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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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IN THE OFFENSES OF RAPE AND ATTEMPTED RAPE FOR UCR/FBI REPORTING
PURPOSES FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.



23



ONE OF MY GREATEST CONCERNS IS THE PUBLIC'S PERCEPTION OF
SAFETY. THERE ARE MANY NEIGHBORHOODS, SPREAD THROUGHOUT ALL
SECTIONS OF THE CITY, THAT ARE AS SAFE AS ANY NEIGHBORHOODS IN THE
SURROUNDING JURISDICTIONS OF MONTGOMERY AND PRINCE GEORGE'S
COUNTY AND IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA. DESPITE THIS LEVEL OF SAFETY, THE
RESIDENTS IN THOSE NEIGHBORHOODS REMAIN FEARFUL AND APPREHENSIVE.
VIOLENT CRIMES IN THE DISTRICT ARE LARGELY CONCENTRATED IN SPECIFIC
AREAS OF THE CITY, CENTERING AROUND THE DRUG TRADE AND PUBLIC
HOUSING.

DESPITE OUR RELATIVE SUCCESS, I AM CONCERNED ABOUT OUR
ABILITY TO SUSTAIN THE LEVEL OF POLICE ACTIVITY NECESSARY FOR
CONTINUED PROGRESS IN THE FUTURE. WITHOUT THE RESOURCES THAT
WERE AVAILABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT DURING 1994, IT WILL BE DIFFICULT
TO CONTINUE THIS SAME LEVEL OF ACHIEVEMENT.

IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS , THE PRESENT FINANCIAL CRISIS OF THE
DISTRICT GOVERNMENT THREATENS THE GAINS WE ARE BEGINNING TO MAKE.
THE DEPARTMENT'S BUDGET FOR FY 95 OF $239,995,449 REPRESENTS
NEARLY $17. 2 MILLION IN REDUCTION OF FUNDS APPROVED IN FY 91 FOR
THE SAME LINE ITEMS ($257,242,000).

IT SHOULD ALSO BE NOTED THAT THE BUDGET REDUCTIONS HAVE BEEN
PROGRESSIVE WITH THE EXCEPTION OF FY 93, WHEN WE WERE ABLE TO



24



REDIRECT FUNDS FOR THE PURCHASE OF COMPUTER EQUIPMENT. BECAUSE
OF THESE CUTS, SOME OF OUR TECHNOLOGICAL ENHANCEMENTS THAT WERE
DESIGNED TO PLACE MORE POLICE OFFICERS ON THE STREET AND TO
GREATER ASSIST THEM IN SERVICING THE COMMUNITY HAVE BEEN PLACED
ON HOLD. THE PRESENT POLICY OF QUARTERLY APPORTIONMENT OF
FUNDING HAS SEVERELY CHALLENGED OUR ABILITY TO MAINTAIN
CONTRACTUAL SERVICES.

IN ADDITION, WE HAVE HAD TO TAX OUR EMPLOYEES WITH CUTS IN
PAY AND HAVE HAD TO FORCE REDUCTIONS IN OVERTIME FOR ACTIVITIES
THAT WERE HIGHLY EFFECTIVE IN FIGHTING CRIME.

THE IMPACT OF SALARY CUTS UPON THE MORALE OF OUR OFFICERS
CANNOT BE FULLY MEASURED. BUT DESPITE SOME DECLINE IN ARRESTS
SINCE THE IMPOSITION OF SALARY REDUCTIONS, IT IS CLEAR TO ME THAT
THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT
CONTINUE TO PERFORM THEIR DUTIES TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY WITH A
DEGREE OF DEDICATION MATCHED BY FEW CITY AGENCIES. WE MUST ALSO
REMEMBER THAT THEY ARE PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR ANTI-CRIME
SUCCESSES OF 1994.

ALREADY IN 1995, OVER 250 SWORN MEMBERS HAVE LEFT THE FORCE.
OVER THE PAST 12 MONTHS (JUNE 1994 THROUGH MAY 1995) 559 MEMBERS
HAVE DEPARTED. THE AVERAGE LENGTH OF SERVICE OF MOST OF THE



25



DEPARTING MEMBERS IS IN EXCESS OF 20 YEARS. THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT
DRAIN OF EXPERIENCED PERSONNEL, A GAP THAT CANNOT BE IMMEDIATELY
BRIDGED, EVEN IF THE DEPARTMENT HAD THE ABILITY TO HIRE UP TO LAST
FISCAL YEAR'S AUTHORIZED LEVEL.

THE DEPARTMENT WHICH I INHERITED IN 1992 WAS OPERATING WITH
1970'S OR EARLIER TECHNOLOGY, IN THIS LAST DECADE OF THE TWENTIETH
CENTURY. TODAY, THE DEPARTMENT IS ON THE THRESHOLD OF A
TECHNOLOGICAL SYSTEM THAT WILL CARRY IT FORWARD BEYOND THE YEAR
2000 INTO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY. ALL OF THE MAJOR
ORGANIZATIONAL COMPONENTS ARE COMPUTERIZED AND LINKED
INTERNALLY ON LOCAL AREA NETWORKS. THERE IS A WIDE AREA NETWORK
THAT LINKS THESE COMPONENTS THROUGH ELECTRONIC MAIL. WE HAVE
UPGRADED MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND INSTALLED A NEW
COMPUTER-ASSISTED DISPATCHING SYSTEM.

ALMOST SIMULTANEOUSLY, IT WAS NECESSARY TO ADDRESS THE
ENTIRE TECHNICAL INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE DEPARTMENT WHICH HAD NOT
BEEN THE FOCUS OF ATTENTION FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS. UNDER THIS
PLAN, THE DEPARTMENT BEGAN TO ACQUIRE AN ARRAY OF NEW TECH-
NOLOGY AND EQUIPMENT: NEW VEHICLES, NEW RADIOS, AND A NEW
TELEPHONE SYSTEM.



26



A NEW MICROCOMPUTER LOCAL AREA NETWORK (LAN) WAS INSTALLED
IN ALL POLICE FACILITIES TO LINK TOGETHER IN A WIDE AREA NETWORK
CALLED "MPDNET." THIS NETWORK LINKS THE DEPARTMENT THROUGH
ELECTRONIC MAIL AND OVER 800 COMPUTERS WERE PURCHASED TO
FACILITATE USE OF THIS AS WELL AS OTHER SYSTEMS BEING INTEGRATED.

A NEW COMPUTER AIDED DISPATCH (CAD) SYSTEM WAS INSTALLED
WHICH WILL BE LINKED TO THE FIRE DEPARTMENT'S CAD SYSTEM TO
GREATLY IMPROVE EFFICIENCY AND COMMUNICATIONS.

MOBILE DIGITAL COMPUTERS ARE NOW IN USE IN SELECTED FIFTH
DISTRICT PATROL CARS AND AN AUTOMATED TIME AND ATTENDANCE
SYSTEM HAS BEEN DEVELOPED TO TRACK PERSONNEL DEPLOYMENT AND
ENABLE THE DEPARTMENT TO BETTER MANAGE ITS COURT AND DISCRETION-
ARY OVERTIME EXPENDITURES. THE DEPARTMENT IS AUTOMATING ITS
CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS THROUGH AN AGREEMENT WITH IBM.

THE DEPARTMENT HAS PURCHASED AN AUTOMATED FINGERPRINT
SYSTEM, INSTALLED A COMPUTER TRAINING FACILITY IN THE TRAINING
DIVISION, AND ACQUIRED AN AUTOMATED INTELLIGENCE GATHERING
SYSTEM, THE WASHINGTON AREA CRIMINAL INTELLIGENCE SYSTEM (WACIIS).
THIS SYSTEM IS A POWERFUL CASE MANAGEMENT TOOL WITH ON-LINE
SEARCH CAPABILITY TO LINK KEY PIECES OF INFORMATION AND WILL
GREATLY ASSIST DETECTIVES IN CLOSING CASES.



27



ADDITIONALLY, TO ADDRESS PAST PROBLEMS WITH PROPERTY AND
EVIDENCE INVENTORY AND ENHANCE THE DEPARTMENT'S CAPABILITY TO
TRACK EVIDENCE THROUGH A BAR CODING SYSTEM, THE DEPARTMENT
ACQUIRED A NEW AUTOMATED PROPERTY EVIDENCE INVENTORY CONTROL
SYSTEM (PEICS), CALLED "AEGIS" BY ITS DEVELOPER, WHO IS CUSTOMIZING
IT TO MEET OUR NEEDS. PRESENTLY, DISTRIBUTED BOOKING PROCEDURES,
VIDEO ARRAIGNMENT AND TELECONFERENCING, AND A COMPUTERIZED
AUTOMATED REPORTING SYSTEM ARE BEING WORKED ON.

OTHER IMPROVEMENTS INCLUDE "OUTSOURCING" THE DEPARTMENT'S
MAINFRAME COMPUTER TO SHORE UP THE DEPARTMENT'S TECHNOLOGICAL
BASE OF OUR INFORMATION SYSTEMS, THE INSTITUTION OF A
DEPARTMENTAL ELECTRONIC BULLETIN BOARD, IMPLEMENTATION OF A
COMPREHENSIVE COMPUTER BASED TRAINING PROGRAM USING MPDNET,
MODERNIZATION AND CONSOLIDATION OF EXISTING DEPARTMENT
GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS, AND THE PURCHASE OF AN
AUTOMATED FLEET MANAGEMENT SYSTEM THAT WILL HELP MANAGE THE
1,283 VEHICLES IN THE FLEET.

ALL OF THESE ACTIVITIES HAVE JUST BARELY PLACED THE
DEPARTMENT ON THE THRESHOLD OF ENTERING THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
TECHNOLOGICAL WORLD. TO SUPPORT WHAT ALREADY HAS BEEN
ACCOMPLISHED AND WHAT IS BEING PLANNED, THE DEPARTMENT'S FUNDING
MUST REMAIN AT ITS PRESENT LEVEL AND, IF POSSIBLE, SHOULD BE

10



28



INCREASED. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES CAN THE DEPARTMENT AFFORD TO
LOSE THE IMPROVEMENTS THAT IT IS ON THE VERGE OF REALIZING.

THE DEPARTMENT IS PRESENTLY SEEKING TO AUGMENT ITS RESOURCES
AND OFFSET RECENT BUDGETARY CUTS BY REQUESTING GRANT FUNDS FOR
ITS "COPS MORE" PROPOSAL WHICH WAS SUBMITTED TO THE U.S.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IN MARCH 1995 UNDER ITS PUBLIC SAFETY AND
COMMUNITY POLICING GRANTS PROGRAM. IN PARTICULAR, THIS GRANT
WOULD ENABLE THE DEPARTMENT TO OBTAIN TECHNOLOGY THAT WOULD
SUPPORT AN AUTOMATED PRISONER PROCESSING SYSTEM, AN AUTOMATED
FIELD REPORTING SYSTEM, GEOGRAPHIC MAPPING CAPABILITY, AND A
"REVERSE 911" SYSTEM. THESE ITEMS ARE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF OUR
EVOLVING COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT POLICING PLAN.

THE FINAL AREA THAT I WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS IS THE
REENGINEERING OF THE DEPARTMENT. THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF THE
REENGINEERING EFFORT IS TO PUT SWORN POLICE OFFICERS ON THE STREET
DIRECTLY ENGAGED IN THE PATROL AND PROBLEM SOLVING ACTIVITIES
REQUIRED TO SUPPORT THE DEPARTMENT'S PHILOSOPHY OF COMMUNITY
EMPOWERMENT POLICING.

IN JANUARY OF 1993, THE METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT
INITIATED A LONG TERM STRATEGIC PLAN TO RE-ENGINEER THE ENTIRE
ORGANIZATION. THIS PLAN, COMPOSED OF SEVERAL INTERRELATED



29



COMPONENTS, WAS DESIGNED FOR MAXIMUM EFFECTIVENESS AND WAS
BASED ON THE SPECIFIC NEEDS OF THE ORGANIZATION. THE MAJOR
COMPONENTS OF THIS PLAN WERE CONCEIVED TO REVAMP THE
DEPARTMENT'S MANAGEMENT, TRAINING, CRIME-FIGHTING, AND TECHNICAL
INFRASTRUCTURE. THE FINAL COMPONENT OF THIS PLAN, POLICING FOR
PREVENTION, WILL TOTALLY RE-ENGINEER THE MANNER IN WHICH THE
POLICE DEPARTMENT PROVIDES SERVICE TO THE CITIZENS OF THE DISTRICT
OF COLUMBIA BY CREATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A PLAN WHICH
ALLOWS THE POLICE TO LITERALLY TAKE CONTROL AND OWNERSHIP OF THE
STREETS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CITIZENS.

THIS PLAN RAISES TO A NEW LEVEL OUR CURRENT PHILOSOPHY OF
COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT POLICING AND FURTHER ENHANCES OUR TEAM
LEADERSHIP APPROACH. AS SUCH, THIS PLAN INCREASES THE DEPART-
MENT'S EFFICIENCY THROUGH NEW TECHNOLOGY, IMPROVES THE CALIBER
OF THE OFFICERS ON THE STREET THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT AND
IMPROVED TRAINING, AND THROUGH THE SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP OF ALL
OF THESE COMPONENTS WILL REDUCE THE PUBLIC'S FEAR OF VIOLENCE AND
IMPROVE THE RESPONSIVENESS OF THE POLICE. MORE UNIFORMED OFFICERS
WILL BE PLACED ON THE STREET WITH ADDITIONAL TIME FOR NEIGHBORHOOD
PATROL AND SPECIFIC AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY WILL BE DESIGNED AROUND
THE NATURAL NEIGHBORHOODS OF THE CITY. THIS PLAN WILL BE
ACCOMPLISHED WHILE REDUCING THE COMMAND STRUCTURE (CAPTAINS
AND ABOVE) OF THE DEPARTMENT BY 35% OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS.

12



26-242 - 96 - 2



30



THE FINAL STAGE OF THIS ON-GOING, LONG TERM PLAN EMANATES
FROM A FEDERAL ASSISTANCE INITIATIVE STARTED IN THE FALL OF 1993. AT
THAT TIME, I REQUESTED FUNDING FROM THE BUREAU OF JUSTICE
ASSISTANCE TO ASSIST THE DEPARTMENT IN DEVELOPING A
COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGY TO ADDRESS VIOLENCE AND ENHANCE
COMMUNITY POLICING IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THIS REQUEST LED TO
AN ARRANGEMENT WHERE THE POLICE EXECUTIVE RESEARCH FORUM, A
CONSULTANT EXPERIENCED IN STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR MUNICIPAL POLICE
AGENCIES, WOULD PROVIDE THIS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE. THE RESULT OF
THE WORK BY THE FORUM AND THE METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT
WAS THE CREATION OF A NEW POLICING COMPACT (POLICING FOR
PREVENTION) WHICH WOULD TOTALLY RE-ENGINEER THE MANNER IN WHICH
THE DEPARTMENT PROVIDES SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY BY CREATING A
BLOCK-BY-BLOCK STABLE AND ACTIVE POLICE PRESENCE TO AGGRESSIVELY
COMBAT GUNS, VIOLENCE, AND QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUES. THIS STRATEGY
CONSISTS OF INCREASING THE NUMBER OF POLICE DISTRICTS FROM SEVEN
TO SEVENTEEN (OR TO BE DETERMINED) AND REDESIGNING THEM AROUND
NATURAL AND NEIGHBORHOOD BOUNDARIES; INCREASING THE NUMBER OF
UNIFORMED, FOOT AND MOTORIZED PATROL OFFICERS BY REPRIORITIZING
THE DEPARTMENT'S STAFFING; AND INCREASING POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY BY
FOCUSING ON NEIGHBORHOODS THROUGH GEOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNTABILITY
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CITIZENS. THE POLICE HIERARCHY WOULD CONTINUE
TO BE REDUCED AS WILL NON-UNIFORM AND NON-PATROL ASSIGNMENTS.
THIS DRIVING PHILOSOPHY WILL INCREASE VISIBLE, UNIFORMED PATROL AND

13



31



CREATE AND SUPPORT AN UNPRECEDENTED LEVEL OF PROACTIVE POLICE
PRESENCE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

INITIALLY, THIS STRATEGY CALLS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF SEVERAL
NEW POLICE DISTRICTS WITH EVENTUAL EXPANSION TO AN OPTIMUM
NUMBER BEING SUPPORTED BY THE RESTRUCTURING OF THE ADMIN-
ISTRATIVE, INSPECTION, REPORTING, AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS OF THE
DEPARTMENT. THE SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT'S
INFRASTRUCTURES AS RELATED TO TECHNOLOGY, TRAINING, AND
MANAGEMENT ARE KEY COMPONENTS OF THIS STRATEGY. THESE EFFORTS
WILL BE ENHANCED BY THE INCREASED USE OF RESERVE OFFICERS, CITIZEN
VOLUNTEERS AND INTERNS AS THE DEPARTMENT ENGAGES IN ACTIVE
POLICING WITH A HIGHLY VISIBLE POLICING PRESENCE, WORKS TO ELIMINATE
CONDITIONS THAT BREED CRIME, AND FOCUSES ON NEIGHBORHOOD CRIME
THROUGH INCREASED KNOWLEDGE OF NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENTS.

THE REBIRTH OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT, THEREFORE,
BEGAN IN 1993 WITH A STRUCTURED APPROACH THAT IS REBUILDING THE
AGENCY AND WHICH WILL CULMINATE WITH THE INITIATION OF POLICING FOR
PREVENTION. THE OBJECTIVE OF WHICH COMBINES IMPROVED MANAGEMENT
AND TECHNOLOGY, STRICT GEOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNTABILITY, AND THE
ESSENTIAL TENETS OF COMMUNITY POLICING. THIS STRATEGY WILL INFUSE
THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND THE CITIZENS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLOMBIA
WITH NEW POWER AND ABILITY TO RID THE COMMUNITY OF CRIME AND
VIOLENCE ONCE AND FOR ALL.

14



32



NEW TECHNOLOGY PLAYS AN ESSENTIAL ROLE IN THE DEPARTMENT'S
STRATEGIC PLAN. WE NEED THE ABILITY TO USE VIDEO CONFERENCING
TECHNIQUES FOR BOOKING AND IDENTIFYING ARRESTEES AS WELL AS FOR
ARRAIGNMENT CONFERENCES. WE NEED TO GIVE OUR PATROL OFFICERS
MOBILE DIGITAL COMPUTERS THAT WILL ALLOW THEM TO COMPLETE
REPORTS IN THE FIELD. COMPLETION OF THE DEPARTMENT'S
TECHNOLOGICAL PLAN IS CRITICAL TO THE REENGINEERING EFFORT. THE
TECHNOLOGY ENHANCEMENTS ARE CAREFULLY DESIGNED TO REPLACE
OFFICERS CURRENTLY PERFORMING ADMINISTRATIVE TASKS AND TO REDUCE
THE ADMINISTRATIVE TIME REQUIRED FOR THE OFFICERS ON PATROL. ALL OF
WHICH IS NEEDED TO REACH THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF POLICING FOR
PREVENTION.

IN CONCLUSION, I CAN ONLY REITERATE THE IMPORTANCE THAT THE
CONTINUATION OF THESE PLANS AND PROGRAMS MEANS TO THE CITIZENS
OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. WE CAN STEP FORWARD CONFIDENTLY INTO
THE NEXT CENTURY OR WE CAN WALLOW IN THE INEFFICIENCY OF THE PAST.
THERE ARE NO OTHER ALTERNATIVES. THE WELFARE OF OUR OWN CITIZENS
AND THE EXAMPLE WE CAN SET FOR OTHER GREAT CITIES IN THIS NATION IS
CLEARLY IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT AND OF THE
GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

THANK YOU.



15



33

Mr. McCoLLUM. Thank you very much, Chief Thomas.

Judge Hamilton, before we proceed with your testimony, we do
have a vote on, and I think the best and prudent thing to do at
this point would be to recess and come right back and then you'll
be up.

So this subcommittee is in recess.

[Recess.]

Mr. McCoLLUM. The Subcommittee on Crime will come to order
again, if we could.

When we recessed, it was time for Judge Hamilton to have an
opportunity to give us his thoughts, and I yield the floor to you,
Judge Hamilton. Welcome.

STATEMENT OF HON. EUGENE N. HAMILTON, CHIEF JUDGE,
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Judge Hamilton. All right, thank you.

Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee
on Crime and Ms. Norton. I am delighted to have the opportunity
to appear before you today to speak about public safety and crimi-
nal justice issues in the District of Columbia on behalf of the trial
court of the District of Columbia, the Superior Court of the District
of Columbia.

As we all know, crime and public safety are the major concerns
of every District of Columbia citizen and persons coming to the city
from across the country and, indeed, from across the world. The
Superior Court is the first line of judicial response to crime in the
District of Columbia, and it has been impaired in its ability to de-
vote more time and attention to criminal and juvenile cases be-
cause of the huge caseload of the court at this time.

Just to give you an idea of what we deal with, at the beginning
of 1995 there were 19,000 cases pending in our Civil Division, over
10,000 cases pending in the Criminal Division, over 5,000 cases
pending in the Probate Division, and nearly 16,000 cases pending
in the Family Division. In addition, within the Social Services Divi-
sion, the court's probation department supervised over 11,000 adult
cases and almost 2,500 juvenile cases in 1994.

A comparison of the Superior Court's caseload to State and Fed-
eral courts revealed some very stark facts. The D.C. Superior Court
ranks first among 50 States in case filings per capita. In 1993, the
D.C. Superior Court had the highest rate of case filings excluding
traffic offenses of all State trial courts of general jurisdiction in the
country. Although D.C. ranked 49th when compared to 50 States
in population size, the biggest predictor of court caseload size, more
cases are filed per resident in the Superior Court than in all other
State trial courts in the Nation. The filing rate in the D.C. Superior
Court is six times the national average. Specifically, one new case
is filed in the Superior Court for every three District residents an-
nually compared to the national average of one new case filed every
18 residents. The D.C. Superior Court ranked first in the Nation
in civil case filings per resident in 1993. That is all types of civil
actions and matters, domestic relations cases, and even estate fil-
ings.

The D.C. Superior Court ranked fourth in the Nation in the num-
ber of cases filed per judge in 1993. The Superior Court's average



34

caseload per judge of just under 3,000 cases is higher than the av-
erage caseload per judge in trial courts of 47 other States. In order
to keep up with this tremendous caseload, it is absolutely essential,
Mr. Chairman, that the Superior Court's fiscal year 1995 operating
budget, as well as its capital budget, be fully funded. By the end
of July, we'll have 28 judges in the Criminal Division with three
commissioners; I will have 4 judges in the Juvenile Court and two
in the Abuse and Neglect Section.

We must not only expedite our caseload and the handling of our
cases, but we have found that we must be very innovative and
smart in the way that we handle and dispose of those cases. And
in that regard, we have spent a great deal of time and effort in
crafting and designing innovative programs such as the urban serv-
ices program to intervene and divert youthful offenders in ages 14
through 26, so as to address some of the very serious recidivism
that we find, particularly among juvenile offenders. We hope to in-
tervene and divert from the regular courts of juvenile to criminal
about 125 youthful offenders per year. We also would like to ex-
pand our use of electronic monitoring, which gives us the ability to
monitor and supervise a large number of juveniles at a relatively
small cost.

We have designed and have operating on New York Avenue a
neighborhood clinic that we refer to as the Probation and Parole
Resource Center, where we have treated since its inception almost
1,500 offenders who have been substance addicted and substance
dependent.

The growing problem in the District of Columbia is domestic vio-
lence, which has skyrocketed, and in domestic violence cases in
1990 there were over 1,800 civil protection orders issued. In 1991,
there were 2,300 civil protection orders issued. In 1993, there were
over 2,800 civil protection orders issued, and in 1994 there were
over 3,000 civil protection orders issued, and from 1990 to 1994
civil protection orders with respect to domestic violence increased
by 73 percent with temporary protection orders increasing in 1994
by 39 percent. This is a terrible problem, and this problem feeds
aouse and neglected children, which in turn feeds juvenile offend-
ers, which in turn feeds adult criminal defendants that we see com-
ing through the court. So we want to design, and have designed,
a very effective domestic violence intervention program which is
ready for implementation, depending upon the availability of finan-
cial resources.

We have already put in operation and place the country's fore-
most drug intervention court, and this has been one of the most ef-
fective and efficient ways of dealing with substance-addicted and
substance-dependent adult offenders that has ever been devised. In
1994, by screening almost 1,500 drug-involved adult offenders, we
admitted 936 defendants into placement into one of the drug
court's sanctions, treatments, or monitoring tracks. And the statis-
tics from that program have been set out in full in my statement,
and we can treat a defendant in the drug court at a cost of approxi-
mately $1,200 per year as compared to a cost of $24,000 per year
if that same individual had to be incarcerated, and we find that
many of the individuals who are not treated on the drug court
treatment program would, indeed, have to be incarcerated.



35

Now our programs that we expect to impact crime in the city
with must be supported by an adequate capital budget because our
capital budget calls for the construction and renovation of trial
courts for the trial of criminal and juvenile cases which require, as
you know, cell block facilities, and we have just run out of trial
courts that have cell block facilities that we can put in use for the
trial of criminal and juvenile cases. And this capital improvement
is greatly needed. If we can get assistance in this regard, I would
expect to be able to put into operation an additional criminal court
and an additional juvenile court to address the very serious prob-
lems that we have in that regard.

Overall in the Criminal Division in 1994 new case filings were
at 45,000 cases approximately for a 7-percent drop from 1993. Dis-
positions were at just under 50,000 for a 2 percent drop, and the
pending caseload at the end of 1994 was just under 10,000 cases
for a drop of 7.8 percent in the pending cases. Now these figures
do not show a long-term trend over the last five years, but they
very strongly suggest that the massive criminal justice efforts that
have been taken in the entire criminal justice community in the
District of Columbia may bearing favorable results. Obviously, any
letup in these efforts is likely to result in the reversal of this very
substantial one-year trend.

In closing, I join with my esteemed colleague Chief Judge Annice
M. Wagner of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, who has
written that — and I quote — "Adequate funding for the judicial
branch of government is a necessity for the safety and welfare of
the citizens of the District of Columoia. The courts are the commu-
nity's safety valve. Through the courts, citizens seek justice and
achieve resolutions of disputes peacefully. Confidence in the rule of
law and the court system are essential if the governed ought to be
willing to be governed. Therefore, the courts must be adequately
funded. Without adequate funding and sound functioning courts,
confidence in our system of justice can be seriously eroded.'

Please accept my appreciation for the opportunity to comment on
this critically important issue of public safety and criminal justice
initiatives in the District of Columbia.

[The prepared statement of Judge Hamilton follows:]



36

Prepared Statement of Hon. Eugene N. Hamilton, Chief Judge, Superior
Court of the District of Columbia

MISTER CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE:

I am pleased to appear before you today to speak about public safety and criniiiial justice

issues on behalf of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Crime and public safety arc undoubtedly major concerns of every District of

Columbia citizen. The public perception that there is an epidemic of crime in the District

is heightened by the seemingly frequent incidents of violent crime occiuring on the streets

almost daily. I assure you that no where is this concern greater than in the Judicial Branch

of the D.C. Government. The Superior Court of the District of Columbia in particular has

faDen victim to the crime wave as evidenced by the Court's drug related caseload and per

capita criminal filing rate. A recent study by the National Center for State Courts noted

that the District of Columbia Superior Court ranked 2nd in the nation in criminal case

filings per resident when compared with criminal Hlings In the 50 states. Although we are

mindful of the fiscal crisis confronting the District, the Judicial Branch must also be

mindful of its constitutional and statutory responsibilities. The work of the court is not

optional and we can not turn away parties who seek justice within the Superior Court, nor

ignore our public safety responsibilities.



37



The Superior Court is impaired in its ability to devote more attention to criminal
and juvenile cases, because the caseload of the Superior Court is so high. At the beginning
of 1995, there were over 19,000 cases pending in the Civil Division, over 10,000 pending
cases in the Criminal Division, over 5,000 cases in the Probate Division and nearly 16,000
pending niatters in the Family Division. Additionally, within the Social Services Division,
the Superior Court's probation department, supervised 11,131 aduH cases and 2,413
juvenfle cases in 1994. A recent comparison of the Superior Court's caseload to state and
federal courts reveals the following facts:

1) D.C. Superior Court ranks first among 50 states in case filings per capita.

2) In 1993 D.C. Superior Court had the highest rate of case filings (excluding
traffic offenses) of all state trial courts of general jurisdiction in the country.

3) Although D.C. ranks 49th when compared to the 50 states in population size
(the biggest predictor of court caseload size), more cases are filed per resident
in Superior Court than in all other state trial courts in the nation.

4) The filing rate in D.C. Superior Court is 6 times the national average.
Specifically, one new case is filed in Superior Court for every 3 District
residents annually — compared to the national average of one new case filed


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