SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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GANG DETERRENCE AND COMMUNITY PROTECTION ACT OF 2005
SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIME, TERRORISM,
AND HOMELAND SECURITY
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED NINTH CONGRESS
APRIL 5, 2005
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSerial No. 10950
Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/judiciary
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr., Wisconsin, Chairman
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
LAMAR SMITH, Texas
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
DANIEL E. LUNGREN, California
WILLIAM L. JENKINS, Tennessee
CHRIS CANNON, Utah
SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama
BOB INGLIS, South Carolina
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
RIC KELLER, Florida
DARRELL ISSA, California
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMIKE PENCE, Indiana
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
STEVE KING, Iowa
TOM FEENEY, Florida
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
LOUIE GOHMERT, Texas
JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
JERROLD NADLER, New York
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
MAXINE WATERS, California
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
LINDA T. SÁNCHEZ, California
ADAM SMITH, Washington
CHRIS VAN HOLLEN, Maryland
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCPHILIP G. KIKO, Chief of Staff-General Counsel
PERRY H. APELBAUM, Minority Chief Counsel
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina, Chairman
DANIEL E. LUNGREN, California
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
TOM FEENEY, Florida
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
RIC KELLER, Florida
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
MIKE PENCE, Indiana
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
LOUIE GOHMERT, Texas
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
MAXINE WATERS, California
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York
JAY APPERSON, Chief Counsel
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMICHAEL VOLKOV, Deputy Chief Counsel
ELIZABETH SOKUL, Counsel
KATY CROOKS, Counsel
JASON CERVENAK, Full Committee Counsel
BOBBY VASSAR, Minority Counsel
C O N T E N T S
APRIL 5, 2005
The Honorable J. Randy Forbes, a Representative in Congress from the State of Virginia
The Honorable Robert C. Scott, a Representative in Congress from the State of Virginia, and Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr., a Representative in Congress from the State of Michigan
Mr. Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney, Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Department of Justice
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCPrepared Statement
Mr. Paul A. Logli, State's Attorney, Winnebago County, Illinois, and President Elect, National District Attorneys Association
Ms. Michelle Guess, Edgewood, MD
Mr. Robert E. Shepherd, Jr., Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond, VA
Material Submitted for the Hearing Record
Prepared Statement of the Honorable John Conyers, a Representative in Congress from the State of Michigan, and Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary
Responses to Questions for the Record submitted by the Honorable Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Department of Justice
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Prepared Statement of the Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee, a Representative in Congress from the State of Texas
Letter from James D. Fox, Chief of the Newport News Police Department to the Honorable J. Randy Forbes (March 29, 2005)
Letter from Kenneth C. Bauman, member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (April 29, 2005)
Letter from Michael A. Fry, General Counsel, Major Cities Chiefs Association to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (april 15, 2005)
Letter from Roy L. Burns, President, Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (April 20, 2005)
Letter from Wesley D. McBride, President, California Gang Investigators Association to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (April 25, 2005)
Letter from Eddie J. Jordan, Jr., District Attorney of New Orleans to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (April 18, 2005)
Letter from Donald Baldwin, Washington Director, Federal Criminal Investigators Association to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (April 22, 2005)
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Letter from Chuck Canterbury, National President, Fraternal Order of Police to the Honorable J. Randy Forbes (April 4, 2005)
Letter from Dennis Slocumb, International Executive Vice President, International Union of Police Associations to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (Arpil 26, 2005)
Letter from James J. Fotis, Executive Director, The Law Enforcement Alliance of America to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (April 19, 2005)
Letter from Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard, Vice President, Legislative Affairs, and Sheriff James A. Karnes, President, Major County Sheriffs' Association to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (April 20, 2005)
Letter from Richard Delonis, President, National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (May 2, 2005)
Letter from William J. Johnson, Executive Director, National Association of Police Organizations to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (April 15, 2005)
Letter from Felipe A. Ortiz, National President, National Latino Peace Officers Association to the Honorale F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (April 18, 2005)
Letter from Thomas N. Faust, Executive Director, National Sheriffs' Association to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (April 19, 2005)
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Letter from Casey L. Perry, Chairman, National Troopers Coalition to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (April 19, 2005)
Letter from Tyrone Parker, Laura W. Murphy, et al. to the Honorable Howard Coble and the Honorable Robert C. Scott (April 11, 2005)
Letter from National Hispanic Organizations to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. and the Honorable John Conyers (April 20, 2005 and May 10, 2005)
Letter from the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, Business Civil Liberties, Inc., et al., to the Honorable Howard Coble and the Honorable Robert C. Scott (April 12, 2005)
Letter from Laura W. Murphy, Tonya McClary, et al., to the Honorable Howard Coble and the Honorable Robert C. Scott (April 4, 2005)
Letter from Laura W. Murphy, Director, and Jesselyn McCurdy, Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union to the Honorable Howard Coble and the Honorable Robert C. Scott (April 15, 2005)
Letter from Julie Stewart, President, and Mary Price, General Counsel, Families Against Mandatory Minimums to the Honorable Howard Coble and the Honorable Robert C. Scott (April 8, 2005)
Letter from the Thomas W. Hiller, II, Federal Public Defender, and Chair, Legislative Expert Panel, Federal Public and Community Defenders to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. and the Honorable John Conyers (April 21, 2005)
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Letter from Members of Congress to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. and the Honorable John Conyers, Jr. (April 19, 2005)
Letter from Leonidas Ralph Mecham, Secretary, Judicial Conference of the United States to the Honorable Howard Coble (April 1, 2005)
Letter from Janet Murguia, President and CEO, National Council of La Raza to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. and the Honorable John Conyers (April 13, 2005 and May 9, 2005)
Letter from Virginia Coalition for Juvenile Justice to the Honorable J. Randy Forbes (April 4, 2005)
Letter from Coalition of National and Regional Organizations to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. and the Honorable John Conyers (April 8, 2005)
Letter from Morna A. Murray, Co-chair, National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. and the Honorable John Conyers (April 8, 2005)
''Caught in the Crossfire: Arresting Gang Violence By Investing in Kids,'' a report submitted by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids
Jason Ziedenberg, ''What works to deter gangs?'' The Detroit Free Press, April 12, 2005
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''DOJ Youth Violence and Youth Gang Prevention Best Practices Protocols By Age''
QuickTime presentation, ''Adolescent Brain Development''
''Estimates of Prison Impact of H.R. 1279, '' submitted by the United States Sentencing Commission
''Childhood On Trial: The Failure of Trying & Sentencing Youth in Adult Criminal Court,'' a report submitted by Coalition for Juvenile Justice
Letter from David G. Wilson, Executive Director, Association of Former Federal Narcotics Agents to the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (July 23, 2005)
Nancy Bartley, ''Lawmakers rethinking hard line on sentencing of young offenders,'' The Seattle Times, April 14, 2005
H.R. 1279, GANG DETERRENCE AND COMMUNITY PROTECTION ACT OF 2005
TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 2005
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism,
and Homeland Security
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCommittee on the Judiciary,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2 p.m., in Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. J. Randy Forbes presiding.
Mr. FORBES. I would like to call this meeting of the Subcommittee to order, and let me first of all say good afternoon to everyone who's here. I want to welcome you to this important hearing to examine the issue of the problem of gang violence in America.
The bill we are considering today sends a clear message to gangs, which is basically this: It stops now. Gone are the days of the Sharks and the Jets from the ''West Side Story.'' No longer are fists and jeers the weapon of choice. Now, drive-by shootings with semi-automatics, brutal group beatings, and machete attacks are the standard.
No longer are gangs loosely-knit groups of wayward teens. Today's criminal gangs are highly organized, highly structured bodies whose ages range anywhere from elementary school to middle-age. They are trained in military techniques and their primary purpose is to commit illegal violent criminal activities in furtherance of their gang organization. They are in our schools, on our streets, and in our communities.
The problem of gangs is not a new one, but today it's a different one and a bigger one and one that is growing more rapidly and more uncontrollably than ever before. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there are currently over 25,000 gangs that are active in more than 3,000 jurisdictions across the United States. Today, the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department estimate that there are somewhere between 750,000 and 850,000 gang members in our nation.
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Let me put this in perspective for you. Today, in our Army and Navy combined, there are 859,000 active duty members. This is virtually a one-on-one ratio to gang members in the United States. You can even add the Air Force and the Marine Corps to that figure and we would not reach a two-to-one ratio of military personnel to criminal gang members. In fact, if the criminal gang members in the United States were a military force located in another country, they would comprise the sixth-largest military in the world in terms of soldiers.
Gangs have declared war on our nation. They are ravaging our communities like cancer, urban, rural, rich, and poor, and they are metastisizing from one community to the next as they grow.
There is no overriding societal value to being a member of a criminal gang, and if you are part of a criminal gang, this bill says two things. First, this bill puts the full force of our nation's Federal, State, and local law enforcement officers and prosecutors behind apprehending criminal gang members. If you ask our nation's law enforcement officers what they need to combat gangs, they will tell you this: our Federal law enforcement officers have the resources, but not the intelligence system to combat the gang problem, and our local law enforcement officers have the intelligence network, but not the resources to combat the problem. This bill will marry the two and authorize the funding to make this partnership successful.
Second, this bill says that if you are a member of a criminal gang and you commit a violent gang crime, you are going to jail for a minimum of 10 years, period. While some may criticize mandatory minimum penalties as unduly harsh, such penalties are invaluable tools to use against gangs to secure cooperation from gang members and infiltrate tightly-knit organized crime syndicates operating as sophisticated street gangs.
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Moreover, in light of the Supreme Court's recent decision in Booker and Fanfan, rendering the guidelines as only advisory, mandatory minimums are the only effective means to ensure that fair and consistent sentences are imposed, and we will see more of them unless something is done to reimpose a mandatory guideline system.
This bill will create new criminal gang prosecution offenses, enhance existing violent crime penalties to deter and punish criminal gangs, and enact violent crime reforms needed to effectively prosecute gang members. This is a tough bill. Make no mistake about it, we recognize there are those who want it softer. But criminal gangs in America are not soft, and the crimes they commit are real, and they are hard. Only a tough bill will stop these gangs and protect innocent victims from the hard pain of these vicious crimes.
We are saying that the following is not acceptable in America: gangs that fuel their activity with narcotics trafficking, carjacking, and illegal gun trafficking; gangs that engage in human trafficking, rape, and prostitution; gangs that use firearms and other deadly weapons in the commission of crimes; and gangs that brutally rape, kill, and maim.
This bill, when enacted, will bring a new force to bear on gang activity in our country. It will provide increased Federal effort to assist local law enforcement in targeting and federally prosecuting violent criminals who are associated with criminal gangs. The bill will encourage partnerships across all levels of government and ensure the success of these partnerships through the expansion of resources and intelligence.
I want to take a moment to recognize Congressman Frank Wolf, who has been a leader in Congress in the war against gangs and gang violence. We owe him a great debt of gratitude for his commitment to raising awareness of this problem and laying out solutions.
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I also want to thank Chairman Coble for agreeing to hold this hearing and offer my sincerest condolences to him and his family on the passing of his mother.
Finally, I want to recognize those on the front lines of the gang wars, our law enforcement officers who are out there day in and day out. They are the foot soldiers of this battle, and to them we are very grateful.
I am anxious to hear from our distinguished panel of witnesses and now yield to the Ranking minority Member of this Subcommittee, the gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Bobby Scott.
Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm pleased to join you in convening the hearing on H.R. 1279, the ''Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act of 2005.'' I also join you in expressing our heartfelt sympathy for our Chairman and friend, Chairman Howard Coble, and his family in their hour of bereavement.
Now, I just want to start off by saying, Mr. Chairman, that we are going to work together against base closings, funding aircraft carriers, NASA research, and other programs, but we must part company on this bill due to my concern that we not waste money and increase crime.
This bill is chock-full of new mandatory minimum sentences, ranging from a mandatory minimum of 10 years to mandatory life or death and other provisions, which have been solidly proven to be counterproductive in the fight against crime. They are not criticized because they are harsh. They are criticized because they are counterproductive. We have known that mandatory minimum sentences disrupt order and proportionality in sentencing. They discriminate against minorities and waste taxpayers' money, compared to sentencing schemes where the court can look at the seriousness of the crime and the offender's role in the crime and background.
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The Judicial Conference of the United States, which sees the impact of mandatory minimum sentences on individual cases, as well as the criminal justice system as a whole, has told us time and time again that mandatory minimum sentences create more harm than good from any kind of rational evaluation. In its recent letter to Members of the Subcommittee on Crime regarding this bill, the Conference noted that mandatory minimum sentences create, quote, ''the opposite of their intended effect.'' Continuing to quote, ''Far from fostering certainty in punishment, mandatory minimums result in unwarranted sentencing disparities. They treat dissimilar offenders in a similar manner although those offenders can be quite different with respect to the seriousness of their conduct or their danger to society.'' And they finally say that ''they require the sentencing court to impose the same sentence on offenders when sound policy and common sense call for reasonable differences in punishment.''
Both the Federal Judicial Center in its report entitled, ''The General Effects of Mandatory Minimum Prison Terms: A Longitudinal Study of Federal Sentences Imposed,'' and the United States Sentencing Commission in its study entitled, ''Mandatory Minimum Penalties in the Federal Criminal Justice System,'' found that minorities were substantially more likely than whites under comparable circumstances to receive mandatory minimum sentences. A Rand Corporation study entitled, ''Mandatory Drug Sentences: Throwing Away the Key or the Taxpayers' Money?'' showed that mandatory minimum sentences are far less effective than either discretionary sentences or drug treatment in reducing drug-related crime and, thus, far costlier than either.
Just how costly this bill will be is yet to be seen, but, in response to an inquiry by my office, the U.S. Sentencing Commission estimated that the prison impact of H.R. 1279 would require an additional 23,600 prison beds over the next 10 years. At $75,000 a cell, that amounts to prison construction costs of almost $2 billion, in addition to annual upkeep of about $750 million based on $30,000 per inmate per year. That is over and above what we are already scheduled to spend on prison construction and prison inkeep in a country where the prison population per person is higher than anywhere else in the world. For proven juvenile crime prevention and intervention programs, we are spending about half, about $400 million, of the annual inmate upkeep this bill will cost.
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The worst problem with this bill is it provides for far more juveniles being tried as adults. For years now, every study of juveniles tried as adults has shown that juveniles commit more crimes, more violent crimes in particular, when they are released, if they are treated as adults. This is easy to understand when you consider that juveniles who go to prison will have as their role models hard-core murderers, rapists, and robbers, whereas in the juvenile detention system they will receive education and training, counseling, drug treatment, and other assistance.
On March 14 of this year, coincidentally the same day that H.R. 1279 was introduced, the Coalition for Juvenile Justice released its study, ''Childhood on Trial: The Failure of Trying and Sentencing Youth in Adult Criminal Court,'' showing that even more definitively that tryingshowed even more definitively that trying juveniles as adults increased rather than decreased the prospects that they would reoffend when released and that with more serious offenses, as compared with the youth tried in juvenile court. The study revealed that over 250,000 youth are charged as adults every year. Just as with the application of mandatory minimums, the application of adult court to juveniles falls heaviest amongst minorities, about 82 percent of youths tried as adults are youth of color.
For years, we have known that a continuum of services geared toward the needs of at-risk youths prevents crime from occurring in the first place. Many such proven crime prevention programs have saved more money than they cost. Head Start and other quality early childhood education programs, Boys and Girls Clubs, and after-school recreational programs, Job Corps and other intensive job training programs, all prevent crime and save more money than they cost.
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At a meeting I had with students at Monument High School in South Boston, Massachusetts, last month, I told them about this upcoming hearing and asked them what was needed to prevent gang crime. They said kids join gangs for reputation, protection, to feel wanted, to have friends, and to get money, and what is needed to prevent them from joining gangs was ample recreation for boys as well as girls, jobs and internships for training and money, and assistance to allow their families to live in a decent home.
Interestingly, I asked the same question to a group of law enforcement officials I met in my district yesterday, and they had very similar advice. Neither group said anything about the need for more mandatory minimums or trying more juveniles as adults.
So we know what works to prevent crime. Unfortunately, we also know how to play politics. H.R. 1279 has been nicknamed ''Gangbusters.'' It reflects the politics of crimes where you come up with a good slogan and try to codify it. It doesn't matter whether it does anything to reduce crime or is counterproductive, but, if it sounds good, it must work.
We have had the greatest success by putting aside the politics of crime in favor of sound policy in the area of juvenile justice, until this bill. Three years ago, we passed a bipartisan juvenile crime prevention and bipartisan juvenile early intervention bill. These bills were based on the advice of judges, administrators, researchers, advocates, and law enforcement officials, representing the entire political spectrum. They all said the same thing, that the best way to reduce and prevent juvenile crime and ultimately adult crime is through prevention and early intervention programs geared at at-risk youth. None of them said that we need more mandatory minimum sentences nor that we need to treat more juveniles as adults.
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Both bills passed virtually unanimously in both the House and the Senate, and yet the funding in these bills has been cut in half since they passed, including the gang resistance funding, and now we wonder why we have increases in gang violence after we've cut all the funds to prevent it. We must get back to the bipartisan, evidence-based, universally agreed-upon approach to preventing juvenile crime and gang violence and abandon the sound bite-based, politically-charged approaches which cost billions of dollars and actually increased crime and violence.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FORBES. Thank you, Congressman Scott.
Now, I would like to recognize Mr. Conyers of Michigan for an opening statement.
Mr. CONYERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate this opportunity and note that this is your bill that we're hearing here today, right?
Mr. FORBES. Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. CONYERS. Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.
Well, obviously, there are two schools of thought in criminal justice. One is that mandatory minimums have not been discredited and the other is that mandatory minimums sentencing, where they have been studied extensively, have been proven to be ineffective in preventing crime, proven to distort the sentencing process and proven to be a considerable waste of taxpayers' money.
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And so I'm asking at least three of the witnesses who may feel inclined to respond to this part of my observation, something's gone wrong in America. What we do is incarcerate more people for longer periods of time than anybody else in the world, 14 times that of Japan, eight times the rate of France, six times the rate of Canada. $40 billion to go into imprisoned offenders who could be at Yale University, where I'm going to be Friday, at less cost and I'm sure a greater benefit to them.
So in a way, the die has been cast. Those who still believe in locking them up and throwing away the key in the face of any evidence to the contrary are going to advocate the ideas that are found in the measure that is being examined before us today. The costs keep going through the roof, and I'm struck by the fact that now, in our State and Federal prisons, a tenth of all of those incarcerated are serving life terms. In New York and California, it's really almost 20 percent of those incarcerated are serving life terms.
It seems to me that we're neglecting what the gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Scott, has pleaded in his opening statement. What about prevention? Is prevention so minimized that it doesn't require us to give it any consideration here and that we come up with a bill that is hugely distorted one way?
We lost, and tomorrow he will be memorialized, the late Johnny Cochran, perhaps the most widely known trial lawyer in this country at this moment. The interesting thing about Johnny Cochran is that he was once a prosecuting attorney. In L.A. he had the job of prosecution. He later became a defense attorney. I had the privilege of having him before this Committee many times.
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So we'll be comparing your commentsand I urge that you stretch for reasonableness and thoroughness. Is there something about advocating mandatory minimums that would lead you not to want to do that? I hope that you will.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman, and return the time.
Mr. FORBES. Thank you, Mr. Conyers.
Before I swear in the witnesses, I'd like to also introduce a Member of the full Committee but not a Member of the Subcommittee, Mr. Adam Schiff, who has done a lot of work in the gang area both before he got to Congress and also here, and we are glad to have him with us this afternoon.
Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, might I inquire, Mr. Schiff is a former U.S. Attorney, and I would ask for your consideration of unanimous consent that he be permitted to make a few brief remarks.
Mr. FORBES. Mr. Conyers, I'd love to do that, except as you know, I'm a substitute Chairman. I'm not the full Chairman. And the rules that I was given under which Mr. Schiff was allowed to sit here was that he could be a part of the Subcommittee, but that the rules of the Committee were that if you're not a Member of the Subcommittee, you cannot address questions. They have to come through the Members. And I'd love to do it, but they're not the marching orders that I've been given, so Adam, I'm sure you'll be able to say whatever you want at the full Committee meeting when we go at that particular point in time.
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So it's the practice of the Subcommittee to swear in all witnesses appearing before it, and I'd, at this time, ask the witnesses if you would please stand and raise your right hand.
Do each of you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give this Subcommittee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you, God?
Mr. FITZGERALD. I do.
Mr. LOGLI. I do.
Ms. GUESS. I do.
Mr. SHEPHERD. I do.
Mr. FORBES. Let the record show that each of the witnesses answered in the affirmative, and please be seated.
We have with us today four distinguished witnesses. Our first witness is Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Fitzgerald serves as the District's top Federal law enforcement official. He manages a staff of approximately 300 people, including 149 Assistant U.S. Attorneys who handle civil litigation, criminal investigations, prosecutions involving public corruption, white collar fraud, narcotics trafficking, violent crime, money laundering, and other matters. Prior to this position, Mr. Fitzgerald served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, where he participated in the prosecution of United States v. Osama bin Laden and others. He is also a recipient of the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service in 2002. Mr. Fitzgerald is a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School.
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Our second witness is Paul A. Logli, President Elect of the National District Attorneys Association. Mr. Logli is currently serving as an elected State Attorney in Winnebago County, Illinois, where he also serves as Vice President of the Winnebago County Bar Association. Previously, he served as an Associate Judge for the 17th Judicial Circuit in Illinois. Additionally, he is a faculty member of the National College of District Attorneys and Northwestern University's Center for Public Safety. Mr. Logli previously served as a member of the Governor's Commission on Gangs in Illinois. He is a graduate of Loras College and the University of Illinois College of Law.
Our third witness is Michelle Guess. Ms. Guess is the mother of nine children and lives in Maryland. Three years ago, she moved with her late husband to Maryland from Philadelphia in order to escape the crime and gang-infested neighborhood of Philadelphia in which they lived. Ms. Guess and her family suffered firsthand a horrible tragedy when her husband was murdered by a gang member in Maryland. Ms. Guess works now as a single mom supporting her nine children in the home restoration business. She is also an advocate for law enforcement and community efforts to eliminate gangs and the threats they pose to our children and communities.
Our final witness is Mr. Robert E. Shepherd, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Richmond. For his introduction, I turn to the distinguished gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Scott, to make a few remarks. Bobby?
Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to introduce Professor Shepherd. I've known him a long time and we've worked on a number of issues going back to my days in the Virginia General Assembly.
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Professor Shepherd received his B.A. and L.L.B. at Washington and Lee University. He served in the JAG Corps from 1962 to 1964 and was in private practice of law in Richmond from 1964 to 1971. He was an Assistant Attorney General from 1971 to 1975, an Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Juvenile Court Clinic at the University of Richmond from 1975 to 1978, and a full professor from 1978 to 2001, directing the Youth Advocacy Clinic from 1978 to 1990. He is presently Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Richmond.
He has served in leadership positions in juvenile justice issues with the Virginia Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the National Center for Juvenile Justice, the Virginia Commission on Youth, and the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice. Let me justhe's received all kinds of awards. We'd be here all day if I were to list them all, but let me just say that he is the number one recognized leader in juvenile justice policy in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and we are welcomed and honored to have him here today.
Mr. FORBES. Thank you, Mr. Scott, and I thank all the witnesses for being here.
I also want to recognize two Members that have joined us, Representative Lungren from California and Representative Feeney from Florida and we are glad to have them with us.
And now, I'd like to recognize Mr. Fitzgerald for 5 minutes. And, as you know, based on the little indicators in front of you, you'll get a warning light when you've got about a minute left, and then the red light goes on. If you could try to wrap it up after that time, as close as you can, we'd appreciate it.
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Mr. Fitzgerald, thank you for being here.
TESTIMONY OF PATRICK J. FITZGERALD, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Mr. FITZGERALD. Thank you, Congressman Forbes, Ranking Member Scott, the Members of the Subcommittee and the Committee.
To give you a sense of the scope of the gang problem in Chicago, it's estimated that there are approximately 70,000 to 100,000 gang members in Chicago. That compares with a police force of roughly 13,000 police officers. So a multiple size of the Chicago Police Department would give you an approximation of the size of the gang problem in Chicago.
Two examples bring it home to me. In 1995, a list was seized by the FBI from a Gangster Disciples. The list was a list of the number of workers who sold drugs in Chicago. The Gangster Disciples were highly organized. They had a board of directors for inside prison, a board of directors for outside prison. Under the directors, they had governors. Under the governors, they had regents, and the lowest level was soldiers. This list of people selling drugs was 39 pages long and had 7,700 members on it. So this Gangster Disciples drug organization was larger than half the size of the Chicago Police Department.
The other thing to bear in mind about gangs, another example is the Black Disciples, who we recently arrested in 2004. They took over a housing project, and I mean that very literally. They put up a fence, an iron fence around the project. They put barriers to block people from entering. They frisked everyone who came into the building to make sure that they weren't wearing bulletproof vests and therefore might be police. They put snipers on the roof. The snipers on the roof had night vision goggles and had police scanners. And basically, they took over a building.
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At one point, we obtained probable cause to obtain search warrants for 47 of 134 apartments in that public building. That meant that more than one-third of that building could be searched because there was reason to believe that there were drugs or drug proceeds there. When we think about that building, we think not of the third of the apartments that were occupied by people dealing drugs, but the two-thirds of the apartments where the people lived there were basically imprisoneda fence around their building, snipers on the roof, night vision goggles, and being frisked if they wanted to go into their home.
The Black Disciples also took over a Christian radio station and pirated it so that someone listening to the radio station driving through the neighborhood would hear gang messages broadcast over the radio as to law enforcement activity.
When we arrested the Gangster Disciples last year, we arrested 47 members, the highest ranks in the Black Disciples, and followed 2 weeks later, by the arrest of the Mafia Insane Vice Lords, who operated 47 separate open air drug markets in Chicago. At the same time we charged the 48 Federal defendants in the Mafia Insane Vice Lords, 57 defendants were charged with the State. I think that gives you a sense of what we are talking about when you think about gangs that almost rival the size of a police department and effectively take occupied territory, which is federally-funded public housing projects in Chicago, and make them off limits and effectively jail the people who are not committing crimes.
Let me tell you about the Chicago approach. The first approach has been to focus on Project Safe Neighborhoods, which my colleague, Paul Logli, will talk some about, which is to jointly have ATF, CPD, and the State's Attorney's Offices work on guns. We next take gang strategy teams, which use the local police departments, which have the best intelligence as to where the gang problems are, to tell us where the most violent and dangerous offenders are in the areas and form a joint Federal-local strategy to attack those targets.
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In the four most crime-ridden areas in Chicago, there are monthly meetings involving Federal, State, and local officials, and from that, a ''Top 20'' list is formed in Chicago where we sit down with the Chicago Police Department, the Federal law enforcement agencies, and make sure we go after the 20 most dangerous and most violent gangs in Chicago, and already in 1 year, we have arrested and detained ten of the top 20 targets.
There is also another aspect of it which involves marketing deterrence. We, too, believe we would rather have people not commit crimes than incarcerate them, and one of the things we do is send letters from Project Safe Neighborhoods to each felon who is released in the State of Illinois. Every single one receives a personalized letter that lets them know that the Federal Government is watching, that they face heavy penalties should they pick up a gun.
Secondly, we conduct parolee forums in the four most dangerous areas inside Chicago. Thirty parolees at a time are brought to a forum. They're randomly selected. They have no choice but to go. And they face a carrot and stick approach. They meet people from the U.S. Attorney's Office, from the State's Attorney's Office, from the Federal law enforcement and local police agencies who let them know the heavy penalties they are facing if they mess up and carry a gun and commit a crime. At the same time, in the same meeting, they meet people who offer detox counseling, job training, employment, education. At the end, they're told, you have a choice. You can meet with the law enforcement again and go to jail for a long time, or we can try something different.
And we found some remarkable results to date in two of the districts where the recidivism rate was 23 percent with people who didn't attend the forums. It's 4 percent for those who do. For gun offenses, it goes from 3 percent to 1 percent. In two other districts, the numbers are even better.
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In addition to that, we're focusing on juvenile education in the hot zones, where each of the children going to junior high school are put through an 8-week program to educate them about the dangers of drugs, and with that, I'll just end by noting that the homicide rate in Chicago has paid dividends. It was 666 in 2001. Just a few years later, 2003, it was under 599, which was the first time it went under 600 since I was 7 years old. And a year later, the homicide rate droppedI'm sorry?
Mr. SCOTT. What are those numbers?
Mr. FITZGERALD. In 2001, there were 666 homicides. In 2003, there were 599, which was the first time in 36 years it went under 600. And last year, in 2004, it went past 500 all the way down to 448, which was a 25 percent drop in a single year. So it's gone from 666 to 448 in 3 years.
And with that, I would simply say that it's not a problem that's limited to Chicago. Gangs are a problem that affect various regions of the country, and we seek to work together to do our best to take down the rate of violence as a result of gangs. Thank you.
Mr. FORBES. Thank you, Mr. Fitzgerald.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Fitzgerald follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF PATRICK J. FITZGERALD
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Chairman Coble, Ranking Member Scott, and Members of the Subcommittee, I am Patrick Fitzgerald, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. It is an honor to appear before you today to discuss the terrible problem of gangs that grips the nation's third largest city, Chicago, as well as other areas in our nation, and to discuss how the Department of Justice is partnering with other law enforcement and the community to address this problem.
THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM
It is easy to underestimate the grip that gangs have on some or our cities. But the sad reality is that their grip on urban life is lethal. First, the sheer number of gang members is staggering. In Chicago alone, there are estimated to be 70,000 to 100,000 gang memberscompared with about 13,000 Chicago police officers. Several ''super gangs'' dominate: the Gangster Disciples, the Black Disciples, the Vice Lords, the Black P Stones, the Mickey Cobras, the Latin Kings, the Spanish Cobras, the Maniac Latin Disciples, and the Satan Disciples. Each of these gangs controls large amounts of territory, engages in large-scale drug trafficking, and uses gun violence to control its territory and drug trade.
One may get a rough sense of the magnitude of the gang problem by looking at the Gangster Disciples (GD's). The GD's have been the target of a series of cases brought by the United States Attorney's Office in Chicago beginning in the mid-1990's and continuing to today. Over two hundred high ranking members, including its chairman, have been convicted, with many receiving life sentences. The undisputed leader of the gang was Larry Hoover, who is serving a life sentence after a federal conviction.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Under Hoover, the GD's had a very sophisticated structure and hierarchy. There were two Boards of Directors: one for gang members in prison and one for those outside. (The existence of a separate board in prison speaks powerfully both to the control that gangs can exert even within a prison and to the fact that gang members anticipate incarceration, but are not deterred by it.) Serving under the out-of-prison Board of Directors were 14 ''governors.'' Each governor had a geographic area assigned to him, and in turn, between 5 to 16 ''regents'' who were assigned a smaller geographic area within his governor's area. Then, under the regents were ''coordinators,'' who controlled even smaller geographic areas within a regent's area; and finally, the ''soldiers.'' Other ranks included the Chief of Security, who was responsible for obtaining firearms for the soldiers and making sure that armed soldiers guarded each drug selling location, to protect against both rival gangs and the police.
This sophisticated hierarchy was used to sell drugs and control drug trafficking. Each soldier participated in the sale of illegal drugs and was required to pay a portion of his profits to the gang's leadership. In return, the gang provided its members with a source for illegal drugs; assured the members of a monopoly in drug sales in GD-controlled territory; provided bail, attorney fees, and commissary money for arrested or jailed members; and used gang discipline to prevent arrested members from cooperating with law enforcement. Under the gang's rules, cooperation with law enforcement was punishable by death.
In 1995, FBI agents recovered in a search a computer-generated organizational chart for the GD's. The chart went on for 39 pages. It listed all governors and regents by street name and the number of soldiers who were ''on count'' to each regent and therefore reporting to the gang's hierarchy. Each of the governors and many of the regents have been convicted. There were over 7,700 soldiers. Thus, the GD's alone were half as big as the Chicago Police Department.
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The GDs also had a political action committee which contributed to favored political candidates and, on occasion, sponsored its own political candidatesthey achieved genuine political access and influence.
There should be no mistake that gangs are violent. It is conservatively estimated that 60% of the 448 homicides in Chicago in 2004 were gang-related. In any given year, gangs in Chicago are responsible for far more murders than traditional organized crime in Chicago (known as the ''Outfit'') has committed over the course of decades. And if raw violence is not enough, the gang problem poses unique threats of corruption. The gangs that control drug trafficking in Chicago have at times corrupted police and other law enforcementsome members actually have become police officers and corrections officers. Those gang members who corrupt law enforcement undo the hard and honest work of the overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers.
Perhaps a better way to measure the harm gangs cause is to appreciate what one gang did to a housing project in Chicagoand people who tried to live there. The Black Disciples (BD's) a violent, well-organized street gang, controlled buildings at certain public housing projects. They actually put an iron fence around the buildings, barricading the rear alley entrance, posted snipers on the roof, and used police scanners and night-vision goggles to monitor police activity. Persons entering the building were searched to make sure that they were not law enforcement. Drug sellers wore ski-masks to prevent being identified by undercover officers. At one point, law enforcement obtained probable cause to search 47 of 134 occupied apartments in the project building, and many other apartments were searched with the consent of the tenants and housing authority. I recall being struck that at the very time that American military forces fought valiantly to establish a presence in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, a public housing project in the city of Chicago was largely off limits because it was occupied by a gang. The non-gang members were effectively jailed by the gang.
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A near fatal example of the lengths the BDs went to protect their drug selling occurred in May 2001. An undercover Chicago Police Officer approached a public housing building controlled by the BDs for drug selling purposes. A BD member protecting the drug operation began to search the officer and felt his safety vest. The BD pulled a gun, fought with the officer, then shot the officer twice in the back. Miraculously, one of the bullets lodged in the officer's vest, but the other shot hit him, resulting in extensive medical treatment.
The BD gang even operated a pirate radio station to broadcast information relating to gang activitiesusing a frequency belonging to a Christian radio station. One defendant paid Donnell Jehan, one of the BD ''kings'' and a federal fugitive, $80,000 per month for the heroin franchise at one of the public housing buildings.
WHAT LAW ENFORCEMENT IS DOING: THE CHICAGO EXAMPLE
The Chicago story is not one without hope. Law enforcement in Chicagofederal, state, and localrecognized the severity of the problem and has fought back. We are making strides, though there is much more to do.
PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS IN CHICAGO
The first step was to focus on guns as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a national enforcement program, discussed further below, whose greatest strength is that it is adapted to the needs of each individual district. Through PSN in Chicago, we have substantially increased federal prosecution of convicted felons caught carrying a gun and have placed a special emphasis on areas of high violence and on offenders who are gang members. There is an unprecedented partnership between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, the Illinois Department of Corrections, and local grass roots organizations serving their communities. Whenever a convicted felon with a gun is arrested by Chicago police in targeted police districts, state and federal prosecutors and ATF agents sit down together and decide in which court to prosecute cases. We tap every federal and local law enforcement agency that has relevant knowledge in order to coordinate our attacks on the gangs to which the offenders belong.
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The second step was to organize ourselves to address the gang problem. In my own office, we reorganized to recognize the reality that gangs are the drug distribution network for the Chicago area. The Narcotics and Gang section is split in half between prosecutors investigating national and international narcotics rings and those prosecuting the gangs dealing drugs in the Chicago area. We have found that the wiretaps on the gangs have led to wiretaps on members of Mexican cartels who use the gangs to distribute their drugs, and that the wiretaps on international drug traffickers regularly lead to their street gangs who control the wholesale and resale distribution of their drugs in the region. Similarly, ATF, FBI, and DEA have dedicated squads to combat gangs and the Chicago Police Department has formed a gang intelligence section. ATF alone has dedicated two full-time groups that focus exclusively on long term investigations of gangs in Chicago. Working side-by-side with the Chicago Police Department officers assigned to these groups, they utilize a variety of investigative techniques to pursue RICO and complex conspiracy cases.
GANG STRATEGY TEAMS
A third step was the formation of neighborhood-based Gang Strategy Teams made up of all the law enforcement unitsstate and federalthat investigate and prosecute gangs. Their mandate is to share more gang intelligence on a regular basis, make greater use of technology, and make coordinated, strategic decisions about how and where to use our limited resources. Law enforcement partners who might otherwise be tempted to compete instead put some of their crown jewelskey informantson the table to share in this battle.
Once a month, gang experts from CPD and each of the federal agencies meet at the headquarters of the four gang-plagued police regions (called ''Areas'') in Chicago to build a consensus about the top gang targets in each Area, based on shared, filtered intelligence, and to strategize about how to attack these targets (including what resources are available to do so). Each Area has a separate Gang Strategy Team. Since one of the primary goals of the Teams is to establish trust and relationships so that the maximum amount of intelligence is shared, each agency typically has the same participants come to each monthly meeting for a particular Area. Our office has assigned two Assistant United States Attorneys in the Gang Unit to each Area, and we work closely with the Cook County State's Attorney's office. There is also an analyst from HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) assigned to each Team. The analysts work with CPD analysts to map the gang territories, to do research on the top gang targets, and to look for connections to other gang investigations.
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The Gang Strategy Team's consensus on top gang targets usually takes the form of a ''Top 10 Gang Target'' list, showing the worst gang leaders in the Area, along with a determination as to the top 3 organizational gang threats in the Area. If individuals on the Top-10 list or gangs in the top 3 threat list are not being investigated by anyone, the Team discusses which of the agencies at the table can begin investigating the target. An investigation usually begins with CPD dedicating a team to gather additional intelligence. The Team discusses whether the target can be taken down by a simple investigation (e.g., an ATF or CPD confidential informant can buy guns or drugs from the target, who would qualify for a mandatory minimum sentence under federal drug or firearms laws), or whether a more sophisticated investigation is required (e.g., the organization is sophisticated and a wiretap is probably necessary). The top targets from the Gang Strategy Teams serve as a type of ''minor league'' for the citywide ''Top Twenty Gang Target,'' discussed next.
THE TOP TWENTY LIST
A fourth step was the creation roughly one year ago of a ''Top Twenty'' list of violent gang offenders. In January 2004, the U.S. Attorney's Office, FBI-Chicago, DEA-Chicago, ATF-Chicago, IRS-Chicago, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, and CPD formed a ''Top 20 Gang Target'' list for Chicago. The list was based on a consensus from the Gang Strategy Teams and the various agencies as to the worst gang leaders in Chicago. The group meets once a month to discuss the investigations against the top 20 targets. Each of the federal agencies takes turns taking responsibility for the federal part of a joint investigation into each target. At times, there are cases in state court that can be adopted and proved in federal court which will incapacitate that gang member for a long stretch of incarceration. Other times we must start from scratch and develop a case based upon informants, undercover officers, and wiretaps.
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The Top Twenty Gang Target list and the regular meetings around it have proven very helpful in several respects. They help to focus everyone's efforts on the worst gang leaders. They add urgency and purpose to investigations because of the acknowledged importance of the targets and the attention paid to the investigations. And they foster an atmosphere of cooperation and partnership among all the agencies that work on attacking gangsan invaluable resource when problems or disputes arise in gang-related investigations. Since the list started a little more than one year ago, 10 of the top targets have been charged federally and detained (including the heads of the Black Disciples and the Mafia Insane Vice Lords, two investigations discussed below). The tenth was detained last week. They are then removed from the list. When a target is removed, the group votes on a replacement based on shared intelligence as to the top gang leaders.
An equally important part of our strategy for ending the violence caused by street gangs is to focus directly on our ultimate goal, which is not merely sending people to jail but deterring young men from joining gangs and carrying guns. For many gang members, their affiliation draws attention that passes for respect on the street. We are letting them know that being in a gang will get attention in the police station and the federal courthouse and, then, far less attention in a federal prison in a state far away from their gang. If the word spreads that we are targeting gang members on parole who carry guns in the neighborhoods where people fear going out at night, we can make a difference in the futures of these neighborhoods.
To that end, the Illinois Department of Corrections mails personalized letters to every parolee in the state upon their release from prison, advising them that they are being watched, and if arrested with a gun that they face strict federal sentences. Additionally, the Chicago Police Department's community service arm, Community Alternative Police Strategy (CAPS), has placed thousands of posters in targeted neighborhoods warning felons: ''Don't Let This Happen To You!'' In stark terms, the posters provide details about specific felons from their neighborhoods who were caught carrying guns and are now serving long federal prison sentences. Our PSN team has placed ads on billboards and buses. Indeed, we have undercover recordings of gang members discussing the adsgenuinely wrestling with the risks they face by carrying guns. Given that gang members live in an environment in which their instinct is to fear walking the streets without a gun, we are successful when they start thinking of a gun as risk, not safety.
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In addition, in four designated police districts, the PSN partners regularly conduct ''parolee forums.'' Some 30 felons at a time, each convicted of a gun crime and recently paroled into these districts, sit at the same table with law enforcement representatives and community leaders. For many of these parolees, when they leave prison, they return to the only things that they knowtheir neighborhoods, their gangs, their drug dealing. But at the parolee forums, they are presented with a straightforward message that they have a choice in life: They can return to the gun-toting criminal life, or they can turn to a constructive, non-criminal life. They hear from the law enforcement communitythe local police, state prosecutors, federal agents, and federal prosecutorswho explain that we are focusing on felons with guns, and that they face a lengthy sentence in a federal prison if they pick up a gun. And they are given examples of PSN defendants in their neighborhoods who are serving lengthy sentences. Not infrequently, there are loud groans when they hear of a neighborhood felon serving 20 years in a federal prison in Kansas for the crime of possessing a gun. The idea of law enforcement telling each person directly that if he returns to that way of life, the whole law enforcement community will be watching is a direct and difficult message.
At the same time, they hear community leaders speak about ex-offender job programs, educational opportunities, and substance abuse programs that are available to them. They also hear from a convicted felon, someone who has stood in their shoes, who reiterates the message that felons can succeed in turning their lives around, showing them by his example that success is an option. These presentations are often met with keen interest and follow-up questions from the parolees about who they should call and what they should do.
A final, but important, part of our PSN program in Chicago has been the involvement of researchers from the University of Chicago and Columbia University, who are studying the program's effectiveness. Law enforcement policies often are driven more by instinct and experience than rigorous, statistically-based analysis. Because the stakes in combating gang and drug violence are literally lives and neighborhoods, we want to know everything we can about the effectiveness of our efforts so that we can understand which strategies work and which do not, and then adapt our tactics to use our limited resources as effectively as possible. The researchers brief the PSN partners regularly on their statistical analyses of homicide, gun violence, and recidivism rates in the targeted PSN neighborhoods.
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One startling result of the research to date concerns the effectiveness of the parolee forums. The persons who are summoned to attend the forums are randomly selected from the group of felons paroled into the districts, and they all attend. Yet, when comparing the recidivism rates of felons attending the forums with those who do not, the results so far are staggering: 23% of those released between 2001 and 2004 who did not attend the forums were convicted of another crime, while only 4% of those who attended the forums were convicted. The rate of recidivism was thus less than a fifth of what it would have been. As to recidivism rates for gun crimes, the numbers are as follows: 3% of those who did not attend the forums were convicted of another gun crime, while fewer than 1% of those who attended the forums were convicted. The rate of gun crime recidivism was thus less than one third of what it otherwise would have been. The key to the forums is the synergy between the ''stick'' of citing specific examples to the felons of persons who have been prosecuted for firearms offenses and offering the ''carrots'' of alternatives to a life of crime. We recently recorded a gang member in jail speaking to a gang member outside jail about the crackdown on gang members and guns in Chicago; both gang members agreed that the bottom line was that the member outside of jail needed to go get a job.
We have learned that gang involvement begins at an early age and the more work we can do with the juveniles in our community to intervene when they make poor choices, the more likely we are in successfully preventing their involvement in gangs. As such, we have started a comprehensive juvenile education program in our ''hot zones'' where literally every junior high and high school student participates in an eight-week program designed to increase their awareness about the risks of gang involvement, encourage independent decision-making, and enhance one's self image in order to increase the likelihood that they will reject the lure of the gangs.
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If one of the juveniles makes that first bad judgment call, we have partnered with the Chicago Police Department and the Juvenile Justice System in Chicago to create a program that will replace ''station adjustments'' for first-time offenders who commit violent or gang-like crimes. Rather than allowing them to slip through the cracks with a slap on the wrist, a behavior that later escalates into more egregious offenses, we have implemented a program in the new Juvenile Intervention and Assessment Center that will require that each juvenile who commits an offense indicative of violence or gang involvement to enter a 90-day program designed to come down hard on the first offense and enlighten the juvenile regarding the harmful impact that his or her decision will have not only on his own life but on the lives of his family and community. Each juvenile must sign a contract of commitment to the anti-violence program that includes private counseling groups, public participation in anti-gang presentations at schools, and acknowledgment of the harm that they have inflicted upon their victims. Failure to successfully complete the program results in prosecution in the Juvenile Court System.
For adult offenders who may have committed their first gun offense and have received a sentence of merely probation, we have also expanded our parolee forums to probationers. Here the probationers hear the same message as the parolees: ''if you pick up a gun, you will be prosecuted.'' But again, we offer them opportunity for development. Our commitment to combating the problem at the earliest glimpse of potential gang involvement and escalating our attack as gang behavior increases reflects our commitment not simply to incarcerate those who offend but to actually decrease the number of offenders.
In talking about the effect law enforcement is having, let me return to discuss the reign of terror at the public housing buildings occupied by the Black Disciples. That reign ended in spring 2004 with a 47-defendant takedown, that included the arrest of the gang's entire top leadership. The case was jointly investigated by the FBI, CPD, and IRS. Our office worked closely with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office on the investigation and prosecutions, with an Assistant State's Attorney being designated as a SAUSA for the investigation and cases.
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Less than two weeks later, we also charged the Mafia Insane Vice Lords (MIVLs) street gang, one of the three most powerful factions of the Vice Lords street gang. The MIVLs controlled 47 open-air drug markets on the west side of Chicago, selling primarily heroin but also powder and crack cocaine. Each drug spot earned $58,000 per day. A total of 48 defendants were charged in the federal case, including the ''King'' of the gang, Troy Martin, and most of the remaining top leadership. An additional 57 defendants were charged by the state at the same time in closely coordinated prosecutions. This case was investigated by DEA, CPD, and IRS.
THE EFFECT ON THE HOMICIDE RATE
One of the best measures of the work being done in Chicago to attack gangs, guns, and drugsthe homicide rateshows very positive results: in 2001, there were 666 homicides in Chicago. Two years later, in 2003, there were 599 homicides, the first time in 36 years that there were fewer than 600 murders in Chicago. A year later, in 2004, there were 448 murders in Chicago a staggering 25% drop in one year, though as noted, 60% of these were gang-related. After taking nearly four decades to break the 600 mark, it took one more year to reduce homicides to well below 500. And thus far in 2005, homicide numbers have decreased another 25%. Something is clearly working. But law enforcement in Chicago is not satisfied: gangs and guns still pose a lethal threat to Chicago and most starkly to the honest people who live in the neighborhoods where gang members vastly outnumber police and who are the real victims of gang violence.
On that note, the fight against gang violence in Chicago has not been a partisan effort. Persons of different party, ethnic, and governmental backgrounds have been setting aside parochial interests to address this problem. Our city and its law-abiding residents are safer for that.
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THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE'S RESPONSE TO GANGS
Chicago is not alone in taking on the problem of gangs. I know from my colleague United States Attorneys that gangs threaten many other cities and many other districts and that nationwide, the gang problem is growing. Accordingly, federal, state, and local law enforcement have been teaming up with community partners to take action in the way that best suits each district. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is taking notice of the threat posed by gangs and by encouraging these collaborative efforts.
DOJ is constructing a national infrastructure that will continue to enable reductions in violent crime. In October 2004, the Deputy Attorney General established the Subcommittee on Violent Crime and Gangs of the Department's Strategic Management Council to ensure that DOJ is fully coordinating its efforts to fight violent crime and gangs. The Subcommittee consists of heads of key offices within DOJ, as well as each of its component law enforcement agencies. Just last month, at the direction of the Attorney General, a symposium on gangs was held at the Department of Justice attended by United States Attorneys, officials from ATF, DEA, the Marshals Service, FBI, the Bureau of Prisons and, most importantly, police chiefs and sheriffs from different cities around the country plagued with gang problems. In preparation for that conference, I had an opportunity to review materials submitted by those various districts and was struck by the extent to which areas not commonly associated with gangssuch as Phoenix and Northern Virginiaare experiencing the gang problem, normally associated with Los Angeles, Chicago, and other large cities. At the symposium, best practices were shared, and the gathered officials discussed what worked and what did not work in different regions of the country.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Two things were clear from the symposium: the gang problem is affecting many different regions of the country and there is no one way to do it right that applies to every district. Fighting the Black Disciples in Chicago is different than dealing with the Hells Angels and the Outlaws motorcycle gangs in Arizona, the Bloods and Crips in Los Angeles, or the MS13 in Northern Virginia. One constant that did emerge is the need for good intelligence and teamwork between federal, state, and local partners.
No single initiative, no single investigative technique, no single statute, and no single preventative measure will always be the most effective. Therefore, the Department is taking a multi-disciplined approach that allows each component agency to utilize the investigative strategies and statutes to which a particular criminal organization is vulnerable, as adapted for the local conditions in the relevant district.
As a first step, the Subcommittee amassed a comprehensive catalogue of DOJ's gang initiatives and enforcement efforts throughout the country, so that the Department can ensure that all of those efforts are operating in a coordinated, consolidated, and integrated fashion. The Department recognizes the need to partner with state and local law enforcement and prosecutors, as well as with community organizations and leaders. State and local law enforcement officers, and the communities they serve, will always be the first to detect when gangs take root and when gang violence threatens the safety of a neighborhood. The U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO) in each judicial district is frequently the conduit to facilitate different agencies coming together, coordinating their enforcement efforts by attacking the gang problem from different sides, allowing each agency to use its investigative expertise and legal authority to leverage the gang's vulnerabilities to various statutes: firearms, narcotics, fugitive, and immigration violations.
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Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a great example of the Department's success in partnering with state and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and community organizations. PSN was based upon the concept of creating a task force in each judicial district that focused on identifying the unique violent crime problems of that region and then directing the available law enforcement and community resources toward eradicating those problems through a data-driven strategic plan. The PSN task force coordinates strategy and resources to focus on 1) dismantling violent organizations, 2) stopping illegal gun traffickers, and 3) enforcing the law against prohibited persons possessing firearms. PSN, from its inception, recognized that violent criminal organizations, such as gangs, are frequently the most disruptive force in many neighborhoods, and that responses to gangs among various law enforcement agencies need to be coordinated and proactive.
The PSN strategy used by a number of districts to reduce gang violence is to identify and prosecute the gang members who pose the greatest threat to the community. In some districts, the strategy involves prosecutions of the individual gang member on firearms and drug charges. Other districts use the PSN infrastructure to focus on the entire street gang, bringing Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act and drug conspiracy charges. The PSN Task Forces regularly apprize the Department's leadership of their activities. In July 2004, 54 of the teams considered gangs to be one of the key elements of their gun violence problem, 25 considered gangs to be one of the two most important elements of the problem, and 37 reported a focus on gangs and criminal organizations. PSN has served as a catalyst to develop localized strategies through the vigorous enforcement of existing firearms laws.
During the spring of 2004, the Department of Justice identified 15 cities where homicide rates remained at unacceptable levels. ATF responded with the creation of a Violent Crime Impact Team (VCIT) concept, customized to mitigate the causes of each city's entrenched level of violence. In the majority of the cities, gangs were identified as a key component of the communities' violence problems. ATF leads these teams, joined by other DOJ components. The U.S. Marshals Service's participation allows these teams to leverage the fugitive status of gang members. The DEA's participation allows the teams to capitalize on the DEA's investigative expertise and statutory authority when investigating gangs whose primary focus in drug distribution.
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The VCIT concept was modeled on the collaborative successes of PSN through the efforts of ATF and other federal, state, and local law enforcement, with additional resources redirected from across the United States. The VCITs target specific individuals and specific locations for law enforcement operations, empowered through use of technologies, such as the National Integrated Ballistic Identification Network (NIBIN)an ATF championed initiative, which matches shell cases from unsolved shootingsand crime mapping from synthesized firearms trace results. The use of additional resources and new technologies are producing results: during the six-month pilot period of operation, VCITs have recovered more than 3,000 firearms and arrested more than 500 of the 900 identified as serious offenders. Collateral to these focused efforts have been the seizure of over $2 million, the arrest of more than 2,500 other offenders, and the apprehension of nearly 400 felony fugitives.
Based on preliminary results, the VCIT pilot program may be contributing to a decrease in homicides. Firearms homicides in the targeted areas dropped in 11 of the 15 cities when compared to the same six-month period the prior year. And in total, overall homicides with firearms for targeted areas in all fifteen cities dropped to 9%. In specific cities, the results in targeted areas were even more dramatic: 77% drop in Greensboro; 67% drop in Chattanooga; 61% drop in Pittsburgh; 59% drop in Tulsa; 50% drop in Albuquerque; and 46% drop in Tampa.
As a result of the success of the six-month pilot program, the VCIT program has been expanded and is now employed in a total of 20 cities. ATF participates in task forces nation-wide that investigate gangs as their primary focus, as well as those ATF groups dedicated exclusively to gang investigations.
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Firearms trafficking, the illegal diversion of firearms out of lawful commerce and into the hands of prohibited persons (such as convicted felons, drug dealers, and juvenile gang members), is often the method by which gangs arm themselves. By using ''straw purchasers,'' who are individuals not prohibited from legally purchasing weapons, gang members acquire firearms from federally licensed dealers. ATF's firearms trafficking investigation efforts prevent gang violence by investigating and prosecuting individuals who are illegally supplying firearms to the criminal gang organizations committing firearms-related crimes.
The Safe Streets Violent Crimes Initiative (SSVCI) is another collaborative drive to combat gangs. Initiated in 1992, it is a FBI-sponsored, long-term, proactive task force program focused on investigation of gangs acting as criminal enterprises crossing state and international borders. The SSVCI encompasses 144 Safe Streets Task Forces (SSTFs) across the nation charged with bringing the resources of all participating agencies, federal and local, to bear on the respective area's violent crime and gang problems. While local and state law enforcement can obtain assistance in making an arrest across state lines, the FBI has the ability to instantaneously cover a lead anywhere in the country. SSTFs across the country enhance state, local, and other federal law enforcement agencies by utilizing the FBI's developed Enterprise Theory of Investigation (ETI). The ETI is an approach supported by technology, which facilitates multi-subject investigations of significant enterprises involved in patterns of criminal activity, rather than concentrating resources on individuals or separate acts.
Of the current 144 SSTFs, 108 of them are Violent Gang Task Forces (VGTFs) located in 33 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, which focus exclusively on FBI National Gang Strategy targets. The VGTFs utilize a variety of investigative methods to identify and attack a gang's hierarchy, including undercover operations, surveillances, wiretaps, and controlled purchases of drugs, guns, and other contraband. Wiretaps are frequently used by VGTFs in an effort to capture criminal conversations, which can later be used as evidence to prosecute the gang members for their criminal activities. In addition to obtaining evidence for prosecution, wiretaps have proven to be effective in preventing violent acts, including murders, from being committed. VGTFs are effective at building federal and state cases against gang members by applying the same methods used in the FBI's successful war on traditional organized crime. VGTFs are developing racketeering and continuing criminal enterprise cases to remove the leadership and the most dangerous members of violent street gangs and seize their assets. This investigative approach has been successful around the nation, and it has had long-term, positive impact on communities plagued by gangs.
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The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is involved in numerous gang-related law enforcement efforts as well, including sponsorship of 83 District Fugitive Task Forces throughout the country, plus five regional fugitive task forces. These task forces include representatives from hundreds of federal, state, and local agencies. Violent fugitives with ties to gangs receive priority attention for investigation. From 2003 to the present, the USMS has arrested more than 600 gang members and associates. Of those arrested, approximately 37 percent were Hispanic gang members, 23 percent were members of Crips and Bloods gangs, and 11 percent were members of outlaw motorcycle organizations. In Chicago alone in 2004, U.S. Marshals arrested 353 gang fugitives. The USMS coordinates with federal, state, and local agencies to focus on specific gang-related fugitives that are a high priority because of their history of violence, threat to the community, or risk of flight.
In an effort to prevent gang-related crimes within Bureau of Prison (BOP) facilities, the Department participates with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in support of task forces and intelligence units. Through the Central Office Intelligence Section, BOP oversees and supervises multiple intelligence teams assigned to FBI task forces throughout the United States, as well as conducts other intelligence-related functions. The BOP also provides indirect support and shared resources through its Special Investigative Staff, members of which are assigned to each prison facility. The staff conducts or manages complex criminal investigations involving gang-related activities, such as homicides, assaults, and drug trafficking. The BOP's primary focus on gangs revolves around threats to the safety of inmates and BOP personnel, and the suppression of illegal activity within BOP facilities.
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I state my general support for the goals of this bill. I would also note that it is important to maintain heavy penalties on gang membersparticularly higher echelon members and those engaging in violenceto deter violent activity and to leverage cooperation from gang members who are already conditioned to understand they will do some prison time but often cooperate when faced with heavier prison time. Cases against gangs proceed most effectively when the heavy penalties cause key members of the gang to work with authorities to dismantle the organization. Ultimately, severe sentencing of gang members results more quickly in greater freedom for the community victimized by gangs.
As an example, during the BD investigation, several BD members and associates were arrested on state drug or gun charges. When informed that they would be prosecuted in the federal system for that conduct, they agreed to cooperate, and provided extensive assistance in gathering evidence against BD leaders, many times recording meetings and conversations at great personal risk to themselves. This phenomenon continued following the arrest and indictment of the BD leadership. A large number of those indicted, including some of the highest ranking members, have cooperated in the hopes of receiving a lesser sentence. This cooperation has resulted in additional evidence against both charged and as yet uncharged BD leaders, their drug suppliers, gun suppliers, and money launderers. It also produced safer neighborhoods for some of Chicago's most vulnerable residents. As I noted, much of our work in Chicago depends on our ability to scare offenders into going straight with the threat of mandatory sentences for drug and gun crimes.
Along with my colleagues at the Department of Justice, I look forward to working with you in the future on this legislation and its particulars.
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I applaud this Subcommittee's efforts to address the war waged against our communities by gangs. Thank you for your time and attention. I appreciate the opportunity to speak on this important and timely matter. I would be pleased to answer any questions the members might have.
Mr. FORBES. Mr. Logli, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
TESTIMONY OF PAUL A. LOGLI, STATE'S ATTORNEY, WINNEBAGO COUNTY, ILLINOIS, AND PRESIDENT ELECT, NATIONAL DISTRICT ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION
Mr. LOGLI. Congressman Forbes and Congressman Scott, thank you for this opportunity, and Congressman Forbes, thank you for sponsoring the Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act of 2005.
Since the 1980's, the National District Attorneys Association has endorsed the concept of Federal and State law enforcement agencies and prosecutors working together to address threats such as we are now facing with gangs. We believe that what you've begun here, Mr. Forbes, would establish a bedrock upon which to build a united effort to end gang violence across the United States.
As with every problem, we've had our successes and failures and we've learned in our dealings with gangs that plague our communities that what works in one community may not necessarily work in another community, but we know that working together with our Federal partners, and I have the privilege of being a local elected State's Attorney within the jurisdiction of the Northern District of Illinois. Mr. Fitzgerald is the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. And we have, in fact, worked together on Project Safe Neighborhood and other initiatives to stem violence and gang activity in my jurisdiction.
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We know that we have come to look at stateless terrorists as our enemy and we're developing ways to stymie those attacks. And I would advance to you the theory that we are facing about the same challenge and threats with the transnational gangs that are almost freely operating within our borders. In my jurisdiction, we have recently seen an increase of Hispanic or Latino gangs that are now engaging in the typical turf wars and war for drug dealing in our community. As a result of this type of conflict, we've had firebombings and murders that are scarring my community.
Now, the problem would have been worse in Rockford, Winnebago County, Illinois, but were it not for the fact that my local jurisdiction worked in unison with Federal authorities in the mid-1990's and we took on a task of going after the leadership of the Vice Lords and the Gangster Disciples and the Latin Kings. We have eviscerated the leadership of those gangs. And now, even 10 years later, our community is safer because many of those leaders were rounded up in a joint operation and we turned many of them over to the Federal authorities and they were sentenced then under very tough sentencing guidelines. Many of them went away for very long periods of time. And that message that went out to the people in our community, that the leaders were rounded up and sent away for very long periods of time, lives on today as a positive anti-gang message in our community.
We noteand nothing I say is to take away our support for this bill, Mr. Forbes. We strongly recommend, however, that the bill specifically contain language that would suggest to U.S. Attorneys that they coordinate their efforts with local prosecutors so that there is no left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. We would like to see language in there that would reduce the possibility of conflict by not clearly delineating a process to resolve Federal and local responsibilities as we combat gangs together.
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We also note that the Act calls for the establishment of High Intensity Interstate Gang Activity Areas. I think that's a good idea. I also believe, however, that many of those areas would probably be the same areas as what we currently have under High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, that gangs and drugs go hand in hand, and we would suggest that the bill allow perhaps the Attorney General to say that this gang, this High Intensity Gang Activity Area, could be contiguous with the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area so that we could combine resources. Our local prosecutors' offices are already spread thin. Instead of having two separate groups, we think that there should be some mechanism that they could be combined, since gangs and drugs operate hand in hand.
We've recently seen a spate of attacks on judges and prosecutors and witnesses. We believe that this has been going on for years as another form of trying to destabilize the criminal justice system, and that deals with witness intimidation. We note that your Act acknowledges the need to provide funds to prosecutors for witness protection and efforts to end gang violence, and we applaud that and look to the possibility of providing funds not only to Federal prosecutors, but also to local prosecutors to afford witness protection. There's too much intimidation going on that is really jeopardizing our prosecution of gang activity.
Finally, I do want to lend my support for the continuation of funding on Project Safe Neighborhoods. I know that's not part of this particular Act, but it goes hand in hand as we fight gangs. We recently concluded a joint operation with the U.S. Attorney's Office, Mr. Fitzgerald and my jurisdiction. We rounded up over 30 people who were in possession or trafficking in guns. We took nearly 100 very dangerous firearms off the streets of my community, working in conjunction with Federal authorities, much of the same type of cooperation that I believe you envision under your Act, Mr. Forbes.
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We believe, and in conclusion, we want to be proactive in our communities to identify gang threats early. We want to respond decisively. And I can tell you that we look forward to working with our partners in the U.S. Attorney's Office to combat the problems of gangs in our communities.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Logli follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF PAUL A. LOGLI
My name is Paul Logli and I am the elected State's Attorney in Winnebago County, Illinois. I am now the President Elect of the National District Attorneys Association and will become President this July.
At the outset I want to thank Mr. Forbes for sponsoring The Gang Deterrence and Community Prosecution Act of 2005 and you, Mr Chairman, on behalf of the National District Attorneys Association, for the opportunity to present our concerns about gang violence and share some thoughts on the what we, and you the Congress, can do to counter this threat to public safety. The views that I express today represent the views of that Association and the beliefs of thousands of local prosecutors across this country.
Since the late 1980's our Association has endorsed the concept of Federal and state law enforcement agencies and prosecutors working in unison to address threats such as we are now facing. I view the task begun by Mr. Forbes as establishing the bedrock upon which to build our united effort to end gang violence across the United States.
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To place my remarks in contextlet me briefly tell you about my jurisdiction. Winnebago County is located about 70 miles west of Chicago. It has a population of nearly 300,000 people living in a diverse community. The county seat is Rockfordthe second largest city in the state. I have been a prosecutor for 18 years and am honored to have served in my current position for 16 years, having been elected to office 4 times. I previously served as a judge of the local circuit court for nearly 6 years. I currently supervise a staff that includes 38 assistant state's attorneys. Annually, my office handles over 4000 felony cases.
LOCAL GANG PROBLEMS
Excluding adult gangs, motorcycle gangs, hate groups and other ''adult'' gangs the problem presented just by juvenile gangs is staggering in and of itself. The 2002 National Youth Gang Survey, published by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the Department of Justice depicts the gang problems we face in stark reality.
It is was estimated that approximately 731,500 gang members and 21,500 gangs were active in the United States in 2002.
As with every problem we have our successes and our failures and I want to illustrate the impact of gang violence, and what we can do about it, by painting the picture as I have seen it in Winnebago County during my tenure as State's Attorney.
My jurisdiction is situated within 75 miles of two major urban centers, Chicago and Milwaukee. Like most jurisdictions of our size and location, it has been combating the problem of street gangs for the last several decades. More recently, Hispanic or Latino gangs have become major players in drug and criminal activity. Inter-gang warfare between several Hispanic gangs has resulted in fire-bombings and murders. The gangs have become increasingly sophisticated and have connections not only within this nation, but also with other nations in our hemisphere. To reflect the increased sophistication and organization of these gangs, the Rockford Police Department has changed the name of its task force to the ''Organized Crime Unit,'' replacing the previous title of ''Gang Unit''.
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On a positive note, the gang activity would have been greater if it had not been for large joint federal and state operations in the mid 90's that were effective in eviscerating the leadership of the most active gangs during that period. The Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords and Latin King gangs were the subjects of operations that involved numerous arrests of those persons who had been identified as leaders of their respective gangs. The major operations followed the most violent years in the recent history of our community. 1993 and 1994 will go down as the most violent years in regard to the number of homicides within our jurisdiction. Fortunately, after the major joint federal and state operations that took place in 1993 and 1996, the level of violence dropped considerably and has leveled off over the last several years. The large-scale operations were effective because they involved law enforcement at all levels and concentrated on those individuals who had been identified as leaders of dangerous criminal organizations.
Realize that this is my perspective from a single county in Illinois. I think it important for you to understand that in addressing this problem there is no single remedy just like there is no single template for a gang. Gangs come from all ethnic persuasions and communities and have grown transnational in scope. What works in Winnebago County may not have equal success in Chicago only 70 miles away. Our strategy must reflect flexibility and durability.
After 9/11 we have come to look at stateless terrorists as our enemy and are developing ways to stymie their attacks and defeat them on an international scale in a new mode of conflict that does not lie in battling sovereign nations. I would advance to you the theory that we are facing the same challenges and threats by the transnational gangs that almost freely operate within our borders.
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We also know that gang members are not dumb, inept or technologically challenged. In one instance we know of gangs arranging a confrontation by email and their use of cell phones and other state of the art electronic gear is commonplace in their trans national dealings. They even brag of their strength on DVDs and CDs.
Here are some of the problems we've been facing:
In northern Wisconsin, for instance, the Sovereign Nation Warriors (SWN) are active on the Reservation. The professed leader was from the Potowatamie tribe while the gang affiliation was associated with the Chippewa bandbasically an attempt to create a gang that was multi-tribal in nature. The SWN has been tied into drug trafficking, arson, burglary and gang related beatings. Many of those crimes are unsolved because of the gang relationship and the refusal of individuals to provide information on gang activity. Wisconsin is a state in which most of the tribes have contracted away criminal jurisdiction. The gang leader was to be prosecuted for arson and burglary of a home on the reservation and the tribal police attempted to have the matter brought federally because of the gang connection. The U.S. Attorney declined prosecution and the Vilas County District Attorney, Al Moustakis, prosecuted and convicted the leader.
Last year in Philadelphia the tragic death Faheem Thomas-Childs provides another dimension to the problem. He was a third grader at and on his way to school when he was caught in the crossfire of two rival drug gangs as they fired dozens of shots at each other. Hit in the head by a single shot he died five days later. A Crossing guard was also injured in the shoot-out. The community surrounding the school had been concerned about gunfire at night and the violence had come to a crescendo the nights immediately preceding the killing but the community refused to cooperate with police to end the gunfire. On the day the Thomas-Childs was shot there were dozens of witnesses but few came forward to help identify the killers.
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In April, 2003 Charlotte, North Carolina, police investigated a shooting at a public park in Mecklenburg County. One man was killed and there were several men injured. The investigation revealed these men and the men who shot them were part of a gang called Mara Salvatrucha or ''MS13'' and that these men were from Honduras and El Salvador. Police issued eight warrants for individuals charging them with the murder in the park; four of those men have been arrested but the others are still at large.
After this incident, police charged other MS13 members with three other murders. Six (6) MS13 members were charged with the murders of two Hispanic males that happened one week prior to the shootings at Copperhead Island Park. A number of those charged were either shot or shot at the following week at Copperhead Island Park.
In New York City last week 80 Bloods and Crips showed up at the International Auto Show and a fight broke out requiring police intervention. No one was hurt in this very public melee but patrons of the show had to flee to safety. Even a public forum couldn't abate their violence.
Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) leaves the body of a woman in the beautiful Shenandoah River and the severed fingers of a boy in the parking lot of a convenience store in Fairfax County. A Crip from St. Louis, Missouri, comes to Virginia to recruit new members into the gang. Hits carried out in Virginia by MS13 have been ''greenlighted'' by leadership in California and a key witness was then intimidated when his family members were threatened in El Salvador.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In Massachusetts an assistant state attorney general, Paul McLaughlin was detailed to the Boston District Attorney's Office on special assignment. He was one of just a handful of prosecutors on the city's first anti-gang violence unit.
In the early autumn of 1995, he was prosecuting a defendant named Jeffrey Bly. Nicknamed ''Black,'' Bly was the leader of what was perhaps the city's most cold-blooded street gang, the Theodore Street Posse, whose members were suspected in several murders. McLaughlin was prosecuting him on a carjacking case, and after a couple of setbacks, the case was finally ready for trial.
On the night of Sept. 25, 1995, after another day spent preparing to hold Bly accountable for his crime, McLaughlin got off a commuter train on his way home and walked to his car. As he reached the car and was about to get in, a hooded figure approached, pointed a gun at Paul's head, and fired several times. Paul, who was 42, died that night, and a new line had been crossed in the annals of Boston's war against gang violence.
A tireless investigation eventually led police and prosecutors to Jeffrey ''Black'' Bly. As the investigation proceeded, chilling details began to emerge about Bly's targeting of McLaughlin. In the days before the murder, Bly had recruited another gang member to follow McLaughlin, to learn his habits and his route home. One night, another Theodore Street Posse member drove Bly to the train station. Little by little, the evidence revealed a planned execution, designed and carried out in an attempt by Bly to avoid prosecution. Evidence suggested that months earlier Bly had decided to kill the prosecutor and a key witness in the carjacking case. When the attempted murder of the witness was botched, Bly turned his sights on McLaughlin.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In February 1998, a Suffolk Superior Court grand jury returned indictments charging Bly with Paul's murder, and in May 1999, a jury convicted Bly of first-degree murder. He is serving mandatory life imprisonment.
In Rockford, Illinois my own jurisdiction a simmering gang dispute erupted into gunfire in which gang members fired repeated rounds into a home in which they thought a rival gang member had fled. The result was the death of 8-year-old DeMarcus Hanson, shot in the head and killed while sleeping in his own bed. The 3 gang members are currently serving 50 year prison sentences after an aggressive and effective prosecution by prosecutors from my office and the office of the Illinois Attorney General. And in Illinois, 50 years for murder means 50 yearsnot a day less.
THE GANG DETERRENCE AND COMMUNITY PROTECTION ACT
Before looking several aspects of The Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act I want to most wholeheartedly indicate my support for what this bill accomplishes. My comments on the legislation are meant to enhance its impact and are not to in any manner to detract from what has been started by Mr. Forbes and the other cosponsors of the bill. What you do here will serve as the foundation for all our efforts.
Unity of Purpose and Effort
One of out biggest concerns with this, or any, federal legislation is to prevent conflict with local investigation and prosecution efforts. Our concerns in this regard are centered on the proper allocation of all too scarce resources at both the national and local levels of law enforcement.
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Local prosecutors are successful in prosecuting crime because they have the expertise, experience and connection to the community that is needed to combat the types of crimes that most affect the American people, and, under consideration here, in combating gang violence. Murder, drug dealing, sexual assault, robbery, auto theft, assault, and juvenile delinquency are the kinds of offenses that we deal with on the streets and in the court every dayover 95% of all violent crime is prosecuted by local prosecutors.
That is not to say we do not need assistance from Federal law enforcement. Federal law enforcement agencies and Federal law are extremely useful when it comes to long-term, multi-jurisdictional investigations and prosecutions. They have the resources and technical capabilities many local agencies do not have or need only on rare occasions.
Electronic surveillance, for instance, is beyond the capability of many local law enforcement agencies and Federal support in this sensitive area is extremely valuable to our mutual efforts. Another example is the ability of the Federal system to impose stricter sentences in some instances then can state criminal justice systems. Federal mandatory minimum sentences have been successfully used to gain leverage in taking apart otherwise close knit gangs. We have mandatory minimums in Illinois and I know the impact they can have in developing cooperation from an otherwise recalcitrant witness.
It is the ability to bring the respective talents and resources of the local and federal authorities together at the appropriate times that result in the successes we are all looking for in the fight against gangs. I would urge that this become the hallmark of your efforts in ending gang violence.
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We have, over the course of the past 6 or more years seen effective models of coordination in both PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD (PSN) and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). These are prime examples of team work between federal and local prosecution to achieve the best results in any given case, dependent upon the strengths and weaknesses of the respective systems.
To that end, however, the Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act does not contain any mandate to consult or coordinate with local prosecutors prior to the assumption of jurisdiction by federal authorities. This sets up the possibility of conflict by not clearly delineating a process to resolve federal and local responsibilities
A provision requiring Federal agencies to ''consult and coordinate'' with state and local prosecutors, would better serve to ensure that federal and local efforts are complementary rather then potentially adversarial. I would most strongly recommend that this requirement be adopted as the standard in all the areas of your gang suppression initiative that involve both federal and local efforts.
High Intensity Interstate Gang Activity Areas
In Title II, Section 201 the idea of a ''High Intensity Interstate Gang Activity'' Area (HIIGA), the concept pioneered by the ''High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area'' (HIDTA), is developed as part of the gang strategy. Cross designation of local prosecutors, sharing of intelligence and cross-jurisdictional efforts have made the HIDTA a very strong model upon which to base other efforts.
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This approach has much to commend it but, I would suggest, needs to be reexamined in light of the existing drug program.
A majority of gang enterprise centers on the drug trade, and while there may be occasions where drug trafficking does not play a predominate role in the economic enterprise of a gang; it is inevitable that most HIIGA and HIDTA will be in large degree the same geographical areas. Given the scarcity of resources it can be anticipated that there will be a de facto* merger of HIIGA and HIDTA efforts as staff for each wear more then one ''hat.'' To be very honest most of us don't have the resources available to staff two over-lapping efforts of this nature.
I would suggest that the Community Protection Act should recognize this overlap and provide for an existing HIDTA to assume the additional role or responsibilities of a HIIGA, with additional resources as appropriate. The Attorney General should be given the latitude to merge the efforts when there is substantial overlap of effort.
We have seen what can occur when different agencies work the same problem on a competitive basis. Much has been made of the failure of the intelligence efforts by the various Federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies after 9/11. This is the opportunity to prevent this from occurring in fighting gang violence and drug dealing.
Attacks On Our Criminal Justice System
We've recently seen a spate of attacks on judges and new concerns about the safety of those participating in our justice system. Judges, prosecutors and even defense counsel have been the subject of threats and attacks for years but I would offer to you the premise that these attacks on our system of criminal justice have also been ongoing for many years through witness intimidation.
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Unlike many of our South American allies we have not yet seen the systemic attack on court officials by organized gangs but we have seen their efforts at intimidate and eliminate those who would witness against them. It is not much of a stretch from murdering a witness to the assassination of Paul McLaughlin.
The Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act acknowledges the need to provide funds to prosecutors for witness protection and efforts to end gang violence. We understand that other efforts are being considered to the crisis we are experiencing in protecting our system of criminal justice and we want to work with you to ensure the sanctity of our justice system.
PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD (PSN)
While outside the scope of consideration of the Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act I want to endorse the continuation of Project Safe neighborhood as a very vital ancillary effort to what you are trying to do today. As noted previously PSN is a collative effort between federal and local law enforcement. It has become a very important part of community crime fighting strategies in many part of our nation. I would advance that it can become a keystone of your efforts to fight gang violence but it must be noted that during the last budget cycle the amounts made available for local efforts were severely curtailed. If this is to truly be a keystone in the gang violence effort then you need to provide resources to keep pace with those available to the federal system.
Funding for Local Prosecution Efforts
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We need to be proactive in our communities to identify gang threat early and respond decisively. I can tell you that the resources of every local prosecutor in the United States are stretched thin now.
To be very honest we need financial assistance to place local prosecutors with the HIIGA; to get the computers to track gang efforts, to conduct authorized electronic surveillance of gang members and to train our line prosecutors in the dynamics of this threat.
To support what you envision with the ''Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act'' we will very desperately need the funding assistance you offer.
On behalf of America's prosecutors I, and the National District Attorneys Association, urge you to take steps to provide federal assistance to state efforts to fight our gang problems and to provide us with the resources to effectively protect those brave enough to confront the gang criminals. As President next year I plan to make this a priority issue for our members.
We look forward to continuing to work with you on addressing this growing problem.
Mr. FORBES. Michelle Guess.
TESTIMONY OF MICHELLE GUESS, EDGEWOOD, MD
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Ms. GUESS. Good afternoon. My name is Michelle Guess. I am here to tell you about the devastating impact of gang violence in our community. My family and I have, and still continue, to suffer from gang violence. We are, and always have been, law-abiding people and rely on our faith to help guide us.
Three years ago, my family and I moved from Philadelphia here to the State of Maryland in the suburbs. In Philadelphia, we enrolled our children in charter schools because of the poor education and the dangerous environment in the Philadelphia public schools. We moved to the suburbs because we thought we could get away from the dangers of life in Philadelphia. How wrong we were.
My husband and I enrolled our children here in Maryland schools. I have nine children, and my husband and I were together for 22 years. My husband was a minister and was planning to start our church just before he was killed. We lived in a nice community, and, we thought, a safe one. Yet I soon learned about the growing problems of gangs.
Just before this Christmas, a gang member killed my husband, and he just happened to be a friend of my daughter, went to school with her. These gangs in the community where I live at, they don't look like the normal gangs, or dress like normal gang people. They live in good homes, I mean, very good homes. And their parents don't even know that a lot of them are a part of these gangs. They're not even allowed to tell their parents. And it is very hard in raising my nine children and knowing I can't even allow my kids to go to any of their friends' homes because I don't know who lives in their household.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We had an incident where my daughter was over at a friend's of hers home, and it was very hard for me to allow her to be there. I literally went and dragged her out of their home because we found out that the gentleman that was visiting is from another State and he was a Blood, and, when I found out that he was in that home, I went and dragged my daughter out of there. I can't even allow my kids to go in any of my neighbors' homes because I don't know who lives in there. You will not recognize them just by looking at them.
My 10-year-old son's here with me. That last year, a friend of his, they had reported that he'd possibly gotten shot or whatever. He's 10 years old. And he told my son that he was a part of a gang. He was like a runner, drug run for thesebecause they don't expect the children. And when my son told me that, that is very fearful for a mother, for any parent, that in our community we can't even tell who's who. That's scary.
And we as parents and as authority figures have to protect our children. We have to protect our community. We can't put a price on the life of a child, the life of our children. We can't.
When someone does something wrong, they must pay for what they have done, regardless. Yes, I agree that we need to do prevention, but we need to give them the opportunity. They must make the decision, just like they made the decision to shoot my husband. They made that decision, and, whatever decision they make, there are consequences and we must understand that we cannot put a price on our children. Our children are our tomorrow.
They go to these gangs because these gangs promise to protect them. Why don't our children come to us? Because we turn our face from them and we put our hands under the table and we let these gangs run the life of our children, our own life, when we can't even live, we can't even enjoy life because we allow them, because we want to put a price on the life. We can't put a price on a life. When that life is taken from you, you can never put a price on life.
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We must do whatever. We have to, to protect our children, our community, our neighbor. We have to. We have to. Thank you. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Guess follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MICHELLE GUESS
Good morning. My name is Michelle Guess. I am here to tell you about the devastating impact of gang violence in our communities. My family and I have, and still continue, to suffer from gang violence. We are, and always have been, law-abiding people, and we rely on our faith to help guide us.
Three years ago, my family and I moved from Philadelphia here to the Maryland suburbs. In Philadelphia we enrolled our children in charter schools because of the poor education and dangerous environment in the Philadelphia public schools. Our neighborhood was controlled by gangs and gang violence. Our schools were filled with gang members. We moved to the Maryland suburbs because we thought we could get away from the dangers of life in Philadelphia. How wrong we were.
My husband and I enrolled our children here in Maryland public schools. I have nine children and I was married to my husband for 22 years. My husband was a minister and was planning to start his own church in Maryland just before he was killed. We lived in a nice communitywe thought a safe one. Yet, I soon learned about the growing problem of gangs. My children were threatened in school. They were bullied and threatened to join a gang or suffer the violent consequences. My children lived in feargang members made it clear that if kids reported the gang's efforts to recruit new members, their parents would be threatened.
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Just before Christmas, a gang member killed my husband by shooting him in the head for no reason other than complying with a gang initiation requirementmurder of an innocent civilian. My husband was working late driving a taxi and was lured by gang members to a neighboring street to our home, where he was shot and killednothing more than a random gang initiation ritual. My husband did nothing wrong. He loved his family and all of his children. He was simply a random and convenient victim of this violent gang.
I am here today because I believe so strongly that we need to stop gangs nowand stop them dead in their tracks. My husband would be alive today if the gang that killed him was in jail. We have to stop gang behavior and the evil spread of gangs. Nothing we can do will bring my husband back. But we can do something to stop gangs now. To make sure that families like mine do not go through such a horrible event, I am here today to tell you that the gang problem is real and that we must do everything in our power to stop it so that our communities can be safe.
Mr. FORBES. Professor Shepherd, you have 5 minutes.
TESTIMONY OF ROBERT E. SHEPHERD, JR., EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND SCHOOL OF LAW, RICHMOND, VA
Mr. SHEPHERD. Chairman Forbes, Congressman Scott, Members of the Committee, I thank you for this opportunity to be with you. I feel very much at home with Congressman Forbes and Congressman Scott, being two highly distinguished alumni of the Virginia General Assembly, where I have appeared for many years.
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First, like Chairman Forbes, I would like to thank Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia for his successful efforts in 2004 as part of the appropriation process to fund anti-gang activities which had been cut in the budget presented by the President. These funds have helped to contribute to efforts to suppress gangs in Virginia, especially in the Northern part of the State.
I also want to thank Congressman Bobby Scott of Virginia for his successful contributions through the years to bipartisan efforts in support of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, which has been the best possible vehicle for protecting society from anti-social behavior by children and adolescents, and for enabling these youth to become good citizens.
Second, I urge this Subcommittee and Congress to reject the approaches taken in H.R. 1279 regarding juveniles, particularly section 115, as being counterproductive to protecting the safety of the community and as contrary to the best evidence of what works well with youth who may engage in serious and violent delinquent behavior.
My first concern is about the continued federalization of the substantive criminal law, historically the domain of the States. I share the concerns of the Judicial Conference of the United States expressed in its letter of April 1 regarding the specific problems presented by federalizing behavior by juveniles. Federal courts are not really equipped to address the particular issues and needs of adolescents, and Federal correctional institutions do not have the programs suited to young people, as the Judicial Conference readily acknowledges. In fact, most youth tried and convicted in Federal courts end up in State facilities because there is no Federal juvenile justice facility.
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Second, addressing specifically section 115, the increased use of transfer to adult court of juveniles is unwise and contrary to evidence regarding the implications of transfer or certification. Every recent study by researchers in Florida, Minnesota, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are consistent in showing that youth transferred to adult court and tried as adults had higher recidivism rates. They reoffended sooner after release from adult institutions. And their repeat offenses were more serious than similar youth retained in juvenile court for the same offenses in the same or comparable jurisdictions.
I would also point out that in the context of this particular issue, sending a juvenile convicted of gang activity into an adult institution dominated perhaps by gangs may be entirely counterproductive. Juveniles incarcerated in adult institutions are also at greater risk of assaults, and the research clearly shows that policies that increase the transfer of juveniles to adult court have a disproportionate impact on children of color.
Making the decision whether to transfer a youth charged with gang-related violent behavior to the Federal court solely a prosecutorial decision which is not reviewable by a court is also unwise. I would note that that unreviewability might even prevent an examination of whether the juvenile is competent to stand trial.
The mandatory minimum provisions are also problematic. Juveniles involved in gang activity may not be equally culpable. They may have been lookouts rather than trigger men. As Bob Schwarts of the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia is fond of saying, Oliver Twist, the ''Artful Dodger,'' Bill Sikes, and Fagin were not equally culpable in their criminal activity in Dickens' London, but they would be under this bill.
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A report released last year by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids gives a good blueprint of what should be done from the perspective of law enforcement about dealing with young people in gangs, and I recommend it to the attention of the Committee.
In wrapping up, I would like to say to the Committee that the best way of dealing with a lot of these issues, as many of the other speakers have indicated, is through an effective partnership between local prosecutors and Federal prosecutors, supported by technical assistance and resources from the Federal Government, especially through the Federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Shepherd follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF ROBERT E. SHEPHERD, JR.
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, I am Robert E. Shepherd, Jr., Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Richmond Law School in Virginia, and a former Chair of the Juvenile Justice Committee of the American Bar Association. I am here to present testimony on H.R. 1279, the ''Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act of 2005,'' and I thank you for the opportunity to speak to you about this bill.
First, I would like to thank Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia for his successful efforts in 2004 as part of the appropriation process to fund anti-gang activities, which has contributed greatly to efforts to suppress gangs in Virginia, especially in the northern part of the state. I also want to thank Congressman Bobby Scott of Virginia for his successful contributions through the years to bipartisan efforts in support of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). That Act, originally enacted more than thirty years ago, has contributed greatly to the prevention of delinquency, to early intervention in the suppression of delinquency, to treating delinquent behavior and rehabilitating delinquent youth so as to prevent future delinquency, and to ensuring humane treatment of these young people in the juvenile justice system. The Act, and its programs, is still the best possible vehicle for protecting society from antisocial behavior by children and adolescents and for enabling these youth to become good citizens and successful adults.
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Second, I urge the subcommittee and the Congress to reject the approaches taken in H.R. 1279 regarding juveniles, particularly in Section 115 concerning juveniles, as being counter-productive in protecting the safety of the community and as contrary to the best evidence of what works well with youth who may engage in serious and violent delinquent behavior. My first concern is about the continued federalization of the substantive criminal law, historically the domain of the states. State and local governments are best informed about what would be successful in addressing a crime problem locally or within a state, although there may be an important federal role in providing technical assistance and intelligence about unique problems. Virginia, for example, has enacted a number of laws in recent years to address gang-related criminal activity, including a gang registry, most of which apply to juveniles as well as adults. I share the concerns of the Judicial Conference of the United States, expressed in its letter of April 1, 2005, regarding the specific problems presented by federalizing criminal behavior by juveniles. Federal courts are really not equipped to address the particular issues and needs of adolescents, and federal correctional institutions do not have the programs suited to young people, as the Judicial Conference readily acknowledges. Indeed, most youth tried and convicted as juveniles in federal courts are placed in state juvenile correctional facilities because there is no federal counterpart.
Third, addressing specifically Section 115, the increased use of transfer to adult court of juveniles, even sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds, is unwise and contrary to much evidence regarding the implications of transfer or certification. Several recent studies, by researchers in Florida, Minnesota, New York and New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, are consistent in showing that youth transferred to adult court and tried as adults had higher recidivism rates, they re-offended sooner after release from adult institutions, and their repeat offenses were more serious than similar youth retained in juvenile court for the same offenses in the same or comparable jurisdictions. (Lanza-Kaduce, Frazier, Lane & Bishop; Greene & Dougherty; Fagan; Mayers; Podkopacz & Feld; Coalition for Juvenile Justice) Thus, treatment as an adult created a greater risk for community safety in the long term than did juvenile treatment. A Miami Herald study of the Florida experience in 2001 concluded that ''[s]ending a juvenile to prison increased by 35 percent the odds he'll re-offend within a year of release.'' (Greene & Dougherty) Although there are no studies I know of on this particular point, it seems logical that sending a juvenile tried as an adult for gang-related offenses to an adult facility dominated by gangs would intensify that reported effect.
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Juveniles incarcerated in adult correctional institutions are also at greater risk of assaults, both sexual and physical. Studies show that such youth are five times as likely to report being a victim of rape, twice as likely to be beaten by staff, and 50% more likely to be assaulted with a weapon than youth in juvenile facilities and they are eight times more likely to commit suicide. (Audi; Forst, Fagan & Vivona) Would not the fear of such assaults drive the youth even further into the arms of adult gang members in the same institution for protection?
Policies that increase the transfer of juveniles to adult court also have a disproportionate impact on children of color. Recent studies have shown that more than seven out of every ten youth admitted to adult facilities across the country were youth of color, and minority youth are more likely to be treated as adults that white youth charged with the same offenses. (Poe-Yamagata; Ziedenberg; Males & Macallair; Coalition for Juvenile Justice)
Making the decision whether to transfer a youth charged with gang-related violent behavior to the federal court for trial as an adult solely a prosecutorial decision which is not reviewable by a court is also unwise, and violates our basic concepts of due process and fair play. The legislation also allows any other offenses committed that are not covered by the Act to be tried as adult offenses, including lesser included offenses, thus putting some perhaps trivial charges in federal district courts as well. The bill provides no exception to non-reviewability for jurisdictional issues such as non-agea fifteen-year-old mistakenly identified as being olderor for young people who may not be competent to stand trial as an adult, a high risk scenario as many youth who engage in risky behaviors have mental health problems. The Virginia statute that allows a prosecutor to seek adult handling provides that the juvenile court still has to find the presence of probable cause and that the juvenile is competent to stand trial. And the adult court can reconsider the prosecutor's decision and treat the youth as a juvenile in making sentencing decisions.
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Fourth, the mandatory minimum provisions in HR 1279 are also problematic, especially for adolescents. Judges should have broad discretion in sentencing adolescents, even when they are tried and treated as adults. As noted above, Virginia does this as part of its statutory framework for transfer. Juveniles involved in gang-related activity frequently have less culpability than the adults they associate with in antisocial behavior, they may be a lookout rather than a triggerman, and yet the legislation denies the court the power to discriminate among different levels of involvement and different kinds of behavior. As Bob Schwarts of the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia is fond of saying, Oliver Twist, the ''Artful Dodger,'' Bill Sikes, and Fagin were not equally culpable in their criminal activity in Dickensian London, but they would be under this bill. Also, longer sentences are not necessarily better and more protective of society, especially where juveniles are concerned.
Fifth, although juveniles charged as adults with capital offenses cannot be sentenced to death under the federal death penalty statute or Roper v. Simmons, does this legislation still expose them to a ''death-qualified jury,'' especially if they are tried jointly with adults? That question seems to linger in the air, without any clear answer provided in the bill.
Recent data show a stark reduction in the rate and seriousness of juvenile delinquency in the past nine or ten years, contrary to the dire predictions of many ''experts'' whose ominous writings shocked legislators into abandoning the core principles of the juvenile system. Those principles, separating delinquent youth from hardened criminals, treating youth as developmentally different from adults, and viewing young people as being inherently malleable and subject to change in a rehabilitative setting, are still fundamentally sound. Indeed, as we have learned more from the developmental and brain research in recent years, we know better what does work in turning around these young lives and correcting their behavior. Several treatment programs for juvenile offenders, even those charged with serious and violent offenses, have been thoroughly evaluated and work well in reducing recidivism. (E.g., Functional Family Therapy, Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care, and Multisystemic Therapyall are community-based and deal with the youth in several different dimensions of his or her life.) And we know that trying them as adults is destructive and counter-productive, especially with mandatory minimum sentences.
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A report released last year by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a law enforcement-based group, points to the effectiveness of many current programs in preventing gangsat the local and state leveland in interdicting violent gang activity. That report, CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE: ARRESTING GANG VIOLENCE BY INVESTING IN KIDS, offers much useful advice about programs that work with the help of federal investment in anti-gang programs through the JJDPA and other entities.
I respectfully urge you to continue your historical focus on funding delinquency prevention and intervention programs through the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, supplemented by further technical assistance to, and collaboration with, local authorities by the Justice Department and its entities, rather than increasing federal district court jurisdiction over young people with their different perspectives and characteristics. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, utilizing JJDPA funds, is assisting in the sponsorship of the National Youth Gang Symposium in early June in Orlando, Florida to focus on effective anti-gang strategies with juveniles, and this is an example of the more effective federal role in addressing gangs.
Coalition for Juvenile Justice, CHILDHOOD ON TRIAL: THE FAILURE OF TRYING AND SENTENCING YOUTH IN ADULT COURTS (2005).
Audi, Tamara, ''Prison at 14: Teenage Girls Serve Time with Adult Inmates,'' Detroit Free Press, July 10, 2000.
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Fagan, Jeffrey, THE COMPARATIVE IMPACTS OF JUVENILE AND CRIMINAL COURT SANCTIONS ON ADOLESCENT FELONY OFFENDERS (National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, 1991)
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE: ARRESTING GANG VIOLENCE BY INVESTING IN KIDS (2004).
Forst, Martin, Jeffrey Fagan & T. Scott Vivona, ''Youth in Prisons and Training Schools: Perceptions and Consequences of the Treatment-Custody Dichotomy,'' 40 Juvenile & Family Court Journal (1989).
Greene, Ronnie & Geoff Dougherty, ''Kids in Prison: Tried as Adults, They Find Trouble Instead of Rehabilitation,'' Miami Herald, March 18, 2001.
Lanza-Kaduce, Lonn, Charles E. Frazier, Jodi Lane & Donna Bishop, JUVENILE TRANSFERS TO CRIMINAL COURT STUDY: FINAL REPORT (Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2002).
Males, Michael & Daniel Macallair, THE COLOR OF JUSTICE: AN ANALYSIS OF JUVENILE ADULT COURT TRANSFERS IN CALIFORNIA (Building Blocks for Youth, 2000).
Mayers, David L., ADULT CRIME, ADULT TIME: PUNISHING VIOLENT YOUTH IN THE ADULT CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM (Sage Publications, 2003).
Podkopacz, Marcy R. & Barry Feld, ''The End of the Line: An Empirical Study of Judicial Waiver,'' 86 Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 449 (1996).
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Poe-Yamagata, E., AND JUSTICE FOR SOME (National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2000).
Ziedenberg, Jason, DRUGS AND DISPARITY: THE RACIAL IMPACT OF ILLINOIS' PRACTICE OF TRANSFERRING YOUNG ADULT OFFENDERS TO ADULT COURT (Building Blocks for Youth, 2002).
Mr. FORBES. We want to thank all of the witnesses for their testimony.
Now we're going to enter another round where we're going to be able to ask you some questions, if you don't mind responding to those questions. We'll each only have 5 minutes to ask the questions, so if you can, keep your answers as concise as possible because we've got a short period of time. And all of your written statements will be admitted to the record, without objection.
I'm also going to admit to the record, without objection, a letter from the Fraternal Order of Police with their endorsement of this bill.
[The letter from the Fraternal Order of Police follows in the Appendix]
Mr. FORBES. Now I recognize myself for 5 minutes.
Mr. Fitzgerald, I want to come back to you. You heard what Mr. Conyers said regarding heavy and mandatory sentences as they relate to breaking up gang activities. You've been where the rubber meets the road. Can you tell us your feeling about heavy and mandatory sentences and the effect they have on breaking up this kind of violent gang activity?
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Mr. FITZGERALD. Yes, Congressman. One of the problems we face is if you look at the statistics of the people who actually commit murders, I believe 80 percent of the people who commit homicides in Chicago have been arrested something like seven or eight times before. Also, the victims, I think, have been arrested almost as many times. And you have people who have gone through a revolving door of being arrested and going back out to the street and remaining are predators on the street and posing a risk to others.
And if you identify those persons most likely to kill, those are the people we seek to prosecute both by incapacitating them, removing them from that housing project where the other residents are held captive, and secondly, using them to leverage, frankly, the deterrence value: to tell other people in the community, you saw what happened to so-and-so who had a reputation on the street. That person has now gone away to Federal prison and he is serving time.
And, in fact, Johnny Cochran was one of the people that participated in one of the Project Safe Neighborhood ads showing people that if you carry a gun, these people are serious. You're going away. I think he saw the value in advertising and deterring what it is that we do by selecting the most violent offenders, leveraging their penalties, and using that to get them to cooperate and give up information which lets us go up the food chain and get the gang leaders.
Mr. FORBES. Can you also tell us the Department of Justice's opinion or their position regarding authorized direct filing by prosecutors against 16- and 17-year-old juveniles who are alleged to have committed criminal gang acts of violence and what role, if any, that plays in dismantling violent gangs?
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Mr. FITZGERALD. I'll start with the latter. I think the Department of Justice is still working on the official positions on the markup. I can tell you that if there were direct file of juveniles, the volume of juveniles that would be prosecuted would still be rather small. We are looking at 70,000 to 100,000 gang members in Chicago. In a good year, where everyone works very hard, we're going to prosecute hundreds of gang members, not thousands, not tens of thousands. We do triage to pick out the worst offenders.
To prosecute a juvenile is still difficult, very difficult now because of all the different procedures and the housing issues. We would select out, certainly in my office, only those offenders who merited the prosecution. If someone is committing murders and they're at 17, compared to an 18-year-old, that's an option we'd like to have to take out the most violent offenders. We're not looking to make prosecution of juveniles a volume business in the Federal Government. We can't, just by the sheer numbers of gang offenders and the violence going on.
Mr. FORBES. Ms. Guess, can you tell us, the gang member that shot your husband, can you tell us, the individual that pulled the trigger, how old he was, and did he even know your husband?
Ms. GUESS. He was 17 years old and we believe he did know who my husband was because he knew my daughter.
Mr. FORBES. Do you have any idea of the motive, why he killed your husband?
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. GUESS. Gang initiation.
Mr. FORBES. Mr. Shepherd, you talked about in your written statement and also in your verbal statements about prevention programs. I know you've studied many of the prevention programs in the United States Congress and the funding for those programs, have you not, in your relationship as a juvenile justice expert? And I certainly recognize what Mr. Scott said. Can you tell us how much funding we should be spending for the prevention programs for criminal gang activity at this particular point in time?
Mr. SHEPHERD. Well, I think funding the authorization would be a good place to start. What is authorized
Mr. FORBES. Can you give me a dollar figure?
Mr. SHEPHERD. I don't know the exact figure. I'm
Mr. FORBES. Can you give me a ballpark?
Mr. SHEPHERD. I can't. I'm sorry.
Mr. FORBES. So then right now, you really don't know how much we're funding?
Mr. SHEPHERD. Well, I know that it's less than what is authorized in the Act.
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Mr. FORBES. Do you know how much is authorized?
Mr. SHEPHERD. The amount that's authorized in the Act would be about $300, $400 million.
Mr. FORBES. If they were spending $300 or $400 million on prevention programs, do you think that would be adequate?
Mr. SHEPHERD. Well, not adequate, but keep in mind that the way that Federal money is used is with matching funds from the State through the various State Advisory Groups, which I'm a member of in Virginia, and we get matching funds from the localities as well as from the State. So the Federal money is basically seed money that helps to generate additional funds throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia for a whole variety of programs, including some of the Boys and Girls Clubs programs and some of those programs are also earmarked under the Federal Act directly, so the money comes into Virginia directly from the Federal Government. But the programs basically are generated by the Federal Government through the State to the localities to target programs.
Mr. FORBES. Thank you. My time has expired.
I would like to now recognize Congressman Scott for 5 minutes.
Mr. SCOTT. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Logli, Ms. Guess has described a cold-blooded murder. You don't need any new Federal legislation to prosecute such a crime, do you?
Mr. LOGLI. Assuming it didn't happen on a military base, something of that nature, we would handle it as a local matter. In Illinois, we have mandatory minimum sentences and that
Mr. SCOTT. For a cold-blooded murder like that, if a person is caught and prosecuted, what would present law provide for them?
Mr. LOGLI. He would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years.
Mr. SCOTT. Withoutand what would they usually get? Somebody just shoots somebody in cold-blooded murder.
Mr. LOGLI. I think we'd be looking at 30 or 40 years, 50 years, perhaps. And in Illinois, we have truth in sentencing, so with murder, they serve every day. There is no good time.
Mr. SCOTT. So what difference would this bill make?
Mr. LOGLI. I believe this bill may not make a difference in that type of street murder
Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SCOTT. Okay. I only have 5 minutes.
Mr. LOGLI. Okay.
Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Shepherd, are you aware of any peer-reviewed studies that would suggest that the provisions of this bill would actually reduce crime?
Mr. SHEPHERD. The techniques that are incorporated in this bill have pretty well been proven not to reduce crime, especially where juveniles are concerned, who are not specifically deterred. I mean, they act, as the Supreme Court noted in the death penalty case, on the basis of impulse.
Mr. SCOTT. Thank you. And Mr. Fitzgerald, are you aware of best practices to actually reduce crime and whether or not those provisions are in this bill or could be found elsewhere?
Mr. FITZGERALD. Best practices? We found that the best practice is, for example, to go after the worst offenders, if I give the example of the ''Top 20'' list
Mr. SCOTT. Have you seen any published studies of best practices, how to reduce juvenile crime?
Mr. FITZGERALD. We don't read published studies. We sit down with the people enforcing the law and exchange ideas that have been tried
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Mr. SCOTT. Does the Department of Justice have a website that outlines best practices?
Mr. FITZGERALD. I know we had a conference which I helped organize last month about best practices for gangs. As far as juveniles, I'd have to get back to you on that, since
Mr. SCOTT. Are those best practices reflected in this legislation?
Mr. FITZGERALD. I'd have to get back to you on that, on whether or notwhat publications it might be, how it corresponds to the bill.
Mr. SCOTT. Okay. Mr. Shepherdwell, let me ask, there's a provision in here that provides for gang crimes and it appears to suggest that if you belong to the gang, therefore, you would be guilty. Everybody in the gang would be guilty. Do you read it that way?
Mr. FITZGERALD. I don't believe so. I think that that provision of section 521, and the Department of Justice is doing a review of the bill, requiring, I think, that there be three or more persons that have to participate in a crime. I don't
Mr. SCOTT. That to be found guilty, you would actually have to have some participation in the crime?
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Mr. FITZGERALD. In a crime or conspiracy, mere membership alone would not be a crime, is my understanding.
Mr. SCOTT. Okay. Well, how is that different from the conspiracy law now?
Mr. FITZGERALD. It depends on the offense you commit. In conspiracy law, if there's a drug offense, you could be guilty of a drug offense now, where if there's a non-drug offense, the predicate offenses in the proposed bill would depend on the violation you commit.
Mr. SCOTT. What kind of situation would exist where you could prosecute somebody under the bill that you could not prosecute them under normal conspiracy law?
Mr. FITZGERALD. Most likely, it would be where gangs are not involved in drug trafficking. In Chicago, for example, gangs are heavily involved in drug trafficking, but at that conference I
Mr. SCOTT. Help me out here. Let's talk about a specific defendant. Let's talk about a specific defendant. If you can't get them for conspiracy now, how could you get them under the bill?
Mr. FITZGERALD. If the conspiracy to commit an offenseconspiracy is a way to commit another offenseif the offense that they're committing is not now punished under the drug statutes, if it were a violent crime that's not directly related to drug trafficking, that's my understanding. I haven't
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Mr. SCOTT. So if a person has no involvement in a particular crime that you can't get them for conspiracy, you can get them roped in because they are a member of the gang?
Mr. FITZGERALD. No. What I meant to say was, if the gang is not involved in drug trafficking or you can't prove the gang is not involved in drug trafficking, you would not be able to charge them with a drug conspiracy. But if they got involved in extortions and robberies and assaults and attempted murders, you would useyou could use that statute to charge that.
Mr. SCOTT. Even if the defendant had no role in the crime?
Mr. FITZGERALD. If the
Mr. SCOTT. For which you could not get them for a conspiracy.
Mr. FITZGERALD. No. I think I confused you. I meant, if you couldn't charge them with drug conspiracy
Mr. SCOTT. No, if a personif you can't get a person for conspiracy, can you get them under the bill for a crime for which they could not be chargedbut, I mean, you can jump around and say, well, you might have charged them for this or that, but if they're involved in a conspiracy, you've got them, right?
Page 84 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. FITZGERALD. A conspiracy is always tied to a specific offense. We have to prove it to a jury.
Mr. SCOTT. Okay.
Mr. FITZGERALD. So if the conspiracy was for a crime that isn't now a Federal crime for which there's Federal jurisdiction, this would make a difference, and my example for drugs is if you have a drug conspiracy, you could charge someone now with a drug conspiracy. But if there're conspiracies to get robberies and assaults carried out by an enterprise of three or more members as part of a gang, that would not violate the drug conspiracy laws because the assaults may be unrelated to drugs.
Mr. SCOTT. That's right, but you could get them for violating the robbery laws, couldn't you now?
Mr. FITZGERALD. But to get a Federal violation of robbery, you need an interstate commerce element. So robberies are not a Federal crime in and of themselves.
Mr. FORBES. The gentleman's time has expired.
I would now recognize Representative Lungren for 5 minutes.
Mr. LUNGREN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am very interested in this subject. I think it does have issues of Federalism. It does have issues of effective law enforcement. As Attorney General of California, I was very much involved with writing legislation in California dealing with violent laws, or violent crimes. Actually, we utilized a number of the things that are suggested in this bill at the State level. Over an 8-year period of time, we saw the lessening of violent crimes by about 35 percent and a drop in the homicide rate of 50 percent in 8 years utilizing many of the same things that are in this bill, or that approach, at least, at the State level.
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I still am concerned sometimes about federalization of all crimes, but I note also we've been extremely successful in allowing participation of Federal prosecutors in those appropriate places where oftentimes the penalties were greater than they were on the State level going after the worst malefactors involved.
Professor Shepherd, I wondered, in your written submitted testimony, you assert that the objective of handling violent and delinquent juveniles is a question of dealing with anti-social behavior, and I'm always interested in that because that suggests that a juvenile is involved in anti-social behavior but an adult is involved in criminal behavior. Do you distinguish between a 17-year-old, 6 months who commits a murder like Ms. Guess's husband was the victim of and if he were 18 years old and a day?
Mr. SHEPHERD. Well, we certainly make distinctions about that in every other aspect of the law. When it comes to contracts and now the death penalty and a lot of other things, we draw arbitrary bright lines and every State does in its jurisdiction. Obviously, States do have mechanisms for transferring some juveniles to adult court for particular types of behavior, and I don't find that inappropriate if it's used judiciously. I think California does a better job of that than, say, Florida does and some other States where it is, indeed, a last resort rather than being almost automatic based on the nature of the offense.
Mr. LUNGREN. As I understand here, this section 115 of this proposed legislation would authorize the Attorney General to charge as an adult in Federal court a juvenile who is 16 years or older and commits a crime of violence, but not mandate it.
Page 86 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SHEPHERD. That's correct.
Mr. LUNGREN. So that would be judicious application, you would hope, by the Attorney General. You wouldn't object to giving him that authority, would you?
Mr. SHEPHERD. I have some concerns about it because of the broad implications of what may be gang activity where the juvenile's involvement may be far less than it would be if he were being charged with the specific offense the person engaged in.
Mr. LUNGREN. Even though, under section 115, it requires the commission of a crime of violence.
Mr. SHEPHERD. Yes, it does, but he could be a lookout for a crime of violence, and, in most States, that could be weeded out through the judicial transfer process.
Mr. LUNGREN. In California, actuallyyou said positive things about Californiawe allow, for certain violent crimes, juveniles as young as 14 to be considered for adult court. Initially, when I became Attorney General, I didn't support that, but over the course of the period of time that I was Attorney General, I saw the violence that was visited upon our communities by gang members who were ever and ever younger, and, actually, I championed and actually wrote the legislation to allow that to occur.
And I think we're confronted with something that Ms. Guess talks about, which is it makes very little difference to the victim whether the perpetrator is 16 or 17 or 18. They're just as damaged or just as dead. And I'm not trying to suggest it's an easy question, but it is something that I have mulled over in my mind as we had to deal with the tremendous violent problem that we had, and I must say that, contrary to what you suggest that this approach doesn't work, at least the facts bear up in California where you have a 50 percent drop in homicide rate among adults and among juveniles that I think there were lives saved and there were people that were much safer as a result.
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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FORBES. Thank you, Congressman.
Now we'd like to recognize for 5 minutes Mr. Conyers.
Mr. CONYERS. Thank you very much.
See, the problem that we're having is that while we're talking about transferring more punitive legislation to the Federal level, we're cutting Federal funding for juvenile justice, and I don't think that is going to work out too well.
We've found that this kind of a problem is going to lead us into the two schools of thought, the one that an enlightened former Member, Congressman Lungren, had which descended into a very narrow, restricted, punitive type attitude which I hope he is now reconsidering in coming back into the fold of those of us who support bringing some sense to this problem, not just punishment. As Mr. Fitzgerald pointed out, you can't get at all of them through the courts. It's just too many. We've got to begin to look more at some of these other problems that cause it.
Mr. Paul Logli, did you know former Police Chief of Los Angeles, Mr. William Bratton?
Mr. LOGLI. I'm certainly familiar with the name and his reputation, sir.
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Mr. CONYERS. Sure. Right. What about the late Johnny Cochran, the lawyer?
Mr. LOGLI. I'm certainly familiar with him, as well.
Mr. CONYERS. Well, they're all recommending reports that I'd like to commend to my colleagues on the Committee as well as the witnesses, a report from Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, and another, ''Childhood on Trial: The Failure of Trying and Sentencing Youth in Adult Criminal Court.''
Mr. Fitzgerald, you would prefer, I assume, to keep most of these trials, wherever practical, in the State courts?
Mr. FITZGERALD. I would presume that we would select out those juveniles that we think merit particular attention for Federal prosecution. That's why, as I think Congressman Lungren pointed out, the bill talks about authorizing the transfer to Federal court, not mandating it, because it would be for the prosecutors to select those cases that are most egregious that warrant Federal prosecution, such as a murder by a 17-year-old.
Mr. CONYERS. Congressman Robert Scott has let me look at a letter from the Judicial Conference of the United States dated April 1 of this year to the Chairman of the Subcommittee, and they make a point that I'd like to see if you'd agree with.
As you know, the primary responsibility for prosecuting juveniles has traditionally been reserved for the States. The Federal criminal justice system has little experience and few resources to deal with more than the handful of juveniles that currently are in the Federal system. The Judicial Conference has maintained a longstanding position that criminal prosecution should be limited to those offenses that cannot or should not be prosecuted in State courts. At its September 1997 meeting, after similar legislation had been proposed by conference, the Judicial Conference affirmed that this policy is particularly applicable to the prosecution of juveniles. Does that comport with your general view on the subject?
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Mr. FITZGERALD. No, but I would say this, Congressman. Here's what I have in mind. In the situation where there's a housing project taken over by a gang and requires a Federal prosecution to dislodge the gang from the project so that everyone else who lives there can be sort of free, in that circumstance, if we arrested 15 members who were involved in murders and attempted murders and one was a 17-year-old, to take the system and prosecute 14 people in the Federal system
Mr. CONYERS. Okay. Let me ask Professor Shepherd, what do you think of the judges pleading with the Congress not to do any more juvenile justice specialties out of judiciary because they don't want it, they can't handle it, and it's more appropriate at the State level?
Mr. FORBES. Mr. Shepherd, if you would respond to that questionthe gentleman's time has expiredwe will put that document in the record, without objection.
Mr. CONYERS. Thank you.
Mr. SHEPHERD. I think that's been a consistent position, Congressman Conyers.
Mr. FORBES. Now we recognize Congressman Delahunt from Massachusetts for 5 minutes.
Page 90 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. DELAHUNT. Mr. Chairman, I hope we have another round here. This has been very informative.
I have a question for my colleague from California, Dan Lungren, because he speaks to the issue of transfer from juvenile to adult, my understanding is that in California, it's not the prosecutor's call. There is judicial intervention in the juvenile justice system that allows for transfer to the adult system. I think that's the case in most States.
I served 22 years as the District Attorney and I certainly, on the right kind of occasions, and I think that's what you're referring to, Mr. Fitzgerald, aggressively pursue transfer to the adult correctional facility because there are situations where they are 17 or under, but given the right criteria, they deserve to be prosecuted in the adult system.
So I think we've got to be very, very precise here. District Attorney, is it Logli?
Mr. LOGLI. Logli.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Logli. I tend to agree with the former Attorney General of the United States, who also was from California, Mr. Meese, about the federalization of State crimes. I mean, what's the position? You represent the National District Association, the NDA here, and
Mr. LOGLI. Thank you, Congressman. First off, we believe we can handle the typical juvenile type of crime that we've been discussing. But I looked at this legislation as more importantly dealing with these transnational gangs, the adult gangs, the violent gangs that are not only in this nation but also come out of other nations in this hemisphere. And when I looked at this bill from the standpoint of a local prosecutor, I looked at the resources that Federal authorities, if they have jurisdiction on certain crimes committed by these transnational adult violent crimes, they can bring their technical resources to bear that many Statesour technical resources are not as great as the Federal resourceswire taps, eavesdrops, that type of thing.
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Mr. DELAHUNT. I understand that, and that makes good sense.
Mr. LOGLI. Thank you.
Mr. DELAHUNT. But I mean, that can happen now. I mean, we all, I'm sure in your experience and the U.S. Attorney's experience, we've all worked with task forces. You know, I don't know whether this adds anything to a particular task force. We have a task force on gangs in the Boston area. We have a task force on drugs. We have a task force on serious things where we bring to bear, if you will, Federal resources and where there are violations of criminal statutes and violations of State criminal codes, we sit around the table and talk and figure out where it goes.
I don't know what this really adds, particularly when you giveI think in response to a question by Mr. Scott, we're cutting juvenile justice funding. I mean, is this kind of a way to paper over the fact that we're not committing the resources that are necessary for local and State prosecutors, working with U.S. Attorneys, to go out and to make sure these gangs are disassembled? I mean, we can talk about mandatory sentences. We can talk about a lot of different things. But the reality is, what we're trying to do is reduce crime, and again, given the observations made by my friend and colleague from California, the former Attorney General in that State, I dare say, we don't have a lot of mandatory crimes in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but we did one, I think, outstanding job in terms of reducing the incidence of homicide and all kinds of violent crime to a point that was historical in nature because we funded a comprehensive approach to juvenile justice.
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Fitzgerald, do you have any comments?
Mr. FITZGERALD. I guess
Mr. DELAHUNT. By the way, does RICO apply?
Mr. FITZGERALD. We can
Mr. DELAHUNT. What about usingdon't we have a RICO statute? I mean, we're talking about gangs. Where's the utilization of the RICO statute in terms of gangs?
Mr. FITZGERALD. I'll answer the two questions. The first question, the reason why we'd need the option, for example, for prosecuting a juvenile would be in the situation if there were multiple murders or a murder with multiple perpetrators. If there were five people who committed the murder and one was a juvenile, it wouldn't make sense, if this was a Federal prosecution at that housing project, to say, okay, we're going to try this twice and put the victims and the witnesses through the pain of two
Mr. DELAHUNT. With all due respect, let me tell you something, okay. If you come into my jurisdiction, when I was the District Attorney in the greater Boston area and there were five murders, you're not going to prosecute murders. You're going to be part of a task force and I'm going to prosecute the adults and the juveniles and most likely will prosecute the juvenile in the adult system. So we don't need any Federal statute to tell local prosecutors that they can't try murder cases because, believe me, with all due respect to U.S. Attorneys, they do a far superior job in prosecuting crimes of violence than most U.S. Attorneys.
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Mr. FITZGERALD. And I'll give you an example. What we do, when we have prosecuted RICOs for drug offenses and murders included, we often do that jointly with the State, bringing in Assistant State's Attorneys as specials.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Cross-designations.
Mr. FITZGERALD. Cross-designation, and we decide which is the most appropriate forum. When we took down the Mafia Insane Vice Lords, we took 47 Federal and 58 State. My point is to say that if we decide with the State's Attorney's Office, perhaps with them joining our team in court to prosecute in Federal court a RICO that involves drugs and murders, if there's one juvenile in there and there are eight adults, it would put everyone, the court system as well as the victims and witnesses, through double the pain and the cost and the time if we had to separate the juvenile out.
Mr. DELAHUNT. But there is concurrent jurisdiction, Mr. Fitzgerald.
Mr. FITZGERALD. Yes.
Mr. DELAHUNT. And oftentimes, in my experience working with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston, there would be concurrent prosecutions. We would sequence them so that the State would proceed first in cases where there was traditional State jurisdiction, and if there were Federal violations thereafterward, we'd have them incarcerated, and then if the Feds wanted to prosecute them so that they can secure and on and after sentence, that's what they would do.
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Mr. FORBES. And with that closing statement, the gentleman's time has expired.
I'd like to thank the witnesses for their testimony. The Subcommittee very much appreciates your contribution.
In order to ensure a full record and adequate consideration of this important issue, the record will be left open for additional submissions for 7 days. Also, any written questions that a Member wants to submit should be submitted within the same 7-day period.
This concludes the legislative hearing of H.R. 1279, the ''Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act of 2005.'' Thank you for your cooperation. The Subcommittee
Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Chairman, we have letters
Mr. FORBES. Oh, I'm sorry. All the letters will be submitted, without objection, and will be recognized in the record, and you have 7 days for any additional ones that you'd like to put in.
The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:21 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
Page 95 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCA P P E N D I X
Material Submitted for the Hearing Record
PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE JOHN CONYERS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, AND RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS FOR THE RECORD SUBMITTED BY THE HONORABLE PATRICK FITZGERALD, U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE SHEILA JACKSON LEE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS
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LETTER FROM JAMES D. FOX, CHIEF OF THE NEWPORT NEWS POLICE DEPARTMENT TO THE HONORABLE J. RANDY FORBES (MARCH 29, 2005)
LETTER FROM KENNETH C. BAUMAN, MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. (APRIL 29, 2005)
LETTER FROM MICHAEL A. FRY, GENERAL COUNSEL, MAJOR CITIES CHIEFS ASSOCIATION TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. (APRIL 15, 2005)
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LETTER FROM ROY L. BURNS, PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATION FOR LOS ANGELES DEPUTY SHERIFFS TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. (APRIL 20, 2005)
LETTER FROM WESLEY D. MCBRIDE, PRESIDENT, CALIFORNIA GANG INVESTIGATORS ASSOCIATION TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. (APRIL 25, 2005)
LETTER FROM EDDIE J. JORDAN, JR., DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF NEW ORLEANS TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. (APRIL 18, 2005)
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LETTER FROM DONALD BALDWIN, WASHINGTON DIRECTOR, FEDERAL CRIMINAL INVESTIGATORS ASSOCIATION TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. (APRIL 22, 2005)
LETTER FROM CHUCK CANTERBURY, NATIONAL PRESIDENT, FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE TO THE HONORABLE J. RANDY FORBES (APRIL 4, 2005)
LETTER FROM DENNIS SLOCUMB, INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF POLICE ASSOCIATIONS TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. (ARPIL 26, 2005)
LETTER FROM JAMES J. FOTIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE LAW ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE OF AMERICA TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. (APRIL 19, 2005)
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LETTER FROM SHERIFF MICHAEL J. BOUCHARD, VICE PRESIDENT, LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS, AND SHERIFF JAMES A. KARNES, PRESIDENT, MAJOR COUNTY SHERIFFS' ASSOCIATION TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. (APRIL 20, 2005)
LETTER FROM RICHARD DELONIS, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. (MAY 2, 2005)
LETTER FROM WILLIAM J. JOHNSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF POLICE ORGANIZATIONS TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. (APRIL 15, 2005)
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LETTER FROM FELIPE A. ORTIZ, NATIONAL PRESIDENT, NATIONAL LATINO PEACE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION TO THE HONORALE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. (APRIL 18, 2005)
LETTER FROM THOMAS N. FAUST, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SHERIFFS' ASSOCIATION TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. (APRIL 19, 2005)
LETTER FROM CASEY L. PERRY, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL TROOPERS COALITION TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. (APRIL 19, 2005)
Page 101 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCLETTER FROM TYRONE PARKER, LAURA W. MURPHY, ET AL. TO THE HONORABLE HOWARD COBLE AND THE HONORABLE ROBERT C. SCOTT (APRIL 11, 2005)
LETTER FROM NATIONAL HISPANIC ORGANIZATIONS TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. AND THE HONORABLE JOHN CONYERS (APRIL 20, 2005 AND MAY 10, 2005)
LETTER FROM THE ASSOCIATION OF OIL PIPE LINES, BUSINESS CIVIL LIBERTIES, INC., ET AL., TO THE HONORABLE HOWARD COBLE AND THE HONORABLE ROBERT C. SCOTT (APRIL 12, 2005)
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LETTER FROM LAURA W. MURPHY, TONYA MCCLARY, ET AL., TO THE HONORABLE HOWARD COBLE AND THE HONORABLE ROBERT C. SCOTT (APRIL 4, 2005)
LETTER FROM LAURA W. MURPHY, DIRECTOR, AND JESSELYN MCCURDY, LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION TO THE HONORABLE HOWARD COBLE AND THE HONORABLE ROBERT C. SCOTT (APRIL 15, 2005)
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LETTER FROM JULIE STEWART, PRESIDENT, AND MARY PRICE, GENERAL COUNSEL, FAMILIES AGAINST MANDATORY MINIMUMS TO THE HONORABLE HOWARD COBLE AND THE HONORABLE ROBERT C. SCOTT (APRIL 8, 2005)
LETTER FROM THE THOMAS W. HILLER, II, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, AND CHAIR, LEGISLATIVE EXPERT PANEL, FEDERAL PUBLIC AND COMMUNITY DEFENDERS TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. AND THE HONORABLE JOHN CONYERS (APRIL 21, 2005)
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LETTER FROM MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. AND THE HONORABLE JOHN CONYERS, JR. (APRIL 19, 2005)
LETTER FROM LEONIDAS RALPH MECHAM, SECRETARY, JUDICIAL CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE HONORABLE HOWARD COBLE (APRIL 1, 2005)
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LETTER FROM JANET MURGUIA, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LA RAZA TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. AND THE HONORABLE JOHN CONYERS (APRIL 13, 2005 AND MAY 9, 2005)
LETTER FROM VIRGINIA COALITION FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE TO THE HONORABLE J. RANDY FORBES (APRIL 4, 2005)
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LETTER FROM COALITION OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. AND THE HONORABLE JOHN CONYERS (APRIL 8, 2005)
LETTER FROM MORNA A. MURRAY, CO-CHAIR, NATIONAL JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION COALITION TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. AND THE HONORABLE JOHN CONYERS (APRIL 8, 2005)
Page 107 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC''CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE: ARRESTING GANG VIOLENCE BY INVESTING IN KIDS,'' A REPORT SUBMITTED BY FIGHT CRIME: INVEST IN KIDS
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JASON ZIEDENBERG, ''WHAT WORKS TO DETER GANGS?'' The Detroit Free Press, April 12, 2005
Page 110 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC''DOJ YOUTH VIOLENCE AND YOUTH GANG PREVENTION BEST PRACTICES PROTOCOLS BY AGE''
QUICKTIME PRESENTATION, ''ADOLESCENT BRAIN DEVELOPMENT''
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''ESTIMATES OF PRISON IMPACT OF H.R. 1279, '' SUBMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION
''CHILDHOOD ON TRIAL: THE FAILURE OF TRYING & SENTENCING YOUTH IN ADULT CRIMINAL COURT,'' A REPORT SUBMITTED BY COALITION FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE
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LETTER FROM DAVID G. WILSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ASSOCIATION OF FORMER FEDERAL NARCOTICS AGENTS TO THE HONORABLE F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR. (JULY 23, 2005)
NANCY BARTLEY, ''LAWMAKERS RETHINKING HARD LINE ON SENTENCING OF YOUNG OFFENDERS,'' The Seattle Times, April 14, 2005
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