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Western Prisons: Complete Transcript
A FocusWest Discussion
January 6, 2004
Jim Peck: Dr. Latessa, do prisons know how to deal with minority youth?
Dr. Ed Latessa: Well they've had a lot of experience over the years as the clip showed. We have a much higher percentage of minorities incarcerated, but I think that oftentimes programs aren't specifically designed for the, the cultural differences, and now language differences, that we often face in those institutions.
Jim Peck: Director Crawford, you're nodding your head. Um sometimes these, these kids end up in populations with adults and what does that mean to them?
Jackie Crawford: Well when you have these individuals who wind up with adults, sometimes that glamorizes where they're at, but more importantly it's very disruptive to an entire population, adult population. The majority do not want them in the population, the younger offenders. You know and the one thing that I begin to see and was watching the clip is that these individuals the word was wanting to belong and that seems to be the core of wanting to belong to something. And a lot of our kids you know they're latchkey kids they have nobody, they go home to an empty home and they need to belong and of course sometimes what happens with these individuals when they come into the prison system, they find a home and that's a sad commentary that you have to go to prison to find a home.
Jim Peck: Well and what happens when family becomes the family in prison, the people that you're in there with?
Jackie Crawford: Well it's generational and you know having been in this business for several years and seeing the generations come through the gates. At some point we have to stop that cycle. How we address that cycle I think is what is important. Is incarceration the answer? Not totally no. It may you know it may stop an individual during a protractive period of time, but they're going to come back out into the community. How we prepare them for that community I think is what is essential and what we're discussing here today and what we're seeing in the clip is that he found something, he found something to belong and that's part of what you don't, that does not happen in prison.
Jim Peck: Well and he found family, he found football, um went to college, um what else can we give these kids?
Dr. Theresa Martinez: There was some mention made in the video clip about bicultural and cultural competency and I think that Dr. Latessa made a very important point, which is that prisons aren't necessarily capable of really being sensitive to those cultural issues. And that's a very important, I mean what Jackie says about belonging is also about culture and if these kids don't feel like they're accepted or they're even understood then how can they produce, how can they achieve.
Jim Peck: So what do we do?
Robert Lampert: Well I think those cultural problems are magnified in a prison setting because again we have a young population coming in with an increasingly elderly population. They don't mix well in the first place and secondly the programming that we have in place isn't necessarily geared towards our younger offenders. And thirdly the location of our prisons typically tends to be a more rural setting where we're not able to attract a work population that reflects the ethnic or cultural background of these younger offenders.
Dorothy Nash Holmes: And we created a youthful offender program in the Nevada prison system and we're trying to put in age specific programming for the kids. They may be, he may be a 14 year old murderer, but he's still 14 years old. We've got kid school, not, not adult school. We've got high school there; we've got age specific mental health programming. We've got age specific emotional and life skills programs because they're still children and if you put them in the adult population they're going to grow up real fast, much too fast.
Jim Peck: So what do you say to the people who say well I understand they're children, but look what this kid did?
Sheila Leslie: What I'd say to them is we created a juvenile justice system for a reason, its separate from the adult system for a reason and the reason is because we believe as a society that we need to rehabilitate kids, we need to offer them services, offer them a chance to change and a lot of kids will take that chance. I think as we've moved to more serious youth crime and a focus, too much of a focus has been given to the kids who are the murderers and the rapists and the hard core criminals and the kids who have lost out are the kids at the beginning of the system. So we need to be shifting resources back to prevention. I get calls all the time from parents who say I've gone to the system, my teenager is out of control and they tell me they can't help me until he commits a crime and I think that's a tragedy.
Jim Peck: I'm sure when these, some of this must start coming up when these kids are in court and we hear when the crimes are described, when the penalties are discussed, um is there anything to be done there?
Elliott Weiss: I think we're lacking an alternative to prison program. What's happening is we're putting youngsters 19 and 20 into prison and we're educating them to be better offenders if you will. They have they're own special language there, they're looked down on and called youngsters and then someone takes them under their wing and parents them to be a better offender when they leave the system. So we're doing them an injustice in that respect.
Jackie Crawford: Well and I think sometimes you have to be a more aggressive person when you're young in a prison population and so we foster some of that behavior. And you'll see more aggressive behavior so when they're released then quite frankly they go out much tougher and more hardened then when they came in.
Terry Kolkey: You were saying is there more to be done in the courts? What that really has to do with is having the resources. Most of the courts that's I'm familiar with, just do not have the resources to send the young offenders when there's still a chance to work with them.
Jim Peck: And how do we, I mean you're talking about resources, are we talking about money or expertise or realizing a need for it?
Terry Kolkey: It's a combination, obviously it takes money and obviously it takes the realization that there's a need for it, and maybe it takes a public education that this is the way the system should work, but as far as the other resources you need programs. You need programs in the community to help with education, to help with parenting, to help with job training. The focus and the priority should be on, on the families, on the communities and putting resources there, not simply dumping everything into corrections.
Jim Peck: How do you get people to realize that these aren't just throw away lives?
Dorothy Nash Holmes: You know there's scientific evidence now through the PET Scans and the brain imaging that the brain really doesn't even fully develop until about age 21 and we had some testimony in our legislature this year when we were considering death penalty of young people and I think they listened for the first time in Nevada to that. I used to be a prosecutor and I was very much in favor of stronger, tougher penalties against juveniles and I think now that was a mistake. We should recognize that they there is rehabilitation possible because they are still developing. Even some of these 15 year olds who blow out their whole school and do these horrible, horrible crimes have got to be treated differently in a different setting. I don't think it solves our problem to put them in the adult setting with the same kind of programs and punishments, I don't' think it works.
Jim Peck: Rehabilitation can happen with these kids?
Jim Peck: Okay um how do you, how do you balance that against all the pushes we've seen recently for things like truth in sentencing, for tougher sentences, for making that stick and some talk about wanting kids, that okay finish your juvenile part, but then you just still stay there forever.
Terry Kolkey: Well I don't think it's a matter of balancing and in my opinion those attitudes are simply wrong. They're driven by, by politics; they're driven by say politicians whose main goal is to use the criminal justice system as a tool for their own ambitions. But I think that thought about simply sending and locking kids up for long periods of time is simply a waste, an enormous waste of resources and a tremendous waste of human potential. It, the solution has more to do, at least partially, with a reeducation of the public and having people be more honest about the depths and the complexities of the problems.
Jim Peck: Is minority youth dealt with more harshly than other kids?
Dr. Theresa Martinez: That's what they find in research. They definitely find that minority youth are treated differently all across the board.
Jim Peck: How so? I mean specifically what happens to them?
Dr. Theresa Martinez: Everything from arrest to conviction, indictment, everything. Treatment.
Terry Kolkey: In courts everyday. If you go to the juvenile criminal adult courts you will see, you just have to spend a week there and you will see that the minorities get treated harsher.
Dr. Theresa Martinez: But look at Ben Moa, okay? Look at this kid who started to play for the Utes later, right? Started out in a gang. Very typical in communities where these kids are coming from, and this is a class issue too, right? Comes from the projects, he even told you that, he said, well we were a bunch of kids from the projects. It's a very visible minority group and people expect those kids to go exactly where he was going. But he had someone reach out to him. We don't know what happened to Ben Moa, but there was somebody who reached out. It could've been a coach; it could've been a teacher. He was also athletic; that's lucky for him. There's so many young black men and so many young Hispanic men who aren't reached by the, they're not touched by that kind of thing or don't have that ability. What about them? They fall through the cracks and those are the kids that make up our detention populations and our prison populations later, right?
Jim Peck: How do you find luck for those kids?
Dr. Theresa Martinez: Resources. He's talking about resources.
Terry Kolkey: Yeah, it's not luck, it really isn't luck; it's a matter of a social commitment, but let me add one other thing to the difference in treatment. If I'm representing a well-off white kid who comes from a good family at the sentencing phase I can bring in the parents, I can bring in the grandparents, I can bring in a huge history, and the judge will look at that history and say, This kid comes from a good family; I'm going to give this kid another chance.
Dr. Theresa Martinez: And the judge will say, This kid looks like me.
Terry Kolkey: Exactly.
Dr. Theresa Martinez: And there's a big difference there. Will the judge be able to relate to a kid who doesn't look like him, doesn't come from the same kind of background that he does? Is the kid of color? You know, came the wrong side of the tracks?
Marianne Johnstone: Whose parents are incarcerated already.
Jim Peck: I have the feeling this is still happening in big cities too. We're kind of looking in the west, but this is not unique to places; this is happening in ethnically diverse areas as well.
Dr. Theresa Martinez: This is a national trend.
Terry Kolkey: Most of my practice has been in Los Angeles or San Diego, and it's worse there.
Dr. Theresa Martinez: And we don't want to make that the history of the west either. We don't want to emulate systems like California and Chicago and Illinois.
Sheila Leslie: One of the other groups that's treated differently are girls in the juvenile justice system. They're treated more harshly. They're incarcerated for crimes that boys often aren't incarcerated for. And one of the best ways to create change I think among policy members is to take them out to the juvenile corrections systems and have them meet kids. We did that during our legislative session and I think a lot of legislators were surprised to hear the stories about sexual abuse, about physical abuse, about the kind of family situations that many of these minority youth and other youth come from. And I think when you have that one on one connection with a kid it's much harder to go back and cut funding for those programs. So I always try to get people out to meet the kids, hear their stories and develop more empathy for what we're trying to do. And kids can change, kids want to lead better lives. It's possible.
Dorothy Nash Holmes: It's also about educating the community as well. We really opened up our prison system to the public, we started bringing the cameras in, we started having our inmates do some programs that give back to the public, and now with the drug and alcohol laws in every state, almost everybody has some connection to somebody in prison -- a kid, a relative, a neighbor or something, and so more people are looking at it than they ever were before and I think it's about educating them of different ways of doing things.
Jim Peck: I think sometimes if you look at the media coverage people aren't necessarily, they've all heard about the kid in Florida that's going through the system right now. They've heard about various other young kids that have done horrendous things. But I get the feeling the reality is, there's a lot of kids that are going through this that don't get the kind of coverage, media isn't allowed to show a lot of minors when they're on because you don't want to show their faces and that kind of thing. I think a lot of people aren't aware that many of the systems are that loaded with this many kids.
Tom Bolan: I think part of the problem also is that the discussions become polarized and it's been individual responsibility and accountability versus a community systemic approach that takes into consideration the background and needs of the perpetrators and I think that the discussion has evolved so that those that are advocating for programs that can prevent somebody from perpetrating again are being seen as anti-victim and I think that that's a false discussion and its not helpful to try to look at what is best for our community and what's best for not only the individuals in prison, but also for the victims and I think that we've got to find a way to dialogue about this within our communities that's helpful to all of us.
Jim Peck: I know in Idaho there actually aren't a lot of kids in the system as I understand it. Do you get the feeling that that's coming, is that something you have your eye on?
Tom Beauclair: Well, there are kids in the system, I think we have a little bit different approach in Idaho. Just recently our legislature appropriated to the adult system about $525,000 to do something different in terms of diversion, treatment, and that's across the board its for sex offenders, it's for substance abusers and there really weren't any strings attached and, and then we have drug courts as well like most states and I believe our juvenile system is quite progressive. Now I do want to say that, that one of the things that I don't totally agree with that's been said is that we have to remember that all people aren't treatable, you can't put everybody in a box and say do this with them. And unfortunately the criminal justice system doesn't really deal with people that way, we have a tendency to group people together and then try to use the same fix for all. And from my point of view that doesn't work very well. Some people aren't very treatable and we have to be much more sophisticated about who we put into treatment.
Marianne Johnstone: Well and I think that if we could do a very in-depth assessment, very early on and get involved with mentoring with some of the youth that, that would make a big difference in what happens to them in the years to come.
Dr. Ed Latessa: I think we're talking about a couple different issues here. One is prevention you know what kind of programs, early intervention, diversion programs, mentoring programs, community involvement programs can be designed it can keep kids out of the system. That can help kids when they first come in. Second issue of course is what do you do with someone who's committed an armed robbery or a serious crime that's now in the system? And there we're looking at more traditional correctional rehabilitation programs that really need to focus on risk factors and what we call criminal genic risk factors that really are pretty similar across ethnic groups and racial groups and so they really are somewhat different, different problems.
Jim Peck: Director Crawford, it sounds like in some ways we're almost going to have prisons -- the state -- be responsible for raising these families.
Jackie Crawford: I think at some point we will either way. It's either pay now or pay later because as we've indicated those children are five times more likely to wind up in our prison system. I would see a visitation type of program where by house arrest would allow that woman to be in the home with those children and to begin to groom them and redirect them in a positive way and it would be long-term. But please keep in mind anything in rehabilitation is long-term and those children hopefully will not wind up in our prison system. But if we don't address that issue they're going to go to a foster home or else we're going to have to pay through welfare so I think we have to look at a different approach. I think we have to look at a system. One size does not fit all, not all women would benefit from that. However the two individuals on the program I believe would and today as we speak we have 600 total women who are probably in medium security and we also have 340 who are minimum security who go out everyday in the community and work. So if they are able to do that, why not put them in the home with the children and begin to groom that entire family. We don't know until we try and one of the things that has happened historically over the years is that again if it's for the male which is the male largest as the population is extremely large that population and that process is applied to the female and we've got to start looking at things differently. We're going to have to approach our system differently if we intend to save money and begin to use our money more smartly.
Marianne Johnstone: Some cultures use restorative justice and that really can be a meaningful way to get people, everybody to heal both the victim and the offender.
Jim Peck: When you say restorative justice what do you mean explain it to us?
Marianne Johnstone: Well if a person tears down, let's say a person kicks your fence and it falls down because it's rotten anyway, but the dog was barking too much and it just got to this person's mindset that it was just not going to listen to it anymore, and he kicks the fence and now he's committed a destruction of property so normally he would go to jail. The fence would still be broken. In restorative justice the fence would be fixed, he would dialogue with the victim whenever possible, he'd dialogue with the community because he has probably frightened the community, and he makes restitution in all these areas. And he doesn't do it while incarcerated, he does it in an outpatient type thing and so there are so many things that can be done restoratively that I think that that's a very good answer to a lot of problems especially when it comes to women because like everybody has said if you incarcerate the mother you incarcerate the whole family and there has to be another way.
Jackie Crawford: Well and I think also you're looking at children who are the victims. They may not be the direct victim of the crime, but they are a victim, they're a victim of our society, they're a victim of their mother's behavior and those actions and do we want to continue then creating that victim and I think that's something we have to focus on and find a better way in managing some of these issues or addressing some of these issues.
Jim Peck: Well I know Director this is something that you actually have worked on for quite a while as I understand it.
Jackie Crawford: For many years. In '72 in York, Nebraska, we discovered children who were having problems in school and their mothers were concerned and we started a child visitation program where the children would come on site for an entire weekend and we had a you know what we would call MOLT (Mother Offspring Life Development). And through a $500,000 grant from LEAA then we developed a nursery, we created you know an environment for parenting. We found through our research that the children's behavior stabilized that they perceived their mother not being in a role that was so negative and the environment in which they came to visit obviously was more positive and what they saw on TV and so the stereotype that the children developed began to dissipate. So that was very important and today the same program continues, but most important is now the woman can have the child and the child will remain there with the mother for a year in bonding. So this is not a new concept. Perhaps for the western states it may be, but I think it's something very viable and I think that's something we have to focus on, what's good for that child.
Jim Peck: Now educate me a little bit because I'm picturing some of these kids coming into some of these settings that I wouldn't necessarily think of as nurturing. Is it different in these communities with, not all these women are mothers? What is it like for the kids to part of that? What is their life like being inside?
Jackie Crawford: Well I can address that very well. First of all you have to designate an area and then you create that environment for that child and for that mother for the visitation. You don't allow them out into the entire population. However there is the maternal instincts of all women in a female prison. And it just it does something for that environment that normalizes it. That assists you know the, the inmates to feel like their kind of in a normal environment and it does a lot of other peripheral kinds of issues and addresses issues. But I will tell you it works. It works extremely well and not only for the mothers, but also for the institution if it's managed correctly, but for those kids, it's very important. In one setting we had Santa Claus. You know, Santa Claus comes in at all of our prisons on Christmas now and we're merely visiting the visitation room. I think that we have to open up our doors and our approaches in corrections, if we're going to use the word corrections. And if we're not then you know we need to cease using that terminology. But for the most part the appropriate classification, appropriate training and appropriate environment it's a very healthy thing for our female institutions.
Jim Peck: Director Lampert how hard is it to get those doors and start opening to things as she's speaking about?
Robert Lampert: I don't think it's that difficult as long as it's well presented and the public is educated on exactly what the programs going to be about. In Wyoming for example, we're getting ready to go into legislative session and ask for capital construction dollars to actually fund a parenting pre-release center that would allow for that reunification of the family. That's with an understanding that community based intervention programs probably would be more effective. However for those females that do end up in prison rather than just hoping that age and maturity will make them better parents we need to have programs in place that allow for that.
Jim Peck: A lot of talk about education, a lot of talk about education across the board. How hard a sell is that to your legislatures, to the public?
Sheila Leslie: I think in a time of budget crisis as all the western states are facing it creates an opportunity for change and we certainly seen that in Nevada where we're starting to shift money from hard prison beds, we can build more prison beds or we can create reentry centers and more wraparound services. And sitting on the money committee myself I see that change in the legislative body. People are interested in cutting budgets properly. This last session we had a big debate about prison food, Director Crawford will remember that. There's a big movement to cut the prison food budget and what people need to understand is we're looking at do we cut prisons or do we cut K-12 education and legislatures typically are very compassionate people, but we have to make tough decisions like that. So I really think this is a great opportunity to create new models, um I agree with Director Crawford, we need to look at things like moving people out of prison early through house arrest programs, we're experimenting in our state with a prison reentry program. Taking people out of prison up to two years early, putting them through a drug court program and some of the women that I've seen come through those programs are doing very well, they're very motivated. So I think there are different ways that we can hold people accountable for their actions, protect the public safety, and do a much better job at reducing recidivism and that way everybody wins.
Dorothy Nash Holmes: You're going to have to use the money smarter. You can use the same money, but use it more cost effectively in different ways. You can't ignore the family because parts of it are locked away because grandma becomes the head of the household and maybe the drug dealing husband has the kids and she's in prison. The entire family dynamic changes and they all have to be prepared how to deal with that when they get back out. It's a huge problem.
Jim Peck: Director Beauclair I know you're just about to head into the legislative session in Idaho. What is the landscape there?
Tom Beauclair: I think it will be very difficult for new programs, I agree that there's opportunity at the same time. Let me just put it in perspective in Idaho we have roughly 500 female inmates, we had 16 births in prison this last year, we, we know that about 70% of those women have dependent children and our female population grows at double the rate the male population grows currently. We also know that those females are the lowest risk to the community. So something's wrong. Now having said all that, it's still very difficult to add new programs, particularly in this budget situation we're in so I'm not sure I have any answers, but those are the facts of what's going on in Idaho.
Jim Peck: Dr. Latessa this is a tough sell for folks. How are folks doing on this? How are, how is the world of corrections doing with dealing with these issues?
Dr. Ed Latessa: Well I think we are seeing fewer programs offered, there have been budget cuts in virtually every state. The female issue has been one for a number of years now that populations grown that's gotten some attention, but, but I agree with Dr. Crawford that oftentimes what we do are the same programs that aren't very effective for this population and they tend to be because its such a, such a much smaller number than, than males that are incarcerated. Females oftentimes are neglected in institutions.
Jim Peck: But if it such a smaller number isn't then easier to get your hands around that? I mean because you're not dealing with such a vast amount of folks.
Tom Beauclair: Not necessarily because there are so many other needs. We've got a, a mental health population as an example just skyrocketing. We've got the substance abuse problem. We've got recidivism that's high. I mean there are so many other needs that it's very difficult to bring anything new up and ask for money.
Jackie Crawford: I would like to add to that though you know there's a number of foundations around and I would hope that perhaps that could be a focus to give this a pilot project, to address these issues, to see how exactly it works. When I arrived we were not a recipient of any grants at all and we started pursuing grants and while I realize that you know they began to you know fizzle out or to fade out that we have to, to find monies to fund those, but something is better than nothing and I think if we reach a few people its still better than none at all. But I would concur with the director these are tight budget times and we have to prioritize and we do have to secure the really hardened people because we have to protect society. But at the same time using all those resources and reallocating them you know is much more smartly used then if we just decide to continue the main process in going through. Carceration's expensive, it's very expensive. Hard beds, when you start paying officer salaries and you have to institutionalize these individuals security is you know, it is absolutely a most expensive component of your operation and you have to have that, but if you're building those walls then you're creating that situation and I believe that we need to begin to look at alternatives. And those alternatives have got to be directed towards the community. If I can have 300 some people in minimum security who go out everyday and work in the community then why can they not be on house arrest or in drug court and making a living or even going to work and taking their children to a daycare. It seems like a more normalized environment spells success and I think that's something that we haven't really looked at. Construction seems to be our answer for everything and it really isn't the answer for everything.
Terry Kolkey: When you talk about the budget crunch there is a mention that it's hard to get new programs institutioned, but actually in some places it's even worse. Like in California there's a program that requires all inmates, all 170,000 to work towards a high school degree, well that entire budget was just cut.
Tom Bolan: I think that public private partnerships can be a creative solution that especially in utilizing the specialty courts, drug courts, alternative sentencing other than prison and jail time. I think that when treatment providers work together with mental health providers, social workers, etc., etc. where we work towards family reunification we're not only affecting the corrections budget, but also foster care, child development, we're affecting schools. The difficulty in public discussions and legislative solutions is when we talk about cost shifting because funds are appropriated in silos, so if we're shifting costs from corrections and perhaps putting them in treatment for example those, those are two different cultures, they're two different funding streams, different languages and its difficult to look at those cost shiftings even though there is savings for society as a whole.
Dr. Theresa Martinez: When I was looking at this segment I was thinking and trying to follow a train of thought and I think it's really an amazing program. I was very excited to look at it and listen to these women talk about trying to be parents in prison and you know Director Crawford talking about I, I have a philosophy of what this prison should be like and when, okay so the philosophy is that when a woman goes to prison, her family goes to prison. I think that's very true. When a man goes to prison his family goes to prison too. I mean why not expand this whole model and say that the man is part of this problem too because a lot of those women are abused in their homes and that's men okay that's mostly men. So shouldn't we be looking at this in terms of a man and a woman in the home and why are we leaving men out of this story of children? Couldn't men benefit from having children around them?
Jim Peck: Why are we leaving them out?
Robert Lampert: I don't think we actually are leaving them out at least in Wyoming we're looking at parenting across the board and ways to, to work on codependency issues and other things for the female population and also as parenting from a distance issues with male population. Focusing on the family and taking a holistic approach to that. It so happens however that the female population when you're talking or requesting public funding is more sellable at this point. So we have to start somewhere.
Dorothy Nash Holmes: We started a program in Nevada with our men where they read a children's book on videotape and then we send the tapes to their children and that was so powerful and so effective and we've started it now with the women and we're doing the same. And that is one of our most popular programs because it keeps the children in touch with their father, their mother, even though they're in a horrible setting. If you can't keep the connection they're doomed and those kids will come to prison because they'll hate the system, they'll hate the cops, the parents will come out worse parents and better crooks than they went in. So if you don't do something with the whole family while they're in, they're doomed.
Terry Kolkey: And what, all of this talk about these community based programs does is it gives the inmate a future, it keeps the ties with the community and it gives the inmate a stake in the community and a future out there. And the more you do that the greater your chances of success in having, in not having that person come back to prison. The more he's going to want to live out there successfully.
Jim Peck: Well and it sounds like they're also involved in making their life better.
Terry Kolkey: Yes.
Jim Peck: And contributing to.
Terry Kolkey: They're creating, they're creating their future.
Marianne Johnstone: Interestingly enough in Utah the women recidivism rate is, is much better, lower right then it is the men and that always to me is interesting, but I think part of it is this need to nurture and to, to be a part of their family.
Tom Bolan: I think something that shouldn't be underestimated is that in our treatment program we work with a lot of women that were born affected by drugs and alcohol and they're giving birth to children that are affected by drugs and alcohol and the transformation that happens when family wellness begins is nothing short of miraculous because when we're able to work with a woman and mean we as a community are able to work with a woman or a man and have the transition go from survival mechanisms that they've learned in prison, on the streets, etc. its amazing what people do to be able to survive and transform those to assets so that they can become productive members of society, healthy parents, working, paying taxes, is, is nothing short of a miracle, but it takes an investment, it takes a coordinated, comprehensive effort to give the person the opportunity to make that transformation. Because as the football player in the first segment showed he was born into disenfranchisement and then every step of the way until football, school and family became opportunities for him and he's a gifted athlete. Most people aren't going to have the opportunity to get a scholarship to play football, that's not the way out for most folks. So we have to be able to provide comprehensive services. If a woman comes out of prison and is expected to reunify with her children then employment, childcare, housing, life skills, if she's never folded laundry before someone's got to show her how to do it. These are the things that have to be well thought out, coordinated and can, and have proven to be successful.
Terry Kolkey: One of the things to add to that, just getting back to the budgetary issues while it costs on average $20,000 a year to incarcerate somebody, people think that the money is not available for these type of community services, but it is available because if you incarcerate 'em its going to cost you $20,000 - $30,000 a year to keep them there, instead you can spend the money on these services.
Sheila Leslie: Except its not quite that simple in a growing state like Nevada because as our population booms and our tax structure doesn't keep up with the booming population you can't just shift. It always sound so easy when people say that and when you're a legislator looking at the numbers on the budget there's never enough money.
Terry Kolkey: Well I agree there's never enough money, but the other its, its there is far too much spent on corrections. In the '90s during times when educational budgets were cut in the'90s nationwide there were 3,300 new prisons built at a cost of $27 billion. That didn't have to happen.
Dorothy Nash Holmes: Well and all the tough on crime legislation from the late '80s, '90s lock 'em up, lock 'em up longer that didn't cut recidivism it kept the bad guys off the streets longer, but they came out and committed new crimes just as quickly. We have to be smarter. We have figures from Nevada that show that the average income the year before she came to prison for a woman was $2,000 our woman inmates. We need to train them in job skills. We shouldn't, I love our firefighting program and it keeps 'em busy, but women can't get out of prison and work as firefighters. We need to train them in computers, train 'em in skills they can get real jobs when they get out. Not keep busy, busy work jobs while they're in prison, we've got to get them real viable skills that mean something in the community so they can change themselves.
Dr. Theresa Martinez: But does the public really believe that, that people who go to prison are people who can change? I mean I wonder because I think the public wants to just lock them up and public perception is not to be rehabilitated, but simply just house 'em, house 'em and keep 'em away from us and lets not really look at their issues because when you bring this up in a classroom of university students who are mainly middle class they're going to say well these are problem people and they're poor and they have problems anyway so just keep 'em out of my sight.
Jim Peck: Well I think a lot it was also that we heard a lot about people that didn't serve full sentences, they got out and did more stuff. So I think there's a belief that we do need to lock these people up, because look what happens if we don't.
Dr. Theresa Martinez: Sure.
Dr. Ed Latessa: Well the public's pretty clear if you look at public opinion polls the public is, does want to be tough on crime, but they do support rehabilitation even in institutions. The great divide line in public opinion is violence, that they do want violent offenders kept off the streets and locked up. But for many other type of offenders, the public is willing to give them other chances and put them in the programs. The problem is the public doesn't really know what works. They trust us and correctional officials to design good effective programs, but there is actually quite a bit of evidence that, that the public does support those efforts to occur.
Dr. Theresa Martinez: If it can be sold and packaged in a certain way otherwise they don't.
Jim Peck: Well I was going to say we have had politicians, judges, other people running on the, on the fact that they kept somebody locked up, that they got more people off the street.
Dr. Theresa Martinez: Correct.
Jim Peck: What's it going to take to change people's perceptions so that we perhaps have people that are running for office are talking about these programs, getting up and saying look I brought these people out and they're living full lives and they're contributing.
Dr. Theresa Martinez: Education. Part of it's education and connecting with real stories of real people.
Terry Kolkey: The opposite is the mainstream media continues, has for the last 20-30 years and continues to represent, to demonize the criminal, to demonize the inmate and to present it in a one dimensional way and to only sensationalize the worst. The one out of 10,000 and that's what we've got for the last 20 years and that's what we're getting now.
Tom Bolan: We're still feeling the effects of the Willy Horton issue and but we don't hear about all the people that are released from prison and commit violent crimes because there wasn't a furlough program that had support services. We only hear about the, the Willy Horton type of horrible incident and I think that on the other side that we don't hear about how programs reentry programs promote individual accountability and responsibility. I think the myth is that programs somehow let somebody get away with something when in fact they're holding folks that are in the programs to a higher standard than the general public at large that's certainly true for drug and alcohol treatment programs and I don't think that, that message is out in the public.
Dorothy Nash Holmes: Corrections can't be passive about that, we have to get out there and market ourselves and tell them what we're doing. We've done that in Nevada. We've opened the doors, we've brought in the press, we have inmate art shows and they sell the art and they give some of the proceeds to the victims of domestic violence. We have a program where we train inmates train wild horses and they're adopted. We have a dog program. Everything we do, we have inmates that are building homes for habitat for humanity. Everything we do, we're trying to connect to the public and let them see them giving back because I think people, I think like Dr. Latessa said people do recognize that change is possible. I tell people that we're not rehabilitating inmates we are giving them the opportunity to rehabilitate themselves. We can't make them do it if they don't want to, but they want to, the majority of them want to and the public wants them to because this is their sons and daughters and spouses coming back.
Jim Peck: Elliott Weiss, bring us up to date on how Ed's doing.
Elliott Weiss: Ed right now is in a still a semi-safe environment he's in a work center. He's been working in a, in a factory in fact he didn't have a good start he left, the day after he left he came down with a fever and spent five days in bed with the flu and that was his introduction to the work center. But he got a job at a local factory near the work center and its in the county adjacent to the county he's going to reside in and he's already got permission from his parole officer to keep that job. So on that, on that end its very good, it looks positive for him. He's, I spoke to Ed last week and he's been in contact with the members of his support group already and they told him what to expect, they're looking forward to having him become a member of the support group.
Jim Peck: I know one of the things that we didn't touch on in the piece that we showed, there's a large aftercare component of this program.
Elliott Weiss: Correct.
Jim Peck: Why is that critical?
Elliott Weiss: When we started this program and we got the funds, we started a number of years ago we didn't have any funds for aftercare and the staff got together and we had talked, and we knew this was going to be a big problem. So we went to the local district which was Boise, Idaho, District Four in our state and got permission to form an aftercare group in that particular district and we got a parole officer to run it. And what we did is teach in the last phase of our program, the reentry phase we taught them how to run their own support group. And it works. I mean it the picture we drew when we asked for funding was its like a doctor they can repair a leg beautifully, but if they don't give the patient a crutch to walk on all their work is going to be for naught.
Jim Peck: And now part of that crutch is that these inmates when they get out get back together with other inmates and that's unusual in this system.
Elliott Weiss: That was a big sell we had, when we said that the policy at the time was if you're an offender and you go out on parole you do not contact other offenders and we had to fight for this because in the therapeutic community we teach them to be otherscented so to speak. A drug addict or a convict doing time, an inmate does it on their own, leave me alone, I am going to leave you alone. We teach them in the community they're responsible to each other and when they go out they call each other on their behavior in the same way they do inside. So the support group, which we call the winner's circle does work like that. And what was interesting is the first few years Boise University tracked our graduates and they came back and they gave us our success rate which was good and the politicians loved it. And the staff said there's something wrong here, why don't you go back and check district by district and they did find out the district that we had the support group in, that we started the aftercare program was really carrying the rest of the state in percentage wise and the Governor responded. The politicians listened to us and the Governor responded and gave us transitional people in each districts and now we have a transitional program in the seven districts that the state's divided into.
Dorothy Nash Holmes: Drug treatments one of the programs that's been found very effective to actually reduce recidivism. You can help an inmate fix a lot of things about himself, but he or she's got to make the commitment to change when it comes to drugs and there are certain ways that have proven to be effective to doing that. But if you can't get it started while they're in prison, if you just keep them still and keep them from the public, yeah they go into a, they go into a remission, its an institutional remission, they can't get the drug so well, so they're not using them. As soon as they get out like he said within weeks they're back doing the same thing. This is the one opportunity we really have to do something that works. The problem we have is the funds are endangered, now all the prisons may have to stop that pretty soon.
Sheila Leslie: I think in the west we have a very libertarian attitude towards addiction and we think just stop you know just stop you know its not that hard and in Nevada especially where we have 24 hour access legally to alcohol and drugs are also readily available in that kind of tourist transient community we see a lot of people that get into trouble. They end up in prison. 80% of them were high when they committed their crime so obviously there's a connection there and yet we have a major newspaper in our state that says the best and only drug prevention program we need in Nevada is prison. Just stop. So I think we really need to reeducate the public, the policy makers about addiction and what it means and as Dorothy said what a therapeutic community can do in a prison and the fact that treatment works, recovery is possible.
Jim Peck: And we're not talking I know this program isn't just like AA or a regular 12-step program. This is, this has a lot of enhancements that are unique and custom built for this population.
Elliott Weiss: They call each other the members of the community its 100 bed facility and they call, they call themselves and family.. Now for most of them in there this is the first, the first community or positive family that they've had in their lifetime. It's the first time they had to be accountable to the people around them. So it's a unique situation it is. Unfortunately and I can say this without any hesitation that's the best treatment program in this state of Idaho and it has to be behind bars. We need programs like this outside before they get in and the taxpayer has to be educated that this is going to be a big bang for their dollar. I mean it's a lot cheaper to do treatment outside prison than it is inside.
Dorothy Nash Holmes: And I think its real counterproductive to focus on how they got there and why they're that way. Our prison therapeutic communities, and we have two of them in Nevada, they are biocyclesocial okay. They touch on all the bases that may have gotten the person that way. The issue is face that you're there, become accountable and help yourself get out of that. They are very in your face, they're very confrontational to each other, they hold each, they're tough, they're a tougher family than I have at home. They hold each other accountable for their misdeeds and there are punishments and there are rewards and they sympathize with one another. But if you don't do that the inmate's left with the family that he has outside. You heard on the clip he got bad news, about two weeks ago in Nevada we had one of our women, not the ones in the film, but in that camp who learned that her daughter was dumped on the steps of a hospital, dead, DUI, from drugs and that single fact probably affected that 130 women in that camp more than anything else that had happened. They felt like her family and they had to help that woman who lost her daughter to drugs while she's in prison for drugs. We've got to have programs like this that can break those generations of cycles like that.
Jim Peck: Well at certainly Ed's story is poignant, but I don't get the feeling from any of you that you think it's unusual with him, with his daughter, with any of that.
Dr. Ed Latessa: That's common. I think that clip demonstrates a number of issues. One is of course with Ed's daughter which is very common with as he said he hasn't been there, his wife hasn't been there and we know that children of people incarcerated are much more likely to get into trouble and use drugs so that illustrated it. I think it also illustrates how limited we are, if that's 100 bed program and what does Idaho have 5,000 inmates and you know that's not an uncommon story where we have thousands of people incarcerated that can use a program and yet we can only provide it for a small number. It also shows I think Ed illustrated when he said you know now I have to practice what I learned and that's one of the difficulties of treatment programs in institutional settings. It's easy in a controlled setting to make sure that no drugs are available and that everybody's supportive and reinforcing each other. Its when they come out and that's why aftercare is so critical because that's when the rubber meets the road, that's' when we decide are we going to go to work, are we going to go drink with our friends, are we going to do things. And so that, that need for reentry and transition's critical it increases effectiveness of programs dramatically. Yet because of money often we can only do what we can in the institution without doing anything coming out.
Dorothy Nash Holmes: That's why we need the partnership, prison can't do it alone, transitional homes like Step Two can't do it alone, we need the drug court. That is a continual reminder and a continual monitor. We need the parole officers. We need all the different players in the system on the same page each accepting we know that it works. We've all finally reached a point in America where we understand what works and but everyone has a role in it, its no one person's job, but we all have to be at the table.
Sheila Leslie: I think that's a very important point that she just made. We know what works, treatment works as long as you can get it. Too often we give, in Nevada we give a prisoner $20 gate money and say see ya later, good luck, hope we don't see you back here again and of course we do end up seeing most of them back again. So if we know what works why aren't we doing it? And I think that's a question as a society we have to ask. I personally would like to see more reentry programs where people do go through a drug court where there's a judge monitoring their behavior during that time period when and I think it's the first six months when a lot of them end up having a relapse. So it can be done. The drug war, we're so used to just say no doesn't work, we're loosing the drug war on the you know the interdiction side, the only way to reduce demand is to work with people, we know how to do it, we just have to develop the political will to do it.
Robert Lampert: I think there needs to be a seamless continuum of services and treatment all the way from arrest all the way through that the assessment instrument needs to remain consistent from when we first assess all the way to release to see that progress. We need to be able to target the resources that we do have towards the population that are best served. We need to be able to use research and measurable objectives to know what population is best benefited by that type of services. Residential treatment services are best geared towards the highest risk population, it wastes resources and actually makes offenders worse if we put a low risk population in that type of environment. So we need to be able to know who it is that we're targeting and why and then provide the services for them.
Jackie Crawford: You know I don't want to underestimate at this time the community because number one substance abuse drugs, they do not discriminate and we're finding, I'm seeing more and more as middle class person coming into our prison and their parents coming who are absolutely ashamed, embarrassed and they want to see something done and I think you're going to see a change in the attitude and change in the direction because they want to know what their tax dollars are going for. They want to see some help for their sibling or their son or their daughter or grandson. But you know, drugs do not discriminate and at that point there's a lot of people who are coming in and even your entertainers you're seeing more and more of the relapse and what's happening with them and even some of your favorite radio talk show individuals. Across the board drugs are an issue and a problem and I think you may see a change because those are the individuals who are getting the treatment. They're coming back saying this is what's needed, not incarceration. I believe that's where we in corrections begin to tap into that mainstream community.
Jim Peck: And when we're talking to corrections we're sort of its easy to think of this as sort of the end of the process you know the folks have ended up here and now what do we do? It occurs to me as watching these three pieces that we're seeing how this hits every different part of growth of life of family and that kind of thing. I know that folks are going to be going in front of their legislatures, Director Beauclair I know you're going to be there going through that and again to talk about money a little bit and allocation resources many times it comes down to well folks when its on the floor do you want to put money into schools, do you want it to go into corrections.
Tom Beauclair: I'd like to respond to that you know there's not enough money for anybody and there never will be enough money. I really think that we have to stop, somebody had mentioned earlier the funding streams, we tend to fund things in a silo and we don't cross over into those other paths. I think we have to look at this a little differently in that this is not a corrections problem, it's a social problem, it's a society problem and until our communities get involved the true test is going to be in the communities, not in prison. Like Dr. Latessa said, its not going to be in prison, its pretty easy to get sober in prison particularly in a real safe environment, but the true test is in the community and without strong community involvement and support there will never be enough money.
Jim Peck: Well and what happened, you know Dr. Latessa maybe you can answer this I remember when I was growing up seeing things like Scared Straight and seeing a lot of this stuff that I mean I felt as if I was bombarded by information as a teenager about don't do this, don't let this happen to you. Is that still out there? Are people paying as much attention or are we just okay with warehousing people?
Dr. Ed Latessa: Well many of those type of programs aren't very effective, they don't work and I think we've learned that "Just Say No" and try to scare somebody out of use, you know interesting when you hear some of the stories, some of the clips, many of the people have all been incarcerated before. So clearly prison hasn't been the answer for them they've been in programs in some cases before as well so I think in recent years we've begun to focus a lot more on maximizing, programming, what we call evidence based practices for example. In Oregon now the legislature just passed a statute that requires that a certain percentage of the programs that are offered all be evidence based and I think that's a trend we're going to see in other states because we're you know legislators and others don't want to spend money on things that aren't very effective. Are we still bombarded with it I think it's a little tougher today. Certainly we're inundated in the media with, with drug use and lifestyles that we wouldn't have seen when we were growing up, things that kids see on TV today and, and so and I think that does have an affect on them, but the fact is in terms of corrections and correctional programming we do know what works and we know that we can have some effect on behavior. I agree with Director Beauclair that not everyone can be treated, we know that there are extremely high risk psychopathic type of offenders that we really don't have any interventions for at this point, but I think the majority of people that come through the criminal justice system can be rehabilitated or certainly we can reduce recidivism a significant amount for those people.
Jim Peck: Do the programs that we have in place are they working? I mean do we, or do we need to go back and come up with a new system of programs? We seen that a little bit with the clip that we just saw about the injustments to sort of a basic 12 step kind of program. A lot of people, I think some people would say its easier to fund programs that are already there and get them going, but do we need to rethink that, do we need a new grassroots push to do that?
Marianne Johnstone: Drug Court definitely is cost-effective. It's of my understanding it's about $2,000 a year for a drug court person to go in that program and complete it and certainly if he spent a year or so in prison $2,000 wouldn't even come close. So and what is it California I think does not put first time drug offenders or, or drug offenders in prison they put them in treatment because its more cost effective.
Terry Kolkey: One of the things about that program the good side about it and what people are talking about is having faith in the community. That the drug court program or its called Prop 36 I believe, was passed by the voters because the political process didn't have the willpower to produce those sort of results it took the people to do it.
Dr. Theresa Martinez: We do have programs that work I mean event this program that we saw at the beginning is obviously a program that works, but most people are fighting over just a couple you know couple hundred beds for thousands of people and most of the people in there are involved in drugs and alcohol.
Marianne Johnstone: 80%.
Dr. Theresa Martinez: So how in the world I mean it's ironic to scary to think that we've got thousands and thousands of inmates across the country who have drug and alcohol programs, who've got programs that work, but we don't have the money for enough beds for them to be. And by the way that's also a racial issue across the country because when there are a black inmates in the systems or Latino inmates in the system they don't even though they have the highest rates of arrest for drugs in federal prisons and in state prisons they're not going into the programs as much as the European Americans as the whites, I mean so it's a racial issue. Why aren't we putting the money into more beds for those?
Elliott Weiss: First of all as the program you just saw on TV there Ed was, Ed is . . . just graduated cost the state of Idaho an additional $3,800 per inmate. It doesn't take long when you're out working paying that back and paying taxes, right now they're not producing anything as far as taxes, they're using taxes. $3,800 is a pretty good investment to a taxpayer, especially when you consider the cost of keeping an inmate and bringing them back through the system, just court costs and arrest costs are close, far exceed that as a matter of fact.
Jim Peck: Well and again I'll point out about this program in Idaho this is a voluntary program its not looked upon favorably from folks in the general population and yet you can't even.
Elliott Weiss: I'd have to disagree with you on that, when we started the general population looked at them and said oh you guys are the, you're the other ones, you know we know how to do time. It's completely changes, the general population now we're getting more volunteers than ever before, we just don't have enough beds and they see change in people who have gone through the system four or five times and now are out and not coming back.
Jim Peck: Well and sometimes the people that are coming back in that program are coming back as success stories and they're coming back and working with the people who are there now.
Terry Kolkey: One of the things in terms of, you were asking do programs, do the programs work, you know addictions a very long-term process and just because somebody relapses I don't look at that as a failure. I mean you might have somebody who spent five years as a drug addict and then they get clean and then maybe they spend three or four years clean, if they have a relapse that's a success that they've had three or four years clean. I mean you have people that may go on and off, on and off, but the process gets better and better over time and you can't just be impatient and say because they had a couple relapses it's a failure, actually it's a success.
Tom Bolan: And I wanted to clarify something that was said earlier and that was regarding 12-step programs because one thing I don't want people to leave with the impression of is that programs like this don't integrate with 12-step programs. It is that addiction thinking, addictive thinking defies logic, it defies intentions. You know we work with mothers who said they wouldn't do, never do anything to harm their child and they've meant that with the deepest part of their heart, yet they had the child in the baby seat while they were scoring drugs on the street, because they thought they could get away with it this time. For a non addicted person to hear that, they can't understand the logic behind that because there isn't logic behind that. Intensive treatment programs like this teach people about their own addictive thinking and that they need community and fellowship to be able to combat that. The program in the clip we saw provides that fellowship, but the gentlemen also spoke too that everyday he needs to go to meetings and I believe that he meant meetings of narcotics anonymous and alcoholics anonymous. So an intensive treatment program is like a discovery process on the path to recovery. And the 12-step programs which also have people that have been in the systems that's helping people that are new in recovery are very much an important part of the landscape.
Jim Peck: But you know it has to truly be a lifestyle change, this isn't, like a diet as opposed to a way of changing your habits.
Tom Bolan: Absolutely.
Elliott Weiss: You know and the 12-step programs didn't work for offenders at first because the 12-step programs for someone who knows how to live in society. You have to change their value system first. The 12-step program was written by two gentlemen, two men, designed for men who know how to live in a community. I think we have to take offenders through a therapeutic community and change their sense of values first. People that we see go out now that are in 12-step programs, graduates of ours didn't feel comfortable in 12-step programs prior to going through the experience of a therapeutic community and changing their belief system and their value system to being pro-social. Before they felt like outcasts going into an AA group or any 12-step group, narcotics anonymous, now they go in and embrace it because their value system was given an opportunity to change first and indeed it did change.
Robert Lampert: I think part of that is a shift in accountability from forced accountability from the prison officials and prison professionals down to the level of peers and ultimately to the level of the individual and their cohorts and positive role models if you will in society helping them maintain that self control.
Dorothy Nash Holmes: And rehabilitation isn't an event, it's a process. You have to change their criminal thinking, their cognitive makeup first. You have to stop them and slow them down and get them out of the environment, that's prison. You have to change their thinking that's next. You have to change their acting that's next. It's a full process no it won't work if any one of those pieces are missing so we've got to have the protection of the public, we've got to have the incarceration in some cases, we've got to have the treatment. It doesn't do any good to put them in prison and not treat 'em there and say they'll get the treatment on the outside it has to be part of the package.
Sheila Leslie: Getting treatment on the outside isn't necessarily an easy thing either. In Nevada we have long waiting lists for all of our treatment programs. So we need better access in the community to avoid people committing crimes and then I agree with the Professor within the prison structure we can't just have one program and say oh that takes care of it and that's how legislatures tend to think oh we already have a substance abuse program and yet we're serving 100 people and we need to be serving 5,000 people. So we need to expand the treatment opportunity and instead we have congress taking the treatment money away so we have a real disconnect in our country about what we're funding and why.
Jim Peck: I was going to ask you what will the prison of the future look like and it occurs to me that maybe this is actually two questions. One what will the prison of the future look like and number two what do you hope the prison of the future looks like?
Sheila Leslie: Well I hope the prison of the future in our state is much smaller that we're using prison for the most dangerous, violent offenders and we're taking the majority of the prisoners that we have now that are substance abuse related and providing them a therapeutic community either within the prison system or more hopefully in the community and providing them with the support systems that they need to be successful.
Dr. Theresa Martinez: And I hope the prisons of the future take into account, well the prison of the future like she says it's a smaller entity it's not housing thousands and thousands of people two million people in the United States and that the community alternatives are really utilized, using racial and ethnic communities, using women's groups, understanding that there's a lot of diversity within prisons and that there's a lot of community resources that can be used and also partnering with businesses and with grantsmanship. We shouldn't be housing two million people in the United States.
Marianne Johnstone: I'd like to see more community involvement, community boards that sit you know with the board of pardons reviewing those decisions. Community review board with the department of correction and working with them so that the community becomes involved with all the different decisions that are being made and by all means having in these therapeutic communities and aftercare, having the peer group, those that have been there and done that very involved because I think that helps there further treatment and they really know what its like.
Terry Kolkey: On the start up side of it and agree that there is a percentage of very hard core criminals that are dangerous and have to be segregated because they are violent and they threaten all of us, but as an attorney I would like the prison of the future to be this. That when I go into court I've got all of these community based programs that I can offer the judge and say my client doesn't need to go to prison because we have this.
Tom Bolan: I would like the prison of the future, when people leave the prison that they have a vision of hope, they have a pathway towards success, that their only alternative is not to get off the bus and recommit the crime, but that they can seek employment, they can find housing, they can become a part of a family, they can become a part of a fellowship, and they can lead a life like the rest of us have an opportunity to.
Jackie Crawford: I guess I would like to see the prison or the correctional system of the future being a system as opposed to just an institution isolating people and treating them and providing a level of opportunities has already been discussed for that judge to provide for that individual and opportunity to assist themselves in bettering themselves and perhaps becoming more productive in the community. Today as far as for our system I concur with Assembly Woman Leslie I'd like to see our population reduced. I'd like to see more people in the community and I would like to see us address some of those issues as substance abuse, as mental health, and as with women with children in the community as in lieu of going into a hard bed in a prison.
Dorothy Nash Holmes: To answer your other part of your question I'm afraid as the pendulum swings and it does as we get tighter for money and more conservative leaders and then it swings back the other way I'm afraid of losing what gains we've made. Dr. Latessa can tell us we know what works its science based now its evidence based, we've tested it, we know assessment, we know risk, we know what works so don't just go back to a philosophy of lock the door and slam it and lock 'em up again because that used to work. We've got to keep moving forward and not lose the gains that we've made that's my biggest fear.
Elliott Weiss: I have to disagree, the penitentiary system I don't think ever worked.
Dorothy Nash Holmes: I agree with that.
Elliott Weiss: We locked 'em up, we warehoused them, they came out, they re-offended and we went through the whole system again. I think we learned that, I think over the last decade we're seeing a tremendous, tremendous change and in Idaho we're trying to isolate those who are not treatable, put them away and put our money and put our money where the treatable people are and try to lower that recidivism rate. I think that's a great step forward I just think we have to keep going and not going back. There are a number of people we incarcerate that could be treated very successfully outside at a lower cost to the taxpayer and I think the judges in the judicial system would love to have that opportunity. I think we have to look toward that.
Dr. Ed Latessa: You know I agree I don't think the penitentiary system ever worked, but we locked a lot fewer people up and I think it's not just the prison; it's the sentencing structures we have a lot of mandatory minimums and we incarcerate a lot of people today that probably well we know could be handled in the community safely and I'd like to see much smaller prisons and since I visit them a lot I'd like to see better food too, that would be helpful as well.
Robert Lampert: And when we know those community based programs aren't available and they do come to prison as authorities in prison and as professionals we need to understand that we need to develop programs that are evidence based and that spend the money the wisest and for those that don't benefit from treatment we still need to understand that we have a charge you know no different then a medical professional to do no harm.
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