TODAY   |  November 02, 2013

Former NYPD chief on prison: Any sentence is a life sentence

“The collateral damage is for life,” said Bernard Kerik, a former NYPD commissioner who was recently released from prison. TODAY’s Matt Lauer interviews Kerik.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> with bernard caric's career going to president bush 's head of homeland security department but he wound up pleading guilty

>> yeah, it changes. when i ran that system, i focused on the day-to-day operations of care, custody, and control. what i realized today is, especially in the federal prison system, that's not nelson the focus.

>> reporter: despite a long and impressive resume in law enforcement , caric says only a few months after behind bars himself that he realized that criminal justice system was broken.

>> these young men, first-time

nonviolence low level: e?? drug offense their sentence may be five or ten years, but you know what? it's not a five or hen continue year sentence. it's a life sentence . the collateral damage is for life. i am a convicted felon that will last till the day i die.

>> reporter: i'm listening to you, bernie, but i can almost here people watching this interview, say, yeah, it's tough but you broke the law and that's what you get.

>> that's one;%t look at it and the way i looked at it before i went in. except the relate is you want to punish them? okay, punish them. but don't destroy them. don't remove all of their societal values and replace them with institutional ones and think they are going back to society a better person because they won't and they are not.

>> bernard kerik will join matt lauer in a live interview on monday and talk about the decisions that landed him in prison. if you have a question for kerik tweet us using the iki#kerik on