Segment 2 Of 2     Previous Hearing Segment(1)

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    During the course of today's hearing, I hope to update you on our activities, share with you some of the progress we have made, and lay out some of the challenges that we still face.

    One year ago, I told you about the FBI's latest uniform crime report data showing a 3 percent decline in the overall juvenile violent crime arrest rates for crimes such as murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. I am pleased today to be able to inform you that this decline was followed by a decrease of 9 percent.

    Last year, I also shared with you the news of a 14 percent decline in the juvenile murder arrest rate. That decline continued for a third year in a row with another 14 percent, for a total decrease of 31 percent over the past 3 years. The juvenile murder arrest rate in this country is now at its lowest rate in 10 years.

    While we are encouraged by these declines, we know that much more needs to be done. We know that even this lower juvenile murder rate is unacceptable as we hear the reports out of Jonesboro, Arkansas of children taking the lives of other children. We know that while progress is being made in some communities, there is still much to be done to lower juvenile substance abuse in all communities. And we know that we need to target our efforts on the problem of juvenile female offenders, a population which has been growing, not decreasing.

    Our ability to do what is needed to achieve dramatic reductions in juvenile offending, however, is hampered by recent growth in the juvenile population, which is straining our already overburdened community resources. Schools, day care, after-school programs, courts, social service agencies, and other institutions that are supposed to serve children and their families and help provide for the public safety, are unable to do their job as well as they need to be done.
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    I believe, however, that we can effectively address the problems of juvenile delinquency, of violence and victimization, if we are willing to adopt and invest in a balanced and comprehensive approach to the problem.


    The President's fiscal year 1999 budget request for OJJDP of $277.95 million, a $40 million increase over the fiscal year 1998 level, reflects this balanced, coordinated, and comprehensive approach. It provides for prevention, early intervention, and graduated sanctioning, while giving the communities the flexibility to implement proven strategies that are planned and implemented where it counts—at the local level.

    It is clear from research, evaluation, and Federal, State, and local experience that we have learned a great deal about what works in reducing juvenile crime. The President's 1999 budget request for OJJDP, as outlined in my written testimony, supports communities in implementing the full range of activity that needs to take place to assist communities in reducing juvenile crime. It supports the types of efforts that will greatly improve our chances of impacting the juvenile substance abuse problem, as they have done in Miami, and of finding remarkable success in reducing juvenile homicides, as they have achieved in Boston.

    As I have testified as recently as last year, we know what works to reduce juvenile crime. We now need to implement those programs and strategies at sufficient scale to significantly impact juvenile offending rates, which are too high.

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    Mr. Chairman, while we may differ in how we approach supporting State and local efforts in bringing these efforts to scale, I am pleased to sit before you and the Members of the Subcommittee today knowing that we do agree that the substantial increase in Federal support you have provided in the 1998 budget was desperately needed. And I hope that despite the decreases we have seen in juvenile crime, we also agree that the Federal Government must refuse to treat these issues as yesterday's problem and that we will be vigilant each and every year in doing whatever it takes to maintain the decreases we have seen over the past 3 years.

    An effective juvenile justice system must implement a sound, comprehensive strategy. It must identify and support programs that work to further the objectives of that strategy. I believe that the programs funded from the appropriation of this Subcommittee form a continuum of activity designed to address youth violence, delinquency, and the victimization of our children exactly in this manner.

    I want to thank the Subcommittee for the support it has provided to OJJDP in the past, and I look forward to working with you, Mr. Chairman, and the Members of the Committee to continue the progress we have made over the past several years.

    I would be pleased to respond now to any questions you may have. Thank you.

    [The information follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

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    Mr. ROGERS. Thank you very much.


    Now, Mr. Bilchik, we have a new report card for you on the effectiveness of the programs to reduce drug use amongst teenagers. We told you last year we were going to do a report card every year so that we can sort of keep track and see how things are going.

    Turn this chart around where they can see it better.

    Now, while you see some progress in the leveling off of drug use by teenagers over the past year, let me point this out: In 1997, 42 percent of seniors had used drugs as compared to 25 percent in 1991. Experimentation with harder drugs amongst seniors—we are talking about seniors in high school—such as heroin and cocaine, up again last year, up over 75 percent since 1992, validating the trends of what many health practitioners, social scientists, what most of us have feared, that the increase in marijuana use that we saw in the past years is a gateway.

    And then the next chart. Since 1992, the percentage of junior high school students—that is grades 6 through 8—who used illicit drugs has almost doubled, from 11 percent to 21 percent. Cocaine use by 8th graders, up 57 percent since 1992. Marijuana use by 8th graders, up 175 percent since 1992.

    That is not your fault. It is the fault of the Administration in allowing the flood of drugs coming into the country, because they cut out the drug war on the oceans. They practically withdrew the interdiction efforts off our shores and played back on the source country eradication programs in places like Colombia, Bolivia, and others in the effort to try to win the war at home, trying to keep people from using drugs, which is a laudable goal, as you are showing.
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    But the bottom line is the price of drugs have dropped through the floor. They are more readily available, therefore, there is a bigger supply on the streets and in the dealers' hands, and the quality, the purity is up because the Administration withdrew the war at sea and offshore.

    And so my quarrel is not with you. You are working as hard as you know, and we are giving you plenty of money to work with it. The problem is the policy that they had of drawing back on the interdiction efforts. Last year, for example, on another Subcommittee, the Coast Guard said we have got to have night-vision radars to see the drug runners at sea up through the Caribbean at night when they are running. They don't run during the daytime when we are flying over watching for them. They wait until the cover of darkness, and here they go and they can't see them. Please give us forward-looking infrared radars for our C–130 patrol planes in the Caribbean, where the big bulk is coming.

    The Administration wouldn't do that. So we found the money, part in this Subcommittee, part in the Transportation Subcommittee, and we gave them forward-looking radars, FLRs, to watch at night, and they were elated.

    Now we see the Administration's budget for the Coast Guard this year. They are grounding the equipped C–130s.

    I could go on like this forever and ever. I mean, they are shifting the Coast Guard cutters from drug patrolling to patrolling for people who are catching salmon illegally.
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    Look at the numbers. I mean, it just goes like this.

    I don't really understand that. I cannot fathom any sensible person figuring that you can—and I told General McCaffrey this. I said, General, do you believe that you can win a war on your own turf without taking it to your enemy? And he is a nice man. He just has no power or authority or budget. He doesn't command the FBI, the DEA, the Coast Guard or anybody else. He doesn't command anything. He can talk and he writes a beautiful, beautiful book. His charts and diagrams are the best. But, you know, if you have got nothing else to do, I guess you could get at it, too.

    So I am just preaching at the wrong people here. I know that. But please carry the message back down there that you can't win this fight by yourselves, and you can't. You are being swamped with drugs into the hands of these kids, and we are going to continue to see degradation of our youth by hard drugs. And as time passes, the older they get, the worse the problem gets.

    Now, we provided a new $5 million grant program to your office to develop initiatives that would increase the perception among teenagers of the risk and harm of drug use. What do you expect to see out of that?


    Mr. BILCHIK. If I may, Mr. Chairman, distribute a chart so I can explain how we are approaching this program.
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    Mr. ROGERS. You have got your own report.

    Mr. BILCHIK. I, actually, do have one I want to share with you before we are done. It took me three years, but I learned I should bring a chart. [Laughter.]

    And they advised me to bring a big one, so I have a big one in the corner I can show you, too.

    Mr. ROGERS. I have never seen a student bring his own report card. [Laughter.]

    Mr. BILCHIK. It is part of the new schooling. You grade yourself. You are always your toughest critic is what ends up happening.

    But this is actually a chart, the small chart I shared with you last year, showing the inverse relationship between the perception of risk and then the actual drug usage. Where perception of risk goes up, the drug use goes down, and that is what we are trying to do as indicated through the $5 million appropriation, with this program.

    We have identified two programs through the work of the National Institute of Drug Abuse that are school- and community-based, that have achieved exactly that result. One of them is the Life Skills Curriculum Program and the other one is the Midwestern Drug Abuse Prevention Project.

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    They have been demonstrated and shown to be effective in achieving significant results in juvenile drug use extended out over up to six years in time. They have not only been demonstrated in one location, but they have been replicated in more than one location. So we know that we can take this program and transplant it from one jurisdiction to another.

    We know at the Life Skills Program that we can have it taught by the school teacher, we can have it taught by a fellow peer, we can have it taught by an outside person coming into the school and working with the teacher, and it will get the same kind of results.

    So what we have done with the program is to contact the two people who have implemented those two programs and worked with the center out in Colorado, run by Del Elliott, to help replicate those two projects in up to a dozen other communities with these funds.

    It will cost us $375,000 per community to do that on a broad basis, but with proven results of 40 percent to 50 percent in some instances of reductions in juvenile drug use, that is worth the investment to get those kind of outcomes.

    So that is how we are moving forward with this program. We think that it is the kind of replication work that you have been looking for and, Congressman Mollohan, that you have talked about so eloquently in the past about the scale issue. If we do not help bring it to scale, we are not going to succeed.

    This will allow us to take these two models and move them to at least 12 other communities to be successful in reducing drug use.

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    So it reflects the best thinking we have in the country today on school-based curriculum, increasing risk, and reducing drug use, and that is how we are moving forward with the program.

    Mr. ROGERS. When do you expect the funding to be given to communities?

    Mr. BILCHIK. We are working with the Center out in Colorado. My assumption is, within several months, we will have the awards made through the Center. So we are working hand-in-hand with the Center because they will help with the actual training and replicating the programs true to the principles by which they are founded to make sure that we are not deviating from what made them effective to begin with.

    We are also evaluating to make sure that the process followed is identical to the prior programs.

    Mr. ROGERS. You are also in charge of administering the grants for community coalitions against drug abuse.

    Mr. BILCHIK. Yes, Mr. Chairman. Approximately, five weeks ago I was contacted by ONDCP and asked whether I would administer that program.

    Mr. ROGERS. When do you expect those monies to go out to the communities?

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    Mr. BILCHIK. The Federal Register announcement on that program will be out within two days. The communities are asked to come in within 30 days, and I expect the monies to be awarded within a couple of months after that. So by early summer they will be awarded.

    Mr. ROGERS. Do you plan to distribute that money in small amounts to a great number of communities consistent with the congressional intent?

    Mr. BILCHIK. Yes. It will be approximately 100 to 200 communities with the first set of $10 million in awards up to $100,000. They will vary. Some will be $50,000. Communities will come in requesting different amounts of money.


    Mr. ROGERS. Last year we provided $195 million for an anti-drug abuse media campaign, and I understand that is being handled by ONDCP. In your opinion, does an adequate infrastructure exist to respond to calls for help from either parents or kids as a result of that media campaign?

    Mr. BILCHIK. I think that the project is learning as they go along in terms of the 800 number response, in terms of how to have the most adequate response.

    I understand there is an automated system in place at this point that can help refer people to other sources of information as well, but I do not have specific information about the next steps in improving that system.
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    Mr. ROGERS. Well, the reason I ask that, my information is that the 800 number is getting a lot of calls, but there is a machine answering it, and it is not very effective.

    The machine, I think, obviously, there is interest out there, it is stirring up interest, but I do not think you are handling it very well.

    Mr. BILCHIK. I think we need to look at how that automated response can refer people out, depending upon the area of work they are interested in doing, to all of the other sources of information that are available, and I believe ONDCP is looking at that and re-evaluating that at the present time.

    Mr. ROGERS. Is someone here from ONDCP who could respond to that?

    Mr. BILCHIK. I do not believe so.

    Mr. ROGERS. Well, do you agree that the machine answering the phone call is not an adequate response?

    Mr. BILCHIK. I cannot give you that absolute conclusion because I have not seen it myself. I was only relaying what I have heard from other people, that they are re-evaluating how to get the optimum response from the 800 number. So that tells me that they are looking at it and it is not fully adequate at the present time.
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    Mr. ROGERS. I have certainly concluded that it is not working and that you need to warm it up and make it effective. We are spending $195 million of the taxpayers' dollars, and if it is resulting in a phone call and a message from a frustrated teenager, and a machine answers the call and nothing ever happens, we have wasted the money, but we have also, more importantly, wasted the chance to rescue that youngster.

    So I think you are dropping the ball at the end of the telephone call.

    Mr. BILCHIK. Mr. Chairman, if I could comment further on the Coalition Program and elaborate upon why I am so optimistic about their program, not just technically moving forward and being awarded, but why that was such a wise investment by Congress in a bipartisan way with the Administration.

    That brings me to my chart, if I may show you my chart.

    Mr. ROGERS. Before we leave, I want to say with this phone business a minute here.

    Now, Justice has the role, does it not, in responding to those telephone calls?

    Mr. BILCHIK. I am not aware of that, Mr. Chairman.

    Ms. ROBINSON. No, we do not.
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    Mr. ROGERS. What role does Justice have in relation to the anti-drug abuse media campaign?

    Ms. ROBINSON. ONDCP reached out to a number of different departments and agencies across the Government, including the Justice Department. OJP, OJJDP, and others were part of that, and our staff have worked with them in developing the campaign and having input as a number of departments have.

    Mr. ROGERS. Well, who is supposed to be answering the telephone?

    Mr. BILCHIK. I believe the 800 number is supported by NCADI, which is a substance abuse organization.

    Mr. ROGERS. Who?

    Mr. BILCHIK. The abbreviation is NCADI, N-C-A-D-I.

    Mr. ROGERS. What role does Justice have in disseminating information about drug use to young people and what is happening in that respect?

    Mr. BILCHIK. There are several things that we have done, independently, but in support of the campaign. We have conducted two satellite teleconferences that have been broadcasted nationally on substance abuse prevention programs and intervention programs.
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    We have published resource materials for communities, such as the one I presented to you last year, that has now been distributed to over 40,000 individuals and organizations on how mentoring can reduce juvenile substance abuse.

    We have also produced publications on drug identification and testing of juvenile offenders as they come into the system, to identify whether they have a substance abuse problem, so that they can be identified for treatment, and then also how probation officers can work more effectively with parents and youth who are substance involved.

    All of those are publications that we have produced over the past year. And, in fact, one of those publications I have with me today is about to be released, which is on the drug identification and testing.

    Mr. ROGERS. Last year, you pointed out that mentoring programs are helpful in addressing problems of drug use among juveniles, and yet the new grant structure you have proposed in your budget eliminates the mentoring grant program.

    Why and what impact will it have?

    Mr. BILCHIK. It is our belief, Mr. Chairman, that with the increase to $95 million in the At-Risk Children's Program, that it will also support numerous mentoring efforts across the country.

    So consolidating the mentoring program into one larger prevention and early intervention program we believe that many communities will still respond and fund mentoring programs as part of their efforts.
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    And, in fact, that has happened with our Formula Program. Right now we are funding 93 mentoring programs through the JUMP-dedicated funding pot. We are funding over 100 mentoring programs through the Formula Program, where communities have chosen themselves which were the interventions they needed and then used mentoring as one of them.

    We feel we have the same results with community local-based options with mentoring still being supported greatly across the country.


    Mr. ROGERS. Is the current drug strategy sufficient to reduce drug abuse amongst kids? If not, what else can we do?

    Mr. BILCHIK. I think the things that you have put in place with the $5 million program that will allow me to show that we can take these proven strategies and increase their work into a dozen other communities, that kind of thing catches fire in other communities. When they see it happening, they start adopting it themselves.

    When the Coalition Program that you have funded at $10 million grows to $20 million and then $30 million and then $40 million, I will be able to show, through administering this for ONDCP, that we can get the same results that we got in Miami, which, again, brings me back to my chart. [Laughter.]

    Mr. ROGERS. I guess we are going to have to look at that. [Laughter.]
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    I showed you mine. I have got to look at yours. [Laughter.]

    Mr. BILCHIK. This chart, Mr. Chairman, affirms what you have shown me, and it focuses on high school seniors and the trends in annual drug use with, in particular, alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, and cocaine, and that is that disturbing upward trend.

    I do not want to dwell on this chart because, as you will see, I am going to overlay on these charts. So we can go to the next one.

    The next one is the result of a coalition in Miami, Florida, working as part of a ten-year strategy to reduce juvenile drug use. This is their high school seniors in Dade County, Florida. This is the toughest population we have to work with—seniors in high school. This is what they have achieved through sticking with and sustaining the strategy through their coalition, the kind of coalitions that you funded this past year, that we will see 100 to 200 of them in place by the end of this current fiscal year.

    How did they do that? They did it by parent education programs, community policing efforts, the Dade County School System adopted school-based strategies, like the ones that I mentioned earlier, through juvenile justice system interventions, through probation and the courts, student and peer-led efforts, like a project called Defy It, where peers put pressure on other peers not to use drugs through incentives, as well as the entire coalition's effort targeting marijuana use, in particular, that has spread to others as well.

    Now, I have shown you the seniors. John, if you could overlay and compare the two. You will see now how Dade County, with the work of their coalition, compares to the country as a whole.
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    In each and every instance, they have achieved downturns, where the country is looking at upward trends. They have done the same thing for eighth graders across-the-board, not just twelfth graders. So the youngest and the oldest, through the work of the coalition idea that you have generated through that appropriation.

    Now, it is not going to be in one year, and it is not going to be in two years. They have done it on rohypnol, when they saw the rohypnol problem coming several years ago and they targeted it, and now they are seeing the same downturn in rohypnol.

    Community coalitions using best practices, sending the messages about normative behavior and perception of risk will get these results. That is why I am optimistic about what direction you have taken and how with the increased expenditures that you have planned for that program we can be even more successful. It does not stop there. There are other things, individual programs, but those are the—I think it is the most significant thing we can look at and shoot for in terms of the future for juvenile drug use.

    Mr. ROGERS. That is the Drug Free Communities Act.

    Mr. BILCHIK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. ROGERS. That we passed last year.

    Mr. BILCHIK. This past year. This is the first year the funding will go into these communities from the Federal Government for these programs.
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    Mr. ROGERS. Well, you have got a nice chart. [Laughter.]

    Mr. BILCHIK. We worked all year on it just to make sure we did well with it. Thank you.

    Mr. ROGERS. We are going to bring your report cards back. [Laughter.]


    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Mr. Chairman, you have found the right community.

    You mentioned your At-Risk Children's Grant Program and requesting $95 million for that. How do these initiatives compare with last year's H.R. 1818 that did not end up getting enacted?

    Mr. BILCHIK. 1818 presents the kind of balanced approach that we are talking about in this appropriation request, looking at formula-supported side for juvenile justice system interventions and accountability-based measures, as well as a prevention sum of money that could be used and dedicated for that prevention/early intervention work. So I think they do mirror each other significantly. And that, of course, was the bill that had very high bipartisan support in the House.

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    Mr. MOLLOHAN. To what extent does the budget request before us today reflect the recommendations of the University of Maryland Report that came out last year?

    Have you taken it to heart and to what extent is it reflected in this budget request?

    Ms. ROBINSON. Yes, Mr. Mollohan, we have taken a very close look at it, as I said in my oral statement and tried to adapt many of our programs and requests to reflect that. So, as an example, the increased request in the Weed and Seed area from $33.5 million up to $40 million reflects the fact that the University of Maryland Report gave plaudits to that kind of comprehensive community-based approach that focused on a hot spot type of area. So that would be one example of it.

    A second example would be our increased requests through a number of pieces of legislation, including the juvenile area, for set-asides for evaluation and research, the importance of building that into programs from the beginning.

    I would, also, point to the requests relating to the Drug Testing and Treatment Initiative, something that the Maryland Report pointed to as an effort and initiative that works.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Which of your programs contribute to this anti-drug advertising campaign directed at youngsters?

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    Ms. ROBINSON. The ONDCP campaign?

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Yes.

    Ms. ROBINSON. None of our money was transferred to ONDCP, but staff in OJJDP and in OJP, generally, who have worked on the issues relating to kids and drugs, have participated in the working sessions to help put that together.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. What is your assessment of its effectiveness?

    Ms. ROBINSON. I think it is too early to say what the effectiveness is, but I think one of the things we have learned from OJJDP's programs is the need for a comprehensive approach that includes community efforts, parents' efforts, school-based, and also a change in the general message sent broadly to kids and to adults.

    It is to the parents as much as to the kids, about what is acceptable and what is not. I think the focus in the ads addressing parents is likely to be effective, but it has to be part of an overall comprehensive approach.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Is it?

    Ms. ROBINSON. I think when you look at the different pieces, the Anti-Drug Coalition piece, the kind of prevention funding that we are seeking in the President's budget, and a number of these things together that, yes, it can be.

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    Mr. BILCHIK. One other short-term measure that I could add is that an initial sampling done of whether in the targeted communities the campaign has begun its work, whether they are accessing the population; that 97 percent of those surveyed have seen or heard the ads on television and radio.

    Now, the outcome of that will be measured later, but the threshold is are you reaching people and 97 percent said they were aware of the campaign, had heard one of the ads or seen one of the ads.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Do you have a way of measuring the effectiveness of the ads?

    Mr. BILCHIK. There are ways to control, to a certain degree. It is not as controllable as an experimental design evaluation that you might conduct, but you can take a look at attitudes pre and post in a community and see whether the ads may have impacted; talking to the people about whether they have seen the ads, whether it helped changed their attitudes, those are the kind of things that you are going to look for over time.

    It is the same message they sent with the Miami Coalition. Part of their campaign was a media campaign—one element.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. There must be a way of measuring that effectiveness. With all of the advertising in the nation competing for ideas in the marketplace, there must be a way of measuring its effectiveness. My sense is the ads could be tremendously effective if they could change the attitude of youngsters with regard to drugs. It would be incredibly powerful if the ads could make drugs look unattractive. It is important to measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign.
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    Mr. BILCHIK. I think they will be measuring through surveying attitudes and perceptions during the course of the campaign.

    Mr. LATHAM. Will the gentleman yield for just a moment?

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Sure. I am going to yield to you. Have you voted?

    Mr. LATHAM. Yes, I have.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Let me just finish and then I will yield.

    Mr. LATHAM. I was just going to——

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Go ahead.

    Mr. LATHAM. Just on the 12 target cities they also have control cities. Sioux City, Iowa, is one of them, and they have Duluth, Minnesota, as a control, so that you can measure the difference as far as awareness between the control and where the program is right now after four months.


    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Chief, are we going to put 100,000 officers on the beat?
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    Mr. BRANN. Yes, Mr. Mollohan, we will.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. When are we going to do it?

    Mr. BRANN. By the end of Fiscal Year 2000. We are not only on target, we are actually ahead of schedule. I am extraordinarily pleased about that.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. How many do you have in the grant process right now? How many do you actually have on the street?

    Mr. BRANN. At this stage, as of the announcement that we did today, there are actually over 72,000 officers that we have announced in terms of grant awards having been announced, given out.

    The last count that we did, and we are doing those counts three times a year, the last count was as of November. At that time, there were 67,000 funded. Of those there were 38,000 that had been hired and about 36,000 were actually on the streets. There is a lag time from the time of the award to the time of hiring, but we are seeing very steady progress.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Some communities have had the programs with a three-year cycle by now, have they?

    Mr. BRANN. Our first grants, the grants that were awarded early on are just now starting to come to closure, literally this month and next month.
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    Mr. MOLLOHAN. What is your experience with retention after the grants expire?

    Mr. BRANN. We are finding pretty much across-the-board that the agencies that we have conducted site visits, monitoring visits with, along with sort of an independent assessment that is being done by the media, if you will, we are hearing back as a result of media coverage around the country various surveys that they have done, and consistently we are finding extraordinarily high numbers of these agencies indicating that they are going to retain the officers; that, in fact, they have made plans. They are focused on that. They are well aware of the retention requirements.

    We do have a handful of agencies I would say, based upon our monitoring efforts, about 5 to 6 percent are indicating some problems with retention, and we are working with those individual agencies on a case-by-case basis.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. What are you going to do with agencies that are not going to retain the officers?

    Mr. BRANN. In some instances, what we are finding is it is really being driven by local economics.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. I did not ask why it was happening. I am saying what are you going to do about it?

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    Mr. BRANN. Again, we will work with those on a case-by-case basis. In some instances, if, in fact, we find that there is clearly a problem that there was not an intention of retaining in the first place, we will use the sanctions that we can bring to bear.

    But, frankly, we are finding the vast majority of cases that is not the problem or issue. Typically, it is a local funding consideration.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. It is a needs problem.

    Mr. BRANN. Exactly. So we are trying to work with them to help identify what other available funding sources they might turn to.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Latham.

    Mr. LATHAM. I was just going to follow up a little bit on that. Not only in small communities—I think it becomes very clear that they cannot afford to be in the COPS program in the first place. I would be curious, after the five years how many cops are you going to have on the street after small towns and communities drop those officers after three years and they cannot afford it? You are not going to net 100,000 after five years.

    Mr. BRANN. Congressman Latham, actually I believe that we will net 100,000. But if I can address that——

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    Mr. LATHAM. They will not all be on the job after five years.

    Mr. BRANN. Let me try to address this because the recognition was there up front that, first of all, we are not going to get to the 100,000 until the final year of this program. But part of our approach and strategy has always acknowledged that there will be some shrinkage, if you will, there will be some agencies that will not be able to retain, for a variety of reasons. I think there will also be some where we are seeing extraordinary results, and it is a local decision. Frankly, it is ultimately going to come down to a local determination as to whether or not there is a need to continue that on a permanent or a semi-permanent basis.

    So there will be some shrinkage, and we actually have always counted on exceeding 100,000 in order to get to the point that we will have 100,000 out there. In good conscience, I could not sit here and tell you that five and 10 years beyond the end of this program that all 100,000 will be out there. But I think that the kinds of strategies being implemented vis-a-vis the community policing efforts, the impact that we are seeing on the crime rate across the country, already there are some significant declines that we have seen across the board here. There is a 14 percent decline in the crime rate nationally over the last five to six years.

    Local agencies will have to make a call as to whether or not they are going to continue those efforts, the retention requirement is there. I think they will do that on a case-by-case basis, and I think that based upon what we are seeing already it will be a good faith effort in all cases.

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    Mr. LATHAM. The Justice Department requested the continuation of the Local Law Enforcement Block Grants, and apparently that was denied by the Administration. I will tell you that in a rural area where a lot of communities cannot afford the COPS program this is absolutely essential as far as we are concerned. I have got a community right now that had applied to the COPS program, has been approved and they are in the process of voting whether or not they are going to accept it because they cannot afford it long term, after looking at the liability. And after three years of training they would probably have to let the person go afterwards.

    So that is why the local law enforcement block grant has been so beneficial to really help those type of communities. And especially in an area that has an exploding meth problem, it is extremely important to us. I just wondered do you have any statement about your request to OMB, and is there any rationale for denying that request?

    Ms. ROBINSON. We have been, I would say, very proud of the way BSA has implemented that program. We have gotten grants out to 2,700 different communities around the country, I think particularly the first year, which was an abbreviated year, in record time. Through that project we have reinvented our whole grant process within OJP to automate it and get these out quickly. And we have seen really tremendous interest from State and local jurisdictions in response to it.

    As you know, we did include that in our Justice Department request because we see it as a complement to the COPS program, and a complement to many of the other pieces of the overall budgetary request. OMB's approach on this, as I understand it, was one of dollars. There are tough choices to be made when the amount of dollars in the pot are limited, and they should be directed in other areas.
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    Mr. ROGERS. You funded fully the COPS program. You did not find any shortage of money to fund the COPS program. But you did not put a penny in the congressionally funded counterpart to COPS which—we funded your COPS program last year. We funded the Congressional program last year. So we treated you fair.

    So it comes time for you to write your budget, you drop all of ours and keep all of your own. Which means with the shortage of monies we had, we have got to find the money for the other grant program somewhere, and it is likely either to come out of the COPS program or we have got to wipe out all the other good stuff which you are doing. What should you have us do?

    Ms. ROBINSON. Mr. Chairman, you point to obvious problems and difficulties here. These were tough choices that had to be made, and OMB made other choices here.

    Mr. ROGERS. I know that. You cannot just dump it off on us and say, what are you going to do about this mess we made? I am asking you, what are you going to do about the mess you have made? I am talking to you, the Administration. And it is true not only in this part of the budget but all the other parts of the budget.

    The SBA, for example, the disaster loan program that we deal with here. You give us the choice on this Subcommittee of raising the interest rates charged to people who have been wiped out in disasters and can borrow money nowhere else, who have lost everything they have. The Administration says, double the interest rates on those people on disaster loans or, Congress, you find another $800 million somewhere to fund the program.
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    The budget is a sham through and through and you ought to be ashamed of it.


    Mr. LATHAM. In your request, I assume you were given limitation in your request. How did you break it down?

    Ms. ROBINSON. How did we break down the——

    Mr. LATHAM. You included the local law enforcement block grant.

    Ms. ROBINSON. Yes, our request from OJP was larger in total than what was in——

    Mr. LATHAM. Do you know by how much?

    Ms. ROBINSON. I think probably around $400 million to $500 million larger.

    Mr. LATHAM. So basically it all came out of the local law enforcement block grant. Even the one larger town, and by comparison it is probably not that bad, but Sioux City is about 80,000 people. They have had 10 officers. They are not going to be able to continue with all of them after the three years are up.
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    Mr. BRANN. Congressman Latham, on the COPS side of this. First of all, I appreciate Laurie Robinson stepping to the forefront here and helping to address the local law enforcement block grant issue. We are dealing with two separate pots of money, if you will. The issue here I think is how can we move forward with these COPS grants and try to assist the local agencies?

    As I was indicating earlier, we try to deal with agencies on a case-by-case basis and truly provide the highest level of customer service that we can. One thing that we are doing that may have some benefit here is we are actually developing a retention kit for local agencies to help them identify what kinds of strategies are being employed by other communities around the country to come up with those dollars to retain these officers beyond the life of the Federal funding.

    I would just like to offer our staff as a resource here to try to work with these local agencies. We will be taking this information out to the grantees that we currently have on board, to work with them, to try to make sure that they have ideas as to other resources they might turn to.

    It is not a perfect solution. Clearly, we are trying to adhere to the guidance that this Committee gave us as well, which is not to create a permanent entitlement out of this, but to find ways to assist local agencies in their efforts to bring these officers on board, to make the best use of them and retain them at the end of the——

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    Mr. LATHAM. I would think one very good source would be the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant, if you were going to try and help these communities out. Do you foresee any extension more than three years as far as the COPS program?

    Mr. BRANN. The fact is this Committee did provide an earmark of $100 million this year for us to focus in particular on the small communities. What we call the Small Communities Grant Program, $100 million for those agencies that fall under the 50,000 population that have a need and——

    Mr. LATHAM. That is not the question. Under the three-year COPS program do you see any potential for going to a fourth year and a fifth year?

    Mr. BRANN. That is what that program specifically does. It provides for a fourth year for those agencies. Beyond that——

    Mr. LATHAM. You are just talking about communities under 50,000 though.

    Mr. BRANN. That is correct. As it stands now, no. Again the funding stream, the way this was set up was to be a three-year grant program.

    Mr. LATHAM. And your Attorney General will reinforce that also. I got a personal call from her yesterday after I had that question. So no, it is not any more than three years, and it will not be.
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    Last year in this appropriation we had a COPS meth grant for Sioux City to coordinate local law enforcement and really working the tri-state drug area. Just to give you an idea, all of last year they confiscated about 120 pounds of meth. The first three months of this year they have already got over 240 pounds of meth. It is a horrendous problem. The Drug Enforcement Administration reported we now have more meth arrests in Iowa than we have drunk driving arrests. It is a huge problem.

    We got $1.2 million for this coordinated effort for all law enforcement in the region. We still do not have the guidelines for the grant, and we are six months into it. They were finally in Sioux City last week talking to them after I urged the Attorney General to take a personal interest.

    It is very discouraging to get the kind of lack of response that we have gotten for a crisis that is upon us out there, to see the foot-dragging. We could not even get a person assigned to get the criteria drafted for the grant until I talked to the Attorney General personally. To me, it is just outrageous when you have a law on the books and the money there appropriated to address this crisis.

    Can you give any response as to what is going on?

    Mr. BRANN. Yes, sir. In fact, once the earmarks and everything was finalized in November on the appropriations, we immediately established meetings with the staff to begin discussing those earmarks and determine how to move those forward. In turn, I had the staff out of my office contact the sponsors behind each of those earmarks, and to work with them and the local communities.
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    There have been discussions that have been ongoing. There was in fact a meeting, I think it was this past Monday our staff went to Sioux City to have some discussions with Chief Frisby and his staff——

    Mr. LATHAM. After I talked to the Attorney General personally because you did not have even a person assigned to it before then. We did not have a contact person on that grant.

    Mr. BRANN. If that is the case, I apologize. But in fact, we did have contact people assigned on this. Starting in January we actually designated within our office lead staff for each of these earmarks to deal with.

    Mr. LATHAM. Well, I do not know where they were, if they had a month vacation. We have not got any criteria yet.

    Mr. ROGERS. When can we expect to have these through and over with? We earmarked those how many months ago?

    Mr. BRANN. November.

    Mr. ROGERS. November. It is time they got out there. This is a serious problem these folks are having. That is the reason we went to the trouble of earmarking, and you are letting the money lay there. Now when can we have the money out there? Time deadline.

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    Mr. BRANN. Mr. Chairman, on each of these earmarks we have identified timelines. This in fact very much comes back to the reprogramming request that we submitted——

    Mr. ROGERS. I do not want a long answer. When will you have the money in their hands? By what date?

    Mr. BRANN. I wish I could give you—in fact I will go back and this week I will get you a specific answer on that. But off the fly I cannot give you a——

    Mr. ROGERS. You have got until May 1st. The money is to be in those communities' hands by May 1st or you appear right back at this on that date. One way or the other. You have had enough time.

    Go ahead.

    Mr. LATHAM. That pretty much takes care of my problem, Mr. Chairman. [Laughter.]

    Mr. LATHAM. It is really frustrating, to not even have a contact person. The Sioux City police are excited. They want to go. They have got ideas on what they want to do to coordinate the whole region so that we do not give these slimeballs a place to hide in the whole region. And to not even have somebody that we can talk to is ridiculous.

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    Mr. BRANN. Again, I apologize for that. My information does indicate that we had actually made the contact back in February on this. I will need to go back and take a look at this and I will get you an answer.

    Mr. LATHAM. That is all, Mr. Chairman.


    While they are—could you tell me what the U.S. Marshal's Office needs in prison space? Apparently there is $25 million requested. Is that going to be adequate for the needs?

    Ms. ROBINSON. Mr. Latham, I am afraid I cannot answer a question on the Marshal Service. We can get back to you with that information.

    Mr. LATHAM. Okay.
    [The information follows:]

    The CAP program allows the government to obtain guaranteed long-term bed space for federal and alien detainess in state or local facilities that would not otherwise make space available for these detainees. Specially, CAP funds help finance new jail construction or facility renovation projects in return for the contractual guarantee of a number of bed spaces for federal use. Generally, CAP funds are awarded where federal detention bed space needs are most crucial, based on the current detention status and prisoner population projections.
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    In FY 1999, CAP funds are requested for both the U.S. Marshals Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). This is the first opportunity for INS to request resources through the appropriations process since obtaining authorization for a CAP program in FY 1997. Admittedly, the requests for resources far outstrip the $25,000,000 request, but the Department will work diligently to make the best possible use of available resources.

    Should any emergency detention needs arise, we will have to consider other funding options for this program.

    Mr. ROGERS. Director Brann, I think there is four of those COPS meth grants.

    Mr. BRANN. Yes, sir.

    Mr. ROGERS. We want all those out by May 1st. Is that agreeable?

    Mr. BRANN. Yes, sir, I will give you an answer as to—if there is a problem. But we do have—in fact these all appear to be on track, and I will give you a definite date as to when they will all be completed.

    Mr. ROGERS. You will do what?

    Mr. BRANN. I will give you a definite date as to when—before May 1st.
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    Mr. ROGERS. Before May 1st.

    Mr. BRANN. Yes, sir.

    Mr. ROGERS. Under no circumstances will any of them go beyond May 1st. I am sure you can work out the details on that.


    Now the budget request also eliminates a new $250 million block grant program which the Congress enacted in 1998 aimed at juvenile crime to be used by States for juvenile prosecutors, juvenile courts, juvenile detention facilities, and some prevention programs. The budget request proposes to replace that block grant with $150 million in discretionary grant programs for prosecutors and courts to address juvenile crime.

    What evidence do you have that the Juvenile Crime Block Grant that we have already passed will not meet the needs you are now requesting new money for? Who wants to answer that?

    Mr. BILCHIK. I will take a first stab at it, Mr. Chairman. The Administration's position is that we were looking at a balanced approach in the funds scheme at a base level in our OJJDP appropriation, looking at the at-risk children's program at $95 million, the formula program at $89 million, and the incentive program which focuses on accountability programs as well, as $17 million. And then to lay over that a dedicated program of $150 million for prosecutors and courts. Realizing that corrections and law enforcement had received substantial support, we had heard back from the field that they were looking for dedicated court and prosecutor support.
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    Our concern on the accountability block grant is, with the way it is set up with the 12 funding areas, and we may still not see that sufficient amount of money go to the courts and prosecutors to do the job they need to do along with corrections and law enforcement.

    We are pleased, in terms of the way we can report on the accountability incentive block grant. We thought we had a better mix in relation to how we approached it in a budget request. The key here is getting the support to these communities, and our immediate concern was making sure the courts and prosecutors received that support as well.

    Mr. ROGERS. Has anything been done to get the block grants out?

    Mr. BILCHIK. Yes, sir. We immediately contacted representatives in the field, States, localities, conducted a focus group to get their input on their needs, and sent out guidance to the States in February. All States except three have indicated an agency to administer the funds, and all of the money will be funded by June 30th. It is available today. Any State that came in today would be able to get the money by June 30th which is the deadline. They cannot come back later than June 30th to get the money.

    Mr. ROGERS. Has anybody come in to get their money?

    Mr. BILCHIK. Not yet, sir. There are certain things that have been laid out in the appropriation that they have to do to make calculations as to the proportion of money going into each local community, so they have some work to do with the way the appropriation was laid out. We have sent them out some guidance on that, and we have made ourselves available in each and every instance to help them work through those calculations so the money can get out as fast as possible.
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    Mr. ROGERS. Now Director Brann, last year we heard from many local police agencies that there was a need to augment the new officers and equipment in the COPS programs and others to address specific crime problems in their communities. We gave you the flexibility to use $200 million of unobligated balances for discretionary grants to meet certain law enforcement needs, and we also provided a statutory change that allowed a greater percentage of COPS funding to be used for the COPS MORE program, which does provide equipment and technology for police agencies.

    Are localities now requesting of you funding for equipment and technology and other programs instead of new officers?

    Mr. BRANN. The COPS MORE program you are making reference to continues to be a very high priority. The COPS MORE program, the agencies are in fact quite anxious to start submitting their applications on that. The final date, we will actually have the COPS MORE 1998 program application completed. It has been to OMB for approval and we are awaiting final word on that. We expect to have the solicitation on that announced next week, the first week of April. The deadline on that one is going to be the end of May, at which time we will start awarding the 1998 technology grants under the MORE program.

    Mr. ROGERS. Is there quite a bit of interest in it?

    Mr. BRANN. There continues to be a very high level of interest in this.
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    Mr. ROGERS. Now do you estimate that there will be carryover funds available in the COPS program at the end of fiscal 1998?

    Mr. BRANN. Yes, we continue to project that there will be carryover available. Again, I do need to come back to the fact that this is tied to the staffing issues, our ability to move this funding. I am grateful for the cooperation we have received from the staff on that. We did submit the reprogramming request, which was provided for in this year's appropriation, and I am hopeful that it will be signed.

    Mr. ROGERS. Any other changes to the COPS program that you would recommend?

    Mr. BRANN. The associate attorney general, Ray Fisher and I were on the road this past week, and again this was one of the major issues we were focusing on, was what the local agencies are identifying. We continue to hear especially from the large jurisdictions about the need for technology, equipment. The earmarks that are currently provided for have also drawn a great deal of interest. The school program is an example.

    I would have to say that not just this recent trip but what I have heard fairly consistent from around the country is a combination of agencies that are desirous of additional positions. Those that tend to be better staffed are more focused on the technology and equipment kinds of issues. As you are aware, the actual Crime Act language precludes us to some extent from meeting some of those needs only because these agencies do have to show redeployment as a result before we could fund them. So we have been as flexible as we possibly can with the MORE program to achieve that objective.
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    Mr. ROGERS. Now over the past three years we have provided $60 million for the Police Corps Program, and I understand that $57.8 million of this funding is still not obligated, and yet you want $20 million more. You have only spent $2.2 million in three years out of $60 million and you want $20 million more this year. Why have you not spent those monies, and do you need another $20 million for 1999 to lay around again?

    Mr. BRANN. The Police Corps Program, you are correct, Mr. Chairman, what has been obligated to date is just about $2.2 million. We have not begun to touch the fiscal year 1998 appropriations on this front yet. But of the $30 million that had been appropriated in the two prior years, based upon the discussions with the States and the commitments made to them, the committed funds actually total at this stage about $29 million. Those are not obligated because we actually have to wait for those States to come back with the specifics of who it is that is going to receive those dollars.

    These are done on a case-by-case basis and every individual student actually has to receive a grant. And they identify—they have identified what their needs are, their total needs. But they have, in all cases, not necessarily identified the students.

    So I expect that out of this, clearly we have $29 million at this stage that we will be obligating as soon as all that information is in. That, however, does not mean that we have obligated anything out of this year's appropriation.

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    Mr. ROGERS. Well, there is still going to be $30 million sitting there and now you want $20 million. This program has not really caught fire, has it?

    Mr. BRANN. No. In fact I would have to be honest with you and say that the States—this is really dependent upon the States coming back based upon the solicitation that we have sent out to them. To date we have gotten 17 States to participate in the program. We are continuing to encourage the other States to apply. But you are correct, it has not generated the intense level of interest that I think might have been surmised early on.


    Mr. ROGERS. Ms. Robinson, we have been extremely supportive of State and local assistance programs to address crime. Funding for OJP grant programs since 1995 has increased by 213 percent rom $1.1 billion to $3.4 billion. With that growth we have all seen the complexity and scope of OJP's programs increase immensely. We have been concerned about instances of duplication and overlap that we believe are rooted in your agency's structure and then magnified by the growth.

    The report you submitted to the Committee regarding OJP coordination, duplication, and overlap issues confirms our concerns that there are lost opportunities for responding to crime, and tremendous inefficient use of resources as a result of the current OJP structure. I could cite many quotes from the report.

    ''OJP's current structure creates many obstacles to ensuring an integrated approach to the problems of crime facing the Nation. Steps to ensure greater effectiveness and efficiency in the Justice Department, State, and local crime control program could provide more continuity and coordination and potentially conserve financial and staff resources. They could also provide a management infrastructure to ensure greater accountability for the impact of the substantial dollars Congress has invested in the program.''
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    Further in the report, ''Despite the tremendous amount of money that Congress is putting into State and local criminal justice, a comprehensive plan for directing funds at key problems cannot be effectively implemented when there are a host of separate decision-makers who retain the authority to steer programs as they choose.''

    As stewards of the taxpayers' money, we are obligated to address that kind of problem. I am going to ask you what we need to do, short term and long term.

    Ms. ROBINSON. Mr. Chairman, as you know from the report that I submitted to you, this is an issue that has been of concern to the Attorney General and to me and many others within the leadership structure of the Department. I think there are several options that could be pursued here. One option is clearly to do nothing except increase the number of coordinating working groups, joint conferences, joint publications, and the like; an effort which I think we have put a great deal of energy into over the past four and-a-half years.

    A second option, which could be done on a more short term basis, would be to consider the notion of consolidating the final grant authority in one decision-maker, giving that authority to the Attorney General for delegation down to the Assistant Attorney General or however that would be structured.

    A third option, which I believe would be a longer term consideration for the Congress, would be to look at the basic structure of the program. Right now, as you indicate, there are a number of statutorily created separate bureaus within OJP. They have, by statute, greatly overlapping subject area jurisdiction. In some cases there is a clear niche—e.g. development of statistics, research and evaluation. But in the programmatic area, there is and remains tremendous overlap.
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    About two years ago I hosted a one-day retrospective in Washington inviting back all of the past leaders of the LEAA and OJP, and it was interesting to me, Mr. Chairman, that from every era and from both political parties their recommendation was that a unified structure was what was needed down the road to ensure that the money is targeted in the best way and really presents a comprehensive and unified approach.

    So it seems to me at some point Congress and the Administration need to take a harder look at the basic structure of OJP and see whether a unified structure for the agency would result in a more streamlined and focused program.

    Mr. ROGERS. How much money could we save, do you think, if we did this?

    Ms. ROBINSON. The money saved, I suspect, would be somewhat minimal on the administration end. Only 2.6 percent of our entire request is management and administration. There would be savings, however, in my view, because there is duplicate structure within the bureaus for areas like publications and administration budget and other areas.

    In addition to that though, it seems to me that what it does is ensure—let us take an area like courts—to ensure that the work across all of the bureaus and offices within OJP is focused in a way to leverage it, to ensure that it is going to have the greatest impact when it reaches States and local communities. That in the end is a cost savings as well.

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    Mr. ROGERS. Have you compiled or can you get for us the legislative changes that would be required in your option three, the third option you gave us? We need to know, I need to know what particular statutes need to be amended and where and how in order to achieve some degree of uniformity, and to avoid duplication and overlap.

    Ms. ROBINSON. I would be happy to work with you and the Subcommittee staff on that. I think what we would need to do is step back and look at the broad range of statutes that govern the OJP operations.

    Mr. ROGERS. I would like to have in my hands the particular, specific legislative changes that would achieve the goal here, and I would like to be able to get that to the Judiciary Committee, or the appropriate committee—I assume it would be Judiciary—and try to encourage them to do this. So I guess what I am saying to you is, I am volunteering my help.

    Ms. ROBINSON. I appreciate that, Mr. Chairman, and we will be happy to work with you.

    Mr. ROGERS. I suspect there would be others, around this table especially, that would be interested in having you do that.

    Ms. ROBINSON. Thank you.


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    Mr. ROGERS. Now you are requesting another new initiative, $85 million, for drug treatment of prisoners; $72 million for the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program for State prisoners authorized under the Crime Bill, and to allow States to use any and all of their State prison grant funds for drug treatment instead of prison construction.

    Since States already can obtain substance abuse grants from HHS and can use those grant monies on their prisoners, why is Justice proposing new programs for drug treatment for State prisoners that overlap already what is there?

    Ms. ROBINSON. Mr. Chairman, the Department is requesting this money for two reasons. The first reason is that we know the strong link, as I indicated before, between drug use and crime. We know from the research that interventions and treatment can reduce recidivism and reduce future victimization.

    The second reason is that the block grant funding through HHS for drug treatment (a) is limited, and (b) does not go primarily to criminal justice populations. The great priority in the States is not on the criminal justice population. The $85 million requested here would in fact go to local communities as opposed to the residential substance abuse treatment money that would go to States for State prison inmates. Local communities are seeing the large influx of defendants coming in at the front end, and many of those need drug testing and need drug treatment interventions and sanctions to try to get them off of drugs.

    So the money in the $85 million pot would be used specifically for drug testing and treatment interventions for persons on pre-trial release status, on probation, and at the stage where they are in jail pre-trial.
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    Mr. ROGERS. Now in the request you asked for a proposed language change which allows State prison construction grant money to be used for drug treatment going to prisoners. It is somewhat vague, that language is, in that it may be interpreted to allow any and all of those funds to be used for treatment. If that were so, the $150 million earmarked for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program could effectively be eliminated. What was intended by the language?

    Ms. ROBINSON. Mr. Chairman, it was not our intention to eliminate the earmark of $150 million for the SCAAP program. Our intention here was to give flexibility to the States for the prison-building money there, particularly for jurisdictions—Texas and Virginia are two of them as an example, that feel they have adequate prison space right now but are trying desperately to address the addiction problems and needs of inmates within the facilities.

    As you know, last year we required for the first time that every State, in order to receive its prison-building money starting in the next fiscal year, has to have implemented a comprehensive drug testing, treatment, and intervention program for everyone within the correctional system. The States view this as an important area to work on, but it costs money. They have come to us asking whether some of their prison-building money, particularly where they have an adequate number of cells, could be used for that purpose.

    One thing you might want to consider, Mr. Chairman, if you were open to this, is limiting the amount of money, the percentage of money they could spend for that purpose.

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    Mr. ROGERS. We certainly do not want the SCAAP money to be used for that purpose.

    Ms. ROBINSON. That was not the intention.


    Mr. ROGERS. I am glad to know that. That helps.

    Now the California members wanted us to inquire as to why the 1997 awards have not yet been distributed. What is the status?

    Ms. ROBINSON. The 1997 SCAAP awards should be out within the next month. Let me back up and give you a quick chronology of where we are and how we got there.

    The guidelines went out last spring for that program, which as you may recall, saw some major statutory changes to include localities because of the inclusion of misdemeanor offenders in the pool. We sent out applications by late spring, and the applications were due back to us from the States and localities in August. As part of this, as you know, each State, or locality needs to do a compilation, of the number of aliens in their facilities, the amount of time they spent, and any other indicators that can help us in identifying whether the offender is legal or illegal.

    We got those tapes back in. They submit disks to us. We got those back in to BJA after the deadline in August and we began working with INS this fall for the verification tape runs. INS, as you may know, has a database of about 14 million individuals against which we can run the tapes.
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    The process took longer than we thought. We were nearing completion in January when the State of Michigan came to us and asked us to reopen the process. The Governor's office asked us whether—because they had an administrative oversight and had failed to apply for the program—we would be willing to reopen it so as to include them in the award process.

    After consideration of that we agreed to do that. The process was opened for one month in order to give any jurisdiction that had an interest an opportunity to apply. We received 19 applications in, including Michigan and two other States. We are now running those tapes and we expect the awards to be out within the month.

    Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Latham.


    Mr. LATHAM. I just would clarify my question earlier about the U.S. Marshals. It is in the Cooperative Agreement Program, you have $25 million in your request.

    Ms. ROBINSON. Yes.

    Mr. LATHAM. Was that their request, or how did you—what is the justification for $25 million?

    Ms. ROBINSON. I am sorry I had not understood your question before, but yes.
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    Mr. LATHAM. What is the justification? How did you come to that?

    Ms. ROBINSON. The justification there, that is something that the Attorney General requested be included in the budget. It was in the budget last year as well. It basically is money which the Marshals use to reimburse local jails when they are holding prisoners in those local jails.

    Mr. LATHAM. I have got some communities that would like to tap into that also. I am just wondering, is that enough? Do you have any opinion as to where that number should be?

    Ms. ROBINSON. That was the number which the Department provided to us. We will get back to you on that issue.

    Mr. LATHAM. That is all, Mr. Chairman.


    Mr. ROGERS. Now it is our understanding, Ms. Robinson, that Legal Services Corporation and their grantees can obtain money for domestic violence programs for clients that they represent that fall within that category under both the Violence Against Women Act, the STOP program, and civil legal assistance set-asides. LSC though has requested money for its own domestic violence initiatives. Are you coordinating with them to ensure that they and their grantees are able to access VAWA monies that you administer?
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    Ms. ROBINSON. Yes, Mr. Chairman. We have been working very closely with the Legal Services Corporation. We have had a number of meetings with them and their local offices would certainly be eligible grantees under the Civil Legal Assistance program.

    By the way, we are very excited about that program. We thank you for including that in the budget. In the months since the appropriation passed we have been doing a good deal of outreach to the criminal justice community, domestic violence victim services providers, and others out there, as well as bar associations and law schools. As I say, there is tremendous interest in that program.

    I think there are some differences in the focus of what we would do vis-a-vis what I think Legal Services ordinarily does. For example, in our grant program we are going to be stressing from applicants' collaborative ventures reaching out to work with domestic violence victim advocates, to reach out to bar associations, and to try to leverage some of the volunteer manpower from bars or from law school legal clinics in a way that I think ordinarily the LSC local offices may not.

    Mr. ROGERS. That is good. But there are no obstacles to them successfully obtaining violence funds that you control?

    Ms. ROBINSON. They are certainly eligible applicants, yes.

    Mr. ROGERS. That is good. Thank you.

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    Mr. Latham, anything further?

    Mr. LATHAM. No.

    Mr. ROGERS. Thank you all very much for your testimony. I think it is good to have the three of you here at the same time because we get a better perspective on the larger terrain. Anything further any of you would like to add?

    Mr. BRANN. Mr. Chairman, I would like to bring one thing to your attention. My staff is more efficient than I have given them credit for. I would like to let Mr. Latham know that the tri-state meth program was in fact obligated last Friday on the 20th. There was a special condition, there was an issue regarding a road——

    Mr. LATHAM. Which we have never requested. But they were there last Monday. They told them what they could not use the money for, but they have not told them what they can use it for. There is no criteria yet that we have been advised.

    Mr. BRANN. I will follow up on this. But the information that I have is it was actually obligated last Friday, but I will make sure that those issues get resolved. I just wanted to get that on the record.

    Mr. ROGERS. Thank you very much. Meeting is adjourned.


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    Question. What effect does this restriction [the $75,000] have on the flexibility of the DOJ to grant funds in higher cost areas?

    Answer. We are aware that the $75,000 cap does pose concerns for grantees and potential applicants that have higher salary and benefits costs. As you know, COPS grants fund up to 75 percent of the costs of hiring officers up to $75,000 over three years. Many communities, however, have officer costs that exceed $100,000 over three years. These communities end up paying more than 25 percent of the costs. Lifting the cap will allow these communities to make greater use of COPS hiring grants and it will also give the COPS Office greater flexibility in meeting the needs of America's law enforcement agencies.

    Question. Is the $75,000 cap necessary to allow DOJ to reach the goal of 100,000 additional officers?

    Answer. We are committed to fulfilling the mission of the COPS program to add 100,000 community policing officers to the streets. We would not propose lifting the cap if we felt it would hinder our ability to reach the 100,000 officer goal.

    Question. What changes are necessary to allow DOJ to give more COPS grants in higher cost areas?

    Answer. The Administration has submitted a reprogramming request to the committee to allow COPS to lift the $75,000 cap on grants. Approval of this request will make it possible for COPS to better serve communities with higher officer costs by assuring that all grantees receive a full 75 percent of their officer costs.
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Tuesday, March 31, 1998.




    Mr. ROGERS. The Committee will come to order.

    We welcome this morning Doris Meissner, the Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service who will testify on the fiscal year 1999 budget request for the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

    You are requesting almost $4.2 billion for the INS in 1999, an increase of $392 million; 10-percent over the amount that the Congress provided in 1998. This Subcommittee has provided INS with its largest increases in history over the past three years to address the problem of illegal immigration.

    INS' budget has grown at a rate greater than any Federal law enforcement agency during this time; from $2 billion in 1995 to $3.8 billion in 1998; an 83-percent increase.

    The Nation now has more immigration law enforcement officials than FBI, DEA, or Bureau of Prisons. Yet, we still have some of the same problems we had two years ago, and for that matter, ten years ago.
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    The illegal alien population residing in this country is still the same; over 5 million and it is growing at a similar or a greater rate than in the past, despite a 94-percent increase in enforcement resources.

    Intending immigrants legitimately seeking green cards, asylum, and naturalizations still face inefficiency, antiquated processes, tremendous delays, and poor service for benefits which they are directly charged through INS fees.

    This is despite a 150-percent increase in resources for INS service activities over the last three years. I have come to a point where I believe we are probably asking too much of any one agency and too much of you, Madam Commissioner, to manage the overwhelming responsibilities of our immigration system with an agency that is entrenched with inefficiency and ineptitude.

    The ship you have been trying to turn the last four years, I am afraid is so covered with barnacles that it will not respond. We worked together in the past with you to try to give you the resources that you need to address our most pressing priorities.

    I think we now must look together at ways to restore credibility to our immigration system and look beyond just trying to save an agency. That should be how can we fulfill this terribly important mission that has been given to this agency which has not been carried?

    At this point, we will insert your written statement in the record. You are invited to summarize as you would like in your opening statement.
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    Ms. MEISSNER. Thank you.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of this Subcommittee for the opportunity to discuss the President's fiscal year 1999 budget request for the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

    Let me start by thanking you for the support that you have given us over the last several years. The new resources that you have just detailed are producing significant and concrete results at a time in which the immigration challenges facing the Federal Government have never been greater.

    Social, political, and economic changes in the last several years have put tremendous enforcement pressures on our borders and created record level demands for immigration services.

    Nonetheless, we have made important differences in communities around the country like in Brownsville, Texas where Operation Rio Grande is credited with helping to restore order and commerce in the downtown area.

    In Storm Lake, Iowa where our efforts to identify illegal workers in meat packing plants have helped return $11 an hour jobs to American workers.

    In New York City where we worked with Federal and Local law enforcement officials to obtain nearly 20 felony smuggling convictions in the exploitation of dozens of hearing and speech impaired Mexicans who were being held in virtual slavery.
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    These accomplishments are not an accident. Last fiscal year we set many tough performance goals and we have met them. We set a goal of continuing to deter border crossers in San Diego. Apprehensions there last year reached a 17- year low.

    We set a goal of removing 93,000 illegal aliens with criminal records or without standing removal orders. We topped our goal by 20,000; having removed 113,000 criminals or removable aliens.

    We set a goal of hiring and training more than 5,000 people and we did. We set a goal of focusing our work site enforcement efforts on bigger cases and those with criminal violations.

    We exceeded those goals in completion of criminal cases by 29-percent and administrative cases by 25-percent. We set a goal to reduce the back-log of asylum cases and to keep current on new case receipts.

    Last year, we processed nearly 140,000 asylum cases, which is a 160-percent increase over 1994. We significantly cut our case backlog for the first time in three years. So, the year was a productive one, not just from the standpoint of how we met specific performance goals, but for a number of other reasons as well.

    We made a key internal change by bringing in an entirely new team of senior managers to head the Agency; a new Deputy Commissioner, a new Executive Associate Commissioner for Field Operations, three new Regional Directors, and a new Chief of the Border Patrol.
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    We began enforcing a complex sweeping new law that gives significant new authority to the INS. In implementing the Illegal Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, we have retrained half of our staff, writing and implementing more than 60 regulations and creating 70 new forms.

    We also began putting into place a new infrastructure for the Naturalization Program. When I appeared before you last April, the Naturalization Program was in critical condition.

    The number of citizenship applications had tripled. Our system was simply not equipped to handle the crush. No one voiced greater concern about the lapses in reliability and credibility than did you, Mr. Chairman.

    In response, we established organization within INS Headquarters to focus solely on naturalization. By streamlining the chain of command, we have restored accountability and made significant progress toward building a Citizenship Program that is both customer oriented and secure.

    We instituted stringent new quality assurance procedures, including requiring verified FBI fingerprint checks for every naturalization applicant. A December audit by KPMG Pete Marwick has validated that these new procedures are working and that this is a system in which Congress and the public can have confidence.

    A year ago, more than half of the citizenship fingerprint cards prepared by outside providers were being rejected by the FBI as unreadable. That created unnecessary delays for applicants and raised concerns about the integrity of the process.
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    Since the termination of the Designated Fingerprint Services Program four months ago, at your direction, we have completely revamped the fingerprinting process, bringing it in-house by creating 120 of our own centers and adding new technology to prevent data entry mistakes and reduce delays.

    The result, today, the fingerprint rejection rate is under 2-percent. A year ago, the majority of citizenship applications were being mailed to our over-burdened district offices for pre-processing; a system which contributed to delays and inefficiency.

    By mid-April, all naturalization applications will be mailed directly to our four highly automated service centers, freeing up personnel in our districts to focus on adjudicating the applications.

    Once INS did lack the resources it needed to do our job. Now, we are proving that when we are given the resources, we can do the job. We are not all that we can be. We are not all that we are going to be, but we certainly are not what we once were.

    We clearly recognize that we can do better and that we must. Sticking with the status quo is simply not an option. Mr. Chairman, you have expressed your frustration that the INS does not seem to be changing fast enough.

    As the person in charge of leading this fast growing Agency, I can honestly tell you that I share that frustration. You asked the Attorney General and me to look at the proposal that the Commission on Immigration Reform put forward to improve the management of the Federal Immigration System and to report back to you with our recommendations.
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    The Attorney General and I have treated your request as a real opportunity for INS. The Administration has seized upon it as well. In recent months, several organizations and individuals have also put forward proposals for restructuring INS.

    At the President's direction, the White House Domestic Policy Council reviewed the Commission's proposal and others, working with OMB, consulting with various Executive Branch agencies, and immigration experts outside the Government to evaluate reform ideas.

    What is most striking about the various reform proposals are not the differences, but the similarities. When you get down to it, we all share a similar goal, which is a more efficient, effective immigration system. Based on its review, the Administration determined that the Commission and others had correctly diagnosed many of INS' long-standing problems.

    With that in mind, we are seeking to improve accountability, consistency, and professionalism by fundamentally restructuring the INS. Working with the Department of Justice, INS hired a leading management consulting firm to provide an independent assessment and to help INS design a better structure.

    Our proposal untangles INS' overlapping and frequently confusing structure and replaces it with two clear chains of command. One chain would accomplish our enforcement mission. The other would provide services to legal immigrants and their families.

    The proposal calls for changing the existing field structure of regions and districts and creating new jurisdictions tailored to meet local service and enforcement needs.
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    Finally, it establishes a shared support operation to serve as the administrative and technological backbone upon which the enforcement and service operations depend.

    On the enforcement side, our new frame work would lead to improved results by ensuring that priorities are shared and that day-to-day operations are closely coordinated among each enforcement discipline.

    We would achieve this by establishing new jurisdictions around the country called enforcement areas. The enforcement areas would oversee all enforcement related functions in their geographical area, including the Border Patrol, investigations, inspections, detention, and deportation.

    On the service side, our goal is to create an organization geared toward providing consistent and high quality service at every INS Office nationwide. There should be no advantage or disadvantage for individual applicants dealing with this agency based on where they live.

    We plan to establish neighborhood-based customer services offices across the country, providing an array of services from fingerprinting to interviewing.

    These offices would be staffed by service oriented professionals and their Directors would be held accountable for meeting nationally established standards for timely processing and courteous service.
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    By retaining both of these functions within a single agency, the Reform Plan would ensure that both enforcement and service operations are appropriately coordinated and supported by Headquarters.

    To ensure the necessary coordination and integration, and to promote efficiency, we would establish a shared support operation that would serve as the administrative and technological backbone for both the enforcement and service chains of command of the agency.

    The new structural frame work also offers benefits to INS staff. For the first time, clear career paths would be established for enforcement and service personnel, allowing the Agency to attract, promote, and retain the best qualified employees.

    As for the cost of this proposal, we believe it would be minimal. For example, since we are responding to heightened demands in enforcement and service already, we have requested substantial resources in fiscal year 1999 for office space, construction of additional facilities, as well as new staff.

    The cost of the restructuring proposal could be absorbed within this and future growth. Those resources would provide the necessary foundation for implementing the structure we are proposing.

    We believe that we are giving you a cost-effective common sense approach that will maximize the return on investment that the Congress and the public have made in this Agency. For fiscal year 1999, we are seeking a total of $4.2 billion and 31,499 positions.
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    This number represents a $390 million increase in funding over this year's spending level and adds more than 2,600 positions. The details of that request are in the long statement which is submitted for the record.

    With this money, we will continue to produce results and build on the progress that we have made in the last several years. We will do what you and what the American people expect of us, uphold our Nation's tradition as a Nation of immigrants and a Nation of laws.

    Thank you very much.

    [The statement of Ms. Meissner follows:]

    Ofset folios 1032 to 1066 insert here


    Mr. ROGERS. Thank you, Commissioner.

    Now, in the appropriations for the current year, we, as you mentioned, directed that the Attorney General review the Commission on Immigration Reform, the so-called Barbara Jordan Commission's Recommendations, on reorganizing our Nation's efforts at stopping illegal immigration and giving intended immigrants proper service, as well as enforcing our laws.

    We set a date of April 1st, which is of course tomorrow. Late last week, the White House Legislative Office briefed my staff with representatives from OMB and INS on the Administration's proposal.
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    No one from main Justice was invited to attend, even though the Attorney General was the one we looked to, to conduct the review and submit the report. She and her people were not there. It was the White House people.

    I am told that in preparing this plan that you are mentioning today, that the review process of that plan and the review process of the Barbara Jordan Commission was dominated, not by you, the experts in the field, nor by Justice, whom we asked to report to the Congress, but it was dominated by the White House.

    Justice's role was negligible. Even worse, it seems likely that Booze Allen, who was hired by you to ''independently'' develop restructuring options, was told only to consider keeping the INS in tact. That, that was the overriding consideration.

    There is no evidence that any serious attempt was made to evaluate the Barbara Jordan's Commission proposal or Representative Reyes' proposal to create a separate enforcement agency within Justice.

    So, here we are. This is another papered-over reorganization attempt. We have had 50,000 of these of INS over the last several years. I mean since you have been here, you have reorganized how many times?

    Before you were here, the last Commissioner reorganized and so on and so forth back ad infinitum. I know you are well-intentioned and I know you are trying the best you can. I have reluctantly, over 15 years now, after that period of time come to the conclusion that the mission that we have given—that Congress gave the Agency—is a contradictory, self-destructive mission.
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    I do not think you or anyone else, I do not think the best manager in the work, of which you may be the one or among those, could manage this process. I do not think it is manageable.

    I have studied the Barbara Jordan Commission Report and have concluded that it is about the only way that we can manage this mission. I am sad that you apparently did not pay much attention to that Commission, a group of high-minded citizens who know a lot about this subject, who spent two years or more studying how best to deal with the problem and they have no axe to grind.

    Tell us why you did not consider or why somebody did not consider the Barbara Jordan Commission findings? I know you did, but you were dictated to by the White House. Why did they not consider Barbara Jordan's findings?

    Ms. MEISSNER. Mr. Chairman, let me try to clarify this process of what has been taking place. First, I think it is very important that I make clear that the Justice Department and the Immigration Service have worked very closely on this assignment that you have given us.

    That has included many people in the Justice Department and in the INS, as well as the Attorney General personally and myself personally. We have, I think, spent as much time on this issue and on the proposal that we have put forward as any single thing that I can recall in my time in the Agency.

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    We have, as you know, in addition to the internal efforts that were made, made a serious commitment to work closely with a leading consulting firm, Booz, Allen, and Hamilton.

    That has been a very intensive effort. That is an effort and a contract for which the technical management was actually provided by the Justice Department, by people in the Justice Management Division.

    Mr. Colgate and I have personally devoted a great deal of time to this. So, what has happened has really been a parallel effort. At the same time that the Justice Department and the Immigration Service were looking at what we believed would be the best way to proceed, there was an Administration-wide effort taking place to review the Commission's proposals.

    That is simply because the Commission spoke to not simply the Justice Department, but it spoke to several other agencies of the Federal Government, the State Department, and the Labor Department.

    The Administration received those recommendations with serious statements in the fall to review them. Indeed, that is what occurred. The President asked the Domestic Policy Council to lead that review.

    That was an inter-Agency review by the very nature of the subject. The INS and the Justice Department participated in that review, but several other agencies participated in that review as well.
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    The ultimate recommendation and decision that was reached from the standpoint of the Administration was that the Commission's proposals were not the best way to go at this time. They would be protracted. They would likely be costly. That instead, the best way to proceed would be with a fundamental restructuring of the Immigration Service so that we could best take advantage of the interaction and the inter-connectivity that exist between our enforcement and our service missions.
    People often see our enforcement and our service missions as contradictory, as you have explained. In fact, we believe that when you look closely at them, they are mutually reenforcing responsibilities.
    When you are giving benefits you have to be every bit as concerned about the legal immigrant receiving those benefits as you need to be concerned about the potential for fraud and abuse and misuse of those benefit programs.
    Similarly, when you are doing enforcement, deporting aliens from the Country, for instance, it is extremely important to recognize whether the person has a legal benefit or eligibility to remain in the Country and be certain that, that process is carried out with all of the information available.
    So, what we have come to now is a proposal that is a fundamental restructuring of the Agency. It is not a reorganization that is like any prior. I did one reorganization in 1994 when I first arrived.
    This is a different way of doing business. It establishes two separate chains of command. The objective is accountability. The objective is improved performance overall.
    The objective is to reduce spans of control so that there is a greater focus on the variety of responsibilities that we have.
    It is consistent with the next step of the growth that, as you very properly recounted, has been extraordinarily ambitious to manage. It will, I believe, in the next several years get us to where we need to be.
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    Mr. ROGERS. How long will it take you to implement the plan?
    Ms. MEISSNER. The preliminary estimates that we have are for a three-year time frame. That is ambitious. This is a fundamental reform. It must be done properly.
    Mr. ROGERS. So, you are saying three years.
    Ms. MEISSNER. But we would have a series of gains as we go along the way. It would not be something that waits for three years. It would begin in the year beginning now.
    Mr. ROGERS. For 15 years, I have sat here and listened to Commissioner after Commissioner reorganize INS. I mean, we have had, I will bet you, 15 reorganizations since I have been on this Subcommittee.
    Each one was well-intentioned, holding out the promise that we would finally solve the problem and have an effective Agency carrying out the missions for the Nation and for intended immigrants the way it should, all of which have not only failed, but exacerbated the problem.
    This Agency comes here with a good deal of lack of credibility. We could go on all day at reciting the short comings.
    Citizenship U.S.A., where you naturalized thousands of convicted felons, all in the name of intending to gain voters in November; granting the Nation's most precious gift, citizenship, by violating the law to do so, by the tens of thousands.
    That was the straw that broke the camel's back. Then you deceived Congress itself, the Agency officials had, visiting the Miami District Office where they were lied to by high ranking officials of INS who have not been disciplined.
    There are over 600 investigations of fraud and public corruption by INS officials, even as late as last week. There are over 5 million illegal aliens still in the country. No improvement in that situation since 1986; almost 12 years ago.
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    There are questions by the Inspector General of the Department and the GAO, whether the Border Patrol strategy has made an impact. There are ineffective strategies for removing aliens in the Interior.
    We have had a catastrophic break down of the fingerprinting system, which we made you fix. You have had fraud in the testing system; bribery of testing officials.
    We could go on the rest of the day. I am tired of it. There is no way you can fix this Agency. I wish the White House would have listened to those people, well-intentioned citizens, the Barbara Jordan Commission, and followed those broad recommendations and done what needs to be done.
    That is to assign the visa process back to the State Department so that we have one Agency from A to Z monitoring the visas, and who is overstaying and who is not. You cannot tell me today how many overstays there are in this Country today.
    No one can because two agencies deal with it. State deals with it in the origin country. They hand it off to you over here. Neither of you have any accountability about who is here and who is not. That is intolerable.
    The Commission recommended that the Department of Labor enforce the labor laws in this Country where illegal aliens are being employed by domestic employers. Probably most importantly, Congressman Reyes, former Border Patrol Agent says, that the Border Patrol Team is absolutely a Chinese fire drill.
    We have got DEA down there doing one thing. You have got Customs agents doing another. You have got FBI doing another. You have got Border Patrol doing another and the Department of Labor people doing something else. It is, number one, not working.
    Number two, it is ineffective. Three, it is so simple to cure. Congressman Reyes proposes, and I think he is right, that we have a single Border Patrol Agency that does the work of all of these requirements that our laws require with the power to do all, not just a tiny fraction of the whole.
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    You have completely ignored it. The White House has. They are the same people that infiltrated your regional offices to make fraudulent the Citizenship U.S.A. process in 1996.
    I see, again, the White House fingerprints all over this process. I am just going to tell you, it ain't going to work again. Do you want to respond?
    Ms. MEISSNER. Let me try to be very clear about the seriousness with which the Attorney General and I have addressed the issue of the structure of the INS.
    We have looked at the Commission proposal. We have looked at our own Agency. We have looked at the other proposals that are there.
    We have looked at what we believe we share with you as goals, which are accountability, improved performance, effective return on investment for the dollars that you and we have advocated be put into this Agency.
    We have come up with a proposal that addresses those goals. We believe that it is a proposal that is workable, that can be done. It is consistent with the growth that we have experienced. It is consistent with establishing and building on professionalism to be accountable, to be more effective in our customer service, to have an enforcement program that effectively deters illegal immigration.
    If we had believed that the Commission's proposal was the best way and the most workable way to achieve those goals, we would have endorsed that. We believe the Commission provided a very, very important catalyst to a discussion that might not otherwise have taken place.
    Their goals are similar to the goals that we are working toward. We have put forward a plan that we believe will get us there sooner and more effectively, and that will leverage build-on, take the best advantage of the interaction that must exist between enforcement and service in order to have an immigration system that works effectively.
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    The White House's involvement in this is the involvement of being the lead in convening an inter-Agency review that involved other departments than the Department of Justice and the Immigration Service.
    It was a companion piece and a parallel piece. What I would hope is that you would give us the opportunity in a setting where we can go through the organization charts, work through what the career path implications of this would be, lay out for you the more detailed planning that we are presently providing in order to try to be convincing.
    Mr. ROGERS. Madam Commissioner, this Agency does not even respond to your directives. You send out orders that are absolutely ignored. This Agency has its own encrusted bureaucracy that no one tells how to operate.
    These autocrats out there in this organization, you will have to admit, does not respond to your present-day directives. I do not know how you would expect them to respond to radically changing their stature. They just will not do it.
    The bottom line is, even if we approved your reorganization plan and funded it, it could not be implemented. They will not respond to it.
    Ms. MEISSNER. First of all, where responsiveness and accountability is concerned, I certainly have experienced serious frustrations in achieving that. So, I am very well-aware of the encrusted nature of some of the——
    Mr. ROGERS. If you cannot discipline a member of your organization that lies to Congress in the Miami Office, how can you ever think about reorganizing an Agency from top to bottom?
    Ms. MEISSNER. Well, because what this plan does is break apart the current structure and the range of authority that the key field managers currently carry.
    What this proposal does is eliminate the district offices. It eliminates the current regions. It replaces them with two separate chains of command; one for enforcement and one for immigrant services.
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    Mr. ROGERS. I understand that. You have said that before. I am just saying to you, how can you tell us that——
    Ms. MEISSNER. By redistributing the authorities of the people that currently hold too broad of authority and too broad of a span of control. It narrows the spans of control, and focuses the authority, and creates accountability of chains of command that are manageable.
    Mr. ROGERS. I think you are trying to rearrange the furniture on the deck of the Titanic, to coin a phrase. Mr. Mollohan.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Mr. Chairman, congratulations are in order. I see Kentucky did very well, as usual. So, congratulations from this side of the aisle.
    Mr. ROGERS. Thank you. What did you think about our guard?
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. He was terrific. He was just great, Mr. Chairman. West Virginia came close. They did very well. It would have been great if we were in the finals.
    Mr. ROGERS. It would have been.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Yes.
    Commissioner, welcome to the hearing.
    Ms. MEISSNER. Good morning.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. I join the Chairman in welcoming you.
    We have, in the past, talked a lot about your identification system, IDENT. I would like to talk about it a little bit here at this hearing. INS spent about $65 million one way or another in developing it and funding it.
    I am not sure how the development breaks out in that. Why do you not start out by telling us. How much money have you spent on development of the IDENT System?
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    Ms. MEISSNER. My understanding is that the total cost of the IDENT System today has been $65 million.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. On development?
    Ms. MEISSNER. In total. That includes development.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. I was asking you to break out development.
    Ms. MEISSNER. I would have to get that number for the record.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Well, it is probably maybe upwards of half of that; maybe not quite that much. I am not sure.
    Does somebody have that number?
    [Negative response from the audience.]
    Ms. MEISSNER. We will have to get it for you.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Okay.
    [The information follows:]
    From October 1994 (FY 1995) to the end of FY 1997, the Immigration and Naturalization Service spent $6.7 million on IDENT development.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. When did you start on this IDENT System; how long ago?
    Ms. MEISSNER. We actually began to deploy it——
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. No, no. When did you start developing it? When did you conceive it and start developing it?
    Ms. MEISSNER. In about 1994. It actually was an outgrowth of a system that we used during the Cuban/Haitian influx to keep track of people and create identity cards in Guantanamo.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. That is a similar timeframe that another organization in the Department of Justice, the FBI, was developing an IAFIS identification system, was it not?
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    Ms. MEISSNER. I believe that the IAFIS pre-dates it, but they certainly have been taking place during that time period.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. In parallel; right?
    Ms. MEISSNER. That is correct; in parallel and compatibly.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. I am surprised you used that word, ''compatible'' because that is an issue I would like to get to. The point I want to make here is indeed, they were developed in parallel; were they not?
    There was not a lot of communication and coordination taking advantage of the IAFIS System as IDENT was conceived and developed; was there?

    Ms. MEISSNER. The Justice Department reviews all of our automation planning and development just as it reviews the FBI's. One of the major objectives that we have to answer to is that systems be able to talk to each other.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. I did not ask what one of the systems was. I am very pleased for you to elaborate on your answers, but the fact is that there was not a lot of coordination between the two systems; the standards for development, the standards for the identification techniques. There was not coordination between the IDENT and the IAFIS System; was there?

    Ms. MEISSNER. Well, I believe that there was.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Describe that coordination to me. You have a completely different standard for establishing your data bases. If you were coordinated, then you consciously decided not to develop the same standards for your data base collection.
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    Ms. MEISSNER. Well, if what you are referring to is that they are different systems; that IAFIS is a system that captures all ten fingerprints and IDENT is a system that captures two fingerprints, that is correct.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. What I am really referring to is the fact that you are developing a $65 million system and it is going to cost you more money than that because you are going to have to, at the end of the day, spend a lot of money integrating and coordinating the IAFIS and IDENT Systems. I would hope that you would.

    You have done that and the FBI has spent several hundred million dollars developing IAFIS. The fact is that the IDENT System, because you did specifically tailor it to the perceived needs of the INS, is unable to communicate with the IAFIS System. Is that not correct?

    Ms. MEISSNER. It can communicate with the IAFIS System.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. It cannot communicate with the IAFIS System. You use a two-print system.

    Ms. MEISSNER. Correct.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. And you do not send that information to the FBI.

    Ms. MEISSNER. Okay. That is correct.

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    Mr. MOLLOHAN. So, how could you communicate with them?

    Ms. MEISSNER. When the IAFIS is operative, which it is not, IAFIS is not a functioning system at the present time.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Well, neither is IDENT, I would point out. I will get to the IG's Report here in just a moment. But they are systems in the making. So, it would make sense to do them in parallel. You are developing conceptually a different system. It is a two fingerprint system, which you do not enter into the IAFIS data base.

    Ms. MEISSNER. Okay. That is correct. It has a different purpose.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Therefore, you cannot communicate with that IAFIS data base, law enforcement across the Nation, or with any of the State data bases. You could not communicate with any of the State data bases. Is that not correct?

    Ms. MEISSNER. IDENT is not a criminal history——

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. I know, ma'am. My question is, is that a yes or a no answer? Then I really would be pleased for you to elaborate on that answer. You cannot communicate with any of the State data bases. Is that a misstatement?

    Ms. MEISSNER. Through IDENT, I believe that is correct.

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    Mr. MOLLOHAN. I almost guarantee it is correct. I am not an expert, so I would be subject to correction there, but I think the answer is no you cannot. You cannot communicate.

    So, you are spending $65 million. You are processing a lot of illegal aliens that come across the border. You are very imperfectly, according to the recently released IG Report, collecting those two fingerprints into an IDENT System that is not useful for law enforcement.

    It seems strange to me for an agency to do that in the same department as the FBI, a sister agency. I am curious. Why would you do that? Why would you develop a system when this concern has been expressed, and expressed, and expressed.

    It is increasingly becoming a concern of the law enforcement agencies that do use the standard protocol of ten rolled fingerprints. You have a two-print system. Some of them are flat. Some of them are rolled. They are very imperfectly taken.

    Ms. MEISSNER. Could I try?

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. I am inviting you to respond.

    Ms. MEISSNER. I really am trying to be responsive.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. I am inviting you to be responsive, please.

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    Ms. MEISSNER. The purpose of the IDENT System is a different purpose of the IAFIS System. The IAFIS System has been operational and we have been deploying it since, I believe, 1995.

    It is, as you say, two index fingers. Its original purpose has been at the border in order to determine recidivists coming across the border so that we could, first of all, know whether we were encountering criminals that we had previously encountered, and also for broad data gathering purposes and analysis on the border. But most specifically to be able to——

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. It is to identify past illegal aliens.

    Ms. MEISSNER. And to be able to know quickly whether the people that we are booking are smugglers, first-time crossers, have committed crimes, have come from other criminal data bases, et cetera. Now, in addition——

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. You cannot do that, Madam Commissioner, respectfully.

    Ms. MEISSNER. The IDENT data base has a criminal population in it.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Oh, okay. So, you mean if it is in the IDENT data base.

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    Ms. MEISSNER. That is right.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Is that not a very narrow view of all of this? Why would we continue to give you millions and millions of dollars to develop a program in parallel without interception with the IAFIS System?

    Why would you not be thinking in those terms when we invite you to think in those terms? It is not only Members of Congress, but it is serious law enforcement people who are concerned about this.

    Ms. MEISSNER. I think actually that it is fair to say that one of the reasons that this is now being thought about and discussed is because of the successes of the IDENT System. When the IDENT System was first put together, it was able to be mobilized rather quickly. The IAFIS System was not going to available on an automated basis until fiscal year 1999.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. I would submit to you that the IAFIS System is as far or further along than the IDENT System. Have you read the IG Report?

    Ms. MEISSNER. The IAFIS System is not available on a quick response basis as an automated system at the present time.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Indeed it is not, but it can very soon be. Your IDENT System that you are developing in parallel is not either. One-third of the aliens apprehended along the border where the IDENT System was installed were not being checked, according to the IG Report.
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    The report found serious deficiencies in the IDENT data base used to store fingerprints and records of deported criminal aliens. Sixty-percent of the fingerprints and records of aliens in these categories were not entered into the data base.

    And if they were, they could not be picked up by law enforcement who use ten fingerprint systems. Virtually no controls were in place to ensure the quality of data. IDENT's potential for helping develop coherent prosecution strategies for dealing with aliens who repeatedly cross the border illegally has not been fully realized. Communications and infrastructure problems have delayed the installation of IDENT work stations.

    Those are IG concerns. I assume you will correct all of these problems, because this is a system in development. So, I can understand all of that, except when you go to the point of kind of implying here that we need to stand up IDENT quickly. So, we stood it up quickly.

    Indeed, you have not stood it up quickly. Maybe you have stood it up as quickly as one could in a complicated information system, but it is not standing up any more quickly than IAFIS, and certainly not with the quality of the technology.

    But all of that aside, my concern is more fundamental. At the end of the day, this system is structurally flawed. It is, as you say, developed for INS purposes. It is a very narrow view for you to come to the Committee and ask for millions, and millions of dollars when IDENT is not even going to be useful in overall criminal law enforcement.

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    Ms. MEISSNER. Let me try again. Because we have tried and are committed to systems that can interface and share information with other law enforcement systems, both Federal, State, and Local, that is critical.

    Moreover, the question that has been raised, that you have raised about whether or not we should be gathering ten prints instead of two prints through the IDENT process is one that we now are looking at, as you know, with the FBI, with the Justice Department leadership.

    The FBI just has come back, as a matter of fact, from visiting the border and understanding and seeing the IDENT System in use on the border. The feedback that we have from them is that they understand and endorse the merits of IDENT as it exist.

    They also want us to look at the potential for gathering ten prints for the purposes of broader law enforcement. We are now working to put a feasibility pilot effort into place.

    This probably will take place in Arizona, as a matter of fact, over the next month or two in order to determine indeed whether we can gather ten prints. We very much see ourselves working in concert with the FBI on this.

    It is also the case, as you have said, that we did move quickly with IDENT, as quickly as we could, at relatively low cost as compared to the IAFIS System, and with results much more quickly than would have been available to us by going with a ten-print system that would have relied on IAFIS which was not operational in an automated environment.
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    Mr. MOLLOHAN. I think a careful review would show that the benefits were marginal in terms of bringing it on-line. I am glad you did not mention that we do not have enough people to take ten prints or enough time to take prints because with the amount of money that this Chairman has put into this bill and the amount of people that you are bringing on-line would argue against that.

    I will continue to be concerned about this. I would invite the Department of Justice to look at the amount of money they are wasting developing two systems that cannot even communicate, and the bad example they are setting for the rest of law enforcement.

    What a powerful system we could have if we really would move with an example of integration. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Kolbe.

    Mr. KOLBE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    I join with the Chairman and Mr. Mollohan in congratulating Kentucky on its victory. Arizona did not want to hog it a second year in a row.

    Mr. ROGERS. You denied us a championship last year.

    Mr. KOLBE. We wanted to share it with you this year.

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    Based on the hearing so far, I would guess that Commissioner Meissner would rather be in San Antonio this morning celebrating with Arkansas.

    Commissioner, thank you very much. I share a lot of the concerns that have been expressed by the Members that have gone before me about the operations and functioning of INS, but my questions are going to be a little narrower and a little bit more specific.


    I have only one, though that I want to get on the record as a parochial one dealing with an issue that we have had in my district. Last year's supplemental appropriation bill, prohibited INS from using funds to build a permanent check point in the interstate leading from Nogales.

    It directed you instead to implement a roving check point system which I have experienced several times as I have driven around the district. So, I know they are there. Can you tell me specifically the status of that permanent check point?

    I am particularly interested in knowing whether you have any plans to try to resurrect the idea of a permanent check point?

    Ms. MEISSNER. The language was very clear. That is what we are working with. We are doing, as you say, roving check points on, I believe, five or six different major arteries. I think the one that you are principally concerned with is the road leading directly out of Nogales to Tucson. I think that is I–19.
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    So, those check points are relocated every five to six weeks. We operate them intermittently, but as much as we possibly can. We are actually doing a study right now of those check points, vis-a-vis, the traffic and changes that we see at the border.

    We believe there is a direct relationship between pressure on the border and the check points. We will continue to operate them as temporary facilities. We are not sending you any plans on a permanent one.

    Mr. KOLBE. Okay. That is what I wanted to hear because that language would have been in the supplemental appropriation. It was not permanent law. I wanted to be clear that you are not so that I will not need to have to deal with this again.

    Ms. MEISSNER. I am unaware of any plan to do a permanent check point at the present time.

    Mr. KOLBE. I appreciate you telling me.

    Ms. MEISSNER. Is there something I can give you as a follow-up to that?

    Mr. KOLBE. You just said, I am not aware of any plans.

    Ms. MEISSNER. Let me try to verify that there are no plans. As I say, we have been quite engaged with those issues along the border and knowing your concerns about it, knowing the local community's concerns.
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    I have been there and listened to the community on this. I think I would be aware if there was a permanent check point plan moving forward.

    [The information follows:]

    The Immigration and Naturalization Service has no plan to build a permanent Border Patrol traffic checkpoint in the Tucson Border Patrol Sector.


    Mr. KOLBE. Just before the hearing, you and I had a little discussion about the construction at Douglas. I had earlier talked to you about the concern that I had, having visited there recently. That they are just being overwhelmed, that facility which was built only three or four years ago.

    It was just utterly overwhelmed by the numbers of people that are there. Would you just share with us for the record what the plans for that facility are?

    Ms. MEISSNER. Yes, certainly. I actually visited that station myself a little while ago. It is a very nice station. It is totally outgrown now by the staffing that we have there. You are correct.

    We do have a new Border Patrol station for Douglas in our planning. It is funded this year and next year. It is a three-year project. Construction will be in fiscal year 2000. This year, we are doing the environment study and the site preparation.
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    Next year is the design. It will be in a contiguous area to the current station just to the west of where the current station exists.

    It will be able to accommodate 300 agents and support staff. Right now we have just under 200; about 180, 190 agents. This should give us the size station that we need.


    Mr. KOLBE. Thank you. Let me turn to a larger issue, but one that also has tremendous impact in the border communities. That is of the concern that I just cannot tell you how deep this concern is held about the new border crossing cards and the transition of moving the adjudication of these cards from INS to the State Department.

    We will just call these for a simple term laser visa. Now, the law says that you are to begin tomorrow. That the State Department is to begin the adjudication of these. You will continue to actually prepare the cards.

    As of October 1st, the transition is supposed to be complete, including the replacement of all of the existing cards. Everybody from the State Department and INS has told us that that is not realistic.

    Would you tell us:

    (a) where we are with regard to the program as it begins tomorrow for the issuance of new cards,
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    (b) what the plan is for the replacement of the cards, and

    (c) if you cannot meet that time table, what INS and the State Department plans to do with Congress to change that.

    Ms. MEISSNER. Okay. The new border crossing card, laser visa, excuse me, that is to be issued beginning tomorrow with a biometric is starting to be issued out of applications filed in Juarez. That is the first site.

    The cards themselves will be delayed by a few weeks, but only by a few weeks. That should only be a problem for people in Juarez. Everybody else along the border can continue to use their current card or the temporary B1, B2 visa that the State Department is issuing.

    The reason for the delay of a few weeks has to do with the State Department's passport mast head, that laser mast head, that has to be put on the border crossing card that we issue.

    Mr. KOLBE. What happened. This is a new thing that I had not heard about this delay.

    Ms. MEISSNER. I actually mentioned this to you.

    Mr. KOLBE. I am sorry. I forgot it or I missed it. What is the delay there?
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    Ms. MEISSNER. It is a set of software changes that are being made in the actual production of the card. It will be just a few weeks and we will be issuing the laser visa. Now, that puts us into production for the laser visa, as I say, very shortly.

    The replacement, everybody agrees, as you say, that the October 1st replacing of existing cards——

    Mr. KOLBE. What is the estimate of how many we need to replace?

    Ms. MEISSNER. We believe that there are about 5.5 million. That is the State Department and our best estimate of the outstanding border crossing cards.

    Mr. KOLBE. How many new ones do you believe you will be issuing each year?

    Ms. MEISSNER. About 800,000 each year.

    Mr. KOLBE. About 800,000 new ones?
    Ms. MEISSNER. Yes, 800,000 new ones.
    Mr. KOLBE. Those are not replacement. Those are new ones?
    Ms. MEISSNER. Those are not replacements.
    Mr. KOLBE. Those are new ones. You will have no trouble meeting the 800,000.
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    Ms. MEISSNER. We can meet the 800,000. That is correct.
    Mr. KOLBE. Now, the replacement of the 5.5 million?
    Ms. MEISSNER. The replacement will be about 5.5 million. Nobody knows the total number. That is our best estimate.
    Mr. KOLBE. The time table?
    Ms. MEISSNER. We want to show the Congress that we can issue the new border crossing cards. We will be able to show that to you. As I say, that will begin in a few weeks. We will be able to meet the 800,000 per year.
    As to the replacement 5.5 million, I believe that everybody agrees that, that is unrealistic. We will ask the Congress to change that date of October 1st. We will formally make that request when we have been able to demonstrate to you that we are issuing what we——
    Mr. KOLBE. Does the Administration have a time table for asking for that?
    Ms. MEISSNER. I have already spoken with various Members of Congress. We have not sent a formal proposal forward. We will do so very quickly.
    That 5.5 million replacement, we will recommend to have that take place on a rolling basis so that now, with a 10-year expiration date on the border crossing card, on the laser visa, we will be constantly both issuing new cards and replacing existing cards as the expiration dates come due.
    That is a much better system because it does not, 10 years from now, create another huge bubble where everybody has to, you know, run to ramparts. So, we can, I believe, manage this process if we go on a rolling schedule for replacement cards.
    Mr. KOLBE. You expect you will bring that proposal to Congress in the next few weeks to make these changes? It would require legislation, is that not right?
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    Ms. MEISSNER. It would require legislation. That is correct. I would offer that, that possibly could be handled in an appropriation.
    Mr. KOLBE. So, in sufficient time obviously before October 1st.
    Ms. MEISSNER. The October 1st time.
    Mr. KOLBE. Let me turn to Section 110, the entry/exit system. The Chairman talked about the frustration we have about not being able to know people who come in and whether they over stay their visas.
    That certainly was the intent of Section 110. It clearly appears to be flawed because, if we develop a system that tracks documents in and out of the Country, it does not necessarily mean that the person is the same individual being tracked in and out of the Country.
    This is particularly a problem when you get to border crossing where people cross multiple times a day and use their visas very, very frequently when you are talking about land crossing.
    You have a plan now to use a simulated feasibility of the mandated entry/exit system. How will that be done? When will that take place? Where will it be done?
    Ms. MEISSNER. An entry/exit system is very important. It is an issue that the Chairman has been interested in for a long time and something that this Country needs. Could I just say something about airports, vis-a-vis land border ports because they are very different environments and very different challenges.
    Mr. KOLBE. Yes.
    Ms. MEISSNER. Where airport entry/exit control is concerned, we have, we believe, shown and are comfortable with a very good automated entry/exit method that is presently in use.
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    We began it in Pittsburgh working with U.S. Airways. It involves an automated entry/exit form that the airlines now give you when you get your boarding pass.
    That is being expanded to ten airports this fiscal year. We are beginning now to work not only with U.S. Airways, but also with Continental and with Northwest. It works off of a technology booking that the airlines presently have.
    Frankly our limitations at this point are airline limitations in terms of their automation, no longer the Government's, the INS' automation. So, the entry/exit system for airports is underway.
    That can be mobilized quite effectively. We have with that the design and operation of a new data system overall that captures the records which we will be able to use. It will answer the question of overstays.
    This is extremely important because a great part of the resident illegal population is indeed visa overstays; people who have come through airports. So, this is a major improvement and step forward in being able to address that population.
    Mr. KOLBE. That is not a widely-known fact. Is it not true that about 60-percent of those who are in the Country illegally are visa over stays?
    Ms. MEISSNER. We believe 40- to 50-percent.
    Mr. KOLBE. Forty- to 50-percent.
    Ms. MEISSNER. So, it is very substantial.
    Mr. KOLBE. Go ahead.
    Ms. MEISSNER. Many of those people do arrive with legal documents which we would have no way or very little way of curtailing. So, this entry/exit control is responsive to that and deals with that.
    Now, on the land borders, as you know, it is an entirely different environment; a great number of different infrastructure situations and needs. The real question of how do you create entry/exit regulation controls, mechanisms with the incredible volumes that you are dealing with?
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    What we are going to do in order to determine what kind of proposal to make is, as you say, a simulation. We have data for years that we have used in order to determine what the proper staffing levels of those land border ports ought to be.
    So, the data that we have collected over the years that deals with volumes of traffic is now going to be put into a simulation environment and run with a variety of technologies in order to determine how we actually could do entry/exit control without interrupting traffic and commerce. We are going to be doing that. In fact, we are working out the time lines right now. We will be actually sending a report on that to Congressman Smith tomorrow. That report is due.
    I do not know right now what the actual time frame is. It is soon. I will share that with you as soon as we have it.
    [The information follows:]
    Attached is a chart reflecting the timeline for the collection of data, and creation of an assimilation environment to run with a variety of technolgies with regard to developing an entry/exit system for land border ports. The results of this effort will help us determine how we can best conduct entry/exit at land border ports without interrupting traffic and commerce.
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, the last question is about the year 2000 computer problem. It is very important for your agency with visas and immigration documents that have dates of birth and so forth on them and visas that are going to extend past the year 2000.
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    Where are you on that? Are you fully compliant? How much attention are you giving to this issue?
    Ms. MEISSNER. We are giving a lot of attention to this issue.
    Mr. KOLBE. How about you, personally?
    Ms. MEISSNER. I have been personally briefed on this issue; not only I, but my executive staff. We will be briefed on a regular basis.
    Our planning is on course and current. We expect that all of the conversion that we need to make for the 2000 deadline will actually be done by December of 1998; in other words, the end of this year so that it will be running for a year before the clock turns.
    Mr. KOLBE. What grade has OMB given you?
    Ms. MEISSNER. I do not know what grade OMB has given us. I think it has given the Department a grade of C-minus.
    Mr. KOLBE. That is not good.
    Mr. ROGERS. Do I understand, Madam Commissioner, that you say—what percent of the resident illegal aliens are the result of overstaying visas?
    Ms. MEISSNER. Our best estimates are 40- to 50- percent.
    Mr. ROGERS. So, somewhere around 2 million to 2.5 million or so.
    Ms. MEISSNER. Correct.
    Mr. ROGERS. Of the total 5 million, roughly, illegal immigrants are here because we have no way to know when he has overstayed one's visa or where one is so we can remove him from the country because he is illegally here.
    Ms. MEISSNER. That is the importance of the entry/exit and of the automated system that backs it up.
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    Mr. ROGERS. That is something that I have been working on for 15 years on this Subcommittee is getting the State Department and the INS to mesh their data so that when State grants a visa overseas and passes that person off to you when they come to this country, that one or both knows when that person's time is up, where he is going to be or have him report to a certain place so that we can then let him go back home because his visa no longer is effective.
    Ms. MEISSNER. That is now happening because of your work.
    Mr. ROGERS. I remember getting together Secretary of State Baker and Secretary Thornburg, I guess, the Attorney General. I mean this is ancient times we are talking about here; in the same room, the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, on this very problem, 12, 13, or whatever years ago.
    I thought we had it right on the verge of solution. It fell apart. INS says it is the State Department's fault. The State Department says, oh, that is INS' fault.
    Ms. MEISSNER. You know, Mr. Chairman——
    Mr. ROGERS. I am throwing up my hands and saying, I am going to have one agency that does this.
    Ms. MEISSNER. I wish you would take just an hour to come to our building. Actually, we could bring the equipment here. It is portable. I had this demonstrated to me last week, the entry/exit automated system that is now in use and that we are expanding to the ten airports this year.
    It is fabulous. We could bring the equipment up here. We could put it in your office. We could show it to the Committee. It is happening. I would like to have you see it because you really have been the father of this.
    Mr. ROGERS. We have seen no reduction in the number of illegal aliens since 1986. We have seen nothing lately.
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    Ms. MEISSNER. Well, the system is now operational that gives us the tools to respond to that.
    Mr. ROGERS. Well, we will talk. Mr. Skaggs.
    Mr. SKAGGS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Good morning. I am sorry I had another Committee meeting that kept me from hearing your opening statement. I am sure these hearings are the high point of your year.
    I am interested in a couple of particular things, but wanted first to invite you to speak somewhat informally and expansively, if you wish, about what you have gotten done in the last year.
    Ms. MEISSNER. We have done a great deal this last year. We have hired more than 5,000 people in order to keep up with our attrition and our new growth in the budget.
    We have reached a 17-year low in apprehensions in San Diego, the most heavily trafficked corridor across the entire southwest border for decades.
    We have launched Operation Rio Grande, which is the major Texas/New Mexico Border Patrol deterrence effort that deals with the final major part of our comprehensive southwest border strategy.
    We have met the deadlines, by and large, in all of the requirements of the new immigration law that has called for training of more than half of our work force, writing scores of new regulations, and creating new forms.
    We have launched a variety of new automation initiatives, such as the one that I was just discussing with the Chairman. We have continued to push forward on verification for employers for their ability to hire people legally in the work force.
    We have removed record numbers of criminal and deportable aliens from the United States.
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    We have put the fixes into place for a naturalization system that has integrity, that is customer oriented, and that the public can have confidence in. We have had that certified by an audit, as of last December, that the procedures are sound and that they are working.
    We have put into place, as of today, 120 new or co-located fingerprint centers in the course of less than six months so that people can be properly finger printed for naturalization.
    We have done a lot of work.
    Mr. SKAGGS. Thank you. Let me ask you a couple of things about, is it the H1B Program?
    Ms. MEISSNER. Yes.
    Mr. SKAGGS. I do not know if I have the correct designation. There was a piece I read about last week or the week before calling into question what we believe to be the accuracy of data justifying allowances under that visa program.
    If that issue hasn't already been discussed, I am just interested in your take on that, and what level of confidence we have in the underlying information that then justifies that visa program.
    Ms. MEISSNER. I think your question arises from some difficulties that did exist last year with the accuracy of the data; whether we were double counting, whether the people were being counted or the visa was being counted. Some visas have more than one person on them.
    I believe that has been now corrected and that we are receiving the data now on a real time basis and we will be accurate.
    Mr. SKAGGS. I am not sure we are talking about the same thing. I was referring to a report that questioned whether we have the demand or the unmet need for some of these critical skill areas that then drives the granting of visas, or whether that is being exaggerated.
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    It really comes out of all that we read about the tight employment situation in the country, particularly in information technology fields.
    Ms. MEISSNER. Yes, that is a different question. I was talking about the actual issuance of the H1B visas. That is a very broad question about tight labor markets, about demand in potentially shortage industries; whether it is widespread, whether it is only in certain parts of the Country.
    Fundamentally, we rely on the Labor Department for that data. We rely on the judgments that the Labor Department makes.
    Mr. SKAGGS. So, you do not evaluate that data yourself?
    Ms. MEISSNER. We do not evaluate it independently. We rely on it. We use it. We obviously are a part of formulating the Administration's position in response to those issues, but we are not the lead.
    Mr. SKAGGS. On one parochial item, we have been in correspondence with INS on behalf of a constituent who is awaiting the issuance of regulations having to do in particular, I think, with bringing in or certifying foreign nurses for immigration purposes.
    I am advised that some of this has to do with pending regulations that are about to be published. I do not want to take up my time here with an answer on that, but if you would please take a look at it and see if you can expedite things.
    Ms. MEISSNER. I will do that.
    [The information follows:]
    Section 343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996 establishes a new ground of inadmissibility for aliens seeking admission to the United States to engage in a health care occupation (other than physicians) who are not in possession of a certificate issued by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), or other equivalent entity, verifying the alien's education, training, license and experience are comparable with that required of an American health care worker. The certificate must also verify that the alien has the appropriate level of competence in written and oral English. Section 343 of IIRIRA became effective upon IIRIRA's date of enactment, September 30, 1996.
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    The statute requires consultation between the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and between HHS and the Secretary of Education.
    After consultation with HHS and the other affected administrative agencies, the INS drafted an implementing regulation. The regulation is in the Administration's review process and, upon clearance, will be published in the Federal Register.
    During the development phase of the implementing regulation, the INS and the Secretary of State are exercising authority under the immigration laws to waive this ground of inadmissibility for aliens seeking temporary entry to the United States to engage in a health care occupation. No such waiver authority exists for aliens seeking permanent immigration to engage in a health care occupation.
    Mr. SKAGGS. The implementation of the 1996 act you mention, at least the first case that I am aware of that has gotten press attention, is the secret proceedings involving the deportation of the six, I think it is six, Iraqis that are out on the West Coast, and Mr. Woolsey's involvement there.
    Are you familiar with that case at all? Is that even secret from you?
    Ms. MEISSNER. It is actually secret information. If there is information that we can provide, I will be happy to gather it and get it to you.
    Mr. SKAGGS. I do not want to get into what is classified, but I do want to ask, and I do not know, how many other cases have arisen so far under the provisions of that law for secret deportation proceedings? Is this the only one that you are aware of?
    Ms. MEISSNER. There have been some other cases, but obviously they are all quite unique. This is a sparingly used provision.
    Mr. SKAGGS. Many of us were concerned that while the motivation for that provision of the law was a good one, that we were nonetheless inviting a serious change in due process standards in this area by authorizing these kinds of proceedings. I am wondering if we have enough experience yet to provide critical information one way or the other about how this is working and whether people's rights are being jeopardized?
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    Ms. MEISSNER. I think it is too early. We are still very much in the beginning stages of this. We have been extremely careful and cautious with these provisions for the obvious reasons.

    I think we do need to have some more experience with it to really have a view of whether there are serious rights concerns. I will take your comment as an invitation to provide those views when we feel sound in doing so.

    Mr. SKAGGS. If you will also take this invitation to provide for the record just a listing of those cases in which those provisions have been used so far.

    Ms. MEISSNER. We will do that.

    [The information follows:]


    In the fall of 1996, approximately 6,500 Iraqi nationals, including former U.S. Government employees, voluntary agency workers, and oppositionists who were members of either the Iraqi National Congress or the Iraqi National Accord, two opposition groups engaged in efforts to undermine the regime of Saddam Hussein, were evacuated from Northern Iraq, through Turkey, to Guam. The purpose of the emergency evacuation was to remove them from harm's way and provide them an opportunity to seek refugee protection. They were afforded that opportunity on Guam, where nearly all of the evacuees were granted asylum in the United States.
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    On Guam, all of the evacuees were interviewed by a team of asylum officers from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Additionally, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted security-screening interviews of all of the evacuees as potential risks to national security, and it recommended that these persons not be admitted to the United States.

    As a result of these concerns, the government decided to bring these 25 evacuees to the continental United States and place them in formal exclusion proceedings, where they would have the opportunity to enlist the assistance of counsel and present their applications for asylum to an immigration judge. In 13 of those cases, the immigration court granted asylum, and those applicants have been released from detention. Of the remaining 12 applicants, 10 have been denied by immigration judges (7 on national security grounds and 3 on credibility grounds), and all of them have appealed those decisions or have time remaining to file an appeal. The remaining 2 cases are still pending before the immigration judges. In total, the government presented classified evidence to oppose applications for relief from removal in 9 of these cases.

    The United States Supreme Court has long held that the INS may use classified information to oppose an alien's discretionary applications for relief from deportation. See Jay v. Boyd, 351 U.S. 345 (1956); see also United States ex rel. Dolenz v. Shaughnessy, 206 F.2d 392, 395 (2d Cir. 1953); Ali v. Reno, 829 F.Supp. 1415 (S.D.N.Y. 1993), aff'd 22 F.3d 442 (2d Cir. 1994). the regulation relevant to the government's use of classified information in the Iraqi cases is 8 CFR 240.33(c)(4). The proceedings against the Iraqis were not brought under the provision of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which created the Alien Terrorist Removal Court (ATRC). The government has instituted no removal cases in the ATRC thus far.
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    Mr. SKAGGS. Finally, Commissioner, you are requesting some significant additional resources for interior enforcement, $80 million, I think, and that is on top of increases over the last few years.

    Can you give me a sense of both what is being accomplished and what the significant gaps still are in your view on the non-border part of your enforcement efforts?

    Ms. MEISSNER. What we are looking to do must involve both the border and serious disincentives in the interior. The critical effort in the interior has to be the proper meshing of enforcement that removes people who are improperly here, sanctions employers, and holds them accountable for who they hire, deals with smuggling and abusive practices, as well as fraudulent documents.

    So, that is what we are looking to do. We believe we are now being sufficiently effective on the border that we need to concentrate increasingly on this kind of coordination and targeting in the interior of a country.

    We want to be able to deal far more effectively with the smuggling routes. That is an issue that I think you are familiar with in Colorado.

    It is an issue that I have spoken about with Congressman Latham that he deals with in Iowa. What is happening is that the smugglers are shifting their operations and working in different ways in order to try to avoid us and get past the border. It is so much more difficult to get past the border.
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    So, we see larger loads. We see much more recklessness on the part of the smugglers. We are beginning to get enough good information to see the linkages in the organizations between the border and destinations, particularly employment destinations.

    We made our first big case in Georgia, actually, where we were able to link an employer with the smuggler, with the source operation in Mexico. That all came about because of an arrest that we made at the border of a smuggler and we were able to track back the occupants of the vehicle and so on.

    Sometimes when vehicles in the Mid-west are let go, it is because we are trying to get to the organization itself, rather than just that smuggling vehicle and go to the source of these organizations.

    We do need more resources in order to be able to do that. We need it in order to be able to respond more effectively to State and local law enforcement when they intercept.

    We need it in order to be able to buttress our efforts to make the big cases that represent the organized traffic here, both in terms of employers and in terms of bad documents. We are formulating the strategy to do that. It is our commitment to put that kind of a systemic effort into place linking the border with the interior.

    Mr. SKAGGS. I think that is real important. I am glad to know where it stands on your priority list. Let me just close by saying my case work staff wanted to extend their kudos to the Congressional Relations people in the Lincoln Processing Center.
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    Ms. MEISSNER. Thank you. I will pass that on to them. They will be pleased to hear that.

    Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Latham.

    Mr. LATHAM. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    Welcome. You are fortunate the Chairman is in such a good mood today with the big victory last night for Kentucky.

    Ms. MEISSNER. I had an inside interest in who would win.


    Mr. LATHAM. Yes. I am sure you did. Just looking back, last year I had brought up some questions, you know, with the Citizenship U.S.A. Project back in 1996. Apparently, there were 180,000 people naturalization without any background check.

    The testimony was that there were 71,000 that had an FBI record by your own estimates. Normally, there are about 18 percent of people who have felony records who would not be given citizenship of the 180,000. So, that would be over 30,000 felons that we gave citizenship to.

    You had talked about the efforts that were ongoing as far as finding these people and revoking their citizenship. I would just like to hear where you are.
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    Ms. MEISSNER. The revocation program is in operation. We have actually centralized it so that all of our attorneys that are working on revocation are here in Washington. We are tracking it very closely.

    We have about 6,000, a little more than 6,000, revocations that we are looking at, at the present time. We have issued notices to revoke close to one-third of those people.

    We are working very systematically against a two-year deadline because we need to serve notices within two years of when the naturalization was granted in order to do it through an administrative process.

    We need to review all of these cases. The legal review of these cases has to be very thorough because the cases that are subject to revocation may not all lead to revocation, depending on whether people can provide evidence that indeed their case had been dismissed or there was some other reason that we were not aware.

    Mr. ROGERS. Just answer the question please. We are running short of time. The question is simple. Answer the question simply.

    Ms. MEISSNER. Six thousand-plus revocations are being looked at and about one-third of them have had notices issued.

    Mr. LATHAM. So, out of the 71,000, you have been able to find 6,000. The Attorney General testified, I think, that there were 6,000 that had their citizenship revoked out of the 30,000-some that were convicted felons.
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    Mr. ROGERS. How many have been deported?

    Ms. MEISSNER. Very few have been deported to-date.

    Mr. ROGERS. The answer is zero.

    Ms. MEISSNER. I believe that there are a few.

    Mr. ROGERS. There are none. Can anybody dispute that?

    Ms. MEISSNER. Well, let me check.

    [The information follows:]


    As of April 1, 1998, a total of 2,535 cases have been finally reviewed by the Office of General Counsel for possible revocation of naturalization. Eight-hundred forty-one of these have been determined to be not legally sufficient to initiate revocation; 1,694 of these have been determined to be legally sufficient to initiate revocation. Of the 1,694 cases, 209 have been flagged for possible removal based on the existence of a possible removable offense. In the remaining cases, although these individuals are amenable to revocation of naturalization, they do not appear to be subject to removal.

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    Because an administrative revocation case can be initiated only within 2 years of the date of naturalization, the Service is currently focusing on the timely issuance of notices of intent to revoke naturalization. As of April 1, we have issued final decisions revoking naturalization in 13 cases, and a notice to appear has been issued in one of these cases. Only when the majority of these cases have been issued, no later than October of this year, will we be able to focus our attention on this critical follow-up action, including initiating removal proceedings.

    Mr. ROGERS. My information is not a single person, maybe one, was deported because he volunteered to go. But no one has been deported who was granted illegally citizenship two years ago.


    Mr. LATHAM. Still, I think if the general public were aware of what had happened, there would be tremendous outrage. Going back, also, and we have visited I know. I appreciate very much you coming up to my office and visiting with me on the Tri-State Drug Task Force.

    Can you just tell me, for the record, when we will have the second agent in place in Sioux City so we can have one designated as the law says to the Tri-State Drug Task Force and another one doing general business?

    Ms. MEISSNER. We are advertising for that position. We actually would think that, that person can be in place sometime this summer. I will verify that for you. At the present time, we are in the recruiting process for that position.
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    Mr. LATHAM. Okay.

    [The information follows:]


    A selection has been made for the second agent position in Sioux City, IA. The individual should be on board in two to three months.


    Mr. LATHAM. As far as the amendment I had in 1996 regarding the INS working with local law enforcement to help them, train them, and to have an agreement so that they could detain illegal aliens and transport them, I know you have the situation going on with Salt Lake City.

    Are you going to have to have a Memorandum of Understanding with each of the communities or each law enforcement entity? If communities comply with your standards, will there be a broad Memorandum of Understanding? Or are they each going to have to go through this process?

    Ms. MEISSNER. The short answer to that is no. The more full answer is that the first Memorandum of Understanding with Salt Lake City obviously will serve as a template for one approach to this.
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    We expect actually that we will probably have several different approaches. So, there may be a couple of different kinds of Memorandums of Understanding, depending on what services and what delegations would actually take place.

    We certainly do not envision a de novo negotiation of a different kind of an MOU with every entity around the Country; absolutely not. That is one of the reasons we are piloting it and trying to work out what the typical circumstances would be.

    Mr. LATHAM. You know that as we have discussed—I did it because of the murder of a young man. His grandmother is continually calling me. I do not know if you got in touch with her.

    Ms. MEISSNER. Actually, I have written to her. I signed that letter yesterday. I hope that she is reassured by that.

    Mr. LATHAM. What about the video conferencing interrogation services for law enforcement? When are you going to be able to offer that all over?

    Ms. MEISSNER. That is one of the ways that we see ourselves doing delegations of authority. We are working out right now what the cost for that program would be in other places and what kind of delegation of authority it would require. I think we will be in a position to be talking with locals about that.

    Mr. LATHAM. Do you have a date for that?
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    Ms. MEISSNER. I hope within the coming six months.


    Mr. LATHAM. As you are well-aware with the tremendous amount of drug trafficking going on in the upper Midwest and the direct link between our border to the south with my region up there, this is a huge issue.

    Just this Sunday in church, there was a drug enforcement agent that goes to the same church. This is his biggest problem right now. It really is.

    Ms. MEISSNER. That is exactly right. The methamphetamine in the upper Midwest is a serious, serious issue.

    Mr. LATHAM. But being able to have some authority, to have the video conferencing interrogation would be a great help right now. So, thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. ROGERS. Thank you, Mr. Latham.


    Now, back to the exit/entry control system that you have mentioned. That is something we have been working on for years.

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    In 1998, we provide $12.9 million to expand the departure management initiatives; $10.4 million more than was requested. Now, you are requesting another $19.5 million for 1999.

    Section 110 of the 1996 Immigration Bill requires that on October 1st of this year, an automated entry and exit control system would be developed that will:

    (1) collect a record of departure for every alien departing the United States and match the records of departure with that person's arrival record;

    (2) enable the Attorney General to identify, through on-line searching procedures, lawfully admitted non-immigrants who over stay their visas; and

    (3) integrate that information into appropriate data bases of INS and the State Department at ports of entry and Consular Offices for purposes of approving future visas and entry into the U.S.

    Now, I think you have said that next year you are going to have that in place at ten of the U.S. airports.

    Ms. MEISSNER. This year; this fiscal year.

    Mr. ROGERS. When?

    Ms. MEISSNER. By the end of the fiscal year.
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    Mr. ROGERS. In ten airports?

    Ms. MEISSNER. Yes.

    Mr. ROGERS. Any of the other ports? Just the ten airports?

    Ms. MEISSNER. That is correct. And also the data system that is required to support that from the standpoint of being the repository of the entry/exit information.

    Mr. ROGERS. Now, give us some idea of what kind of significance that is. There are a lot of airports. There are hundreds of ports of entry. How important is it that you be at these airports? What percent of the total load will you carry there?

    Ms. MEISSNER. I will have to provide that to you separately. I do not have that with me.

    Mr. ROGERS. Is it significant?

    Ms. MEISSNER. These are significant airports. I mean they are Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh. They are flights that are coming with three airlines, U.S. Airways, Northwest, and Continental. Those are the airlines that are cooperating with us at the present time. We can provide that to you. They are substantial travel loads.
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    Mr. ROGERS. Do you have any idea what percentage of the total visitors would be covered by those ten?

    Ms. MEISSNER. I would have to get that to you. J.F.K., for instance, is included; these airlines at J.F.K. So, that is one of the major airports.

    [The information follows:]


    In FY 1997, 36 percent of the total passenger traffic through all air ports-of-entry came through the ports-of-entry scheduled for deployment of the Automated I–94 System in FY 1998.

    Philadelphia received the Automated I–94 System in FY 1997. The airports scheduled to be outfitted in FY 1998 are:
    Pittsburgh, Detroit, JFK Terminal–1, Shannon Preinspection, Minneapolis St. Paul, Charlotte, Honolulu, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, and Newark.
    A total of 12 airports should be outfitted by the end of FY 1998.
    Mr. ROGERS. According to your statement, you say that last year 320 million people visited the Country illegally and that you conducted 500 million inspections at your ports of entry. Will the three airlines at the ten airports be 10-percent of that total?
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    Ms. MEISSNER. As I say, I will have to provide that for you. I think that what we are saying is that we are moving this project forward as quickly as we can, obviously consistent with funding and with the airlines. The major issue at this point actually is the airlines' ability to do this in their automated environment.
    Mr. ROGERS. Yes, but we ordered it done by October 1, 1998 everywhere, not just ten airports, not three airlines. We said everywhere; all ports of entry. We gave you the money.
    In fact, we gave you $10.4 million more than you requested. You all apparently requested the minuscule amount of money for it. We loaded you up with money to get it done. Here you are not able to do it.
    Ms. MEISSNER. We are spending the full amount that is allocated for it. That is what the result will be. As I say, the automated system that is the structure to support it so that the data actually can be used and tracked properly is also a part of the project.
    Mr. ROGERS. Well, if overstays are accounting for roughly half of all the illegal aliens still in the country, this project could have the same significance as the border patrol.
    Ms. MEISSNER. It is extremely significant.
    Mr. ROGERS. I mean this was a minuscule amount of money compared to what we spend on protecting the borders with the Border Patrol. This could be very, very cost effective; could it not be?
    Ms. MEISSNER. We agree. We agree. We believe that the technology that we are using bears that out. It is a very straightforward technology. The airlines can use it. It is now workable.
    Mr. ROGERS. Is the State Department cooperating?
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    Ms. MEISSNER. Absolutely.
    Mr. ROGERS. Fully?
    Ms. MEISSNER. Absolutely. I have no complaints whatsoever. We are working very well with the State Department.
    Mr. ROGERS. Both of you say that and have said it for 15 years, but nothing ever happens.
    Ms. MEISSNER. We now have tangible palpable things to show for it.
    Mr. ROGERS. Well, you got ten airports, three airlines at ten airports, maybe. It is not there yet. How many do you have right now?
    Ms. MEISSNER. I believe we have four right now.
    Mr. ROGERS. Four.
    Ms. MEISSNER. I will have to check that, but I believe it is four.
    Mr. ROGERS. Four what?
    Ms. MEISSNER. Airports.
    Mr. ROGERS. Now, I want to get back briefly to Citizenship U.S.A. In fiscal year 1996 you granted citizenship to almost 1.1 million people and 263,000 of those people were granted citizenship without having a full criminal history check.
    As it turns out, 77,000 of those had criminal history records with the FBI of which nearly 17,250 had at least one felony arrest and 26,200 had one or more misdemeanors. So far, you have determined that at least 932 should not have received citizenship.
    You have issued notifications to revoke their citizenship. Though, I am told not one has yet been denaturalized. There are 5,000 cases still under investigation. Another 125,000 cases had unreadable fingerprint cards.
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    So that fingerprint checks could not be done. And 61,000 cases contain no evidence of any fingerprint check at all by the FBI. Then following that is another long history of errors.
    Now, while over 6,000 cases have been referred to the INS for denaturalization proceedings, we are told that not all of those cases will be or can be pursued. In other words, some of those mistakes can never be corrected.
    In over 186,000 cases since no fingerprint checks were made prior to naturalization, we will never know how many of those persons had criminal records. We can never correct those mistakes.
    A few months ago KPMG found that 90.8 percent of the random sample cases reviewed contained at least one processing error. Most had more. Therefore, in 90 percent of the cases, the INS file alone does not contain evidence that the naturalization was proper.
    If you project that finding, that sample, for the entire 1.1 million Citizenship U.S.A. cases, 920,733 cases would have had insufficient documentation to support a proper decision.
    They also found that 38,845 cases can be projected to have been presumptively ineligible to receive naturalization. That is not just processing errors, but probably disqualifying problems; almost 39,000, and seemingly most of those felons.
    The Attorney General referred to the mistakes that occurred in Citizenship U.S.A. as a ''catastrophe''. Do you agree with that characterization?
    Ms. MEISSNER. The Citizenship Program had very serious deficiencies.
    Mr. ROGERS. Was it a ''catastrophe'', as the Attorney General says?
    Ms. MEISSNER. There were serious errors.
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    Mr. ROGERS. Was she correct?
    Ms. MEISSNER. I would not disagree with the Attorney General. She is my boss.
    Mr. ROGERS. So, when she says it is a ''catastrophe'', you cannot disagree; can you?
    Ms. MEISSNER. I wish it had not happened the way it happened.
    Mr. ROGERS. You cannot disagree; can you?
    Ms. MEISSNER. I cannot disagree.
    Mr. ROGERS. Has anyone been held accountable for this catastrophe?
    Ms. MEISSNER. We have held the entire Agency accountable.
    Mr. ROGERS. Any single person been held accountable, brought to bear, brought to justice on this catastrophe?
    Ms. MEISSNER. Well, I think this was, as we discussed last year, there were major deficiencies in the citizenship process. They were deficiencies that had existed for many years. They are deficiencies which have been overcome.
    Mr. ROGERS. Now, I want to dispute that.
    In normal times, I am told that the normal numbers of naturalizations are about one-third or so of what you did that one year. Is that right?
    Ms. MEISSNER. Typically, we had been doing about 300,000 per year.
    Mr. ROGERS. Well, it is about a fourth then. And in 1996, you did 1.1 million or more.
    Ms. MEISSNER. About a million.
    Mr. ROGERS. Which has either tripled or quadrupled what you normally do and that happened to be the election year.
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    We know from the e-mail that the Vice President sent his Chief of Staff in fact to the major cities, Chicago, Detroit, and so on, where most of these took place, and over-rode INS field offices to waive the requirement that they check and see if people had a criminal history in order to get people enrolled on the voting books and gave U.S. citizenship as the prize.
    Has a single person been held accountable for what the Attorney General has called a ''catastrophe'' and what most of us would have more harsh words for, selling U.S. citizenship for a vote?
    Has any person been held accountable?
    Ms. MEISSNER. I have to dispute what you have said about over riding judgments made on criminals.
    Nobody changed procedures.
    Mr. ROGERS. No, but they were told that the policy, not law, but the policy of INS was to get a criminal check before granting citizenship. That was INS policy. Do you agree with that?
    Ms. MEISSNER. INS policy was to wait for a set period of time to hear from the FBI. If we had not heard from the FBI, we proceeded. That was the major flaw in the system.
    We have corrected that by calling for a 100-percent fingerprint check. In other words, we now do not proceed without a response from the FBI in 100-percent of the cases.
    Mr. ROGERS. Was a single person held accountable?
    Ms. MEISSNER. The entire system needed to be redesigned and revamped. We have done that.
    Mr. ROGERS. Only when the Congress changed the law.
    Ms. MEISSNER. We revamped the system prior to the Congress acting.
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    Mr. ROGERS. What used to be a policy of the Department, which you violated and we said, no. We are going to make that the law. If you violate it this time, there are penalties because you refuse to prosecute or hold anybody responsible for a vast catastrophic evasion of our laws when you granted tens of thousands of convicted felons citizenship in this country for political purposes.
    Ms. MEISSNER. I really must dispute that. We did not grant tens of thousands of convicted felons citizenship. The audits have all now been completed. The numbers are very clear. They have been provided. I can provide them again for the record. That is not what happened. The system was changed.
    Mr. ROGERS. You do not know whether—there is 186,000 of these people where no fingerprint checks were made and you do not know whether or not they were convicted felons or not. That procedure was waived. The requirement that the FBI search the person's record for criminal violations was waived.
    For 186,000 we do not know. We will never know. K.P.M.G. projected, as I have told you, that almost 39,000, based on their sample, would have been presumptively ineligible.
    Meaning that they had a disqualifying feature of some sort; whether it be felony conviction or what have you. Yes, I can say there are tens of thousands and probably more convicted felons were granted citizenship.
    You cannot tell me whether or not they were. That is the problem.
    Ms. MEISSNER. What has come out of the audit is 369 cases of clear convictions and 6,000 cases where there is likely a disqualifying conviction.
    Mr. ROGERS. Those are just the ones you can verify. What K.P.M.G. is saying is there is almost 200,000 of those that you have no idea because the records do not exist.
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    Ms. MEISSNER. We clearly did not handle those properly. Subsequently, they have been put through an FBI name check. We have sampled. We know that the universe here is far smaller than what has been represented to be the case.
    We are following up on those cases. The critical issue is that the system has been entirely revamped and redesigned.
    Mr. ROGERS. Only when the Congress moved in to make it the law of the land.
    Ms. MEISSNER. The redesign was done administratively and can be done administratively. It is being implemented administratively, which is to say that there is a 100- percent check of fingerprints and a whole more reliable way of handling the fingerprints, submitting them to the FBI and getting answers from the FBI for them.
    More over, we have an entirely new leadership team in place at the INS. Nobody that was involved in Citizenship U.S.A. is any longer involved in the Citizenship Program. There is from our Deputy Commissioner on through the senior chain of command in the field, a new group of players.
    We are implementing a redesigned naturalization process that has integrity.
    Mr. ROGERS. Now, over the years, there have been numerous initiatives merging functions occurring at the border to an existing agency or into a new agency.
    These initiatives would incorporate functions now performed by Customs, by INS, by the Department of Agriculture into one entity to better coordinate all border functions.
    In 1993, a panel of former and current Government officials operating under the auspices of the GAO and the National Academy of Public Administration called for the end of dual management structure for border inspections.
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    That panel strongly endorsed the creation of a single independent agency that would combine the functions of INS and Customs; not Agriculture. A subsequent report from the House Committee on Government Operations recommended that, that plan be given serious consideration.
    Congressman Reyes, as you know a former Border Patrol Agent, has a bill which would create a separate enforcement agency within the Department of Justice just with border control powers.
    When you were preparing your recommendations for a reorganization, did you or the Administration give any consideration at all to the concept of a single border management agency?
    Ms. MEISSNER. A single border management agency has been talked about frequently over the years. We did discuss it briefly, but we did not do detailed analysis. The idea has simply failed so many times when it has been proposed that we did not think that it was the way to go.
    What we do, and what is——
    Mr. ROGERS. Let me ask you why? Why was it rejected? I gather it was rejected and probably not even considered. My guess is the politicals at the White House wrote this plan, dictated it to you, and you are defending it.
    Why would they have rejected a single border control agency?
    Ms. MEISSNER. You know, you can slice this issue a variety of ways. If you go the border management agency route, you are dealing with several Cabinet level agencies and all of the difficulties that are involved with trying to merge agencies that have now different histories, different traditions.
    Then you detach them from the interior of the Country in terms of effective enforcement. So, you have to recreate their linkages. We decided that it was much better to go the route of linking the immigration functions at the border with the immigration functions in the interior of the country in order to get a more effective immigration enforcement effort that deals with the Border Patrol, with the ports of entry, with employers, with removal of aliens from the Country, with the series of issues that we have been talking about here because we believe that is the best way to get effective performance and effective cooperation and coordination between immigration enforcement entities.
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    Mr. ROGERS. Well, it seems to me that what happened when you were submitting your reorganization plan, you were made to submit a plan by this body. So, you had to do something. The Attorney General had to do something.
    She was not a part of this process, I gather. So, when push came to shove, the White House looked at ways to justify saving the INS as an entity, knowing it was under assault on the Hill.
    So, you have come up with a reorganization plan hoping to salve the wounds of some of us who think the Agency does not need to exist. So, this is your offering at the altar. I do not think there was any serious study given to how we ought to properly deal with the problem the Country faces.
    What was looked at was how can we save this Agency and the entities that are already encrusted in that Agency? I really do not think there was much serious thought given to it. At what point was Booz Allen told to help develop a recommendation to restructure the INS without moving any of its functions to a new or existing agency?
    Ms. MEISSNER. I will answer that question, but I want to back-up and correct what I think is a misunderstanding.
    Mr. ROGERS. Yes.
    Ms. MEISSNER. The Attorney General was actively involved in this effort as were senior people in the Justice Department. The Immigration Service has been intensively involved in this effort.
    I said in my opening statement that we took your requirement in the appropriations language as an opportunity. We have not resisted this. We have indeed taken it as an opportunity to look at what we think the best response for an effectively operating immediate system would be.
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    We did look at the Commission's proposal. We did look at ideas in the past that have been floated where border management is concerned. We believe that the enforcement and the service missions of the Immigration Service work cooperatively.
    That they indeed are two sides of the same coin and that the very effectiveness and accountability that you are looking for is far more achievable in one agency than by splitting apart.
    If you split to several agencies, you dilute accountability. If you maintain one organization that is responsible for carrying out the immigration mission, you fix accountability. We do that by separating chains of command so that it is more manageable and so that there are professional skills on both the immigration and on the enforcement side that are more effectively developed.
    We brought Booz Allen into the picture at the end of last year, exactly because we were taking this proposition very seriously. We would not have spent the money. We would not have spent the time to go to an outside consulting firm if we were not trying to put together a viable proposal that would be responsive to the Committee and that would be responsive to the needs that we, ourselves, have struggled to try to meet.

    The Booz Allen effort did look at the Commission's work. It did look at other proposals that have been made in the past. The Booz Allen team arrived in its own thinking at the view that a separation of these functions within the Immigration Service was the proper way to go because that was the most cost effective way to capitalize on the incredible investments that have been made in this Agency over the last three to four years.

    So, this is a proposal that is responsive. It is a proposal that indeed involved the Attorney General personally and the Justice Department working in concert with INS. It is a proposal that will more quickly and most effectively provide the accountability, the performance, and the professionalism that we are all seeking.
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    Mr. ROGERS. I would like to have a copy of all of the options that you reviewed and the pros and cons of each.

    Ms. MEISSNER. We can provide that.

    [The information follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. ROGERS. Did you look at two different agencies within Justice to achieve on the one hand enforcement and on the other hand service matters?

    Ms. MEISSNER. We did.

    Mr. ROGERS. What was the conclusion there?

    Ms. MEISSNER. Our conclusion was that it made more sense separated, but within one organization in order to get the interaction and the most effective use of the data systems and the shared infrastructure that both sides of the House depend on in order to be effective.

    Mr. ROGERS. But is not there at least a tacit understanding that within INS there are two conflicting roles. One, enforcement of laws that in effect punish people for violating our Nation's laws, illegal immigration and the like, and on the other hand, the granting of rights and privileges, the visa, and even citizenship granting.
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    How can you justify, how can you resolve this inherent conflict that an immigrant must feel at one point or the other that they are getting fairly treated when the same person is deciding whether to give them rights and at the same time punish them for something else?

    How can we tell that person that they are getting a fair shake here?

    Ms. MEISSNER. That is one of the two or three core questions that we asked ourselves and that we believe this proposal answers. What this proposal does is fundamentally set up two separate organizations within INS. It sets up an organization for the enforcement of the laws. It sets up a separate organization or a separate chain of command for the granting of benefits under the law.

    It calls for two separate career paths within the Immigration Service. So that indeed the same person will not be doing both. Different people will be doing those respective jobs. That is something that we believe it is time to do.

    There has been a mixed identity. There has been a confusion, not only among the people who come to us, but within our own work force as to what their primary responsibility is.

    What this structure does is clarify that. It says that you give benefits or you do law enforcement. It creates opportunities for people to advance with those skills. Those are separate skills.
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    It also takes advantage of the fact that they both need to use the same alien file. They both need to use the same repository of information in order to determine what to do.

    Mr. ROGERS. But the crux question though is assuming along these two different chains, some decisions are going to be appealed up the ladder until they get to the same place and that is the Commissioner.

    Ms. MEISSNER. The Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner.

    Mr. ROGERS. Here you are. Essentially, that immigrant says, well, the same person can punish me or give me rights, give me services. It is the Commissioner. This is one Agency we are talking about.

    That is what I am getting at. There is an inherent conflict within having this all in one agency is what I am driving at, even though you may have two separate chains of command, it eventually winds up on your desk or could.

    How do you resolve that?

    Ms. MEISSNER. I think that it does come back to what we think immigration is all about. Immigration is both about upholding the law and it is about serving legal immigrants and granting them benefits.

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    Those two have strong connections between the two of them. Take the naturalization example. Naturalization is the ultimate benefit that we grant. Yet, what did it founder on in Citizenship U.S.A.?

    It foundered on improper use of law enforcement information. That connection between granting a benefit, but granting it properly, similarly enforcing the law, but giving and assuring the rights of people to be certain that they do or do not belong in the Country.

    Those connections are implicit in our immigration law. We believe that they are better carried out in one agency than in two agencies, if only because of the shared information that is crucial to have in one place in order for each of those functions to be making decisions accurately.

    Mr. ROGERS. And therein is the conflict.

    Ms. MEISSNER. It does not need to be a conflict.

    Mr. ROGERS. An immigrant or a non-citizen in order to get certain benefits or services has to share certain information with you. That person, though, cannot be assured that, that same information will not be given to the enforcement side of the coin and it comes back at them with the penalties under the law.

    It just seems to me that it is almost like violating our notion of being convicted out of your own mouth; a violation of the Fifth Amendment type thing.
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    Ms. MEISSNER. The Government still has to have information on the alien. That information has to be kept in one repository. In order for it to be available for enforcement decisions or for benefit decisions, it still is the same person.

    Mr. ROGERS. Well, 245(i) is a good example. In order for a person to gain the advantages of it, he or she had to admit they were here illegally. The same person would make the decision—would be armed with the information that, that person was volunteering in order to gain something back could have been prosecuted. So, 245(i) is the most recent example I can think of where a conflict is concerned.

    Ms. MEISSNER. I do not think anybody would want to have a situation where the Government knew that somebody was here illegally and that law enforcement would not have access to that information.

    I mean, you want to know, you have to know the information about an alien in order to determine whether they are deportable or whether they are eligible for a benefit.

    Mr. ROGERS. Now, in the enforcement chain of command, it appears that port directors, detention managers, investigations, and removal managers all report to a new position, ''an Enforcement Area Director,'' who reports to the Associate Commissioner of Enforcement at Headquarters up here.

    The Border Patrol's final reporting chain is the Border Patrol Chief at Headquarters. The question is, what is the justification for giving the Border Patrol different treatment in the chain of command?
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    Ms. MEISSNER. Well, this is a confusion that I think occurred in a staff briefing last week. Let me start where you started. The plan calls for the Border Patrol chief, ports of entry, the investigations manager, and the detention manager, all of those entities which are all part of an integrated enforcement effort, all to report to an Enforcement Area Director.

    So, the Border Patrol is not any different from the director of a port of entry, or the head of the investigators, or the head of detention. The idea is to divide the County into enforcement areas that give us a basis for linking the border with the interior.

    We think of the border both as the Border Patrol and as the port of entry because both of those things have to be working effectively in order to deter illegal entry as well as to allow for legal entry.

    We want that Enforcement Area Director to be able to manage the resources in the area that he or she is responsible for both the border resources and the interior resources in a way that creates the best enforcement.

    That Area Director and the recommendation right now is that we look at a minimum of six enforcement areas around the Country that we still need to determine whether that is the proper sizing for this. Those Area Directors would report to a head of Enforcement Operations here in Headquarters.

    Mr. ROGERS. So, you are saying between 6 and 12 areas.
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    Ms. MEISSNER. Booz Allen has recommended between 6 and 12. That needs to be further refined, but that is the recommendation.

    Mr. ROGERS. That is not very precise.

    Ms. MEISSNER. Well, I said six because that is the work load analysis that we have done so far. The effort here is to try to determine what really is an enforcement area if you think of the border linked with the interior.

    That is the crucial coordination that we need to achieve now, particularly with the resources that have gone to the border and the effectiveness that we are showing at the border.

    Mr. ROGERS. The Commission recommended a single uniformed enforcement officer. Was that considered?

    Ms. MEISSNER. We did consider that.

    Mr. ROGERS. And?

    Ms. MEISSNER. We decided that, that was too big a jump to make right now. That the most important thing was to define our enforcement occupations and get our current enforcement occupations working together in a coordinated fashion and develop an enforcement career path.
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    Mr. ROGERS. So, this is not a very radical reorganization.

    Ms. MEISSNER. This is a fundamental restructuring. It is a fundamental reform. It is not a reorganization. It is a restructuring. It is a rethinking of the way in which we do our business, the way in which we deliver service, the way in which we focus our enforcement efforts.

    Mr. ROGERS. You have had numerous problems in maintaining your detention facilities and monitoring those facilities that you contract with, with private companies. Did you consider moving the INS detention function to another agency?

    Ms. MEISSNER. The issue of INS detention has been addressed in the context of another analysis which I think you are very familiar with. That was the Committee's request of the Justice Department to look at detention that the Immigration Service does, that the Marshals do, and that the Bureau of Prisons does.

    The outcome of that analysis has been—I think it has already been provided to the Committee, but it calls for INS to retain a considerable amount of the detention that we presently have. So, we have abided by that.

    Mr. ROGERS. That is not a radical change, then; is it? In fact, I do not see much you are changing except you are reorganizing some boxes on the organization chart; the same people; same problems; same short-comings.

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    Ms. MEISSNER. Well, I think it is far more than that. It is eliminating our district offices. It is eliminating our regional offices. It is setting up an entirely new chain of command, one devoted to enforcement, one devoted to to Immigration Services. It is establishing career paths so that service-providing occupations will no longer move through the enforcement ranks. The enforcement personnel will no longer be providing adjudications. It is a far tighter system for accountability. It is a major restructuring. It is fundamental reform.

    Mr. ROGERS. Now, I want to know about the cost. What would the plan cost in terms of the annual budget? Does your 1999 budget request reflect this plan?

    Ms. MEISSNER. Our 1999 budget request, as you know, is a very sizeable growth request. We believe that the cost of this restructuring can be absorbed in the continual growth that we expect will occur.

    Although we have not done precise calculations and will be doing them, we foresee being able to incorporate the costs in continued growth.

    Mr. ROGERS. But you have got new field officers. You have got new pay provisions. You have got all sorts of, you say, substantial—what was your word, ''fundamental?''

    Ms. MEISSNER. Fundamental reform.

    Mr. ROGERS. Nothing, we know, ever comes cheap with INS. Surely, this is going to cost us a lot more than we are paying now.
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    Ms. MEISSNER. Well, first off, there are many things in this proposal that are cost neutral. I mean achieving the accountability that we are talking about here, setting up different reporting lines, grouping occupations in different ways. Those are not items that require additional funding.

    We do have substantial facilities and construction amounts in our budget. We have substantial growth in personnel in our budget. We believe that within the boundaries of that continued growth, we will be able to make the adjustments that this proposal calls for.


    Mr. ROGERS. Now, our Conference Report in 1998 required you to provide to us by tomorrow, April 1st, a revised strategy for the interior enforcement. Can you tell us about that?

    Ms. MEISSNER. We have been working very hard on that. We are now either in receipt of or will be within the next day or two of an analysis that we have worked with a contractor to help provide. We will be working out the operational strategy for how we implement that in the coming months.

    This is along the lines of what I described when Mr. Skaggs was talking about the interior. This is an effort to——

    Mr. ROGERS. You are going to have this tomorrow; are you not? This is ordered by tomorrow.
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    Ms. MEISSNER. I will have to check on that. I assume that if we have a deadline that we are being responsive to the deadline.

    Mr. ROGERS. Well, tomorrow is the deadline.

    Ms. MEISSNER. That is correct.

    Mr. ROGERS. I think you would know whether or not you have it. Will we have it?

    Ms. MEISSNER. Can I turn around and ask the question?

    Mr. ROGERS. Please.

    Ms. MEISSNER. All right.


    Ms. MEISSNER. The analytic work that we have contracted for to be responsive to the April 1st deadline is coming into us on April 1st. That means that we are not able to be responsive to the Committee by April 1st.

    This apparently has been discussed at a staff level. So, we will be tardy in providing you with what you have asked for, but it is our objective to be able to provide it by the end of the fiscal year.
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    Mr. ROGERS. It is not just this Committee you are to be responsive to. This was ordered by the U.S. Congress.

    Ms. MEISSNER. Then to the Congress; I apologize.

    Mr. ROGERS. It was to be submitted by April 1st. What is the problem?

    Ms. MEISSNER. I will have to learn more about it.

    Mr. ROGERS. Well, you must know what your strategy is because you have asked for an $80 million figure in the 1999 budget for interior.

    Ms. MEISSNER. Broadly, we know that what we are trying to accomplish here is a much closer coordination and resource allocations that deal with smuggling, with fraudulent documents, with removals and with work site enforcement, particularly where abuse of employers and employers that are connected to smugglers.

    We are beginning or we have that work underway already. We have been able to demonstrate it in a number of indictments and prosecutions that are underway. So, in broad outline, we are doing the interior enforcement that we are forecasting in this study and that the Congress has asked from us.

    The detailed work that follows it, where we need to move resources, where in the country we should be putting new resources, what the proper relationship is in size between our numbers of investigators, our transportation routes for removal, that level of detail is what we are trying to work out in the strategy and in the documentation that we will be providing to you.
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    Mr. ROGERS. How tardy will you be?

    Ms. MEISSNER. I believe by the end of the fiscal year. I will make every effort for it to be here sooner than that.

    Mr. ROGERS. Let me get this straight.

    Ms. MEISSNER. In other words, that would be six months late.

    Mr. ROGERS. Six months? You were ordered to do this by April 1st. Surely, you went through the interior enforcement aspects of INS as you thought about your reorganization plan because it is a hefty portion of your budget; one of the most important functions of the INS. Was this not considered as you went through your reorganization?

    Ms. MEISSNER. Absolutely. In fact, this restructuring proposal is premised on the kind of interior enforcement strategy that I have just described to you. What I cannot be responsive on by April 1st is a detailed plan for what targets we are setting and what accomplishments we intend to achieve.

    Mr. ROGERS. Well, here we are dealing with, as of early March, you still had 78 vacancies in your investigations programs. Those have existed since 1996. We provided the money and you have not hired them.

    On removals, you say in your testimony that you had removed a record 112,000 aliens in 1997, but the number of illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. is growing by 300,000 per year. The number of outstanding deportation orders is over 220,000; up 14-percent from last year.
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    The Institutional Hearing Program resulted in 14,800 of the removals in 1997. That is only 13-percent of the removals, even though we have provided almost 700 positions and over $80 million for that program.

    We can go on and on and on. This is a major portion of what we are asking that this Agency do. Your 1999 budget request includes two initiatives for responding to State and locals' request for assistance when they encounter or arrest suspect illegal aliens; $10 million for anti-smuggling units; $3 million for Community Enforcement Teams.

    INS is currently able to respond to only 30-percent of State and local requests for assistance. I could go on and on. We are not about to wait six months for that report. We would not even dream of it.

    You have had until April 1st. If you put your crash program on this thing, when can we have the report? I am not about to wait six months. The Congress ordered this April 1st, tomorrow, and I want the answers.

    We have got to make decisions on your budget request soon as we mark-up this bill. I am not about to make those decisions without knowing what you are talking about on enforcement procedures.

    Ms. MEISSNER. Well, we know a great deal of what we are talking about in our enforcement procedures.

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    Mr. ROGERS. I do not.

    Ms. MEISSNER. I will get you something so that we can be talking about it with you far sooner than what I have just stated, if you would let me have a chance though to discuss it with staff. I will get back to you tomorrow on when we will have something for you. It will be soon.

    Mr. ROGERS. It is due tomorrow. It is due tomorrow.

    Ms. MEISSNER. Okay. I will——

    Mr. ROGERS. You have known this for how long?

    Ms. MEISSNER. Clearly since the appropriation has passed.
    Mr. ROGERS. Since July. You have known this all that time. I am so frustrated with—I have no problem with all of the other agencies we deal with, believe me, on this Subcommittee and we have a bunch.
    This INS is absolutely the most frustrating, I know I am preaching to the choir here. You share that of the some degree. It is the most frustrating agency that we have. They simply do not believe the Congress or anybody else is their boss or has the right to expect any kind of reports out of them.
    I am here to tell you, that report better be here tomorrow on the due date. I am looking for a chance to crack a whip. I cannot wait. Believe me, a whip will be cracked.
    This Agency will either go out of business or blend into the American Governmental scene. They will be responsive to the people of this country like every other agency is or they will cease to exist. How much stronger can I say that? I mean it fully.
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    That report will be here tomorrow. You have had much too long to get it here and we want it. Is that clear?
    Ms. MEISSNER. I hear you.
    Mr. ROGERS. Is it clear?
    Ms. MEISSNER. It is clear.
    Mr. ROGERS. Will it be done?
    Ms. MEISSNER. I will bend every effort to get it done.
    Mr. ROGERS. I want the names of those responsible for getting it here or failing to get it here. If it is not here tomorrow, I want the names and serial numbers of those who failed to do what we ordered them to do.
    Now, if you will not crack the whip, believe me, I will. Get me their names. There are things that we can do in this bill such as say that no funds of this bill shall be used for the purpose of paying John Doe his salary.
    If it takes that, believe me I will do it for every single employee of the Agency that does not respond to your and our requests and demands. This Agency will obey the law. It will respond to the will of the people like every other Government agency that we have or it will cease to exist. Believe me.
    I have a number of things to submit that you can answer for the record.
    Otherwise, if you have nothing further, we will stand adjourned.
    Ms. MEISSNER. I will be in touch with you tomorrow. Thank you.
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Thursday, March 12, 1998.
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    Mr. ROGERS. The committee will come to order.
    This morning, we welcome to the subcommittee the Director of Bureau of Prisons, Dr. Kathleen Hawk, and the Corrections Trustee for the District of Columbia, John Clark, to discuss the fiscal year 1999 budget request for the Federal prison system and the challenge both of you share in transitioning the sentenced felon population of the District of Columbia in the custody of the Federal Government.
    For fiscal year 1999, the Bureau of Prisons is requesting a total budget of $3.5 billion, which includes $300 million for the construction of new prisons to expand prison capacity for the D.C. inmates.
    The Corrections Trustee budget request totals $185 million and will be handled as part of the D.C. appropriations bill. However, a portion of this funding will be used to support Bureau of Prisons' costs related to the housing of D.C. inmates, and ensuring the requirements of your office on that will be very critical to the orderly transitioning of these prisons.
    While the subcommittee has substantially increased funding for the Federal prison system over the past years, including almost $500 million since 1995, I believe we can say our investment is paying off. Serious crime fell 3 percent last year. It has dropped for the fifth consecutive year, and I would attribute this decline, in part, to your efforts to keep the criminals off the street.
    As you take on the additional population of the District of Columbia, we should not ignore the requirements to maintain the growth of the Federal prison system so that there will be space to continue to lock up violent criminals for longer periods of time.
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    We appreciate both of you being here today. We will include your written testimony in the record, and we would be delighted to hear your summary of your statement.
    Director Hawk, you can begin.
Bureau of Prisons Director Opening Remarks
    Ms. HAWK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning. I am very pleased to appear before you today to discuss the 1999 budget request for the Bureau of Prisons, but let me begin by thanking you, Chairman Rogers and Congressman Mollohan and the other members of the committee, for the wonderful support that you have given to the Bureau of Prisons over the years.
    You have recognized the continuous growth and the challenging nature of our inmate population and provided the resources necessary for us to carry out our responsibilities.
    Appearing with me today from the Bureau of Prisons is Kevin Rooney, who is just behind me here, our Assistant Director for Administration. I am also pleased to be appearing today with John Clark, the D.C. Corrections Trustee. He and I will work and continue to work very closely together to ensure a very successful transition.
    Our 1999 request, as you noted, Mr. Chairman, totals close to $3.5 billion, and it amounts to 35,254 positions. It focuses on adding prison beds to keep pace with our own inmate population growth and also the capacity requirements of absorbing the D.C. inmates.
    With the resources that Congress has already provided, we have made substantial progress in adding capacity and keeping pace with overcrowding, and we must continue adding capacity as our population continues to grow.
    As of March 5, 1998, our population was 115,835 inmates. That includes nearly 11 percent that are housed in privately managed prisons, contract facilities, and other alternative confinement. By the year 2003, we project nearly 154,000 inmates in our custody. It is a growth of about one-third over our current inmate population.
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    The 1999 request includes an increase of $2.8 million to activate a 200-bed expansion in our prison in Loretto, Pennsylvania, and the increase of $300 million that you reference, Mr. Chairman, to construct the new capacity to absorb the D.C. felons.
    In 1998, through reimbursement from the D.C. Corrections Trustee, we have adequate resources to construct two new prisons. These can be built at existing Bureau of Prisons' sites in order to most quickly generate the capacity to house the D.C. felons.
    In addition, 1998 funding from the D.C. Corrections Trustee will be used for site acquisition and planning of four additional prisons. The 1999 request provides the funds to construct three of those prisons and partial funding for the fourth. In total, we plan to build six new facilities to absorb the D.C. population.
    We have begun or are obtaining additional technical information to begin the environmental impact statement for sites in Kentucky, West Virginia, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania, and we plan to finish each EIS related to D.C. capacity this year, before the end of the calendar year.
    Mr. Chairman, the 1999 request includes only the increases that we believe necessary to address the major challenges we face and provide the funding increases necessary to add the inmate capacity to meet the requirements of law.
    I would like to thank you again, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, for your continued support. This concludes my prepared comments, and I would be very happy to take any questions you may have.
    [The information follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. ROGERS. All right. Mr. Clark.
District of Columbia Corrections Trustee Opening Statement
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    Mr. CLARK. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I am pleased to have my first opportunity to appear before you as a Corrections Trustee for the District of Columbia, and it is certainly an honor and a pleasure to appear here with Director Hawk of the Bureau of Prisons with whom we work so closely on the Lorton transition process.
    As you know, our office was created by the National Capital Revitalization Act of 1997 and came into existence in October of last year. The primary responsibilities of our office are three-fold. The first major area is the financial, primarily the oversight of all aspects of the District of Columbia Department of Corrections operations.
    Our second responsibility is to facilitate the closure of the Lorton complex and the transfer of the sentenced felons from the District to the Federal Bureau of Prisons by 2001.
    Our third responsibility is to assist the DOC in its own reformation and long-term stabilization.
    Mr. Chairman, progress has been made in the transition. The total number of prisoners in facilities directly operated by the DOC, including Lorton and the D.C. Jail, has been significantly reduced in the past year by transfers to the Bureau of Prisons and the contract facilities.
    At the Lorton complex itself, one facility was closed in September and two are scheduled to be closed within the coming year. In the five facilities currently operated at Lorton, the overall count is 4,200, down from about 6,000, a year ago.
    However, to be clear, planning for the next steps of the closure in 1999 presents an unusual challenge because the closure pace depends on the DOC's ability to secure suitable contract beds outside the system. With the assistance of our office, the District is working diligently with several jurisdictions.
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    We are hopeful of a favorable outcome to these negotiations in the near future.
    Mr. Chairman, it has been my experience that the most difficult aspect of the transition process is the impact on the 3,100 employees of the Department. The Lorton closure will mean the number of staff will be reduced to under 1,000 by 2001.
    There is ample evidence that the staff is dispirited and confused, and that attrition of the work force has increased. In this regard, the Department with the cooperation of our office is taking a number of steps. An interagency task force is working aggressively to provide resources to assist staff who are facing separation. The Bureau of Prisons has been very active and accommodating in this process.
    Further, the financial authority and the elected leaders who formed the District's management reform team have agreed to a significant pay raise for DOC employees, a concept which this office supports, especially since the salaries of the employees have essentially remained flat over the last several years.
    The Department of Corrections continues to be confronted with major challenges in its downsizing to a local corrections agency. A major concern of our office is that the Department does not have adequate systems of control and accountability at the operational level which would assure that policies are carried out as written, or that the performance of contractors is closely monitored by DOC staff. Our request provides for funds targeted to the development of such a system of internal controls.
    The successful long-term reformation of the Department requires such a resource. Another major concern of ours is the high cost of operations of the Department compared to other jurisdictions.
    In summary, the 1999 request of $185 million will meet the requirements of the Revitalization Act in assisting the District of Columbia in housing sentenced felons who have not been transferred to the Bureau of Prisons. This request provides for the transfer in 1999 of over 1,500 DOC felons outside the Department.
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    Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared remarks. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the committee might have.
    [The information follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. ROGERS. Thank you very much, and thank you both for being here. It is good to see you.
    Let me say at the outset that I consider the Bureau of Prisons to be a stellar Federal agency. I do not know of a better agency that I deal with that has impressed me more with your management of the system. The Bureau of Prisons is the best-run Federal agency that I have been acquainted with. I do not say that lightly. I think you run an excellent agency.
    Ms. HAWK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. ROGERS. Now, of course, you have got this big challenge that we are all trying to work together on, and that is to absorb some 7,200 D.C. inmates into the Federal system. Of course, as you say, you started that transfer, and you are currently incarcerating about 600 of those prisoners?
    Ms. HAWK. Yes, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. ROGERS. If you do not mind, give us a little bit more about your plan for both 1998 and 1999 for the transfer of these additional inmates. What steps are you taking to be sure that this is going to go smoothly?
    Ms. HAWK. The monies we will be receiving in 1998, which is the reimbursement through the Trustee's Office, will be to start construction on two prisons. I believe both were sought in terms of being penitentiaries, although we are deciding now it may be better to go with one penitentiary and one medium-security institution with the 1998 monies, and we are initiating site and planning work for four additional facilities, as I referenced.
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    In addition to that, we are required by the Revitalization Act to privatize 2,000 of the D.C. inmates by the end of 1999. So we are very aggressively moving forward on all the work that is necessary to put forward that contract.
    Our determination was to privatize the minimum- and low-security male population, to privatize the Youth Rehabilitation Act inmates, both male and female, and to privatize the females, and that comes up to a total of about 2,400 inmates. So we feel that we will be able to privatize the 2,000 from that population very easily.
    We have already gone out with the RFP, the request for bids, and we are anticipating having the bids in by, I believe it is, around the 1st of April of this year. So we are right on target, barring any unexpected delay, in terms of being able to fully privatize the 2,000 inmates that we are required to do by 1999.
    Our plan, as I indicated, also, was to complete the environmental impact work on all of the sites that we are anticipating to potentially serve our needs for the new prisons that will help us absorb the D.C. population. We are hoping to complete those by the end of this calendar year, and as long as we can do that and stay on target, and everything suggests we can, we should be able to get all of the prisons up and running, or most of them up and running, by the 2001 deadline, the end of 2001, which is when we are required to have all of the D.C. inmates in our population. So we have a very tight requirement on us.
    We had originally asked for a 2003 requirement, and that is what had been negotiated with many of the committees, but at the last moment, and I am not quite sure how it happened, the 2003 got changed to 2001, which really constrains us and makes speed very critical for us. So we are hoping to move as quickly as possible, and we are moving as quickly as possible to get those up and running by 2001.
    Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Clark, tell us how you are working with BOP to accomplish this smooth transfer.
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    Mr. CLARK. Well, we are working very closely with the Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Corrections. We have set up regular meetings with both of those agencies. I have a small staff of only about seven that we have come up to at this point, but there are several issues.
    We are working very closely to the personnel issue to try to find ways that the staff can transition those who would want to transition, as the Act provides, to the Bureau of Prisons. So we have set up a priority consideration program task force of Bureau of Prison staffers, Department of Correction staffers, folks from the Office of Personnel Management are working with us on that, and several District of Columbia agencies.
    Our primary concern initially is what is going to happen to the 2000 staff who are going to be separated. So, as I say, we have been working closely with the Bureau of Prisons on that.
    Mr. ROGERS. What is going to happen?
    Mr. CLARK. Well, Director Hawk, is actually going beyond—I do not presume to speak for her, but the program that she has outlined goes actually beyond somewhat the requirement—well, let me put it another way. She is being very open to taking into her system employees of the Department of Corrections who meet the qualifications of the Bureau of Prisons and who desire to go to work for the Bureau of Prisons.
    Now, one of the issues in that regard is that there are obviously no Federal prisons in the local area. So that, any of the Department employees who would want to go to work for the Bureau of Prisons would have to move around the country.
    We did a survey in conjunction with the Bureau of Prisons of the staff, and a surprising number indicated a willingness to transfer to the Bureau of Prisons. So, as time goes by and in the near future as RIFs occur within the Department, there will be an opportunity for those employees to go to the Bureau of Prisons.
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    In the alternative, there are also opportunities that we are developing with other Federal agencies. We are working closely with the Office of Personnel Management to provide a career transition center at the Lorton complex and access the one that is open on North Capitol in the downtown area. So I think there are a number of opportunities that will be available to employees who would be downsized.
    Mr. ROGERS. How are you identifying which prisoners are to be transferred each year, and how many?
    Mr. CLARK. Well, the prisoners, as Director Hawk referenced, who would be going to the Bureau of Prisons in the short run are primarily female prisoners and the lower-security prisoners. They do not have a capacity, as you are well aware, at this time to take the higher-security prisoners.
    The prisoners who have been transferred at this point to other contract facilities have been some higher-security prisoners. This is a determination, up until now, that has been made by the Department of Corrections more so than my office, and, again, to be clear, I am not running the Department of Corrections on a day-to-day basis. Director Moore is still the operational head of the Department of Corrections. My role is more one of coordination and oversight of her Department.
    So, at this point, most of the higher-security prisoners are remaining within the Department of Corrections facilities pending either new contracts or the ability in a couple of years for the Bureau of Prisons to absorb them.
    Mr. ROGERS. Now, what portion of your $185-million budget request will actually be used to reimburse BOP for housing prisoners?
    Mr. CLARK. The portion that would be used to reimburse the Bureau of Prisons, we estimate in 1999 to be about $14 to $17.25 million. That will depend, however, on the pace of the transfers. We are keeping very close tabs with the Bureau of Prisons on the actual number of transfers, but our estimation is that the average population that would be within the Bureau of Prisons, the average new population next year would be about 750 on a daily basis, and that would equate to about $14 to $17.25 million.
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    Mr. ROGERS. Why is it more prudent to include these monies under your budget than directly under BOP's?
    Mr. CLARK. Well, I think part of the logic and rationale on that is the difficulty in determining the numbers that will actually occur, that will actually be transferred, which will depend, again, on availability of beds within the Bureau of Prisons.
    So that, I guess the logic is that the amount of money to be spent on the 7,000 inmates would be included in my budget, and then, to the extent that they go into the Bureau of Prisons, I would reimburse them, and to the extent that some of them would stay within the District, I would reimburse the District.
    Mr. ROGERS. Do you get any good cooperation out of the D.C. Department of Corrections and the D.C. Government? Be frank.
    Mr. CLARK. We cooperate closely on a number of matters. I meet with Director Moore every week. There are some issues of disagreement, but, in many ways, they are cooperative, and some other ways, as I say, we just do not see eye to eye on some issues.
    Mr. ROGERS. Like what?
    Mr. CLARK. Well, one of the issues is, quite frankly, the degree of funding for the Federal portion of the payment for the Department of Corrections for the current and the coming year.
    Mr. ROGERS. They want more?
    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.
    Mr. ROGERS. How much more are they wanting?
    Mr. CLARK. Well, depending on the analysis, somewhere between $25 and $50 million for this year. They feel the District has been shorted, and about $30 to $40 million for 1999.
    Mr. ROGERS. Because of what? What is their argument?
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    Mr. CLARK. Well, this is a complicated answer, sir. There are several disputed categories.
    First of all, let me say I stand behind the $185 million as a fair and accurate and adequate amount, and that was arrived at after consultation with the Chief Financial Officer of the District and his office and the Department of Corrections. It provides amounts well above the national average for funding prisoners in other systems around the country. It provides about $28,000 per year, per inmate. So I feel it is adequate, but there are several areas, to respond to your question, that are disputed.
    One is the area of external indirect costs, costs that are not part of the Department of Corrections, but are attributable to the central government of the District, in the amount of about $25 million that they would be requesting.
    The external indirect costs fall into several categories. Interest and depreciation on buildings account for about two-thirds. Again, these are not correctional buildings. These are other buildings in the District.
    Some costs related to the City Administrator's Office, the Chief Financial Officer's Office, personnel processing, worker's compensation, issues like that.
    It is my understanding, and I have talked to a number of people who were involved in the run-up to the passage of the Revitalization Act, that these issues were raised in discussions between the City and the Administration, and it was not agreed that they would be reimbursed, and it was not my understanding that that was the intention of Congress, but, quite frankly, sir, it is going to be a continuing issue on the part of the District until it is resolved and made clear what the intention of Congress may be. So that is the first issue, this $25 million of external indirect cost.

    There is also a dispute as to the method of counting prisoners who would be a Federal responsibility. The Act is somewhat vague in this regard, but our read, the Trustee's Office read, is that it essentially would be the Federal responsibility to reimburse the District for those prisoners who in the future would be transferred into the direct care and custody of the Bureau of Prisons, and our role is an interim measure.
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    On the other hand, the District's assertion would be that everyone who is sentenced, even if they are not serving that sentence at the present time, even if they are in the jail or another facility, pursuant to other charges, would be a Federal responsibility, and there are hundreds of inmates in this category, and at $20,000-some a year, this amounts to a fairly significant dispute.
    A third area would be the issue of economies in the system that we feel could be had. As the count is downsized, as the count under their direct control has been reduced from 10,000 to about 6,000 now, there are economies both in staffing and in other costs that we feel could be had. So there is some disagreement there, and several other areas, but there are significant disagreements between the District and our office.
    Mr. ROGERS. The $185 million that you have requested of us, that will not be impacted by any changes that may come as a result of your negotiations with D.C.?
    Mr. CLARK. We do not intend to change—at this point, we do not intend to change our request.
    Mr. ROGERS. I am glad to hear that.
    Director Hawk, we have been focussing sort of on the current D.C. inmate population, around 7,200 inmates. I assume that the D.C. population, inmate population, will continue to grow. What will you do to absorb the future growth of inmates out of D.C.?
    Ms. HAWK. In terms of the capacity requirements, the request that we are anticipating for 1999 and 2000 would actually require more capacity than is currently needed to house the D.C. inmates, but there is still a question mark as to what that number is ultimately going to be. There are still sentencing changes being considered by the Sentencing Commission that was created by the Revitalization Act and because of the work that still needs to be done by the Council, we are not real, real sure what the ultimate population of D.C. will be in the upcoming years. If we find we do not need the full monies for construction, then we will certainly make that known when the time comes.
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    We anticipate the growth of the D.C. population beyond that point to be probably at similar increments to our own growth and population over the out-years. As I indicated earlier, we are anticipating the entire population of the Bureau of Prisons to continue to grow to approximately 150,000 inmates, which will include D.C. and its projected growth by approximately 2003.
    So, with our projections to date, we are projecting numbers that we feel are accurate and that our request each year, forthcoming, will match what we project those population numbers to be.
    Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Mollohan.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Ms. Hawk and Mr. Clark, I join the Chairman in welcoming you to the hearing today.
    Mr. CLARK. Thank you.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Mr. Clark, what is your charge?
    Mr. CLARK. My charge, first of all, is in the financial area to provide oversight to all the operations of the Department of Corrections, financial oversight which actually gets into a degree of oversight of all of their operations.
    It is also to receive the funds allocated by Congress and to pass them on to the District and to oversee the way those funds are spent. So the first major area, the way I would interpret my charge, is this financial area.
    Second is to facilitate the transfer of the prisoners, the closure of Lorton, and the issue that I mentioned as far as the staff and trying to help them through this process.
    The third part of my charge—well, and I might say in that second area—in fact, in all of these areas, quite frankly, I have been cast in the role of an agent of change, which is frequently not a pleasant or easy role, and I wind up, in that role, sometimes having to be a painful prod to help people to move forward and get beyond a level of inertia.
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    The third area beyond the financial and the transition is to, in my estimation, provide assistance to the Department of Corrections in its own reformation and rebuilding.
    Mr. ROGERS. Will the gentleman yield?
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Yes, sir.
    Mr. ROGERS. Did I understand him to say that the difference between a pat on the back and a kick in the rump is about 6 inches? [Laughter.]
    Mr. CLARK. I find myself in both——
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. The answer to that is yes, just to help you out.
    Mr. CLARK. Thank you, sir. I will take all the help I can get.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. That is kind of the way it goes.
    I am sure the distance is traveled frequently.
    Mr. Clark, I understand there are approximately 1,700 D.C. prisoners under contract in Ohio. Is that correct?
    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. What is the security level of classification for those inmates? Low? Medium? Minimum? High?
    Mr. CLARK. Quite frankly, sir, I think you have a mixture of inmate classifications, and this is a subject of an ongoing lawsuit in Federal court in Northern Ohio as to this very issue of the classification of the inmates. I think it is generally agreed that there is a mixture of inmates between the high-medium and maximum level as——
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Wait a minute. I am sorry. Medium?
    Mr. CLARK. In the Department of Corrections——
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Wait, wait.
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    Mr. CLARK. Sorry, sir.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Answer the question.
    Mr. CLARK. Medium-high, and maximum.
    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Medium, high-medium.
    Mr. CLARK. ''Medium, high-medium,'' which is a term used within the Department of Corrections. They have a different classification system than you would have been used to dealing with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and then they have a maximum security level which would be the rough equivalent of high security in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Maximum would be high.

    Mr. CLARK. Medium—these do not equate directly.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Okay, but I just want to get them down.

    Mr. CLARK. Right.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Medium high-medium. What is the next one?

    Mr. CLARK. Maximum.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Oh, and then to maximum.

    Mr. CLARK. Yes.

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    Mr. MOLLOHAN. There is nothing in between high-medium and maximum.

    Mr. CLARK. No. And they do not have any equivalent to the Bureau of Prisons' ''low.'' So that, many of the prisons who in the Bureau of Prisons would be classified as low security would fall into medium security in the Department of Corrections classification.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. So medium is the lowest classification in the Department of Corrections?

    Mr. CLARK. Above minimum. There is a minimum security level, similar to the Bureau of Prisons, but, to my knowledge, they do not have minimum security prisoners in Ohio.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Okay, I think the record is clear.

    Mr. CLARK. Okay.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. I am sure by now you are familiar with the Bureau of Prisons classification system.

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Applying that standard, how many inmates at the Youngstown facility would be medium and high security inmates?
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    Mr. CLARK. That is a subject of great dispute right now, sir, and——

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Do you have an assessment of it yourself?

    Mr. CLARK. I would say that almost—well over half would be medium or high security in the Bureau of Prisons.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Are other inmates besides the D.C.-sentenced felons housed at the Youngstown facility?

    Mr. CLARK. No, sir. It is exclusively devoted to the D.C. inmates.


    Mr. MOLLOHAN. I understand two inmates were recently murdered at the Youngstown facility, one yesterday. Can you explain the circumstances of those murders?

    Mr. CLARK. First of all, could I make one thing clear? This contract is not a contract that was entered into after the Revitalization Act and was not an action to which our office was a party. This occurred about a year ago.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. I know that, and I think it is good for you to make the record clear——
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    Mr. CLARK. But as far as——

    Mr. MOLLOHAN [continuing]. We are getting information.

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir, and I have visited Ohio. In fact, I had three staff in Ohio at the facility when the murder occurred, when the most recent murder occurred yesterday. The information on the most recent murder is at this point preliminary, and there is obviously an ongoing criminal investigation there, but from what we know about the most recent murder, there are some troubling aspects in that it occurred in the most secure area in the institution. It occurred in a segregation unit where there is ample staffing, where inmates should be under total control, and there is some indication that these were prisoners who should have been separated from each other.

    So there is a number of troubling aspects at least from the initial information that we have, but I would hate to speculate too much until there is more substantial information.

    The previous murder was in a general population unit. It occurred early on a Sunday morning when one inmate apparently went to the cell of two other inmates, and they closed the door and he was brutally stabbed.

    There have been a series of other stabbings at the facility, well over a dozen apparently. The facility has been locked down several times, more recently. So it is a troubled institution.
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    I might say, as a former warden and after 23 years or more at this point in corrections, you go through troubled periods in institutions. Things happen. Bad things happen sometimes in institutions. It certainly would have been my experience in the Bureau of Prisons.

    Why those things happened is an issue, but, more important, how those difficult days, those difficult periods are handled is also a test. So——

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. The press account suggests that the inmate who was stabbed and killed yesterday was shackled. Is that correct? Was he being escorted by a guard?

    Mr. CLARK. It is my understanding that there were a group of inmates returning from a recreation yard, possibly five inmates who were all shackled, and the prisoner who was the assailant was being returned to his cell and was taken out of the shackles, and it was at that point that the assault occurred.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Were guards present at that time?

    Mr. CLARK. Yes.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. It is my understanding that approximately 72 percent of the D.C.-sentenced felon population, or about 5,184 inmates, are considered medium or high security inmates by the Bureau of Prisons. Do you agree with that assessment?

    Mr. CLARK. I do not think the Bureau of Prisons has had a chance to classify or to review the files and classify most of the prisoners. They have done a random sample. I am not sure what their conclusions are on that, but there is a significant number who are medium and high.
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    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Director Hawk, the D.C. Revitalization Act requires the Bureau of Prisons to privatize 50 percent of the D.C.-sentenced felon population by September 30, 2003.

    Ms. HAWK. Fifty percent by 2003.


    Mr. MOLLOHAN. In looking at the numbers and percentages of inmates that the Bureau of Prisons considers to be of medium and high security classification level, I find no way of avoiding placing medium and high security D.C. felons into private facilities if that law remains operative.

    The law is specific in that D.C.-sentenced felons are to be placed in private facilities. Given the specific instruction, it appears that we simply are transporting much of the Lorton population elsewhere intact if we carry out that directive.

    You have spoken to us in the past about the management challenges associated with that population and why it is important to break up the D.C. population. As I said, though, the law specifically states that 50 percent of D.C.-sentenced felons must be privatized. What are your concerns about this approach?

    Ms. HAWK. We are concerned about the privatizing of the 50 percent because our experience to date has been that the private corrections companies have not yet demonstrated the ability to safely operate medium and high security institutions.
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    Now, one of the problems here is a problem of semantics that Mr. Clark referenced. When I say medium security inmates, I am talking about ''medium security'' as classified by the Bureau of Prisons' classification standard. We have a five-tiered system: minimum, low, medium, high, and super max or administrative max.

    Most State systems, as D.C., do not have a low security. They have minimum-medium, high, and max. Most of the private companies use that same classification system of minimum-medium.

    So the private companies will say yes, we do run medium security institutions, but, to date, our experience has been their medium security matches our low security. So, when we talk medium and the private companies talk medium, we are really talking apples and oranges. We are talking two different classification structures.

    So it is my experience and our evaluation to date that the private companies do not have a track record operating institutions to house our classification of medium-high security inmates.

    I believe Congress also shared some of that concern because, in addition to requiring the 50-percent privatization by 2003, they also directed a study to be done. The study is to be directed by the Attorney General to evaluate the feasibility of privatizing all security levels, including medium and high. Also, Congress has tasked us with evaluating a 5-year pilot study, actually, of evaluating the privatization of our Taft Federal Correctional Institution that just opened in December of this past year.
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    So, although the 50-percent requirement stands in the law, there are also these studies that Congress has directed us to do that, I think, will allow for a fair answer to the question of what privatization is ready to absorb.

    My concern, I think my responsibility in the Bureau of Prisons, is to ensure that public safety is assured. I mean, that is our absolute responsibility, and we take that responsibility very seriously, as well as the safety of the staff working in those institutions and the inmates who are placed in our custody. That is why you hear me repeatedly in the Bureau of Prisons being very conservative about moving too fast at placing higher security inmates in institutions that have not yet demonstrated the ability to provide the kind of security necessary to ensure public safety, the safety of staff, and the safety of the inmates placed in that custody.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Is that 50-percent privatization requirement in any way contingent upon the outcome of those studies?

    Ms. HAWK. It is not specifically stated as such, although since the 50-percent requirement and the requirement of the one-year study to be done by the Attorney General are stated in the same Revitalization Act, I would assume that there is a nexus between the two, but it is not specifically said that the one is required for the other.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Taylor?
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    Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Mollohan, I noticed the suspects in the stabbing—one had been convicted twice for murder in D.C. He also had stabbed a prison guard in 1995, stabbed a Youngstown inmate in July, and assaulted another prison guard in October.

    Now, in D.C. where you get about 2 weeks for murder, the first murder, you are going to get—you know, you are up to 3 months. The second murder, you will get in trouble. Now, he may have to go 90 days or more.

    As Chairman of the D.C. Appropriations Committee, we tried to do things about it, and until this Congress gets serious about D.C.—and we are spilling over into your operation something that would be unpleasant for the entire country, but I would like to ask a couple of questions.

    Given the facts that have been brought up in your statement and Mr. Mollohan's statement, do you think that the—is this Act good for the Federal Government, or is it good for D.C.? If you had to pick one that came out ahead, which would you pick?

    Ms. HAWK. In terms of the entire Revitalization Act?

    Mr. TAYLOR. Yes.

    Ms. HAWK. Well, I am on record——
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    Mr. TAYLOR. And the prison portion of it.

    Ms. HAWK. Yes, sir.

    I am on record for the years preceding this Act passing of saying that the Federal Government should not absorb the D.C. population because there, for a while, I believed very much that with proper resources and oversight that D.C. could manage its own population effectively. But I came to the realization finally, about a year ago, that I did not think that was going to happen, especially with all the many problems the entire D.C. Government was facing.

    As a prison administrator, I support the idea of the Federal Government absorbing the portion of the D.C. Corrections that kind of matches what a State would absorb for a city. So absorbing the DC sentenced felons into the Federal Prison System, I think, is an appropriate decision to serve both D.C. and to serve the needs of the Federal Government.


    Mr. TAYLOR. What would you say the plan's impact is going to be on your agency's workload, the guards in the system, the communities that are going to be impacted? Do not sugar-coat it with optimism, but what are people going to have to expect in the coming years, and actually less than that?

    Ms. HAWK. I believe that given sufficient resources, sufficient new capacity, and operating resources in the out years commensurate with the number of inmates required to be held by absorbing the D.C. population, I believe that we are going to be able to transition them relatively well.
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    The Bureau of Prisons has tripled in size since the mid-1980's. So regarding growth and responding to growth effectively in large numbers of populations, I believe we have already demonstrated quite well that the Bureau of Prisons is very capable of doing that.

    Mr. TAYLOR. We have your testimony this year. What would be the growth of the resources that you think would be adequate looking ahead with an estimate? Is that going to be pretty significant?

    Ms. HAWK. Well, we are anticipating the 7,000 more D.C. inmates at a cost for us of about $20,000 per year, per inmate, and then we are projecting, as I indicated earlier, that by 2003, we will have increased another 31,000 inmates, not counting the D.C. population. So that is a growth of 38,000 more inmates by 2003, and I do not have the math here, but if you would simply multiply that with an inflation factor probably 22,000 or 23,000 by 2003, that would basically present to you what the growth in our budget request would be annually in the out-years.

    Mr. TAYLOR. Is that adequate, do you think?

    Ms. HAWK. I think it would be very adequate, as long as we can receive the operating expenses, incrementally increasing as our population goes up. The Congress has been very good to us, heretofore, in ensuring that we have the resources we need to manage our population, I think we will be fine.

    Mr. TAYLOR. Is the time estimate reasonable?
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    Ms. HAWK. The time is tight. We had originally—the administration had originally put forward the date of 2003 because it takes a few years to build a facility once the money is obtained and the site is determined, and that is true whether it is private sector or public sector. Both of us agree that it takes 3 years from the time you have the site identified to build a new facility.

    The change, though, from 2003 in the final Revitalization Act to 2001, is going to be real tight for us. If we stay on target right now and we are able to meet all the timelines without any unanticipated delays, we will be ready by the end of 2001 as required by the law to absorb the increase.

    Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman, thank you.

    Mr. ROGERS. Thank you.

    Mr. DIXON. Mr. Chairman, I have not voted yet. I would be pleased to be passed on this first round.

    Mr. ROGERS. We have two votes, by the way.

    Mr. LATHAM. I have not voted either.

    Mr. ROGERS. Well, we have, I think, plenty of time to have one round here. We have 6 minutes, if you would like to start.
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    Mr. DIXON. I would pass on the first round, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. ROGERS. Okay.


    Mr. LATHAM. I would be interested, I guess, in health care being provided by the Bureau. How much does the Bureau spend as far as health care in total and per inmate? Do you have those numbers?

    Ms. HAWK. Our cost per inmate is roughly $3,400 per year. I would like to note that that is a decrease in our per capita over the last few years. We have been doing a number of initiatives to bring the cost of health care down in the Bureau of Prisons, even though medical inflation is increasing at the rate of 3 to 7 percent. Our per capita for medical has gone down almost 2 percent during the past year. So, obviously, some of our initiatives are working very well.

    Mr. LATHAM. Do you expect that to continue as far as you are planning?

    Ms. HAWK. Yes, we do.

    Mr. LATHAM. Good.

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    Ms. HAWK. Even though our population is becoming sicker with infectious diseases and just the quality of health care that many of our inmates bring to date.

    Mr. LATHAM. You had a pilot program, I think, starting in 1996 down in the Beaumont, Texas, complex.

    Ms. HAWK. Yes.

    Mr. LATHAM. Do you have any preliminary results or anything to see if that has helped to reduce the health care cost?

    Ms. HAWK. We are really still in the middle of analyzing the pilot. So far, the pilot is going well. As in any pilot or new situation, there have been some adjustments made on both sides to ensure that adequate medical care is being provided and the quality of the medical care meets the community standard, which is a standard that we try to adhere to, and so far, the pilot is going well.

    We are optimistic that there are going to be some lessons learned for us. We are already watching very carefully, some lessons to be learned for us, in looking at our own health care costs to make sure that we are providing adequate health care at the lowest cost possible. So far, the pilot is going well. It is just a little early yet to——

    Mr. LATHAM. When will you have definitive results?

    Ms. HAWK. I am not sure what the timeline is, sir, but I will get back and get that to you.
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    [The information follows:]


    Congress has directed the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to undertake a health care privatization demonstration project based on a competitive procurement covering a representative sample of the Federal Prison population, i.e., at least one Federal correctional complex. The project is to run for a minimum of three years.

    The BOP proposes the following reporting schedule for the Beaumont health care privatization project:

    August 1998: a status report that outlines progress to date, including an update on numbers and types of inmates at each facility, accreditation progress, and an evaluation plan that outlines how the Bureau intends to evaluate the health care services.

    August 1999: update on progress toward complete activation and medical referrals, numbers of inmates and medical severity profiles, preliminary report on monitoring effort.

    August 2000: a descriptive analysis of offenders treated at the health care facilities in Beaumont and Taft, comparing those offenders with offenders treated in other BOP facilities and providing preliminary data as to these comparisons.

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    August 2001: preliminary results from survey of all state correctional health care programs, including public and private efforts, update on progress toward final evaluation report.

    December 2002: a final report on the health care privatization efforts at the Beaumont Complex and the minimum and low security facilities at Taft and a final report on the 5-year demonstration project at the two Taft facilities.

    Mr. LATHAM. Are States going the same way on that, as far as privatization?

    Ms. HAWK. There really is a little bit of everything being done across the country.

    Mr. LATHAM. You have not looked at the State programs, though, as far as to see how they work?

    Ms. HAWK. Many of them are very different.

    Mr. LATHAM. If they have complied?

    Ms. HAWK. Some have tried privatization, and it has not worked for them. We had tried privatization in the past, and it did not work for us, but there are a lot of new initiatives, I think, being put forward by private companies.

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    What happened to us in the past was we found that, initially—and that is why we want the pilot to go on for a few years to really make sure we have a good analysis—privatization of health care was initially very cost effective. They came in with very good bids, but then once we would become dependent upon that and have no other health care available, you could watch the prices begin to increase dramatically. They reached the point very quickly of being cost prohibitive.

    Now, I do not know if that is what is going to be happening in today's initiatives. So we would like to watch this pilot over a few years to make sure that costs stay consistent.


    Mr. LATHAM. Just very briefly, regarding drugs, is there a Bureau policy as far as using generic equivalents?

    Ms. HAWK. We are involved in a pharmacy formulary that is very cost effective. It is one of the things we have done over the last several years to bring our costs down where they are able to use the lowest cost, but equally effective medications, and we are able to tap into an entity that buys them in large quantities. Then, we only receive that which we absolutely need on an as-needed basis or biweekly. We are getting the drugs that we need for that week. So it has really saved us a tremendous amount of money in terms of buying the drugs ourselves, risking of going past expiration dates, risking having drugs sitting there that we really did not necessarily need right now. Really, the pharmacy formulary has served us very, very well to bring the costs down.
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    Mr. LATHAM. Very good.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


    Mr. ROGERS. Director Hawk, last year we talked about the tragic death of a BOP correctional officer at Lompoc, California, and we gave you additional money for construction upgrades there. Has there been any improvement in the potential for violence at Lompoc?

    Ms. HAWK. The construction is still ongoing there, but we are quite certain that it is going to have a very good effect in terms of making that facility more secure.

    The Lompoc penitentiary really was never built to be a penitentiary back when it was originally created, and it had to be upgraded because our high security needs were so severe. That has been several years ago that we kind of upgraded it, even though it had not been built to be a high.

    For long-range planning, our hope is to come back to this committee in future years requesting funds for a new penitentiary on the West Coast, and then we could convert the current penitentiary at Lompoc to a medium security institution, which we feel is much more commensurate with what its original design was intended to be. The staff there has just done an extraordinary job after the horrible tragedy of Scott Williams' death. They really have increased their own vigilance where they have put in a lot of cameras and other kinds of things to increase security.
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    We have dropped the population there a little bit to make it more manageable, and so far, things have been going very well at that institution.


    Mr. ROGERS. In the past, you have mentioned emerging gangs in your system.

    Ms. HAWK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. ROGERS. What kind of gang problems do you see, and how do you manage them?

    Ms. HAWK. Gangs are a very serious problem for just about any correctional system in this country because all of us, for the most part, have our share of gangs.

    The gangs in the Federal Prison System have been proliferating at a dramatic rate. It used to be we would get the old prison gangs, the Aryan Brotherhood, some of those more traditional prison gangs.

    What we are getting now is more and more of the street gangs, the Crips and the Bloods, all the crews in D.C., and all of those smaller gangs that are very violent, very aggressive. Since the Federal Government has been focusing more and more of its prosecutorial resources on bringing in the large drug-traffickers who are touching the large amounts of violence and everything in our communities, we are getting more and more of these violent street gangs into our prisons, and they are getting more membership inside the prison. And it is these many, many street gangs that are becoming the gang problem in our institutions.
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    We have a plan afoot right now, and we hope to activate it by January of next year. We are going to totally restructure the way in which we approach gangs, and really try to—a term that we use is ''cut off the head of the snake,'' in that we will be able to peel off all of the gang leaders, segregate them in a special way, and then be able to touch those inmates who are simply the followers, with the leaders removed, being able to bring them more in line with the expectations of behavior in the Bureau of Prisons.

    That is an initiative that we have been working on now for over a year. It is a major change in the way we designate inmates and the way we manage inmates, and it is a change that you cannot do piecemeal. We have to have the plan laid out very clearly and be ready to move in, in a full sweep to affect all the gangs in the system.

    Heretofore, we have had actually a few hundred gang members, gang leaders, locked up in special housing or segregation because of their misconduct, because of some of the homicides and serious assaults that have been going on in our institutions. Rather than dealing with it on an institution-by-institution basis, as we are doing now, we believe this new system of just taking the leadership across all gangs, across the entire system, placing them in separate facilities, until they renounce their gang membership and renounce their gang leadership will have a calming effect on all the rest of the population and provide a much safer environment for the staff and inmates in those facilities.

    Mr. ROGERS. Have you reason to believe it is working?

    Ms. HAWK. Well, we are not there yet. We are still planning.
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    The long-term systemic sweep is not really going to begin until about January. What we have been doing to this point is pulling off the leaders, institution by institution, and that is already having an effect on the safety in some of those institutions. What we need is the grand plan, but it is going to change the way we restructure every one of our facilities. So we wanted to make sure we have the plan clearly together before we go in and implement it, which we are hoping around January of next year.


    Mr. ROGERS. In the fiscal 1998 budget, we gave you $1.4 million to expand your intelligence-gathering effort capabilities on inmates.

    Ms. HAWK. Yes.

    Mr. ROGERS. How are you using that funding, if you can tell us?

    Ms. HAWK. The intent for that funding was really an initiative that goes across the Department of Justice. What we find is that we have our Metropolitan Correctional Centers in the large cities, in New York, in Los Angeles, in Chicago, San Diego, and Miami, where we house the U.S. Marshal's pretrial inmates, those coming straight off the street that have not been sentenced yet, and what we find is there is a tremendous amount of intelligence among law enforcement, both State and Federal, about what is happening in that inner-city area or in the extended communities outside of the inner-city area. We are a ripe source of information because we are housing all of these pretrial inmates that are oftentimes the leaders, movers and shakers of some of these drug cartels and drug initiatives.
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    So, the intent of these new positions is to be able to place someone who is 100-percent focused on simply gathering that intelligence, working with local, State and Federal law enforcement, to make maximum benefit of all the intelligence that is known in that area about any of the crime going on. Drug-trafficking is a major portion of it, and so is the violence that flows from the trafficking. So we believe it is really going to enhance law enforcement by making us a more intimate part of that collection of intelligence and have a good impact.

    Mr. ROGERS. We would be interested in keeping up with you on gangs.

    Ms. HAWK. Yes, sir.


    Mr. ROGERS. That could have very serious consequences.

    I have been on this subcommittee for 15 years, and during that time, I have seen over $5 billion given to construct more prison beds in the Federal system. In fact, according to our numbers, you have added over 59,000 prison beds, but the population has risen to meet that number.

    Your 1999 budget request for new prison construction is solely to handle the additional D.C. population, and, yet, the Federal general population is still suffering from overcrowding, also growing at very significant rates.
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    Is the request that you made sufficient to handle your current problem of overcrowding in population growth, outside the D.C. problem?

    Ms. HAWK. It is sufficient for now, Mr. Chairman. If we did not have the D.C. problem coming in and the need for new construction this year or next year, we probably would have come in with some request for construction other than the D.C. facilities. As you know, we are still behind the curve in overcrowding.

    System-wide, we are 20 percent over capacity, but it is most frightening in our medium and high security institutions which are still roughly 50 percent over capacity, but we try to be reasonable in our request and we know the limited money that is available to us. It is not an endless pot of money, and we try to be very reasonable in terms of what we came forward with this year. Once we address the capacity needs of absorbing the D.C. population, that is not going to be the end in terms of our projections of capacity needs. So we envision in the out-years probably coming back to this committee again, Mr. Chairman, requesting new capacity just to help us absorb the increase that is still coming, separate from the D.C. population.

    Mr. ROGERS. Did you ask OMB for more construction money than you were given?

    Ms. HAWK. There were discussions in the Department in terms of what was reasonable and what our needs were and what we could hold off on for a later year.

    The reality is we anticipated there will be some beds in these D.C. institutions that we are asking for that will help us absorb some of our growth because our prisons are roughly 1,500 inmates, or 1,000 inmates in size, and when you project out how many we need to absorb the D.C. population, there are going to be some beds left for some of our own growth. So our feeling was that we will be okay. We will be okay with what we are asking for in this year, but in the out-years, we will be back, probably seeking more funds.
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    Mr. ROGERS. Did you ask OMB for more money than they allowed?

    Ms. HAWK. I know there were discussions of what the needs were, but I do not believe we made a specific request for anything more in the appeal process.


    Mr. ROGERS. In our report accompanying the 1997 appropriations bill, we directed the Attorney General to conduct a review of Federal detention and incarceration at the BOP, U.S. Marshals Service, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The Attorney General was to ''evaluate the performance of these agencies and develop recommendations to consolidate management of their operations, where possible,'' on November 15, 1997. Do you know where we stand on that report?

    Ms. HAWK. I know a tremendous amount of work has been going on. We and the Marshals and INS have been working very carefully with the staff in the Justice Management Division working on this.

    I am not 100 percent sure where the final report is right now.


    Mr. ROGERS. In your statement, you mentioned that criminal aliens represent 28 percent of your total population, and that you anticipate the transfer of nearly 2,000 long-term non-releasable criminal aliens now in INS custody to BOP.
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    At the INS El Centro service detention facility which houses 658 aliens, there have been three incidents this year, many involving long-term criminal detainees. The most recent one was 2 days ago, Tuesday, where about 170 detainees smashed lights, kicked guards, struck them with bricks—I am sorry—with sticks before using mattresses to barricade themselves in the facility.

    In your opinion, is INS adequately equipped to handle long-term criminal detainees?

    Ms. HAWK. I think INS has been doing a very commendable job maintaining this very difficult population because they basically have no idea what the future is going to hold for them because they are not serving a sentence anymore. So they do not really fit the definition of a sentenced population or the kind of inmates the Bureau of Prisons should hold, but their home country will not receive them back, and we are not going to release them into this country. So they are kind of in a limbo status.

    They do, though, pose just as you suggest in the El Centro situation, a real challenge to INS because they have a limited number of secure beds, and they contract out most of these individuals to local jails or to private companies. That is why, as I noted in my comments, it is the long-term plan with the Department of Justice for us in the Bureau of Prisons to be able to absorb these inmates, even though they are not sentenced felons, even though they are not traditionally what our Bureau of Prisons should house. They are really detainees who are serving time simply because their home country will not take them back. We are not going to release them into this country. So they are kind of in that limbo status. It is the long-term plan for us to hold them for INS simply because we believe we will be able to house them more safely and securely.
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    The problem is, sir, we do not have the capacity to hold them just yet. So the plan is once we have adequate capacity at medium and high security to start absorbing those inmates into our system, we will do that.

    I do not have a specific date and the Department of Justice is not citing a specific date of when we are going to be able to do that. It will totally depend upon when our capacity will allow us to do that.

    We have several facilities, as you know, Mr. Chairman, that have already been funded by this committee that will be opening up for us, separate from the D.C. facilities, but opening up in the next few years, and we are hoping that will provide some of the capacity we will need to take in some of these long-termers that INS is holding.

    Mr. ROGERS. Give us some idea of a timetable for that.

    Ms. HAWK. I believe the date we are saying to the Department is roughly 2002, 2004. When I look and see when our new capacity is going to be built that has already been funded, we have numerous institutions coming on between 2000 and 2003.

    Mr. ROGERS. Well, these incidents, as you know, this Committee funds the INS as well, and we just cannot have this kind of incident continuing. I mean, it is becoming a chronic problem that we have got to deal with, and that is the reason we asked in the report last year for the study, and we have heard nothing yet. We are going to have to move on this.
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    We will tell INS and the Attorney General the same thing. We have, in fact, but she will probably hear it in a more shrill voice than before. So I just think we have to move on getting these long-term criminal detainees out of inadequate facilities into where we can take care of them safely, for their own sake, as well as the other population.

    Ms. HAWK. Well, I know there is a very serious work going on in terms of the study. As I said, we have been very much involved, and it ends up being a very complicated process. We wanted to make sure it is very thoroughly studied, evaluated, and then brought forward to this committee. So I know there is a lot of work going on with it. I just do not know the status of it at this point in time.

    Mr. ROGERS. Can you get back to us and let us know when that report is going to be available?

    Ms. HAWK. Absolutely. We can certainly do that.

    Mike, did you want to talk to that at all?

    Mr. ROPER. Mike Roper, Controller.

    The report is sitting within our policy office. It is in the Deputy Attorney General's office, awaiting the Attorney General's office for signature. The hope is, it should be up here within the next week to 10 days, the first phase of the report.

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    There was a second phase of the report that is looking at the cost of the consolidation of the major parts of the detention capacity. That probably will not be ready for about another month or so.

    Mr. ROGERS. Well, a week from today is the 19th. Is that agreeable?

    Mr. ROPER. We will carry that message back. That is the date the swallows will come back to Capistrano.

    Mr. ROGERS. I am sorry. I did not hear that.

    Mr. ROPER. The 19th of March, I believe, is the day. I will remember it in that term.

    Mr. ROGERS. Well, in addition to the swallows returning to Capistrano, may the report filter onto our desk. [Laughter.]

    [The information follows:]


    Phase I of the Department's Detention and Incarceration Study was submitted to Congress on March 19, 1998. The phase II report, which is currently being reviewed by the Department, examines the costs and benefits of a range of options to determine whether major consolidation of all detention functions into one or two components is warranted. The Department expects to transmit the phase II report to the Committee in May.
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    Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Dixon.


    Mr. DIXON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    I guess I am searching for a chronology here first. Then I would like to go to how much corrections really costs in total Federal and District funding. Then I would like to go to some other matters that have been called to our attention.

    Director Hawk, in your view, there is now no inconsistency in the 2003 and 2001 language in that revitalization bill, as I understand you said. You were leaning toward 2001.

    Ms. HAWK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. Now, as I understood the language, it said that you had to reach 50 percent privatization by the year 2003.

    Ms. HAWK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. On the other hand, the Department of Corrections would have jurisdiction until 2001.

    Ms. HAWK. Yes, sir.
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    Mr. DIXON. I do not see any inconsistency. Is there?

    Ms. HAWK. I do not see a real inconsistency in that either. No, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. Has it been an issue?

    Ms. HAWK. You mean in terms of the difference in the dates? No. We just wish both dates were 2003, but other than that——

    Mr. DIXON. With cleaner language, but there is no inconsistency?

    Ms. HAWK. No.

    Mr. DIXON. Now, refresh my memory. When Congressman Moran sat on this panel, he directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to conduct a study as it related to the Bureau of Prisons taking over the correctional facilities of the District, primarily Lorton. is that correct?

    Ms. HAWK. Well, there were actually two studies that were requested. One was directed by Congressman Moran, and it specifically said what would need to happen for the District of Columbia Department of Corrections to function like the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and we assumed that meant absorbing our policies and classification systems and all of that.
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    Mr. DIXON. What has happened to that?

    Ms. HAWK. That study was completed a few years ago.

    Mr. DIXON. Okay.

    Ms. HAWK. The second study that was requested was much broader, and it talked about what kinds of options would be available to D.C. in order to ensure that it could be run safely, cost effectively, and all the things we would all hope for in any prison system.

    That study was completed about a year ago. It was funded by the Bureau of Prisons. We tasked the National Institute of Corrections, which is our arm that deals with State and local issues, and then they subcontracted with NCCD, the National Commission on Crime and Delinquency, to do the study.

    They came forward with about five different options. It involves us fully taking over the system, us taking over the high security inmates, and D.C. keeping others. There are five different options, and it kind of flowed from that study—the final Revitalization Act—and kind of narrowed in on which option that the Government wanted to go with.

    Mr. DIXON. So this mess has really been all directed by Congress?

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    Ms. HAWK. I would not say the mess has been, but I think the fix has been directed by Congress.

    Mr. DIXON. The fix has been directed by Congress.

    Ms. HAWK. Yes, sir.


    Mr. DIXON. Trustee?

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. If I understand your request, it is for 385, is it?

    Mr. CLARK. No, sir. 185.

    Mr. DIXON. 185. I am sorry.

    How much, if any, is in the D.C. budget, do you know, for the Department of Corrections?

    Mr. CLARK. The total request for next year, it is my understanding—and I have sat in on the budget hearing before the City Council last week—that their request is slightly over $250 million, which would cover not only the sentenced felons, but also their cost of housing pretrial prisoners and misdemeanors.
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    Mr. DIXON. $250 million?

    Mr. CLARK. Correct. Maybe 252, but in that range.

    Mr. DIXON. Included in that is a payment to the Federal Bureau of Prisons of some $36 million?

    Mr. CLARK. No, sir. I do not think there is any anticipation that any payment will be made from the District to the Federal Bureau of Prisons next year.

    In previous years, the Bureau of Prisons was reimbursed for the number—

    Mr. DIXON. I understand that.

    Mr. CLARK. Right.

    Mr. DIXON. But it is your understanding that you are not requesting any reimbursement in the—

    Mr. CLARK. I am requesting funds in my budget that would reimburse the Bureau of Prisons to the extent—

    Mr. DIXON. Well, Mr. Taylor should not anticipate a line item in the D.C. budget that says payment to the Bureau of Prisons?
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    Mr. CLARK. No, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. Now, I noticed in this morning's paper—and the staff brought it to my attention. I was not going to mention it, but I read it and then they thought it was important. Ms. Norton, at least according to the Post this morning in a paragraph or two, has sent a letter to the President requesting another $94.7 million, and this clip says that Ms. Norton says that the Federal Government has to agree to take over the cost from incarcerating D.C. felons, and that the City should not bear the cost of erroneous projections. Do you know what she means?

    Mr. CLARK. I have seen the article, sir, and I did see a copy of her press release. Yes.

    Mr. DIXON. Do you know what this is all about?

    Mr. CLARK. Oh, yes, sir, and I think you may have been out voting or not here when the issue came up previously, but there are several disputed areas. I did reaffirm that my——

    Mr. DIXON. Several disputed areas between the Trustees and the District?

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.

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    Mr. DIXON. And so her idea of settling it is to ask for more money from the President? That resolves the dispute?

    Mr. CLARK. That is my understanding. Yes, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. What is the issue in Congress?

    Mr. CLARK. There are several areas. One, the primary area that involves at least $25 million is what is termed by the District, ''external indirect cost,'' not cost of running the Department of Corrections, but in addition to the $250 million in their budget, another $25 million for payment of interest, for depreciation on buildings. Those two amounts are about two-thirds of the $25 million, and there are payments—or there is an assertion that there should be a reimbursement for other central costs to the government, including the City Manager's office or City Administrator's office, to some extent, the personnel processing costs of the central government, those types of costs. So there is that one figure, which this current year they estimate to be close to 25 and another 25 million next year. That is the biggest disputed issue, and it is my understanding that this was an issue that was brought up in some detail in the run-up to the passage of the Revitalization Act in discussions between the District and the administration, and it was not agreed that this would be part of the funding. It is also my understanding that that was not anticipated in the 1998 appropriation to the Trustee that those costs would be funded. So that is the biggest——

    Mr. DIXON. So, basically, they cannot get you to agree to this. The District is trying to appeal to the President.

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    Mr. CLARK. Apparently. Apparently.

    There are several other areas that include lesser amounts, including my assertion that there should be some significant reduction in their operating costs, as the number of prisoners in their direct control is reduced.

    Mr. DIXON. Mr. Chairman, I have a lot more questions, but I do not want to be harsh on the time.


    Who in your opinion is legally responsible for the prisoners of D.C. when they are housed in a private institution? Is there an agreement with CCA as to who has legal responsibility for that? What do you mean by that? Where would I file a cause of action for wrongful death? Is it still the District? Is it the Trustee? Is there any agreement?

    Mr. CLARK. Hopefully, certainly it is not the Trustee.

    I do not think that the District or any jurisdiction which contracts out its prisoners thereby loses responsibility for the safe custody of those prisoners.

    Mr. DIXON. Unless there was some agreement.

    Mr. CLARK. Even there, no matter what the agreement is, I am sure the courts would not necessarily honor that agreement if a cause of action was brought if the contracting——
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    Mr. DIXON. What do you mean by an agreement? To carry some kind of insurance clause?

    Mr. CLARK. Sure. Frequently, there is an indemnification clause that is included in the contract, but——

    Mr. DIXON. Is there such a clause in this contract, the District's contract with the Ohio facility?

    Mr. CLARK. I do not think so, no.

    Mr. DIXON. So the District is still legally responsible?

    Mr. CLARK. I think both the District and CCA in this case bear some legal responsibility, and I think part of the responsibility of any jurisdiction that is contracting out beds is to do close and meaningful oversight and monitoring of those contracts. If that is not occurring, then that would speak to the liability of the jurisdiction.

    Mr. DIXON. Do you feel that the Trustee has now assumed that responsibility for the District?

    Mr. CLARK. No, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. I noticed that you said at the time of this most recent occurrence, we have had three employees on site there.
 Page 422       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC    Segment 2 Of 2  

    Mr. CLARK. I did.

    Mr. DIXON. Does the District have people on site that are monitoring the conduct and the operation?

    Mr. CLARK. Not on a full-time basis, and that is an issue that has been raised within the City government.

    They, in fact, have contracted out to another private firm to do the oversight of the facility up there, which is an approach that I have some problem with.

    Mr. DIXON. The District has contracted that responsibility to a private firm?

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. Do you have any responsibility to sign off on that contract?

    Mr. CLARK. No, sir.

    If I could just continue——

    Mr. DIXON. Sure.
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    Mr. CLARK [continuing]. I feel I do have a responsibility. My role, as I tried to articulate earlier, is not to run the day-to-day operations or be responsible for hiring, firing, or making operational decisions, but to do oversight of the manner in which the Department of Corrections is doing that.

    Director Moore is still the Director of the Department of Corrections.

    Mr. DIXON. But I guess I am asking you, what authority you presently have. Now, they have contracted out their responsibility to monitor, and as I understand, you have objected to that or had some reservations about it, but it was done, anyway. Is that correct?

    Mr. CLARK. Well, it was done previous to my tenure, and they are moving in the direction of taking back that responsibility themselves. They have a plan to put an on-site monitor there. They have advertised for that position. At this point, they are not there yet, but that is their plan, and that is what we have encouraged them to do, to take a more active, direct responsibility by the Department rather than contracting this out to another private firm, but our responsibility, again, is not to enter into these contracts and not to necessarily approve of them, but to do oversight, to call to their attention where we feel there are significant problems.

    I had staff on site both to be looking at the quality of the management by the private firm, as well as to look at the manner in which the other firm was doing oversight of the contract.
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    Mr. DIXON. Now, as I understand it—and I think Mr. Mollohan indicated—the judge in Ohio has put a bar on any more prisoners being transferred to that facility.

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir, for 90 days.

    Mr. DIXON. For 90 days.

    Will you be responsible now for the transfer of other prisoners to other facilities, or will that be the District?

    Mr. CLARK. No, sir. I do not bear responsibility for those day-to-day operational decisions in the Department. That is the responsibility of the Department of the District.

    Mr. DIXON. I am trying to get to what your responsibility is.

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. As I understood it, there were things that happened prior to your arrival on the scene, and that you had no responsibility for those decisions.

    Now what responsibility do you have for the Department of Corrections actions? Is it just to advise?
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    Mr. CLARK. The law, as passed, gives me responsibility to do oversight and monitoring of the financial operations of the District. It does not give me operational responsibility on a day-to-day basis.

    Mr. DIXON. No. Do you have the authority to stop an action by the Department of Corrections if you think it is financially or otherwise imprudent?

    Mr. CLARK. I am not sure. I think that a case could be made for that. We have not gotten to that point. That is why I need a good attorney.

     It is new ground. Our whole office is obviously new ground, and we are trying to sort out some of these issues, to be frank.


    Mr. DIXON. Director Hawk, I understand that there are several reports out that criticize the privatization process in that basically, in the long run, it is not safe. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association wrote me concerning, I guess, a Federal facility in California.

    First of all, are there some studies that you are familiar with dealing on the subject of privatization?

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    Ms. HAWK. There are some studies that have been done, and perhaps the one you are referencing or was referenced by California was the General Accounting Office's actual analysis, done just a few years ago, that took a lot of the studies that had been done around the country and did some investigating themselves and found that at that point in time there was kind of a wash in terms of whether there was actually savings or not savings in privatization.

    Some States have experienced some savings. Other States had experienced the cost was greater, and so they found that, in general, there was not a guaranteed cost savings.

    I think that if any system is going into privatization just to save money, they are probably making a wrong decision. There are a lot of considerations that go into making the decision of whether to privatize.

    We have roughly 11 percent of our population in non-Bureau of Prisons facilities. We have been using privatization for many, many years, but we carefully select which entities we feel will best serve the Government, which populations will best serve the Government, which are most cost effective for us, which are the best all the way around in terms of which populations to privatize and which to not.

    I think if those decisions are made very prudently, then privatization has a clear role, a positive role in corrections in this country.

    I think when sometimes those decisions get made for perhaps the wrong reasons, whether it is because they believe they are going to save money, but they have not done the analysis yet or they are moving too rapidly and have not really tested the water in terms of what the correctional companies are really ready to take on in terms of higher security inmates and get into issues of public safety. That is where some decisions get made that can have some negative impacts in terms of public safety and cost.
 Page 427       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC    Segment 2 Of 2  


    Mr. DIXON. Mr. Mollohan was asking about classification. What classification of prisoners of the Federal Government are placed in private——

    Ms. HAWK. The Federal Government places minimum and low, but as I said earlier, many States do not have a low classification. So we place minimum and low, not medium and high, and we will also place detention, which is kind of a mixture of the short-term, pretrial status of not really knowing for sure what is going to occur to them in sentencing.

    Mr. DIXON. Now, if you can, can you give a parallel of what classification of prisoner in the D.C. system is going, on your scale?

    Ms. HAWK. We have estimated so far—we really are in the process now of going in and trying to reclassify the entire 7,000 inmates by our standards. So we will know precisely, but we went in about a year ago and did a random sampling, you know, statistically correct, but did a random sampling and determined that roughly 70 percent of the D.C.-sentenced felons are medium and high, which would leave 30 percent—would be in the minimum and low categories.

    In the Revitalization Act, we are required to privatize 2,000 of the D.C. inmates by the end of 1999, and we feel that we can comfortably privatize the minimum and low security males and females in that 2,000 and not have to get into yet considering privatizing the medium and high security inmates where we get a little nervous in terms of public safety.
 Page 428       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC    Segment 2 Of 2  

    Mr. DIXON. But I am asking at the present time, those prisoners that have been transferred, where would they fall on your classifications schedule?

    Ms. HAWK. I think probably Mr. Clark could answer that better than I. I think it is probably a mixture right now of medium and high.

    Mr. CLARK. In the Bureau of Prisons classification scale, with which I am very familiar, the preponderance of the inmates in Ohio—and I assume you are talking about the Ohio inmates——

    Mr. DIXON. Yes.

    Mr. CLARK [continuing]. Would be medium—low to medium, with some in a high security. Again, this is a matter of dispute, and we have not gone in and had an opportunity to view——

    Mr. DIXON. If I could just, Mr. Rogers, finish, please.

    Who is it a matter of dispute with?

    Mr. CLARK. Well, no one has gone in and looked—well, no, it is a matter of dispute between the plaintiffs in the lawsuit in Ohio and the Department of Corrections and the CCA on the other hand. We have not gone in——

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    Mr. DIXON. Setting that aside, what is your opinion of the classification of the prisoners that are being transferred from D.C. to Ohio?

    Mr. CLARK. Well, I think the majority of them in the Bureau of Prisons would fall into medium or high security.

    Mr. DIXON. As I understand it, under your Federal rules, you would not be transferring those prisoners into private institutions?

    Ms. HAWK. That is basically the practice, yes. We would not.

    Mr. DIXON. Now, have you made a recommendation that those prisoners not be transferred because they are above the threshold of the Federal standard?

    Mr. CLARK. No, I have not, sir. Again, this occurred previous to my coming into this position.

    Quite frankly, the District has very few alternatives. The Bureau of Prisons has alternatives where to put these higher security prisoners. Until there is a capacity within the Bureau of Prisons in several years to take these prisoners in, there is not a capacity at Lorton. There is nowhere else at this point—there is no other option. So it was kind of a forced fit.

    The facility in Ohio is a very well-built facility. I toured there, very strongly built. The issues are more with the operation, the significant degree of idleness that is there and so on, but if I had my druthers, I would recommend that they pull them out, but they do not have any other setting to move those prisoners to.
 Page 430       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC    Segment 2 Of 2  

    Mr. DIXON. One final question, Mr. Chairman.

    Is there a private facility that has been established to handle this kind of prisoner, this medium-to-high risk?

    Mr. CLARK. To my knowledge——

    Mr. DIXON. In other words, does D.C. have an alternative where they could go to a private organization that specializes——

    Mr. CLARK. No, sir.

    Mr. DIXON [continuing]. In, say, administrative—the highest——

    Mr. CLARK. To my knowledge, there is very little experience in the private companies in dealing with this type of inmate. This is one of the first tests of that capacity.

    Mr. DIXON. So would you say a combination of an increase in the prison population and the way that the law is written that D.C. at this point in time has little alternative as it relates to the classification of prisoners they send?

    Mr. CLARK. That is a fair assessment, although, actually, their population has not increased. Their population has actually decreased in the last several years overall. If it had increased, I hesitate to imagine the problems we would be facing today.
 Page 431       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC    Segment 2 Of 2  

    Mr. DIXON. Until the year 2001, the District will still have jurisdiction over their Department of Corrections and will supervise the transfer of prisoners?

    Mr. CLARK. Well, I see it as a gradual process. Between now and then, there will be a gradual outflow from the Department. So the size of the Department will continue to decrease between now and 2001. It will not be that we magically hit 2001 and something happens. We all agree with that, but at that point, yes, they—or up until that point, they would have the responsibility for a significant number of felons.


    Mr. DIXON. One final question. In this transitional period and based on the financial position, the financial responsibility position, there is always kind of a rub as to who has the authority. My question to you is: Is it clear that you have the authority that you need to implement these goals in your time frames, or are you being more of a diplomat here urging? Do you have the authority to do what Congress has mandated? Do you think you have the clear authority to get this job done?

    Mr. CLARK. At this point, I think so, sir. I would hate to go beyond that.

    We are working closely with the Department——

    Mr. DIXON. Would that change tomorrow, you did not have the authority? I mean, either you have the authority or you do not have it.
 Page 432       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC    Segment 2 Of 2  

    Mr. CLARK. No. I do not think so. That is a difficult issue.

    We are dealing with a troubled system. It has been a troubled system for a long time. Everyone acknowledges that, and I think we are making progress with that.

    Mr. DIXON. That is not my question either.

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. I mean, I think you are doing a wonderful job, but the question is, do you have the authority to reach the goal mandated by the Congress, not the persuasive authority, and maybe you are doing a good job in bringing this along, but do you have enough authority to do the job. Your initial answer is at this moment, you either have the authority to do it or you do not have the authority to do it. Maybe you are being persuasive. Do you have the authority to do what is required?

    Mr. CLARK. My analysis at this point is that I do, sir.

    The alternative to give the Trustee, I guess, total operational authority has—whereas, it may have some upsides, it also has some downsides in terms of——

    Mr. DIXON. Particularly for you if you had it?

    Mr. CLARK. Well, in terms of the responsiveness of the agency to someone who had been imposed on them at this point. I can see——
 Page 433       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC    Segment 2 Of 2  

    Mr. DIXON. That is a structural problem here. As I said, we are going through that problem in another committee on this whole issue, but you feel comfortable you have the authority?

    Mr. CLARK. At this point, yes, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


    Mr. ROGERS. Madam Director, we asked you to look at ways to reduce the health care costs in Corrections.

    Ms. HAWK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. ROGERS. I understand you are doing some projects. Could you describe those for us?

    Ms. HAWK. Yes, Mr. Chairman. As I indicated, we have actually had a decrease in our health care per capita in the last year, although medical inflation is going up at a rate of 6 to 7 percent a year. Our medical costs went down almost 2 percent in the last year. We envision it continuing to go down as we initiate a number of new ways of doing business and some creative ways of doing business that are going to bring our costs down.

 Page 434       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC    Segment 2 Of 2  
    Some of it involves simply restructuring our staff and relying—we traditionally have relied very heavily on physicians and physician assistants to be our primary care-givers in health care, 24 hours a day in our institutions. We are finding that restructuring some of that staffing and using different staff, RNs, LPNs, and EMTs, on especially the midnight shifts and evening shifts, we are seeing significant savings.

    Another area that we are pursuing very aggressively is telemedicine. We have been doing a pilot for the last 18 months. It has just come to an end, actually, this month, and we anticipate the report very soon.

    We have initiated telemedicine pilots at two penitentiaries, Lewisburg and Allenwood, Pennsylvania, and our medical facility in Lexington, Kentucky. They are working in conjunction with the VA Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. Although we do not have the final report, we had the study done by an outside consultant, Abt Associates, and they will complete the report very soon. We are very optimistic that we are going to see some significant savings there and look to spread that across to other institutions.

    I mentioned, in reference to Mr. Latham's question earlier, our pharmacy formulary. We have gone to a totally different way of purchasing medications and supplies, tapping into larger bulk purchases which enable us to cut the costs significantly. We are doing more sharing of services across institutions that are geographically, relatively close together. There are just a number of things that we are doing where we are finding a significant savings in cost.

    Mr. ROGERS. I would think if the telemedicine mechanically works that you could save enormous amounts of transportation costs.
 Page 435       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC    Segment 2 Of 2  

    Ms. HAWK. That is the other benefit, transportation costs and public safety. That is why we tried the pilots initially at penitentiaries, because some of these individuals, we really do not like taking out into the community for a medical evaluation or diagnosis or whatever. So you have the cost savings, plus the additional savings in public safety, and as long as it is cost effective, which is the bottom-line analysis in terms of working with some of the providers, as long as it is cost effective, I think we are going to reap many benefits from telemedicine.

    Mr. ROGERS. We are interested in knowing as quickly as you receive the reports what it looks like.

    Ms. HAWK. Yes, sir.

    [The information follows:]


    We anticipate receiving the first draft of the results of the telemedicine study from the private contractor, Abt Associates, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts by the end of April, 1998. Once the report has been reviewed and put in final form, it will be transmitted to the Committee.

    Mr. ROGERS. It is something that we would like to encourage if it is cost effective, and it sounds like it has to be. It would certainly be safer and less expensive to use telemedicine than transporting the prisoner under guard for a day to a doctor's office a long way outside of prison grounds and finding out in the end that it was a malingering problem in the first place.
 Page 436       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC    Segment 2 Of 2  

    Ms. HAWK. Yes, sir.

    We had piloted it back a few years ago and tested it out, and at that time, the equipment was very expensive. There were not many hospital providers willing to really get involved in it.

    So an earlier time, it was not cost effective, but the technology has advanced. The whole acceptance, I think, of medical providers of telemedicine has advanced dramatically. So we think now is truly the time that we are going to find significant savings.

    Mr. ROGERS. Well, as you have indicated, hospitals are doing this routinely now——

    Ms. HAWK. Yes.

    Mr. ROGERS [continuing]. In the medical offices, and I am told that the Navy does practically—well, a good portion of their worldwide medicine from aircraft carriers and other ships directly to Bethesda Naval Hospital routinely.

    Well, we encourage you in that regard.

    Ms. HAWK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Mollohan.
 Page 437       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC    Segment 2 Of 2  

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


    Mr. Clark, do you know the respective classifications of the victim and the perpetrator in the Youngstown murder?

    Mr. CLARK. From yesterday, sir?

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Yesterday, yes.

    Mr. CLARK. No. I have no knowledge of that.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. What is the name of the private firm that is running that facility?

    Mr. CLARK. The Corrections Corporation of America owns and runs the facility.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. They built it?

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. What is the name of the private firm that is oversighting that facility?
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    Mr. CLARK. Pulitzer Bogard. It is a consulting firm.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Can you tell us something about the consulting oversight firm?

    Mr. CLARK. It is a small firm that has been providing consultation to the District for several years. They have some expertise on the one side in facilities and architecture, and then they have some other folks who have some experience in prison management.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. What is the scope of their oversight responsibility?

    Mr. CLARK. They have a contract with the District, in my understanding, to provide the full oversight of all aspects of management, security, health services, food operations, and so on, and to provide reports to the District and to go into the institution and see that the recommendations that they have made are followed up on.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. In other words, the District has hired them to do an assessment. What is the name of the company?

    Mr. CLARK. Corrections Corporation of America.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. They are responsible for the operation of that facility.
 Page 439       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC    Segment 2 Of 2  

    Mr. CLARK. That facility and the correctional treatment facility in Southeast D.C.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Have you, in the context of your responsibilities here, had an opportunity to review any of the reports that the oversight company have given the District with regard to the operation of that facility by the Corrections Corporation of America?

    Mr. CLARK. I have asked for those reports. I have only been provided with a couple of those reports recently.

    As I mentioned earlier, I have concerns with the adequacy of the oversight and the adequacy of the follow-up on the oversight.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. First of all, you are having difficulty getting copies of the reports from the oversight company to the District?

    Mr. CLARK. Well, I mean, to be frank, I had not gotten——

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Can I say something about that?

    Mr. CLARK. Let me put it this way.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. I suggest you be frank.
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    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Have you had trouble getting the reports? Have you requested them?

    Mr. CLARK. I requested the reports in the fall, and I got the initial report shortly after I had come into office, and I had visited there. I got a report.

    I had not gone back and requested any reports until——

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. What did you request?

    Mr. CLARK. Any reports that had been done.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Any and all reports that had been done?

    Mr. CLARK. Yes. And I received——

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. And you did not——

    Mr. CLARK. No, I received—at that point, I received one report that had been done. I had not gone back until recently. With all the other things that I was involved with, I had not asked for any follow-up reports.

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    I recently asked for any and all additional reports that had been done, and it took a little while to get those reports. I wanted our staff, before they went out there, to have access to those reports. They did receive them several days before they left.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Your testimony is that you have received all of the reports?

    Mr. CLARK. I do not know if I have received all of them. I have received several reports.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Are you going to find out whether you received them or not?

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Would you let the Committee know the answer to that question?

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir, I will.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. And would you make available to the Committee, upon request, any and all those reports that you receive?

    Mr. CLARK. Certainly. Yes, sir.

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    Mr. MOLLOHAN. In regard to these incidents, do you know if the Bureau of Prisons, particularly given this new association, has been called upon to assist in these investigations in any way?

    Mr. CLARK. No, sir. To my knowledge, they have not been called upon, except that I did recommend after the more recent—after the killings that the Department undertake something akin to what the Bureau of Prisons would do in terms of an after-action report to send a team in to look, and I know that they have requested at least some guidance from the Bureau of Prisons in terms of the way the Bureau of Prisons would go about that, and that has only been within the last day or two.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Director Hawk, has the Bureau of Prisons been asked to assist in an investigation of any of the incidents?

    Ms. HAWK. To the best of my knowledge, we have not been asked to assist with any of the investigations at all.

    I do believe, as Mr. Clark indicated, that D.C. staff did ask our staff how we go about doing a review when we do one, but they did not ask for our assistance in performing the review.


    Mr. MOLLOHAN. There has been a lot of discussion about the cost of construction. Could you give us an estimate of how much the cost of operating these new facilities is going to be, and what your press is going to look like in the future with regard to operations?
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    Ms. HAWK. Operating costs for us vary across the different security levels, as you know. Our average annual per-capita per inmate to include overhead and total cost from the Bureau of Prisons, except for construction, runs approximately just under $22,000. The reality is that is a reduction in our per-capita.

    Just as in health care, we have been initiating a number of things to bring our costs down. We have also been initiating things to bring our costs down across our full spectrum of institutions, and we realize that in the reduction of costs this past year, which I think is especially noteworthy in that our overcrowding has come down during that time. Obviously, the way to reduce your cost is to crowd up your institutions and to put as many inmates in as you possibly can. So, when your crowding is high, your costs should be lower. However, we are managing to achieve a reduction in per-capita costs, at the same time, we are bringing our crowding levels down, which suggest some very different ways of approaching our institutions.

    If you look just at the six institutions we are asking for in terms of the increase of the D.C. population, we are talking about an overall increase of roughly $175 to $200 million per year for the six institutions combined. So, once they are up and running, that is the kind of money we would be seeking for operational funds.

    Mr. MOLLOHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Dixon, do you have anything further?

    Mr. DIXON. Just one.
 Page 444       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC    Segment 2 Of 2  

    Were you on board at—the facility in Southeast Washington, I assume, is the facility that was built with Federal money?

    Mr. CLARK. The correctional treatment facility that is attached to the jail, sir. That is the only facility that I am aware of, myself. Yes, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. It was sold by the District. Is that the one?

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. And then leased back?

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. Right. Were you on board when that occurred?

    Mr. CLARK. No, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. You came at an opportune time, after all of the incidents.

    Now there is a lease-back arrangement?

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir, for about $2.6 million a year.
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    Mr. DIXON. Right. And the District was able to get some cash out of it. That was the——

    Mr. CLARK. $52 million.

    Mr. DIXON. $52 million.

    Mr. CLARK. It contributed to their $185-million surplus this year.

    Mr. DIXON. Then they are outlaying 2.6 in rent, so to speak.

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. Then they have contracted out the supervision of that?

    Mr. CLARK. Partially. They have one staff on site, but they also have contracted with this consulting agency to do most of the oversight. They, in turn, have subcontracted some of the oversight. For instance, the medical oversight of the facility is done by a doctor that they have so contracted.

    Mr. DIXON. What is the cost of that going to be to the District, the total package, per year?
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    Mr. CLARK. The——

    Mr. DIXON. I mean, the 2.6 is part of it, but the contracting out, the supervision of the private contractor is another part of it, and then there is medical and all the other stuff. What do you estimate it is going to be?

    Mr. CLARK. Well, the total—I just do not have that figure, but the cost per day, per inmate there, including the oversight, the medical and so on, in the District's estimation—and I have no reason to disagree—is about $85 a day——

    Mr. DIXON. But that does not——

    Mr. CLARK [continuing]. Which is fairly steep.

    Mr. DIXON. Yes, but what is it going to be annually? That is what I am trying to get here. How many prisoners are there?

    Mr. CLARK. There are about 800 prisoners there.

    Mr. DIXON. So it did help them in their cash flow?

    Mr. CLARK. It helped them in their cash flow.

    Mr. DIXON. They sold the property that was given to them, basically.
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    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. They had a money problem.

    Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.

    Mr. DIXON. And then they are paying for services from the new owner of the facility.

    Mr. CLARK. Exactly, yes.

    I believe the figure is somewhere around $25 million a year, but I do not have it at my fingertips, but I will certainly get back to you with that.

    Mr. DIXON. Right. $25 million, you think is——

    Mr. CLARK. I am quite sure that their estimated cost per inmate, per day, is about $85 to $90, including everything, including——

    Mr. DIXON. Supervision, medical, the whole——

    Mr. CLARK. The outside medical costs, everything, it is about $85 to $88 a day.

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    Mr. DIXON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. ROGERS. Madam Director, at the conclusion of the last session, our office space out here was completely cluttered. Our staff was working day and night, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, and the place was an absolute mess.

    I had ordered the place cleaned up and neatened up some. They have made some progress, but, in the process of cleaning up out there, they found an old book on construction of Federal prisons in 1949, almost 50 years ago, and I am going to present that to you this morning, so that you can see what we have learned from the past.

    It is also—stay with us, Julian.

    Mr. DIXON. Oh, yes. I am not leaving, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. ROGERS. It is also a memento of the fact that that office has not been cleaned up in 50 years. [Laughter.]

    There is no telling what else we will find out there, but it is interesting to note that in this book that the annual average pre-World War II cost of housing and care of an inmate was $4,100, and we are hoping that you can get back to that. [Laughter.]

    Ms. HAWK. We will sincerely try, sir.

    Mr. ROGERS. So we have given you the manual on how it is done.
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    Ms. HAWK. Okay.

    Mr. ROGERS. I sincerely want to commend you for your efforts for keeping down the costs of running the Federal prison system. It is exorbitantly high, but it could be a lot higher. So you have done a wonderful job.

    Ms. HAWK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. ROGERS. So I want to present this to you, and we will do that as soon as the meeting closes down.

    If there is nothing further, we will adjourn the meeting.

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."