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United States. Congress. House. Committee on the J.

Combating crime in the District of Columbia : hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, June 22, 1995 online

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minimum sentences for drug dealers, not users, not possessors, but
drug dealers, and I think they're bad people. I think they're poison-
ing America. I don't think we want to send a signal at all that
we're going to lessen our resolve against those people or be soft on
crime.

I think our parole system, our probation system, our system of
halfway houses, again, there's too much leniency there. They're let-
ting people off for doing serious crimes too easy, and I think we
need to stand up there. These escapes from — the halfway house
system is not working. They just get up and walk away. We need —
my recommendation is to restore the mandatory minimums and
look at this Federal sentencing guidelines. Maybe we can adopt
that locally, which also means abolishing parole, better supervision
and security at the halfway house and beef up the warrant squad,
because those are the ones that go and catch the runaways.

Lorton, I'm not one that says stateslike functions or functions
that we don't like or functions that cause us problems or we spend
a lot of money on — I'm not one to say let's give it back. Who do you
give it back to? We in many ways are like a State. I mean, we're
like a city; we're like a multijurisdiction. But I think we can im-
prove the Lorton facility. No. 1, I think we can, though manage-
ment controls and resolve, crack down on the lawlessness within
Lorton or within the local jail. I mean, there's sex; there's drugs;
there's listlessness; there's a lack of any rehabilitation efforts, and
I think we — ^you know, that doesn't take money per se. I mean, it
does take some money, but that's a management issue; that's a re-
solve issue.

I think the facilities at Lorton particularly need to be modern-
ized. They need to be improved. That will help with their man-
power problem out there. If you've got perimeter security, you've
got cameras, and more of the latest technology, it lessens the need
to have so many men out there, and we are under court order at
the Lorton facility.

But make some of these prisoners work and/or make them get an
education. Now maybe you have to provide them incentives or
whatever to do that.

The last recommendation in this area is let's get some of the non-
violent offenders, even their more serious offenders, if they're non-



139

violent, let's get some work details; let's clean up the streets and
the alleys and paint these schools, stuff that never gets done
around here. And those are able-bodied people. If nothing else, let
them repay society by doing some of this work.

This notion of a bootcamp, I mean, you've heard about it for
years and years. Some of them really work; others seem to be a
failure. But with this base closings and sort of a downsizing in the
Federal area, there may well be some surplus property that can be
identified that we can use for young nonviolent offenders for boot-
camp. You'd probably have to find some other funding to operate
the thing, maybe through the Justice Department, or whatever, but
I think that's — you know, we've got to get at these young people
and try to rehabilitate them, straighten them up, and that's a way
we could possibly do it.

And then, finally, we talked about the coordination and this no-
tion of an Office of Public Safety or Police Commissioner, but the
metropolitan area needs to be coordinated. I mean, it's just a mil-
lion jurisdictions. There's all the Maryland counties and the Vir-
ginia counties, and they do their own thing. They're not — we're not
sharing enough information. The computer systems aren't hooked —
the Federal system is, but not the various local jurisdictions. Some
of that you can do with technology, with putting computers in cars,
and things like that, but we need to do a better job at coordinating
because the crooks, they go back and forth across State lines, and
they steal in Maryland; they bring the cars here; they sell drugs
here; they go to Maryland. And I think that would be sort of a met-
ropolitan area/Federal law enforcement task force idea through bet-
ter coordination.

And I'll just close with this notion of the community
empowerment policing, which to some extent I think goes back to
your manpower issue, but citizens are really convinced that it will
work. I even think the police are, but it's a very manpower-inten-
sive way of dealing with policing, and I think if we really are seri-
ous — I've really not heard any entity talk about, well, let's don't do
CEP; it's not a good idea. It's always the other way around, but it
never happens. It never happens around here, and when it does,
then they yank the manpower out in that small area where they're
really concentrating to make it work, and then it goes away. So I
think we should commit ourselves to that, which means — it really
does mean more resources.

And I thank you.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Brazil follows:]



140

Prepared Statement of Harold Brazil, Councilmember, Council of the
District of Columbia

Good Afternoon Congressman Heineman and Members of ihe Crime Task
Force. My name is Harold Brazil I am a member of the Council of the District of
Columbia representing Ward 6. a district encompassing Capitol HjII. the Stadium
Armory and Historic Anacostia. 1 have served on the Council for 4 and 1/2 years 1
also sit on the Committee on the Judiciary

Outside of the current fiscal crisis, crime is our number I priority.

BACKGROUND



Since 1991 . I have successfully sponsored the following major criminal
legislation:

In 1992. the Council passed my Bail Reform Amendment Act which 1
mtroduced the previous year. This law assures the community that persons accused
of violent crimes will be detained without bond pending trial Prior to passage of
this act, any criminal committing his first violent offense as an adult had the abilit>
to "get out of jail free." Individuals with a long criminal history or a violent
juvenile history can now be held without bond for the first time w the District

Second, the Mandatory Life Without Parole Amendment Act of 1992 that I
introduced authorized the imposition of a life "ientence without the possibihty of
parole for first degree murder Previously, the ma.ximum was 20 years James
McMillan who in September 1992 raped and murdered a young Capitol Hill



141



resident. Abbey McCloskey, was the first murderer to be sentenced under the new
law

Third, I introduced the Carjacking Prevenuon Amendment Act which the
Council quickly passed. The legislation made armed and unarmed carjackjngs
felonies and established mandator) mimmums for each offense. The incidents of
carjackings in the District declined quickly after passage of this act

II

In addition to being tough on crime, we must get smart about crime. The
Council passed the Omnibus Criminal Justice Reform Amendment Act of 1994
which I introduced.

It's most important provision was the Misdemeanor Streamlining Act which
provides that most misdemeanants will be tried without a jur>'. thereby speeding up
the process and freeing up resources to concentrate on more serious crime.

I have also pushed for an independent management audit of the Metropolitan
Police Department ("MFD ") and the Department of Corrections ("DOC"). The
International Association of Chiefs of Police, the "'I.A.C.P." for instance could
perform the MPD audit. A study of these two agencies would help both
departments to determine how best to manage their resources. Though the MPD has
done a study consisting of several internal reviews, in the past 20 years, it has never
withstood a full outside audit. The Police Executive Research Forum, conducted a
study of MPD recently, however. I am advised that its focus was very limited. A
broader comprehensive study of the MPD is warranted.

Likewise, the management and administration of the Department of
Corrections must be studied and reviewed to make better use of its limited
resources. Director Moore is making a good effort to reform the department:
however, deployment strategies, training programs, hiring practices and
employment practices, including sexual harassment at the department must be
reviewed by an outside agency to make the District's Corrections Department state-
of-the-art.



142

3
III

T(' deter |u\enile cnme and to keep kids sate, the Council on Tuesda\.
passed m\ juvenile curfeu hill on an emergenc\ hasis ThiN law is a nocturnal
curfew for juveniles 16 and under We need the programs to complement the
curfew >uch :in ;i hoot camp for juveniles and additional \outh recreational
activities

RECOMMENDATIONS

I offer the following recommendations for the Comrruttee s considerauon.

1

Problem: MPD Manpower and Management of the Department of Corrections

Citizens complain to my office about the MPD primarily because it responds
to crises slowly: there are too many police manrung desks instead of squad cars;
and. an inordinate percentage of officers assigned for patrol are not available for
duty.

In addition, administration of overtime is a continual problem for the
department. Officers testifying in court during the day are not available at rught to
patrol the streets of the District-when the majority of crimes occur— because their
shifts are changed from 3-1 1 to 7-3 to accommodate the Court's schedule, not the
officer's arrest patterns

Problems with manpower also exist at the Department of Corrections DOC
IS understaffed and its current personnel are poorly trained DOC recently lost a
large settlement to employees who filed charges of sexual harassment against the
Department Last year, dozens of DOC employees were arrested for selling drugs
to inmates

Recommendation

1 . A comprehensive management audit of the MPD and DOC by an independent
body, such the i A C.P . should be performed



143



2 The authorized manpower ot the police should be increased from 3700 to 4200
< Witli an on-hoard strength of 4200 officers lavi year, the MPD reduced crime raiev
for the first time in 5 years).

II

Problem. Equipment and Technolo


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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JCombating crime in the District of Columbia : hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, June 22, 1995 → online text (page 15 of 18)