Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 8, 2015 6:30am-7:01am EDT

6:30 am
on the heroine isen. murkowski: on the issue of heroin we have issues. we have meth issues in kodiak. law-enforcement is focusing on that. they are not able to focus on some of the smaller villages that are out there. you mentioned the heroine task force that is in place, i would ask that you not forget the smaller communities where we see an addiction and a devastation taking our communities, wiping them out. it is a frightening thought that
6:31 am
the resources may be there and available for the cities, that smaller communities, we are losing it young people. it can be so significant to the health and morale and safety. i would ask that you work with us. i have other questions i would like submitted for the record. most specifically with the codification of the brady obligation and statute. i would like further follow-up on that. senator: last year, we had the victims of child abuse act we reauthorized both programs. children's advocacy centers
6:32 am
funded do interviews. they are respectful of the delicate needs of childhood victims of abuse. i was disappointed to see the budget only ask for half of the money to keep these programs. is been your experience with children's advocacy programs? loretta lynch: senator, my experience has been based primarily with my experience as a u.s. attorney. we found the children's advocacy centers to be extremely powerful. it has been in dealing with children who may be related to victims of human trafficking. that has been a huge problem in new york.
6:33 am
i look forward to learning more about those. it is a program i feel is extremely important. the overall budget report -- request, our hope is that the programs we offer will in fact help provide a valuable safety net for those children in need. senator: i think these programs are under resources. the violence reduction network is an effective program for cities like my hometown of wilmington to address violent crime and connect law enforcement with resources. i just want to thank the hard-working team that is led by john skinner. i hope you can commit to the program being maintained and support with necessary resources.
6:34 am
it can service a valuable resource for communities that have seen dramatic increases in violent crime. loretta lynch: i supported wholeheartedly. this has been one of the flagship cities in this. this came upon you. wilmington has been an excellent model for the cooperation between the police department and the fbi. my understanding is we have identified cities to be in the program. we think it's an area we can provide assistance. beyond just that we have other resources for violent crime in our cities. it may not be in such extreme measures.
6:35 am
senator: i'd look forward to that as we know, we have seen a strained relationships with the law enforcement and communities in cities across the nation. most recently in baltimore, this happens in many other places. i am interested in the collaborative reform initiative in baltimore and what is on the table for the project and how it will be sustained and whether recent events have affected the timeline. loretta lynch: with respect to baltimore, the collaborative reform affect was started last fall at the request of the baltimore police department and our cop service office. we've been very active in working with the police and the community to work on ways to improve the east. as we discussed earlier today and throughout my most recent
6:36 am
visit to baltimore events have made us cognizant of concerns that both the city, the police, and the committee have about the efficacy of collaborative reform process. we are listening to all of those voices and we are considering the best way as we move forward to help the baltimore police department. it's important that collaborative reform has been a successful tool throughout the country. it provides technical assistance and training to police departments around the country we connect them with other police departments who have themselves either been through the process or have positive practices. we try to make it a peer to peer relationship in terms of training. it's important. as you will note, our budget requests an increase of timely and dollars to support those reforms. senator: i will submit a
6:37 am
question for the record. i would look forward to hearing what doj will be doing to provide relief to those convicted on the strength of inaccurate testimony. loretta lynch: that is an ongoing process and we are committed to working on that issue. senator boozman: i apologize for running back and forth. there are two things important to arkansas. we want to reauthorized the child nutrition program. we have a subcommittee going on in that regard. both of those things go together. it all flows together.
6:38 am
in the smart crime initiative, and a you talked about how important that is. you request to a $47 million for resources on reducing impacts of the criminal justice system on committees. my understanding is i'm hearing from attorney generals throughout the country that the reality is there seems to be a directive coming down the terrorism and cybercrime is number one. they are the number one things that they are devoting resources to. and you talk a little bit about that? i know that is so important, yet we have so many communities experiencing violent crime. loretta lynch: thank you for the
6:39 am
opportunity to address that issue. national security and cybercrime are important. they represent not only ongoing threats to put safety and to citizens but new and emerging threats. our budget does ask for funding for that. i will reiterate the departments commitment and my own commitment to the issue of a violent crime. it has not wavered. as a former u.s. attorney, we need to recognize that every prosecutor knows best the crime problems of their area. what we try to do in the department as i look at policies and interact with not just people here in washington but also in the field is to maintain the flexibility that allows u.s. attorneys working in conjunction with their state and local counterpoints to identify the crime problems in their area and focus resources on them. my former office in new york has
6:40 am
both a strong national security practice. it is my goal to give my prosecutors the flexibility they need to deploy their resources to best address the crime problems at hand. with respect to violent crime our strategies for several years have been focused on three main issues, law enforcement, is at the core of that. we are looking at prevention as well as reentry programs. it has been gratifying to see those issues dealt with. you talked about food service program, that is one that impacts into the crime rate of an area because it impacts the poverty rate of an area and the
6:41 am
health of children and the opportunities that they have. it is holistic. i assure you that there is not an overemphasis on one type of priority or others -- over others. if the u.s. attorney feels that the largest problem in their area is violent crime, we have a number of ways in which we deal with that. we will concentrate resources for them. we will provide assistance from other offices. i have in the past detailed attorneys from my office to others. you will find a strong commitment to violent crime enforcement within the department. sen. boozman: another huge issue throughout the country is heroine. there are reports of it crippling it. can you talk a little bit about addressing that problem?
6:42 am
the drug courts are so important. for the first time, you've got something in your budget for that. can you talk a little bit about that? are you an advocate? if there is a solution, that is one of the key components. loretta lynch: drug courts have been a solution. we are also focused on expanding our network of veterans drug courts because what we see is our veterans are returning with a number of problems that the criminal justice system may not be the best way to treat them. we are trying to expand opportunities to provide treatment as well as crime
6:43 am
prevention for our veterans as well as other low level drug offenders. in my former district, we have a strong pretrial diversion program as well as an opportunity program. if we try to pair those with reentry programs also. that is a very important tool. it has been the states who have been showing us how effective the courts -- drug courts can be in reducing crime. the real goal is to make productive members of society and of those individuals we might have incarcerated for way too long. senator: i know the hour is late. i have a few comments. i want to associate myself with the remarks of senator leahy.
6:44 am
the prison population, your appropriations for prisons is $7 billion. it's a significant amount of money. it constitutes one third of your approach is an's. i would hope that there is bipartisan effort in this area in terms of looking at what we need to do to reduce the prison population safely. we have an excellent facility in maryland and our concerns would be public safety. and a safety for the correction officers. there are significant challenges with overcrowding. third, what are the issues for prisoners who are really old or
6:45 am
really sick? how can we do in evaluation of who is in prison and should they be in prison? i would hope as you begin your term here, you look at those who are of significant age or are significantly ill that pose no threat to the public. i look forward to your recommendations. heroine has come up from almost all of the sun both sides of the aisle. my republican governor and our democratic delegation, we are united in wanting to deal with this. your task force supported by senator shelby, it would be across the board involving the
6:46 am
department of education, the department of human services, homeland security. is that the nature of the task force or is it internal to the just met? loretta lynch: the task force had its first meeting last week and i have not been briefed yet. i will confirm the level of purchase a patient to you. even if it is focused on the department of justice, that does not preclude us from reaching across the street to those agencies and pulling them into the debate. we think this is a big issue. sen. mikulski: i want to make a point about juvenile justice. there are several grant programs in this area. i would hope in days ahead we could see what you feel would be
6:47 am
the effective juvenile justice programs that we could either bring additional resources in or up before or apply for these grants. speaking for the delegation and for the leadership of our city, we see this is a situation in which there could be an opportunity to really do something very dramatic and significant in terms of our young people. for those who are on track, we want for them to stay there. for those in need to get back on track, help them get there. for those who constitute significant risk to the community, we do the right intervention. we hope this is an ongoing conversation and you're always welcome in our home town and we appreciate the availability and
6:48 am
the professionalism of your staff. sen. collins: i want to associate myself with the remarks from the senator of arkansas with the value of drug courts and the veterans court. i have seen firsthand in maine the difference these courts can make in helping people straighten out their lives. they can in void imprisonment and really change the direction of their life. i know that doesn't happen in every case. i have to believe that these are cost effective and that's why i am disappointed that the administration's budget cuts $5 million from the drug court program compared to last year when it was funded at $41 million. it cuts $1 million from the veteran treatment court.
6:49 am
i hope our subcommittee will take a look at that. i wonder if the department has done any sort of cost-benefit analysis. this is the case where i think we are the penny wise and pound foolish. loretta lynch: i am not aware of any analysis, but i will ask if that was done. i don't know the basis for that particular allocation of funding. i share your commitment to the efficacy of drug courts and the veterans treatment courts. i have seen them literally change lives. sen. collins: i have hired someone who went through the drug court program successfully. i was somewhat apprehensive. she turned out to be a wonderful employee and i wanted to give her a chance.
6:50 am
but for drug court, her life would have gone in a very different direction. i have also spoken of the graduation ceremony for a drug court in portland. it was really inspiring to see largely younger people being reunited with their significant others or spouses and children. it to know that they were committed to turning their lives around i have also heard of cases that were not successful, but that is the beauty of the drug court. i think this is something that deserves our support. loretta lynch: i agree. sen. collins: let me end with one successful program in my state that also unfortunately is cut severely in the budget.
6:51 am
i realize you have not been on the job for very long and were not involved in formulating this budget. it's called the regional information sharing system. i hear repeatedly from police officers and detectives and sheriffs and law enforcement at all levels in maine about how essential the program is in their efforts to fight violent crime, drug activity, human trafficking, and a host of other criminal enterprises. i want to give you a specific example. a detective in franklin county in our state told me recently about a fascinating case involving counterfeit silver dollars from china. he used the program to discover
6:52 am
that the suspect was committing the crime throughout the state of maine. he was also able to determine whether the same crime was occurring in other states. what was it first just a one incident case became a statewide investigation with the help of the risk network and tools which were vital in a rural state like maine. that is why i am disappointed that the president's budget has slashed funding for this program. it is such an important tool for rural law enforcement to use. i hope looking forward that you will take a look at programs that encourage that kind of collaboration at all levels of
6:53 am
government. a local sheriff that has arrested someone can find that this person has been committing crimes not only his state, but also other states as well. it builds a stronger case. loretta lynch: i share your view that that is a great program. by understanding this mirrors. we feel the program is important. sen. collins: we moved up the funding because it was so successful and had bipartisan support. the administration in its budget request went back to the previous level.
6:54 am
i may be mistaken about that and i would welcome any additional information. loretta lynch: i would be happy to provide you additional information. sen. shelby: thank you for being with us today. we look forward to working with you and make her the justice department is properly funded. if there are no further questions here this afternoon senators may add -- submit additional questions for the record. we request that the doj response would be back in 30 days. the subcommittee stands in recess subject to the call of the chair the meeting is adjourned. loretta lynch: thank you, mr. chairman.
6:55 am
>> sunday night, the white house to the eyes of the people who work there from the kennedys through the obamas. >> they are an incredible family
6:56 am
who have worked at the white house. i interviewed the only current butler. he might be there right now. he works every week at the white house. nine members of the family have worked there. he told me that his uncle ran the white house. they brought him and when he was 17 years old. he is still working there. he describes our he used to work in the basement. it's incredibly he remembers what the eisenhower's were like. i wanted to pay tribute to these people. >> sunday night at 8:00 on q&a. >> today automotive
6:57 am
representatives talk about driverless cars. the statem department and brookings host the forum on c-span2. the air force academy commandant is the first woman to lead the academy. she will be the featured speaker at the national press club. you can watch her comments at 1:00 and c-span3. >> here's a look at some featured programs this weekend. saturday, we are live from south carolina for the gop freedom summit. on mother's day, members of the first families remember first ladies, featuring the daughters
6:58 am
of jackie kennedy, betty ford, and laura bush. on c-span2 jon krakauer on sexual assault in the u.s.. sunday evening, and done woody talks about her life and military career. saturday afternoon, and oral history on the liberation of not see concentration cap's. -- cap's. on sunday afternoon, the 70th anniversary of the world war to end. get our complete schedule.
6:59 am
>> live today washington journal is next. then a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the end of world war ii in europe. the sunlight foundation will discuss transparency and government surveillance. >> on the next washington journal, a discussion on advances in mental health research and treatment. then, the author of "clinton cash." later, the america by the numbers segment.
7:00 am
we are live every morning at 7:00 on c-span. you can join the conversation with your calls and comments on facebook and twitter. ♪ host: good morning, and thanks for joining us on "washington journal." this past week, several events in the news. the nsa phone records sweeps has been rolled illegal by the second district appeals court. there is a push to revamp the patriot act. the trade vote is coming up and the senate votes on the iran deal. and the conservatives new england become the ruling majority. what issue is on your mind today? want to hear from you. 202-748-8000