tv Hearing Examines Challenges Posed by Criminal Gangs in Communities CSPAN July 20, 2017 10:32pm-11:38pm EDT
conflict of interest in him leading the russia investigation. how do you explain that split? >> the president was disappointed in the decision in at think he has spoken about his feelings on this clearly geared >> next, a hearing examining gang violence and sex trafficking geared law testifiedt officials before a subcommittee. this is just over an hour. mr. sensenbrenner: it is now 10:00. the subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security will come to order. without objection, the chair's authorized to declare recesses of the subcommittee at any time.
let me say that we are to vote between 10:45 and 10:50. i will not make an opening statement, but put my opening statement into the record. i will ask every other member to allow us to hear the witnesses so that they all are able to get their testimony in before we have to leave to go and vote. so, without objection, all opening statements will be placed into the record at this time. we have a very distinguished panel this morning. and i will begin by swearing in our witnesses before introducing them. would you all please rise and raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give to this committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? let the record show that all of the witnesses have answered in the affirmative.
i will give an abbreviated introduction for all of the witnesses so that we can hear them and get to as many questions as possible. the first witness is kenneth blanco, who is the acting attorney general for the department of justice. the second witness is mr. mark vanek who is a board advisory member for the illinois chapter of the midwest gang investigators association. the third witness is captain chris marks from the los angeles county sheriff's department. and our fourth witness is dr. gary slutkin, who is the founder of cure violence, a nongovernment organization based in chicago. we will now proceed under the five-minute rule and, mr. blanco, you are first.
mr. blanco: thank you. good morning. it is a pleasure to appear before you this morning to discuss the department of justice's efforts to combat gang violence. violent crime is on the rise in many parts of america. gang violence increasingly are in the news headlines every day. there are approximately 1.4 million members of 33,000 gangs operating across the country. all of whom use violence to boost their illegal money making activities, protect their territories, intimidate their rivals, and enhance their status and fulfill their missions. too many of our citizens live in fear of these violent criminals. all americans deserve to be free from violence and safe in their homes, schools, jobs and neighborhoods. this is why it's a top priority of the department of justice, under the leadership of the attorney general sessions, to reduce violent crime in america, including gang-related violence. reducing crime means we balance
strong law enforcement with effective prevention measures. we must take the violent offenders off the street and thwart gangs' efforts to recruit vulnerable youth. to achieve the first of these twin aims, the department relies on the expertise of its federal prosecutors and law enforcement agents, including the criminal divisions organized crime and gang section, the narcotic and dangerous drug section, the u.s. -- u.s. attorney's offices as well as its law enforcement agencies, like the a.t.f., f.b.i., d.e.a. and u.s. marshall service. and other law enforcement partners, such as the u.s. immigration and customs enforcement, homeland security services, h.s.i. and state, local and tribal law enforcement partners. federal prosecutors and their law enforcement partners lead investigations in prosecutions of criminal gangs of regional, national and international significance. such as the aryan brotherhood of
texas, the gangster disciples, and the ms-13, to name just a few. prosecutors and investigators have prioritized violent crime and are working to identify the most violent offenders in their districts and to ensure that individuals are prosecuted fully and sentenced appropriately, including under applicable federal, state and -- guidelines and significant penalties under the law. many gangs distribute dangerous and illegal drugs to generate income to support their criminal activities. and with drug distribution comes violence. thus when appropriate, federal prosecutors also seek to charge gang members and the foreign kingpins who supply them with drug offenses. none of these investigations and prosecutions, however, would be possible without the daily sacrifice of the dedicated law enforcement officers who investigate these criminals. specialized task forces comprised of federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement
officers, such as the f.b.i.'s safe street task forces, h.s.i.'s operation community shield, and those funded by the organized crime and drug enforcement task forces program are hard at work in the areas with the highest concentration of drug and gang violence. law enforcement efforts to arrest and incarcerate violent gang members have a significant impact on the quality of life in our communities. but enforcement alone will not end gang membership and gang violence. we must also support gang intervention and gang prevention programs. many such programs are funded by the department's grant making components, including the office of justice programs, o.j.p., and the office of community oriented policing services, cops. for example, o.j.p.'s office of juvenile justice and delinquency jointly fund the national gang center.
it provides comprehensive resources, training and strategic tools to those in the field of law enforcement and criminal justice. as well as to the community organizations to prevent gang violence, reduce gang involvement, and suppress gang related crime. these are just but a few examples of the department's continued commitment to supporting our federal, state, local and tribal enforcement partners and ending the scourge of gang violence in our communities. thank you and i look forward to answering your questions. mr. sensenbrenner: thank you very much. i forgot to ask this, i ask than -- i ask unanimous consent that all of the witnesses' written statements be placed in the record in full. mr. vanek. mr. vanek: good morning. thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member, and members of the subcommittee. for inviting me to today to speak about gangs in our communities. it is an honor and privilege to be here today. i currently serve on the board for the midwest gang investigators association, illinois chapter. midwest gang investigators association was formed in 1987
and is in organization with over 2000 members representing 12 states throughout the midwest. it is a collaborative association whose mission is to develop and recommend strategies to prevent and control gang crime, administer professional training as well as assist criminal justice professionals, educators, probation, parole and public regarding gangs in their communities. the last 17 years, i have been employed as a full time sworn law enforcement officer in the midwest with extensive experience in investigating street gangs on both the state and federal level. street gangs today are different than the gangs of 10, 20, even 30 years ago. presently street gangs are more violent, more technological savvy and glorified. street gangs have increased their prominence over juveniles and drug addicts in their day to day operations. social media, the internet, television and the explosion of gangster rap culture has glorified the gang lifestyle to juveniles. african-american gangs has become the norm in the street gang life with no longer a strict hierarchy. presently gangs have factions that number into the hundreds. in chicago, for example, one
gang has over 200 factions operating in the city of chicago and dozens more in the metropolitan area. in many suburban areas, every black has its own faction or what is being called a hybrid gang. a hybrid gang or gang faction consists of a younger generation of gang members, gang members of different racial, ethnic groups, and gang members from different gangs. these hybrid gangs have unclear codes of conduct, no hierarchy, or no symbolic association with more than one gang. the hispanic gangs have largely remained under control of a strict hierarchy. hispanic gangs are still committed to loyalty to their gang. the hispanic gangs still abide by the people folks nation alliances from the late 1970's. gang members prey on individuals that cannot help themselves by getting them addicted to a certain drug and then routinely provide them with that drug. gang members have become a staple for a supply of fentanyl and carfentanyl in streets. a quarter of a milligram of fentanyl can kill you almost instantly.
the younger generation of gang members are more tech savvy than ever before. gang members can reach a larger customer base than selling on the street corner. at any time, i can go onto the internet or social media and within seconds interact with a gang member to purchase any type of drug i wish. i have personally investigated these types of crimes and it has become chilling to the extent of amounts and variety of drugs to be purchased as well as weapons. the cause of gang violence stems from several factors such as fighting over selling drugs, comments made on social media, rap song lyrics that each gang creates about their rivals, and particularly hispanic gangs fighting over colors and territory. gang members have taken violence in their communities to a higher level than ever before. gangday's game world, -- world, juveniles and innocent bystanders are being shot and killed more than ever. gang members today view targeting a viral gang's family just as good a target as targeting a gang member themselves.
if a victim does not wish to prosecute, the offender is not charged with the offense. in fact, often the offender is not charged with any crime. another hindrance for law enforcement is get overworked. the biggest obstacle for law enforcement is getting witnesses to cooperate in any type of gang-related investigation. law enforcement does not have the immediate resources available to relocate or provide assistance to witnesses. without any assistance or incentives, how can we expect witnesses to come forward and place their lives and families in harm's way? there are technological advances that can help law enforcement on gang-related and shooting murder scenes. ammunition when fired from leaves a unique fingerprint type mark. requiring samples from all semi-automatic or fully automatic firearms entered into the system would provide law
enforcement investigators with new immediate leads that would allow law enforcement to be able to stem the proliferation of guns from purchasers to street gang members. thank you for inviting me to testify today. law enforcement cannot be the sole answer to reducing gang violence. it's only part of the solution to reducing gang violence. prosecutors and judges must be held accountable as well as law enforcement is with the rise in gang violence. law enforcement, the judicial system, government and social and economic programs and community involvement are all essential to reducing gang violence. not one entity can solve it alone or take credit. it must be a coordinated effort on all parties. i look forward to answering your questions that you might have about gangs and look forward to working with members of the subcommittee to ensure the success in reducing gang violence. thank you. mr. sensenbrenner: thank you, mr. vanek. captain marks. mr. marks: chairman sensenbrenner, ranking member jackson lee, distinguished members of the subcommittee, on behalf of the major county sheriffs of america, los angeles county sheriff, and all the partners who comprise the los
angeles regional human trafficking task force, thank you for inviting me to testify this morning on street gang members and sex trafficking. the los angeles regional human trafficking task force combines the resources of local, state and federal law enforcement with the prosecutorial authority of the los angeles district attorney and the u.s. attorney's office with a truly victim-centered approach. the combination of resources include the los angeles county department of children and family services, los angeles county probation department, california department of corrections, and a nonprofit coalition against slavery and trafficking are all co-located in the same office, literally sitting next to each other. our co-location model breaks down the previously established silos between agencies, and brings together systems of discipline to address the victims' needs through a victim-centered, trauma-informed approach. the task force employees a regionalized strategy that crosses jurisdictional boundaries to identify and rescue victims of sex trafficking, while aggressively pursuing traffickers and buyers.
for generations criminal street gangs have pursued and succeeded in criminal enterprises. however, the street gangs historically operated their enterprises within an established territory. their willingness to commit crimes out of their geographical areas was generally limited to violence against rival gangs and property crimes. for the past several years, gangs have moved beyond their territorial boundaries and traveled throughout the state in teams or as crews, as they're known, to commit residential burglaries and robberies. los angeles gangs began utilizing the flocking tactic. in flocking, criminal street gang members from a single gang or multiple gangs and sometimes even rival gangs join together, travel throughout the south land and commit residential burglaries by forcing entry into a house in overwhelming numbers and in less than a minute or two commit the crime. now criminal street gang members are proliferating in the illegal sex trafficking market. gang members have realize the lucrative opportunity sex trafficking offers throughout los angeles county. the majority of cases we handle, the traffickers are a gang
member or an affiliate of a gang. the crime of trafficking commercially sexually exploited children presents a relatively low risk of arrest for the gang member engaged in sex trafficking. previous illegal enterprises such as illegal narcotics, weapons and stolen property, placed the possessor in immediate threat of arrest due to the possession of contraband. to add to that complexity of the issue, the commercially sexually exploited child victim commonly does not want to work with law enforcement because of the trauma bond they have with their trafficker. there is the fact that narcotics, weapons and property can only be sold once. as we all know, sex trafficking victims can be sold multiple times a day, every day of the week. in los angeles county, and throughout california, gang members operate sex trafficking victims both independently and for the benefit of the gang. and frequently the gang members will travel to any community to recruit sex trafficking victims and they will also travel to any
community to sell their trafficking victims. either online, on the street, or in a motel. without fear of retaliation of violating another gang's territory. however, in certain geographically claimed areas of los angeles, some gangs require sex trafficking victims to pay a tax. in order to work in that area. the practice of tax something a -- the practice of taxing is a common means of gaining money for the benefit of a gang and is historically employed against small businesses. the tax for sex workers has not been uniformly adopted throughout los angeles or california. street gang members commonly possess unique abilities to identify vulnerable populations online, at schools or in public places. these vulnerable people, typically young girls, have often suffered physical, sexual or psychological abuse and/or neglect throughout their lives. the predatory senses of a gang member engaged in trafficking easily identify this population. and their gang membership is used to glorify the lifestyle and the acts of prostitution as a powerful recruitment tool. the gang member then expertly
manipulates the vulnerable child, using his affiliation to demonstrate his willingness and ability as a criminal to be capable of committing violence to protect them. once recruited, the gang member exerts control over the trafficking victim through physical, psychological abuse, and an atmosphere of dependency. i want to thank the subcommittee and the staff for affording me the opportunity to testify before you today. mr. sensenbrenner: thank you, captain marks. doctor. dr. slutkin: chairman sensenbrenner, ranking member i a physician and the founder and director of cure violence. it is an n.g.o. rated 12th in the world and ranked first among organizations devoted to reducing violence. i previously worked for the world health organization where i learned the tools of working on epidemics. epidemics of t.b., aids and cholera, mostly in africa.
i returned to the u.s. in 1995 and began working on violence in this country. we discovered new research shows things are not exactly what we thought. an epidemic problem like other health epidemics but it isn't being managed that way. we've also learned there are new methods that can help, that have a big impact. these methods are being greatly underutilized. the main thing about violence is to see that the persons and groups doing this have a contagious process, which can be reversed. we have to shake some of our old ideas. dozens of studies show that violence is predictably acquired as a contagious problem through brain mechanisms and pathways that cause copying and following what peers do. the definitive evidence for this is in this institute of medicine report of 2013. this violence spreads among individuals in groups and families, even suicides and extremist recruitment also happens in this way. the violence in the u.s. and latin america's following very
basic epidemic patterns, like all epidemic diseases. we took advantage of this first in chicago in the year 2000 when we tried standard epidemic control health methods in a pilot in west garfield park, which was the most violent community in the country at that time. we hired and trained epidemic control workers who we crawled called interrupters, behavior change agents, outreach workers, we got a 67% drop in shootings and killings in the first year and it was almost immediate. funders said do it again. we had four more replications with 45% on average drops in shootings and killings. since then, there have been several independent evaluations in the work and it's spread to 25 cities in the u.s., as well as in latin america. these results are attained by health workers, similar to those that are used for other epidemics. health departments or other government agencies supervise this work. in new york city, baltimore and kansas city, the health department runs it. in honduras it's a local pastor. in mexico, a public-private partnership.
and el salvador, a partnership with save the children. the results are usually 25% to 50% drops in shootings and killings. but 70% to 100% are seen when there are enough workers. approximately 40% to 70% has been seen in chicago. 30% to 50% drops in baltimore. 50% in juarez, mexico. 88% in honduras. it also can be fast. with results shown within the first month multiple times. several communities have also gone to zero for a year to two years. some of these communities include cherry hill in baltimore and yonkers in new york. this is what you aim for in epidemic control. when i was working a cholera epidemic in somalia, we were not aiming for 40% to 70% drops, we were aiming to get rid of it. like for ebola.
there are many accomplishments in public health with these measures, in which many diseases and problems are no longer with us. a few last things. chicago has gone up and down in relationship to the public health work. there's a 20-page report on this on our website. the ups and downs in chicago have mostly been related to the ups and downs in the state of illinois budget. which, as you know, was without a budget for the last two years. when cure violence lost 12 of 13 that wasmarch of 2015, exactly the turning point in chicago when the violence began to go up. the one site that remains is -- has continued to go down. last, a stream of unoccupied children from latin america are fleeing violence. we are getting big reductions in latin america with this method. it can help a lot there as well as in our cities. this solution, public health messes, is entirely nonpolitical controversy, aor
solution which has been underutilized by prior administrations. i suggest we change this. understanding violence is a contagious epidemic and reversible health problem solved a lot of our problems and could save tens of billions of dollars. law enforcement is being asked to do way too much. it is also being blamed too much, and we can help. thank you. >> thank you very much, doctor. the chair will revert to what he did in his previous chairmanship, and that is recognize members under the five-minute rule in the order in which they appeared alternately between the majority and minority parties. i would ask members to keep their questioning to five minutes, and in case the bell rings early, i will withhold my questions to see if we have time
after all the other members ask questions. the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, is recognized for five minutes. rep. poe: i thank the chairman and thank you all for being here. in my other life i was a prosecutor and criminal court judge for 20 years, so i want to address my questions to specifically the scourge of human trafficking mentioned. the average age, i understand, for a trafficked victim is 13, a female. is that correct, dr. marks? >> that is published in many articles and studies. however, what we see at the los angeles task force, generally we encounter them at age 15, 16, 17. rep. poe: as you said, human trafficking and sex victims is
lucrative, because the victims unfortunately are abused and used multiple times a day, some cases 20, 25 times a day. the risk of apprehension is less, and until recently, the punishment has been less for capturing the traffickers. the new legislation that congress has passed not only goes after the trafficker, but goes after the buyer, who ought to be in jail, the consumer, and helps rescue victims of crime and restores them back to some dignity. explain to me, so it is clear, anyone, but we will start with captain marks, how prevalent is human sex trafficking in gang culture?
>> in preparation for the testimony, asked what my crime up ads that ill could use as talking points. one of the ads was a gang member as a pimp who was looking for girls to recruit. within an hour of conversation, agreement posing as an underage girl to meet him and work with him, and we arrested him a couple hours after meeting him. it is frighteningly prevalent. literally the more we look, the more we find. every time we go online and advertise as an underage girl, we get all kinds of reactions and interactions from people wanting to be sex traffickers for those girls. >> you want to comment on the? >> i could not agree more. with the use of social media, it is increasingly easier for gang
members to reach out to any female from the suburbs, or even in their own neighborhood. it is as simple as going on your cell phone and placing an ad. rep. poe: to your knowledge, have you seen ads placed on backpage that have been used to further the criminal conduct of human sex trafficking? >> yes. backpage, facebook, craigslist, all those are utilized. rep. poe: my question really is, help me understand how prevalent this problem is. i have heard anecdotally that it is easy to recruit these girls into sex slavery, but how prevalent is it?
>> it is basically an everyday occurrence. you will have a younger female who has no means, no ways about providing for themselves. it is an everyday occurrence in these high crime gang areas, and they look for options, and a lot of times the option is getting into sex trafficking. rep. poe: many gangs operate in the united states. -- many foreign gangs operate in the united states. in the immigrant community, how prevalent is this sex trafficking of immigrants that have come into the united states? capt. marks: the commercial exploitation of children is basically a domestic problem. they are recruiting oare homegrown, american citizens. when we see foreign victims is
generally when we get into illicit massage businesses. to answer your question, it is a homegrown problem and we had a vulnerable huge population. take oneis victims city come and exploited victims is usually a lifetime of abuse, so they are a very vulnerable population. rep. sensenbrenner: the gentleman from texas, miss jackson lee. rep. jackson lee: let me thank mr. conyers and mr. goodlatte for their commitment to these work -- this work i have generated over the past period that i have had a privilege of serving as a ranking member of this committee. let me thank mr. sensenbrenner for his years of commitment to these issues. i look forward to driving solutions. my level of frustration is high because it is long overdue for holistic criminal justice reform.
captain, and helping you and all the witnesses here. and let me thank all of the witnesses. mr. blanco, very quickly, we are seeking to reauthorize the juvenile block grant which, as you know, is a tool the doj has working with juveniles. which we are trying to emphasize as best practices. would that be helpful for you? mr. blanco: madam congressperson, i am not familiar with that block grant, but i can tell you that the attorney general is interested in using all kinds of ideas to better the community and save our streets and protect our citizens. but i can't specifically answer that. rep. jackson lee: no problem, we will take that as a yes. thank you very much. dr., inc. the good you so much, and for the other witnesses, i will allow my colleagues to pointedly ask you questions, but i am going to thank you. doctor, i am frustrated. you have given me an opportunity
to focus in on several questions. first, i would like to lay the groundwork. mr. blanco said that juveniles awnsused, being used as p to carry out the bad deeds of gang leaders. there is the crux. i think in your statement, you indicated that violence goes from brain to brain, from 12-year-old brain to 13-year-old brain, 13-year-old brain back to 14 and on. focus on the reality of us using your program and the potential of it having major impact. my first point, have you ever been embraced the department of justice as a tool that could be used across the country? is your mic on? >> yes. we have been funded by the department of justice, we are regularly highlighted by the department justice. rep. jackson lee: are you now funded? >> yes. through a partnership with the
victims of crime act. rep. jackson lee: where using that funding? >> multiple cities. i think it is about 20 cities. we've also been asked to present that at the next form. rep. jackson lee: would you be kind enough to provide the list of cities and results of those cities? >> yes, samples are in the written testimony, and more can be provided. rep. jackson lee: if we were to expand your opportunities through funding, you could expand to other cities and present results? >> absolutely. we would be reporting to the committee, as well, whatever funders there would be. this is additive to law enforcement, this is nothing but synergy, and this is why we have been able to get this good result. rep. jackson lee: can you articulate what you did in chicago? because there is nothing good happening in chicago. help me with cure violence and
how it helps. give me the abcs. primarily by hiring interrupters and outreach workers, people who have credibility and trust with the population, the population that is about to do a shooting tonight or today, we have access to them and can cool them down. the workers are highly selected and super trained, hundreds of hours of training. they know how to cool someone down, buy some time, and shift their thinking. so they feel socially ok to not do a shooting. rep. jackson lee: give me the example of a worker. not the name, but age, race. >> the workers are a little bit older than those doing the shooting, it turns out, and frequently they come from the same lifestyle and background, so that's why they have good credibility and trust. this is the way we work in public health. we use former sex workers reach sex workers, mom reach moms,
etc. they are people who have this kind of access and trust, and therefore they are not at risk. rep. jackson lee: are they african-american, hispanic? >> if it is an african-american community, they are african-american. rep. jackson lee: and you have seen the results of crime going down? >> yes, reliably, absolutely. rep. jackson lee: thank you very much. rep. sensenbrenner: the time of the gentlewoman has expired. rep. rutherford: thank you, panel, for being here this morning to discuss issues that are affecting every major city in the united states. mr. blanco, i'd like to start with you. i want to kind of shift to prosecution. can you discuss a little bit the challenges that we are facing in
the typical gang prosecution? under rico. >> yes. that is one of our most important tools on the federal level. both international and domestic. some of the challenges are those that were mentioned earlier, and that is the safety of these victims and the safety of witnesses, and putting those individuals in places where they -- where we can utilize them and they feel safe. that is probably the majority of what our challenges are. i think using the rico statutes, and let's not forget our narcotic statutes, as well. if we don't have a witness or victim that can come forward, we will use other crimes where we know we can prosecute them. those really, at least as far as i can see, and many my colleagues can say differently, are our challenges. but it is a very effective tool at the federal level to attack these gangs. rep. rutherford: thank you.
mr. vanek, i am interested in the difficulties that may be created by -- you know, now the gangs have moved into this music nexus. does that impact on improving the criminal enterprise? mr. vanek: it certainly helps. it is not the nail on the coffin, per se, but it definitely helps with listening to their lyrics, how they are talking. there are usually lots of clues involved in those songs. those basically kind of expand out from that and investigate those types of crimes, and see if we can connect them to what would be a rico statute. rep. rutherford: captain marks, anything you would like to add on rico prosecutions? capt. marks: one of the partners on our grant is with the u.s. attorney's office. we have a very good relationship. the challenge we have with sex
aafficking, rico statutes are phenomenal tool against gangs, but often times those are long, drawnout investigations. generally sex trafficking investigations start out small, one victim, one pimp, and then over time it turns into 11, 13 victims. we are compelled to make an arrest right away to get that street,s criminal all but we needed to grow for a -- need it to grow for a longer giving of time. rep. rutherford: mr. vanek, the challenge we have with flipping, can you talk a little more about that and how that may be impacting rico prosecutions as well? mr. vanek: sure. thank you. when you are trying to get someone to cooperate in a murder investigation or a rico investigation where they are going to put themselves basically out there for you, you
have to put yourselves in their shoes. they are still living in that area, still have friends. their whole world will eventually be turned upside down. to provide them with the safety and understanding and guarantee that we will take care of them throughout the process, because rico investigations take a long time, protecting them and their families would give them a sense of ease and will eventually make more people want to come forward. > rep. rutherford: i understand the safety piece that mr. blanco mentioned, and that has to be addressed, but there are those who are flipping -- they are being bought off, basically, by rival gangs, whoever they may be testifying against. what about that issue? can we prosecute for that?
do we need additional legislation to help fight that somehow, or identify that? mr. vanek: i would say yes, any additional legislation would be appreciated. those are investigated, but at times you need witnesses, you would need some sort of audio - video evidence of actual threats being assailed. it's usually a one-on-one type of thing. now, more and more, with social media, they are being documented. rep. rutherford: thank you very much. i yield back. rep. bass: thank you, mr. chair, and the ranking member, for holding this hearing. i was excited to hear about this hearing because to me, it signaled what i hoped was an
indication that we actually would look back at history over the last few decades and consider doing something differently, because what we have done over the last 30 years is we have come up with so many laws, gang enhancements, to incarcerate a lot of people, and i don't think we necessarily spent much time looking at the root cause as to why people get involved in gangs. maybe that is a hearing we could do in the future. i come from los angeles. i am very proud of our city and county. i am very glad that captain marks is here today. i'm going to ask you a couple questions because i want you to highlight the involvement that the sheriff's department has with the communities. each of you mentioned that it can't be solved alone by law enforcement. we rely too much on law enforcement. we lock people up, they come home, and then we have communities that have an over concentration of people that go in and out of prison, which kind of continues the cycle of violence. also, if we want to save money,
that's not exactly the way to do it. so, i'm hoping this is an indication that we will actually look back at the last 20 or 30 years, see what we have learned, and try to do something different. i also want to put you on notice, captain marks, that i have invited my colleague on the other side of the aisle to los angeles because i want him to see how we have gone about the work in l.a. differently. someone mentioned gang intervention workers. i think you mentioned that, and that is something we have used in los angeles. i know the captain knows that can play both ways. we know there are great examples, but it is not a panacea because sometimes folks are still involved in the life, but we definitely have been able to make a difference. i have spent 14 years working in in middle of south-central
the middle of the crack cocaine crip and blood crisis. we were able to make a difference there. the situation has improved. we still have our problems. it has morphed into sex trafficking, that was not something we were dealing with 25, 26 years ago. but captain marks, i want you to mention the whole campaign done in los angeles that no child is considered a prostitute, that you guys are not arresting, you guys are detaining and referring to services in terms of the victims. i wanted you to speak about that, and then i wanted to talk to dr. slutkin. capt. marks: that is correct. a adopted a no such thing as child prostitute campaign. we treat arrest them, them as the victims they are. countywideeloped a first responder protocol which provides direction for law enforcement when they identify sexually exploited children. that all county departments come
together and provide services for the crucial 72 hours to try to break that bond with the sex trafficker and get them the help they need and back on the right track. rep. bass: thank you. you know, the program i mentioned that i started in south-central at the height of the crisis was actually funded by the federal government. the government gave us a five-year grant feared the organization is now 26 years old because we developed other resources and moved on, but it was completely based on the model of dr. slutkin, that you mentioned. sometimes we think these communities are hopeless, and we kind of throw in the towel, and then we just arrest everybody, and then we let them out and the cycle continues. you were talking about chicago, and chicago is one of those areas where we checked the box as hopeless. i wanted to know if you can talk a little more about what we can do in congress to expand the model you are talking about and make improvements.
we had a thousand homicides in l.a. at the height of the crisis, and we are nowhere near that now. >> thank you, congresswoman. i think the number one thing to do was to add to whatever it is you are doing to funds for intervention. it can be the justice budget, and it is also in the health budgets. a small amount would multiply itself many times. i want to add that the chief of l.a. co-presented with me at the major chiefs' meeting, and he said it was the main thing that caused reduction. despite many other interventions not making a change over multiple years and l.a. i want to add that i understand this desire for prosecutions and the punishment. it is not actually affecting the
people doing it. the people doing it do not think they are going to be prosecuted. they do not think they will get caught. they need to be talked to buy intervention workers who will help them shift their thinking. they are being led by their peers. >> the time of the gentlewoman has expired. the gentleman from ohio, mr. chabot. rep. chabot: i want to apologize for not being here earlier. one of my subcommittees had a hearing going on. it is tough to be in two places at once. we all struggle with that on a routine basis around here. i want to thank you for the invitation to your district. we discussed this and i absolutely intend to do that, and perhaps back in my district -- i represent most of cincinnati, and we have our issues, and we would like to learn from some of the successes you have had, and perhaps we can take those back to my district. i am looking forward to that,
it is just a matter of coordinating the time. we have traveled to iraq together before. ms. bass, i consider a good friend as well as a colleague on this committee. just a couple quick questions. first of all, it is my understanding that incarcerated gang members are using contraband cell phones in various prisons to conduct all sorts of illicit gang activity outside of the prison. it is not just gang members. adult criminals are doing this as well, including drug trafficking, murder, witness intimidation, and on and on. there have been some cutting edge improvements that we have had now, a continuous wave of technology is my understanding of one of those technologies,
and i would just open up, whoever would like to take that, can you just discuss that? if someone else has already asked this question, i apologize. anybody want to take that on? >> i would be happy to take it, congressman. yes, contraband, cell phones, all kinds of items being smuggled into prisons and jails enables and emboldens not only these in-jail things, but also those outside of the jail. it is not only dangerous to the people on the street, but also to the guards in the prisons. we are working with state and local partners to reduce that. on many of the wiretaps that i read, when we see there is a cell phone being used in a prison or area where there are inmates, we make sure we notify our state and local authorities and work with it that way. it is a significant problem we are working on. rep. chabot: thank you.
i was involved with a bill that marco rubio introduced in the senate. it became law. what this did was on a worldwide basis, there were 50 million or so young girls who never got the -- never got certificates, so they could not get government papers and were targeted because they never could identify who these girls were. they were sold off by families, a whole range of horrific stuff. i know that the gangs in the united states have been involved in sex trafficking, especially young girls. do you know if gangs -- are they targeting -- is this occurring where women are brought into the country, targeted because of their lack of documentation? does anybody know? capt. marks: yes, sir.
the criminal street gangs in the united states are targeting homegrown girls. we have a huge vulnerable population that have been victims of abuse or neglect their entire lives. they are experts at finding those girls and targeting those girls. all the victims they are are domestic females. rep. chabot: thank you. my final question, i was in guatemala and honduras last year, and we had a real problem on our southern border where unaccompanied young people would come in and were flown over our borders. i was told down there that a lot of these young people were fleeing the gangs back in their communities, and their parents were sending them to get them away from this. i have read a number of articles from certain cities where we have seen gangs targeting kids
aggressively, trying to bring them in and intimidating them if they don't get in. when someone like to comment on that? mr. blanca, you are noting -- nodding. mr. blanco: as you have mentioned, that nails it on the head. you will see many of these international gangs hurting their very own people. they are vulnerable. not only are they vulnerable in countries like guatemala, el salvador, and honduras, but when they are here, they are vulnerable because they have family members back in those countries. they not only intimidate the young women here but the family members back there. it is a vicious cycle. we are working hard with foreign counterparts and domestic law enforcement to see what kind of measures we can take to help them. rep. sensenbrenner: the gentleman's time has expired. the german from -- well, he is not here viewed -- not here. the chair yields himself five minutes. mr. blanco, as you may know, i
am the principal author of the care act, designed to have a comprehensive response to opioids, which passed last year and was signed by president obama. fentanyl is a mushrooming problem, and it is deadly. are you seeing street gangs distributing fentanyl, and where are they getting it from? mr. blanco: mr. chairman, yes, and they are getting it from different sources, sometimes rival gangs, sometimes associated with gang members overseas. they have a distribution network where they receive those from beard they also, chairman, i think you noticed this the other day, we did a health care takedown where we went after health clinics. they get them there, too. it is a moneymaker, and it is deadly and killing so many of our young people.
not only young people, parents. it is across the board. , you mentioned flipping, where it is difficult to get people to testify for the prosecution. is there a way to lock in their testimony through a grand jury, which makes it less likely to be flipped? and have prosecutors been able to prove flipping has occurred, which is a form of obstruction of justice? >> on the state level, locking them into a grand jury or video statement, when it comes to trial and they are on the stand,
they flip. are ulterior motives like i stated before. why? perjury charges on the state level are few and far between for that. i know as investigators, we would love to see that happen. it is something that happens routinely on the state level. >> i have a number of questions for the doctor. you give a very interesting scenario, very comforting success ratios for what you have been doing. i guess the problem we have is that there has been an erosion of personal responsibility in our society. if you treat gang violence as a public health problem, murdering
someone to me seems a lot different than vomiting uncontrollably when you have the flu. stopping the murders has got to require an increased realization of personal responsibility. what a murder actually consists ending a human life and having untold grief with loved ones and family members. does your program emphasized personal responsibility, as well as the other things you have testified to? >> yes, mr. chairman. this is part of the conversation with the individuals that intervention workers have appeared there's no objection to what is required if that has -- it's a violent act has occurred, what law enforcement needs to do. what we're saying is these
workers can talk to someone when they are thinking about possibly doing something. talking with them then allows them the time to cool down, to feel validated, whatever they need is just cool down. because they are usually upset. actually not about some of the things that are being discussed murdersey are doing about a girlfriend or about money owed to them, disrespect or something. we are able to cool them down and say, this doesn't make sense and the event doesn't happen. retaliations don't happen and the communities get safer. the time i have left, i have two quick questions. you have public-private partnerships, or rely exclusively on money you get from the justice department? >> the funds for city or per country are very above. in new york city, funds are
supplied by the city and state. in baltimore, it is federal government and foundations. chicago is the state. inter-american development bank , usaid, world bank, others have funded the international work. , thes been foundations justice department feared -- department. the justice department funded an independent evaluation of chicago's work. >> one more question. is your problem in milwaukee? we have a big crime problem there. >> we are not working in milwaukee at this moment but we are in discussions with them. we have been asked to work them. >> who are you talking to? >> my staff would know better. i believe the health department and hospital centers. >> let me know about that. >> is certainly will. >> i will ask the gentlewoman from texas if she wishes a second round. if so, she is recognized for
five minutes. >> i would be delighted, thank you for your courtesy. let me ask specifically about houston. are you in houston? let me publicly extend an invitation for two or violence to visit and have us pursue the opportunity. i thank you very much. let me first of all thank our colleagues that were here. i want to pursue the line of questioning, and if i might make a comment feared -- comment. thank you for your commitment, act,uvenile accountability a series of dollars that law enforcement can use in their work. it has been very effective. we've modify this to include cyber bullying intervention, and
issues dealing with best practices beard captain, let me grant bewhat a block helpful to you from the federal government for your quick juveniles? -- your work with juveniles? >> absolutely. we are desperate to reach out to the population, young kids and get on social media with messaging about the dangers that operate on the internet and kids from being exploited. >> i believe your work should be promoted and celebrated. let me ask a technical question feared -- technical question. explain the contagion effect, adversewe reverse the impact. can act, as you the dear and stop
brother, mostly from going after xyz, does that dear brother cool off in front of you, circle around them and xyz the next day? >> thank you. the first part is how the decision occurs. there are neurons in our brain that take up. tick up. this is true for all of us. there is dopamine and pain pathways that allow us to unconsciously want to do what others are doing. mothers do what other moms are doing. where is one third of us were smoking when i was in medical school. -- norms have changed feared
have changed. we can get to a person who is them to use a gun and ask what were you thinking and get them a different expectation. added on to these processes, described in this book, are the effects of trauma, causes people to be hyper reactive, thinking everything is against them. all of these things are reversible. in the short term we cool someone down. we let them go down to where they can listen to someone. we validate their concerns and then we reframe it so that they are still positive. your last question will stay , with that person for six months to two years so they'll not circle back. socollect shadowing feud that the long-term effect on the person is a step so that he does not relapse rate he and his friends are managed that they will no longer do this. >> you made an important point
earlier in your testimony, people don't think about them going to court, trial. do you think the leadership we now have at the justice department -- let me be generic. leadership that would emphasize awaytory minimums, taking prosecutorial discretion so that a prosecutor may say, this juvenile, it may be an unfortunate crime, but the prosecutor may see another option. do you think that kind of intervention is important because then you have the opportunity to deal with some of these healing factors you are talking about? and a lot of it is brain to brain or insulating -- or emulating something else. to emphasize, we are completely apolitical. we are health people. i think the punishment has been
overemphasized. scientifically is not what is driving the causing of behavior or changing of behavior. we have to re-educate ourselves into how they are actually changed. any discussion that allows alternatives where people who know how to do behavior change and can help the person not do it -- we see a rap sheet actually is a series of untreated moments that should have been managed in a different way to prevent these courses. there's plenty of data now that shows that people, even the highest risk, can be changed. ank the chairman and the witness for testimony. >> the time has expired. that could today's hearing. we are about ready to vote. without objection, all members will have five legislative days to submit additional written questions for the witnesses and additional materials for the record. without objection, the hearing is adjourned. thank you all. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
>> next on c-span, south carolina congressman mark sanford on efforts to find consensus on major issues in congress. then, order -- a former senator testifies at committee confirmation hearing for u.s. investors. that is followed by a hearing on fighting gang violence. >> c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news policy issues that impact you. our guestsing,
discuss the 2018 federal budget. then, randy cap's talks about the increase in low skilled worker visas. be sure to watch "washington journal," live on friday morning. join the discussion. friday, a conversation on the political crisis in venezuela. 9:00 a.m.ive at eastern on c-span two, c-span.org and the c-span radio app. friday, a look at the future of u.s. trade policy and trade protection measures proposed by president trump feared we will be live from the georgetown center for business and public policies starting at noon eastern on c-span. you can follow live on c-span.org and follow on the
radio app. if you look across the park now and in this community, it is hard to believe this was once a thriving a business district, but it really was. there were stories owned by black, white, you name it. a lot of people did business and they do not have to leave the community. before you knew it, a rock was thrown, looting occurred, fires started, and it was not just black folks. join us for a live american history tv special on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 detroit riots, live sunday starting at noon eastern on american history tv on c-span3. next, congress meant mark sanford on his calls for civility in efforts to find consensus on major policy issues on capitol hill. from washington journal, this is 25 minutes.