Legislature(1993 - 1994)

1994-02-04 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

1994-02-04                     Senate Journal                      Page 2682
SB 276                                                                       
SENATE BILL NO. 276 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                              
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                          

1994-02-04                     Senate Journal                      Page 2683
SB 276                                                                       
"An Act relating to criminal justice information;                             
providing procedural requirements for obtaining                                
certain criminal justice information; and providing                            
for an effective date."                                                        
was read the first time and referred to the Judiciary and Finance              
Fiscal note from Department of Corrections and zero fiscal notes               
from Department of Health and Social Services, Department of Law               
and Department of Public Safety published today.                               
Governor's transmittal letter dated February 4:                                
Dear Mr. President:                                                            
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution,          
I am transmitting a bill relating to criminal justice information.             
The need for new Alaska legislation on the subject of criminal                 
justice information and computer information systems has been                  
recognized for a number of years.  If accurate and complete, these             
information systems provide a measure of protection for law                    
enforcement officers on the front line of the battle against crime and         
provide needed information for all parts of the criminal justice               
system and the public.  At the same time, provisions are needed for            
the security and privacy of the information contained in these                 
systems.  Under the bill, "criminal justice information" does not              
include records relating to juvenile offenders.                                
The federal Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 required the United States             
Department of Justice to develop a system for more immediate and               
accurate identification of offenders, which resulted in voluntary              
national standards being developed.  The Department of Justice                 
recommended that all states (1)implement mandatory reporting of all            
criminal justice information, (2)monitor case dispositions and adopt           
unique case-tracking numbers to improve data accuracy, (3)ensure               
timely submission of fingerprint records, (4)provide standardized              
data entry, and (5)provide audits, training, and data security.  This          

1994-02-04                     Senate Journal                      Page 2684
SB 276                                                                       
bill is a necessary step toward that goal, and it will provide a               
framework under which the state can comply with appropriate                    
national standards for the collection and use of criminal justice              
information, to the extent they are practical as applied to Alaska.            
This bill also adopts a trend seen in some other states, to give the           
press and public greater access to criminal history records and to             
make those records more "open."  For example, under this bill,                 
anyone would be permitted to receive information about a person in             
the custody or under the supervision of the state, including the               
location of incarceration of inmates, and the conditions under which           
such inmates are released into the community on bail, probation, or            
parole.  Currently, much of this information is available only  to             
victims of crimes.  AS33.16.120(f).  The public would also be                  
permitted to receive information about past convictions if less than           
10 years has elapsed from the date the offender was released from              
all state supervision.  Current law gives past conviction records only         
to employers of persons who work with children, and only for                   
specified crimes.  AS 12.62.035.  These provisions in this legislation         
would give the public a great deal of information about current or             
past criminal offenders that is either not available under current law,        
or is only available by expending great effort to search paper or              
microfilm records in the possession of the court system.                       
A detailed section-by-section description that describes the need for          
and the intent behind each provision in the bill is available from the         
Department of Public Safety.                                                   
						Walter J. Hickel