Housing and Offender Reentry-The Urban Institute-DC Public Safety Radio

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Radio Program available at http://media.csosa.gov/podcast/audio/2012/10/housing-and-offender-reentry-the-urban-institute-dc-public-safety-radio/

[Audio Begins]

Len Sipes: From the nation’s capital, this is DC Public Safety. I’m your host Leonard Sipes. We’re talking today about housing and offender reentry. Back at our microphones, the Urban Institute, always, always, always happy to have them by our microphone. Jocelyn Fontaine is a Senior Research Associate. www.urban.org. She has a piece of research, supportive housing for returning offenders, that is an evaluation from the State of Ohio state prison system. It was done in conjunction with The Corporation for Supportive Housing and the results are really gonna surprise you. I really am pleased to welcome to our microphones Jocelyn Fontaine, Senior Research Associate, Urban Institute. Jocelyn, welcome to DC Public Safety.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Thank you for having me.

Len Sipes: I really am happy to have you because this is a very important topic. We talk about offender reentry a lot and we talk about substance abuse and we talk about mental health and we talk about jobs, but rarely do we ever talk about housing and you have some really interesting findings. So give me a background, some background on the project and the research.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Absolutely. So a few years ago, around 2006 and 2007, the state prison system in Ohio partnered with the Corporation for Supportive Housing on a Supportive Housing pilot. They were looking for a way to get folks who are leaving their system into housing and wanted to partner with The Corporation for Supportive Housing who does this work, to help them to figure out how can we get folks into housing in the community, based on the assumption that if we get people into housing, they can get linked up to the services that they need –

Len Sipes: Right.

Jocelyn Fontaine: They’re better able to find and maintain jobs and we can also reduce recidivism, which is costly for the state and of course, is a public safety concern. So they partnered on this Supportive Housing pilot which was focused on those who would benefit the most from supportive housing. So that is individuals with histories of residential instability, as well as behavioral health challenges, and they started out with wanting to house about 84 people coming out of the state prison system, this was state wide. It was first implemented in 10 correctional institutions and then they expanded it to three more, so it was 13 total. And they housed far more than the 84 that they initially intended to.

Len Sipes: Oh, how many did they house?

Jocelyn Fontaine: They housed, in our pilot, or the evaluation that we did, there were more than 118 or so folks.

Len Sipes: Wow.

Jocelyn Fontaine: But they housed far more than that, and it’s in fact still going on today, so they’re still housing folks.

Len Sipes: That’s great.

Jocelyn Fontaine: But they housed far more than 100 folks into supportive housing in five of the larger cities in the State of Ohio, so that was Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo and Dayton.

Len Sipes: Right.

Jocelyn Fontaine: And in fact like I said, people are still housed in the program and it’s got some pretty good findings.

Len Sipes: Well, the findings are astounding, I’ve spent a career looking at recidivism research and we at the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency like to think that we are a research based agency, we all read the research and discuss the research. These are some of the most significant findings I’ve ever heard in terms of recidivism. So you were able to find a certain percentage reduction in rearrest and a certain percentage reduction in reincarcerations. Tell me about them please.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Sure. So we’re pretty proud of the evaluation that we were able to do. It was a quasi-experimental design, which essentially meant that we expected the interest in the housing pilot to exceed their ability to house people, especially since it was implemented in 13 institutions, so what we wanted to do was a natural comparison group and that is get folks who looked similar but weren’t able to be housed by the pilot due to the limitations that they had in only having 84 housing beds. So that was our comparison group, so individuals who looked like those who got the housing, but weren’t able to because of the capacity of the program. We tracked those folks for a year following their release and we found that the RHO participants, and that stands for the Returning Home Ohio, that’s the pilot project, that the RHO participants were significantly less likely to be rearrested within one year. We found that the participants were 40% in fact, less likely to be rearrested than the comparison group subjects. And we also found that the participants in the RHO program were significantly less likely to be reincarcerated, which is one of the more interesting findings for the state prison system, since of course they want to reduce rearrest, but they’re mostly interested in people coming back into the prison system.

Len Sipes: Sure. Well, then that was a 60% reduction in reincarcerations right?

Jocelyn Fontaine: They were 60% less likely to be reincarcerated within one year, yeah.

Len Sipes: Right. Now that’s amazing, Jocelyn, because you take a look at offender reentry research across the board and just last week we had Nancy La Vigne, the Urban Institute, the famous Nancy La Vigne at these microphones and we were talking about the fact that most of the research projects that measure offender reentry probably go in the 10 to 20% range when they are successful, not all are successful. It’s, would be naïve to believe that every piece of research out there, every effort out there is going to reduce recidivism. Some research studies show that they don’t. The ones that do seem to run in that 10% to 20% range. Having a 40% reduction in rearrest and having a 60% reduction in reincarcerations is astounding.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Yeah, well, we’re talking, just to make sure that we’re clear, so we’re talking about the likelihood that they’re going to be rearrested and reincarcerated –

Len Sipes: Right.

Jocelyn Fontaine: But we are very proud of the outcomes, very proud of the findings, especially since we only had a one year window to look at outcomes.

Len Sipes: Right.

Jocelyn Fontaine: And that is important to mention because not all of the folks who were in the treatment group or that got the housing, got the housing for a full year that we looked at their outcomes.

Len Sipes: Right, right?

Jocelyn Fontaine: So we’d expect actually the benefits of the program to be even greater, once we’re able to look at a longer outcome period and I’m currently working with the state prison system and the Corporation for Supportive Housing to continue to track folks, because we found, and something that I think is also interesting to talk about is, even though we had interested participants and interested providers and making the seamless link from release from prison to supportive housing in the community, we found that it wasn’t that seamless, that it took some time to get people into the housing upon release, so all that’s to say that once we feel that people are actually having the housing itself for one full year or longer, that we’d find even greater reductions in the recidivism rate and even greater benefits.

Len Sipes: There are endless questions that are running through my mind in terms of process and how it began and how you were able to convince landlords to bring people from the state prison system into homes that they rent. But this gets to the larger issue of recidivism across the board, we need to mention, I think we talked about before the show, the fact that they’ve received other services as well. So they were just not housing, there were a variety of stabilization services that I think dealt with substance abuse and mental health?

Jocelyn Fontaine: Absolutely.

Len Sipes: Tell me about those.

Jocelyn Fontaine: So this was a group that ranged from, I guess relatively low need to high need. So what this program was able to do, and I’m quite proud of them for doing that, was house a range of folks with different needs. Now, supportive housing is supposed to be target for those individuals at the higher need level, but there were some people in the housing who had lower needs and lower or less significant histories of substance abuse and mental illness so all that’s to say is that what the program did was working with providers so they would assess individual need once they came into the program and determine what services do they need as part of their supportive housing suite of services.

Len Sipes: Right.

Jocelyn Fontaine: So supportive housing can range from just having a case manager, to more wrap around services. Linkage to employment to the extent that that’s you know, feasible and appropriate, as well as, you know, recovery services, a whole range of things that go into supportive housing on top of the provision of affordable housing. And we also looked at, as you mentioned, whether people were getting linked up to services and we found that those individuals who were part of the program were significantly more likely to use state billable mental health and substance abuse services and more quickly, so that is a great finding of this project is that especially if we’re thinking about the folks who were in the program as being previously under, unserved, that they are getting linked up to the mental health and substance abuse services that they need, more likely to get linked up to those services and receiving more of those services.

Len Sipes: Was there a way of measuring the various services to see if housing was the key variable, or whether it was substance abuse or job assistance or mental health evaluation, was there a way of ferreting out discreet variables to the degree of saying, “Hey, it was 10% substance abuse and 10% housing and 5% mental health.” I would imagine that would take a tremendous piece of research to do that, but were you able to do that?

Jocelyn Fontaine: Yeah, we weren’t’ and that’s actually an excellent question. So this story, it’s a great one, but it’s also a story I guess, like other research, a variation. So we had various types of offenders come through this program and then we also had various providers providing the service, so the providers were across the five cities, as I mentioned. They were a mix of both scatter site and single site housing agencies, so that is, they either managed or maintained a large building of affordable housing, of which the former offenders were part of that housing building, to agencies that worked with landlords and said, “Hey, we’re providing the housing, or we’ll pay for the housing, will you allow this person, Jocelyn Fontaine, to live in your housing building?”

Len Sipes: Right, right.

Jocelyn Fontaine: The agencies also ranged in the type of services that they offered. Some, it was primarily just case management services and referrals to other agencies for things, all the way to one agency that really provided a range of services, it was a requirement of participation in their program that they participate in a lot of services. So putting all of that into one regression, one statistical model, we’re not able to tease out the relative benefits of the type of services that folks got, but that just calls for more research and we’re happy to do that and it’s a good thing too to see that even with all of this variation, that you know, the program still stuck. That meant that the providers got it right, that the program itself was able to match individuals to the housing services pretty well, or else we probably wouldn’t have had the findings that we had.

Len Sipes: Jocelyn, I’m going to, want you to take off your methodological hat and put on your opinion hat now.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Okay.

Len Sipes: What do you think is the impact of having stable housing? Parole and probation agencies throughout this country routinely report that a third of the people who they supervise are in unstable housing. It may be a shelter, it may be on the street, it may be you know, you’re at your Mom’s house, but your Mom said, “Hey, two months, and you’re out.” Then they shift over to their brother, he and the brother get into an argument, then they shift over to his sister, you know, brother in law’s not terribly happy about this, then he shifts over to a girlfriend, they break up. I mean, housing seems to be a key issue for an awful lot of offenders, and so what this research suggests is that it may be more important than we originally thought.

Jocelyn Fontaine: I think that’s right. As a housing person, I think it’s very important. You know, if you get an employment reentry person, they’re gonna say the jobs, but I like to think of housing as both the figurative and literal foundation that successful reentry can be launched. So it is my opinion that if someone doesn’t have stable housing, it’s difficult for them to find and maintain employment. If a person is worried about where they’re gonna sleep that night, it’s difficult for them to maintain their sobriety or continue on their regimen for mental health services for example. So I think it is extremely important and if you know, someone doesn’t have a place to sleep, if they’re worried about their housing, I think it’s difficult for them to think also about, you know, finding a job, being able to go to that job every single day, maintain good hours, having the clothing that they need in order to be successful in that job, having the rest that they need if they’re, you know, worrying about where they’re gonna lay their heads. So I think we need to think of housing as a platform for successful reentry, not only is it you know, a good thing to get people into housing, but thinking of housing, again, as that platform. So once people are into stable housing and it doesn’t necessarily have to be supportive housing, right? Its affordable housing, and appropriate housing placement, then folks can begin to be more successful on these other outcomes like job, reducing their substance use, getting medications for physical or mental health, reunifying with their family and friends.

Len Sipes: Several offenders have told me throughout my career that the housing component to them was one of the most important parts of coming out. That and supportive friends, supportive family and this is why I think the faith based program that we run and volunteer programs that try to mentor to people coming out of the prison system become so important, that it was quiet place to go and be by themselves and to provide a, it provides a certain sense of stabilization in the psychological well being of their lives. I mean, they just said, “My God, I mean, after being in prison and being around people all the time and then you go over to my brother’s house and I was over there with his family and you have no privacy and suddenly you have the ability to sleep when you want to think, when you want to contemplate life, that they found it to be psychologically comforting and a psychological comfort level that will allow them to do the certain things that they had to do. So am I in the ballpark or am I being Pollyannaish about this?

Jocelyn Fontaine: No, I think that sounds about right. That’s how we think of our own housing, right?

Len Sipes: Yes, that’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. That’s how we –

Jocelyn Fontaine: So we should expect that from other folks as well and it’s just you know, when we release folks without proper housing placements and it makes sense that people rely on their family mostly in the, you know, the initial days of their release, but we need to be honest that sometimes that’s not the best housing placement and we found in some of the work that Nancy La Vigne has done and we’ve continued to do in more recent reentry evaluations is that people would like to be able to have their own place and to not have to rely on their family so much and have acknowledged, you know, which I think is quite honestly, that it’s not the best place, it’s not you know, the best place to go is back with family and heavily relying on them and perhaps not being able to support your family in the way that you should, in order to be able to stay living in their housing. So it makes sense to me that there’s these psychological benefits of housing.

Len Sipes: We’re more than halfway through the program. Our guest today is Jocelyn Fontaine; she is the Senior Research Associate with the Urban Institute. www.urban.org www.urban.org. Housing and offender reentry is the topic of today’s program. She did a piece of research with others called Supportive Housing for Returning Prisoners, a program in Ohio that has astoundingly wonderful results, reduced rearrest by 40%, reduced reincarcerations by 60%. Jocelyn, with 700,000 people coming out of the state and local prison systems, state and federal prison systems every single year. 700,000, that’s just an immense number of human beings that are transitioning from the prison system to the state levels and transitioning to federal parole and probation authorities like mine. You know, the states are screaming bloody murder about their budgets and they’re saying, they’re reducing incarcerations, they’re closing prisons, they’re trying to come to grips with trying different things to reduce the rate of reincarceration, reduce the rate of recidivism because A: it cuts back dramatically on criminal victimization, but B: to them I think more importantly, it cuts a back on how much money they have to spend.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Exactly.

Len Sipes: And that’s a reality for governors throughout this country. I’ve maintained that governors have had this conversation with every state correctional administrator in the country, that you’ve gotta learn to live within your budgets and you’ve gotta learn to find a way to reduce the amount of people coming back. This seems to hold some promise; this seems to hold something that people should consider.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Yep, and I want to give credit to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for you know, very much going out on a limb and funding this program, and funding the research. I don’ t know if we mentioned that, but that’s pretty progressive and innovative to, “Let’s see if this housing sticks” and then waiting it out to see. As I mentioned earlier on, this started in 2006, we just finished the research just a couple of months ago. So their willingness to participate in the research study, to put themselves under scrutiny, to allow us to come in to look at their data and see what happens, is, a credit to them, that they’re you know, a progressive state that’s willing to look at this in a different way.

Len Sipes: And Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has been a progressive entity over the course of the last quarter century. They always seem to be taking a lead in terms of taking a look at how they operate and what the impact is. Jocelyn, what are the policy implications of all of this, the average person sitting here in Washington DC, the average person listening to this program in New York City and Honolulu and San Francisco, they’re gonna take a look at their housing situation in those particular cities, which are some of the most expensive cities in the world, and they’re gonna say, “Wait a minute.” Giving housing to people coming out of the prison system, I can’t even find housing for my kid.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Yeah.

Len Sipes: I desperately want my own kid to get out of my own house, but he or she can’t afford it and here we are providing arrangements, making arrangements and in some cases, paying for them, to find supportive housing upon release from the prison system. So what are the policy implications, what are the practical lessons that governors and mayors and county executives and parole and probation administrators can pull from this?

Jocelyn Fontaine: I think one is that collaboration and partnerships are a good thing and that they work. The state prison system didn’t go it alone here, they worked with an agency that has a history of doing this, that has helped jurisdictions across the country and in fact they’re doing this work in other places beyond Ohio, so working with the Corporation for Supportive Housing to say, “Look, we’re releasing these guys. Some of them are appropriate for supportive housing. Help us figure out how to make it work.” The Corporation for Supportive Housing is you know, knows hey there’s these community based providers that are providing this service to people in the community, right?

Len Sipes: Right.

Jocelyn Fontaine: And that there’s a percentage of them that have these criminal justice histories. They’re there, right? 700,000 people you just mentioned the number –

Len Sipes: Yes, every year.

Jocelyn Fontaine: That means that’s a lot of people who are in the community that are receiving supportive housing with these criminal justice histories. So what they’ve tried to do is just say, “Let’s extend this.” So these agencies are already doing this work, the prison system is releasing people, so let’s just make that linkage a little bit more seamless so that they can extend or reach into the prisons to get these guys and then therefore we’d have better reentry outcomes. So I think that’s a lesson that you already have agencies in your communities doing this work, they’re already providing supportive housing.

Len Sipes: They’re already doing it.

Jocelyn Fontaine: They’re already doing it, so why don’t we just toward better outcomes, so that these guys aren’t hitting the community with no housing placements, nowhere to go, see if it works, you know? See if we can create this linkage and you know, if the Department of Corrections they’re willing to spend this money, Ohio was willing to do it knowing that if we spend it now, that’s savings that we’ll get later because they’re not coming back –

Len Sipes: Right!

Jocelyn Fontaine: Then it’s a worthwhile investment. And of course, that’s for jurisdictions to decide on their own, but it was beneficial in Ohio.

Len Sipes: And also the savings in terms of criminal victimizations.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Exactly.

Len Sipes: I mean, you have a situation where if you could produce 40% fewer arrests, 60% fewer reincarcerations, I mean, that would save tens of billions of dollars over the long run in terms of every state in the country, but you can see how difficult it is because the average person is gonna say to themselves, “Wait a minute, I can’t afford housing, why are you giving it to people coming out of the prison system?” The flip side of that is that it saves people from being victimized and it saves taxpayers a tremendous amount of money.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Exactly. And there are other small things that can be done, right? So here, in this program, the state prison system was actually funding the housing, but there are other things that can be done just by a prison system creating more information for returning prisoners, about available housing placement, right? And it doesn’t have to be a situation which the correctional department is paying for all of someone’s rent; it could be a percentage, right?

Len Sipes: Right, right.

Jocelyn Fontaine: That get’s phased out over time as person gets linked up to more gainful employment.

Len Sipes: And the percentage may be just enough to tip the scale.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Exactly, exactly.

Len Sipes: It may be just enough to get that person in a supportive housing in to dramatically increase the chances of the person –

Jocelyn Fontaine: Getting a job. . .

Len Sipes: . . . Doing well, getting a job, becoming a taxpayer, not a tax burden, and especially if they’re linked to other supportive services like mental health and substance abuse treatment and job services, but the, you know, so the other part of it is that they come back into these same communities and people sit there and go, “Well, you know, I’m not close to those communities, that doesn’t mean anything to me.” But one of out of every 42 people in the United States are under the auspices of or actually being supervised by a parole and probation agency.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Yeah.

Len Sipes: So my, what I say to people is that you come into contact every single day with people on supervision by a parole and probation agency, you just don’t know it. If you’ve, some criminologists, I’ve heard the figure, one in 20 and I have no documentation to one in 20, they just gave their opinion in terms of people who have been caught up in the criminal justice system in the past, but everybody, every single day, comes into contact with people who have been caught up, currently, or in the past, with the criminal justice system. So I guess my question is that do you want them coming out with support so they won’t reoffend and so you won’t have to pay for them again, or not? What’s your comfort level?

Jocelyn Fontaine: Exactly.

Len Sipes: The person comes out of the prison system with mental health problems; don’t you want that person to receive mental health treatment?

Jocelyn Fontaine: Exactly.

Len Sipes: And doesn’t that protect you and your family and your kids and your neighbors and your friends?

Jocelyn Fontaine: Yep, and we’ve heard that from landlords, as part of this housing study, or even employers, as part of other reentry evaluations that we’ve done, who’ve said, you know, these guys or these gals in this program are better than the other folks that you know, that I’m employing because they have a case manager, because they’re part of a program, because someone’s watching, not over them, but helping them out, that they have somebody, some support system, someone that’s focused on their reentry goals. And so you know, just like you said, you know, without a doubt, these folks are coming back and so if, you know, we can provide them with some supports, you know, I think that that goes a long way towards better reentry outcomes so that people aren’t coming back into the system.

Len Sipes: It’s my guess that an employer is going to be far more prone to hire somebody if they have stable housing. It’s my guess that in a discretionary world, where people go in and get drug treatment, you know, it is discretionary. I mean, people do chose who gets drug treatment and who doesn’t and I would guess that people would be more prone, or more apt to say, “Yes, let’s provide this person with drug treatment. He has stable housing, we’re not gonna have to worry about him wandering the streets, we’re not gonna have to worry about him deteriorating because he has no place to go.” It just seems to be a platform for other good things to happen in that person’s life which is why I’m guessing, and I think you’re guessing the same thing, that we have a 40% reduction in rearrest and a 60% reduction in reincarcerations.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Absolutely.

Len Sipes: And that, you know, that platform, that just absolutely intrigues me. Final words, we’re in the final three minutes of the program, Jocelyn. So we talked about policy implications, we talked about landlords, we talked about mayors considering this sort of a program, they need to get beyond, do they not, the fear that they may be criticized, for providing housing for people coming out of the prison system? Again, considering that there’s a lot of people who can’t afford housing to begin with?

Jocelyn Fontaine: Yeah, I think you know, here’s the public campaigning that mayors and other public officials need to do is what you said earlier, realizing that it may not be your brother or your sister or someone in your family member, but it is likely to be someone in your community, and so realizing that these folks are coming back, that we’re paying for them in one way or another, that we do well to be paying for them in a strategic and a smart way and known to be effective way, other than you know, thinking, “It’s not my problem and I don’t have to deal with this, I don’t have to pay for it.” And the fact is that you do, and so when people are rearrested and reincarcerated, we are certainly paying for it, so we do well to think more strategically about what’s more effective use of our taxpayer dollars.

Len Sipes: They’re a five to ten minute drive from 70%, 80% of any metropolitan, anybody living in any metropolitan area.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Definitely.

Len Sipes: When I was with the Maryland Department of Public Safety, I was well known because I did a lot of television work and you wouldn’t believe all the different people caught up under supervision, who would greet me and say, “Mr. Sipes, how are you doing? I saw you on television. Yeah, I’m in from this pre-release system and I’m working here.” And it’s like, “Wow.” You don’t know how many people who are delivering your pizza, filling your gas tank –

Jocelyn Fontaine: Exactly.

Len Sipes: Handling your order, helping you out, doing your lawn care, doing your maintenance work, who are caught up in the criminal justice system? You just don’t know.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Yeah, and that’s the sad part, but. . .

Len Sipes: Yeah, and having them having supportive housing and having them have supportive services does seem to make a difference.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Yep.

Len Sipes: Not necessarily as high as your difference, but it does, nevertheless, make a difference.

Jocelyn Fontaine: Yeah, absolutely.

Len Sipes: All right Jocelyn, you’ve got the final word. Our guest today ladies and gentlemen, Jocelyn Fontaine, Senior Research Associate with the Urban Institute, www.urban.org We’ll have a link to the document that she references: Supportive Housing for Returning Prisoners. Ladies and gentleman, this is DC Public Safety, we really do appreciate all the comments, we appreciate your criticisms, we appreciate your suggestions for new shows, and we want everybody to have themselves a very, very pleasant day.

[Audio Ends]


Drug Courts in Washington, D.C. “DC Public Safety”

Welcome to DC Public Safety – radio and television shows on crime, criminal offenders and the criminal justice system.

See http://media.csosa.gov for our television shows, blog and transcripts. We now average 200,000 requests a month.

This radio program is available at http://media.csosa.gov/podcast/audio/2010/11/drug-courts-in-washington-d-c-dc-public-safety/

We welcome your comments or suggestions at leonard.sipes@csosa.gov or at Twitter at http://twitter.com/lensipes.

[Audio Begins]

Len Sipes: From our nation’s capital, this is DC Public Safety. I’m your host, Leonard Sipes. Today, ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to talk about drug courts. Drug courts seem to have a pretty impressive research history from the U.S. Department of Justice and other sources essentially stating that people involved in the drug court process do well, better than the people who do not go to drug court, people involved in substance abuse, they go to drug court, they interact with the judge, they interact with supervision staff, and generally speaking, the outcomes are positive. To talk about the program that we have here at the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, we have two principals with us today. Carline Claudomir and Amanda Rocha, they’re both community supervision officers assigned to our drug court, but before we get into the program, our usual commercial, we are up to 220,000 requests for DC Public Safety radio, television, blog, and transcripts. If you need to get in touch with us, and we really appreciate all of the emails, we really appreciate all of the comments in the comment line, and whether it’s criticisms, or whether it’s platitudes, we embrace whatever it is that you have to say to us, and we take it very seriously, and we appreciate all the suggestions in terms of future programs, you can get in touch with me directly via email: Leonard, L-E-O-N-A-R-D – dot-sipes – S-I-P-E-S – @csosa.gov, or you can follow us via twitter at twitter.com/lensipes or you can go to the site itself, www.csosa.gov and look for the radio and television programs, or you can go to media.csosa.gov directly and take a look at these programs and comment through the comment line and back to our guests, Carline Claudomir and Amanda Rocha, welcome to DC Public Safety.

Carline Claudomir: Hi, Len.

Amanda Rocha: Hi, Len.

Len Sipes: All right, Carline. How many times did I butcher that first name? And last name? Carline Claudomir!

Carline Claudomir: Yes.

Len Sipes: Okay. And I know I’m going to get the emails saying, Leonard, you can not pronounce names correctly! Amanda, you’ve been before our microphones before, correct?

Amanda Rocha: I have, Len.

Len Sipes: You’ve done some other stuff for us.

Amanda Rocha: Yes, I have.

Len Sipes: All right, so you’re star of stage and screen.

Amanda Rocha: Oh, no!

Len Sipes: And you’re very used to the microphone process. Drug courts. You know, ladies, the research on drug courts is positive, Carline, and the first question’s going to go to you. The research is positive. Drug courts do seem to work. Individuals going into the drug court process do seem to do fairly well. The whole idea behind, or the history of drug courts, for the audience, was to try to provide an alternative to incarceration, and an alternative to doing nothing. If you take a look at national research, out of all of the offenders caught up in the criminal justice system, 11% get drug treatment.

Carline Claudomir: Yes.

Len Sipes: Now, the overwhelming majority of people caught up in the criminal justice system do not get drug treatment. That’s amazing to me. That’s amazing to me, considering all the social ills that are out there. But here, what we do is provide drug treatment, and in some cases, we simply provide supervision services. We do whatever is necessary to stabilize that person with a substance abuse history, correct?

Carline Claudomir: You’re correct.

Len Sipes: All right, tell me about it.

Carline Claudomir: My name is Carline Claudomir, and I work with the STAR/HIDTA team. STAR/HIDTA stands for Sanction Team for Addiction Recovery. Our program entails the clients being assigned by either their judge and their attorney, or coming through transfer from other teams at CSOSA, or through our pre-trial drug program. Once they come to STAR/HIDTA, they are signing a contract stating that there are a number of things that they will and will not do while on probation, and they understand that there’s immediate consequences for any positive drug test or noncompliant behavior.

Len Sipes: Okay, so if they screw up, there are immediate consequences –

Carline Claudomir: Absolutely.

Len Sipes: – and that’s what seems to work, correctly?

Carline Claudomir: Yes, it’s the blessing and the curse for some of the clients.

Len Sipes: Because we need to understand that people with substance abuse histories, shall I say, always screw up. Recovery, problems are part of the recovery process, so it’s not, go to drug court and never do drugs again. It’s go to drug court and work with that person as that person faces their addiction history and relearns how to live life without drugs.

Carline Claudomir: Yes, and a lot of times, when they come to us, they sit, stand up in court before the judge and say, Your Honor, yes, I want to do probation, Your Honor, yes, I want treatment, then they come to the office, and then they reread the contract and realize it’s not only treatment!

Len Sipes: Oh, my heavens! What have I gotten myself involved in?

Carline Claudomir: Yes, it’s treatment and sanctions, so if you continue to use drugs, unfortunately, there are jail sanctions involved, which are treatment, tough love all the way.

Len Sipes: You’re tough love all the way, but that’s what is necessary. Amanda Rocha, in terms of that sense of tough love, correct?

Amanda Rocha: Yes, absolutely. It really does help to have that median sanctioning, because it puts a little fear in the offenders so that they don’t go back and use, it gives them that second thought before deciding to use, oh, that’s three nights in jail if I go ahead and do that, or oh, you know what? I’m on my fourth sanction or fifth sanction, and now it’s seven nights in jail. So they don’t want to continue going back and forth. It gets old for them to have to do that, and so kind of helps them along the way a little bit.

Len Sipes: Well, I think it’s important for people to understand just that, because, you know, this whole concept of treatment, the research is pretty clear that the reason why most people don’t get drug treatment is not its availability or lack of availability. The principal reason for why people don’t get drug treatment is that they don’t feel they need drug treatment, and in many cases, in terms of the criminal justice system, we basically coerce them into a) getting drug treatment, b) sticking with it because of the sanctions along the way. If you have a positive urine, we don’t care if it’s for marijuana, we don’t care what it’s for. If you have a positive urine, this is what’s going to happen to you, and those punishments, if you will, are going to increase as you continue your substance abuse, correct?

Carline Claudomir: It’s the accountability factor, and a lot of times, they come to us never having to be held accountable for their drug use, never had to be held accountable for their actions, and when they come to us, they realize every time they mess up, there is no passes, there are no passes, so immediately, you go see the judge, and you can explain to the judge why you felt it was okay to make this decision, regardless of the consequences.

Len Sipes: You know, the interesting thing is that there’s an increasing number of research programs out there, studies that, interestingly enough, it’s the judge who seems to be at the centerpoint of a lot of these mental health courts, substance abuse courts, reentry courts, there’s something magical about the judge being involved in this process, I think.

Carline Claudomir: It’s the authority, because if I say he needs treatment and the judge says he needs treatment, that holds a lot of weight. You don’t want to go to a judge and say, no, he doesn’t need treatment. No, it doesn’t work that way. The judge says he needs it, then you’re going to listen, because they’re in the midst of the battle.

Len Sipes: Okay. Now it’s extraordinarily confusing for the people of this audience, because it goes way beyond Washington D.C. 20% of our audience is international, and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area is not our top city in terms of people listening to this program. So we have to explain that under the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, administratively, we have an entity called pre-trial services who are their own independent agency with their own board and their own mission, but they fall under the generic auspices of the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, both are federalized, and they also have a drug court program focusing on pretrial individuals, correct?

Carline Claudomir: Yes.

Len Sipes: Okay, and I know you can’t speak for them, but in essence, the gig is that the person goes before a judge, and if he completes, or she completes the provisions of the drug court program, the charges are dropped.

Carline Claudomir: It has an affect on the charges or what is actually ending sentencing.

Len Sipes: All right, there you go. It has an effect. You should be a public affairs officer. But ours, what we’re talking about is post-conviction. We’re talking about probationers.

Amanda Rocha: Yes.

Carline Claudomir: Yes.

Len Sipes: Okay, and the probationers, we’re talking about, the incentive here is early termination, it’s where the judge or the attorney feels that this person has a substance abuse background, not necessarily currently doing drugs, but having a substance abuse background, and this person may not be new to the criminal justice system. This person may have multiple arrests and multiple contacts with the criminal justice system, correct?

Amanda Rocha: That is correct. We have people who are 18-years-old up until, well into their 60s, so yeah, it could be somebody who is their first charge, or it could be somebody who’s, it’s their 20th.

Len Sipes: Right, and that part, by the way, the process in terms of people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s and older. I’ve had a chance to encounter them, in terms of the write-alongs that I’ve done with our folks, and that’s sad, don’t you think? I mean, when you walk into this apartment of this guy who’s been through heroin, who’s been through crack, I mean, these older heroin addicts, these older coke guys, you know, they just have the hardest time staying away from drugs. It’s just amazing to me to go into the home of a 50-year-old and 60-year-old because they continue to do drugs.

Carline Claudomir: Can I go back to the incentive process?

Len Sipes: Yes.

Carline Claudomir: I always hear the biggest incentives for our program is the fact that you can come off of drugs, and you can be successful in the community without using illicit substances. We actually have a client right now, he is part of the TAP program, but we also see some of those clients sometimes, and he’s working, he’s successful, he’s drug free. That is the biggest incentive. Most of our clients, however, see early termination, and that’s their goal, and they don’t actually think of, to get there, I have to also be drug free.

Len Sipes: Here’s my guess, and either one of you, feel free to tell me whether I’m right or wrong. My guess is that they think that they’re entering this program, and the early termination is the only thing that’s on their mind, and getting off of drugs is way, way, way, way, way back on the list of –

Carline Claudomir: – priorities.

Len Sipes: Yeah, priorities, because a lot of people, they’ve done drugs the good part of their lives. You know, 12, 13 years old, starting alcohol, 14, 15, starting marijuana, 16, 17, graduating to the harder drugs, a lot of these individuals that we supervise here at the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, and this applies to any parole and probation agency in the country. You know, they work with people who don’t know how to live life without self-medication.

Carline Claudomir: And unfortunately, in their minds, they believe it’s recreational, even though they have a 20-year history of drug abuse and treatment situations, they still believe it’s recreational, I can stop at any point in time.

Len Sipes: I can handle this.

Carline Claudomir: And unfortunately, when they get in front of, into the STAR/HIDTA program, and there’s consequences, and they realize, well I’m just going to jail because I can’t stop using, is that really worth it? And that’s when it may click in their mind, okay, I really do, I have a problem. I can’t do this on my own.

Len Sipes: We, we have this come to reality be, again, I’ve used other terms, but I don’t want to be disrespectful. Where that becomes a defining moment in their lives, does it not, that they have lived their life with the needle, lived their life with a powdery substance, lived their life smoking reefer, they really don’t know what to do without drugs.

Amanda Rocha: And I think, for example, we have somebody assigned to us right now. Her grandmother had a history, apparently she’s not using now, but of use. Her mother is actively using, and she’s a young girl, 19 years old, and is using, so that, not only has she been using for a good amount of her short life that she has had so far, but she also has been living with this substance abuse through her generations.

Len Sipes: Right. I guess that’s the point that I’m trying to get across to the audience, because we have this extraordinarily simplistic sense as to the problem that we have with people, the 16,000 people that we supervise on any given day, and most of the people in the audience that I talk to understand that out of the 7 million people under correctional supervision, 5 of those 7 million are on community supervision. So when we talk about corrections in this country, the overwhelming majority of these individuals are in the community being supervised in the community. The overwhelming majority of these individuals have substance abuse histories. The overwhelming majority of these individuals just don’t smoke a joint every couple weeks. That investment in drugs is a long term early age of onset life altering experience, but they don’t know how to have a life without drugs. So every time the boss gets in their face, they smoke a joint. Every time life takes a turn, the needle goes in their arm. That’s who they are, that’s what they are in terms of their own self definition. Now am I exaggerating, or am I in the ballpark?

Carline Claudomir: No, even when they’re successful, the way they celebrate is by using drugs!

Len Sipes: That’s right! They reward themselves. We had a case one time when I was with the Maryland Department of Public Safety. The guy comes out of prison, reunited with his family, he’s going to drug treatment, he’s working, he’s getting along with the kids, and he’s doing so well, that what he does is fire up a joint to celebrate! And he kept pulling positives for marijuana! First positive, second positive, third, fourth, fifth, sixth. Now there’s a certain point where we’re sitting down and saying, my man, you’re very close to going back to prison, and your wife let you come home, and the kids, you’re getting along with the kids, and you’re working every single day, and you’re going to drug treatment, and the drug treatment folks say that you’re progressing, and you’re within a hair’s breadth of going back to the prison system! What’s up with you?

Carline Claudomir: Well I have clients like that right now in my caseload. I had a client who, by some confusion, believed that her termination date was a month earlier, and so when I called her in, I said, I need you to come in and drug test, because I’m sorry, you actually terminate in May instead of April, and that drug test was positive for marijuana, and her explanation was, I thought I was off of probation! But she had not tested positive in close to 7 months!

Len Sipes: But that’s not the point!

Carline Claudomir: It’s not the point!

Len Sipes: So you, the criminal justice system, in essence, in these drug courts or other modalities that we have here at CSOSA, when we involve people in long term residential group substance abuse, that is, for the first time in their lives many of these individuals come face to face with the prospect of never using drugs again, and facing the prospect as to why they use drugs to begin with. That is a pretty scary place to be, is it not?

Amanda Rocha: I would think so, yeah. Some of the offenders have already had drug treatment, though, and this is their second time coming around, because like you were saying, it is a scary thought, so maybe that first time they weren’t open to it. They didn’t really reap the full benefits of receiving that treatment, so here they are, back in the criminal justice system, and we’re giving them another chance, and we’re hoping that this time, they are receptive, and they do keep that open mind, and they aren’t so put off by the whole idea of addressing that issue.

Len Sipes: We’re halfway through the program, ladies and gentlemen. This is DC Public Safety today. We’re talking about drug courts. We have two principals with us. We have Carline, let’s see if I can actually pronounce Carline’s last name correctly, Claudomir, and Amanda Rocha, both community supervision officers with drug court. Again, there are two drug courts in the District of Columbia, ours under the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, which is post-adjudication, which means the person’s on probation, and we also have one on the pretrial side of it, and the whole idea is, when the judge or the attorney takes a look at this individual’s background, they say that this person’s involvement in criminal activity is principally due to substance abuse, and that person may not be new to the criminal justice system. This may be the person’s fifth, sixth, seventh, twelfth time, but he has a substance abuse history, she has a substance abuse history, and what we try to do is to get them involved in treatment, but the interesting part of it is that treatment may not be the first stop, correct? We have other, we assess the individual –

Carline Claudomir: When they come in to this, the HIDTA drug program, initially, some clients actually are [INDISCERNIBLE] from either the pretrial or from a request from their judge. A lot of our clients come in, and we assess their drug, their current drug test to see, what level they would actually go into. Some clients come in and never drug test positive, and they had dealt with their issues prior to coming to –

Len Sipes: Or they make the voluntary decision to stop as long as they’re under supervision. So the interesting part, this was the point I was trying to get to, and both of you were looking at me, so why did I, the interesting part of it is research years ago that basically said offenders take vacations from their drug use all the time. There’s a certain point where even the person involved in substance abuse will say, I’m doing it too much. I need my wife or my significant other, or for whatever reason, I’m going to be drug tested, I’ve got to stop for the next 3 or 4 months, and then oftentimes, the person goes right back to it. So this sense of an uncontrollable craving for drugs, that craving is always there, but the person can stop for a certain amount of time.

Carline Claudomir: It depends on the person, but yes, sometimes we do have clients who may have tested positive three or four times at the very beginning, and we never, and then complete their whole probation with no, with no positive drug tests, but then we’ll see them later on in court, and they got another charge, and they tested positive at some other point after they leave the STAR/HIDTA program.

Len Sipes: So with the criminal justice system has the wherewithal, and mothers have the wherewithal, and pardon my sexism, wives have the wherewithal, and in the case of women offenders, husbands have the wherewithal, people who have a certain amount of power regarding the offender, have the ability to get that offender to stop doing drugs, at least for a certain amount of time.

Carline Claudomir: Specifically when the consequences is jail time. A lot of our clients, after they sit, do their first sanction which is a jury box sanction for three days, and they see the judge stepping back, client after client after client for a positive drug test for three nights or seven nights or 14 nights or 28 nights, they look at that and say, oh, I’m not going to do 28 nights for a positive marijuana. I can stop for –

Len Sipes: That’s the point, isn’t it?

Carline Claudomir: Yeah.

Len Sipes: Isn’t that the point? I mean, it’s like we have these endless debates about substance abuse and what works and what doesn’t work. Well, holding a 28 day setback, as we refer to it, of spending 28 days in jail for smoking a joint seems to be an awfully heavy price to pay, and a lot of these individuals under our supervision consciously make the choice not to continue to smoke marijuana because they simply don’t want to spend 28 days in jail, correct?

Carline Claudomir: Correct, but the flipside is those who actually are in the grips of their addiction, no matter how many sanctions you provide, they’re not going to stop.

Len Sipes: They’re not going to stop.

Carline Claudomir: And those are the ones we really try to focus on and really try to get them out of the community immediately, because every time they pick up, they’re, one, they’re breaking the law, and they’re violating their probation contract, and they’re violating probation, and they’re hurting themselves, and they may become a threat to the community, so we try to get them out of the community as fast as we can through treatment.

Len Sipes: All right, and then some cases, through residential treatment.

Carline Claudomir: Yes.

Len Sipes: Okay. So let’s walk through those steps, those sanction steps, because we have, sitting in the jury box for three days, which is a real pain.

Carline Claudomir: First violation.

Len Sipes: Okay. Second violation –

Carline Claudomir: – is going to be 30 days on GPS with [INDISCERNIBLE] conference.

Len Sipes: So 30 days being tracked electronically through global positioning system satellite tracking, so wherever you go, you’re tracked.

Carline Claudomir: With a curfew.

Len Sipes: With a curfew.

Carline Claudomir: And sometimes, a stayaway. You can’t go to the neighborhood where you usually get your drugs from.

Len Sipes: There you go.

Carline Claudomir: If you do, we know where you are.

Len Sipes: There you go. So he’s being watched all the time. Okay, so that’s pretty cool. Now the next sanction after that?

Carline Claudomir: Third sanction is three nights in jail.

Len Sipes: Three nights in jail. In the D.C. jail.

Carline Claudomir: D.C. jail.

Len Sipes: Well that’s a lovely place to visit! Is it on the weekend, during the week?

Carline Claudomir: It’s whenever they get their sanction.

Len Sipes: It’s whenever they get their sanction.

Carline Claudomir: It starts immediately.

Len Sipes: Okay. Fourth?

Amanda Rocha: It would be a case staffing. So Ms. Claudomir and I, or our supervisor or other team members get together and discuss this individual’s case to see what we can do at this point, because in the past, what has been going on isn’t working. So a plan, in a sense.

Len Sipes: Is that, is that where you give your riot act pronouncement to the individual, basically saying, hey, you’re this far from going into prison?

Carline Claudomir: They’ve been getting it the whole time! And we tell our clients when they come in, if we get to the case staffing stage, please understand you’re leaving the community and going to treatment. There is no if, but, can I, can I get one more chance? No, your chance was when you stood in front of the judge and said you would be clean and sober.

Len Sipes: And there’s a certain point where we will send them away to residential treatment.

Carline Claudomir: That’s the case staffing stage.

Len Sipes: That’s the case staffing stage. Okay, after that, what happens?

Amanda Rocha: Then we have the seven nights in jail sanction.

Len Sipes: Okay, and then it just basically goes from 7 nights to 14 nights to an entire month sort of thing.

Amanda Rocha: That’s right, and if somebody gets placed in residential treatment and gets discharged unsuccessfully or voluntarily chooses to leave, then that would be 15 nights in jail.

Len Sipes: The average person listening to this program, people within the criminal justice system are going to say, eh, that’s pretty much common business, drug positives and sanctions. The average person outside of the criminal justice system listening to this program would be appalled. They’re going, how many positives, how many bites at the apple are you giving this guy? You’re telling me that he’s got 15 prior contacts with the criminal justice system, and now we’re up to our fifth and sixth drug positive? For the love of good god, put that person in prison! Obviously, that person doesn’t want to comply. Obviously, that person is posing a public safety risk. Just put him back in prison.

Carline Claudomir: But see, you look at the context of the situation, the average individual on probation actually provides a number more of positive drug tests are a lot more noncompliant. We get them immediately, after the first, second, third, fourth, fifth. So in the context of probation, sometimes a client won’t be able to go before the sentencing judge until the 20th plus drug test because we can’t get a show cause until then to tell the judge he is noncompliant with probation.

Len Sipes: Okay, but that’s a technicality, and I’m glad you brought that up, but the principal issue here for the average citizen is, you know, are, the people that we have under supervision are not exactly the most popular people on the face of the earth.

Carline Claudomir: No, but they are your neighbors.

Len Sipes: Well, that’s a good point. That’s a good point. But my, the other point is that, you know, when we go out, the citizens asking them to support, whether it’s mental health programs or substance abuse programs or educational programs or vocational programs, the response oftentimes is, Leonard, we’re going to give to the church, we’re going to give to the schools, let the money go to the kids, let the money go to the elderly, I’m really not all that enthused about giving criminals. Money for programs, so the point is, is that there’s a frustration level and a tolerance level on the part of the average citizen as to how many chances we’re going to give that individual from the standpoint of public safety, and we need to explain why we do that.

Carline Claudomir: Public safety is our number one concern, so we always talk to our clients in regards from the aspect. When you become a threat to public safety –

Len Sipes: Boom, you go.

Carline Claudomir: – you need to leave the community.

Len Sipes: That’s right.

Carline Claudomir: But up until that point, we have to work with you, because once you leave probation, you’re done with this. You go back into that same community, because you don’t walk around with a sign saying, I am a criminal. You walk around into those churches, into those schools, pick up your children, those same places that the public wants to provide their money, those clients are there with them.

Len Sipes: 1 out of 45 individuals, according to national research are on probation right now or community supervision. Now, if you can, these are active. So if you count people who have been caught up in the criminal justice system, it’s at least 1 out of 20. So every time, regardless of where you go, where you shop, those, you’re going to encounter hundreds of individuals who have been caught up in the criminal justice system. So I think the rationale is, is that we want them to quit drugs, we want them to become taxpayers, not tax burdens, we want them to stop criminality, and I think that’s what we try to do with these individuals in drug court.

Amanda Rocha: That’s right. We want them to make that lifestyle change, so they’re not back in and out of the system.

Len Sipes: We want them to toss off substance abuse for good.

Amanda Rocha: That’s right.

Len Sipes: And stop messing with us.

Carline Claudomir: The problem is, sometimes it doesn’t happen in one try. I have sat in drug court and did my cases in drug court and have turned to the left, and looked into the jury box and saw a client I had a year ago who got off on early termination who is now back on pre-trial.

Len Sipes: That’s exactly right. And it is the process of recovery, and when we do live talk radio, people have a hard time listening to this, because their sense of the criminal justice system is, you’re getting a break, buddy, and maybe one, maybe two, but you hit three, and I want you to go back to prison. I think the average person in the larger community, not in the criminal justice system, feels that way. So we have to be accountable to the average citizen and explain to them that recovery, in terms of substance abuse, is a messy process that takes, in many cases, two, three times at treatment, and in many cases, involves multiple positives for drugs until we can convince that person to stay away from drugs, at least for the period of their supervision, or go to jail.

Carline Claudomir: I have a client who has been on probation since 1995, and he has been through every team at CSOSA, and when he finally made it to STAR/HIDTA, and he started messing up, and we did the warrant initiatives and went into his home and arrested him, and we brought him in front of his judge, the judge said, no, we’re going to give him one more chance, and that is it. One more chance. And it just continues on. But I will say that after this last opportunity, he has been clean and sober for 7-8 months, is working full time, and now, he is back, part of society. But see, it didn’t work the first, second, third, 10th, 15th time.

Len Sipes: You know, the interesting part of this is that the average person hearing it has a low frustration level for people caught up in the criminal justice system, but that is our reality. Our reality is that we have individuals who don’t know how to live life without a needle. They don’t know how to live life without a hallucinogen. They don’t know how to do it, and what we do is we teach them how to live life without using drugs, and that created a much safer society, a much saner society in the long run, and we turn people who are tax burdens into taxpayers, and I think that’s the heart and soul of it. It’s messy, it’s sloppy, sometimes it’s hard to explain to the general public, but we take individuals who are problems and we turn out individuals who are no longer problems, and we do that more often than we don’t, correct?

Carline Claudomir: And sometimes we’re the only ones who hold up that mirror to that individual and make them see how sloppy and messy they are, and they have been living their life, and hold them accountable, and when they think they’re almost done, hold them accountable even more and make them be the successes that they say they want to be when they first came to probation.

Len Sipes: It’s a fascinating process. Most of the people that I’ve encountered after a certain point, especially the older guys, sick and tired of being sick and tired. They are. I mean, it is just a terrible process of being arrested and rearrested and rearrested and reincarcerated and reincarcerated. These aren’t necessarily violent criminals. Most of these people are involved in nonviolent crimes, but there’s a certain point where they just get sick and tired of being constantly put through the criminal justice system, and they finally quit. They finally make that break. So I think what you’re doing is intervening in that process earlier, if at all humanly possible to get them to that point where they understand that they’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, correct?

Amanda Rocha: Well, and also, think about the example that I gave before where this young adult has this generational, you know, substance abuse that she’s been around, and those people who have dropped out of school in the sixth grade, or who have all these different issues, and they’re using to kind of, you know, make themselves feel better about the issue, or they’re trying to fit in with their peers, or with their family. So you have all these issues that are going on, and part of probation’s job is to address those issues, get them into an employment training program, get their GED, so now that they have these positive things in their life that they didn’t have before that would help them to stop using or even wanting to go back and use.

Len Sipes: Or put them back in jail or prison, and either one protects public safety.

Carline Claudomir: Yes.

Len Sipes: That’s the bottom line. All right, ladies and gentlemen, we’re out of time. Carline Claudomir, and I said it for the first time correctly, community supervision officer with our drug court unit. Amanda Rocha, also a community supervision officer with our drug court unit. You can find information about CSOSA at www.csosa.gov. You can also access the radio, television shows, the blog, and transcripts through the CSOSA website, or directly through www.media – M-E-D-I-A – dot-csosa – C-S-O-S-A – dot-gov. You can follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/lensipes, and you can also email me directly, Leonard – L-E-O-N-A-R-D – dot-sipes – S-I-P-E-S – @csosa.gov. Ladies and gentlemen, I want everybody to have themselves a very, very pleasant day.

[Audio Ends]