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

Taking Back Our Streets Act of 1995 : hearings before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, on H.R. 3 ... January 19 and 20, 1995 online

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and produce predictable and desirable outcomes in a cost-effective way. Even a
program like Head Start, which has much else to recommend it, cannot be
meaningfully cited as a reliable crime-prevention strategy.

Selective references and fanciful interpretations must be avoided. There is no
question that some programs work under some conditions. But neither tautological
reasoning nor metaphysical mantras (e.g., "comprehensive interdependence") constitute
overwhelming evidence that all these programs work. The most that can be said is that
the relationships among the key variables remain ambiguous. And to attempt to hide
the unsettled facts about the efficacy of prevention programs behind a smoke screen of
patently ideological, clearly unscientific assertions about "trickle-down economics" and
the like merely makes matters worse.



♦ FOUHDtD 1916 i

(581)



582



Last but not least, I was deeply troubled by repeated assertions that scientific
studies show that incarceration does nothing to prevent crime. The studies by Patrick
Langan and others show plainly and irrefutably that locking up violent and repeat
offenders does reduce crime, while letting offenders roam free costs Americans
enormous himian and financial losses. As chairman of the American Political Science
Association's Ethics Committee, I feel obliged to state that, while reasonable minds can
differ somewhat over the marginal effects of given prevention programs, there is no
scientific basis whatsoever for claiming that incarceration has zero incapacitation
effect. Both common sense and all relevant studies rebel at so absurd a notion.

Unfortimately, exactly the same sorts of arguments in favor of piecemeal
prevention programs and against incarcerating criminals were made in the 1960s.
Since then the federal government has spent an estimated trillions of dollars on
various anti-poverty and other programs. I support much of this spending, but let no
one suppose that it constitutes an anti-crime strategy, or that we can easily escape the
real social pathologies and demographic realities that define the nation's crime
problem.

Sincerely,



John J. Dilulio, Jr.

Professor of Politics and Public Affairs

Princeton University
Director, Center for Public Management

Brookings Institution



cc: Congressman Charles Schumer, Paul McNulty



583



STATEMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI

BEFORE THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIME

JANUARY 24, 1995



MR. CHAIRMAN, MEMBERS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE:

I APPRECIATE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE MY STATEMENT INCLUDED
IN THE TRANSCRIPT OF HEARINGS CONDUCTED BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON
H.R. 3, THE TAKING BACK OUR STREETS ACT.

MR. CHAIRMAN, THE CRIME BILL PASSED BY CONGRESS LAST FALL
CONTAINED MANY PROGRAMS WHICH OFFERED A TOUGH AND REALISTIC
APPROACH TO THE PROBLEMS OF CRIME WHICH PLAGUE OUR SOCIETY. WE
AUTHORIZED FUNDING FOR 100,000 NEW POLICE OFFICERS AND WE MUST
KEEP THIS PROMISE TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES OF AMERICA. WE
ALSO PASSED TOUGH MEASURES TO REDUCE SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE AND INCLUDED FEDERAL PENALTIES FOR SPOUSAL ABUSE AND
STALKING .

IN ADDITION, WE TOOK THE ESSENTIAL STEP OF PERMANENTLY
REMOVING 19 SPECIFIED SEMIAUTOMATIC ASSAULT WEAPONS FROM THE
STREETS OF AMERICA. THIS PROVISION ALONE WILL SAVE THE LIVES OF
INNOCENT MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN AND IS THE BEST LEGACY WE CAN
OFFER THE VICTIMS OF VIOLENT CRIME.

THESE PROVISIONS WERE CRITICAL TO THE BILL'S PASSAGE AND I
AM PLEASED TO HAVE SUPPORTED THEM.

MR. CHAIRMAN, I AM EQUALLY PLEASED TO HAVE SUPPORTED THE
PREVENTION MEASURES CONTAINED IN LAST YEAR'S CRIME BILL. THESE
INITIATIVES, WHICH HAVE BEEN WIDELY DERIDED AS "SOCIAL WELFARE
PROGRAMS MASQUERADING AS CRIME PREVENTION PROGRAMS" ARE REAL-
WORLD PROGRAMS PROVIDING INVENTIVE SOLUTIONS TO OUR NATION'S
CRIME PROBLEMS. THESE PROGRAMS ARE AIMED AT PREVENTING CRIME BY



584



STRENGTHENING COMMUNITIES AND ARE SUPPORTED BY MAYORS, POLICE
CHIEFS AND POLICE OFFICERS ALL ACROSS AMERICA.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE, MR. CHAIRMAN, THAT THE FIGHT
AGAINST CRIME REQUIRES MORE THAN SIMPLY INCREASING PRISON SPACE,
OR CREATING ADDITIONAL CLASSES OF FEDERAL PUNISHMENT. RATHER, WE
MUST CONTINUE TO DEMONSTRATE THE COURAGE TO CHAMPION THE
INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS WHICH PROVIDE HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES TO GANG
LIFE, DRUGS, AND THE RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE WHICH AFFLICT SO
MANY OF OUR NATION'S YOUTH.

PROGRAMS WHICH BREAK THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE BY TREATING THE
ROOT CAUSES OF CRIME ARE AN INVESTMENT NOT ONLY IN THE FUTURE OF
OUR COMMUNITIES, BUT IN OUR YOUTH AS WELL. THEY FOSTER
INNOVATIVE STATE AND LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS BY PROVIDING EDUCATION,
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND ANTI-GANG PROGRAMS. FOR EXAMPLE,
MIDNIGHT SPORTS LEAGUES IN MY DISTRICT LINK EDUCATION AND
TRAINING TO POPULAR SPORTS PROGRAMS AND ARE SUPPORTED BY THE
LOCAL POLICE AND SHERIFF DEPARTMENTS. IT IS A PROVEN METHOD FOR
REDUCING CRIME RATES AND OFFERS A SECOND CHANCE FOR KIDS ON THE
STREET. IN SAN FRANCISCO, DOZENS OF KIDS WHO NEVER HAD A CHANCE
HAVE RECEIVED THEIR G.E.D. 'S AND ARE ATTENDING COMMUNITY
COLLEGES, LEARNING A TRADE, OR WORKING TOWARDS A FOUR YEAR
DEGREE .

IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE MR. CHAIRMAN, THAT MIDNIGHT SPORTS
LEAGUES WERE SUPPORTED BY A MAJORITY OF AMERICANS IN A POLL TAKEN
BY NBC AND THE WALL ST. JOURNAL SHORTLY AFTER PASSAGE OF THE
CRIME BILL.

IN CLOSING, I BELIEVE THAT THESE PREVENTION PROGRAMS
REPRESENT OUR GREATEST SAFEGUARD TO PERSONAL SECURITY AND CONTAIN
ALTERNATIVES THAT OUR KIDS AND COMMUNITIES CAN SAY YES TO.



585

Conference of Chief Jnsiices

OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

National Center for State Courts

1 700 North Moore Street, Suite 1710

Arlington, Virginia 22209

(703) 841 -0200 /FAX: (703) 841-0206

President

Ellen Ash Peters

Chief luslice

Supreme Court of Connecticut

January 6, 1995



Mr. Paul McNulty

Chief Counsel

House Judiciary Committee

Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice

207 Caimon House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. McNulty:

It is my understanding that Subcommittee hearings on H. R. 3, The
Taking Back Our Streets Act, may be held as early as the week of January
16, 1995. This legislation addresses a number of issues of importance to
state judicial systems. Because state courts will be affected by some of the
provisions of this bill, we respectfiilly request that a representative of the
Conference of Chief Justices be given time to speak at the hearings.

The Conference of Chief Justices was founded in 1949 and is
composed of the highest judicial officer in each of the fifty states, the
District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories of
American Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands. The Conference has
developed policy on issues critical to state courts and is in the best position
to represent the interests of state court systems.

If the hearings will, in fact, be held during the week of January 16,
1995, we request that Thomas Moyer, Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme
Court, be placed on the hearing agenda. Chief Justice Moyer is the



586



Mr. Paul McNulty
Page Two
January 6, 1995



president-elect of the Conference of Chief Justices. He sits on the State
Federal Relations Committee of the Conference and Chairs the Conference
Committee on Drug Issues Affecting State Courts.

We look forward to the opportunity to appear before the
Subcommittee.

Sincerely,



Ellen Ash Peters

President

Conference of Chief Justices



Chief Justice Thomas Moyer

Chief Justice Arthur McGiverin

Tom Henderson

William O'Brien

Marilyn Roberts

Larry Sipes

Brenda Williams



587
THE CONFERENCE OF CHIEF JUSTICES



WRITTEN STATEMENT ON



H.R. 3, TAKING BACK OUR STREETS ACT



SUBMITTED TO THE



UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIME



For House Hearing On
January 19, 1995



Office OF Government Relations
NA TIONAL CENTER FOR STA TE COURTS

1700 Noclh Moore Stn«(. SuHc 1710

Ariinglon, Virginu 22209

Phone: 703/841-0200

F»x: 703/M 1-0206



588
THE CONFERENCE OF CHIEF JUSTICES

STATEMENT ON
H.IL3

H.R. 3, Taking Back Our Streets, Act, introduced in the 104th Congress,
First Session, has three provisions that touch upon areas of concern to the
Conference of Chief Justices: habeas corpus reform, sentencing provisions
applicable to state courts, and funding programs pertaining to state courts.

H.R. 3 contains provisions on general habeas corpus reform and capital
case habeas corpus reform. The Conference of Chief Justices has consistently
advocated the limitation of federal habeas corpus as a means of reviewing state
court decisions. There is a delicate balance between the finality and integrity of
state court judgments and fairness to defendants, particularly those facing capital
punishment. There is a general perception that this balance has been upset to the
detriment of justice by repetitious and protracted post-conviction procedures in
federal courts, but unfortunately, habeas corpus reform legislation has failed year
after year.

The capital habeas corpus provisions of H.R. 3 are based, in large part, on
the language recommended by the Ad Hoc Committee on Federal Habeas Corpus
in Capital Cases (the Powell Committee) in 1989. This committee, appointed in
1988 by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and chaired by former Associate

Office of Govemmenl Relations .

NA nONAL CESTER FOR STA TE COURTS „ ,^

ITOONtithMoMi Street. Suitt 1710 ^^

Arlinston. Vu^mia 22209



589



Page 2



Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., drafted legislation that reflected a sound balance in
judicial federalism and respected the flnality of state court judgments while
preserving the fundamental rights of defendants. The Conference of Chief
Justices, in a resolution of February 1, 1990, supported proposed federal
legislation incorporating the language proposed by the Powell Committee. The
current bill is very similar to the legislation supported by the Conference of Chief
Justices in 1990 and will, if enacted, be a large step toward restoring the
appropriate constraints on federal post-conviction review of state court decisions.

Title n of H.R. 3 imposes mandatory prison terms for use, possession or
carrying of a fu^earm or destructive device during a state crime of violence or state
drug trafficking crime. This appears to create a federal crime based upon a
violation of state law. Although the legislation is described as supplementing,
rather than supplanting state law, it raises problems of federal preemption of state
law, double jeopardy, and attempted federalization of sentencing for state crimes.
As currently drafted, the legislation raises some serious issues of federal intrusion
into state criminal jurisprudence and implies that state officials are not competent
to address an area of law which has traditionally been in the state domain.

Title V ties federal "truth in sentencing grants" to certain federal
requirements for sentencing, specifically a requirement that an applicant state or
group of states assure the Attorney General that since 1993 there has been an
increase in the percentage of convicted prisoners sentenced to prison. The
Conference of Chief Justices takes no stand on truth in sentencing but does have



Offict ofGovtmmcnl Relations
NATIONAL CENTER FOR STATE COURTS

1700 Noith Moot Street. Suiu 1710
Arlington. Voiginia 22209



■ oaHJL}



590



Pages



deep concern about provisions that appear to impose federal sentencing policy on
state judges. Such provisions overstep the appropriate boundaries of state and
federal functions and violate fimdamental principles of federalism.

Title V of H.R. 3 replaces Title V of the Violent Crime Control and Law
Enforcement Act of 1994, thereby abolishing Drug Coiuts, an experimental
program to assist state courts in providing treatment alternatives for non-violent
drug offenders. The policy of the Conference of Chief Justices, as stated in
August 1993, is that state, federal and local legislative bodies should recognize the
necessity for effective substance abuse treatment for the justice system population
and provide appropriate resources. The harmful consequences of substance abuse
in our society must be addressed as a social and medical problem requiring
treatment services as well as a criminal justice problem requiring punishment. The
state courts need screening, assessment, and treatment for substance abuse at all
stages of the adjudicatory process and intermediate sanctions and diversion
programs that include treatment for certain substance abuse offenses. Courts
carmot discharge their responsibility solely within the justice system and must
draw on outside resources, such as those provided by health agencies. We urge
Congress to reconsider the Drug Court program which, in the best traditions of
federalism, provided for experimenting with various forms of substance abuse
control at the state and local level.

Underlying the position of the Conference of Chief Justices on all the above
issues is a desire to maintain the integrity of the state courts while working



Office ofGovemmenI Relations
NATIONAL CEmER FOR STATE COURTS

I TOO Nonh Moon SUM. Suiu 1 710
Arlin^orv VvginM 22209



591



Page 4



cooperatively with federal officials. This is best achieved if the federal
government supports state and local programs of crime prevention without
imposing federal norms in areas that do not lend themselves to a rigid national
approach.



Offict ofGovemmenI Relations
NATIONAL CENTER FOR STATE COURTS
1700 North Moon Street. Suiu 1710
Ariin^on, Virginia 22209



592



Written Testimony

of

Councilmember Carolyn Long Banks

City of Atlanta

President, National League of Cities

U.S. House of Representatives

Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice

HR 3 - Take Back the Streets Act of 1995

January 19, 1995

Chairman McCollum, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for
the opportunity to present testimony on behalf of the National
League of Cities, of which I currently serve as President. I am
writing to express the sentiments of the 150,000 public elected
officials from cities and towns large and small across the
country who have worked tirelessly for federal anti-crime
legislation that reflects our joint efforts - as federal and
local leaders.

Municipal elected officials are charged with the ultimate
responsibility of protecting the public and restoring a sense of
future in our nation's cities and towns. To successfully do so
requires a balanced approach that includes the swift, and sure
enforcement of our laws, and strong, meaningful prevention
efforts. I would emphasize that there should be no competition
between enforcement and prevention - it is not an either-or
matter. Rather, all the cracks in the system must be filled if
we are serious about improving the quality of life of our
families and neighborhoods.



593



Past and current debate over prevention programs has focused on
youth and young adults testing the fringes of the criminal
justice system. One key missing component is the child beginning
at birth through elementary school. Failure to address the very
basic of needs of children during their formative years can
account for many of elements that build a troubled youth and
young adult. It is important to emphasize that the savings to
society in terms of human capital and tax dollars pales in
comparison to the costs suffered by victims of crime and tax
dollars spent for incarceration.

Yesterday, NLC released its annual Municipal Opinion Survey

conducted just prior to the 1994 elections. These findings are

based on responses by 382 elected municipal officials drawn from

a random sample of cities with populations of 10,000 or

more identified three issues that dominated the responses to this

year's survey: public safety, unfunded mandates, and the

economy.

These issues were seen as the most important factors affecting
the past, present, and future well-being of cities and towns
everywhere .



594



Crime and violence - which pushed aside everything except
mandates in this year's survey - present a much different
challenge. They are like a stinging or dull, throbbing pain that
seems to occur all over, in many ways, and with no single, simple
cure or solution.

The survey compiled some stark findings about crime, violence and
public safety. During the past year,

- 63 percent said youth crime worsened

- 52 percent said school violence worsened

- 51 percent said gang problems worsened

- 49 percent said drug problems worsened, and

- 41 percent said violent crime worsened.

For most of the rest, these problems remained largely unchanged,
with a few reports of improving conditions.

Five of the top six conditions identified by local officials as
most deteriorated over the past five years also involved crime
and violence :

- - youth crime

- - gangs

- violent crime

- - drugs

- and school violence.



595



Three of the ten "most important conditions to address" in the
next two years related to public safety:

- violent crime

- youth crime

- - and gangs .

In a follow-up question about ways to improve public safety, the
survey revealed a strong preference among local officials for a
mix of strategies.

It's important to look at this response, because their choices
point towards approaches to achieve desired outcomes instead of
focusing strictly on enforcement or prevention.

The top choice - strengthening and supporting family stability,
selected by 64 percent - reflects a growing sentiment that
public safety needs to be considered in a much broader context
than traditional anti-crime solutions.

The next highest choice - jobs and targeted economic
development, selected by 48 percent - revealed another facet of
new thinking .

The next four choices are a combination of law enforcement and
crime prevention techniques more commonly thought of ... but
again, not one or the other alone:



596



- 40 percent said more police officers

- 33 percent said after-school programs

- 32 percent said neighborhood watch programs

- and 32 percent said more police foot patrols.

Measures selected least as likely to reduce crime were:
- more death penalties (8 percent)
- building more prisons (8)
- elimination of parole (10 percent)
- gun control (12 percent)
- and citizens reporting crime (12 percent)

The concept that emerges from these responses is a belief that I
have espoused for many years: namely, that we must shake loose
from our conventional attitudes and thinking about public safety.
We need to examine everything that helps to create and maintain
safe, secure homes, neighborhoods and cities.

I have drawn upon this information as a resource in the
implementation of local public safety programs as well as any
further consideration of the 1994 federal anti -crime law by the
new Congress .

With regard to NLC's views on what the key elements of any anti-
crime and violence initiative that Congress should adopt, I would
point to four general criteria: 1) funds must flow directly to



597



cities and towns; 2) a bill must guarantee maximum flexibility
in the use of these funds; 3) require no cash match; and 4)
provide support for anti-drug abuse, crime, and violence
prevention programs.

Based on these criteria, the 1994 Violent Crime Control Act

provides direct funding to cities and towns, provides significant

funds for law enforcement ($8.8 billion), and $5.5 billion for

crime and violence prevention programs. And it provides a

level of flexibility in the use of funds. It does, however,

place restrictions on spending flexibility within categories of

COPS programs and contains an increasing local match requirement
over the life of a grant.

HR 3 appears to build upon the 1994 Act, especially with respect
to the local match and spending flexibility. However, it does
repeal the entire NLC-supported prevention package including the
Local Partnership Act (LPA) and the Local Prevention Block Grant
program, substantially reducing overall funding for prevention
programs .

At this time, I would like to review with you provisions
contained within HR 3 that would effect municipalities and offer
a number of suggestions that we believe would enhance and
strengthen key provisions that effect our nation's cities and
towns.



598



1. Elimination of Section 507 (b) of Title V. Truth In Sentencing
Grants . All of the positive steps taken in crafting HR 3 could
be irrelevant if Section 507 (b) of Title V, Truth in Sentencing
remains in the bill.

This provision states that "No funds may be used for other
purposes authorized by the Act in fiscal years 1995 through 1999
unless the programs under this title are fully funded in such
years." This provision would effect all provisions in the 1994
legislation as amended by HR 3 . Truth in sentencing is a
federal-state matter. Localities should not be penalized
because of the actions, or lack thereof at the state level.

An additional note: a summary of HR 3 includes the following
statement: "HR 3 embodies the Republican approach to fighting
crime; making punishments severe enough to deter criminals from
committing crimes, making sure that the criminal justice system
is fair and impartial for all, and making sure that local crime
fighters, and not Washington bureaucrats direct the distribution
of federal law enforcement funds . " Section 507(b) appears to
contradict this view by eliminating any possible positive actions
from taking place locally.

Suggestion: NLC would suggest that this provision be _ eliminated
from HR 3.



599



2. With respect to allocation of funds under Title I, the Law
Enforcement Block Grant, the legislation is unclear as to the
role of the States, if any, in allocating federal funds to
localities. While it is our understanding that this title would
provide direct funding to localities, some question has arisen
with respect to the clarity of the bill's language. For
example, a summary of HR 3 obtained by NLC states that funds
would be distributed to localities by the States.

Suggestion: We strongly support the intent of the bill's
sponsor's to provide funds directly to localities. Such intent
needs to be clarified in the report language.

3. The funding formula is based on population and part 1 violent
crimes. NLC has concerns with respect to the lack of
consideration for: 1) small cities and towns, 2) the efforts
and progress made by a community in reducing crime and violence,
and 3) for those programs that are fighting to keep drugs and
gangs out of the community, and 4) the percentage of the local
budget spent on public safety.

Suggestion: We urge you to commission a report that would
provide a city-by-city breakdown of funds within each state based
upon the current funding formula. This would enable the
Subcommittee to examine where the current formula may_ fall short,
and what additional elements should be looked at to ensure a fair
distribution of funds.



600



3a. NLC supports the elimination of the local match requirement
under the Law Enforcement Block Grant title.

4. Section 101(a) (2) states " Amounts paid to a unit of local
government under this section shall be used by the unit for
reducing crime and improving public safety, including but not
limited to, one or more of the following purposes: (C)
"Establishing crime prevention programs that are organized,
supervised by, or involve substantial participation of law
enforcement officials and that are intended to discourage,
disrupt, or interfere with the commission of criminal activity,
including neighborhood watches and citizen patrols."

This section raises two issues for which clarification is
suggested. I refer to language specifically identifying
neighborhood watches and citizen patrols as two programs for
which funds can be used, and the term "substantial participation"
by law enforcement describing other types of allowable programs.

Both cloud what NLC believes is the intent of the bill which
allows total flexibility in the types of prevention programs for
which funds under this title can be used.

In closing, I offer our assistance to you and members of this
subcommittee to work together on behalf of the families and
neighborhoods - a constituency we share with you - to ensure that
any new anti-crime and violence legislation that passes this year



601



will reflect the understanding that criminal behaviors will not
be tolerated and that everything within our collective power must



Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JTaking Back Our Streets Act of 1995 : hearings before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, on H.R. 3 ... January 19 and 20, 1995 → online text (page 50 of 51)