Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

02/19/2019 03:30 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to 6:00 p.m. --
+= SB 33 ARREST;RELEASE;SENTENCING;PROBATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= SB 34 PROBATION; PAROLE; SENTENCES; CREDITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-Public Testimony Estimated to Start at 6:00 pm-
<Time Limit May Be Set>
          SB  34-PROBATION; PAROLE; SENTENCES; CREDITS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
6:03:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SHOWER  reconvened  the   Senate  State  Affairs  Standing                                                               
Committee  and announced  the  consideration of  SB  34; "An  Act                                                               
relating   to  probation;   relating   to   a  program   allowing                                                               
probationers to  earn credits for  complying with  the conditions                                                               
of  probation;  relating  to   early  termination  of  probation;                                                               
relating to  parole; relating to  a program allowing  parolees to                                                               
earn  credits  for  complying  with  the  conditions  of  parole;                                                               
relating to early termination of  parole; relating to eligibility                                                               
for discretionary  parole; relating to GOODE  time; and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He advised  that the purpose of  the evening meeting was  to take                                                               
public  testimony.  He  asked  the   testifiers  to  limit  their                                                               
comments to  three minutes and  encouraged anyone who  was unable                                                               
to  participate  tonight  could   submit  written  testimony  to:                                                               
senate.state.affairs@akleg.gov.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
6:04:05 PM                                                                                                                    
ERIK  REED,  representing self,  Mat-Su,  stated  that he  had  a                                                               
question about  Section 18 that  prohibits a person  from earning                                                               
good  time  while  on electronic  monitoring  post  sentence.  He                                                               
shared a  personal story  about being  hit by  a drunk  driver in                                                               
December 2017. He  and his son survived but his  wife was killed.                                                               
The  drunk driver  spent just  two weeks  in jail  before he  was                                                               
released on  electronic monitoring. His third-party  custodian is                                                               
his best  friend. Mr. Reed asked  if the time this  person spends                                                               
on EM  pretrial will be  credited against his  ultimate sentence.                                                               
He opined that there  isn't a lot of help for  the victims, but a                                                               
lot of time and money  is spent rejuvenating criminals. He stated                                                               
support for eliminating any credit  for time served on electronic                                                               
monitoring pretrial.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  expressed sympathy  for his  loss. He  advised that                                                               
the governor's  crime bills eliminate  any credit for  time spent                                                               
while on electric monitoring pre or post trial.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. REED asked when the bill takes effect.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER replied the effective date is July 1, 2019.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
6:07:51 PM                                                                                                                    
SID ATWOOD,  representing self, Anchorage, expressed  sympathy to                                                               
the previous testifier and agreed  that victims sometimes get the                                                               
short end.  He shared  that he  is 42  years sober  and currently                                                               
does contract work through Partners  for Progress working to help                                                               
people  coming out  of  prison get  treatment  and become  better                                                               
citizens  and  productive members  of  society.  He said  it  was                                                               
treatment that gave him a chance to have a good life.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:09:15 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD joined the committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:10:28 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL BERGER, representing  self and the people  on the streets                                                               
that were  unable to attend,  Anchorage, Alaska, said  people who                                                               
commit  crimes  absolutely  deserve  to be  sanctioned,  but  the                                                               
corrections  goal  to  rehabilitate  will not  be  achieved  with                                                               
continuous  change. He  suggested the  Department of  Corrections                                                               
look  at opportunities  for reform  while people  are inside  and                                                               
when they're released,  they need to be treated  like the reentry                                                               
groups treat them.  He said probation and parole  are supposed to                                                               
help once somebody  is released from jail but as  it stands, they                                                               
are not getting enough support.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER asked if he supports or opposes SB 34.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. BERGER said  he opposes SB 34 on the  grounds that continuous                                                               
change will not achieve the goal [of rehabilitation].                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:12:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KAWASAKI joined the committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:12:57 PM                                                                                                                    
TALIA  EAMES,   Reentry  Program  Coordinator,   Central  Council                                                               
Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes  of Alaska, Juneau, said that she                                                               
is also  a decorated veteran of  the United States Air  Force and                                                               
she is testifying  in opposition to SB 34. She  said she has seen                                                               
how  caps  on  probation  and  parole  violations  and  increased                                                               
incentives  have  helped  those   returning  to  their  community                                                               
following  incarceration.  Eliminating   the  caps  on  technical                                                               
violations  will hurt  those  who are  trying  to maintain  their                                                               
employment,   treatment,  and   family  obligations   outside  of                                                               
incarceration.  She  pointed out  that  these  violations do  not                                                               
impact  public  safety; they  are  status  offenses that  do  not                                                               
include a  new crime  or victim.  The 3,  5, and  10 day  caps on                                                               
technical  violations ensure  that swift  and certain  justice is                                                               
served, and  that people are  not starting over after  a mistake.                                                               
She  related success  stories  involving  probation officers  who                                                               
worked with probationers "outside the walls."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
She emphasized that returning the  accumulation of good time from                                                               
1:1 to 3:1 will hurt those  who are in compliance and drastically                                                               
reduce an  incentive that  is working  and saving  the government                                                               
money. This  also applies to  eliminating credit for  time served                                                               
on  electronic  monitoring.  She   pointed  out  that  past  bail                                                               
schedules have  proven to be  discriminatory to  the economically                                                               
disadvantaged. Furthermore, current law  that allows credit while                                                               
on  electronic monitoring  has allowed  many who  would otherwise                                                               
remain in a cell to hold jobs  and have a chance to be productive                                                               
citizens. She said that eliminating  that incentive will not help                                                               
in rehabilitation.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  EAMES opined  that the  reduction in  recidivism that  we're                                                               
beginning to  see in Alaska is  due in part to  the policies that                                                               
SB 34 would overturn. Please keep  this in mind as the bill moves                                                               
through the legislature, she said.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:16:13 PM                                                                                                                    
LYNDA  WATTS, representing  self, Juneau,  stated that  she is  a                                                               
person with  disability who  is in  long-term recovery.  What has                                                               
helped her stay  out of jail is the Juneau  Reentry Coalition and                                                               
JAMHI [Juneau Alliance  for Mental Health Inc].  She talked about                                                               
her childhood trauma, multiple arrests  and incarceration and the                                                               
difficulty she has  had finding housing. She  urged the committee                                                               
to keep some parts of Senate Bill  91 because it has helped a lot                                                               
of  people get  on the  right track.  Treatment is  the cure  for                                                               
people whereas locking them up  exposes them to new opportunities                                                               
for criminal behavior.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:20:36 PM                                                                                                                    
ARIEL WALKER representing  self, Anchorage, said she  has been in                                                               
recovery for  three years.  She credited Senate  Bill 91  for her                                                               
release from  prison to a  long-term inpatient  treatment program                                                               
and reported that  she has since graduated and has  been living a                                                               
successful life since. She said Senate  Bill 91 gave her hope and                                                               
hearing about reducing the earned  credits from a month violation                                                               
free for a month of credit to 3  days violation free for 1 day of                                                               
credit was  discouraging. "I treat  my recovery  as if it  is day                                                               
1," she said.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
6:23:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CLINTON  CERDA  representing self,  Palmer,  Alaska  said he  was                                                               
speaking  in favor  of Senate  Bill 91.  He shared  that he  is a                                                               
felon who received  his third DUI in 2009. Under  the current law                                                               
he could possibly get a limited  license this year because he has                                                               
voluntarily  participated in  a  treatment program  and has  been                                                               
violation-free for going on 10  years. This might not be possible                                                               
if new  legislation passes. He talked  about missed opportunities                                                               
and the  challenges associated  with living  where there  are few                                                               
public transportation options. He related  that he has been doing                                                               
very well and is ready to get his life back on track.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:24:27 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE advised  that none of the five  crime bills talk                                                               
about repealing  the limited license  for those who have  a long-                                                               
term record of violation-free sobriety.  He asked Mr. Cerda if he                                                               
supported or opposed the bill based on that information.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. CERDA  asked if  there was  a specific page  and line  in the                                                               
bill that makes that clarification.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE  replied the  bill does  not address  that issue                                                               
but  he could  send an  email to:  senate.state.affairs@akleg.gov                                                               
and the chair would send material that may be helpful.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:25:53 PM                                                                                                                    
LEE BREWING, representing  self, Anchorage, said he  is the chair                                                               
of the  Advisory Committee  on Alcoholism and  Drug Abuse  and he                                                               
identifies as  a person living  in long-term recovery.  He became                                                               
addicted to heroin in high  school, but treatment worked. He said                                                               
he supported the  criminal justice reform bills  like Senate Bill                                                               
91 and he believes that  many factors should be considered before                                                               
that law is fully repealed.  He highlighted crime rates that have                                                               
been  rising   since  2011,  the  economic   recession  that  has                                                               
contributed  to  crime rates,  and  the  opioid epidemic  in  the                                                               
state. He said  he's done everything within his  power to rectify                                                               
his  past mistakes.  He  is  a convicted  felon  who believes  in                                                               
treatment and that recovery is  possible, he is a substance abuse                                                               
counselor, and he has graduated  college with a degree in applied                                                               
science and human  services. He said he found  some things worked                                                               
better  than  others, but  incarceration  did  not help.  It  was                                                               
traumatizing, humiliating, and disconnected  him from society. He                                                               
said one line  from a TED talk titled "Everything  You Know About                                                               
Addiction  is Wrong"  sticks in  his mind.  The author  said that                                                               
"the opposite of addiction is  connection." Mr. Brewing concluded                                                               
his  comments opining  that,  "The  more we  are  connected as  a                                                               
community, the  stronger we  are in the  fight against  crime and                                                               
the fight against addiction."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
6:28:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER said  it's encouraging to hear from  people who have                                                               
found a  good path  forward to  turn their  life around  and stay                                                               
clean.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:29:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  suggested that anything the  committee could do                                                               
to get  a matrix  of the  crime bills in  the public's  hands the                                                               
better because there is confusion about  what is in each bill and                                                               
what sections of law are and are not repealed.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  added that many  people don't understand  that some                                                               
parts  of Senate  Bill  91  have been  retained  or modified.  He                                                               
encouraged the use of social media to get the word out.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:30:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KAWASAKI commented that some  people believe that the use                                                               
of  the phrase  "repeal and  replace" indicates  that the  entire                                                               
Senate Bill  91 is  being repealed,  which is  not the  case. For                                                               
example,  the  limited  driver's  license  that  has  a  ten-year                                                               
lookback is an important provision  that was added to Senate Bill                                                               
91 and that  is retained. About 40-50 other  provisions in Senate                                                               
Bill 91 are not repealed  under the governor's crime legislation.                                                               
He  stressed the  importance of  getting information  out to  the                                                               
public.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER said  it's important  that  people understand  that                                                               
this is  an evolving  process and it's  important to  be flexible                                                               
and continue to update and  change the criminal justice system to                                                               
make it work going forward.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
6:32:34 PM                                                                                                                    
LYNNETTE CLARK  representing self, Fox, said  she generally likes                                                               
the direction  the bill  is headed but  she opposes  allowing any                                                               
credit  for  time  served while  on  electronic  monitoring.  She                                                               
summarized  testimony  she heard  on  a  different bill  about  a                                                               
victim crossing  paths with the  offender in the  community while                                                               
he was released  on electronic monitoring. She  questioned who is                                                               
really in jail under those  circumstances. She voiced support for                                                               
stronger  sentences  and  agreed   with  Senator  Micciche  about                                                               
privatizing electronic monitoring                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
6:34:44 PM                                                                                                                    
JOE SCHLANGER, representing self,  Anchorage, Alaska testified in                                                               
support of SB 34. He referenced  Section 17 and said he'd like to                                                               
see a  longer sentence  for that  crime. He  said he  agrees that                                                               
offenders  need  help,  but  the victims  should  also  be  given                                                               
consideration.  He  opined  that  Senate  Bill  91  created  more                                                               
victims and gave an example.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:36:10 PM                                                                                                                    
ANNE  DOERPINGHAUS,   representing  self,  Fairbanks,   said  she                                                               
believes  that time  spent  in a  correctional  system should  be                                                               
meaningful  and  treatment-focused  to bring  about  change.  She                                                               
opined that  people need  consequences when  they commit  a crime                                                               
but privatizing  prisons and  sending offenders  out-of-state and                                                               
away from their families is not  in the best interest of changing                                                               
behavior. Most  people are released  from prison one day  so it's                                                               
important to  provide incentivizes and promote  changes that make                                                               
everyone  safe. She  said she  was  dismayed to  hear talk  about                                                               
privatization and  closing facilities  in Alaska. Contact  with a                                                               
support network on the outside  is hugely important to prisoners.                                                               
It can be done remotely to a  certain extent, but it is much less                                                               
effective, she said.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER asked  if  she supports  or opposes  SB  34 in  its                                                               
current form.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  DOERPINGHAUS   said  her  comments  are   in  opposition  to                                                               
privatization and sending prisoners out-of-state.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
6:39:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE clarified that SB  34 does not talk about prison                                                               
privatization. The discussion about  privatization in the context                                                               
of SB 34 relates to electronic monitoring.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.   DOERPINGHAUS  said   thanks  for   the  clarification   and                                                               
reiterated  that  the  people in  prison  need  consequences  and                                                               
treatment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MICCICHE directed  attention  to the  documents page  on                                                               
BASIS for SB  34 that includes a spreadsheet  that clarifies what                                                               
is in each  of the crime bills.  He said he finds the  bill to be                                                               
rather balanced and he believes she will too.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  reiterated that written testimony  can be submitted                                                               
to senate.state.affairs@akleg.gov.  It will be put  in the record                                                               
and distributed to the members.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
6:42:54 PM                                                                                                                    
MARTY KINCAID, representing self,  Palmer, stated that the Alaska                                                               
Criminal Justice  Commission Annual  Report is  a must  read. She                                                               
described  it  as  an   invaluable  resource  for  evidence-based                                                               
reforms  and  recommendations  and opined  that  all  legislation                                                               
should be substantiated  with data from this  resource. She noted                                                               
that the  fiscal note analysis  indicates that SB 34  will, among                                                               
other things,  increase incarcerations and remove  incentives for                                                               
good  behavior.  She commented  that  the  general theme  in  the                                                               
governor's crime bills  is to respond to increased  crime by more                                                               
incarcerations. She  noted that on  page 10 the report  says that                                                               
incarceration  rates  have not  affected  crime  rates since  the                                                               
1990s  and  that  there  is  diminishing  return  with  increased                                                               
incarceration rates. The summary  further states that more people                                                               
are successfully  completing probation  and parole and  that low-                                                               
risk  offenders are  more likely  to  follow the  rules and  earn                                                               
compliance  credits  to  complete probation  or  parole  earlier,                                                               
allowing officers to  focus on higher risk  individuals. She said                                                               
it seems that SB 34 will combine low and high risk individuals.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
She noted that a recent article  in the Anchorage Daily News said                                                               
the deputy chief  attributed the decline in  vehicle thefts after                                                               
a three-year  rise to  the recent  hiring of  additional officers                                                               
and detectives. She  opined that the approach to  all crime bills                                                               
should be  fully funded  police departments  to enforce  the laws                                                               
and a fully funded court system to process the law.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
She cited the Alaska Senate  Majority 2019 web poll results about                                                               
support or opposition for a large  PFD if it means less money for                                                               
roads, schools,  and troopers; 48  percent strongly  opposed, and                                                               
14  percent  were somewhat  opposed.  She  said above  all  there                                                               
should be  a path available  for correction,  rehabilitation, and                                                               
restoration  of  individuals  as   healthy  members  of  society.                                                               
Increases in  incarceration and  sentencing is  not substantiated                                                               
by  the  facts  to  lower  crime  rates  and  it  is  financially                                                               
unsustainable. The commission  recommends using a problem-solving                                                               
rather than punitive approach, she said.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE expressed surprise  at how few testifiers called                                                               
in.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER   advised  that  the  Senate   Bill  91  comparison                                                               
spreadsheet would  be uploaded  on BASIS  with the  documents for                                                               
this meeting.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER  closed   public  testimony  and  held   SB  34  in                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SSTA OFFICIAL AGENDA .pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
Agenda
SB 33 Transmittal Letter.pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 33
SB0033A.PDF SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 33
SB 33 - Pretrial Highilghts.pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 33
SB 33 - Pretrial Sectional.pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 33
SB33-DOL-FN#1.pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 33
SB33-DPS-FN#2.pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 33
SB33-DOA-FN#3.pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 33
SB33-DOA-FN#4.pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 33
SB33-DOC-FN#5.pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 33
SB33-DOC-FN#6.pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 33
SB33-Court System-FN.pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 33
SB 34 Transmittal Letter.pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 34
SB0034A.PDF SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 34
SB 34 Highlights.pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 34
SB 34 - Probation and Parole Sectional.pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 34
SB0034-1-2-012319-LAW-N.PDF SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 34
SB0034-2-2-012319-COR-Y.PDF SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 34
SB0034-3-2-012319-COR-Y.PDF SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 34
Court System Fiscal Note.pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM
Court System FN
SB33&34-GOA Bills Matrix 1-30-19.pdf SSTA 2/19/2019 3:30:00 PM