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Mr. Dowdy. Mr. Adams. Mr. Adams. I thank you very much for a very excellent statement, Mr. Donahue.
The thing we have had considerable concern about has been the handling of the results from the Easter case. I wonder if you have any statement in terms of costs in the Boston area and so on from the turn over—what we call the swinging door operation of using the judicial system of arrest on alcoholics as compared to a non-arrest procedure and are moving into a detoxification center.
Mr. DONAHUE. We do have some figures. I don't have them with me at the moment, but I can submit them to the Committee. I can show you just from my own place, I would say roughly we had taken 25 men, say in a three-month period from the Mass. Correctional Institution at Bridgewater. It costs $3,000 a year to maintain a man in an institution. When these men are sent to this institution in Bridgewater they are sent there on papers on a 60-day period. Out of this group of men there are only 2 who have returned to Bridgewater for drunk arrests. The rest of them have all maintained sobriety, are working on jobs today, and have not been arrested, and have not gone back to this facility.
Mr. Adams. Do you have any figures on costs of processing through the judicial system by, for example, arrest and prosecution, court time, and so on, prior to arriving at the institution for handling alcoholics in the criminal fashion as opposed to a civil?
Mr. DONAHUES The State Commission on Alcoholism has those figures. I'm so involved in the humanitarian phase of this thing, the facts and figures I leave to the State to compile because I'm not a statistician. Mr. ADAMS. Those are available from the State?
Mr. DONAHUE. Those are available from the State Commission on Alcoholism in Massachusetts. I don't know if we have some in the hotel, but if we do I can have them submitted to the Committee.
Mr. Adams. Thank you, Mr. Donahue, I have nothing further.
Mr. Dowdy. Thank you, Mr. Donahue. Your testimony was very interesting and helpful.
Mr. DONAHUE. Thank you. Mr. Dowdy. Now, we have Mr. Hutt. You have presented quite a long statement which we will make part of the record.
STATEMENT OF PETER B. HUTT, ESQ., WASHINGTON, D.C., AREA
COUNCIL ON ALCOHOLISM
Mr. Hutt. Mr. Chairman, I had intended to submit most of the documents for the record. Perhaps I could just initially describe them.
My name is Peter Barton Hutt appearing today on behalf of the Washington, D.C. Area Council on Alcoholism. My own personal interest stems from the fact that I represented DeWitt Easter in the Easter case.
We have prepared a brief statement which I would prefer, rather than read, simply to submit for the record. Together with that we have prepared a position statement comparing H.R. 6143 with title VIII of H.R. 7327 which also deals with the question of alcoholism.
We would support the objectives of title VIII. We do believe however that H.R. 6143 is more comprehensive and therefore is preferable. We have briefly set out in two short pages the points that we wish to make in comparing those two bills, and I would prefer that that simply be placed in the record for the use of the Committee.
We have also prepared a rather extensive 42 page memorandum which details the history of the problems of drunkenness and alcoholism in the District of Columbia, going back to 1945. We thought it important to show to the committee that this problem is not a new one, that it has been studied by 10 to 20 separate commissions and committees; that all of those commissions and committees have arrived at the same conclusion; namely, that the problem of drunkenness should be taken out of the criminal system and handled on a public health basis. We would therefore ask that this be included in the record as part of our statement, also for the benefit of the committee.
Finally we have four letters from people around the country that we believe would be of interest to the committee.
A letter from Judge Smith in Seattle, Washington who supports H.R. 6143. A letter from Judge John Murtagh of the Supreme Court of the State of New York who also supports the bill. A letter from Judge Samuel Kirbens of the Denver County Court who supports the Bill, and a letter from Mrs. Vashti I. Cain of the State of Mississippi, Department of Education, supporting the Bill.
These are merely representative of the letters that we have received from around the country.
The final letter that I wish to mention is a letter from Mr. Gerald Goldfarb who was the staff person on the D.C. Crime Commission directly responsible for the development of the aspect of that report which dealt directly with the drunkenness oflender, and Mr. Goldfarb writes that H.R. 6143 in his opinion is a "faithful reflection of the views stated in the Commission's Report to the President and ought to be enacted." I would ask that that letter also be included.
Vr. Dowdy. They will be included in the record.
STATEMENT OF WASHINGTON, D.C., AREA COUNCIL ON ALCOHOLISMI
WACA has long had a deep interest in the fate of all alcoholics, and particularly of the derelict inebriate. In 1964 WACA, in cooperation with the National Capital Area Civil Liberties Union, sponsored a test case in the District of Columbia courts to challenge the handling of indigent alcoholics by means of the criminal law. This resulted in the now famous DeWitt Easter decision, handed down by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on March 31, 1966, which held that a chronic alcoholic may not be convicted for his public intoxication.
Since that decision, WACA and the NCACLU have been forced to return to the courts numerous times to make certain that it is implemented.
Our testimony today is only a small part of the total effort expended by WACA to make certain that the derelict inebriate is provided adequate treatment for his alliction, and that alcoholics of all walks of life have available to them appropriate resources for their illness. As an individual, I also have a deep commitment to this objective.
Together with my colleagues, Richard Merrill and Michael Horne, I litigated the DeWitt
Easter case. We have also submitted Amicus Briefs on behalf of various organizations in other test cases involving alcoholism: the Driver case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth District, the Budd case in the United States Supreme Court, and the Hill case in the Supreme Court of the State of Washington. Another Amicus Brief will be submitted next week in the Hoy case in the State of Michigan. As a result of this work, I have been elected to the Board of Directors of the Washington, D.C., Area Council on Alcoholism and of the North American Association of Alcoholism Programs.
We have prepared, for the record, an extensive memorandum which documents the history of the problems of drunkenness and alcoholism in the District of Columbia. There is no need to read the minute detail of that memorandum at this time. It should, however, be included as a vital part of the printed hearing record, because it sets out the complete background detail justifying the need for this important legislation.
The decisions in the Easter and Driver cases, and the conclusions and recommendations of the District of Columbia and United States Crime Commissions that flowed from those decisions, unquestionably form the immediate basis for H.R. 6143. But this problem has been studied by many groups over the years, and the conclusions that have been reached are basically the same as those embodied in H.R. 6143. Thus, Congressman Hagan's bill is not a hasty measure, based upon assumptions or inadequate research. It implements more than 20 years of solid study and recommendations by physicians, penologists, lawyers, businessmen, law enforcement officials, and civic leaders in the District of Columbia and throughout the country. We are all indebted to Congressman Hagan for bis jatelligence and humaneness in sponsoring this legislation.
These hearings will demonstrate wide and unanimous support for H.R. 6143, not just in the District of Columbia, but throughout the country. We are submitting copies of representative letters we have received on this bill, with the request that they be included in the printed hearing record.
Congressman Adams has introduced H.R. 7327, Title VIII of which would also accomplish some of the objectives of H.R. 6143. WACA believes that H.R. 7327, while a commendable approach, do not go far enough. We believe that comprehensive legislation is required to meet the problem. We are submitting for the hearing record a position statement prepared on H.R. 7327 which details our comments on that proposed legislation and compares it with H.R. 6143.
We appreciate the opportunity you have given us to appear today, and we urge that H.R. 6143 be enacted.
POSITION STATEMENT OF WASHINGTON, D.C. AREA COUNCIL ON ALCOHOLISM
ON TITLE VIII OF H.R. 7327
1. Title VIII permits any person employed by the District of Columbia Departnient of Public Health to take an inebriate into protective custody: H.R. 6143, which permits only authorized personnel to perform this function, is preferable.
2. Title VIII permits protective custody of any intoxicated persons. H.R. 6143 limits protective custody only to incapacitated inebriates, which is preferable. It would be impossible to provide public detoxification facilities for all public inebriates.
3. H.R. 6143 provides authorization for the police or other personnel to take an inebriate to his home or to a private health facility, an essential function which the police perform every day. Title VIII fails to include such a provision and therefore subjects the police to problems of false arrest.
4. Title VIII fails to change the present law that it is a crime to drink in public. H.R. 6143 takes the preferable approach under which a person who is drinking and creates a disturbance in public commits a crime only if he refuses to stop his drinking and disturbance when requested.
5. Title VIII would permit the police to arrest inebriates under other minor misdeameanor statutes, such as vagrancy, loitering, and disorderly conduct. JI.R. 6143 follows the D.C. Crime Commission recommendation that inebriates be handled only under the new disorderly intoxication statute.
6. Title VIII would permit continuation of the present practice of requiring health, arrest, and other records to be submitted as part of an employee or other application. H.R. 6143 would preclude this unfortunate practice.
7. Both Title VIII and the 1947 statute on Rehabilitation of Alcoholics ($ 24501 et seq. of the D.C. Code) are included in the criminal law provisions of the
D.C. Code. The D.C. Crime Commission has recommended that the entire problem of public intoxication should be placed under the health provisions, not the criminal provisions of the Code. H.R. 6143, which places these provisions within the public health section of the Code, is therefore preferable.
8. Under Title VIII, a person taken into protective custody at a detoxification center would be released when “no longer intoxicated" even though he may still be incapacitated. H.R. 6143 permits his detention until he is able to take care of himself, but in any event, no longer than 3 days, and therefore is preferable.
9. Title VIII fails to provide for such essential public health approaches as a program within the Juvenile Court and the Department of Corrections, and an alcoholism program for District of Columbia employees. It makes no provision for an orderly continuum of treatment programs within the District of Columbia. It relies upon an out-moded concept of civil commitment which the D.C. Crime Commission has recognized is vulnerable to serious Constitutional challenge. It fails to provide for the voluntary detoxification, in-patient, and outpatient treatment programs, services, and facilities specifically recommended by the D.C. and U.S. Crime Commissions. H.R. 6143 provides for all of these, and therefore is preferable.
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CALIF., April 9, 1967. PETER BARTON HUTT, Esq., COVINGTON & BURLING, 701 Union Trust Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR PETER: I thank you for sending me a copy of H.R. 6143 pertaining to the problem of the public inebriate in the District of Columbia. As you know, I was the Crime Commission staff attorney with primary responsibility for preparing the section on the drunkenness offender. While I cannot, of course, speak for the Commission itself, it is my personal judgment that H.R. 6143 is a faithful reflection of the views stated in the Commission's Report to the President and ought to be enacted.
The Commission and its staff worked for 16 months on this problem. We elicited the opinions of many of the nation's leading experts on alcoholism and kept in close contact with the efforts of the National Crime Commission. We were in constant communication with pertinent officials of the District of Columbia Government, particularly with regard to the confusion that developed after the Easter case. In sum, I can think of no section of the Commission's Report that was written with greater care, or with a more lively awareness of the probable impact of recommended changes.
I have no doubt that H.R. 6143 would provide the necessary legal and administrative framework within which incipient and chronic alcoholics could be treated in the most effective and efficient manner. Moreover, it would provide an excellent model for other large cities that are reviewing their methods of handling the public inebriate and would thereby further alcoholism programs throughout the nation. However, I cannot be sanguine about the potential of this legislation in the District unless sufficient funds are made available to provide the full spectrum of treatment facilities called for in H.R. 6143 and in the Commission's Report.
I am happy to see that the Commission's conclusions are being translated into action. It would be a great pity if the time, money and brainpower lavished on the Report were wasted by relegating it to the library shelves as if it were an academic exercise. Please keep me informed of the progress of H.R. 6143 and other ameliorative efforts in the District. Sincerely yours,
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI,
April 4, 1967.
DEAR MR. HUTT: I have carefully read the bill proposed by Mr. Hagan of Georgia, and as far as I am able to ascertain, it is excellent. It seems to me that all details have been carefully considered and provision has been made for every phase of treatment which alcoholics might need. Congratulations on this
DENVER COUNTY COURT,
Denver, Colo., April 3, 1967.
DEAR MR. HUTT: I have studied H.R. 6143 recently introduced in The Con-
I endorse H.R. 6143. At this time I wish to comment only on the Section
SAMUEL M. KIRBENS,
SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK,
March 29, 1967.
DEAR PETER: This will acknowledge receipt of your letter dated March 20,
I thoroughly endorse the proposed legislation. I think its enactment is most
SEATTLE, WASH., March 28, 1967.
Dear Mr. Hutt: This is to acknowledge receipt of your communication ou
I have read the bill and consider it to be an effective piece of legislation which would permit the implementation of desirable programs to deal with the problem of the alcoholic in the District of Columnbia who comes before the courts frequently charged with the offense of public intoxication. The bill apparently makes provision for distinguishing between those persons who in fact are ill persons and those who merely consume alcoholic beverages and become intoxicated. This is a distinction which is quite important if the public is to accept the position that an alcoholic is an ill person and should not be punished merely for manifesting the symptoms of his illness in a public place.