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

Heroin trafficking : hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, September 29, 1994 online

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bill which we worked so hard on, we have adopted just your ap-
proach. Not only did we want drug treatment as part of the crimi-
nal justice system — the drug courts program which will be funded
for about a billion dollars — is exactly what happened to you.

We institutionalized it. An addict goes before a court, and they
say you got a choice. You can go to treatment or you can go to jail.
And they monitor and make sure there is treatment and it is long
term. I find it hard to believe that we are having 28-day treatment
programs in this day and age. It is ridiculous.

So I agree with you right there.

Let me ask you this question, Mr. Jones. Do you believe — and
also Inspector Raber — education efforts are important in this?

I mentioned to the previous witnesses I was briefed by the Part-
nership for a Drug Free America who do the ads on television. And
their ads have changed over the last few years. They used to be
aimed at just one broad audience, and they had some effect, and
now they are aimed specifically so you have some ads that are
aimed at inner-city kids and some ads that are aimed at suburban
kids who have different experiences. And yet their budget has gone
down, and they say that rejection of drugs in kids' minds is not as
strong as it was several years ago.

Do you find these TV ads effective? Do they work? I am im-
pressed — my kids come back from school. I have a 10-year-old and
a 5-year-old, and we say we are going to go to the comer to get
some drugs at the drugstore, and my 5-year-old says, that is bad.
You shouldn't do that. She is learning something that I wouldn't
have known.

Do you want to take that first, Mr. Jones?


Mr. Jones. I think it is our opinion in the program we work for,
the sooner you get to the kid with that type of education, those
types of advertisements, the better chance you have. We have — our
prevention program goes into the schools and gets the younger kids
and tries to educate them so they won't get to a point where they
use drugs.

Mr. ScHUMER. And have you found it successful not with every-
body, obviously, but with a good number of kids?

Mr. Jones. Prevention is successful.

Mr. ScHUMER. How about you. Inspector?

Mr. Raber. I think those advertisements spark conversation be-
tween parents and between individuals and community groups. I
have witnessed the benefits generated, when groups confront the
drug problems in central Harlem. This precinct area was marked
with poverty and drug use. When conversation begins at the grass-
roots level and community groups talk about the drug problem this
is where you see results. The advertisements act as positive cata-
lysts for conversation.

Mr. ScHUMER. Let me ask you a question, Mr. Jones, Obviously,
your story is inspiring, and we are going to try to give as much
treatment as we can so that there can be many more like yourself.
Still, there are many who go through treatment one time, two
times, three times that don't make it through. It is wrenching.

I don't think people understand that even a therapeutic commu-
nity or holistic approach that you mentioned is quite wrenching be-
cause you have got to look at every part of yourself and see what
is wrong and what led you to a dependency, and that is something
very few of us do. What do you think gave you the strength and
ability to succeed where others have not been able to?

Mr. Jones. Well, with my addiction, it was time. I came out of
a social program down at Second and D.

Mr. ScHUMER. Had you gone to other programs that had not
worked or had not worked for you before this?

Mr. Jones. Yes. I went to a 28-day treatment program by the
Veterans' Administration.

Mr. ScHUMER. You should just pull the microphone closer.

Mr. Jones. I went to a 28-day drug program for the Veterans'
Administration. I stayed there 28 days. I was in North Carolina.
As soon as I got back to the D.C. line I was getting high again.
This is a disease that has a tendency toward relapse, but what we
are finding is that some people relapse, then the relapse period
gets shorter in periods, and that gives us hope you know, but some
people relapse and don't come back.

But we can only work with the people that come in, and the most
important thing I was explaining to the gentleman here is that
when a person gets tired of using drugs and they want some help
with it, there has to be some form of help available for them. Going
on a waiting list, they might be out there 2 or 3 years where they
might not ever make it back, whereas available help could have
made all the difference.

Mr. ScHUMER. And is it your experience that at some point most
hardcore addicts do reach that bottom and do reach out for help?

Mr. Jones. Yes.

Mr. ScHUMER. That seems to be the case.

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Mr. Jones. They either experience an emotional, mental or spir-
itual bottom that they will try to seek some help. Or it might be
through the courts or it might be somebody that they owe money
to. They want to get some help, but it has to be something there
for them.

Mr. ScHUMER. Finally, Inspector Raber, my last question. When
we did the crime bill we combined tough punishment with what we
called smart prevention. The irony is some attacked the prevention
side. They said it was pork or something like that.

Most of the prevention programs came to our attention not from
the Mr. Joneses of the world but from the Inspector Rabers of the
world, the police and the law enforcement people who said we
needed prevention, we needed treatment and other methods of pre-
vention so kids go the right way. Do you agree with that? I mean,
do you agree with the prevention approach as well as the punish-
ment approach?

Mr. Raber. Absolutely. Sometimes the arrest spur the treatment,
but even in cases where the arrest is not the reason for seeking
help, the person hits the bottom and they then seek help. In the
precincts that I worked in, I found that the people addicted to
drugs are not bad people. They did not start bad. Once the addic-
tion took hold they may have done some terrible things, crime and
so on but I believe they can be law-abiding people, if drug problem
did not exist. These individuals need the opportunity to turn their
lives around. We have a very good example here today in Mr.

Mr. ScHUMER. Right. Anything you would like to add. Inspector

Mr. Ward. I iust would like to point out heroin trafficking is a
business just like any other business. There is supply, and there
is also demand. I think we do a pretty good job on the supply side.
However, we haven't totally fixed the problem, and I think the an-
swer truly is in demand. I think there has to be more education,
prevention and certainly treatment.

Mr. Schumer. All right. I just wish all of America could hear the
consensus that really exists among the three of you.

I don't think anyone here who says to someone who does a bad
thing, "We want to punish them and get them off the streets." But
the prevention part is essential so we won't do it 20, 30, or 40 years
from now, the way we are doing it now. That has been my experi-
ence, and we are trying to get that message out as well as the mes-
sage that we have to do more.

So I want to thank our panelists not only for their excellent testi-
mony but for your patience as we zigzagged in and out of the room

I want to thank the — all the people who worked so hard on this
hearing — ^Tom Diaz of my staff and Holly Wiseman, I guess Rachel
Jacobson as well as our minority counsel, Andrew Cowin.

And, finally, I always like to thank the stenographers who work
hard at this and make it available so that thousands or hundreds
of thousands of people see your words not only on television here
with C-SPAN but can read it. These hearings go all over the coun-
try so I would like to thank Rich Whalen as well.

I want to thank all of you, and the hearing is adjourned.

[Whereupon, at 12:19 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned.]


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ISBN 0-16-046713-6

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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JHeroin trafficking : hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, September 29, 1994 → online text (page 8 of 8)