Legislature(2013 - 2014)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/21/2014 01:30 PM FINANCE


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01:34:52 PM Start
01:35:55 PM Update: Choose Respect Initiative Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
03:22:43 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Update: "Choose Respect" Initiative Against TELECONFERENCED
Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 21, 2014                                                                                          
                         1:34 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:34:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Austerman  called   the  House  Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 1:34 p.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Mia Costello                                                                                                     
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Michael  Geraghty,  Attorney  General,  Department  of  Law;                                                                    
Lauree  Morton,  Executive  Director,  Council  on  Domestic                                                                    
Violence and  Sexual Assault,  Department of  Public Safety;                                                                    
Michael  Hanley, Commissioner,  Department of  Education and                                                                    
Early  Development;   Terry  Vrabec,   Deputy  Commissioner,                                                                    
Department  of  Public   Safety;  John  Skidmore,  Director,                                                                    
Criminal  Division, Department  of Law;  Ron Taylor,  Deputy                                                                    
Commissioner,  Department   of  Corrections;   Ree  Sailors,                                                                    
Deputy  Commissioner,   Family,  Community   and  Integrated                                                                    
Services,   Department  of   Health  and   Social  Services;                                                                    
Catherine  Stone, Director,  Public Housing,  Alaska Housing                                                                    
Finance Corporation.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
^UPDATE:   CHOOSE   RESPECT  INITIATIVE   AGAINST   DOMESTIC                                                                  
VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Austerman discussed the agenda for the day.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:35:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL  GERAGHTY,  ATTORNEY  GENERAL,  DEPARTMENT  OF  LAW,                                                                    
stressed that there  was an epidemic occurring  in the state                                                                    
related  to sexual  assault and  domestic violence  that far                                                                    
exceeded  national   averages.  The  crime   was  widespread                                                                    
throughout the  state and had  a disproportionate  impact on                                                                    
Alaska  Natives. He  discussed  that with  the  help of  the                                                                    
legislature, the  governor had shown  a light on  the crime;                                                                    
subsequently, the work was beginning  to "stem the tide." He                                                                    
provided   a   PowerPoint  presentation   titled   "Domestic                                                                    
Violence  and   Sexual  Assault  Initiative   Update"  dated                                                                    
February  21,  2014 (copy  on  file).  He relayed  that  the                                                                    
governor's   Choose  Respect   initiative  was   a  historic                                                                    
undertaking  that  involved  all Alaskans.  He  communicated                                                                    
that  the trauma  of sexual  assault  and domestic  violence                                                                    
impacted children and families;  the problem created a long-                                                                    
term cycle of  violence for children growing  up in domestic                                                                    
violence situations.  Progress had been made,  but there was                                                                    
much more work to do.  He discussed the goals of prevention,                                                                    
protection,  and  healing; in  order  to  succeed all  three                                                                    
items  needed   to  be  focused   on.  He   highlighted  the                                                                    
importance of  changing norms, working with  young children,                                                                    
and teaching  respect. He was  optimistic about  change that                                                                    
could be made.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:38:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Attorney   General  Geraghty   pointed  to   slide  2.   The                                                                    
initiative  had  begun  with an  emphasis  on  survivors  of                                                                    
sexual assault and domestic violence  by ensuring there were                                                                    
programs and  shelters available. The focus  had adjusted to                                                                    
include   offender    accountability,   including   bringing                                                                    
offenders  to   justice,  ensuring  the  right   crimes  and                                                                    
punishments  were  in place,  and  that  legal and  judicial                                                                    
responses were  appropriate. He spoke  to the  importance of                                                                    
changing the  environment so that  the crimes did  not occur                                                                    
(e.g.  educating children  at  school about  the issue).  He                                                                    
turned   to   slide   3   titled   "Building   Comprehensive                                                                    
Strategies."  He  reiterated  that   the  key  to  long-term                                                                    
success was  to protect, prevent, and  heal. He communicated                                                                    
that  during the  presentation the  committee would  receive                                                                    
highlights on key areas and  would hear from all departments                                                                    
involved  in  the  initiative including  the  Department  of                                                                    
Education and  Early Development  (DEED), the  Department of                                                                    
Law  (DOL),  the  Department of  Public  Safety  (DPS),  the                                                                    
Department of  Corrections (DOC),  the Department  of Health                                                                    
and  Social  Services  (DHSS), the  Alaska  Housing  Finance                                                                    
Corporation  (AHFC), and  the Council  on Domestic  Violence                                                                    
and Sexual Assault (CDVSA).                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:40:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Attorney  General  Geraghty moved  to  slide  4 titled  "Key                                                                    
Priority Areas  by Funding." The  slide provided  a historic                                                                    
overview of  funding beginning  in FY 11  through FY  15; it                                                                    
was broken down  into key priority areas.  Slide 5 addressed                                                                    
progress  that had  been made.  The initiative  was tracking                                                                    
progress  over time  including population  measures. He  had                                                                    
been struck  by the  Dashboard, which  included a  series of                                                                    
population  and  performance  measures for  the  departments                                                                    
involved  in the  initiative.  Effective  programs had  been                                                                    
implemented, which were  evidence-based, best practices, and                                                                    
promising.  He discussed  the importance  of accountability.                                                                    
He looked at  slide 6 that focused on progress  in all three                                                                    
priority   areas.   He   addressed   increasing   prevention                                                                    
programming and  community engagement,  increasing reporting                                                                    
to  law  enforcement,  and other.  He  relayed  that  sexual                                                                    
assault and  domestic violence was stigmatized  and had been                                                                    
in the  dark. He  stressed the  importance of  reporting the                                                                    
crimes. The state  measured how many cases  DOL accepted for                                                                    
prosecution  in  addition  to   how  many  individuals  took                                                                    
advantage of advocacy centers and shelters.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:43:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Attorney   General  Geraghty   addressed   slide  7   titled                                                                    
"Population Measures  of Success." He looked  at an increase                                                                    
in   primary  prevention   and  protective   factors,  which                                                                    
included  screening of  high  school  students to  determine                                                                    
whether  there were  adults other  than  their parents  that                                                                    
they  would  report  problems  to.   Also  included  in  the                                                                    
category  was whether  doctors discussed  the importance  of                                                                    
reporting  domestic  violence  with  pregnant  patients.  He                                                                    
stated that an  increase in self-reporting or  in reports of                                                                    
harm  was  needed;  the  crime had  been  hidden  too  long.                                                                    
Additional  measures  on  the  chart  included  increase  in                                                                    
utilization  and access  to services,  increase in  offender                                                                    
accountability,  decrease in  perpetration, and  decrease in                                                                    
victimization.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:45:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAUREE  MORTON,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  COUNCIL  ON  DOMESTIC                                                                    
VIOLENCE AND  SEXUAL ASSAULT,  DEPARTMENT OF  PUBLIC SAFETY,                                                                    
noted that  a copy of  the "2014 Alaska Dashboard"  had been                                                                    
included in  members' packets (copy on  file). She addressed                                                                    
slide 8  titled "Tracking  Progress: Alaska  Dashboard." She                                                                    
stated that the Dashboard  provided an at-a-glance review of                                                                    
statistics  from  surveys  of  individuals  and  information                                                                    
gathered from  state divisions  and services.  The Dashboard                                                                    
was a  broad overview  of population  indicators on  the key                                                                    
issues  impacting domestic  violence and  sexual assault  in                                                                    
Alaska.  She pointed  to several  columns on  the Dashboard;                                                                    
the "information  and start date" column  included available                                                                    
information concerning the  item as close to  the start date                                                                    
of  the initiative  as possible;  the "current  date" column                                                                    
contained information  closest to  the current  fiscal year;                                                                    
the "percent  change" was  the increase  or decrease  in the                                                                    
current  Alaska data  relative to  the start  date; and  the                                                                    
"progress" column  noted whether progress  was satisfactory,                                                                    
uncertain,   or  needed   improvement.  She   detailed  that                                                                    
subsequent pages provided explanations  of what was measured                                                                    
and  where,  when, and  how  information  was gathered.  The                                                                    
Dashboard was used to monitor  trends, strengthen policy and                                                                    
practices, determine  ways to help with  prevention efforts,                                                                    
and  to identify  corrections to  strategies that  should be                                                                    
made along the way.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:47:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Morton  turned to slide  9 and continued to  discuss the                                                                    
Dashboard.  She shared  that the  "progress" column  was not                                                                    
meant to  be a comment on  the rate of domestic  violence or                                                                    
sexual assault, but  whether or not progress  at turning the                                                                    
curve was occurring  at a satisfactory pace.  As an example,                                                                    
number 16  on the  Dashboard was the  rate of  forcible rape                                                                    
reported to  law enforcement. She  pointed to page 8  of the                                                                    
Dashboard  and relayed  that  reports  were increasing.  The                                                                    
state  measured the  increase as  satisfactory because  more                                                                    
people were coming forward to  report. She highlighted other                                                                    
items  making   progress  under   "offender  accountability"                                                                    
including numbers  27, 30, and  31; more rape  was reported,                                                                    
more arrests  were being  made, more  arrests were  taken up                                                                    
for  prosecution,   and  more   of  the   prosecutions  were                                                                    
resulting in convictions. She looked  at slide 10 pertaining                                                                    
to  progress needing  improvement.  She  explained that  the                                                                    
percent  change  showed  the increase  or  decrease  in  the                                                                    
current Alaska data relative to  the start date. She pointed                                                                    
to slide  10 that showed an  increase from 4 percent  to 4.8                                                                    
percent in  the "percent of  mothers whose 3-year  old child                                                                    
saw  violence or  physical abuse."  She  explained that  the                                                                    
figures  actually represented  a  20  percent increase.  She                                                                    
explained that  numbers 2 and  5 on the slide  were trending                                                                    
progress that needed improvement;  the data showed that more                                                                    
3-year olds were exposed to  violence; however, less reports                                                                    
of harm were being made.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Morton relayed  that the CDVSA looked  at its strategies                                                                    
to  assist children  exposed to  violence to  determine what                                                                    
could  be done  to strengthen  them. She  moved to  slide 11                                                                    
titled  "Implementing Effective  Programs." She  stated that                                                                    
the council  recognized the critical  area and  it supported                                                                    
evidence-based  practices  to work  on  the  issues such  as                                                                    
strengthening     families,     parents-as-teachers,     and                                                                    
social/emotional learning.  Additionally, the council  had a                                                                    
small  increment in  its budget  that would  go to  piloting                                                                    
programs  for  children  who accompany  their  parents  into                                                                    
shelters.  She  discussed  that  programs  the  council  had                                                                    
selected  were  evidence-based  and  practice-informed.  She                                                                    
explained   that   evidence-based  generally   referred   to                                                                    
programs that were validated by  scientific evidence and had                                                                    
the  ability to  replicate  results; practice-informed  were                                                                    
programs  shown  to  work  effectively,  produce  successful                                                                    
outcomes,  and  were  supported  to  some  degree  by  data;                                                                    
promising  programs were  those  that had  the potential  to                                                                    
effectively address  the issues. Some of  the evidence-based                                                                    
programs  were  the  "Fourth R,"  legal  representation  and                                                                    
adequate housing  for victims. She  relayed that one  of the                                                                    
practice  informed programs  was  "Green Dot";  a couple  of                                                                    
other promising programs included  Alaska Men Choose Respect                                                                    
and Stand Up, Speak Up.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:50:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Morton  communicated that the departments  would address                                                                    
the  three elements  including prevent,  protect, and  heal.                                                                    
Departments  would   highlight  their   initiative  programs                                                                    
beginning  with prevention.  She  stated  that working  with                                                                    
communities  to  build  capacity and  adaptations  for  what                                                                    
makes  sense in  their cultures  and communities  was really                                                                    
what prevention  and supporting the  efforts was  all about.                                                                    
She shared  that Commissioner Hanley would  describe several                                                                    
of the efforts.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL  HANLEY, COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT OF  EDUCATION AND                                                                    
EARLY  DEVELOPMENT, turned  to  slide 14  titled "The  First                                                                    
Step:   Breaking   the   Silence."  He   acknowledged   that                                                                    
prevention did not happen via  a program or a silver bullet;                                                                    
it  occurred  by way  of  supporting  a community,  building                                                                    
capacity, and working to  change expectations. He referenced                                                                    
a quote by  Governor Sean Parnell on slide  14: "This battle                                                                    
is going  to be  won in  the hearts and  minds of  our young                                                                    
people." He stated  that it would take everyone  to make the                                                                    
change and  that the  first step in  breaking the  cycle was                                                                    
breaking the silence. One of  the efforts that had been made                                                                    
to  engage  communities,  connect victims  to  support,  and                                                                    
bring  issues of  domestic violence  and sexual  assault out                                                                    
into  the open  were Choose  Respect marches  throughout the                                                                    
state. He  detailed that the marches  represented the public                                                                    
component  of the  efforts taking  place in  communities. He                                                                    
looked  at slide  15 that  showed  children who  represented                                                                    
lessons that  took place prior  to the march and  efforts to                                                                    
stand  up for  positive change  in their  communities. There                                                                    
were several events that took place after the marches.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner   Hanley  moved   to  slide   16  titled   "150                                                                    
Communities   Strong."  He   communicated  that   since  the                                                                    
inception  of  the initiative  more  and  more Alaskans  had                                                                    
found  the  courage  to  speak, the  strength  to  act,  and                                                                    
connection to needed support. The  initiative had begun with                                                                    
18 involved  communities in  2010; the  number had  grown to                                                                    
150  by  2013. He  stressed  that  the significance  of  the                                                                    
marches  and the  state's public  awareness campaign  should                                                                    
not be  minimized. He stated  that breaking the  silence was                                                                    
part  of  the  solution  and represented  a  vital  part  of                                                                    
changing social norms  that put children and  women at risk.                                                                    
He referred to  a recent comment by a  Village Public Safety                                                                    
Officer  (VPSO) who  had  said "you  can't  have a  brighter                                                                    
tomorrow unless you decrease the  darkness of today. When we                                                                    
strengthen  our families,  our  tribes,  and communities  we                                                                    
become the sparks for a brighter dime."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:53:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Hanley  showed  an   image  of  middle  school                                                                    
students (with  the governor and  first lady) involved  in a                                                                    
Choose  Respect  march   on  slide  18.  He   spoke  to  the                                                                    
importance  of engaging  young students  in the  message; it                                                                    
was critical to involve middle  and high school students. He                                                                    
stressed that  the students would  drive the  school climate                                                                    
and connectedness  in their own  schools. He added  that the                                                                    
climate  in  schools  was  one  of  the  primary  protective                                                                    
factors. He  looked at a DEED  model on slide 19  taken from                                                                    
the coordinated  school health program model.  He noted that                                                                    
the bubbles shown on the page  did not all fall within DEED,                                                                    
but  neither  did  the needs  of  children.  The  department                                                                    
partnered with  CDVSA and DHSS  to provide the  services. He                                                                    
detailed  that the  categories of  healthy  and safe  school                                                                    
environment  and comprehensive  health education  fell under                                                                    
the purview of DEED, primarily  in its effort related to the                                                                    
"Fourth  R":   recognizing  healthy   relationships  (others                                                                    
included  reading,  writing,  and  arithmetic).  He  briefly                                                                    
referred to the department's  Coaching Boys into Men program                                                                    
(slide  20).   The  department  had  a   health  and  safety                                                                    
coordinator and used a small  component of domestic violence                                                                    
and sexual assault funds to  support the programs. Dashboard                                                                    
indicator 15 recognized that the  percentage of students who                                                                    
felt  connected to  the school  was up  by almost  8 percent                                                                    
(slide 23  and 24).  He stated that  the Coaching  Boys into                                                                    
Men program  was tremendous; de  facto student  leaders were                                                                    
frequently  student athletes.  The program  engaged athletic                                                                    
coaches  and  helped  students  recognize  their  leadership                                                                    
roles on the court, in schools, and in their families.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:56:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Hanley turned  to slide  21 titled  "Fourth R:                                                                    
Healthy Relationships."  The curriculum  shown on  the slide                                                                    
was  used in  grades  7  through 9  in  physical and  health                                                                    
education  to  promote   healthy  relationships  and  reduce                                                                    
interpersonal   and    dating   violence.   To    date   275                                                                    
professionals had  been trained in the  Fourth R curriculum.                                                                    
He shared that in 21  school districts, 63 secondary schools                                                                    
had been  trained and  approximately 50  of the  schools had                                                                    
implemented the  program; over 1,200  students in  the prior                                                                    
year had  been involved in  the curriculum. He  continued to                                                                    
discuss the Fourth R curriculum  on slide 22. He shared that                                                                    
the final results would be  available in the summer of 2014.                                                                    
He  detailed  that  results  would  indicate  whether  youth                                                                    
report a decrease in the  rate of self-reported perpetration                                                                    
in dating and peer violence;  and an increase in participant                                                                    
awareness  and understanding  of dating  behavior, including                                                                    
dating violence.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Morton discussed a  bystander intervention called Green-                                                                    
Dot (slide  23). She shared  that the program  was currently                                                                    
piloted in  Anchorage, Bethel, Fairbanks, Homer,  Kenai, and                                                                    
Prince  of   Wales.  She  explained   that  the   state  was                                                                    
developing  an   Alaska-specific  curriculum;   a  trainer's                                                                    
bureau would  be developed  in the  program's third  year in                                                                    
order   for  Alaskans   to  reach   out  to   other  Alaskan                                                                    
communities.  She elaborated  that a  green-dot may  involve                                                                    
pulling a  friend out of  a dangerous  situation, displaying                                                                    
an awareness poster,  putting a note on  a person's Facebook                                                                    
page, or  other. She looked  at Green-Dot measures  on slide                                                                    
24. She  highlighted that the  state had been  methodical in                                                                    
its implementation  of the  program; it  had begun  with one                                                                    
program  in Dillingham.  The program  had expanded  over the                                                                    
last couple  of years  to approximately 13  communities. She                                                                    
relayed  that   implementation  of  the  program   would  be                                                                    
implemented in  the present year. For  example, in Anchorage                                                                    
the program would  work with taxi drivers  and bartenders to                                                                    
determine  how  they  could increase  the  safety  of  their                                                                    
patrons.  In  the program's  third  year  it would  look  at                                                                    
measures  included  on  slide  24;   the  hope  was  that  a                                                                    
difference would be seen in the communities.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:00:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TERRY  VRABEC,  DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT  OF  PUBLIC                                                                    
SAFETY,  introduced himself  and representatives  from other                                                                    
departments. He communicated that  one of the Choose Respect                                                                    
initiative  keystones  was  to  provide  a  law  enforcement                                                                    
presence in every  community that wanted one  (slide 26). He                                                                    
believed that  through an increased presence  and changes in                                                                    
cultural  norms, victims  would  be more  willing to  report                                                                    
crimes  to  law  enforcement.  He  referenced  victimization                                                                    
surveys showing  that domestic  violence and  sexual assault                                                                    
was highly  underreported in Alaska. The  department did not                                                                    
view   an  increase   in  reporting   as   an  increase   to                                                                    
victimization, but as an indicator  that the state's efforts                                                                    
were  encouraging victims  to seek  help. Additionally,  the                                                                    
department  believed efforts  would help  better prosecution                                                                    
through investigations and victim participation.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Vrabec relayed  that the  department had  increased the                                                                    
training  provided to  law enforcement  across the  state to                                                                    
bolster its response to investigations  and crimes of sexual                                                                    
assault  and  domestic  violence.  He  turned  to  slide  27                                                                    
showing a  map of  VPSO and  Alaska State  Trooper locations                                                                    
throughout the  state including  the regional  boundaries of                                                                    
the 10 VPSO program  grantees (9 were nonprofit corporations                                                                    
plus the North  West Arctic Borough). The  primary method of                                                                    
increasing  law enforcement  presence across  the state  was                                                                    
through VPSO placement in rural  communities. The effort was                                                                    
promising  and  challenging.  Prior  to  the  start  of  the                                                                    
initiative there  had been 46  VPSO positions  filled; there                                                                    
were currently 88 VPSO positions  filled, which covered more                                                                    
than  69 communities.  He acknowledged  that the  department                                                                    
wanted to  fill all of  the VPSO positions; as  it continued                                                                    
to recruit and fill positions  it looked for innovative ways                                                                    
to  expand the  program. He  spoke to  VPSO rover  positions                                                                    
that  were  based in  hub  communities  such as  Bethel  and                                                                    
Fairbanks   and  traveled   to   outlying  communities   for                                                                    
coverage.  The  Tanana  Chiefs  Conference  used  rovers  to                                                                    
provide  coverage  for up  to  30  communities. Rovers  also                                                                    
provided assistance to the other  12 communities with VPSOs.                                                                    
He detailed that  each of the four rovers made  two to three                                                                    
visits per month and stayed five to seven days per visit.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:04:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Vrabec showed  a video showing the effect  VPSOs have on                                                                    
Alaskan communities [video duration was 3:40 minutes].                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:08:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Vrabec  looked at  slide  29  related  to the  rate  of                                                                    
forcible   rape  incidents   reported  to   law  enforcement                                                                    
(Dashboard  number 16)  and the  percent  of forcible  rapes                                                                    
resulting in an arrest (Dashboard  number 27). The source of                                                                    
the data  shown on  the slide was  the Uniform  Crime Report                                                                    
(UCR),  which  compiled  submissions  from  law  enforcement                                                                    
agencies  statewide.  He stated  that  the  increase in  the                                                                    
percent of  forcible rapes resulting in  an arrest suggested                                                                    
that  the state  was  making progress  in holding  offenders                                                                    
accountable. Slide  30 related  to Dashboard number  16; the                                                                    
chart showed an increase in  reports of forcible rape to law                                                                    
enforcement. He  opined that it  should be interpreted  as a                                                                    
positive  sign  that victims  of  sexual  assault were  more                                                                    
willing to report.  He looked  at a graph showing the sexual                                                                    
assault  reports  to  law  enforcement  in  2012  (Dashboard                                                                    
number 19).  The UCR  bar represented  the number  of sexual                                                                    
assault reports  to law enforcement  in 2012,  totaling 576.                                                                    
The  State  Statute bar  represented  the  number of  sexual                                                                    
assault offences reported to law  enforcement based on state                                                                    
statute, totaling  804. He  communicated that  a significant                                                                    
limitation  of UCR  data was  related to  its reliance  on a                                                                    
decades-old,  narrow   definition  of  forcible   rape;  the                                                                    
definition did  not represent sexual assault  offences under                                                                    
Alaska  law. As  a result,  DPS began  collecting data  from                                                                    
local law enforcement agencies related  to reports of sexual                                                                    
assault  and abuse  from crimes  defined by  state law.  The                                                                    
Federal  Bureau  of  Investigation  had  since  revised  its                                                                    
definition  based  on  a   more  inclusive  description.  He                                                                    
relayed  that agencies  had begun  submitting data  based on                                                                    
the new definition beginning in January 2013.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Vrabec  highlighted slide 31  that showed the  number of                                                                    
increased  sexual  assault  and domestic  violence  training                                                                    
hours at DPS.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:11:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  SKIDMORE, DIRECTOR,  CRIMINAL DIVISION,  DEPARTMENT OF                                                                    
LAW,  spoke   to  offender   accountability  on   slide  32.                                                                    
Dashboard   measures  related   to  DOL   fell  into   three                                                                    
categories  including  sexual   assaults,  sexual  abuse  of                                                                    
minors,  and domestic  violence; within  the categories  the                                                                    
department  looked  at  the number  of  cases  accepted  for                                                                    
prosecution and the conviction rate.  The slide pertained to                                                                    
the   number   of   sexual  assault   cases   accepted   for                                                                    
prosecution.  He  reported  that  the  department  had  been                                                                    
accepting more  cases in all three  categories primarily due                                                                    
to the  increase in reporting.  The expectation early  on in                                                                    
the initiative was that the  number of crimes reported would                                                                    
increase  based on  greater awareness  and  a shift  towards                                                                    
breaking the silence.  He relayed that the  number of sexual                                                                    
assault  cases accepted  for  prosecution (Dashboard  number                                                                    
30) had increased  from 111 to 141 between 2008  and 2011 (a                                                                    
27  percent increase).  There had  been  144 cases  accepted                                                                    
pertaining to  the sexual abuse of  minors (Dashboard number                                                                    
32) representing  a 32 percent  increase. The  acceptance of                                                                    
domestic violence  cases had increased 17.2  percent or from                                                                    
2,617 to 3,068 (Dashboard number 34).                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Skidmore continued  to discuss  offender accountability                                                                    
on  slide  33,  specifically   related  to  accepted  sexual                                                                    
assault  cases resulting  in  a  conviction. The  conviction                                                                    
rate had increased by 8.4  percent between 2008 and 2011; 26                                                                    
additional  convictions  had  been   made.  The  percent  of                                                                    
accepted sexual abuse  of minor cases with  a conviction had                                                                    
gone  down by  10  percent. He  addressed  the decrease  and                                                                    
underscored that  it would be a  problem if there was  a 100                                                                    
percent  conviction rate.  He explained  that  if the  state                                                                    
only accepted cases  it was certain of winning  it meant the                                                                    
prosecution was not aggressive enough.  He stressed that the                                                                    
envelope  needed  to  be  pushed  and  cases  needed  to  be                                                                    
accepted even when it was not  clear the state would win. He                                                                    
explained that  even though the  conviction rate  went down,                                                                    
the  prosecution had  taken on  more challenging  cases; the                                                                    
net   result  was   convicting  17   more  individuals.   He                                                                    
communicated  that  if   the  rate  dropped  by   20  or  30                                                                    
percentage  points he  would be  concerned; however,  he did                                                                    
not find  a 10 percent  decrease troublesome. He  noted that                                                                    
the   area  was   listed  on   the   Dashboard  as   needing                                                                    
improvement; the state was working to bring the number up.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:16:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Skidmore discussed  the  percent  of accepted  domestic                                                                    
violence cases  with a conviction  (Dashboard number  35) on                                                                    
slide 33.  The percent  of accepted domestic  violence cases                                                                    
with  a conviction  increased  4.6  percent, which  involved                                                                    
more than 400 more  convictions (the category had increased,                                                                    
but it had room to  increase more). He believed progress had                                                                    
been made in holding people accountable.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr.   Skidmore  discussed   how  money   allocated  by   the                                                                    
legislature  had helped  to achieve  progress on  the Choose                                                                    
Respect  initiative.  He  looked  at slide  34  titled  "New                                                                    
Kotzebue  Attorney." He  relayed that  Kotzebue had  started                                                                    
with  one  prosecutor;  the  legislature  had  provided  the                                                                    
department  with funds  for a  second attorney  in 2011.  He                                                                    
highlighted  the  domestic  violence  assault  4  conviction                                                                    
rate. He  shared that misdemeanor offences  were more likely                                                                    
to  work their  way  through the  entire  court system.  The                                                                    
number of  accepted domestic  violence cases  increased from                                                                    
157  to 201  or by  28 percent  due to  the new  prosecutor.                                                                    
Between  2011  and  2013 the  acceptance  rate  remained  91                                                                    
percent to 93 percent. He  stressed that the acceptance rate                                                                    
was  steady and  high.  He underscored  that the  conviction                                                                    
rate  between  2011  and  2013   increased  17  percent.  He                                                                    
stressed that accountability had  increased in Kotzebue as a                                                                    
direct  result   of  the  new   attorney.  He   thanked  the                                                                    
legislature for its efforts.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:21:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RON TAYLOR, DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS,                                                                    
looked at slide 35 related  to the recidivism rate for adult                                                                    
sex offenders (Dashboard number 36) from  FY 06 to FY 10. He                                                                    
highlighted  the department's  focus on  reducing recidivism                                                                    
rates  and on  holding  offenders  accountable by  providing                                                                    
access to  programs and ensuring offenders  followed through                                                                    
with  probation  or  parole conditions.  He  discussed  that                                                                    
since  FY   06  recidivism  rates  for   sex  offenders  had                                                                    
continued to decrease and remain  below the general offender                                                                    
recidivism rate.  He relayed that  of the  approximately 160                                                                    
sex offenders released  from custody in FY 10,  less than 10                                                                    
had returned to custody charged  with a new sex offence over                                                                    
a  three-year   period;  the  majority  of   recidivism  had                                                                    
occurred  in  the first  year  (five  return offenders).  He                                                                    
communicated  that DOC  took  holding offenders  accountable                                                                    
when  released very  seriously.  In FY  13 the  department's                                                                    
institutional sex  offender management program  was expanded                                                                    
to serve  an additional 30 offenders  at Palmer Correctional                                                                    
Center.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Taylor  spoke  to probation  outcomes  related  to  the                                                                    
initiative  on slide  36.  The first  outcome  related to  a                                                                    
reduction  in the  number of  felony  domestic violence  and                                                                    
sexual   assault   technical    violations   of   supervised                                                                    
probationers. He elaborated that  the increment was specific                                                                    
to  three probation  officers in  Anchorage, Fairbanks,  and                                                                    
Bethel. The  increment was  to provide  targeted supervision                                                                    
to  people  on  felony  supervision for  sexual  assault  or                                                                    
domestic   violence.   Additionally,   the   item   targeted                                                                    
individuals trapped  in hub communities who  were from rural                                                                    
areas  where  the  individuals could  not  return  to  their                                                                    
communities without  the completion of some  type of program                                                                    
(i.e.  substance abuse  or sex  offender  management) or  if                                                                    
they had a  restriction preventing them from  moving back to                                                                    
the  area. The  probation  officers had  been  hired by  the                                                                    
department  in  the  prior  fiscal year  with  the  goal  of                                                                    
providing a  more targeted  probation officer  with training                                                                    
to ensure  the offenders' needs  were met when  returning to                                                                    
their  communities. Additionally,  the  officers would  also                                                                    
work  with DPS  to determine  how a  person could  be safely                                                                    
returned  to their  community with  limited supervision.  He                                                                    
relayed that because  of the early stage of  the program, no                                                                    
participants had  been released back into  their communities                                                                    
as of yet; 50 individuals  had been targeted for tracking of                                                                    
items  such as  failure  to report,  alcohol violations,  or                                                                    
missed appointments.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:25:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Taylor  discussed  that  the   second  outcome  was  to                                                                    
increase  the   number  of  domestic   violence  misdemeanor                                                                    
probationers     participating     in     the     Probation,                                                                    
Accountability,  and  Certain   Enforcement  (PACE)  program                                                                    
(slide  36). He  relayed that  even though  the primary  DOC                                                                    
mission for  community supervision pertained to  felons, the                                                                    
commissioner felt  it was appropriate  to take  advantage of                                                                    
strengths seen  in the  adult and  felony PACE  programs for                                                                    
use  in a  pilot  program for  misdemeanants. He  elaborated                                                                    
that  the  program  was  aimed   at  high  risk  misdemeanor                                                                    
probationers who  continually violated protective  orders or                                                                    
returned with  domestic violence charges. The  project began                                                                    
in  2012  and  the   number  of  participants  had  doubled,                                                                    
totaling  17  in  2013. The  department  was  ensuring  that                                                                    
participants  with  technical  violations (i.e.  failure  to                                                                    
report, alcohol or drug  violations, or missed appointments)                                                                    
were brought  before the  court immediately.  The department                                                                    
was  proud to  report that  none of  the individuals  in the                                                                    
PACE program had returned for domestic violence crimes.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:27:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REE  SAILORS,  DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER, FAMILY,  COMMUNITY  AND                                                                    
INTEGRATED  SERVICES,   DEPARTMENT  OF  HEALTH   AND  SOCIAL                                                                    
SERVICES, introduced colleagues.  She spoke to understanding                                                                    
trauma  on  slide 38.  She  stated  that trauma  accompanied                                                                    
domestic  violence and  sexual  assault.  She detailed  that                                                                    
trauma  impacted  children  in   addition  to  victims.  She                                                                    
addressed  trauma-informed  care  and stressed  that  trauma                                                                    
represented a  vicious cycle that  needed to be  broken. She                                                                    
discussed  how  children  and  victims  experiencing  trauma                                                                    
learned to  cope throughout their lives.  Dashboard number 5                                                                    
related to  the number  of reported  child abuse  cases. She                                                                    
referred to  testimony from a  previous meeting  citing that                                                                    
the department  received over 15,000 calls  per year related                                                                    
to child abuse. Subsequently,  DHSS believed that becoming a                                                                    
trauma-informed care system was  critical for individuals in                                                                    
the state. She  pointed to various forms  of abuse including                                                                    
physical abuse  and neglect, emotional, sexual,  alcohol and                                                                    
drug  abusing family  members in  a household,  incarcerated                                                                    
household   members,  a   mother   treated  violently,   and                                                                    
homelessness. She reminded the  committee that 37 percent of                                                                    
homeless people were families.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:30:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sailors  discussed slide 38  further. The  specific kind                                                                    
of  trauma impacted  brain neurobiology  and its  ability to                                                                    
function at a  reasonable level. She stressed  that that the                                                                    
trauma impacted children in a  permanent way including their                                                                    
ability to have successful  social, emotional, and cognitive                                                                    
functioning.  The   trauma  tended  to   encourage  adaptive                                                                    
behaviors  such as  risk taking  and coping  mechanisms like                                                                    
abuse  and addiction.  Additionally, the  trauma contributed                                                                    
heavily   to  persistent   and   severe  behavioral   health                                                                    
problems.  She discussed  that if  a  child had  experienced                                                                    
more  than  four  adverse  childhood  experiences  including                                                                    
being  a victim  or witness  of sexual  assault or  domestic                                                                    
violence, their  chances of having substance  abuse problems                                                                    
were  350 percent  greater than  the  norm. Likewise,  their                                                                    
chances  of having  severe emotional  problems  were over  3                                                                    
percent  higher.   She  discussed   what  the   issue  meant                                                                    
financially  for the  department's Medicaid  budget and  the                                                                    
services  provided.  She  underscored  that  prevention  was                                                                    
urgent.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:32:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sailors discussed trauma-informed  care on slide 39. She                                                                    
relayed  that   DHSS  trained   over  1,300   mental  health                                                                    
professionals in  the state. She  detailed that  without the                                                                    
training, the chances  of misunderstanding, mistreating, and                                                                    
misdiagnosing    people,   was    significantly   increased.                                                                    
Additionally, DHSS had  trained 500 of its  personnel in its                                                                    
Division  of   Juvenile  Justice.  She  stressed   that  the                                                                    
training was  creating a culture change  in the department's                                                                    
institutional care  and probation  services. She  pointed to                                                                    
examples  including  a  reduction in  need  for  restraints,                                                                    
isolations, and other.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Sailors highlighted  the trauma-informed  care provider                                                                    
agreement.  The  idea  was to  create  partnerships  between                                                                    
partners trained  in the DHSS  "trauma 101" (a  "trauma 201"                                                                    
training  was in  development; training  was also  available                                                                    
online) and  domestic violence and sexual  assault programs.                                                                    
She  elaborated that  the goal  was  to provide  short-term,                                                                    
well-informed  treatment   consistent  with  trauma-informed                                                                    
care principles for individuals  in shelters. The department                                                                    
had worked  with the Rural Domestic  Violence Sexual Assault                                                                    
Prevention Pilot  Projects in four communities;  funding had                                                                    
been  provided  to  the  communities  for  another  form  of                                                                    
"capacity building"  to help communities  identify problems,                                                                    
resources, and to create strategic  plans for solutions. The                                                                    
first 1  to 2 years of  the 4-year program had  been used to                                                                    
organize groups,  collect data  at the  local level,  and to                                                                    
provide funding  to local initiatives  to make  a difference                                                                    
in  the   communities.  She   stressed  the   importance  of                                                                    
grassroots  efforts and  stated that  "it takes  a village."                                                                    
The grants represented efforts to  build the capacity and to                                                                    
educate community  members in order to  work collaboratively                                                                    
on the problem.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:36:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sailors believed some of  the results had been stunning.                                                                    
She  communicated  that  benefit  had  been  witnessed  from                                                                    
moving  treatment  and  communities   forward  in  terms  of                                                                    
understanding how to successfully treat trauma victims.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Morton   discussed  slide  40:  "Council   on  Domestic                                                                    
Violence  and Sexual  Assault." She  spoke to  two evidence-                                                                    
based  intervention programs  including  legal advocacy  and                                                                    
legal representation. She detailed  that at the beginning of                                                                    
the initiative  $65,000 had  been set  aside to  assist with                                                                    
working to increase the number  of pro bono attorneys in the                                                                    
state  and to  increase the  comfort level  of dealing  with                                                                    
family law  and the complex issues  through continuing legal                                                                    
education.  She  referenced  the  chart,  which  showed  the                                                                    
return  had  grown  exponentially;  in 2011  the  amount  of                                                                    
service had  totaled $826,000, which  had increased  to over                                                                    
$1 million in 2013. She shared  that part of the program was                                                                    
to mentor  attorneys who  were new  to domestic  violence or                                                                    
sexual assault cases  for the first time.  She mentioned the                                                                    
return on  the investment  and lives  that were  changed for                                                                    
the better. The department  had asked involved attorneys and                                                                    
recipients of  services about how  the program  had impacted                                                                    
them. She quoted a response from a recipient:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     I'm 100  percent sure I  would never have been  able to                                                                    
     take this huge step  without legal representation. It's                                                                    
     changed  my life.  It feels  like I  can now  exhale. I                                                                    
     felt  like I've  been  holding my  breath  for so  many                                                                    
     years. Keep on doing the  work you're doing; it is life                                                                    
     changing.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:38:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Morton detailed slide 41:  "Council on Domestic Violence                                                                    
and Sexual Assault." She spoke  to ensuring victims had safe                                                                    
havens when needing  to get out of a  dangerous situation. A                                                                    
chart  on  slide  41  tracked shelter  nights  in  order  to                                                                    
include  beds,  toiletries,  clothing,  food,  and  advocacy                                                                    
services. When the number of  shelter nights were monitored,                                                                    
better decisions could be made  about the levels of staffing                                                                    
and  funding. The  chart  showed a  20  percent increase  in                                                                    
shelter nights  from FY 09  to FY 13. She  communicated that                                                                    
Alaska participated in a national  annual survey that looked                                                                    
at a  day in the life  of a shelter program.  The prior year                                                                    
the day  had been September  17; 18 of the  state's domestic                                                                    
violence  programs  had  participated.  During  the  24-hour                                                                    
period the  participating programs  had served  618 victims;                                                                    
336 had  found refuge in emergency  shelters or transitional                                                                    
housing;  and  282   had  accessed  nonresidential  services                                                                    
including legal  advocacy and medical  accompaniment. During                                                                    
the last year,  over 9,000 people had  accessed services; of                                                                    
services   utilized  approximately   75  percent   were  for                                                                    
domestic  violence, 20  percent were  for sexual  assault, 3                                                                    
percent were for stalking, and  13 percent for other violent                                                                    
crime.  The  figure  exceeded 100  percent  because  victims                                                                    
suffered from  more than one  type of crime. She  pointed to                                                                    
support programs  in communities;  the prior year  there had                                                                    
been  over 3,000  volunteers that  had provided  over 78,000                                                                    
hours of service.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:41:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Morton  looked  at  slide  42  titled  "Victim  Service                                                                    
Programs Make a  Difference." She relayed that  in the prior                                                                    
year DHSS  had begun measuring  outcomes and had  moved away                                                                    
from  only  measuring outputs  (e.g.  the  number of  people                                                                    
staying  the  night  in  a shelter,  the  number  of  crisis                                                                    
interventions, the number  of emergency transportations, and                                                                    
the  number  of   counseling  sessions).  Outcomes  measured                                                                    
whether  department's efforts  were making  a difference  in                                                                    
victims'  lives and  how the  information  could inform  the                                                                    
type of practices and services  provided. The department had                                                                    
looked  at  three  areas   including  safety,  healing,  and                                                                    
justice. She moved  to a chart on slide 43  and relayed that                                                                    
funded programs were  on the right track;  victims knew more                                                                    
ways  to  keep safe,  to  access  resources, to  help  their                                                                    
children,  they felt  less isolated,  understood crisis  and                                                                    
trauma,  and  better  understood  their  legal  rights.  She                                                                    
communicated  the  importance  of  staff,  boards,  and  the                                                                    
department to understand how to  make adjustments that would                                                                    
benefit all victims seeking help.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:42:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CATHERINE  STONE, DIRECTOR,  PUBLIC HOUSING,  ALASKA HOUSING                                                                    
FINANCE CORPORATION (AHFC), addressed  slide 44 titled "VPSO                                                                    
Housing."  She  noted  that   the  availability  of  decent,                                                                    
affordable   housing  was   a   significant   factor  in   a                                                                    
community's ability  to support and retain  a VPSO position.                                                                    
Annually, the  governor had requested $1  million in funding                                                                    
for   VPSO   housing    through   AHFC's   Teacher,   Health                                                                    
Professional,  and   Public  Safety  Housing   (THHP)  grant                                                                    
program in  order to  improve the  quality of  rural housing                                                                    
and to  address turnover.  She shared  that funding  for the                                                                    
program was $6  million in FY 15 with  $1 million designated                                                                    
for VPSO  housing. She  reported that  since 2011,  12 units                                                                    
had  been  funded specifically  for  VPSO  housing in  rural                                                                    
locations statewide  and since  2004, 13 other  projects had                                                                    
been funded  that allowed VPSO  housing tenants  under their                                                                    
public  safety  eligibility  as  part  of  a  multiple  unit                                                                    
project.  She looked  at slide  45  titled "AHFC  Empowering                                                                    
Choice Housing  Program." The program was  a three-year time                                                                    
limited  referral  program  run in  collaboration  with  the                                                                    
Alaska Network  on Domestic Violence and  Sexual Assault and                                                                    
the CDVSA. The program had  been launched in 2012 with $1.34                                                                    
million in  state funds and  a $1 million match  from AHFC's                                                                    
Moving to  Work federal  allocation. The  average assistance                                                                    
paid in  the first  year was $920  per month;  currently the                                                                    
average was  $707 per month.  She shared that  as assistance                                                                    
to private landlords decreased more  referrals could be sent                                                                    
out  into   the  community  and   an  increased   number  of                                                                    
individuals could be assisted.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Stone  looked at  slide  46  titled "Empowering  Choice                                                                    
Housing  Program." As  of December  31,  2013, 256  families                                                                    
were  referred  to  AHFC and  135  families  were  receiving                                                                    
rental assistance.  Currently the agency had  met its target                                                                    
of  254 referrals  statewide.  She shared  a  story about  a                                                                    
pregnant mother  who had come  to a shelter the  prior year.                                                                    
She relayed  that women typically  arrived with  very little                                                                    
clothing  and belongings.  She elaborated  that the  woman's                                                                    
partner  had cleaned  out their  bank account  and left  the                                                                    
state. Subsequently,  the woman received a  housing voucher;                                                                    
the mother was currently working and  had a car; she was now                                                                    
able  to take  care of  her children  in a  safe and  loving                                                                    
environment.  She  relayed  that  the story  was  a  typical                                                                    
example of how the program impacted lives.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:48:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Morton communicated  that she  was frequently  asked if                                                                    
the department  was making a  difference in  people's lives;                                                                    
she believed the  answer was yes. She shared  that the proof                                                                    
was in  looking into a  woman's eyes  who did not  show fear                                                                    
for the  first time and when  a child was learning  to laugh                                                                    
instead of remaining quiet in  the corner. She had worked in                                                                    
the field since  1984, but she had only begun  to see people                                                                    
from "all  walks of  life" talk about  the issues  in recent                                                                    
years  and changing  the way  of  being. She  referred to  a                                                                    
presentation she  had given to  the other  legislative body.                                                                    
Subsequently,  she  had  received   an  email  from  someone                                                                    
wanting  to help  in their  local  community. She  discussed                                                                    
that 10 years  earlier she would not have  received the same                                                                    
kind of  email; she  believed she would  have been  called a                                                                    
"home wrecker"  and a  "man hater" in  the past.  She stated                                                                    
that she  would have been  viewed as destructing  the fabric                                                                    
of society instead of trying to weave it back together.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:50:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Attorney General  Geraghty viewed the initiative  as a moral                                                                    
imperative. He  stressed that the legislature  had helped to                                                                    
start stemming the tide. He  compared the work to a marathon                                                                    
and not a sprint. He  discussed that progress was being made                                                                    
slowly  and  steadily.  He  stated  that  healing  the  vast                                                                    
numbers of  Alaskans from the physical  and emotional trauma                                                                    
that  had  been  inflicted  upon   them  would  take  people                                                                    
courageously standing up  and speaking out. He  pointed to a                                                                    
quote from  a child  sexual abuse survivor  on slide  47. He                                                                    
stated that  it would take  time to change the  social norms                                                                    
that promote and  condone domestic and sexual  violence.  He                                                                    
asked committee members to keep  the long-term commitment to                                                                    
end the epidemic.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Austerman  thanked   the  presenters   for  their                                                                    
presentation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman  spoke to his  judgment of  the initiative                                                                    
based on a multitude of  documents provided to the committee                                                                    
that included results and numbers.  He ranked the program at                                                                    
a D  letter grade  at best.  He referred  to the  804 sexual                                                                    
assaults reported to law enforcement,  which he believed was                                                                    
one of  the only documents  based on reports by  victims. He                                                                    
opined that it did  no good to go from 101  [111] to 141; he                                                                    
did not  care that  the number increased  by 31  percent. He                                                                    
stated that  on average a perpetrator  committed 20 assaults                                                                    
prior  to being  arrested. He  referred to  the increase  in                                                                    
sexual assault  cases accepted for prosecution.  He remarked                                                                    
that   there  had   been  slightly   over  100   cases  with                                                                    
convictions of over 2,400 assaults.  He reiterated that many                                                                    
assaults were  not reported.  He did  not believe  the state                                                                    
was doing a  great job. He did not see  numbers showing that                                                                    
the  millions of  dollars spent  were  making a  significant                                                                    
difference. He  discussed lives that  were being  ruined. He                                                                    
noted that over 3,000 children  went through the Division of                                                                    
Juvenile  Justice  annually,  of  which,  48.3  percent  had                                                                    
traumatic  life  experiences;  he stated  that  the  primary                                                                    
contributor was  sexual abuse. He  communicated that  it was                                                                    
DHSS's  job to  pick up  the kids  and adults  to help  them                                                                    
straighten out  their lives. He  stressed that  $2.7 billion                                                                    
had  been  spent. He  thought  the  charts provided  in  the                                                                    
presentation were  meaningless. He  commented on  the report                                                                    
that  the recidivism  rate had  decreased over  a three-year                                                                    
period.  He stressed  that the  recidivism  rate for  sexual                                                                    
assault   was  closer   to  90   percent.  He   referred  to                                                                    
legislation  he had  worked on  in the  past related  to the                                                                    
issue. He  did not believe  the report told him  anything he                                                                    
needed to know. He stressed  that the report did not contain                                                                    
numbers. He  observed that the  report did not  quantify how                                                                    
many  sexual assaults  occurred that  were not  reported. He                                                                    
reiterated   that  there   had   been   slightly  over   100                                                                    
convictions pertaining to more than 2,400 assaults.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:58:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Attorney General  Geraghty disputed  the statement  that all                                                                    
departments had  characterized themselves  as doing  a great                                                                    
job;  however, he  did believe  the initiative  was stemming                                                                    
the  tide. He  reiterated his  earlier statement  that there                                                                    
was a  long way to go  and that the addressing  the work was                                                                    
like  a marathon.  He did  not  question the  data cited  by                                                                    
Vice-Chair Neuman, but was unfamiliar  with any data showing                                                                    
that  there were  20  prior assaults  before  an arrest.  He                                                                    
relayed  that  Alaska had  a  mandatory  arrest statute  for                                                                    
domestic violence  and sexual assault;  it was DOL's  job to                                                                    
prosecute and convict. He relayed  that many victims changed                                                                    
their mind  after making a  report and withdrew  charges. He                                                                    
stated that a  report could be a vindictive act  by a victim                                                                    
to  get  back  at  a  perpetrator such  as  her  husband  or                                                                    
significant other. He detailed that  there was a whole gamut                                                                    
of facts  that applied in  the situations. He  stressed that                                                                    
if the victim  chose not to testify he had  to make a choice                                                                    
about where  to devote department resources.  He underscored                                                                    
that numbers were  improving and the rate  of acceptance was                                                                    
increasing. He  agreed that  he wanted  to see  more arrests                                                                    
resulting  in  prosecution.  He  could  not  specify  why  a                                                                    
discrepancy existed; however, based  on police reports, many                                                                    
victims many  times did not  want to testify.  He questioned                                                                    
how the department  could prosecute when a  victim would not                                                                    
testify.   He  noted   possible  exceptions   when  physical                                                                    
evidence was  present. He emphasized that  many reasons went                                                                    
into the  screening process. He agreed  that improvement was                                                                    
needed. He  encouraged Vice-Chair Neuman to  read the entire                                                                    
Dashboard  report.   He  respectively  disagreed   with  the                                                                    
statement  that  the Dashboard  did  not  tell anything.  He                                                                    
agreed that much  more work needed to be  done, but progress                                                                    
had been made. He reiterated  his earlier statement that the                                                                    
issue was  a moral imperative.  He concluded that  the state                                                                    
could not responsibly turn its back on the problem.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:01:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon   commended  the  governor   and  the                                                                    
departments for work  done on the issue.  He understood that                                                                    
it took  time to make  progress. He believed that  over time                                                                    
raising  awareness  and  removing the  stigma  of  reporting                                                                    
would  produce tangible  results. He  had heard  adults talk                                                                    
with children  about abuse. He addressed  cultural norms and                                                                    
changing  society.  He  referred  to  the  78,000  hours  of                                                                    
volunteer  time and  surmised that  a portion  of the  hours                                                                    
could  probably be  attributed  to  department employees  as                                                                    
public  servants. He  believed the  reduction in  recidivism                                                                    
would take many  years. He appreciated the  passion shown by                                                                    
Mr. Skidmore  in his  earlier testimony.  He had  seen lives                                                                    
destructed  in rural  Alaska. He  asked  the departments  to                                                                    
address  the underlying  forces including  adverse childhood                                                                    
experiences.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:04:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Morton  replied  that  some of  the  DHSS  programs  in                                                                    
development    would   address    the   issue    raised   by                                                                    
Representative   Edgmon.   She   listed   several   programs                                                                    
including Parents  as Teachers,  pre-Head Start,  and Social                                                                    
Emotional Learning (a K-12 program  teaching children how to                                                                    
interact).  She  discussed  nurse-mother  partnerships  that                                                                    
would  allow new  mothers to  work with  a nurse  on how  to                                                                    
interact  with their  child.  She shared  that  some of  the                                                                    
department's programs went into  elementary schools to teach                                                                    
ways  to take  care of  oneself  and to  identify adults  to                                                                    
confide in. She  believed there had been  recognition in the                                                                    
past several years  that it was important  to begin teaching                                                                    
children   as   early  on   in   life   as  possible   about                                                                    
understanding who  they are, where  boundaries are,  and how                                                                    
to interact  respectfully. She believed it  was important to                                                                    
do  a better  job creating  safe  places to  talk about  the                                                                    
issue. She  believed that  until a person  was able  to talk                                                                    
about what happened to them there  was still much work to be                                                                    
done.  She  discussed the  Coaching  Boys  into Men  program                                                                    
where high  school athletes talked  with younger  boys about                                                                    
ways to  act and treat  each other. She addressed  the Girls                                                                    
on the  Run program  where girls aged  8 through  13 learned                                                                    
they have a  right to be safe and how  to help other people.                                                                    
She believed  the answer relied  on a combination  of items.                                                                    
She noted the  importance of focusing on  the issues earlier                                                                    
than what the state currently was able to provide.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:07:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon underscored the  ongoing nature of the                                                                    
issue.  He  observed  that  the   current  effort  had  been                                                                    
underway  for only  a handful  of years.  In his  role as  a                                                                    
legislator,  he  wanted  to  contribute  to  making  efforts                                                                    
successful.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello thanked  the departments  for their                                                                    
presentation and  collaborative efforts. She  discussed that                                                                    
the  US Gulf  States had  revenue sharing  with the  federal                                                                    
government,  which  had resulted  in  their  receipt of  $29                                                                    
billion.  She discussed  that Alaska  did  not have  revenue                                                                    
sharing with  the federal  government for  outer continental                                                                    
shelf development.  She referred  to legislation  offered by                                                                    
Alaska's  US Senators  Lisa Murkowski  and Mark  Begich. She                                                                    
believed  it  would  help if  Congress  would  pass  revenue                                                                    
sharing  to enable  Alaska to  receive  funds. She  stressed                                                                    
that  $29  billion  was  an immense  amount  of  money.  She                                                                    
believed  funds generated  from  resource development  could                                                                    
help  the  state address  chronic  issues.  She asked  about                                                                    
trauma-informed  care.  She  wondered   if  there  had  been                                                                    
discussion  about training  educators in  schools on  trauma                                                                    
care.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sailors  answered in  the affirmative.  She communicated                                                                    
that DHSS  was preparing trauma informed  curriculum (Trauma                                                                    
101 and  201) for a  conference of school  administrators in                                                                    
Alaska. She  believed looking at  other places  the training                                                                    
could be provided  was important; the work had  begun in the                                                                    
behavioral health professional community,  but the state was                                                                    
working to  move the work  through as many  relevant sectors                                                                    
as possible. She believed the  training effort was important                                                                    
to  helping  how  to  overcome the  problems  and  to  avoid                                                                    
exacerbating  trauma.   She  discussed  the   importance  of                                                                    
determining how  to build resiliency,  which was the  key to                                                                    
overcoming   traumatic   experiences.    She   stated   that                                                                    
curriculum had  been developed and  could be  made available                                                                    
to anyone interested.  She added that Trauma  201 focused on                                                                    
helping  organizations  to  transform  into  trauma-informed                                                                    
care organizations.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:12:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello believed  the state's  sex offender                                                                    
registry was helpful  to parents. She wondered  if the state                                                                    
should  pursue  meeting federal  standards  in  order to  be                                                                    
eligible for the receipt of  federal funds. She believed the                                                                    
state was  currently out  of compliance  for receipt  of the                                                                    
funds.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Skidmore  replied in the affirmative.  He discussed that                                                                    
a consideration  was related to  strings attached  to taking                                                                    
federal  funds. He  detailed that  frequently federal  funds                                                                    
would  end up  costing the  state money  due to  the lengthy                                                                    
requirements the state  had to comply with. He  did not know                                                                    
the  situation specific  to  sex  offender registration.  He                                                                    
relayed that the cost/benefit  analysis related to accepting                                                                    
federal funds was ongoing.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg thanked  the departments for their                                                                    
presentation. He  spoke to testimony  from his  community on                                                                    
the  importance of  VPSO officers.  He  observed that  there                                                                    
were many communities in Alaska  that did not have VPSOs. He                                                                    
referred  to  a committee  meeting  earlier  in the  session                                                                    
where failures  of the  state had  been discussed.  He noted                                                                    
there  were various  items that  would increase  the state's                                                                    
ability to put VPSOs or  troopers in communities. He pointed                                                                    
to difficulties in the program.  He asked the administration                                                                    
to  work harder  on the  VPSO  program. He  wondered why  an                                                                    
increased number  of qualified  people could not  be brought                                                                    
to the areas.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:16:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Attorney General Geraghty answered  that the state had spent                                                                    
$44 million  in the past  four years to increase  the number                                                                    
of troopers,  VPSOs, and housing.  He noted that  the number                                                                    
of  VPSOs  had  increased.  He remarked  on  the  high  VPSO                                                                    
turnover rate.  The legislature  was working  on legislation                                                                    
that  would arm  the positions  to increase  safety for  the                                                                    
officers. The  department was working  with tribes  in order                                                                    
to engage  communities to increase safety.  He remarked that                                                                    
he  had written  the chairman  of the  Indian Law  and Order                                                                    
Commission asking  for increased funding for  tribal courts.                                                                    
He  commented that  the commission  had issued  a "scathing"                                                                    
report about Alaska.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  discussed the state's  ability to                                                                    
build housing  for VPSOs through AHFC.  He believed agencies                                                                    
could work together to accomplish the goal.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:18:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Austerman referred to  a prior presentation related                                                                    
to victims of domestic  violence. He recalled testimony that                                                                    
87 percent  of the victims  felt good about how  the program                                                                    
was  working  and  providing  help.  He  remarked  that  the                                                                    
presentation  had not  addressed that  there were  5 percent                                                                    
less  perpetrators.   He  wanted  to  know   how  the  money                                                                    
allocated  by  the  legislature  was  being  spent  and  the                                                                    
benefit ratio related to hiring  the directors and other. He                                                                    
was interested  in changes taking  place and the  benefit of                                                                    
using the money  in its current capacity.  He discussed that                                                                    
prior  to  "white-man civilization"  in  Alaska  it had  not                                                                    
taken  communities  long  to determine  solutions  to  their                                                                    
problems.  He emphasized  that the  state  was currently  in                                                                    
worse shape  than ever before.  He recognized that  the work                                                                    
to improve  the problems could  not occur overnight.  He was                                                                    
willing  to allocate  the money,  but  wanted more  concrete                                                                    
information about the cost/benefit in the future.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Austerman  discussed the  agenda for  the following                                                                    
week.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:22:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 3:22 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Choose Respect 2014 Legislative Report.pdf HFIN 2/21/2014 1:30:00 PM
Choose Respect Update HFIN
Choose Respect 2014 Report Transmittal Letter 02.18.2014.pdf HFIN 2/21/2014 1:30:00 PM
Choose Respect Initiative(Revised) HFIN Presentation 02_21_14.pdf HFIN 2/21/2014 1:30:00 PM