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Faith Nation: December 13, 2018

Faith Nation: December 13, 2018 Read Transcript


(upbeat music)

- Lawmakers are set to take on

the criminal justice system.

Welcome to Faith Nation,I'm Jenna Browder.

- And I'm John Jessup.

A vote on criminal justice reform

will take place on the senatefloor in the coming days.

Senator majority leader Mitch McConnell

promised or rathersurprised many this week

when he announced the senate will decide

on a measure known as the First Step Act

during the Lame Duck Session.

If passed, it would be the largest prison

sentencing overhaul in decades

and it has bipartisan support.

- It does.

This has been a priorityfor President Trump

and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

He as worked behind the sceneson criminal justice reform

for the last two years or so.

Although it's been in theworks for a while though.

There are still a lot of questions about

whether this new bill will really work

to cut down in criminalsreturning to prison.

- That's right, Amber Strong is with

Georgetown law professor Sean Hoffwood.

Hoffwood, along with other advocates

worked with the White House on the measure

and is here to tackle someof those tough questions.

- All right let's get right to it.

Question number one that we'rehearing a lot from viewers.

Statistically speaking,do we, do prison reform

programs actually work?

- They do Amber.

The programs that arein the First Step Act

were modeled off ofseveral different states

that had success in bothreducing the prison population,

getting people out of prison early

and still watching their crime rate fall

and we know that certain programs already

can reduce recidivism because the

Federal Bureau of Prisons has one.

The residential drug and abuse program,

which has reduced recidivism by 16%

and so the First StepAct is evidence-based

policies that if implemented correctly

should reduce the number of people that

come out and commit new offenses.

- Number two, there isconcern about this bill

that it is going toallow violent offenders

early release, is that true?

- It's not true.

Although I wish it were.

Because all of the data tells us that the

people we most want toincentivize with early release

are people who havecommitted violent offenses

because if we can rehabilitate them,

once they get out, they aren'tcommitting new offenses.

I mean this is the centralpremise of First Step,

which is 97% of people in federal prison

are gonna be released someday.

Why wouldn't we want to incentivize people

to be rehabilitated.

And I'd say of any group ofpeople, people that committed

violent offenses are the people that most

need to be incentivizedto be rehabilitated.

And yet the bill doesn't do that,

in part because somesenators have screamed

about the release of violent prisoners,

not understanding that thatwould actually make us safer.

- We've had a lot of time to study

mandatory minimum sentencesand their effectiveness.

Do they work, what have we learned

about them over the years?

- Well, they don't work forthe reason we once thought,

which was to deter people.

The thought that we're gonna give somebody

a 20-year mandatory minimum and it will

deter other people.

All of the data out theresays that the chance

of getting caught is what deters people

and not the length of the sentence.

And so mandatory minimumshave basically taken

away the discretion that judges have

and given it to federalprosecutors who are not

nearly as knowledgeableabout sentencing policy

as federal judges are.

- Let's throw one morein for good measure.

What is something that you've heard,

you've been so close to this bill,

what is something you'veheard that just simply

isn't true about the First Step Act.

- Well, some of theopponents in the senate

have said that this is a jail break bill

and the thing everyone needsto know about this bill

is it's two things.

It's one incredibly modest reform.

This does not releasethousands of people out early.

It releases some who have reduced their

risk of recidivism out early,

which is what we want.

And second, it onlyprovides seven extra days

of good time a year toeveryone in federal prison.

So, for people serving a 20-year sentence,

this is not going to lead tothat much earlier release.

And at the end of the day this bill is

both modest reform, but it's also the best

reform bill of my lifetime to potentially

come out of the U.S. Congress.

- Well, Sean, thank you somuch for joining us today.

- Thank you for having me.

- Well many faith leaders have voiced

their support for the First Step Act.

For more on that, we arejoined by Heather Rice Minus.

of Prison Fellowship.

Heather thanks so much for being here.

- Thank you so much for having me.

- [Jenna] Heather, whyis this such an important

issue for Christians.

- Yeah, for believers, you know,

we want to see justice lived out.

We want to bring hope to people and that's

why I think so many Christians are

involved in prison ministry and going

inside the walls and telling people

about the hope of the gospel,

but I also believe as Christians

that we are supposed to stand for justice.

There's so many versesin the Bible that speak

to this and standing up for those who

can't speak for themselves and right now,

with the criminal justicesystem, we have some

serious issues in termsof people receiving

disproportional sentencesand people not having

the skills and opportunitiesthey need inside prison

to really transform andcome home as good neighbors,

good citizens and so that'swhy the First Step Act,

that's what they need to do.

- Heather, often there'sthis social stigma

associated with peoplewho've been incarcerated.

What role does the church play in helping

overcome those stigmasand why is it important

that we realize that wehave to play this role.

- Right, for Christians,if you think of the

grace we each receive and getting a

second chance from Christ.

We should be at the forefront

of welcoming people home.

We have a second chancein Christ and I think

we should offer a second chance to those

who have paid their debt by opening up

our congregations and welcoming them home

and letting them know that through Christ

there is a fresh start.

- Heather, how has prisonfellowship been really

helping to push this legislation forward?

- So I have been in government affairs

with Prison Fellowshipfor nearly six years

and about that entiretime I have been working

on some version of this bill.

And I am so excited thatwe are as close as we have

ever been and I believethat's going to happen.

What that looks like for us is we are

up on Capitol Hill andwith the administration

meeting offices, talking to them about

how this bill matters froma Christian perspective.

We have an army of grass roots,

Christian believers,many ministry volunteers,

many people how have been touched by

a crime or an incarcerationin their own lives

or with their families,who are also reaching out

and contacting theirlegislators about the bill

and then we're working in coalition with

a lot of different groups.

A lot of other faith based organizations

have been at the forefrontright there with us,

along with secular groups and it's,

it's a great coalitionand we're really looking

to get this done andhave a Christmas miracle.

- Heather, I got to askyou because there's a lot

of focus of course on prison reform,

criminal justice reform,which I think everybody can

agree needs to be done.

- Sure.

- But how do you balancethat against the fact

that you have a lot offolks who have been injured

by some type of crime.

How do you push somethinglike this without looking

like you've forgotten some of the victims

of really serious crimes.

- I would say if we don'tthink about prison reform,

we are actually doing adisservice to victims.

We believe at PrisonFellowship that crime is not

just an offense against the state.

It is harm to a direct victim often

and to the community.

And we should be puttingpeople in a system

that allows for people to make amends

and to earn back the public's trust.

If all we're doing is warehousing people,

we are actually doinga disservice to victims

because people are gonna come back home,

make new victims andthey're not going to take

accountability for theharm that they have caused.

- And Heather, if thisgets pushed through,

what is next for Prison Fellowship?

- Well, we have more workto do at the federal level.

I think first and foremost,this bill will still

require a lot of oversightand implementation

and so we are gonna be continuing to watch

the roll out of all the provisions of

this bill very closely.

In addition, we're working really hard

on trying to expand prison education.

We'd love to see Pellgrants restored to people

who are incarcerated for example.

And then we are also veryactive at the state level

and in fact, the state'shave really pushed

this movement forward.

We have about 12 state campaigns

and they've been moving much quicker

at passing reforms andI think that's actually

given Congress the courage to get where

they are today on the First Step Act.

- Heather Rice Minuswith Prison Fellowship.

Thank you for joining us today.

- Thank you so much.

- Well, house Republicanswill not be voting this week

on a measure to fund thegovernment and provide

money for border security.

Law makers in the houseare expected to recess

tonight and not resumebusiness until next Wednesday.

That leaves just two days to pass funding

before a partial government shutdown

kicks in on December 21.

Money to pay for PresidentTrump's border wall

is a key part to that funding measure.

Republicans and Democratshave locked horns

over the President'spromise to build a wall

and after a public displayof the contentious dispute

between top lawmakers and the President

in the Oval Office, there's little hope

of the two sides striking a deal,

but that is the least ofthe President's problems

right now with his personal lawyer

heading to prison for three years.

The President is speaking out.

- Well, joining us now to help break down

all of this is our chiefpolitical analyst David Brody.

David, the President today on Twitter,

let me get it right,Twitter, declared that Mexico

is paying for the wall and that savings

from his new trade dealwith Mexico and Canada

are fulfilling that one campaign promise

that one way or another,Mexico will be paying.

Is that something thathis supporters will buy?

- Well, I think his supporters will buy it

because remember Donald Trump didn't say

Mexico's gonna pay for the wall,

what he said is especially later,

one way or the other Mexicois gonna pay for the wall

and that's the key, that's the wiggle room

one way or the otherand what does that mean?

It could mean, look a tradedeficit in surplus with Mexico.

In other words, if he can get18 to 20 billion dollars back

that pays for the wall.

I know a lot of folks aresaying that's pie in the sky,

but that could be potentiallywhat happens here,

especially with that tweet he talked about

with that new trade agreement.

There's also a talk abouthaving a remittance fee

on some sort of money that goes from

U.S. individuals here to Mexico.

In other words, folks are sending money

back to their families there.

So, there's all different ways that

the Trump Administrationwill probably have to

figure out how to dothat because Mexico's not

coming across here sayinghere you go, Mr. Trump,

here's a check.

- One way or another, he's looking to

fulfill that campaign promise.

- That's right.

- David you talked to the President about

this and about Mexicopaying for this wall.

- Yeah, it was in January2017, third interview he did

and we actually at the time they,

the Trump Administration was talking about

an import tax, a border tax on goods

coming in from Mexico, a 20% border tax

and that was part of our discussion,

so have a look at what we talked about.

- This tax on Mexicoor imports from Mexico,

how serious are you aboutsomething like that?

- Well, it's something thatI have the right to do,

it's something that Ican impose if I want.

We are getting along actually very well

with the Mexican government.

We'll see what happens.

- If there was somesort of tax on imports,

what about the argument that you've heard

before that indeed it'll bepassed along to consumers.

- With respect to Mexico,something else could happen

which would be much more positive for

both Mexico and the United States.

- So the reason we wantedto play that for you

is to give you a sensethat even back then,

he was thinking of some creative way

to figure out how Mexico'sgonna pay for this wall.

- You know we saw this weekend that

unforgettable Oval Officemeeting with Chuck and Nancy.

- Chuck and Nancy.

- Where the President said he would

own a government shutdown.

We know that the deadline,the 21st is right

around the corner.

Do you think the President will really do

a shut down over the border wall?

- I think so, I think it's gonna happen.

As a matter of fact, I think we were,

I was on this program and I can remember

last week, I was heresaying that I thought

it was gonna happen.

Because this is his last best chance.

It's not gonna happen with Nancy Pelosi

and the Democrats controlling Congress

come January, so he's gotta do it now,

so I think he's gonna do it.

And look, it's important to point out

that this is just a partialgovernment shutdown,

so if we go through some of the agencies

that will be closed, there'sfive of them, specifically.

DHS, Department of HomelandSecurity, there they are,

DOJ, Department of Justice.

You also have the Interior Department,

State Department and HUD,

Housing and Urban Development,

so it's a partial government shutdown,

basically 75% of thegovernment would be open

and even with those agencies there,

many of those essentialemployees will still report.

Still, it's over Christmas and he's

gonna get dinged for it for sure.

- David, the President meanwhile is trying

to distance himself from his former

personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

He says he did not violatecampaign finance laws.

What's your take on this whole situation.

- Yeah, well thePresident now speaking out

saying that he didn't violatecampaign finance laws.

How having said that,

let's first talk about whathe said on Twitter exactly

and here's the tweet.

He said many campaignfinance lawyers stated

that I did nothing wrong with respect

to campaign financelaws if they even apply

because this was not campaignfinance, so you know,

basically what theTrump Administration and

specifically DonaldTrump is arguing is that

this was not campaign funds.

These were his own personalfunds and that in essence

he didn't knowingly do it and it was up

to Michael Cohen to basicallyunderstand the laws,

the rules and that's on him, not on Trump

and I think that's the key.

Did he knowingly actually try to influence

the presidential campaign and do that.

I think that's reallythe key to all of this

and also he can make, he,Trump can make the argument

to say look, the reasonI did it is because I was

trying to protect my family.

I was trying to protect theembarrassment to Melania

and the kid and all of that.

You can make that argument.

It's very hard to proveintent in something like that.

- To alter the campaign.

- And if it's not intent,

if you can't prove intent,then it becomes civil.

It doesn't become a felony and I think

that's the difference.

- That's what we'll watch.

- All right, David, thank you.

- Thanks guys.- Thanks David.

- Well, Nancy Pelosiafter much speculation

appears to have support to become the next

House Speaker in January.

For more on that, we turn to our

Capitol Hill correspondentAbigail Robertson.

Abigail how did NancyPelosi win over the support

of skeptics in her bid to become

the next House Speaker?

- Well, John, she struck a deal with them.

She said that if she becomes the next

Speaker of the House, she agrees to serve

no more than four years in the position

and almost immediately after she made this

announcement, she wonover about seven of those

who said that they were opposing her.

So as of now, she hasthe votes in her party

to be the next Speaker of the House.

- Abigail, when willDemocrats in the house

officially vote for the next speaker?

- They'll vote thewhole house when they're

back January 3 and Democrats officially

move into the majority into the House.

- Abby, we know contraryto White House statements

over this issue in the senate today,

lawmakers took actionto rebuke Saudi Arabai

over the killing ofjournalist Jamal Khashoggi.

- Yes, there were two resolutions that

passed the Senate thisafternoon in regards

to Saudi Arabia and rebuking the country

for the death of thejournalist Jamal Khashoggi.

One of the resolutions said that the U.S.

Should stop aiding SaudiArabia in the civil war

in Yemen and the other resolution said

that senators find that the crown prince

of Saudi Arabia isresponsible for the death

of the journalist.

Now neither one of these resolutions

is expected to pass the houseby the end of this year,

but the Senate wantedto send a strong message

to the long-time ally.

- And finally senators also took action

to combat sexual harassment on the Hill.

Is that right Abby?

- Yes, that is right Jenna.

Both the House and Senate passed

major legislation that overhauls

how Congress handlessexual harassment claims

here on the hill.

This was a really bigbill that they've been

working on for months and it's now

on its way to the President'sdesk and essentially

the main parts of thebill will protect victims

that come forward.

It strengthens thetransparency of the process

and the huge part here that taxpayers

will be very happy to hear.

It makes it so that lawmakersare personally liable

for any harassment andretaliation settlements

that they have to pay sotaxpayers are no longer

on the hook to pay for those settlements.

- All right, AbigailRobertson for us on the Hill.

Thanks Abby.

Well, coming up a lookat the growing number

of non U.S. citizens taking part

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(grand music)

("We Wish You a MerryChristmas" instrumental)

- Welcome back.

Well, an argument that you sometimes hear

in the immigration debateis that those who come

to the country will dojobs Americans won't do,

making them good for the U.S. economy.

But as Paul Strahanexplains, a new report shows

some immigrants could becosting the country big money.

- Taxpayers foot thebill for welfare programs

and non-citizens areadding plenty to that cost.

Steven Camarota of theCenter of Immigration Studies

has just added up all the numbers.

We found that 63% of households headed

by non-citizens had one or more people

in that household using at least

one welfare program.

- [Paul] That's almost double the rate

of American born citizens.

In terms of food programs or Medicaid,

the share of immigranthouseholds with somebody

using it is about twicethat of the native born.

- [Paul] This is what happens when

millions of low wage,less educated immigrants

flood the nation.

- If you bring in low wage workers, they,

and very often their U.S. born children

qualify for a host of programs.

If you had to put itinto a bumper sticker,

it's that there's a highcost to cheap labor.

- [Paul] These folks arealso three times as likely

to be uninsured, causing Americans to bear

much more cost.

- Non-citizens in general and immigrants

in general have very high rates

of lacking insurance,usually double or triple

of that of the native born.

But what happens when someone shows up

in an emergency room?

They're gonna care,we're not gonna not that,

and it's gonna come ataxpayer expense anyway.

- Or at the expense of other sick people

who those hospitals will just hit

with much higher billsto make up for those

who got their care for free.

Camorata points to the solution.

Make an immigration systemthat mostly takes in

more educated peoplewho are more qualified

to get the kind of jobs that will allow

them to afford insuranceand keep off welfare,

so you don't have to foot the bill.

Paul Stahan, CBN News, Washington.

- Well an acknowledgementand an apology from

America's largest Protestant church.

The Southern Baptist Convention released

a report detailing the denomination's ties

to slavery and racism.

Albert Mohler, presidentof the Southern Baptist

Theological Seminarysaid quote we must repent

of our own sins, we cannotrepent for the dead.

We must, however, offerfull lament for legacy

we inherit and a story that is now ours.

The school's year long studyshows that it's founders

owned slaves and weredeeply complicit in the

defense of slavery.

Mohler also added that theschool will not attempt

to rewrite the past, rather tell its story

in full and not hide.

- [John] Well after the break,

the benefits of giving.

How generosity could help your health.

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Takun Olam.

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- Jenna, it is hard to believe

Christmas is right around the corner,

can you believe it?

- It is, I know crazy.

- Well, with Christmasright around the corner,

we're officially enteringthe season of giving

and as CBN news health reportLorie Johnson shows us,

doing good and giving to others can

also be good for the giver.

The facts are clear.

Givers live longer,happier, healthier lives.

Studies show generosity triggers a number

of significant changes, all of them good,

both mentally and physically.

Here at the worldrenowned Cleveland Clinic,

Dr. Michael McKee develops ways to enhance

the inner healing response of patients.

- There are tremendoushealth benefits to giving.

- [Lorie] Stress leads to illness

and Dr. McKee says giving can reverse

the deadly affects of stress.

It doesn't matter whetheryou give time or money

or if it's to a lovedone or complete stranger.

- Well, we know that the giving tends

to reduce blood pressure, slow heart rate.

Again giving reduces stress.

It reduces depression.

- [Lorie] Researchers from the

National Institutes of Health studied MRIs

of people who gave to various charities.

They found generosity stimulates

the reward center in the brain,

releasing chemicals thatstrengthen our immune system.

- And we know again that there's

a release of endorphins.

These are the kinds of magical chemicals

that come from various areas in the brain

and they flood throughout the system.

They're cousins basically but some

reduce pain, some kind ofseek out sick looking cells

and exert a healing effect on them.

There are many different positive effects.

- [Lorie] Dr. StevenDeutsch is the chairman

of psychiatry at the EasternVirginia Medical School.

He says doctors common usegiving in treating depression.

- We encourage people to not be so

self-absorbed and to think about others.

We even tell people to practice being

concerned and invested in other people.

- [Lorie] He says the more people give,

the easier it gets.

- Sometimes they may feel initially

that it's fraudulent, that it's not really

who they are, but over time it becomes

more and more comfortable for them

and it does have a powerfultherapeutic effect.

- [Lorie] So people whofeel powerless or worthless

find a new purpose and value by seeing

their actions help others and they tend

to live longer and healthier lives.

Lorie Johnson, CBN News.

- So the lesson if you wantto live longer and happier,

it's better to give than to receive.

- That's so true, have you gotten your

Christmas gifts yet?

- I've gotten a few, butI still have a little

more to get done.

- Yeah, me too.

- Thanks for calling me out.

Well, that's gonna do itfor tonight's Faith Nation.

- Have a great evening.

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