Page images
PDF
EPUB

And this is the great failing that this desire has not been put in the people's minds when they go to Lexington or Forth Worth or Riker's. Women are thrown into the House of Detention in New York, and the treatment there would startle you. I am talking too much.

Chairman KEFAUVER. One or two other questions. You have been carrying on this program since May 1949, is that correct?

Mr. ROSENFELD. That is when I went to New York. I have been broadcasting there for 71⁄2 years, 7 years and 8 months. I have been working with the narcotics for 5 years.

Chairman KEFAUVER. How many have you been responsible for sending to Lexington or Fort Worth?

Mr. ROSENFELD. None to Fort Worth. Approximately 250 to 300. Chairman KEFAUVER. How many have you assisted upon release? Mr. ROSENFELD. All that came back to us. That would be roughly 50. The rest

Chairman KEFAUVER. That is only a small percentage of the number that are released from Lexington.

Mr. ROSENFELD. That is about 15 percent of them. That is about the biggest percentage that has ever been shown-I am not boasting of our percentage.

Chairman KEFAUVER. A large number of them just don't have anybody to help them or don't avail themselves of any help after they release them.

Mr. ROSENFELD. Yes, that's right.

Chairman KEFAUVER. How much have your radio listeners sent in to carry on this work?

Mr. ROSENFELD. For narcotic addicts?

Chairman KEFAUVER. Yes.

Mr. ROSENFELD. The first 2 years we spent $36,000. It is over $50,000.

Chairman KEFAUVER. Have you written a book about this matter? Mr. ROSENFELD. No. I have an autobiography in which there are several chapters about what we have done with narcotics.

Chairman KEFAUVER. As a matter of information, what is the name of the book?

Mr. ROSENFELD. The Happiest Man in the World. That is an autobiography. I did not come here to talk about my book or the radio program. I came here because I have been helped

Chairman KEFAUVER. You can't help my asking you about it.

Mr. ROSENFELD. No, sir. And I apologize. I did not mean it in that way.

Chairman KEFAUVER. I know you didn't come here to promote your own cause, but I thought as a matter of information I would ask you. Mr. ROSENFELD. Thank you. May I also tell you that Doubleday published the book?

Chairman KEFAUVER. All right, Mr. Mitler.

Mr. MITLER. Mr. Rosenfeld, you have spoken of course as we know to a great many people who have been at Lexington. As a result of these conversations what can you say about the wisdom of the mixing of the small group of younger people that are with older addicts there?

Mr. ROSENFELD. I think it is criminal.

Mr. MITLER. For what reason?

Mr. ROSENFELD. To put a teen-ager or a person who has only been using drugs for 1 or 2 years together with men or women who have been incarcerated many times, who are 3- or 4-time losers. It makes of this teen-ager or young person a hardened criminal. The oldtimers teach them every way in the world to what they call boost and hussle and steal. They learn everything about how to break the law. They are taught everything.

They are taught even in there to crush aspirin tablets and put them in cigarettes, to use lighter fluid or anything. They are taught things that they never knew before. This they might find with other teenagers but to me it is just putting, it is just giving them the worst chance in the world.

They have no chance when they are put in with these oldtimers who have been beating themselves to death for 15 or 20 years and who know all of the angles.

I personally think it is the worst thing that could possibly be done.

Mr. MITLER. You are not saying that Lexington isn't worthwhile, were you. It is your suggestion that they be segregated?

Mr. ROSENFELD. Lexington is wonderful, it is the only place you can, it is marvelous because it is the only place. There are certain things I feel-I am only a layman although an experienced laymanthat could be added to Lexington to make it twice as efficient. I think it is marvelous that we have a place like that. My only complaint is that when you spend-I don't want to quote this as a fact but it would occur to me that it costs $2,500 to $3,000 to treat a narcotic addict.

I don't know what the budget is there but the number of addicts they put there in a year, I would say the least they can take care of an addict for is $2,500 and then to turn the man loose and give him $3 and say, go make a living and stay free from drugs, this to me is just horrible.

In regard to the young people, your chances of saving young people are very small because they haven't had enough arrests. They haven't had enough lumps, they haven't had enough heartbreaks, they haven't broken their mother's and father's heart. They haven't stolen everything that their parents had. They haven't robbed. They have just been arrested or someone has persuaded them to go to Lexington against their will.

They are not ready to quit drugs. But putting them in with these oldtimers you couldn't save one out of a hundred thousand, even if you brought him back and gave him a job and did everything I say, until such time he has proven to himself how low he can sink, he is not ready to quit.

An addict is ready to quit when he has sunk so low that there's nothing lower.

Mr. MITLER. I have no other questions.
Chairman KEFAUVER. Senator Langer?
Senator LANGER. No questions.

Chairman KEFAUVER. I think it is very important to consider a point you brought out. We all would know about it if we thought it through. That is that the average addict coming out of Lexington and somewhere else, he is not likely to have many friends, if any, who would be

wholesome friends. By virtue of his addiction he would have lost most of the worthwhile friends, so that he naturally

Senator LANGER. I might add, Mr. Chairman, in the National Penitentiary Committee a murderer coming out of the penitentiary can get $200 and a suit of clothing. Certainly the provision should be made to take care of these addicts and give them a start when they get

out.

Chairman KEFAUVER. That is something new we got by in the last Congress, this $200.

Senator LANGER. Yes.

Mr. ROSENFELD. If I might make some suggestion. Years ago a jurist in Denver, Colo., his name was Judge Ben Lindsey, who did more with delinquency and young people than if under the Public Health Service System there would be one person in each city to which an addict could go.

If that would be a person whose confidence the addict could have, if he could go to this person, one person, you would have a whole lot less of the habitual narcotic users.

Senator LANGER. Don't you think the church ought to take an active interest in it, go to the Presbyterian minister, or Catholic priest or Jewish rabbi or Protestant minister?

Mr. ROSENFELD. I can only say this, that a plumber could not talk to an electrician. An electrician couldn't speak to a bricklayer. Unless a person has been an alcoholic he can't talk to another alcoholic. Unless a person has been a drug addict or has worked with them and knows the thoughts of the addict it is an impossibility.

You could not get anyone. They can't quit for their mother. They can't quit for their father. They can't quit for their children. They can't quit for God. They can only quit for themselves and this must be put into them until such time as they want to quit for themselves. They have denied God. They don't thing of God. They think of nothing but that next fix. That is the only thought in their minds and until such time as they have hit their bottom, and until such time as they want to quit for themselves, they will never quit.

There is only one way to put that in their mind and that is to show them the advantages of quitting.

Chairman KEFAUVER. At least the rabbi or the priest or the minister would have contacts to help them secure employment and be someone to take an interest in them?

Mr. ROSENFELD. If they will.

Chairman KEFAUVER. Šo I think there is a lot of validity in Senator Langer's suggestion.

Mr. ROSENFELD. I certainly do. I know of one priest in New York who also was an addict. This man can talk to them. He was an addict and he whipped drugs and he is now 25 years. It happens that he is a priest. He can help because he knows what he is talking about.

Chairman KEFAUVER. All right, thank you, Mr. Rosenfeld. I want to say that we appreciate the work you are doing.

Mr. ROSENFELD. Thank you. I brought that for you.

Mr. MILTER. Mr. Rosenfeld had a lady with him. We heard her in executive session just a little earlier and we have that on the record, her testimony which is helpful.

Chairman KEFAUVER. Yes; I know. Senator Langer told me. We thank you very much.

(Discussion off the record.)

Chairman KEFAUVER. We will stand in recess until 2 o'clock. (Whereupon, at 12: 55 p. m., a recess was taken until 2 p. m. of the same day.)

AFTERNOON SESSION

Chairman KEFAUVER. Mr. Rufus King, will you come around, please.

STATEMENT OF RUFUS KING, PARTNER IN THE LAW FIRM OF RICE & KING, WASHINGTON, D. C.

Mr. MITLER. Your name is Rufus King?

Mr. KING. Rufus King.

Mr. MITLER. Would you state your occupation?

Mr. KING. I am a partner in the law firm of Rice & King in Washton, D. C., a member of the New York, Maryland, and District of Columbia bars.

Mr. MITLER. What is your background in connection with this problem that the committee is having hearings on?

Mr. KING. Well, I had the honor and privilege of serving with the chairman and Senator Wiley with the Senate Crime Committee. I was then counsel to a subcommittee of the Senate District Committee investigating crime and law enforcement in the District of Columbia, which made an extensive study of the narcotics situation locally here in the District.

I served as a consultant to the commission on organized crime of the American Bar Association. I have been secretary of the criminallaw section of the American Bar Association for the last 3 years; chairman of its committee on narcotics and alcohol; and I am presently serving as chairman of a joint committee of the American Bar Association and American Medical Association, which is engaged in making a thorough reappraisal of the attitude of the two professions and their responsibilities toward this whole field of narcotic-drug addiction, and the policies and problems relating to it.

Mr. MITLER. Would it be possible for you to first make a statement with respect to the juvenile problem? I think that would be helpful, if you could touch on that.

Chairman KEFAUVER. Before you start, Mr. King, I would like for the record to show that the chairman appreciates his long acquaintance with Rufus King, dating back over a period of many years. Mr. King served capably and unusually well as associate counsel of the Senate Crime Investigating Committee; and in these other capacities which he has mentioned, it has been very gratifying to me to find he has a continuing active interest in committees of the American Bar Association and other associations interested in improving law enforcement, giving young people a better chance.

All too often, people who do have some official connection with committees such as we have had here in Congress, lose their interest as soon as they get out. Rufus King has given strenuously of his time in helping us frame legislation, and supporting it with testimony, and we are very grateful for your interest and your help to us.

Mr. KING. Thank you, Senator, and I would certainly like to observe that from my association with the work of the bar association and

with other groups interested in improving law enforcement, that from the beginning of the work of the Crime Committee to the present, we have always looked on Senator Kefauver as our stanchest and most devoted friend and ally and associate in this type of endeavor.

To refer to the relation of young people to this problem will take me to perhaps the most important single point that I want to make, and I shall approach it right at the outset, and that is to urge this committee to give the most serious weight and consideration to the proposals and the views that you have heard and are about to hear with respect to treating the narcotic addict as a sick person, as a person with a medical affliction rather than as a criminal.

For some 40 years past, we have been dedicated to the proposition that the narcotics traffic and everything and everyone related to it is a criminal activity and a criminal endeavor, and this attitude has reached its culmination in the last few years with the enactment at the Federal level of mandatory minimum sentences of great severity, out of all proportion to the penalty structure that supports other similar Federal legislation.

This has cut the narcotics addict himself, the afflicted person on whom this traffic feeds, this has cut him off from any possibility of making a bargain with society for his own comfort or salvation. It has driven him into the arms of the peddler. He is unable to deal with public-health authorities. He is unable to deal with the medical profession in solving this problem.

He has only the peddler, and I certainly concur with everything that has been said in these hearings about what a vicious, predatory type of criminal the nonaddicted peddler who preys on these people is.

I think that this point is of greatest importance with respect to the young people who become involved with the peripheries of this traffic. The type of addict that perhaps has drawn most of this opprobrium from the press and the public and the severe legislation, is the old, confirmed addict who has been through several cures, who has had to resort to crime to support his addiction.

The person with whom society should begin to treat and deal is the youngster who is on the threshold of this. It is my opinion, and I am going to allude briefly to the reasons why I hold to that opinion in a minute, it is my opinion that the medical profession should assume primary responsibility for the handling of this problem.

In the interim, until we perhaps reach a point where medical doctors are able to begin the treatment of narcotics addicts, I think it is imperative that some increased provisions be made to enable the publichealth authorities to establish treatment facilities and treatment programs. And again I come back to the importance of this kind of program for the youngster who is just starting.

We have had something of an "iron curtain" over this area. We have had a little, very little, understanding of the problems involved. And specifically-well, there is an interim stage of addiction which is easily curable, where the victim is salvageable.

Many of the youngsters who have been brought to light in some of these studies have had actually a needle habit. They have had so little actual narcotics ingested that simply stopping the injection process cures them of their addiction.

So, I would try to summarize this point that I am trying to make, that some kind of facilities recognized by society, whether it is called

« PreviousContinue »