Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

03/08/2019 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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Audio Topic
01:33:39 PM Start
01:34:22 PM Presentation: Justice Research for Ak by Dr. Brad Myrstol, Director, Justice Center, University of Ak Anchorage
03:04:15 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
+ Presentation: Justice Research for AK by Dr. Brad TELECONFERENCED
Myrstol, Director, Justice Center, University of
AK Anchorage
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 8, 2019                                                                                          
                           1:33 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Matt Claman, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Vice Chair                                                                                     
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
Representative Laddie Shaw                                                                                                      
Representative David Eastman                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                       
Representative Louise Stutes                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION: Justice Research for AK by Dr. Brad Myrstol~                                                                      
Director~ Justice Center~ University of Alaska Anchorage                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BRAD MYRSTOL, PhD, Director                                                                                                     
UAA Justice Center; Director                                                                                                    
Alaska Justice Information Center                                                                                               
University of Alaska Anchorage                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Gave presentations on the UAA Justice                                                                    
Center and Alaska crime rate statistics and answered committee                                                                  
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
TROY PAYNE, PhD, Associate Professor                                                                                            
UAA Justice Center; Associate Director                                                                                          
Alaska Justice Information Center                                                                                               
University of Alaska Anchorage                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Gave a presentation on rearrest data in                                                                  
Alaska and answered committee questions.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:33:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MATT  CLAMAN called the House  Judiciary Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to order  at 1:33 p.m.   Representatives Eastman, LeDoux,                                                               
Shaw,   and  Claman   were  present   at  the   call  to   order.                                                               
Representative Wool arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
^Presentation:  Justice  Research for  AK  by  Dr. Brad  Myrstol,                                                               
Director, Justice Center, University of AK Anchorage                                                                            
   Presentation: Justice Research for AK by Dr. Brad Myrstol,                                                               
      Director, Justice Center, University of AK Anchorage                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
1:34:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
a series of presentations by Dr.  Brad Myrstol and Dr. Troy Payne                                                               
from the  University of Alaska  Anchorage (UAA)  Justice Research                                                               
and the Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC).                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:34:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN opened invited testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:35:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRAD  MYRSTOL,  PhD,  Director,  UAA  Justice  Center;  Director,                                                               
Alaska   Justice  Information   Center,   University  of   Alaska                                                               
Anchorage,  stated  three  objectives  for his  and  Dr.  Payne's                                                               
presentations:   to provide a  brief overview of the  UAA Justice                                                               
Center,  to provide  context for  deliberations  on recent  crime                                                               
rate trends  in Alaska, and  to present new analysis  of rearrest                                                               
data.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:36:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL   began  his  PowerPoint  presentation   [hard  copy                                                               
included  in  the  committee packet]  and  addressed  slide  two,                                                               
titled "History  and Mission."   He said  the UAA  Justice Center                                                               
has been  in operation since 1975.   Its mission, he  said, is to                                                               
provide  statewide   justice-related  education,   research,  and                                                               
service.  He  called the Justice Center  a comprehensive academic                                                               
and research unit.   He said this part of  the presentation would                                                               
focus more  on the Justice Center's  research programs [including                                                               
AJiC].                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:37:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL distinguished faculty  research at the Justice Center                                                               
from  organized research  conducted out  of  AJiC.   He said  the                                                               
Justice Center  is committed  to conducting  vigorous, impactful,                                                               
and Alaska-relevant research.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:38:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL addressed  slide three,  titled "Faculty  Research."                                                               
He  said  each  faculty  member  at  the  Justice  Center  has  a                                                               
particular area of  expertise and pursues research  in that area.                                                               
He noted that the Justice  Center prefers to address practitioner                                                               
and  policy-maker  questions.    He  provided  a  brief  list  of                                                               
research  partnerships:   The  Alaska  Victimization Survey,  the                                                               
Troopers B-Detachment  Patrol Staffing Study, the  Sexual Assault                                                               
Kit  Initiative,  the  [No  Violence  Alliance]  Reentry  Project                                                               
Evaluation, the  Graduated Response  Matrix (GRM)  Assessment and                                                               
Refinement  Project, and  the Statewide  Community-Based Batterer                                                               
Intervention Program  (BIP) Process and Outcome  Evaluation.  Dr.                                                               
Myrstol said  this list demonstrates  the breadth of  the Justice                                                               
Center's research.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:40:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL  addressed slide  four, titled  "AJiC."   He provided                                                               
historical background on AJiC and  detailed its mission, which is                                                               
"to compile,  analyze, and report  on criminal justice  topics to                                                               
policymakers  and  practitioners  in   order  to  improve  public                                                               
safety, to  increase criminal justice system  accountability, and                                                               
to reduce recidivism."   He described AJiC's  structure like that                                                               
of  a three-legged  stool, consisting  of  an integrated  justice                                                               
data  platform,  the Alaska  Results  First  Initiative, and  the                                                               
Statistical Analysis Center.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:42:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL  addressed slide  five,  also  titled "AJiC,"  which                                                               
featured  a  list  of  recent  and ongoing  AJiC  projects.    He                                                               
highlighted work done  by the Alaska Results  First Initiative on                                                               
adult  criminal  justice,  as  well as  an  upcoming  project  on                                                               
behavioral health.   He mentioned  Dr. Payne   leadership  in the                                                               
effort to  revalidate Alaska's pretrial risk  assessment tool for                                                               
the Department  of Corrections (DOC).   He shared  his excitement                                                               
about  doing data  integration in  conjunction with  the Anchored                                                               
Home permanent supportive housing project in Anchorage.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:43:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL  addressed slide six,  titled "To Learn More..."   He                                                               
encouraged the  committee to contact  him and his staff  with any                                                               
additional questions about the Justice Center.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:44:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL began  a new PowerPoint presentation  [slide seven in                                                               
the packet]  titled "Illicit Drug    Crime Nexus."   He explained                                                               
the presentation  would be a reprise  of one he gave  at the 2018                                                               
Public Safety  Forum.  He  disclosed two objectives:   To provide                                                               
context about crime trends in  Alaska as they compare to national                                                               
trends and to present limited data about the opioid crisis.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:45:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL acknowledged  the links  between opioid  use                                                               
and  criminal  activity.     He  noted  that   other  drugs  like                                                               
methamphetamines are also linked to  criminal activity.  He asked                                                               
if Dr.  Myrstol's analysis of  crime statistics  isolates opioids                                                               
from other behavior-altering drugs.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:46:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL said  the available  data limits  AJiC's ability  to                                                               
make  explicit connections  between specific  drugs of  abuse and                                                               
how they become manifested in criminal behavior.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:47:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL  introduced a  section  of  his presentation  titled                                                               
"Crimes Reported  to Police."   He said  the data source  was the                                                               
Uniform  Crime Reporting  (UCR)  program managed  by the  Federal                                                               
Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  He  said the data   consisting of                                                               
all crimes  known to police    was compiled by  multiple agencies                                                               
in Alaska,  reported to  the Department  of Public  Safety (DPS),                                                               
and transmitted by DPS to the FBI.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:48:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL  addressed slide nine,  titled "Violent  Crime Rates:                                                               
1985-2017."   The slide  featured a  line graph  comparing Alaska                                                               
rates  to national  rates.   The graph  also measured  the yearly                                                               
number of  drug overdose deaths in  Alaska since 1998.   He noted                                                               
the Alaska  violent crime rate  first exceeded the  national rate                                                               
after 1993.   He said the rates remained steady  until about 2002                                                               
when a period of divergence began.   He stated that violent crime                                                               
rates have  been increasing in  Alaska for  quite some time.   He                                                               
said there was a rapid acceleration  of the violent crime rate in                                                               
Alaska  beginning  in  2014.   He  pointed  to  a  correspondence                                                               
between  drug  overdose  deaths   statistics  and  violent  crime                                                               
statistics.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:51:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL addressed  slide 10,  titled "Property  Crime Rates:                                                               
1985-2017."   The slide  featured a  line graph  comparing Alaska                                                               
rates  to national  rates.   The graph  also measured  the yearly                                                               
number of  drug overdose deaths in  Alaska since 1998.   He noted                                                               
that property crimes are more  prevalent than violent crimes.  He                                                               
said national property  crime rates have been in  a long decline.                                                               
He  said  Alaska  property  crime rates  had  followed  a  nearly                                                               
identical trend  until about  2011 when the  decline turned.   He                                                               
said the  property crime rate accelerated  in 2015.  He  said the                                                               
graph includes  the number of  drug overdose deaths line  to show                                                               
how the metrics "map onto each other, or not."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:53:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL  introduced a  section  of  his presentation  titled                                                               
"Arrests  for  Drug  Offenses."     He  relayed  challenges  with                                                               
determining how  to analyze drug crime  data.  He said  AJiC uses                                                               
arrest statistics.   He differentiated between  arrest statistics                                                               
and reported crime statistics.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:54:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL addressed slide 12,  titled "Marijuana Arrest Rates."                                                               
The slide featured  a line graph measuring  possession arrests in                                                               
Alaska  by  gender.    He  noted  that  males  are  arrested  for                                                               
marijuana  possession at  a much  higher rate  than females.   He                                                               
pointed to a sharp decline in  arrests following 2010.  The graph                                                               
also  featured  a  line  measuring  the  annual  number  of  drug                                                               
overdose deaths.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:56:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL  addressed slide 13, titled  "Narcotic Arrest Rates."                                                               
The slide  featured a  similar line  graph measuring  arrests for                                                               
cocaine,  opium, heroin,  and  morphine, by  gender.   The  graph                                                               
showed  various  dips  and  rises.    It  also  featured  a  line                                                               
measuring the annual number of drug overdose deaths.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:57:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL  addressed  slide  14,  titled  "Synthetic  Narcotic                                                               
Arrest  Rates."    The  slide   featured  a  similar  line  graph                                                               
measuring  arrests  by  gender.     Dr.  Myrstol  said  synthetic                                                               
narcotics  included  fentanyl, Demerol,  hydrocodone,  oxycodone,                                                               
methadone,  dilaudid,  and buprenorphine.    The  graph showed  a                                                               
spike in arrests beginning in  2002 and a rising trendline since.                                                               
The graph  also featured  a line measuring  the annual  number of                                                               
drug overdose deaths.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:58:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL  addressed  slide  15,  titled  "Other  Non-Narcotic                                                               
Arrest  Rates."    The  slide   featured  a  similar  line  graph                                                               
measuring  arrests by  gender.   Dr. Myrstol  said this  category                                                               
included   amphetamine,  methamphetamine,   phencyclidine  (PCP),                                                               
naloxone,  ketamine,   3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine  (MDMA),                                                               
and barbiturates.  The graph  similarly showed a spike in arrests                                                               
beginning in 2002  and a rising trendline since.   The graph also                                                               
featured  a line  measuring the  annual number  of drug  overdose                                                               
deaths.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:58:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL addressed slide 16,  titled "Getting from Description                                                               
to  Explanation."    He  said   it  is  difficult  to  articulate                                                               
potential  links  between  illicit  drug  use  and  increases  in                                                               
Alaska's crime rates.  He  said researchers and criminologists do                                                               
not have good data to  confidently answer policymakers' questions                                                               
about potential  links.  He  attributed this problem  to politics                                                               
and  financing.   He said  it  is difficult  for policymakers  to                                                               
devote resources to long-term research.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL detailed  the  history of  the  Arrestee Drug  Abuse                                                               
Monitoring Program (ADAM) funded  by the United States Department                                                               
of Justice.  He described  extensive data collection he conducted                                                               
for  ADAM at  the  Anchorage Correctional  Complex  in the  early                                                               
2000s.  He said the  data collected, which included self-reported                                                               
data, biometric data, and arrest  records, enabled researchers to                                                               
establish links between drug use and criminal activity.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL  said he replicated the  ADAM model in Arkansas.   He                                                               
claimed that, with support, he could  do the same for Alaska.  "I                                                               
must be honest," he said.   "We are suffering from an information                                                               
deficit.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:04:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  if   Dr.  Myrstol  was  drawing  a                                                               
correlation  between drug  abuse and  likelihood of  committing a                                                               
criminal offense.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:04:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL  answered  no.    He  clarified  that  the  data  he                                                               
presented is  merely descriptive and  suggestive.  He said  he is                                                               
not prepared  to declare a  strong or weak correlation  over time                                                               
between  the number  of drug  overdose deaths  in Alaska  and the                                                               
arrests made for different categories of crime.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:06:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX said  it sounds like there  is a hypothesis                                                               
correlating drug use and criminal activity.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:06:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL said  that is the working hypothesis  in research and                                                               
policy conversations.   He said  AJiC does  not have the  data to                                                               
test the hypothesis.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:06:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  suggested  that  the  hypothesis  assumes                                                               
people who  abuse drugs are  more likely  to commit crimes.   She                                                               
asked about  the inverse, that  people who are "screwups"  may be                                                               
more likely  to use drugs.   She compared  it to the  question of                                                               
whether  the chicken  came before  the egg.   She  asked if  this                                                               
thought was valid.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:07:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL  said this was a  reasonable hypothesis.  He  cited a                                                               
criminology concept  called "low  self-control."  He  said people                                                               
involved in criminal  conduct tend to engage  in low self-control                                                               
activities.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL said  that with  access to  better data,  AJiC could                                                               
establish  the   relationship  between  drug  use   and  criminal                                                               
offenses in  Alaska.  He  noted though  that even with  an Alaska                                                               
version of  the ADAM model, AJiC  would not be able  to establish                                                               
with  absolute   certainty  that  illicit  drug   use  caused  an                                                               
individual  to commit  a  crime.   Rather,  he  said, AJiC  could                                                               
establish  a  timeline  and  temporal  order  for  drug  use  and                                                               
criminal behaviors.   He conceded that this would  not be perfect                                                               
knowledge, but  it would be a  large step forward from  the crude                                                               
information he presented earlier.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:09:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked if  AJiC could establish  which came                                                               
first  the drug use or the crime  with more research.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:09:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL  said he could  measure drug  use prior to  arrest on                                                               
the individual level as well as on a population level.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:10:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked  if that would show if  [the drug use                                                               
or the crime]  came first.  He noted that  some individuals blame                                                               
their "antisocial activity" on drugs or alcohol.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:10:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL  said as much  as he  would like to  provide absolute                                                               
certainty, the  proposed research  would not.   He  explained the                                                               
data  set  would  not  be  so  comprehensive  as  to  provide  an                                                               
understanding of an individual's  drug and criminal behavior over                                                               
the course of his or her life.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:11:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX referenced  her  time living  in New  York                                                               
City and her  awareness of the risk of "random  crime" versus how                                                               
she feels living  in East Anchorage, where she feels  safer.  She                                                               
asked if Dr. Myrstol had  any statistics measuring violent crimes                                                               
perpetrated by individuals not previously known to the victim.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:13:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL  said that information  exists depending on  the type                                                               
of  violent crime.    For  example, he  said,  there is  detailed                                                               
information from sexual assault  and sexual abuse cases detailing                                                               
the relationship between victim and  offender.  He remarked that,                                                               
because AJiC does  not own that type of data,  it is incumbent to                                                               
partner with agencies that do.   He said, for example, AJiC could                                                               
partner  with  a police  department  to  access the  department's                                                               
electronic data or code the  department's paper files to create a                                                               
data set for analysis.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:14:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN  mentioned that an  overwhelming majority  of sexual                                                               
assault  and sexual  abuse crimes  in Alaska  involve people  who                                                               
know each  other.   He said situations  involving people  who are                                                               
strangers  to each  other make  up a  very small  portion of  the                                                               
broader picture.   He said the  same applies to violent  crime in                                                               
general,  both in  Alaska and  on a  national scale.   He  drew a                                                               
comparison to  South Africa, where  the opposite is the  case and                                                               
random violence is far more prevalent.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:15:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  clarified she was  curious if the  rise of                                                               
violent crime in  Anchorage was related to  random violent crime.                                                               
She  asked why  AJiC  continues to  study  arrests for  marijuana                                                               
possession post-legalization.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:16:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL explained  that the  FBIs   uniform crime  reporting                                                               
[UCR] dataset  specifically measures  arrests for marijuana.   He                                                               
said  most nationwide  drug  possession arrests  tend  to be  for                                                               
marijuana.  He said he was  trying to be exhaustive in presenting                                                               
all four of the UCR arrest categories.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:16:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SHAW  asked if AJiC  had any involvement  with the                                                               
Alaska  State  Crime  Lab  and,  if so,  if  its  information  is                                                               
helpful.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:17:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL answered  that he does not have  any involvement with                                                               
the Alaska State Crime Lab.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:17:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  remarked  that  the  question  everyone  is                                                               
trying to answer is what the  correlation is between drug use and                                                               
criminal  activity.    He commented  that  the  crime  statistics                                                               
presented  indicated some  positive  trends, such  as the  steady                                                               
decline  of property  crime both  nationally and  in Alaska.   He                                                               
said it  would be interesting  to learn if national  drug arrests                                                               
and Alaska drug arrests were  correlated.  He asked what Alaska's                                                               
violent  crime rate  would look  like if  Anchorage were  removed                                                               
from the dataset.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:19:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL  answered that  he has  not run  those analyses.   He                                                               
said it can be done.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:19:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL reiterated  he  would like  to see  national                                                               
drug  statistics to  compare  with Alaska  drug  statistics.   He                                                               
discussed the introduction  of fentanyl and why  heroin users are                                                               
attracted to it.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:20:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN said the national overdose  rate is a lot worse than                                                               
Alaska's  rate.   He said,  beginning around  1999, the  national                                                               
overdose rate  trendline rose  so sharply that  it "looks  like a                                                               
hockey stick."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:21:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL confirmed this.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:21:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked if the  ADAM data included  drug crime                                                               
independent of other crime.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:21:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL answered  yes.   He  added that  the analysis  could                                                               
differentiate  between   individuals  booked  on   a  [controlled                                                               
substances]  charge  and  individuals   booked  on  an  [offenses                                                               
against the person] charge.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:22:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked if nonoffender populations  are tested                                                               
as control groups.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:22:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL  answered no.   He said the  intent and design  of an                                                               
ADAM-like research program  is to focus on  jail populations that                                                               
serve  as  a  "canary  in the  coal  mine"  for  population-level                                                               
illicit drug trends.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:23:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN asked  what reasons, if any can  be determined, have                                                               
contributed  to Alaska  not following  national rates  of violent                                                               
crime or property crime.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:23:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL said  the Justice  Center has  not proceeded  beyond                                                               
hypotheses and  can only  speculate.   He offered  one hypothesis                                                               
that  property  crime,  having  fallen so  much  over  time,  had                                                               
reached its theoretical floor and  is now regressing to the mean.                                                               
He said  it was compelling  that the  rise in violent  crime "has                                                               
been cooking for a while"  starting in the mid-1990s, whereas the                                                               
upturn in the property crime rate occurred more recently.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:25:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN commented  that the  upward trend  in property  and                                                               
violent  crime tracks  with drug  overdose  deaths.   He said  it                                                               
suggests some connection between the two.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:26:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL agreed it is suggestive,  but stressed that it is not                                                               
known how  they are connected.   He said they might  be connected                                                               
through a third factor causing them  both.  He said they could be                                                               
directly  related  or,  alternatively, the  relationship  between                                                               
them is actually spurious.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:27:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  noted that  both property and  violent crime                                                               
rates  turned  upward  around  2014  and  2015.    He  referenced                                                               
testimony from  a previous  meeting by Captain  Sean Case  of the                                                               
Anchorage Police  Department (APD).   Captain Case  had mentioned                                                               
how APD  combated auto theft  by concentrating resources  on that                                                               
particular  problem.     He   considered  the   possibility  that                                                               
something  happened  in  2014   involving  a  deconcentrating  of                                                               
resources that resulted  in the crime spikes.  He  added that the                                                               
poor economy in Alaska in 2014 could have contributed.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:29:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN asked Dr. Payne to present new rearrest data.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:30:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  TROY   PAYNE,  Associate  Professor,  UAA   Justice  Center;                                                               
Associate   Director,   Alaska    Justice   Information   Center,                                                               
University   of   Alaska    Anchorage,   began   his   PowerPoint                                                               
presentation [slide 18 in the  committee packet] titled "Rearrest                                                               
within 7 days."  He said  AJiC had been tracking criminal justice                                                               
bills introduced  earlier in the  session and noticed  a frequent                                                               
mentioning of the  concept of "catch and release."   He said AJiC                                                               
realized  it  could determine  the  extent  to which  people  are                                                               
rearrested,  which  he defined  as  being  caught, released,  and                                                               
caught again within a short period of time.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:31:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PAYNE addressed  slide 19,  titled "Data  Source."   He said                                                               
Alaska   statute  requires   agencies  to   report  individually-                                                               
identified  data  to  the   Alaska  Criminal  Justice  Commission                                                               
(ACJC).   He  said this  data includes  arrest and  citation data                                                               
from DPS.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PAYNE addressed  slide  20, titled  "DPS  arrest &  citation                                                               
Charge-level  data."    He  said his  data  set  included  felony                                                               
arrests, felony  citations, misdemeanor arrests,  and misdemeanor                                                               
citations.   He said  his data set  did not  include infractions,                                                               
violations, and charges with no arrest tracking number.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:32:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PAYNE addressed  slide 21,  titled "Methods."   He  said the                                                               
dataset included 222,213  charges from July 1,  2014, to December                                                               
31,  2018.     He  explained   that  the  Alaska   Public  Safety                                                               
Information Network  (APSIN) assigns an identification  number to                                                               
each  unique individual.   He  said he  used this  information to                                                               
track  whether a  person had  been rearrested.   He  listed other                                                               
data  used in  the analysis:   arrest  date, arrest  statute, and                                                               
arrest  tracking  number  (ATN), which  he  explained  identifies                                                               
unique arrest events.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DR. PAYNE addressed  slide 22, also titled "Methods."   He walked                                                               
the committee  through the process  of arrest data analysis.   He                                                               
said he  identified the days  between an individual's  arrest and                                                               
any subsequent  rearrest.   He then counted  the people  who were                                                               
rearrested within seven days.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:34:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. PAYNE addressed  slides 23 and 24.  He  presented an animated                                                               
scatter plot  measuring rearrests within  seven days.   The graph                                                               
was divided  into three  time periods:   Before  criminal justice                                                               
reform [beginning in July 2014],  between criminal justice reform                                                               
and  Senate  Bill  54  [passed  in  the  Thirtieth  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature],  and  post-Senate  Bill  54.    He  said  the  data                                                               
indicated no change in the  number of rearrests within seven days                                                               
from July 2014 to July 2018.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:36:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. PAYNE  addressed slides 25 to  26.  He presented  an animated                                                               
line graph  that displayed  the same  information as  the scatter                                                               
plot.   He restated his findings.   He noted that  the line graph                                                               
does not include violations of  conditions of release (VCOR).  He                                                               
explained  this was  because criminal  justice  reform made  VCOR                                                               
noncriminal.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:37:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. PAYNE addressed  slides 27, which added VCOR  to the previous                                                               
scatter plot  and line graph.   He concluded there is  not a very                                                               
large difference  in VCOR from  before to after  criminal justice                                                               
reform.  He noted that  the motivating question was whether there                                                               
was a difference  in the number of people who  were rearrested in                                                               
a short  period of time  before criminal justice  reform compared                                                               
to after.  He said the answer is "it appears not."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PAYNE  noted that  rearrests  are  a  real phenomenon.    He                                                               
confirmed  anecdotal evidence  from  law  enforcement and  public                                                               
defenders  that the  same people  are indeed  coming through  the                                                               
system again and again.  He  restated that the motivation for the                                                               
research  was  to  determine the  similarity  of  the  phenomenon                                                               
before and after criminal justice reform.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:39:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. PAYNE  addressed slide  29, titled "Summary."   He  said that                                                               
each week, about  26 people are arrested again  within seven days                                                               
of their previous arrest.  He  restated that there is no evidence                                                               
of a  large change  in people rearrested  within seven  days from                                                               
before criminal  justice reform to after.   He said the  trend is                                                               
flat, or a stationary time series.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. PAYNE  mentioned that AJiC  had studied rearrest  trends over                                                               
different  time periods.   He  addressed slides  30 to  38, which                                                               
featured line  graphs measuring  rearrests within  3, 7,  10, 14,                                                               
21,  30, 60,  90, and  180 days.   He  said the  same conclusions                                                               
drawn for the seven-day dataset  apply to the other time periods,                                                               
that rearrest rates have not significantly changed over time.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:40:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SHAW asked  why criminal  justice reform  has not                                                               
reaped benefits.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:41:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN  noted that Dr. Myrstol  and Dr. Payne are  not able                                                               
to comment on the full breadth of criminal justice reform.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:41:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. PAYNE  answered that he  was presenting  an answer to  a very                                                               
narrow  question.     He  restated   AJiC's  goal   of  providing                                                               
information to  policymakers based on  the data at  its disposal.                                                               
He  said AJiC  is  not able  to give  a  comprehensive review  of                                                               
criminal justice reform at this  time.  He restated his rearrests                                                               
findings.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:42:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN confirmed that AJiC's  study is independent research                                                               
that was  not commissioned by ACJC  or the legislature.   He said                                                               
AJiC  initiated  the  study  as   a  response  to  public  claims                                                               
attributing "catch and  release" to criminal justice  reform.  He                                                               
restated that  AJiC's findings show  there is no data  to support                                                               
those claims.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:42:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  said, on the  other hand, she is  not sure                                                               
there  is  data  suggesting  criminal justice  reform  has  fixed                                                               
recidivism problems.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:43:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN said there would  soon be a discussion of recidivism                                                               
data.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:43:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. PAYNE said if the public  concern is about public safety with                                                               
regard  to  rearrests, the  data  indicates  no difference  after                                                               
criminal justice reform compared to before.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:43:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  noted that  if criminal justice  reform made                                                               
"catch  and  release"  worse  it  would  be  backed  up  by  data                                                               
indicating  an  increase in  rearrests.    He asked  whether  the                                                               
individuals in  the dataset  had spent  time in  jail or  if they                                                               
were released after a brief period of detention.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:44:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PAYNE  said   the  analysis  only  focused   on  whether  an                                                               
individual was  rearrested within seven  days.  He said  it would                                                               
stand to  reason that, because  of criminal justice  reform, more                                                               
people  are being  released from  jail pretrial.   He  noted that                                                               
this  was just  speculative, and  his analysis  does not  contain                                                               
that corresponding data.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:45:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN referenced testimony from  a previous meeting by the                                                               
state's  public  defender,  Quinlan  Steiner.   Mr.  Steiner  had                                                               
referenced  data that  indicated  pretrial  release numbers  have                                                               
risen while rearrest numbers have not.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:46:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  noted that  Dr. Payne's graphs  measured the                                                               
number  of rearrests  but did  not include  the number  of people                                                               
released, so  if 30 people  were rearrested one  cannot establish                                                               
whether that  meant 30  people rearrested  out of  300 or  out of                                                               
1,000.    He asked  if  release  numbers  have increased  due  to                                                               
changes in  the bail system  and if people released  after multi-                                                               
year sentences are receiving better reentry services.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:46:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PAYNE clarified  that the  only individuals  present in  his                                                               
dataset are  those rearrested within  seven days, so it  does not                                                               
include  people   who  had  served   lengthy  sentences   in  DOC                                                               
facilities.     He  referenced  the  Justice   Center's  role  in                                                               
revalidating  Alaska's pretrial  risk  assessment  tool and  said                                                               
that process  will soon provide answers  to Representative Wool's                                                               
question about release numbers.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:47:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  asked  whether   an  individual  who  is                                                               
rearrested twice within seven days  gets counted once or twice in                                                               
the dataset.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:48:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PAYNE answered  that if  an individual  is arrested  Monday,                                                               
Tuesday, Wednesday,  Thursday, and Friday,  they are in  the data                                                               
set five times  once per arrest.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:48:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN presented  a second  hypothetical wherein                                                               
an individual  is arrested multiple  times over a  two-week span.                                                               
He asked how that would be  reflected in the graphs that measured                                                               
by week.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:49:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. PAYNE  answered, "In  each week in  which [an  individual] is                                                               
arrested and rearrested within seven  days, you would add to that                                                               
count."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  asked  if  the same  person  could  have                                                               
committed all crimes reflected in the graph for a given week.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:49:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. PAYNE answered,  "hypothetically yes, actually no."   He said                                                               
Representative  Eastman  was  asking about  the  distribution  of                                                               
arrests  across  arrestees.   He  said  that information  is  not                                                               
reflected in the analysis.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:49:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN  addressed a  report  [hard  copy included  in  the                                                               
committee  packet] titled  "Alaska  Recidivism  & Reentry"  dated                                                               
March 4,  2019.  He said  Dr. Myrstol and Dr.  Payne were present                                                               
when  the  report was  presented.    He  asked  if they  had  any                                                               
comments or observations on the recidivism data reported by DOC.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:50:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL clarified  that the data analyses were  from DOC, not                                                               
the  Justice Center  or  AJiC.   He referenced  page  six of  the                                                               
report, titled  "Alaska Recidivism Rates,  which  featured a line                                                               
graph titled  "Recidivism Rates  by Calendar Year."   He  said he                                                               
found  the 6  percent drop  in recidivism  rates for  individuals                                                               
released from  2011 to 2015 to  be promising.  He  explained that                                                               
the data reflected a three-year follow-up period.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:52:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN  asked  for confirmation  that  the  61.33  percent                                                               
recidivism  rate for  2015 reflects  conduct through  the end  of                                                               
2018.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL answered  that it is his understanding  that DOC uses                                                               
a three-year follow-up period for release cohorts.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:52:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL  called it encouraging that  recidivism rates dropped                                                               
from  [67.47] percent  for  the 2011  release  cohort to  [61.33]                                                               
percent for the 2015 release cohort.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:53:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN asked  Dr.  Myrstol to  explain the  term                                                               
 reincarceration" as is presented in the packet.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL answered that he cannot  give an exact answer to what                                                               
that term means in the context of DOC's operations.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:53:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR    CLAMAN   said    it   was    his   understanding    that                                                               
"reincarceration" refers to a return to  jail for any reason.  He                                                               
clarified  that the  people  DOC follows  are  those with  felony                                                               
convictions.   He  said DOC  does not  track misdemeanors  in the                                                               
same way.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:53:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  if it  can be  determined that  the                                                               
declining recidivism rate  is attributable to Senate  Bill 91, or                                                               
if the rate was just going to decrease regardless.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:54:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.   MYRSTOL  answered   that  he   would  not   be  comfortable                                                               
attributing the  decline to any  one thing.   He said  the trends                                                               
preceded  criminal justice  reform.   He said  he was  encouraged                                                               
about  the  2015 release  cohort,  which  includes two  follow-up                                                               
years  after criminal  justice  reform.   He  said  more time  is                                                               
needed  to   study  recidivism  trends.     He  acknowledged  the                                                               
frustration  that comes  with waiting  out the  lengthy follow-up                                                               
period.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:55:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked if  any data  exists for  the period                                                               
after 2015.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:56:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL explained that the label  "CY 2015" on the line graph                                                               
takes into account  individuals who were released by  DOC in 2015                                                               
and then followed  for three years.  He said  the offense rate in                                                               
the graph  is a  cumulative rate  of the  people in  that release                                                               
cohort who were arrested at least once within three years.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:56:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL referenced  page eight  of the  report which                                                               
featured a  line graph  measuring recidivism  excluding probation                                                               
and parole violations.  He noted  that the rate falls by about 30                                                               
percent.   He  asked  if  a modification  to  parole would  bring                                                               
Alaska to  a level of  recidivism more  in line with  places with                                                               
famously low rates such as Norway.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:58:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MYRSTOL said  he cannot speak to the topic  of parole and how                                                               
Alaska's system compares to other nations  or states.  He said it                                                               
is important  to understand the  difference between VCOR  and the                                                               
commission  of new  crimes.   He said  DOC's presentation  of the                                                               
data suggests a distinction between the two.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:59:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  referenced page  10, which featured  a table                                                               
measuring recidivism by offense class.   He drew attention to the                                                               
category "parole/probation."   He mused upon  the various reasons                                                               
an individual may be rearrested and fall into that category.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL  said  he  would  have to  defer  to  DOC  regarding                                                               
discussion of their offense categories.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:00:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked if  the recidivism data  takes into                                                               
account  individuals  who  are  rearrested  in  other  states  or                                                               
individuals  who become  deceased before  the culmination  of the                                                               
follow-up period.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:01:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MYRSTOL answered  that DOC  and the  Justice Center  tend to                                                               
rely only  on Alaska data,  so they do  not have ready  access to                                                               
information about individuals  arrested in outside jurisdictions.                                                               
He said individuals who move  out of state could be undercounted.                                                               
He added  that individuals in  a release cohort are  not verified                                                               
for  Alaska residency.   After  asking Representative  Eastman to                                                               
repeat  his  question  about deceased  individuals,  Dr.  Myrstol                                                               
confirmed that  those circumstances are reflected  and controlled                                                               
for in the data analysis.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:03:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN  thanked  Dr.  Myrstol  and  Dr.  Payne  for  their                                                               
presentations and input.  He closed invited testimony.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:04:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:04 p.m.