting, selling drugs, police started kicking in my grandma's doors. i'm steady going back and forth to jail. dumb stuff. really stuff over nothing. stuff from a long time ago. we just still carrying it on through the legacy. at some point you have to realize that you getting older and it's just time to grow up. especially when you have kids. i have two daughters. i have been shot up, stabbed, in jail. i just did a year and a half. sometimes you just have to grow up and mature yourself. i met mr. jones actually through malik and he said yeah, you in a gang? i want to lie to him and tell him no. and he said you been shot before? i was like, i know i've been
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shot before. i don't know if i should tell you if i shot somebody. he tells me to come down the next day. i met him. i stuck with him. he was real cheerful. cracking jokes. he was somebody real comfortable i could be around. i stayed with it. every meeting we had, i stayed with it. and they put me in school to get my high school diploma. me, honestly, i didn't think i could get my high school diploma. i dropped out of school sophomore year. we was at war real bad. school was the last thing on my mind. i ain't going to lie, but they helped me get my high school diploma and i got motivated and dedicated to it. he could ask me to do anything, i'm a real reliable guy. so they held me get my card, my
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full sanitation license, my driver's license. i didn't think i was going to get that either. i had an interview yesterday and we get on the plane this morning, but i got the job, though. >> we did not plan that, but it worked out great and our goal is to send guys out when they're ready. so guys already working full time in construction. working law firm and cold stone creamery came in with an offer to start there soon. everyone's path is different. some guys might be with us 8 or 9 months. some guys it might be 15 or 16 months. malik, what were you doing before? what are you doing now? what's the program been like? what's worked and what hasn't? talked about maybe before last year. >> pretty much what i was doing
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a year before the program, i was basically out of control. in and out of jail, selling drugs, catching cases. it was completely out of control and once i got into the program and began to start making a change, things started to begin to come easier to me. like before the program and before -- mr. and mrs. jones, that's my godfather and that's my godmomma and i got shot in 2015, six times. the back of my head, my hand, and three times in my back. and then i was incarcerated right after that for a gun char charge. so i didn't have no direction
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and i wasn't looking for no direction neither. now since i have been in the program, they pretty much show me my self-worth. it's easier than going out here and picking up a gun, selling drugs. it's real life black successful men out here that aren't ducking from the police or ducking on enemies. they just showed me a brighter way and a brighter future and like damien said, i end up getting my full sanitation license. my security license and a lot of other certificates and accomplishments that i came to do in the program. overall, i feel like i did a whole 360. >> most folks in here haven't been shot. what is it like to be shot? what is it like to lie in your
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own blood? >> completely unexplainable. when you questioning and asking yourself if you're fixing to live or do you know what i'm saying, am i going to see my momma tonight or am i going to make it -- no mother wants to bury their child and i don't want my mother to bury me either so it was just like, it was completely life changing, sitting in your blood, laying there, not knowing what's next. not knowing what's to come. >> we lost two freniends back t back. last week one of my other friends just got killed. it's an on going cycle.
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and it ain't going to stop unless we break it. unless we change and we make a difference in our community. >> what made you decide to change. >> if i keep going in direction i was going in, i knew that i was insane. the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. do you know what i'm say something if i'm steady going to jail, it's not the law. it's not the police no more. it's me now. if i'm steady bumping my head, it's not nobody else, it's me. >> brandon, talk a little bit about what you were doing before and how things are going now. what's your sense? >> a year ago i'd say i was struggling to survive in the streets. like i didn't have no income, nobody to help me out.
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so it was really leaning toward selling drugs and robbing to get my money and to get the things that i wanted. and a year ago i'll honestly say my momma thought she was going to have to bury me or i was going to be in the cell because of the route i was taking. i got expelled from all cps schools. had to go to alternative school and got kicked out of alternative school for gang fighting. it was just rough, but since then and since the program, i have been on the righteous path trying to do the right thing and make the right moves and right choices. mr. and mrs. jones have been a big help. my life coach has been a big help in keeping me motivated. not going to retaliate when things happen to people that's close to me and my family. that was the hardest thing to do. a few months ago my little brother was shot and that's my little brother. we grew up together. so it was hard to not retaliate
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and not go back in the streets and jeopardize myself. mr. jones and mrs. jones, mr. hicks, everybody was in my head. like stay focused and stay on the right path, everything is going to be okay and it will workout for itself. >> take a minute and walk people through, a huge percentage of violence in chicago is retaliation and these are battles that go back 15 and 20 years and the thing that is craziest to me is the kids fighting the battles now and dying don't know why the battles started and it's just what they're doing. but walk through how hard it is not to retaliate when that's how you have been trained and raised all your life and how you struggle with that and why did you decide ultimately not to. >> i think the hardest part of not retaliating was actually when you sit down and just think about everything that's going on. to see somebody you love in that much pain and that close to
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dying, like it's hard to stay focused and it's hard not to go make somebody feel the same way they made you feel. but the thing that kept me calm the most was my daughter. she was just born. so me not wanting to lose her or miss out on her life was the main thing that kept me focused. >> for our guys, tell the audience, the hardest thing about this year. what's been the toughest thing working on this year? >> this year, the toughest thing to work on this year was just like, like i said, staying focused and keeping up the good work that we have been keeping up. like my fellow co-workers right here, mr. and mrs. jones, they helped us get certificates to build our resume and our background. full sanitation, unarmed. my two most recent certificates i'm the most proud of. i just got a certificate for asbestos removal and lead
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abatement. those two boosted my ego a little bit. >> malik, the hardest thing this year? the hardest part of transformation. >> the hardest thing is staying focused. when you're trying to change, you got a million and one things and a million and one people trying to stray you from the direction you want to go. the biggest thing is mind over matter. what is a priority to you? what is your dreams, what is your goals? put yourself first. do you know what i'm saying? that's pretty much the hardest thing. just staying on track and staying focused and keeping my head right and not letting nobody else stray me from the direction that i want to go. >> just twist it a little bit, what we try to do is create a safe environment within the
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group and there hasn't been one fight all year. we had one crazy girlfriend a couple of weeks ago but that wasn't one of our guys. but the guys are all going home to their same homes and the same neighborhood every single day and we are not yet to the point of really reducing neighborhood violence and that's what we're trying to do starting now. so this year, in the middle of all the good work you get stabbed. what is that like when you're trying to turn and trying to change and still that's the reality of where you live? that's the reality of your community? >> i would say the hardest thing was retaliation. i turned around and it's started. i didn't know what was going on.
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when i came out, it was, my grey hoodie, it was new too. it was full of blood, though. i'm trying to get to my grandma. she's an rn. so i'm thinking she is going to patch me up and i'm fixing to go kill him. that's the only thing going to my head but when i got to her she said you need to go to the hospital right now. i drove myself to roseland hospital and they transferred me to christ because my lung was punctured. so the hardest thing is retaliation. for something to happen to me, i felt that was kind of crazy. it was retaliation. it was staying focused. my grandma, she called mr. jones to try to make sure, like, keep him on the right track and keep him, you the only person that's in his head right now. you who he's close to.
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so i thank mr. jones really for, like, everything. >> two questions, either or one. what's the best thing about being a life coach? what's the hardest thing about being a life coach and then gi o back to cook county jail and we recruit people coming out of jail into our program and try to stop the cycle. two times ago hicks came with me and we talk about life coaching part first and then what it was like to go back to a place where you had spent too much time. >> life coaching, life coaching is not the easiest job in the world. far from it. hands down it's almost unexplanatory but just to jump in, you heard these guys talking about retaliation, so i talk to them about everything. i'm a facebook detective. i'm all that. i need to know what is going on. i need to make sure that you're cool. but when they speak of
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retaliation, here's what you don't understand. when they don't retaliate they become more of a coward. so it makes it harder to fight even more off the street. he gets stabbed, he doesn't do anything to these individuals it makes him want to do something else to them. that's a fight in itself. it's fun. i have my fun moments. successful but it's a struggle and i'm going to go with them through it because i didn't have it easy. one of my worst fears is not seeing them monday, waking up, not getting a phone call. we have been blessed. no fights. a few incidents here and there but for the most part it's a brotherhood. to jump to the county jail thing. one of the oddest experiences that i'm actually in the county jail with my street clothes on. i'm on a live deck where
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individuals are housed at and it's something else. it's almost like being a basketball player and you never ever practice and you finally on the court and you got the feeling like why am i here? and i figured out that i had to deliver. come to find out, three of the guys that was in the group we were talking to was from the neighborhood that i was born and raised in. and a lot of times you have to look at these guys. it doesn't mean they're going to shoot you. some of these guys are more educated than you can ever imagine. the problem is in order to get over the perception of a person, you have to take away what you think about them because as you look at them, they're looking at you a certain way too. that's it. and they already know, they never get a second chance to make a first impression and i'm proud of my guys. and speaking of life coaching, these two are life coaches. other people that life coach,
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you guys are life coaches and probably just don't know it. it's a gift. you just have to figure out what yours is. >> always ask the question and people think it's funny but i'm dead serious. coming into our program, pay cut or pay increase? >> it was a pay cut to be honest. >> pay cut. why do you say it's hard to do? >> it's the smartest thing to do to be honest. i don't have to look over my shoulder and worry about getting robbed, nothing like that. i got a legal income that can be explained for if i get pulled over with money in my pocket. i can show check stubbs now. you couldn't do that when you were selling drugs. >> malik. >> for me, i feel like it was a pay cut but also i feel like it was worth it too at the same time because the stuff that hi
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to do before and the risk and other things that hi to look out for i don't have to look out for now. i don't have to worry about police. i don't have to worry about nobody robbing me or raiding. the smartest thing i could have did was take the pay cut. >> i say it was a pay increase for me. i'm not going to lie. i say it was a pay increase because all the money like -- i got to get my grandma's door fixed. i got kids. i didn't know how i was going to get the money. it was a pay increase. i know the money is coming in. i know every two weeks is a check.
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>> it's usually about 50/50 with our guys. sometimes it's a pay cut. half is a pay increase. it's just interesting. i'll go down the line, mr. jones, just sort of step back and sort of bigger picture, so in a perfect world i'd love to see chicago have no homicides. that's probably a little bit unrealistic so what i keep saying is i want chicago to be more normal and just to give you a sense of what an outlier, how insane it is right now, chicago is, as you guys know, is the third largest city in the country. we have way more homicides and way more shootings than new york and l.a. combined. number three way more than one or two add together. for us to be normal based upon population relative to new york, right now we have 660 homicides last year. we'd have to go to 92. so we need a body count reduction of close to 500. so that's the kind of change that we need just to be normal.
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i wouldn't say great but just not such an outlier. so big picture stepping back for chicago to get to a place that is not so crazy, what is it going to take the city to do? what do we need to do. >> well, first as the gentlemen are talking here, i'm thinking about my sons, the parents of 4 sons. the two youngest ones have never walked to a corner store. didn't really know friends on their blocks because it was just dangerous. and this kmuntd community is a predominantly african american community that i moved into years ago and my family was the first black family on the block
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so i have wactched it change. went to high school, went off to college, came back. put my business there. i'm committed to the community. it's really important. it's so easy to just move away but i am just committed. i wanted to stay there and see this thing turn around and when i think about what's hard, it's more than just reaching the young men and it's like we have to do a wholistic approach almost because, you know, what make young men do this, they're not just waking up in the morning saying, you know what, i think i want to shoot somebody today or i want to sell drugs today, there's a lot of dysfunction and at the end of the day, i think that these young men and the other young men that live in the community want the same thing your sons and daughters want. they want a healthy life. they want to feel safe, and they want to be successful.
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and these guys are showing that. if given opportunity they can turn their lives around. a lot of african american communities across chicago there's a huge deficit and we're trying to fill some of that with great programs, people that care and opportunity. so i think it's going to take a lot more opportunity from organizations like chicago cred and having the resources to change more lives and be able to touch more young men and that's the way that we could have more success. >> how do we take this down at scale across the city. >> to encourage people, not only young people but people that are older like myself. young people, you have to really take a look at them and start listening to them.
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you know, i used to preach all the time don't do this, don't do that. you have to listen to their stories. i'm listening to these young men right here, you know, i know who they were when they first came into the program. i knew some of the things that they did. that did not scare me. i'm not scared of that. i thought they came in the program because they wanted some help. it's a great honor for them to come into the program and get a high school diploma, something they wanted, they accomplished something. a lot of young people in our community, they don't finish, but it's not because they lack the intelligence, they lack someone pushing them. and i think when we look at ourselves and we think we come from nice homes and our children didn't go to jail, it's up to us to step back and say, let's help
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somebody else like somebody helped us. somebody helped me to go to school. someone helped me get a job. i can't look at these young men and come into our program and turn my back on them. that's not fair. some of their circumstances are not the same, and it's important. when i see them sitting here on this panel, the brookings institute talking to you, expressing themselves, they're not scared. they're telling real life stories. these things really happened in their life. but what makes me feel proud is that they have accomplished -- they got certificates, they feel good about themselves. they got a haircut. they're smart. they have some money in their pocket. they're hungry. we have to look at ourselves and say let's help organizations like cred.
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what can i do to help other young people and i hope that you will take this and help us help others. >> i think we need to start foc focussing on young women. everywhere you gor every city, every state, at risk young men. these men are at risk because they're feuding over the same woman. you got rival games having a baby by the same woman. unplanned parenting. i think we focus a lot on the young men. the system already got a choke hold on them. and i mean a noose. so they already scared of the police. whether you got a check stub of not. he's still wondering is he still going to bother me from a year ago when i was out there bad.
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so even the ops, the rival gangs, those guys don't care that they have a job and are now in the program. they don't care about none of that. we could be anywhere in the world but we're here with y'all. anywhere. we came here to see y'all to deliver. start focussing on some of these young women. >> answer either one how do we take it down in scale or what do you want this audience to know or think about walking out of here? >> i would say -- i'll answer the first question. i'd say more programs like chicago cred because the generation now, they're only joining gangs for protection, a sense of belonging and protection and sense of
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belonging. and a lack of role models. chicago cred, when i came in, i got role model from my life coach and mr. and mrs. jones. even though she's a woman but she's still like a role model because, you know so i would say just more programs like chicago cred. chicago cred is the only program that offered us what we haven't got so far. the only program that's guaranteeing that they're going to hold on to us and make sure that we get jobs. make sure we got our high school diploma. the only program that gave us life coaches. gave us a therapist. the only program.
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so i just feel like we need this program. we need this program to keep our youth, to keep us alive. i feel like if we give -- if you ain't busy the that's an idle mind and once you got an idle mind you have a million and one things to worry about. how i'm fixing to eat or thinking about doing detrimental things to people. so i just feel like chicago cred offered us so much and to keep funding these program and keep pushing them. 3:00 he's up. at any time he is picking up for me. he's there for me. i tell him i'm in a predictment and can't get myself out. he's coming for me. so i just feel like, this is all
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we got right here. they take this from us, there's probably going to be more youth dead. more youth in the county. more youth in the penitetary. this was our hope. >> i think, like they said, we should definitely have more programs but i think we should reach out to the youth before they get at risk, do you know what i mean? start in elementary schools. the things that some people teach the young ones these days leads to the chaos and the out of control. so i feel like if we reach our youth and raise our kids the right way the next generation will be better than our generation. >> let's open it up to the audience. >> first of all i want to thank you for sharing your stories. they're very informative.
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so my question is for hicks, so you mentioned that you have been to prison several times so i am just wondering, what is it like when you come out of prison? how do people treat you? is there any support that is provided to you? is it basically impossible to get a job when you have a prison record? how can we do a better yob helping people coming out of prison. >> nothing is impossible, otherwise we wouldn't be here. you have to have confidence in yourself. coming home, you already done missed out on something. most guys come home, low self-este self-esteem, no money, pretty much no family to go to. you're bitter. the blame game is there. you always blame it on everybody else but yourself is why you did four or five years. you have to come home and focus. you have to be ready to let go of the streets. the streets have the strongest
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hand grip i have ever seen in life. you can go from walking out of church on sunday and go into the store and come out a gang member. it's that quick because the lifestyle is so enticing. and then when you come home from prison, what is offered to someone, a parole officer tagging you around everywhere you go or probation officer. what's offered to them? you got programs now, these guys coming to these programs because that's all they got, is either this or it's that. for the most part these guys, they still strong. you got to offer them something that you never had. like me, i never had a job. i never cared to have one. i had guns. so i needed some money, i'm going to go get it. but when the law start changing your mind set change, you have to start looking. so and again, society look at
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criminals like they're the worst thing in the world. there's people in here that got away with stuff. let's be honest. you just ain't been caught. there's some guys doing time that didn't go the crime. 30 years they come home and state don't want to give them nothing. so you pick your poison. but you got to understand, it is something in the individual regardless of what that piece of paper say about them there's something deep down inside of there that could be brought out. you might just have to help them. >> hi, i have a question, you made a very poignant statement when you talked about the streets not wanting to let go but the experiences that all of you have get under the skin. so my question to you, all of you running the program, what are we doing to not only just provide the help from, you know, education and economic mobility but also the healing that has to come with the traumas that have
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been experienced from the violence that all of them have experienced or been a part of. >> we're very fortunate to have an amazing spsychologist on our team. our guys also have cb12 which is cognitive behavioral therapy. we do a lot of circles. so we do have a team of very qualified people that are addressing the trauma with all of our young men and it's just part of the program and a very important piece. >> i would say quickly we're doing a ton and i promise you that we're not doing enough. people talk about post-traumatic stress disorder. this is current and present and for some of our guys since birth. this stuff is deep. we do that. we have them write and tell their story which is is very tough and extraordinarily powerful and healing but we're doing as much as we can in many
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areas and we're not doing as much as we should. >> if i can just say, i want to touch on what he said we had a wonderful program where the guys wrote memoirs and it was an amazing way for them to unload their trauma and then they were able to read their stories and they were so powerful and it was healing as well. i wish we had brought a sample to read. but definitely a great part of our program. >> malik, i'll put you on the spot. >> like, i can't really explain it to y'all. being shot six times and -- i got shot in the back of my head, my hand, my back, my arm. so it was -- and to top it all off, it took me a whole year to
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get back completely to what i was. so it's like the trauma and the waking up in the middle of the night. i still don't sleep good all the time. so it's like i can't really tell you how it feels, you know what i'm saying? you'll have to be in my shoes to experience it and i wouldn't want nobody to experience it. if you experience the pain that i felt wondering was i going to come home. and what made it so bad, my son was 4 months and i had another girl that was six months pregnant with my daughter. so my kids wouldn't have even known me. i wouldn't have been nothing but a figure of their imagination. they would have had nothing but a picture to show this is how my daddy looked or nothing but stories. so the trauma, can't sleep, not eating, wondering if this person if that person -- i can't really explain it to you.
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but one thing i can say, they gave me an out. they gave me an outlet as far as they said we have a therapist, we have life coaches, we have people that are here that are trying to help us heal. but i basically have to heal at my own pace. >> good afternoon. i'm sure that you all -- is that loud enough? i'm sure that you all have seen all the coverage in the news around parkland and the mass shootings and the conversation around gun violence centering on that specific type of school violence. how do we open up the conversation? so we talk about violence for all kids and for all the communities because d.c. is home for me and there are a lot of kids who look like me and look
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like you all in places here that face a lot of trauma and violence daily but they're not part of that conversation. what will help open people's eyes to see that certain things just all kids should have. >> i'll take this one very quickly. we sent down six of our high school teens this past saturday with the parkland kids and it was transformational on both sides and they're going to come visit us in may. the march on the 24th. bring my family back, one of our high school kids is going to speak so we're building those bridges and i think the diversity of that movement, race, class, socioeconomic status, i'm more hopeful on this issue than i have ever been and the parkland kids not the need not to invite our kids but have our kids help lead the movement. in the back. >> thank you. first and foremost, gentlemen, like you said earlier, it does take a lot of courage to a, not
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retaliate and then also be able to walk in your neighborhood where your peers and your neighbors know that you have not retaliated. so i salute you for being able to have the courage to be able to walk down the street every day with your heads up. my question pertains to, are you all aware in chicago cred of any analysis between how much a murder cost? so here in the district we look at before the investigation of a murder, it's a little under half a million dollars the cost to the city overall per murder. so have you seen any programs that have been able to measure the cost of someone being murdered to then say listen, well, in the district it costs $500,000 for the city before they even start the investigation and prosecution and the jailing of someone, maybe just saving one person's life that $500,000 could be put into a program like chicago cred? are you aware of any programs
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that made any sort of analysis in that direction. >> we did all of that analysis. it costs the city between 1.3 and 1.4 million. a bed in cook county jail is 55 or $60,000 a year and our cost per head is lower than that. i can make a pretty good roi case and our time with the men is basically for around the year and the rest of their life they're in mainstream society. so this is not an on going investment from the public sector. we're doing this all from the private side. and that's a separate conversation. why chicago isn't doing more publicly but the roi case, forget the heart piece of this, the emotional piece of this, the financial savings to society is staggering. >> thank you.
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i am on the list for a lot of the meetings that take place here and bookings and this is the first one that i made sure that i came to so i can greet you all and let you all know that people are thinking about you here in d.c. d.c. used to be that city with that high number -- we know, i don't know how many washitonians are in this place. but i am. i know about the numbers and all of that. but my question to you all, anyone can answer it, how do you feel when you see the outpouring of support, when 50 people are killed and 600 are just not spoken about in chicago? like everyone changes their facebook profile when there's a mass shooting and i just keep thinking chicago. what about 500? what about the 550? what about the 600. okay it was a mass shooting, 40 white people were killed at a
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concert, god bless all of them but what about the 600 poor black people that are killed in chicago year after year after year? how do you feel about that? >> i think being from chicago is kind of like the norm to us. out of state it's the norm to y'all too. chicago turn the tv. another shooting. and at the end of the day, i just believe in a nutshell that we need to pay more attention to social media because if you look at the mass shootings, there was a possibility it could have been stopped. if you had looked into this text or looked into that. we overlook the smallest thing and then it becomes huge. so as far as chicago, we -- of course we sick of it. i'm sick of hearing it. we got a funeral home that has a drive-thru. you do not have to get out of your car. like a burger king. you want to see your partner,
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pull up, roll your window down and look and keep going. so who is getting the money? the people selling the caskets, i'm sure, they don't have a problem with it. it's just us. they're not the ones getting put in a casket. i don't want to hear nothing about no school shooting, mass shooting, white or black, it's still sad because most of them are innocent. they didn't have nothing to do with nothing. can you imagine someone running in here juan assault rifle? what are you going to do? it's unimaginable. we never think it could happen to us. that's why the program is so good. we don't have guys that just think they're invincible anymore. they may have came to the program thinking they were invincible and then they started thinking i do have kids. sometimes you have to look in that mirror. that mirror means a lot. don't wash your face only. talk to yourself.
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>> you mentioned working with community organizations and just curious about some of the strengths that nose community organizations bring and also the capacity to be able to allow other organizations to do this kind of work, thank you. >> so yeah, one of the things that i realize in doing this work is that there are some resources in our community. i think one of the biggest challenges has been connecting the youth to these resources. i can remember just going to my local park and being able to participate in a number of different things that i carried with me through the course of my career. everything that i did from volleyball, tap, modern dance, all of those great services that i got as a kid carried me in life and at that time they weren't calling that person or instructor a mentor.
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it was just the volleyball coach or whatever. i'm going to answer your question, i think it's just so porn that we figure out better ways to connect our kids to all of these resources because a child that is connected is less likely to be involved in incidences of violence. and my agency is a very small agency and we have pretty much networked with larger agencies in the community that would get funding but, again, the biggest challenge has been that that funding was just so small, you know? just only touch just the tip of an issue with a kid and you're just giving some kid a little money for the summer but then the major issues still continue. and i think that we have to think about various ways to help build capacity with smaller agencies because a lot of times there's small agencies doing big
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work. so chicago cred has been definitely a huge part of helping us build capacity. i think that once this is over we'll be able to sustain ourselves even longer and to continue to help a lot of young people in the community and also, whenever our agency has always parted -- it didn't matter the size of funding we get. we always figured out a way to share with other agencies in our community. if someone gave us something, we would bring as many as 8 to 10 partners in so that everybody -- because we can't serve all the children, but those 8 communities, those 8 partners are serving 100 kids one way or another. so now we're serving 800 kids as opposed to us just serving 50 kids in our agency. building capacity is huge. people working together is huge. thank you for your question. >> i want to add one quick thing to that though, if it happens
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and they don't give us the money, sometimes, some kind of way we make it happen. it's the work we're dedicated to this work. >> or you do it without the money. >> exactly. >> and we have. >> we have to close. we could talk all day here. three quick final thoughts. first i always say programs don't change lives, it's relationships and it's not just these three with relationships toward the other three, what our young men do to support each other is remarkable. another guy not here, basically had his family massacred this summer at a family picnic. horrific and it was his peers that kept him from retaliating and life coaches but relationships and not programs always change lives. secondly people always say it's great you're giving guys a second chance. i think for many of our guys it's a first chance and they're making a rational choice now because they never had other better rational choices.
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no one has to work with us. no one is assigned by the courts or probation officers. they say how do you find guys? we have massive waiting lists. what's your waiting list right now? >> about 75 people. >> looking to get in. >> another one has 168 on the waiting list and we're trying to scale fast and reach more guys because they're looking to get fast and the final thing i'll say is i think you guys feel this today, these guys aren't the problem in chicago, they're actually the solution and i'm actually wildly optimistic about where we're going to go as a city and us here are going to try to do our little part to help. it's going to be these young guys putting down their guns, talking to their friends, bringing in the next group that's going to lead the city to a wildly different place. i can't prove it. we'll come back four or five years from now, i'm convinced as a city we're going to be dramatically better and it's because of their leadership. please give them a round of
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