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For those organizations that say, “Let us abolish prisons," I ask this question-and I have never quite found an answer—what have they been doing to take care of that kind of a situation so that there will be rehabilitation, so that there will be a realization by this accused that he shouldn't continue that kind of a thing?
If we are not going to build any more prisons, we can't put them in prison. Are we going to allow them to run rampant over the face of the District? Unfortunately, that is the same situation in far too many jurisdictions in America.
What is your answer to that? You have a chance here in the District of Columbia to put your theories to work—that you don't need prisons, that prisons are bad.
EXPERIMENTS IN BAIL REFORM
Reverend STINSON. In Rhode Island, we are experimenting with the Rhode Island bail fund. I happen to have coordinated that. I am dealing with some of the same kinds of people that you mentioned. I think for most of these people, there is a need for careful screening, perhaps more careful than it has been in the past.
We have come to the conclusion that, in order to keep a person from going back to prison, the important thing is to get him working, get him established with his family, see to it that he does have a permanent place to stay, that he is not left out on the street, that where he has personal problems or if he happens to be a drug addict or an alcoholic, that these particular problem areas are pursued.
Where we have been able to work that closely with individuals we have had very few of them going back to the State prisons.
Senator HRUSKA. I would like to invite you to come to the District then, because there are thousands.
Senator PASTORE. Well, he is talking about Rhode Island, Roman. Senator HRUSKA. That is right.
Reverend STINSON. We can do this in Rhode Island because it is a small, almost self-contained unit that we are dealing with. We have only one State prison. We have a very small prison population, really, in comparison to most States.
Senator PASTORE. You see, the Reverend is not talking about the case that you cited, Roman, about the continual rapist and the continual burglar. He is not talking about nonviolent crimes.
But I repeat generally, we are confronted here with the problem where we have got to do something about the bad guys that you are talking about and these bad guys have been sent to jail. What do we do with them, if you don't have any room for them? What do we do with them?
Reverend STINSON. Mr. Chairman, I think that part of the answer is tied up in dealing with the people who are not violent people, who are not going to commit the violent crimes in one category and dealing with the violent person in another category.
Senator PASTORE. That is right, but the prisoners he is talking about are the bad ones, as I understand him. Is that right, Mr. Carlson?
KINDS OF CRIMES COMMITTED BY PRISONERS
Mr. CARLSON. Mr. Chairman, nearly 25 percent are committed for armed bank robbery and another 25 percent for major narcotic violations, basically, the interstate transportation and sale of narcotics. The remainder are largely repeat offenders who have been tried on probation previously.
Senator PASTORE. It is a tough nut to crack.
We want to thank you, Reverend. You have made a great contribution. I don't know where we are going to go from here. Maybe I can get an inspiration from you.
Our next witness is Justus Freimund. STATEMENT OF JUSTUS FREIMUND, NATIONAL COUNCIL ON
CRIME AND DELINQUENCY
Mr. FREIMUND. I am Justus Freimund from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Today I am testifying on behalf of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and the Unitarian Universalists Services Committee. These two groups have joined together in a joint venture and represent the constituents of almost half a million people.
We have submitted a written statement. We would appreciate filing that in the record.
(The statement follows:]
This is a brief summary of the following full testimony presenting our arguments against the need for appropriating funds for prison construction
requested by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Due to manipulation of "capacity" definitions, 1200 new beds to be added within the next year, recent inclusion in Bureau population figures of federal prisoners previously housed in state and local facilities, the 1975 House Investigative Report count of bed. space, declining unemployment rates, and a projected decline after 1985 in the proportion of high reported crime age males, the argument of overcrowding as a justification for prison system expansion remains highly questionable.
The many issues raised by the 1975 House Report, and those of an ex
pected tripling of unspent constructions appropriations and BOP plans to use a large part of the construction request to "improve" facilities already planned for closing must be resolved fully before further construction
can be considered.
One innovative program authorized by the Juvenile Justice and Delin
quency Prevention Act has been threatened with a 75% cut in funding. A federal strategy to reduce crime by slashing prevention programs and providing for more federal prisons would be completely illogical and self-defeating.
The Bureau remains passive and isolated in planning efforts, ignoring total systems planning procedures required of the states and refusing to analyze the cost-effectiveness of non-prison sanctions for non-violent
offenders versus the exorbitant cost of incarceration.'
Many recent reports have consistently recommended a move away from prisons to non-institutional alternatives, including the 1973 National Advisory Commission report which called for a 10-year moratorium on prison con
struction. Crime control spending and the use of incarceration have risen
steadily, followed by the rise in crime. With overwhelming evidence of the
crime producing nature and utter failure of prisons, the federal government
continues to push the entire nation further into the inflexible and permanent
We know prisons have failed historically, construction and maintenance
costs are rising, cheaper and more humane alternatives are available,
sentencing disparities must be reduced, minor offenses should be decriminalized, and
restitution programs should be activated with other diversionary programs.
The Southern correctional community has concluded such alternatives and
changes must be pressed throughout the criminal justice system. But without
a moratorium on prison building, no pressure for such new directions will exist.
The most insidious aspect of BOP construction plans is that of the pro
posed federal detention centers. These centers will further entrench the dis
criminatory device of pretrail detention, abuse of plea bargaining and poor
legal representation and discriminatory disparities in sentencing. The pur
suit of economic and social justice must take precedence over further prison
construction among responsible criminal justice administrators.
A new trend of state and local operation.of various social services in
dicates a new role for such agencies as the BOP. In fact, the proper role
of the Bureau, consonant with this trend would seem to be in providing tech
nical and support services for state correctional programs and to eliminate
the federal prison system, leading the nation away from its overreliance on
Due to the significant problems and questions which remain with this
budget request, we urge the full funding of the Juvenile Justice and De
linquency Prevention Act in lieu of providing funds to construct additional
The National Moratorium on Prison Construction, speaking for all the members of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, as well as numerous friends and allies increasingly concerned about the present operations and
future directions of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, is grateful for
the opportunity to present our ideas to you.
We share with the Subcommittee a deep concern with lawlessness among all socio-economic classes of our nation. We also respect the
Subcommittee's difficult task of assuring fiscal responsibility with federal spending. Any solution to our crime control problem is going to require new analyses, new approaches, and bold leadership at every level of government and the private sector.
New directions are obviously required in our punishment and
prison processes. The history of the beginnings and evolution of
American prisons to the present day has produced only continuing legacies of failure. That is a truth that must be spoken time and again during this period of the greatest wave of jail and prison construc
tion in our nation's history.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS FISCAL YEAR 1977 BUDGET REQUEST
The Bureau is requesting over $304 million for FY '77, over $59
million of which is designated for construction of new, or renovation
of old, prisons. This $59 million figure represents a request 65% greater than that asked for in FY'76.
The nearly $46 million requested in FY '77 for construction of
the rural Otisville, N.Y. adult prison; rural Talladega, Ala. youth prison; Detroit, Mich. Metropolitan Correctional Center; and the Phoenix, Ariz. Metropolitan Correctional Center, are continuing pur