History was made, and a new partnership was forged, this August when the U.S. Parole Commission conformed to our congressionally mandated duties under the D.C. Revitalization Act and assumed the authority of the D.C. Board of Parole. As Chairman, I know we have a large job in front of us, but I'm looking forward to working with officials in the District of Columbia to tackle those important public safety issues head-on. This Commission is dedicated to bringing only the highest level of service to the people of this city.

Even though the Commission began making parole decisions for D.C. offenders on August 5, 1998, we haven't had the authority to revoke parole until August 5 of this year. Now, supervision of D.C. code offenders has transferred to a new agency, the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to praise the hard work of the Commission staff - the people who do the hard work of ensuring your public safety. The Congress has asked us to do more with less, but I know this staff is up to the job. The U.S. Parole Commission is here to serve Americans, including the citizens of the District of Columbia, and our staff - folks who live in or near your city - are working very hard to make sure the job gets done right.

It's also important for you to know that the Revitalization Act abolished parole, but that it will not be abolished retroactively. Even if a prisoner's parole eligibility date is after August 5 of this year, the prisoner will be heard for parole at the appropriate scheduled time.

On behalf of the Commission, we look forward to working with the District of Columbia to ensure public safety for everyone.