Legislature(1997 - 1998)

1998-01-16 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

1998-01-16                     House Journal                      Page 2068
HB 329                                                                       
HOUSE BILL NO. 329 by the House Rules Committee by request of                  
the Governor, entitled:                                                        
"An Act amending the definition of correctional facility to include           
a therapeutic treatment center; providing for the conveyance of the            
Harborview Developmental Center and appurtenant land to the                    
City of Valdez for the purpose of conversion and lease of a part               
of the center for a therapeutic treatment center for the Department            
of Corrections; providing that such a land conveyance counts                   
toward the general grant land entitlement of the City of Valdez;               
and providing for an effective date."                                          
was read the first time and referred to the State Affairs, Judiciary and       
Finance Committees.                                                            
The following fiscal notes apply:                                              
Fiscal note, Dept. of Corrections, 1/16/98                                     
Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Administration, 1/16/98                             
Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Health & Social Services, 1/16/98                   
Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Natural Resources, 1/16/98                          
The Governor's transmittal letter dated January 16, 1998, appears              
"Dear Speaker Phillips:                                                        
Nearly 80 percent of all crimes committed in Alaska involve substance          
abuse.  Ensuring safe, healthy communities for Alaskans means having           
treatment programs designed to reduce the number of people who are            

1998-01-16                     House Journal                      Page 2069
HB 329                                                                        
victimized by persons under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  In line        
with that effort, this bill authorizes the transfer of the Harborview          
Developmental Center to the City of Valdez for conversion, in part, to         
a therapeutic treatment center.  The Department of Corrections would           
then lease the facility from the City of Valdez, which has agreed to           
invest considerable resources into the necessary conversion.                   
The Department of Corrections currently has three types of inmate              
substance abuse programs: substance abuse education, education plus            
an introduction to treatment, and institutional outpatient treatment.  The     
department needs to complete its continuum of care by establishing an          
intensive in-prison program that treats the most severe substance              
The Department of Corrections proposes to use a part of the soon-to-           
be-vacated facility for an intensive substance abuse treatment program,        
commonly referred to as a "therapeutic community".  In 1997, the               
United States Department of Justice reported studies show consistent           
reductions in recidivism rates for offenders who complete such                 
programs while in prison.  That would also result in fewer crime               
There are currently between 90 and 110 incarcerated inmates who need           
and qualify for therapeutic community treatment.  This bill would              
provide financing for 60 new corrections beds in Valdez and, thus              
would help ease the pressure on a severely overcrowded correctional            
system.  This legislation also keeps with art. I, sec. 12, of the Alaska       
Constitution, which mandates criminal administration be based on the           
principle of reformation.  Anticipated costs for fiscal year 1999 would        
be approximately $2.5 million, of which $569,000 is planned for                
treatment.  Annual costs thereafter are estimated at $2.7 million.             
This bill is one more step the state can take to reduce the number of          
victims of crimes resulting from an offender's substance abuse, provide        

1998-01-16                     House Journal                      Page 2070
HB 329                                                                       
intensive treatment to reduce repeat criminal behavior, and provide            
new beds for a severely overcrowded correctional system.                       
I urge your quick and favorable action so the Department of                    
Corrections can begin occupancy by September, 1998.                            
							Tony Knowles