Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/02/1994 03:00 PM HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE March 2, 1994 3:00 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Rep. Cynthia Toohey, Co-Chair Rep. Con Bunde, Co-Chair Rep. Gary Davis Rep. Al Vezey Rep. Pete Kott Rep. Harley Olberg Rep. Irene Nicholia Rep. Tom Brice MEMBERS ABSENT Rep. B. Davis OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT Rep. Sean Parnell Rep. Mark Hanley COMMITTEE CALENDAR *HB 340: "An Act prohibiting the furlough of sex offenders." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE HB 409: "An Act relating to the maximum amount of assistance that may be granted under the adult public assistance program and the program of aid to families with dependent children; proposing a special demonstration project within the program of aid to families with dependent children and directing the Department of Health and Social Services to seek waivers from the federal government to implement the project; and providing for an effective date." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE *HB 337: "An Act relating to the possession of controlled substances within 500 feet of recreation and youth centers." NOT HEARD - HELD OVER FOR NEXT CALENDAR MEETING *HJR 52: Urging the Congress to amend the Social Security Act so that the higher cost of living in Alaska is reflected when the per capita income of the state is used as a factor in determining the federal share of Medicaid costs. NOT HEARD - HELD OVER FOR NEXT CALENDAR MEETING (* First public hearing.) WITNESS REGISTER DIANE SCHENKER, Special Assistant to Commissioner Prewitt 2200 E. 42nd Ave. Anchorage, Alaska 99508-5202 Phone: (907) 561-4426 Position Statement: Testified on HB 340 KRISTENE EWING 203 W. 3rd Ave, #B Juneau, Alaska 99801 Phone: (907) 586-2231 Position Statement: Testified in support of HB 340 GERALD BAILEY Director of Gastineau Manor Gastineau Human Services 5597 Aisek St. Juneau, Alaska 99801 Phone: (907) 780-4338 Position Statement: Testified in opposition to HB 340 CINDY SMITH, Executive Director Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault 130 Seward St., #501 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Phone: (907) 586-3650 Position Statement: Testified in support of HB 340 SANDRA STONE, Executive Director Advocates for Victims of Violence P.O. Box 524 Valdez, Alaska 99686 Phone: (907) 835-2980 Position Statement: Testified in support HB 340 (spoke via teleconference) GINELE HOLBROOK, Direct Services Coordinator Advocates for Victims of Violence P.O. Box 524 Valdez, Alaska 99686 Phone: (907) 835-2980 Position Statement: Testified in support HB 340 (spoke via teleconference) VICKIE WILLIAMS, Youth Service Coordinator Advocates for Victims of Violence P.O. Box 524 Valdez, Alaska 99686 Phone: (907) 835-2980 Position Statement: Testified in support HB 340 (spoke via teleconference) WENDY BRIGGETTE, Program Assistant Advocates for Victims of Violence P.O. Box 524 Valdez, Alaska 99686 Phone: (907) 835-2980 Position Statement: Testified in support HB 340 (spoke via teleconference) CAREN ROBINSON P.O. Box 33702 Juneau, Alaska 99803 Phone: (907) 586-1107 Position Statement: Testified in support of HB 340 CAROL WELCH, Staff Person Advocates for Victims of Violence P.O. Box 524 Valdez, Alaska 99686 Phone: (907) 835-2980 Position Statement: Testified in support HB 340 (spoke via teleconference) JAYNE ANDREEN, Executive Director Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Department of Public Safety P.O. Box 111200 Juneau, Alaska 99811-1200 Phone: (907) 465-4356 Position Statement: Testified in support of HB 340 PAUL SMITH, Director Tundra Center P.O. Box 1114 Bethel, Alaska 99559 Phone: (907) 543-3415 Position Statement: Testified on HB 340 (spoke via teleconference) LAUREE HUGONIN, Director Tundra Women's Coalition P.O Box 1537 Bethel, Alaska 99559 Phone: (907) 543-3455 Position Statement: Testified in support of HB 340 SHERRIE GOLL, Lobbyist Alaska Women's Lobby P.O. Box 22156 Juneau, Alaska 99802 Phone: (907) 463-6744 Position Statement: Testified in support of HB 340 BILL ALLEN, Chairman Advisory Board North Star Center P.O. Box 73765 Fairbanks, Alaska 99707 Phone: (907) 451-8448 Position Statement: Testified in opposition to HB 340 (spoke via teleconference) TANYA MERDES 1331 Great View Lane Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Phone: (907) 457-1019 Position Statement: Testified in support of HB 340 (spoke via teleconference) MARJORIE HOWARD 153 Dome Rd. Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Phone: (907) 479-2603 Position Statement: Testified in support of HB 340 (spoke via teleconference) ROBERT HOWARD 153 Dome Rd. Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Phone: (907) 479-2603 Position Statement: Testified in support of HB 340 (spoke via teleconference) HOLLIS HAMEL P.O. Box 1184 Bethel, Alaska 99559 Phone: (907) 543-3444 Position Statement: Testified in support of HB 340 (spoke via teleconference) JAN HANSEN, Director Division of Public Assistance Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110640 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0640 (907) 465-2680 Position statement: Answered questions on HB 409 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 340 SHORT TITLE: NO FURLOUGHS FOR CERTAIN SEX OFFENDERS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) PARNELL,Phillips,Toohey, Sanders,Olberg JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/03/94 2016 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/10/94 2016 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/10/94 2016 (H) HES, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 01/12/94 2043 (H) COSPONSOR(S): TOOHEY, SANDERS 01/13/94 2055 (H) COSPONSOR(S): OLBERG 03/02/94 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 409 SHORT TITLE: AFDC DEMO PROJECT AND DECREASE SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) HANLEY,Therriault JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/28/94 2176 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/28/94 2177 (H) HES, FINANCE 02/11/94 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 02/11/94 (H) MINUTE(HES) 02/28/94 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 02/28/94 (H) MINUTE(HES) BILL: HB 337 SHORT TITLE: DRUG FREE RECREATION AND YOUTH CENTERS SPONSOR(S):REPRESENTATIVE(S)NORDLUND,Porter,Finkelstein, Martin,Brown,Ulmer,Brice,Hudson,Menard,Sitton,Navarre, Phillips,B.Davis,Green,Nicholia 01/03/94 2015 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/10/94 2015 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/10/94 2015 (H) HES, JUDICIARY 01/13/94 2055 (H) COSPONSOR(S): B. DAVIS 01/14/94 2084 (H) COSPONSOR(S): GREEN 01/18/94 2101 (H) COSPONSOR(S): NICHOLIA 03/02/94 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HJR 52 SHORT TITLE: DETERMINING FEDERAL SHARE OF MEDICAID SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) NORDLUND,Brice,Foster,Larson, Finkelstein,Toohey,Hanley,Nicholia,B.Davis,Davidson JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/21/94 2123 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/21/94 2123 (H) HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES 01/26/94 2159 (H) COSPONSOR(S): HANLEY 02/02/94 2230 (H) COSPONSOR(S): NICHOLIA, B. DAVIS 02/03/94 2247 (H) COSPONSOR(S): DAVIDSON 03/02/94 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 94-33, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIR BUNDE called the meeting to order at 3:04 p.m., noted members present and announced the calendar. He brought HB 340 to the table. HB 340 - NO FURLOUGHS FOR CERTAIN SEX OFFENDERS (Note: Due to technical difficulties, the first three minutes of the meeting are inaudible.) CHAIR BUNDE stated for the record that Rep. Vezey, Rep. Olberg, and Rep. G. Davis arrived at 3:06 p.m. Number 120 REP. SEAN PARNELL, Prime Sponsor of HB 340, stated that the Department of Corrections (DOC) had recently revised their matrix scoring system which determines inmate eligibility for prerelease furloughs to halfway houses. He said, as a result of that revision, there have been and will continue to be a higher number of untreated sex offenders released into communities. He said the shift has resulted in misdemeanants remaining in prison facilities while sex offenders are being furloughed to halfway houses. He stated that the matrix that is being currently used poses many risks to communities. He explained when the new scoring matrix was presented to the DOC subcommittee, of which he is a member, all members expressed their extreme displeasure of certain provisions of the matrix. He said the DOC then worked on another matrix that was released at the end of December 1993. He maintained that the December matrix was constructed without the sex offender treatment personnel's input and without DOC subcommittee input. He asserted that HB 340 is his response to an irresponsible policy. He explained that the legislation prohibits the furlough of sex offenders, except for limited medical reasons, when the furlough would not put the public at risk or if the prisoner is in the direct custody of a correctional officer. He indicated that a copy of the matrix was in the committee bill packets. REP. PARNELL maintained that currently untreated sex offenders are eligible for furlough. He suggested that if the DOC has not had someone in treatment, they do not know the risk the person represents to communities. He felt that to be a serious flaw in the matrix. He also maintained that the matrix makes several assumptions that are not clinically supported. He said the matrix assumes that incest is not predatory by attempting to differentiate between intrafamily sexual assault and sexual assault. Rep. Parnell felt the DOC appears to provide more leniency to those who abuse their own children versus those who assault strangers. He felt there was no basis for a distinction between the two circumstances. He further stated that under the matrix, touching and fondling is assumed to be low risk behavior. He explained that often such behavior is a precursor to more abusive behavior. REP. PARNELL indicated that the matrix makes provisions for those who commit isolated acts of pedophilia, and offered that the term "isolated acts of pedophilia" is an "oxymoron" as he felt it was a contradiction in terms; the acts are ongoing and not isolated. He further indicated that the DOC did not perform a test sample of prisoners. He suggested that the implementation of the matrix has not been well thought out. REP. PARNELL further stated that he is most disturbed by the policy call being made by the DOC with regards to misdemeanants as they relate to sex offenders. Rep. Parnell referred to the second page of the fiscal note and indicated that item number nine states that if sex offenders are precluded from furloughs, other offenders currently housed in state correctional beds, such as misdemeanants, would be diverted to the Community Residential Center (CRC) beds intended for furloughees. He stated that it appears to be DOC policy, due to fiscal restraints, to house misdemeanants in hard beds and send sex offenders, up to 90 per year, to soft beds in CRCs. He felt it was the wrong message to send to prisoners and to the public. Number 352 REP. TOOHEY asked if there was anyone from the DOC in the audience. REP. PARNELL said yes. He then said that the legislative intent that passed last year states that "the program should not be available for an individual inmate if the potential for reformation of the inmate is considered to be minimal and the immediate threat to public safety from that inmate is great." He said he did not want that type of individual in CRC beds. He explained that under the current matrix, untreated sex offenders can be released without knowing the risk to society. He said that would be violating the legislative intent. Number 387 REP. BRICE asked when the legislative intent was passed. REP. PARNELL replied last year. Number 393 REP. BRICE asked through what vehicle was the intent passed. REP. PARNELL responded that it went through the operating budget. REP. BRICE said it was probably the DOC budget. Number 398 REP. PARNELL summed up his testimony by stating that citizens and victims of sex offenders have the right to demand that sex offenders that have been sentenced to correctional facilities will remain in the custody of that facility and will not be furloughed intermittently or early. He maintained that there is no escape for victims and family members, particularly in rural villages. Number 424 CHAIR BUNDE stated for the record that Rep. Nicholia arrived at 3:07 p.m. He then noted that the meeting was being teleconferenced to Valdez, Anchorage, Bethel, and Fairbanks. REP. TOOHEY asked how many convicted sex offenders are repeat offenders. REP. PARNELL said he did not know the statistics, but did offer from the Bureau of Justice that there is a high risk of escape from CRCs and recidivism from CRC furloughees. REP. TOOHEY stated that she "totally supports" the legislation. Number 466 CHAIR BUNDE maintained that he felt pedophile are never cured. REP. TOOHEY agreed. REP. BRICE asked if someone from the DOC could address the aforementioned issues. CHAIR BUNDE said testimony from the DOC would be forthcoming. Number 486 REP. VEZEY asked if Rep. Parnell disagreed with the fiscal note. REP. PARNELL said yes. He said if misdemeanants are pulled out of "hard beds" and put into "soft beds" there would be a zero fiscal note. He also suggested that another category of offender could be found to furlough rather than sex offenders. REP. VEZEY questioned if some sex offenses are misdemeanors. REP. PARNELL said he did not know the answer. REP. VEZEY said he felt the question is not where to keep the sex offender, it is what kind of threat to society does the state want to reserve hard beds for. REP. PARNELL stated that the matrix system prevents society from knowing what kind of risks the offenders will present. REP. VEZEY said, as he understood the bill, the DOC would have to furlough felons before sex offenders would be furloughed. REP. PARNELL asked if Rep. Vezey was referring to the matrix. REP. VEZEY said he was referring to HB 340. REP. PARNELL submitted that the bill "is a drastic approach" that is there to meet a drastic threat to society. He said Rep. Vezey was correct in that felons could be released before sex offenders. He stated that he "was asking for some sanity from the department." REP. VEZEY explained that he does recognize that there are different categories of offenses to society. He said he rated murder at the top of the list of threats to society. REP. PARNELL said that he felt murderers would not be released under the current matrix. Number 562 CHAIR BUNDE asked Diane Schenker from the DOC to testify. REP. PARNELL asked for Rep. Vezey's questions to be deferred to Ms. Schenker. Number 578 DIANE SCHENKER, Special Assistant to Commissioner Prewitt, Department of Corrections, answered questions in Juneau on HB 340. CHAIR BUNDE asked Ms. Schenker if felons would be furloughed so that sex offenders could be maintained. He then asked if most sex offenses are felonies. MS. SCHENKER stated that most sex offenses are felonies. She said under current policy, all categories of felons are considered for furlough. She said the premise is that a murderer serving 99 years never attains furlough. She said the minimum felony is three years with at least one-third served time. She indicated there is no exclusion for furlough review for any offense. Number 620 CHAIR BUNDE referred to the bill that allows terminally ill inmates to be furloughed no matter what their offense was. REP. OLBERG asked if there is any category of offense that cannot be furloughed, theoretically. MS. SCHENKER said there is nothing in statute that precludes anyone from being furloughed simply because of their offense. She further stated that "the factors that preclude someone from being furloughed, statutorily, are time left to serve." REP. OLBERG asked if the legislation is identifying a class of offender that shouldn't be "readily" furloughed. MS. SCHENKER said the legislation is more black and white; the sex offender would not be considered for review or furloughed. She said the furlough policy occurred as a result of the DOC being asked repeatedly to be less conservative in the use of furlough policy, citing a long history of successful furloughs with low rates of escape and reoffense. She said individual applications have often been reviewed and denied and those sex offenders who satisfactorily participated in sex offender treatment programs were more often granted furlough. She said those numbers were small because many offenders do not participate in treatment programs. She explained that after the DOC received the legislative intent language, the DOC redrafted the policy and sent the new draft to the Finance subcommittees. She said the policy opened up automatic review for every felon who reaches the window of eligibility. Prior to the policy, a felon had to request consideration for furlough. She said the committee responded with common concern that untreated sex offenders not be furloughed. MS. SCHENKER said the DOC then created the matrix. She maintained that the first matrix that was developed weighted the sex offense so heavily in scoring, that the only way a sex offender could qualify for furlough would be if the individual received additional "credit points" for completing treatment. She felt the policy and scoring would answer the concerns of the subcommittee members and other interested groups. MS. SCHENKER said that sampling was done on the matrix that indicated that a total of 11 sex offenders were furloughed for 30-60 days. The DOC reviewed the policy after several months and found that more sex offenders than not were being denied furlough. She stated that it was the DOC's consensus that they were not meeting the legislative intent language and that clearly the DOC was excluding a class of offenders because of their offense. The legislative intent language clearly requires the DOC to make individual determinations not determined by the offense. She stated that the matrix was not meeting the intent language, therefore the DOC redrafted the matrix, which indicates a higher rate of furlough for all categories of offenders, including sex offenders. Number 793 CHAIR BUNDE explained to Rep. Olberg that HB 334 (three strikes you're out) would address most furlough issues. REP. TOOHEY stated that there was also a concealed weapons bill that was making its way rapidly through committees. She then asked Ms. Schenker how many repeat offenders are in the system and how many of those have been treated. MS. SCHENKER answered that a recidivism study for the state of Alaska is in the process and the results are not conclusive as of yet. She indicated that the sex offender coordinator that she contacted for the statistics said there were studies from nine other states. She said eight out of the nine studies indicate that completion of sex offender treatment does lower the risk of recidivism. She asserted that the DOC has never seen data that suggests that sex offenders recidivate at higher rates than other categories of offenses. Number 841 CHAIR BUNDE suggested that Ms. Schenker prepare an answer for Rep. Parnell regarding the second page of the fiscal note, item 9. He then asked for testimony in Juneau. Number 845 KRISTENE EWING, Concerned Citizen, testified in support of HB 340. She stated that she was opposed to current policy that allows furloughs to sex offenders, citing the threat posed society. She felt there should be legislation that mandates sex offenders to fulfill their terms of sentence with no option of early release. She explained that there are other felon and misdemeanor populations that could benefit from the furlough program. She felt that these categories of offenders do not represent the extreme threat to society as do sex offenders. She strongly urged the committee to support HB 340. Number 929 CHAIR BUNDE asked for questions. He then asked for further testimony. Number 944 GERALD BAILEY, Director, Glacier Manor, Gastineau Human Services (GHS), testified in opposition to HB 340. He indicated that Glacier Manor is a halfway house in Juneau. He stated that the legislation is an extreme measure designed to deal with a problem that is not as extreme as the solution. He said it was not his desire to have sex offenders in his halfway house that he cannot supervise and provide community safety for. He felt it was not in the state's best interest to prohibit all sex offenders from furlough eligibility, citing that there are sex offenders that are amenable to treatment and who can earn the right to early release to a halfway house. He maintained that sex offenders are no more difficult to deal with than any other class of offender. He submitted that furlough release into a halfway house is composed of strict standards by which Glacier Manor monitors their residents as to their whereabouts. The offenders are very much aware that they are still under the supervision of the DOC. He further stated that a violation of furlough results in the individual's return to "one of the institutions." MR. BAILEY said halfway houses are an alternative to hard beds, explaining that it provides community safety while providing rehabilitation and accountability for offenders. However, he felt that not every sex offender should be furloughed to a halfway house. He maintained that there are sex offenders that are appropriate for halfway house placement that should be given the opportunity for review much like anyone else. Number 999 REP. KOTT asked Mr. Bailey to comment on the current procedures used to monitor sex offenders in halfway houses. MR. BAILEY specified visual surveillance, telephone surveillance, the knowledge of where the offender is at all times, and observation of the offender within the community (with or without the offender's knowledge) as currently used monitoring techniques. He indicated that contact by phone to their employers or supervisors is necessary if they are working or doing community service. They are not allowed into the community unless for specific purposes that are approved ahead of time. He also mentioned that the furloughees can earn privileges which allow them more pass time in the community that is also closely monitored. Number 022 REP. KOTT asked if those who do the surveillance actually "shadow" the sex offender in the community. MR. BAILEY answered that they do not follow them one on one. He explained that the halfway house does random visual surveillances frequently enough that they are assured that the offender is doing what they're supposed to be doing. REP. KOTT asked how frequently random visual surveillances are done. MR. BAILEY said it could vary, citing that visual surveillance could be done from once a week to once a month, and that telephone surveillance could be done two or three times a day. He explained that how often an offender is surveillanced depends on the nature of the offender's crime. Number 040 CHAIR BUNDE asked if Gastineau Manor is a state agency or a private entity. MR. BAILEY stated that Gastineau Human Services, which operates Glacier Manor, is a private nonprofit organization that contracts with the DOC. Number 047 REP. VEZEY asked if it was a reasonable assumption that pedophile do not pose a threat to other adults. MR. BAILEY said generally they are not a threat to other adults, but certainly pose a threat to children. REP. VEZEY supposed that it may be easier to isolate a pedophile from children under a certain age as opposed to all women in society. MR. BAILEY agreed. Number 069 REP. G. DAVIS asked Mr. Bailey if he knew the recidivism rate for sexual offenders as opposed to other categories of offenses. MR. BAILEY indicated that an article he had showed recidivism rates varying from 10% for incest offenders to 40% for exhibitionists and voyeurs. He said there is clearly a difference between the various types of sex offenders. He said his personal opinion is that they are no more likely to offend than other categories of offenders. Number 092 CHAIR BUNDE asked for the title of the report Mr. Bailey was reading from. MR. BAILEY said it was a journal article titled, "Research on Sex Offenders, What Do We Know?" He said he was unsure of the article's source. CHAIR BUNDE asked Mr. Bailey to inform Rep. Toohey of the source of the article when convenient. REP. KOTT asked Mr. Bailey how many of the sex offenders that have been involved with his facility have violated their parole. MR. BAILEY said, "In this fiscal year, we have had nine referrals placed into the CRC, and none of them have violated their paroles." REP. KOTT asked if there are many violations of parole. MR. BAILEY answered no. He said in his experience of one year with GHS, he has known of one violation. Number 121 REP. BRICE asked if he had seen the same faces come back through? MR. BAILEY said in regards to sex offenders, he has not seen any come back through. Number 133 CHAIR BUNDE asked what percentage of Mr. Bailey's clients are sex offenders. MR. BAILEY responded by saying that 13% of the referrals they have received this year are sex offenders. REP. PARNELL asked how many additional sex offenders would Mr. Bailey receive as referrals under the new proposal. MR. BAILEY said he was unsure. TAPE 94-33, SIDE B Number 000 CHAIR BUNDE stated that testimony would be heard in Juneau and then via teleconference from Valdez. Number 005 CINDY SMITH, Executive Director, Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, testified in Juneau in support of HB 340. She stated that the network is a coalition of the 22 domestic violence and sexual assault programs around the state. She said the program served 9000 victims last year. She also stated that the network also includes the DOC contract as sex offender treatment provider. She commented that she was prepared to cite and leave with the committee studies that provide relative statistics regarding sex offenders. She stated that between 1989 and 1991 the number of reported rapes against women and the number of child sexual assault doubled. She said that levels of sexual assault are presently higher than in any rates of the past decade. MS. SMITH explained that due to financial restrictions and overcrowding, the DOC began authorizing prerelease furloughs for sex offenders. When the network learned of the new policy of early release, especially of untreated offenders, she wrote a letter of objection to the DOC. She further stated that studies show nationally the recidivism rate to be 80%-90% for untreated sex offenders. MS. SMITH addressed the issue of treatment of sex offenders by citing a document from the DOC which contains a consultant study among eight national studies that directly compared treated and untreated groups of sex offenders. She said five out of the eight studies indicated the reoffense rate to be higher among treated offenders, two reports showed there to be no difference in the recidivism rate, and findings were positive in one study. She indicated the document originated from the DOC and was provided to her by Janet Marquess. Number 091 CHAIR BUNDE asked if Ms. Smith would supply the committee secretary with her prepared written testimony. MS. SMITH indicated that she was reading from notes. She continued on to say that the bottom line is that the furloughs are being granted to a group of offenders that have a much higher propensity to reoffend than other categories of offenders that are placed into community beds. She also stated that the network is not aware of any special training for community halfway houses that is specific to managing sex offenders. She also suggested that not all halfway houses are as admirably monitored as Glacier Manor. MS. SMITH asserted that the references in the matrix are misleading. She maintained that studies have shown a significant "cross-over", citing 44% of in-family assaults indicate that the perpetrator had also committed sexual assaults outside of the family. Ms. Smith further explained that there is also a cross-over from people who primarily assault children, citing that they sometimes assault adults. She pointed out that those who are known to be peeping Toms are also likely to be sexual offenders. She felt the idea of providing sex offenders with furlough as an incentive for sex offenders to receive treatment is not a good idea, explaining that sex offenders often con people. MS. SMITH said the question is which beds are being used for sex offenders. She maintained that the DOC's current decision seems to be that it's more important to free up hard beds for misdemeanants; i.e., DWIs and assault; by putting a group with an 80% recidivism rate out into the community in soft beds where they are for the most part surveillanced but not monitored 24 hours a day. She urged the committee to support HB 340. Number 202 CHAIR BUNDE asked for questions from the committee. REP. G. DAVIS asked if the recidivism rate was 80% plus. MS. SMITH said it is 80%-90% and the statistics were from data that tracked treated and untreated sex offenders. She said the reports indicated that recidivism rates ranged between 15%-40% for offenders who are "treatment complete." She also said that a number of states indicated higher rates of recidivism for treated offenders opposed to untreated offenders. Number 244 REP. KOTT asked what the recidivism rate is for treated offenders. MS. SMITH said the statistics vary depending on what state is involved and what kind of treatment they provide. She said estimates run between 20% and 40%. She asserted that most studies are not finding their programs effective, citing that some programs have shut down. She said there is no recidivism data in Alaska. Number 276 CHAIR BUNDE asked for teleconference testimony and urged those testifying to limit their testimony. Number 280 SANDRA STONE, Executive Director, Advocates for Victims of Violence, testified via teleconference in support of HB 340. She stated that early release of sex offenders revictimizes the victim and minimizes the impact of the offense on the victim's life. She explained that she has sat in on sex offender treatment groups where offenders were in prison for their second and third time. She said many were incest perpetrators. She urged the committee to let victims know that they believe in the seriousness of the crime committed against them by supporting HB 340. Number 338 GINELE HOLBROOK, Direct Services Coordinator, Advocates for Victims of Violence, testified via teleconference in support of HB 340. She stated that she had the opportunity in the past to work with sex offenders. She said her testimony is based on personal rather than professional experience. She said her first experience was with an offender who talked positively of how he was going to turn his life around. She indicated that a week later, upon the offender's release, he had raped his ex-girlfriend because she had broken off their relationship. MS. HOLBROOK related another experience that she had with a pedophile that had been kicked out of the sex offenders treatment program for inappropriate behavior. She said she worked with him as a liaison between his family and him. Consequently, she told the man she could no longer work with him. The offender then threatened her by telling her that when he was released "he would find me, and we would finish business." Ms. Holbrook said she felt that she could prepare herself for the offender's imminent release, but if the legislation is not passed, she would always be looking over her shoulder. Number 408 VICKIE WILLIAMS, Youth Services Coordinator, Advocates for Victims of Violence, testified via teleconference in support of HB 340. She reiterated that child victims will be revictimized by the knowledge that their sexual offenders will be back on the streets even earlier. She felt that to trade off children's safety for money is extremely unfortunate. Number 426 WENDY BRIGGETTE, Program Assistant, Advocates for Victims of Violence, testified via teleconference in support of HB 340. She stated her concern that pedophile and incest perpetrators should be considered in the same class as violent sex offenders. CHAIR BUNDE said her point was well taken. CAREN ROBINSON, Concerned Citizen, testified in Juneau in support of HB 340. She stated that she has worked in the area of domestic violence and sexual assault for ten years and was one of the first certified police trainers in the state. She also stated that she lobbied for setting up the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. She reminded the committee that the legislation addresses early furlough. She felt it is extremely important to use soft beds to house nonviolent offenders, citing the high recidivism rate for sexual offenders. MS. ROBINSON related circumstances where she was involved in treatment for sex offenders in Washington. She said part of the treatment was that the offenders had to verbally address all the offenses that they had perpetrated against victims. She said when the offenders became honest about their pasts, not one in the group had only one offense, indicating cross- over behavior. MS. ROBINSON asserted that the offense of child molestation within the home is just as serious as a child being molested by a stranger next door. She indicated that most children of incest have endured years of abuse. She stated that she left the area of domestic violence in sexual assault because she could "not take, any longer, working with people who I later discovered, in some form, were molesting children." MS. ROBINSON named Max DuBois as a program director who molested five young boys, was arrested, and put in jail. She said not long after, she was in Anchorage at a movie theater and found herself and her son sitting next to him with two Native boys with him. She said he has fled to Florida and is being sought for approximately five other cases. MS. ROBINSON indicated that she had taught police officers and in schools with Ken McQuaid, who molested five boys. She reminded the committee that he was a school board member and would have definitely been a candidate for any early release furlough. MS. ROBINSON mentioned Ron Lear who was with the attorneys general who worked with her in rewriting the sexual assault laws. She said he molested his four children, was arrested and jailed, and is now in prison again for remolesting. Lastly, MS. ROBINSON referred to the captain of police who was charged with sexual assault and roams free in Washington because of the statute of limitations. She said there was evidence of at least five or six victims in his own immediate family. She strongly encouraged passage of HB 340. Number 616 REP. BRICE asked for a copy of the report Ms. Robinson was reading from. Number 620 CHAIR BUNDE asked for further testimony from Valdez. Number 622 CAROL WELCH, Staff Person, Advocate for Victims of Violence, testified via teleconference in support of HB 340. She stated that the safety of children should be the priority for all. She felt to release an untreated sex offender early was to suggest that their offense was "no big deal." It allows the offender to continue in their denial of responsibility. She urged the passage of HB 340. Number 648 JAYNE ANDREEN, Executive Director, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Department of Public Safety, testified in Juneau in support of HB 340. She stated that she was testifying on behalf of the council. She said that Alaska has one of the highest rates of forcible rape in the United States. (see Attachment 1) She said Alaska now exceeds the national average by more than two times. It is important to note that the numbers reflect the incidences of rape that were reported. She said it is estimated that only 7% of rapes are reported, and with those statistics it is estimated that over 8000 rapes occurred in Alaska in 1992. MS. ANDREEN reiterated the high recidivism rate for sex offenders, and felt that sex offenders, whether they are treated or untreated, are being placed in community beds which allows offenders greater access to potential victims. She said this practice decreases public safety. She asserted that community beds could be more effectively used by less dangerous populations. She felt it would provide an appropriate balance between cost effective utilization of DOC resources while ensuring public safety. Number 686 CHAIR BUNDE asked for testimony from Bethel. Number 690 PAUL SMITH, Director, Tundra Center, testified via teleconference on HB 340. He read a statement from Susan Rapoza, Former Board Member of the Tundra Center. In the statement she indicated that all offenders, including sex offenders, should be given the opportunity to reside in a residential program. She felt by allowing the offenders to reside in community beds they would become self-sufficient and secure enough to reenter the community. She indicated that to the best of her knowledge there has been no major problems presented by sex offenders in the Tundra Center. MR. SMITH asserted that the Tundra Center has had a 100% completion rate for treatment of sex offenders since January of 1992. He said 12 sex offenders have been admitted to the program since 1992. He said there is no sex offender classes or programs conducted through mental health programs in Bethel. Number 756 LAUREE HUGONIN, Director, Tundra Women's Coalition, testified via teleconference in support of HB 340. She stated that during 1993, state troopers investigated 236 child sexual and physical abuse cases in the region surrounding Bethel. (Due to technical difficulties with teleconference, Chair Bunde took a brief at-ease from 4:12 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.) MS. HUGONIN continued with her testimony. She said that 53 cases of adult sexual assault were reported in that same year. She said that during 1993, ten Bethel residents and 45 Yukon Delta residents were incarcerated for sexual offenses. She also stated that since 1992, twelve sex offenders have resided at the community halfway house in Bethel. She maintained that the region does not need sex offenders to be released any earlier than possible and questioned if treatment for sex offenders is effective at all. She commented on the community halfway house in Bethel. She indicated that those offenders in residence have opportunity to be away from supervision at their work place and during their lunchtime. She explained that the community is small and that the sex offenders pose a risk to the public. TAPE 94-34, SIDE A Number 000 MS. HUGONIN further stated that she supported early release for misdemeanants to halfway houses. She suggested that perhaps those convicted for crimes against property should be allowed soft beds as opposed to sex offenders. She asserted that a revision be made to the DOC scoring matrix. She agreed that intrafamily sexual assault is just as dangerous and damaging as other higher rated assaults within the matrix. She said that sex offenders must be required to face the full consequences of their actions. Number 090 SHERRIE GOLL, Lobbyist, Alaska Women's Lobby, testified in Juneau in support of HB 340. She stated that pedophile are very likely to be pillars of the community and are very adept at conning adults and children. She said these types of offenders would appear to be good candidates for early release. She said the Alaska Women's Lobby supports halfway houses in the community for reintegration into the community, but they feel it is inappropriate for sex offenders and violent criminals of any kind. She suggested that perhaps sex offenders should be required to do their full time in prison and then be placed into community beds in halfway houses to be integrated back into the society. Number 177 BILL ALLEN, Chairman, Advisory Board, North Star Center, testified via teleconference in opposition to HB 340. He stated that the matrix prohibits untreated sex offenders convicted of violent and sexual assault from being furloughed. He felt that to prohibit furlough to sex offenders would discourage them from getting professional help, as the incentive to be cured would be removed. He stated that alcohol abuse is a large factor associated with acts of sexual abuse. He further stated that North Star Center has admitted 50 sex offenders since January of 1990, and none of the offenders have been arrested as a result of a new offense while in their program. He urged that the legislation be redrafted accordingly. Number 274 TANYA MERDES testified via teleconference in support of HB 340. She stated that she is sixteen years old and a victim of rape. She said, "If my perpetrator is let out of jail any earlier, I don't know what I would do. My freedom has already been stripped away from me, and I think... he should serve his full sentence." CHAIR BUNDE expressed his appreciation to Tanya Merdes for coming forward. He asked to hear testimony from Marjorie Howard. Number 296 MARJORIE HOWARD, Tanya Merdes' grandmother, testified via teleconference in support of HB 340. She stated that sex offenders should not be allowed in to society before they have served as much time as the state can mandate. Number 320 CHAIR BUNDE, due to the heart-felt nature of Ms. Howard's testimony, asked her if she would like to take a moment to regain her composure. Number 350 MS. HOWARD continued with her testimony. She said that her family must endure the presence of her granddaughter's perpetrator for the rest of their lives. She stated that no family or victim ever truly heals from such a crime. She felt that letting sex offenders out early into the community is improper. Number 360 CHAIR BUNDE thanked Ms. Howard for coming forward, and said that it is important for legislators to hear the testimony of victims in the community. Number 365 ROBERT HOWARD, Tanya Merdes' grandfather, testified via teleconference in support of HB 340. He stated that in the past two years, his family has undergone the devastation of a sexual offense committed against his granddaughter. He said, "the other thing is this, I have personally experienced the psychological effect of hormone imbalance, and what that can do to your view of the world. I want you to understand that it can be very significant. And, it can be overwhelming, and it can be something that you have no defenses against. That is a preface of what I wanted to tell you." He further stated that violation of furlough is an unacceptable risk. He said the crime of sexual assault is one of the most difficult to detect and to prosecute, citing that in many cases it is an easy act for offenders to hide. He said, "I can tell you from personal experience that your very best friend, for your whole life, can be the perpetrator of sex offenses, and you don't even know it. That was hard to deal with." MR. HOWARD felt that HB 340 was a good solution to an extreme problem. He further stated that treatment for sex offenders in prison is of no value. He said, "I feel that ultimately, most acts of sex offense are probably driven by hormones coupled with maybe a little bit of a twisted psychological outlook. But, they're driven by hormones which when active can overwhelm the best of intentions." He said he doubted that treatment of sex offenders included significant modification of hormones, but felt it would be of value to the offender to undergo such treatment. He asserted that of all sex crimes, pedophilia is the easiest crime to conceal and he felt that there is no degree of distinction between it and other acts of sexual assault. Number 492 REP. G. DAVIS asked Mr. Howard if the perpetrator of the crime against his granddaughter was a repeat offender. MR. HOWARD said, "ten times at least." REP. G. DAVIS asked if that was prior to the offense to his granddaughter. MR. HOWARD responded yes. CHAIR BUNDE clarified and asked if there was a prior conviction. MR. HOWARD said no. CHAIR BUNDE clarified that although it does not minimize the perpetrator's offense, there was no prior conviction so it was not a second offense. He then closed public testimony. He asked the pleasure of the committee. He then was made aware that there was one testifier left in Bethel. Number 542 HOLLIS HAMEL, Concerned Citizen, testified via teleconference in support of HB 340. She stated that Alaska has sent an increasingly loud message to sexual assault victims that they deserve advocacy and support services, that they are, indeed, victims of serious crime, and that there are punitive measures placed on the offenders of those crimes. In light of the message being sent, Ms. Hamel asked how the state could allow the early release of sex offenders, citing that the victims' safety could be greatly compromised. She felt that offenders would interpret the message as "no big deal." Number 595 CHAIR BUNDE asked the pleasure of the committee. REP. TOOHEY said that she, as a nurse, has been the recipient of rape victims in the emergency room and has had several friends raped. She made a motion to pass HB 340 out of committee with individual recommendations. CHAIR BUNDE indicated that there was an accompanying fiscal note. He suggested that the issue of the fiscal note be addressed in future committees. REP. PARNELL offered that Ms. Schenker was available for fiscal questions. CHAIR BUNDE asked Rep. Parnell to address the fiscal note in the Finance Committee. Number 633 REP. G. DAVIS asked Ms. Schenker if there are enough offenders in other categories to fill the soft beds. MS. SCHENKER stated that the DOC would like to make it clear that there is not a pool of nonviolent offenders to substitute for violent offenders. She said that it is very rare that a nonviolent offender, with no past violent crimes, would be put into the prison system. She said there are misdemeanants that could be put into the beds. However, Ms. Schenker stated, the DOC is 265 prisoners over the maximum capacity. She said that if today the DOC "swapped the misdemeanants for the furloughed sex offenders, it is true that there would be no impact." Number 704 CHAIR BUNDE indicated that the committee had heard the motion and asked if there were any objections. Hearing none, Chair Bunde declared that HB 340 was so moved. CHAIR BUNDE then brought HB 409 to the table. He stated that the bill was heard previously. (Note: Chair Bunde handed the gavel over to Rep. Toohey to preside over the remainder of the meeting.) HB 409 - AFDC DEMO PROJECT AND DECREASE Number 713 CHAIR TOOHEY indicated that there were questions that remained unanswered from the last meeting. REP. G. DAVIS said he was comfortable with the bill and that all of his prior concerns had been successfully addressed. REP. BRICE indicated that at the end of the meeting on March 28, 1994, Rep. B. Davis had asked for figures to be worked out regarding a lower ratable reduction. He said it was his understanding that Rep. B. Davis' concerns were going to be addressed before the bill was to be moved out of committee. He asked if there were any answers to Rep. B. Davis' concerns. CHAIR TOOHEY said, to her knowledge, they had not been answered. She said it was her intent to pass the bill out, as the committee was unsure as to how long it would be before Rep. B. Davis returned to Juneau. Rep. B. Davis was in Anchorage seeking medical treatment. Number 760 REP. BRICE further indicated that he had submitted a list of 20 questions to a subcommittee hearing and had not received a reply. CHAIR TOOHEY asked if Rep. Mark Hanley had addressed the list of questions for Rep. Brice. REP. BRICE maintained that he submitted a list to both the prime sponsor and to the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and still had not received a response. REP. G. DAVIS, as chairman of the subcommittee, stated that he did not recall seeing a specific list of questions. He said he certainly was not denying that the list was submitted. He referred to the ratable reductions, stating that he had concerns also that perhaps there could be other avenues of funding. He said after researching the issue further, he found no other way to generate the needed funding and indicated his acceptance to the proposal. REP. HANLEY said that he received a copy of the list and said, "I don't know how you want to respond, but some of the questions were: What does it cost to implement the federal waivers? What does it cost to administer a demonstration project over the life of the project...cost ratios, cost benefit study? There isn't a cost benefit study, but the fiscal note answers about half of the questions that are on here." Number 800 REP. BRICE said there were about six or seven serious policy questions that were left unanswered. CHAIR TOOHEY said, "Excuse me, Rep. Brice, had you checked with the sponsor before that?" REP. BRICE said that he had been in contact with Rep. Hanley. REP. HANLEY indicated that he had a copy of the questions. CHAIR TOOHEY asked Rep. Hanley if he was able to answer any of Rep. Brice's questions. REP. HANLEY said, "We talked to the office, but..." CHAIR TOOHEY asked if there was anyone from the DHSS in the audience. She then asked Rep. Hanley to respond before she heard testimony from Jan Hansen. REP. HANLEY said that he drafted an amendment that would address the aforementioned concerns. He said the bill already establishes that if the federal government does not approve some of the waivers, it has the ability to determine whether the project should be implemented. He further stated that the proposal states that the DHSS shall apply for and implement the waivers that relate to the parts of the project that are not substantially affected by the change in federal statutes or regulations. He maintained that if there are changes in federal regulations, the DHSS would have the ability to discontinue the operation of the project. Number 845 REP. BRICE asked, if the project were to be discontinued, would the ratable return to the original rate? REP. HANLEY said no. REP. BRICE clarified that even if the demonstration is not being done, the ratable would not go back to the original rate. REP. HANLEY said no. REP. BRICE made a motion to amend the amendment to reflect that if the DHSS does not do the demonstration project, that the ratable would be reimplemented to the original level. REP. BUNDE objected and offered that even with the ratable reduction, "...Alaska is the highest welfare rate in the nation." Number 871 REP. NICHOLIA said, "Bettye (Rep. B. Davis) asked specifically for the department to draw up the numbers... possibly at a 7% ratable to make the program more cost neutral and less of an impact on the AFDC recipients. That's what she specifically asked for." CHAIR TOOHEY called for the vote to amend HB 409 as amended. The motion was made to bring the ratable back to its original rate if the waiver is not implemented. Reps. Nicholia and Brice voted Yea; Reps. Toohey, Bunde, Gary Davis, Vezey, and Olberg voted Nay. Chair Toohey declared that the motion failed. She then asked if the amendment proposed by Rep. Hanley had been adopted. It had not been adopted. She asked for a motion. Number 903 REP. BUNDE made a motion to adopt the amendment for HB 409. CHAIR TOOHEY, hearing no objections, said the amendment had been adopted. REP. NICHOLIA referred to her earlier question as to whether Rep. Bettye Davis' concerns were going to be addressed. She asked for an answer. Number 912 REP. HANLEY said that the DHSS would be able to figure out a ratable reduction. He said he was unable to render those figures. CHAIR TOOHEY asked if Rep. B. Davis' request was made during the teleconference meeting on February 28, 1994. REP. BRICE said yes, "asking for the .7 numbers...on the APA." Number 924 JAN HANSEN, Director, Division of Public Assistance, Department of Health and Social Services, answered questions on HB 409. She stated that the current percentage on the fiscal analysis was 1.7%. She then estimated that at .9 the numbers would be about half of any of the figures listed. She said that .7 of 1.7% would be about 45% of the figures shown on the fiscal analysis. She stated that the numbers were ball park figures. Number 944 REP. NICHOLIA stated that it was her feeling that if Rep. B. Davis requested those figures, they should have been written up instead of giving "ball park figures" for answers. CHAIR TOOHEY said, "I would move that if Rep. Davis would like that information, she can get it through Finance." She then asked for further questions. Number 962 REP. BRICE said, "Considering that there's roughly 18,600 people... that are due back child support... that are also on AFDC in the state, I would kindly submit that we look at possibly including some amendments to include some of the child support enforcement legislation that we've been talking about; namely, for those employers who intentionally hide the fact that their employee is in arrears to child support." Number 979 CHAIR TOOHEY said, "Rep. Brice, you are off the subject of this. There is a bill before us... or there was a bill..." REP. BRICE said, "Yes, but I've got an amendment that I would like to propose." CHAIR TOOHEY said, "I would like to know the wish of the committee -- if we want to take to another amendment or if we want to continue and pass this bill on." REP. BUNDE made a motion to pass HB 409 out of committee. REP. BRICE said, "Out of order. Point of order. No. We were not told that this bill was going to come up until just this morning. There was no discussion as to whether it would... my understanding is... me and Irene left the room after adjournment, Monday morning, then there was a discussion. There was no attempt to contact our offices... so where we could be in contact with the sponsor of the legislation to address certain questions that we have not been allowed access to through the subcommittee or through the past hearing." Number 000 CHAIR TOOHEY interjected and said, "The subcommittee was open to the public." REP. BRICE said, "Not according to your very words, Madam Chair. You said it did not concern the matters of Fairbanks, and that's why I was not chosen to sit on it." CHAIR TOOHEY said, "And Rep. Davis was, as a voting member, not as a member of the committee." REP. BRICE said, "And, she's been sick." CHAIR TOOHEY said, "That's right, not as a member... excuse me. You were here at the committee meeting, and I believe you were too." She indicated that Rep. Nicholia was in attendance also. REP. BRICE said, "Not when it was announced that you'd bring it back up on Wednesday." CHAIR TOOHEY said, "That's right..." She then asked the pleasure of the committee. Number 017 REP. BUNDE made a motion to pass HB 409 out of committee. REP. NICHOLIA said, "Before you make any moves here, I would like to say something. I think that this bill here is a little early, Rep. Hanley. I think that you're going to be tying up people for five years when there's other welfare reform coming from President Clinton. We haven't seen it. We haven't been in touch with our Congressman to see what's in that package. And, I just think that this is just too early for us. You said at the beginning, when you first introduced it, that it was just a proposal, and so here we are having a bill in front of us... I just think that it's not going to do us any good right now. I think it's just too early." Number 036 REP. BUNDE stated that he had a motion on the floor. REP. BRICE objected. CHAIR TOOHEY called for the vote. Reps. Bunde, Gary Davis, Vezey, Kott, Olberg, and Toohey voted Yea and Reps. Nicholia and Brice voted Nay. Chair Toohey declared that HB 409 was so moved. CHAIR TOOHEY then indicated that HB 337 and HJR 52 would be heard at the next meeting. Seeing no further business before the committee, CHAIR TOOHEY ADJOURNED the meeting at 5:00 p.m.