About the talk
Chief Legal Correspondent, MSNBC; Host, "The Beat with Ari Melber"
Artist, Actor, Author, Activist
Chair, Board of Trustees, Vera Institute of Justice
Former Senior Vice President and General Council, Koch Industries, Inc.
US Representative, New York; Chairman, Democratic Caucus, US House of Representatives
Governor, State of Tennessee
Founder and Executive Director, The Ladies of Hope Ministries
The COVID-19 crisis has lifted a magnifying glass to one of the greatest challenges facing the United States—criminal justice reform. And no aspect of the problem is more urgent than reducing US incarceration rates, the highest in the world. Highly vulnerable due to confinement in crowded conditions, with scarce testing kits and limited personal protective equipment, prisoners are succumbing to the virus at unprecedented rates. Reforms of the cash bail system and accelerated release of non-violent offenders are key to reducing incarceration rates. Under the current cash bail system, people awaiting trial who can't raise bail remain behind bars. For many, the result is lost jobs, lost homes, broken families. Equally critical is the adoption of safe systems to release non-violent offenders and reintegrate them into the workforce and society as a whole. The panel will explore innovative, safe, short-term solutions, while advocating for comprehensive reform in the long-term.
Damien Dwin is an American businessman and investor who currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Lafayette Square. He founded Lafayette in November of 2020 as a model investment platform that deploys services-backed capital to local communities, independent businesses, and diverse investors. Lafayette Square is built for inclusion—here to change the financing paradigm and investing in an American economy worth believing in. Lafayette Square provides a wide range of financial products that create positive impact alongside financial returns. Previously, Damien served as Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Brightwood Capital Advisors from its founding in 2010 to October 2020.View the profile
Mark Holden serves as senior vice president of Koch Industries, Inc. In addition, he also serves as Chairman of the Board of Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Inc., Chairman of the Board of Americans for Prosperity Foundation, and is a long-time advocate for criminal justice reform. Mark earned his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts and his law degree from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America.View the profile
To learn more about Congressman Jeffries and his work in government and the community: www.hakeemjeffries.com Congressman Hakeem Jeffries has proudly represented New York’s Eighth Congressional District in the House of Representatives since January 3, 2013. His district is among the most vibrant and ethnically diverse in the nation, with more than 20 languages spoken by residents and immigrants from around the world. Hakeem currently serves on the House Judiciary Committee (including the subcommittees on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet and on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law) and the House Education and the Workforce Committee (including the subcommittees on Higher Education and Workforce Training and on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions). Through his industrious committee work and thoughtful advocacy in the public square, Hakeem has been at the forefront of a wide range of progressive causes, including protecting and expanding the middle class; championing quality education for our children and young people; advancing workable affordable housing solutions; combating gun violence through common sense gun control legislation and enforcement; and fighting for a fair minimum wage. He has also successfully led bipartisan efforts to reform our criminal justice system and protect inventors, tech entrepreneurs, and small businesses through sensible patent reform legislation.View the profile
Topeka K. Sam is the Founder and Executive Director of The Ladies of Hope Ministries – The LOHM – whose mission is to help disenfranchised and marginalized women and girls transition back into society through resources and access to high-quality education, entrepreneurship, spiritual empowerment, advocacy and housing. She is also the co-founder of HOPE HOUSE NYC – a safe housing space for women and girls. Topeka serves on the board of directors for Grassroots Leadership, Coalition for Public Safety and is now the first formerly incarcerated African-American woman on the board of The Marshall Project. She is a Beyond the Bars 2015 Fellow and a 2016 Justice-In-Education Scholar both from Columbia University, a 2017 Soros Justice Advocacy Fellow working on Probation and Parole Accountability, a 2018 Unlocked Futures Inaugural Cohort Member, 2018 Opportunity Agenda Communications Institute Fellow, Director of #Dignity Campaign for #cut50, Host of “The Topeka K. Sam Show” on SiriusXM UrbanView Channel 126 Sundays 9am est. and founding member of The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls.View the profile
Everyone for everyone, got it all around the world. I'm thrilled to be here with you. My name is Ari, melber. I'm at anchor and cheap, legal correspondent for MSNBC on what is a interesting, a big legal day more than one way over here at the American global conference going to bring them in right now. Many of these individuals on this issue break, the cycle mass incarceration are people who walk it and talk it and live it. I'm just going to do very brief introduction to be of so much to get to. But as you see on your screen, we have common an artist and activist a musician, a leader on
these issues. We have Governor Bill Lee and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, which are just a statement of of your commitment to this issue. Heading for you here during what is a very busy time. Obviously broke my parts in conversation, which I think we appreciate. We have found our executive director of the lady. Hope Ministries to Pica's a.m. With Marco leader at Koch Industries, which is done a lot of work on these issues and Damien's win a co-founder Mansion part of write with capitaland in Weiser on the various Justice moving to that quickly. Because if you can see what
this, many leaders, I want to get to you guys, normally traditionally start with the elected officials or going to take an exception to that again, it's valuable that you're both here and I think it was interested to hear what you have to say, but part of reform in the early. And I thought while we want to hear some of the real world examples from government. I thought I would start with Topeka and Tom and put a big picture of you on it. Inflection point with the year. We've had with the role of covid-19 in many ways, but also his horse new thinking and a lot of your work is about
as well as obviously an election underway Supreme Court confirmation battle much going on, leave at least. Topeka and in common and to really start this conversation, what's important right now, to pica? Well, thank you first for having me included in the conversation that no being the only woman on the panel. I'm glad that you asked me. How ever are not around the numbers of 90%. 95% of all women will Franklin Park all the way to more severe diagnosis like It's a friend of y'all, Or I'm there been an increase in
today was going to be sentenced to life in prison and learning about three years free, half years in federal prison. I just received an email today from a sister Lavonne, roach who served on a 30-year sentence for drug conspiracy, charge my boyfriend. In the last 23 years that I've been incarcerated, I've never seen anything like this. Why do we have to? I want to get out of here? I don't want to die. And this is just one picture and Subway, California. I get emails every day in the federal system Alice Aliceville, Alabama,
Medical Facility. Where is women at the same rate as other women are the numbers. A death in Forza 6. Common. The first of all, thank you once again for having me and much respect and love to everybody that's on the panel, what Topeka said, actually. Emphasizes what what where I'm going with it is where, you know, doing this this time of the pandemic. I don't we I was able with my team about Injustice 2 to do a documentary that was a short film that was dealing with an in talking to people who are incarcerated and they really
just felt like man, they weren't being thought about it all on the way. The system was handling them was like July's with worthless, but I felt it was really just an accident of what the correctional system. Has been probably since the beginning of it this time where it's it's really you think of the word Correctional, you know, Rehabilitation. Those things are not being service to people who aren't being being incarcerated. I think where we are right now is we all know that this has been some targeted towards black and brown people. That's not even you know in in Topeka emphasize with
women's is Stephen a bad situation, but overall like This is not good for America to keep incarcerated individuals and not giving them a chance to, to rehabilitate the hill to redeem themselves. So that they can. And when they possibly get to come out and treat them as a light is like if we don't value their lives. If we don't buy utilizes of people incarcerated, not really value in our own and it affects us in ways that we don't even think about. Like, I mean, really I started this whole mission for me dealing with prison work with
because of the book, the new Jim Crow and me sitting down talking with the author of it. And I was really about trying to help the violence that was going on in the city. And when she tied that violence to people being incarcerated in in the cycle that the happens when it when people with Father's, go to jail, mother's go to jail and then come back not Rehabilitation how that affects your waist violence in Ark. I was like, that's not good for safety. We always got home and put criminals away. That's how we make that eye places in community safe. But it's, we actually,
I'm making it more dangerous. You know, I mean, where were y'all? Guys, we got to figure out and elected officials. I'm so grateful that we have elected officials that that are on the talk about this, whatever party that from because we got to change the policies of this and sentimentality over. This is it's got to be more of a lesser punishment, in more of a, a healing mechanism. I mean, I appreciate you raging all of that. And we'll go to our elected officials next now,. And it's interesting. You mention Michelle, Michelle, Alexander, the new Jim Crow.
So many of these conversations are evolving. Now, one of the potential upside of the year. We've lived through was people saying I didn't realize it works like that. Okay. Maybe that builds the awareness. I know this is a serious topic. If I was running for anything. It would be too quick, too,, right? Yeah, well, I mean back to you and you tell us and then we'll go to the officials here on letter letter to the new Jim Crow. You talk about the teachings of that analysis of the the
slavery gym PRO root of today system. And you say the Caged Bird Sings for freedom to bring black body being lost in the American dream. Lot about being a pastoral scene. Slavery still alive. Check Amendment 13 at Walker's, to have your link in your actions, in the yard, and then we'll go over and order the Congress. What are you feel natural for me to to? The address social issues that I think going on in my community as a black young man. Hip-hop was, that was part of what hip hop voice was for me. I mean,
that's how I learn certain things about who I am to artist like Public Enemy in Rock Hill, man, Brand Nubian. Big Daddy Kane, so I knew art to be that even from Stevie Wonder the Bob Marley, the Bob Dylan, you know, like these artists it that we speak up towards social issues and just do it in the Revolutionary. Way Nina Simone. You know, that Aretha Franklin. So As I was going through my art and speaking like this, what I saw, I bet you we stopped reading. I mean, I was reading books from destruction of black civilization, to, to the new Jim Crow, fast forward.
And I realize that within within the scope of me doing the art of also have to be a part of the, the activism, you know, because I felt it was not enough just for me to do the art. I do not know the art brings people to the subject matter. That's how we bring a lot of people to the tension Evil Dead with Ava Duvernay did with the film 13th was amazing, that informed so many people and educated me also, but also obviously like like I said, the new Jim Crow dead and different literature does too, but after that, what's the next action item? And now I feel like
it's so many People who are in positions of power, celebrity wise, that are really more active choices for the mass incarceration and ending it from here. And LeBron James make about it to John Legend. And so, you know, it's just it's powerful and we have to do if I feel like it's my duty as Nina Simone said, it's the duty of the artist to reflect the time and I want to reflect the times and also be active in these time. So that's where it came from and you know, what the more the more we get educated in the more we seek political officials of informing and we and we
seek out, man. The more we can do in the more we can be microphone for these issues. Baris. Wait to be with you and this tremendous and I'll certainly think the Milken Institute for cleaning us. You know, when the failed War on Drugs. First, begin in 1971, 49 years ago. They were less than 350,000 people incarcerated in America. Today. Of course, they are 2.2 million. Disproportionately black and Latino a significant number of those individuals incarcerated for
nonviolent drug offenses. And so he's come to a place where America now incarcerated more people than any other country in the world, including per capita in China and Russia combined. It's a stain on our democracy. That's the bad news. The good news is increasingly the mass incarceration phenomenon. And the overcriminalization dynamic that exist in America, is viewed as a problem. By both Democrats and Republicans equally great to be on the panel with Devin up because
it's, it's not a partisan problem. It's an American problem and we were able to come together in 2018. Take a first racing in ways that would design both to help currently incarcerated individuals successfully transition back into society and some of the boys that had been put on the book as part of the sale or on drugs. And so now we're hopeful particularly given the manner in which all of the pain and suffering and death that has been experienced by
the American people connected to covid-19 disproportionately communities of color, disproportionately amongst those who are incarcerated will help. Bus the impetus to do more because it's Topeka mention a prison sentence should not be a death sentence. But for far too many people that is the case. There are things that we can do as public policy makers to address it. And I'm hopeful that we will in the amoeba. Thank you, sir. Thank you all for allowing me to be on
this pain away. So it's a privilege for me. You know, I got involved 20 years ago before I ever called intersected men in prison a year before they got out and then work with them for a year after they ended up deciding to Mentor men as they We entered society. And that's really how I first became exposed to the barriers inequalities that accept the challenge for them to or trying to re enter my understanding incarcerate many times the wrong individuals that the right Rehabilitation for folks with an X with not include incarceration. And we would have much better results if
the Virgin and alternative sentencing. And if we use Effort to actually address the challenges in these folks live as opposed to incorporating them to us. I started seeing that 20 years ago. And then what happened when I was with the reasons I ran on this subject, when I was running for office. I was mentioned earlier. It's about partisan. It's become a bipartisan conversation, folks, all across America has come to realize that we should be doing things differently.
It's a difficult process to determine what those things should be. That I'm very committed to that. After I became Governor week. We made some changes initially. We're working now to develop more comprehensive legislative approaches for Criminal Justice Reform. Discounted experience that we've had, has brought to light in to the general public? Why this matters, you know, the joke doesn't think a lot about the incarcerated in in our country when they are presented with the issues that have come up during this
crisis. They're forced to think about it, and I'll go around speaking at try to remind people and actually, said earlier, about our new understanding, what makes community site so used to think so I can be one up. The reality show people that you want to know why you should think about the incarcerated 95% of every single person sitting in a prison cell or a jail cell is going to get out and they're going to enter our communities and if you want to take him to this than you ought to think about how it is that we deal with
them when they come out and we have to think about who it is put in. So I'm honored to be on this panel. I think it's a very important subject for our nation, folks, on all sides of the island. All corners of this nation are talking about is that we need to do things differently. And bring Damien and Anna as a reformer, how much have you and other groups, been able to use the moment or the pressure of covid as a reality? Or thank you for the opportunity. And again, I just want to get all the channels for the work they're doing and trying to reduce the system. I don't
disrespect to put fear Institute has done in this moment. Arya's is interesting. We were 60 year old organization threadripper since that and we partner with government at all levels to try to essentially strength the system and improved conditions within the system and our research has shown among other things. This is no longer in urban. Only issue is the fact for saying as much, if not more trouble in rural communities with mass incarceration reading to off on the
other side. So has been to work with local fishes in this moment, through the try to work the system and mentioned in here. I think we're trying to get mark back marks, Mike the simple IDEA Public Safety. The system needs to shrink. We have too many people who are in jail unnecessarily either for crimes. They did not commit for for misdemeanors and we're here supposed to only have now about 30 minutes left. So I'd like to try a little bit of a lightning round and then have people build on it.
So if any words that has been. Given the year with living and people might not have expected in the middle of this pandemic, an election. You would have one of the largest Civil Rights, anti-racism long-running Movement protest in a long time. I'm curious for each of you given the different work you do in a in a sentence with the word, something that you thought was constructed from this year, where you looked up and thought, well, this is a good thing the movement working on and when I try to do is whip around quick answers, And come
back around to expound on his, starting with a word or sentence or something. We looked up and said, maybe we are going to make more progress this year a common. And progress is made when I when I was out on the streets and it with any protest. And I stop people from so many walks of life. A lot of young people, really speaking up and I was getting educated as I was out there educated on like how we all have similar phrases or not. And then I'm going to come back
and,. Have you build on that. So I'm being a supermodel later here like when they talk about super Preston governor. And we may have to, I can tell you lots of Governor shot or not. Congressman. The fact that systemic racism has become a phrase that we recognized as an issue that's been embedded in the soil of America and something important to deal with Maxine Waters quickly that she remember the time she couldn't even use the phrase without being criticized and now it's mainstream in a way that I think is incredibly important.
Arrest the cops that killed breonna Taylor. mark, Camille is going to and going through three different Matt Marchese. Led by a black lives matter my family and I The Awakening, this is everybody's problem. Yeah, I said that's very interesting to 2 just from from people working on these issues. And I know we're going to get the governor back, but the diversity of support in the movement that were seeing out there, but we might call the main line of issues like systemic racism. Just at that framework is now at least a legitimate way to approach this to a wider number of people and not what
I'm close, something extreme, the moving of breonna Taylor case, I joining BLM as was just mentioned it. So I'm going to try to go to the free form here with the with the five you. So we'll start with,. My hope is you guys jumping to talk to each other and I'll help with rules of the road. If we get a traffic. Jam, Topeka said about Brianna, I think is powerful. You know, first of all, God bless her soul in her family, but what is tile for the weed that was cheap. Watch are working towards that
Leona on a mass level that you saw Regina King sitting there when the enemy with a Brianna Taylor shirt on and then you see Brianna Taylor on the cover of you know, Vanity Fair, but then you also know that Tamika Mallory and and her family are down there working to try to get things changed and we're having a discussion like, hey, the district attorney shouldn't be in there any more like those things are things that I don't, we weren't having these discussions before. So I know that these times it brought that about and like I said, just, obviously, seeing young people like, I didn't
know I was going to see, like, like young without their Latino kids, like really like passion about what this it is, and it just made me know that America has that Humanity has the heart. But, you know, we just don't see it a lot because because Mark Holden said, it's like the, the systemic racism was that is a the beginning of it all, or it's kind of Hakeem Jeffries dummy. We know that that's the, that's what this country was based on. So, I mean, that's what it is, but I do see progress being made. I'm an optimist though. Yeah, I would just add to that, that
the reason why I mentioned Brianna's case specifically specifically, is because we do not hear enough about when that happens. So often those cases are just kind of bait. You hear the name once or twice. He was Sandra. Bland and then you don't hear it again, until freedom is done going in and not only just making sure that they are fighting to bring awareness to get large things around. See how do not want to think like that that also We're working because we cannot look at this conversation around mass incarceration changing the legal system without addressing the systemic
issues of pop party. At least the fuel that lands everyone through incarceration. Why poverty people are our people of color, specifically Community, more levels of education, but we don't get that if people can think about having a housing and food to eat. How can I think about going to the pool? So once we talked the other issues that are black and brown people. I think we can then begin to rebuild systems and processes that help to Karen. And lastly, I dad that I think this conversation has helped
bring together the idea of Eaton police in Corrections, right at like as in one system that we keep siloing all these issues and when I looked at a lot of the legislation that was being introduced even around that. We didn't want to include correction. Right? Look, what happened to Sandra Bland. She was arrested fall into a bye. So we have to understand that all of these issues are systemic. If I can pick up on that, I agree entirely in terms of the interconnected nature of it, and certainly the elevation of breonna Taylor's name, and that
tragedy has been incredibly significant in lifting up a focused on women, you know, prior to Brianna Taylor that was Sandra. Glenn Frey, the Sandra Bland hearing New York. There was Eleanor bumpers, but those names didn't have. This is Staind Focus. I think that we're seeing now and hopefully we'll see moving forward to deal with this issue on behalf of all people. And I think it'll be just as Marc and common have mentioned, you know, you've got you've got bad public policy Foundation, resulting off, and then being
implemented by problematic prosecutors leading to problematic Public Safety outcomes. And I think one of the things that may be an outgrowth of this year with a focus on systemic, Ism is systemic transformational Solutions. And as far as my whole Frederick Douglass once said that it's easier to build strong children than it is to repair broken, man speaks to the science of Education. I think that governale was referencing by referencing Governor deal. The other thing that I think you know him Brooklyn went a different way. If we don't take the time
to give our children opportunity, the system will seize the opportunity to give our children sometime and we've got to break that system. That has led to some sort of a, a school-to-prison pipeline. And I'm cautiously optimistic. Give me to buy parts in focus and the commitment of activists like Simon and others. That that we're going to be able to get this done. I was just about to say, we got to go. If you don't put a cam at office it's moved and whether you're Republican or Democrat
sets of energy in animation around disassembling. The existing system in revisiting these structures in my love, you starts at The Ballot Box, we have to vote and then after we vote you have to recognize. There are no reinforcements. We are at the change the receipt and having great leaders assume responsibility. Not looking for someone else is exactly what this moment demands. I'm glad that we have more research and Analysis now than perhaps ever, but we need more data to empower changemakers
whether they are elected or not, and then obviously the institutions In America in Austin, many cases are driven by money until it's interesting prior to covid. We had a labor shortage in America and a lot of a conservative who supported prison reform were of that stated state of mind, because they wanted to feel human capital. They needed bodies for for jobs. We needed more people just to put. But since you go through pandemic, we now have the exact opposite effect where we have mass unemployment. And
we're going to have to think about how to dig our way out of this hole. We had unprecedented fiscal stimulus stimulus as well as create jobs and will those jobs be accessible to people with records coming out of this area where we know having a record dramatically under my blanket. How to get employment in the United States. So I think we have to tie the two issues together institution-building which in, many respects begins at The Ballot Box, and controlling dollars the economics of our society and how we make Capital available and provide incentives for
everyone to have a seat at the table. Should I am sad? One thing is for sure. I understand that one of the back to the war on drugs because we all know what Nixon did it was a few years ago, communities of color so they wouldn't be able to vote. That is not what you have a criminal record and he's one size fits all for the mandatory minimum or if you can't get a job and can't get housing loan to get licenses. Otherwise just sent people right back into the system of his last thing. I'll say is, I think it's an absolute just. I just terrible, what happened in Florida has been made.
Over doing with getting people with criminal records, getting them voting rights. And how tall is shut down. And we got to stop that night. Will last me about it. They will you're a Republican or two on that. I'm really oh,. I don't know what I want to say. We shouldn't worry about, either going to disappear out of prison that don't matter, and they don't have a say in things. So boring right now and never environment. Hope that in the future that we don't make all of these things. So politicized, but I doubt that's going to happen.
Well, I'm not having it in and out and I apologize. I've been trying to keep up with the conversation kind of hard from, so I really do apologize for that. I think. I think we have an incredible opportunity in this country right now because of the enormous challenges that we Face. I've always believed in the greatest traffic moments. The most difficult even tragedies for me turned into transformative seasons of my life. I think that's true for this country. I think the elevation of conversation around
operational issues. I think everything that's happened in this country. Even the The nature of where we are and politics, lay the groundwork, for what I think is a very hopeful future. I think we're out of this work but learning things about education, learning things about Criminal Justice Reform we never did. We learn things about Healthcare and access that we never knew. We are not going to waste this prices. If we will take what we are learning and from a standpoint move forward with the things that we can agree upon
would make the Criminal Justice Reform. Covid has given us an opportunity to talk about a car serrated, how to deal more effectively with how to do so. And in a way that the lowest crime rate across our country, but most importantly impact, human beings, in a positive way, re-entry is about transforming just as valuable as a human being as anyone on the inside on the outside and we haven't ever before and we should capitalize on that opportunity. Going to be in common first and then it wants to jump in, which is more time with it. In the context of this year's
protests, which had as a Flashpoint interactions between police and awesome, black and brown Americans as a first Contact so much what we've learned here from each of you. And I think I listen can understand that is about all that is a problem. A lot of the rest of the system after the first husband Jeffrey, when you look forward to because we are a few weeks away from the resolution of the of the election. Whatever happens happens in these movements go on. Do you think it is important to broaden out the black lives matter movement and
policy conversation to all these other things or a question? Well, something was hit upon this year that brought in more people brought him even more diverse set of a people that marches the, mentioned earlier. And so maybe you continue to focus on that other issues to get you as well. I think it is important to try to address with the fierce urgency of now. The issues connected to the interaction between communities of color and the police, and we are endeavoring to do
that with the George. Floyd Justice in policing Act of the most, forward-looking a police Reform Bill ever to pass any house in Congress, and it did so with a handful of Republican votes as well. We're hoping to be able to build upon that, but I do in the context of Firenze Dealing with the impact that mass incarceration has had a devastating live, is devastating families and devastating communities that we should look to reverse-engineer. The damage that was done by the 1994 crime bill because though, that was
just Federal legislation in incentivize bad conduct in bad policy by the states, by including your 9 billion dollars in prison construction money, but saying to the States, you only get this money. If you adopt these kind of War on Drugs, type of laws mandatory, minimums, truth-in-sentencing, three-strikes-you're-out type of Provisions. That accelerated mass incarceration. And it's gotten us to a point where we're now at 2.2 million. So I think it'll be important for congress. After having taken the first
step that we can simply stay. Well reforming, the federal system is to fish. No, it's not. Because a 90 for the federal government Congress and the president reached into the states and acted bad policy. Had real consequences. We now have to figure out how to go back into those States Damien, the Vera Justice Institute of doing great work. A lot of the damage that was done, and I'm hopeful that will do that. Yeah, some need, one of the things that I've been focused on his is
actually a joined, an organization called, the urgency, the urgency 2020. And what we've been doing, is on identifying people down the ticket in different states. Some of the Swing States, obviously, in some of the places where we see good leaders running, we and we go out and support them like influences, like we have artists from Alicia Keys to Seth Rogen to offset from Migos and it's not, we not only just and get out and vote, but we said, hey, both of Jamie Harrison in South Carolina and going down. And,
and I really doing that. And I think what I'm saying is, when we have Hakeem Jeffries. In different states and places, we can actually get this system changed, and it's so many people who didn't, but didn't believe in in politics in the system, come from where I come from, but when you see, I can't even I see if he'll hide Omar Ariana Presley or Kim foxing. And, you know, it's like, okay, not only are we going to do community work, but we can change things and will change things to policy. So I think now, you know, it's it's really
identify him for us. Those people who are running, you know, for office before, changing the system and approaching the system from a standpoint of healing. I think they, even the words we use, man. I walked into, I went to to San Quentin install. The building up and Damned on top of the building. And I'm like, man, matching, the human being have to walk into that nasty where they lived every day. I'm in the building them. I mean, I think, you know, the mentality of it just from that level that has to change. And I mean, Deepika
know, she's been in dealing dealing with it before. But I mean, the weight Mark spoke to a people got to be treated as human beings and that's the one thing that I out of anything. I found out when I went into prisons and talk with women and then is there man. We just want to be seen as he in the bed and why? I don't know why country. Is having a hard time doing that in and out. And I think we can do a lot better if you know, and I know we will do better. So I just want to reinforce that. Yeah,
I'll bring you a free one of the heads up. So we have about 9 minutes left so quickly that the minute 20 per person. If we split up what I'd like to do is go let everyone reflect on anything else. You wanted the same reaction or your final thoughts. And one thing we have in our lives and it also re-entry and what you do about bringing people back in as we go forward or we talked about early release from Colwood. We got the bastard pitch into the system. But what about all
these people to, as the governor mention sooner or later? We'll get out at somebody. Get out sooner based on the bay before we were discussing stuff with that in mind. Let's give everyone a final thoughts going to the Topeka first. Thank you, Albert. I just want to acknowledge everyone. Here,, He just spoke on just to humanity and I want to acknowledge everyone language that everything was very intentional, very compassionate and pathetic. Everyone on this panel referred to incarcerated people. I heard men that I work for from the governor individuals who are
the inmates spelling. All of these words that do not allow people to have the opportunity. I have a second chance because you looked at it as a thing. You're not a person. So I wanted to thank all of you for that understanding because while the people watching is important that they understand that people are people. I may just do it. I guess address the re-entry work. We do at the leads of Hope Ministries in poverty. Any Corporation of women and girls that chew pocket, which is Direct Services sustainability, and advocacy and engagement. I will direct service workers
who created housing, We have hotels on in the Bronx. We have one in New Orleans and was Carol stealing that's in five boroughs of New York, Baltimore Philadelphia Trinidad. With in 2021. We also have insecurities making sure that people have fresh bag of food, every single thing to our partnership with instacart Whole Foods Wakeman, Fairway. In the difference between virgin unite create Pathways for Equity co-op housing. Advocacy work. We work with your dad for justice with me. If you are found the first step act and passing technique women changing his
father inside. Why were you working till 8? And give people the opportunity is because it doesn't mention 44,000. Barriers, 3in. And we have to understand that if we want the 95% of the people coming home to not only be safe and healthy to themselves and to the community. We have to open up a pathway for opportunity. Can I purchase go quickly on a very brief, go back to the Bureau of Prisons. They need to change their name. That's the old school. I work in a prison. When I was 18 years old in
Worcester, Massachusetts. We had a house of correction. Not the Bureau of Prison. We need to make it the Bureau of Rehabilitation and whatever else, right? And the other thing I say is that we need to get a j. Pretty much out of helping people in prison because they don't and it should be something for your good. You got the education department. You got tol the Department of Labor. If we're going to get back into the game prison reform and we do what they all for you
do. Like I say, it's the best thing I've seen is up in, Michigan prisons up there the men up there. Getting jobs right out of prison and women. 95% of what we're getting jobs. Really good job, and it has less than a 5% recidivism, which is amazing. And if you can, cuz they really taken a really taken seriously up there and then get it done. Thank you. All right, I'll jump in as has been mentioned. The system is too large and used to shrink conditions within the system needs improved because they're
currently inhumane. As I said, this is everyone's problem already. And so it is not just that the system is racist and we have evidence that is racist is also that we know in States like Tennessee and Kentucky rural communities. White people are suffering under the weight of a prison and jail system. That is too large and too inefficient. And finally coming out of this virus. Our economy is in shambles it. So it's not just that we have to vote and help put politicians in positions to affect change. We
also have to recognize that employers are going to deal with Charlie different set of incentives and use cases. Then was, was the case prior to the virus. And with unemployment still high and us working feverishly to shrink the system. We're going to need to think really critically about what we're going to do to change the trajectory for all Americans because our economy is in a very different place than it was just a year ago, and we're only now beginning to come to terms with Does negative effects?
And I'm sorry that you know successful re-entry as a public policy objective is a win for everyone. You know, it's a win for the formerly incarcerated woman or man who is back into society able to live in a productive life? Because we provided them with the education of the job training or the substance abuse treatment of the mental health counseling. That in almost, every instance. They had been denied upon the journey, they were on into incarceration but it's a win for their
families. It's a win. For the communities are a successful re-entry as an objective, is a win for the taxpayer. Because if we dramatically reduce recidivism, then we dramatically reduce the amount of money that is being spent in terms of incarceration. And right now 80 billion dollars per year is the car. Sick example of a failed government program because it's wasting taxpayer dollars and it's not achieving the public policy objectives. Understood, not going to have you go and then they end of the show
that last Encore you don't want to go after,, you know, is because there isn't an argument against it in any direction. There shouldn't be. This is cost-effective. It is, it is, it is the right thing to do by the humans. From the human perspective. It worked. Well for employers that there are, there are no, there are no arguments for one and I think that's one of the reasons that we can do it before. I stopped, you know, Topeka talked a little bit about the work that organization is doing. Ministries that has
about a 7% recidivism rate for folks who stay with it for one year after the year before. The government is not the best at doing this, like nonprofits, those who work on the ground for our community groups and other organizations that are dealing a face-to-face boots on the ground with the incarcerated more effectively than the government does. We can in the State Department of Correction. We can take his practices and implemented. We should partner more
powerfully in every way we can across the country with those those organizations does nonprofits. Those institutions that are serving the government and do it more effectively than government can. So I'll just add that to my encouragement to all of us policy stamp, from an implementation standpoint. What should engage Partners before then, allow the government to do it. I've met some of the most beautiful human being in-car incarcerated. They changed my life. One
gentleman. I met named Charles Alexander, who was doing light up 2% life. So he was doing life without parole at one point and he was abused as a young man. When we got to talk with him in and I sat with him in his cell and he told me a story, we will eventually because the system in them in the help that he had with Arc. The anti-recidivism Coalition in the magic Justice. We were able to see him his Improvement. He was cold in in in in prison. He eventually got got the sentence
halted and he's free for what I want to bring up about Charles is Charles is not working at a company called slack and in you know, and I'm in the check where they took a chance with y'all, you know, we need some of these corporations to say. Hey, man, we not going, we going to not let not going to let these prejudices and an independent do the policy that we have before. We need to raise it corrected, his Corporation. Just like we need courageous politicians. Like, you know, I'm grateful to be on the panel with, you know, people from different parties, Sharon inhumanity and just talk
and it will always have. We not always agree on everything that's just like, I don't agree with my mother and everything but you know, but the final humanity and each other and then be able to get to that condo land. What do we do with the prison system? Is about Humanity. It's about human beings and I believe we can do it in. And if I can stay at 2, another thing just get down the money. I found out the state of California. It costs 250,000. Keep a juvenile locked up, it cost $80,000 to send them to school with her through school from Taylor 8. What are we doing?
Anyway, I thank you all for being here. I think you off of speaking of it gives me hope. Are you a great moderator host? Thank you for supporting hip-hop culture, and I think the Milken Institute. Thank you for the work you doing Topeka Hakeem Damien Mark Governor going to leave. Thank you. Thank you,. I taking us out perfectly as expected. I'll leave it at that. Is that? Thank you for the panelists in the Milken Institute. I never watch it with you watching now. We're in playback, later online. If you heard something, you liked, look up the person. Look in the cash in the description.
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